Essential Canvas Tutorials

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Essential Canvas Tutorials for the Novice Online Instructor

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Canvas is a powerful tool for online learning. Like all new projects, the first time that you start to create a course in Canvas you may feel a bit overwhelmed. This guide is designed to define basic terminology and give you links to the most essential tools for getting started in Canvas. Once you've reviewed the essential features in Canvas, please visit the Canvas Instructor Guides for a more in-depth look at using Canvas, found here: Canvas Instructor Guides
If you're new to Canvas and would like a general overview, feel free to watch this brief Canvas Overview Video by clicking the link.


Definitions:

Global menu: The global menu is the vertical menu on the left-hand side of every page in Canvas. It includes links to a variety of Canvas features and tools. Murray State’s global menu includes links to User Account Settings, the Dashboard, Courses, Calendar, Inbox, Canvas Studio, and the Help page. See image below.

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Course Navigation Menu: the list of links located on the left-hand side of each Canvas course with links to different areas and tools within your course. Course links with an eye strike through icons are not visible to students. See image below.

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Modules: Modules are units of organization that contain course content such as assignments, quizzes, files, and other course materials. Modules are used to organize course content according to units, weeks, topics, etc. See image below.

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Rich Content Editor: The Rich Content Editor is a tool used to insert content such as images, videos, links, text, etc. into areas of your course. The rich content editor is used to content in Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, and Syllabus. See image below.

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Pages - Pages in Canvas can be used to store and organize course content or educational tools. Example: you could create a new page in your Canvas course called “Course Schedule” and include a file that contains the course schedule, an image of the course schedule, or text outlining the course schedule. See image below.

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Assignments - Assignments in Canvas are used to administer assessments to students and allow them to submit papers, responses, etc. in a variety of formats including PowerPoints, documents, videos, text submission. Assignments can be graded or ungraded and specific point values or percentages can be set, along with due dates and availability dates. See image below.

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Discussions - Discussions are used as a place to hold conversations within a course about a topic. Users in the course are able to post responses and reply to other users’ posts to facilitate discussion within the course. Users can enter text and insert various media such as videos, files, and images to share in their posts and replies. See image below:

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Collaborations - The Collaborations feature is essentially a link within a course to a shared Google Doc. Two or more users added to a Collaboration document will allow them to work on one document at the same time. The changes are made and immediately saved in real-time and are visible to everyone added to the document. See image below.

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Quizzes: Quizzes in Canvas are used to administer customizable online assessments to students in a variety of formats. When creating a quiz, instructors can use different question types such as essay questions, multiple-choice, true/false, fill in the blank, etc. Upon creating a quiz, a variety of settings can be set such as point value, time limits, due-dates, multiple attempts, etc. See image below.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Gradebook: The gradebook displays and calculates totals of the grades of all students in a Course. The gradebook can be accessed through the “Grades” link in the Course Navigation Menu. In the gradebook, Instructors and TAs can edit and enter scores for grades of assessments like assignments and quizzes. The gradebook has sorting and filtering functions to customize the order and appearance. See image below.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Respondus: Respondus is a tool integrated into Canvas that allows Exams and Quizzes to be administered in a secure online environment to protect academic integrity. Respondus LockDown Browser is a downloadable application that is installed on students’ machines. Students access assessments in this browser which prevents them from accessing other applications, websites, taking screen captures, among other security settings. Respondus Monitor also secures online assessments by requiring a webcam that records, analyzes, and flags videos for suspicious behavior to prevent academic dishonesty. Using this Respondus integration, instructors have the option to require the use of Respondus LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor when taking exams and quizzes online. See image below.

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Turnitin: Turnitin is a plagiarism checking tool integrated into Canvas that compares student assignment submissions against millions of data points from student repositories, websites, periodicals, journals and publications from across the web. After a student submission undergoes this comparison, a similarity report is generated showing the percentage of similarity. See image below.

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Studio: Studio is a screen capture and video recording tool integrated into Canvas. Studio can be accessed through the Course Navigation menu in any course OR through the link in the global navigation menu. Studio allows you to create and edit and store screen recordings, webcam recordings, and both screen capture and webcam recordings at the same time. Studio acts as an easy-access repository of videos recorded in studio, as well as videos uploaded into studio and youtube videos. These videos are accessible in each Canvas course through the Rich Content Editor (see previous description). See image below.

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Zoom: Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows anyone to meet virtually using an online meeting room. Zoom is integrated into Canvas and is accessible through the link in the Course Navigation menu. Using this integrated tool, you can easily schedule a Zoom meeting that is accessible to everyone within your Canvas course through the same menu. After scheduling a new meeting, students simply need to click on the link in the Zoom menu to join. See image below.

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Other Helpful Resources:

Canvas Video Guides

Canvas Guides for Instructors

Murray State’s Knowledge Base (Help Articles)​​​​​​​

Submit a Canvas Help Request

 

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Details

Article ID: 101044
Created
Thu 3/12/20 3:41 PM
Modified
Tue 9/19/23 9:33 AM