Canvas: Did you know…? – St. Thomas E-Learning And Research
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Canvas: Did you know…?

Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks, Canvas: Did you know...?

What’s All the Hype About Modules?

Since the university moved from Blackboard to Canvas, we’ve heard a lot about Modules: “Build your content in modules; don’t forget to publish your modules; I never had to use modules in Blackboard, they’re too confusing.”  So, what’s all the hype about modules anyway?

True, Blackboard didn’t use modules. That’s one of the main paradigm shifts we encounter when moving to Canvas. Instead of creating menu items and folders as you did in Blackboard, Canvas has you assemble and display content items in Modules. But once we wrap our heads around the modules concept, we can see they’re pretty powerful.

To better understand the idea behind modules, picture a scrumptious spread of holiday food set out on the dining table. The items on the table really come from other locations: the kitchen, the cupboard, the refrigerator, or pantry; but they are assembled and displayed on the table for the benefit and consumption of our guests.  So it is with Modules. Content items like files, assignments, discussions, and pages really live elsewhere in the course site, but we intentionally assemble and display them in modules so there’s a logical sequence that walks the student through the learning process.

One of the powerful features behind modules is that you can set requirements for viewing or completing the items inside a module, or specify the sequence in which they will be completed. By setting module requirements, you can release individual items based on certain criteria met on previous items. You can also control the visibility of module items or an entire module through the Publishing function.

Modules really help us assemble content in logical, sequential ways, allowing us to display various content pieces, whether it be an assignment, a page of instructions, a file, and so on. The flexibility and capability of modules make them a great feature in the Canvas learning management system.

For more information on the power of modules, check out these guides and videos.

 

This post was written by Michael Wilder, an Instructional Designer for the St. Thomas E-Learning and Research (STELAR) Center at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. To learn more about this topic, please visit our website at www.stthomas.edu/stelar or email us at stelar@stthomas.edu.

Best Practices, Tips, and Tricks, Canvas: Did you know...?

Duplicating items in modules

Did you know…

You can save time and effort by duplicating certain content items in Canvas and reuse them elsewhere? Yes! Many items like Pages, Assignments, and graded Discussions can be duplicated and then used in other modules. Let’s say you have a Weekly Overview page in Module 1 that includes complex formatting or repeatable instructions. Instead of re-creating a new Overview page for each subsequent module, you can simply duplicate the first module’s Overview page because it retains all the text, images, hyperlinks and formatting, and then just change out the specific text for the new Module.

To duplicate an item, click on the ellipsis (3 dots) to the right of the item and choose “Duplicate.” The item is duplicated (copied) below and includes the word “copy” in the title. The duplicated item will come in “unpublished.” After changing the text to reflect the new item, be sure to update the title and “publish” the duplicated item.


To learn more about this and other Canvas-related topics, join us on August 20-22 for Canvas On Campus: A 3 day event with Canvas representatives on campus covering a variety of topics and Canvas experts from STELAR available for instructional design and technology consultations.

Canvas: Did you know...?

Using media in Canvas announcements

Did you know…

Bitmoji’s, photos, graphics, and videos embedded in Announcements do not come through in the email notification to students; however, the media elements do appear when they view Notifications in the Canvas app.

If you create a video announcement or include important media in the announcement, you may want to add a note at the bottom of the announcement informing learners that the announcement contains media, and they should go to the Announcements tool in Canvas to see the full message.


To learn more about this and other Canvas-related topics, join us on August 20-22 for Canvas On Campus: A 3 day event with Canvas representatives on campus covering a variety of topics and Canvas experts from STELAR available for instructional design and technology consultations.

Canvas: Did you know...?

Automated course summary

Did you know…

Canvas automatically creates a Course Summary at the bottom of the Syllabus page with dates, details, and times for all calendar events and assignments. Click on an item to go directly to the calendar event or the assignment to view or edit.

Use Student View to check this information before publishing your course each term. Confirm that the assignments are accurately represented and delete any lingering calendar events such as old Zoom meetings. *Note- assignments will not show up on this list or in the gradebook until they are published. If you do not want students to access the assignment early, publish the assignment and utilize the Available from/Until feature to limit access.


To learn more about this and other Canvas-related topics, join us on August 20-22 for Canvas On Campus: A 3 day event with Canvas representatives on campus covering a variety of topics and Canvas experts from STELAR available for instructional design and technology consultations.