The fall term will be here before you know it. Now might be a good time to start working in your Canvas course so that you’re ready for students. The tips below will help you get started.
If Canvas is completely new to you, it might be helpful to get a quick orientation of this great tool. Explore our Faculty Guide to Canvas or sign up for one of our on-going introductory workshops. As always, you’re welcome to get in touch with anyone on the Instructional Design team to ask questions or schedule a one-on-one appointment.
Tip #1: Publish Your Course!
Students can’t see anything in your course until you change the course status from unpublished to published. Publishing your course is easy: here’s how to do it.
Tip #2: Share Your Syllabus
Why email or hand out copies of your syllabus? Uploading your syllabus to your Canvas course is quick and easy, and it guarantees that students can’t misplace this important document. Here’s how to make your syllabus available to your students.
Tip #3: Organize Your Content
In addition to your syllabus, you can use Canvas to post other resources students need. Instead of just posting resources in a long list, consider organizing your content into smaller chunks. One strategy many La Salle faculty members employ is to chunk, or organize, content and activities into weekly modules.
Organizing content in this way allows you to build a framework for student success: everything they need for that week is in the corresponding module, keeping them on track. Students can’t lose the resources because they are always available in Canvas. If students miss class, they have everything they need to prepare in advance or catch up.
Luckily, Canvas makes it easy to create weekly modules so that you can keep students on track. Here’s how to get started using Canvas Modules.
If you meet with students face-to-face, using Modules can provide an additional benefit: no class cancellations. Students who are in the habit of checking Canvas for course updates and materials are primed to access resources and participate in asynchronous activities so that you don’t lose one bit of precious class time.
Tip #4: Create Assignments to Build Your Gradebook
In Canvas, Grades and Assignments work together to help you track student progress. As you create and publish assignments and graded discussions, the Gradebook builds columns for you to enter scores and provide feedback.
With Canvas, assignments can be flexible: students don’t have to submit assignments electronically. You can create assignments that require a paper submission or no submission (useful for live in-class presentations). When you assign a due date, students are automatically reminded that something is due every time they visit their Canvas dashboard.