Getting Ready

The Getting Ready staff development sessions, which can be booked via Organisational Development, focus on key areas that are needed for every Canvas course within the VLE.

Feedback from Early Adopter staff and students, as well as discussions with other Universities using Canvas, has outlined two key areas that Canvas courses need to have in order to support students effectively and successful with their learning:

  1. A clear useful front page on each Canvas course
  2. A consistent structure across Canvas courses delivered in the same degree programme, allowing students to become familiar with where key information and activities are stored

Below is a list of resources that will help you create a front page within Canvas and build structure within your Canvas courses.

Creating a Front Page

A front page is a vital component to support students’ engagement with their Canvas course. It can contextualise the module, provide students with key information and contact details. You can download a front page template from Commons by searching for 'Welcome Page Template' or search by the author 'Paul Towers'.

The videos and guides below will also help you through the creation of a front page.

Building Structure and Publishing

Building a clear and consistent structure across your Canvas course is vital to the student and staff experience. The video below will guide you through the process of doing this.

Some additional areas that the 'Getting Ready' training session also covers are:

Organising Files

The Files area within a Canvas Course allows you to upload files such as PDF, PowerPoint and Word documents and organise them into folders. You can even drag files directly into the browser to upload them. It can also be used to see who has added the files and restrict access to certain material.

Student View

The 'Student View' allows you to view your Canvas course as a student, and test the functionality by contributing to discussions, assignments and other areas.

Top 5 Features in Canvas

The Top 5 Features in Canvas have been identified based on feedback from Early Adopters, Blank Canvas training and Canvas4Learning sessions.

A front page is a vital component to support the student experience. It can contextualise the module, provide students with key information and contact details. 

Building a clear and consistent structure across your Canvas course/s is vital to the student and staff experience.

Canvas provides you with the ability to embed video and audio from external sources (such as YouTube and Vimeo) into your Canvas course/s.

Panopto the University lecture capture software will integrate with Canvas allowing you to embed your Panopto records directly into your Canvas course/s.

Canvas also has built in video and audio functionality. This allows you to create quick talking head videos to outline an activity, showcase ideas and provide video and audio feedback.  

Canvas can be very visual allowing you to embed images from a URL, your own images and use Copyright free images from Flickr. You can use images as hyperlinks so that students can access other areas of Canvas or external websites. These will act as buttons for students to see additional content.

How do I embed images from Canvas into the Rich Content Editor?

How do I embed images from the web in the Rich Content Editor?

How do I embed images from Flickr Creative Commons in the Rich Content Editor? 

You can add images to course tiles making them stand out for the students.

How do I add an image to a course card in the Dashboard? 

There are many methods to communicate with students who are using Canvas. You can use the Inbox tool to send emails to your students, use the Calendar functionality to add events to modules and use the Conference tool to create a ‘Virtual Classroom’.

How do I use Conversations as an instructor?

How do I use the Calendar as an instructor?

How do I create a conference in a course?

The dedicated Canvas App provides students and staff with the ability to view module material, contribute to discussions, send emails, view student comments and much more from Android and Apple mobile devices.

Android

Apple

Further Help

Once you are logged into Canvas, click the 'Help' button on the lower left-hand menu to access 24-7-365 support and documentation, including:

  • Canvas Guides: Search the self-help guides to find out about Canvas features and functionality
  • Report a Problem: Report a problem regarding Canvas
  • Live Chat: Chat online with a member of the Canvas Support Team
  • Support Hotline: Speak to a member of the Canvas Support Team via a designated UK Freephone number or an international number (charged at local rate)