To copy content from one Canvas site into another (e.g. your fall course into spring) begin by going to the Home page of the empty course and clicking on “Import Existing Content” from the panel in the upper right:
From the dropdown menu, choose “Copy a Canvas Course”
In the search bar, find the course you would like to copy. You may search by department/course number (e.g. EDL508) or by the course name.
Next, you may choose to import all content or specific content. If you choose specific content, Canvas will ask you to identify the content you’d like to import prior to beginning the import process.
You may also select “adjust events and due dates” which will adjust due dates based on the start and end date of the class, or remove due dates altogether.
Once you’ve selected your content click “Import.” Canvas will let you know when the importing process has been completed.
Many faculty who have imported course content from Blackboard have founds links that appear to be active don’t work. Here are common issues with imported links, and the steps you can take to fix your links.
Problem #1: When I or my students click on the link, we
receive an error message which says the content is insecure. I
know it is a good link to a safe website. What can I do?
Explanation: When a link has been created for a site that
does not use the https: (secure) protocol, Canvas will return
a message about “insecure content,” because Canvas is a secure (https:)
Problem #2: My link shows as “broken”but I know it works. What can I do?
Explanation: Canvas uses “iframes” to display
webpages. There are many websites (including the UIS website) that do not allow
pages to be displayed as iframes for security purposes, and this can make the
links appear broken in Canvas. These links, when imported from Blackboard, are
often listed in a module, but as unpublished. This helpful feature helps us to
remember to check how these links will display to students.
An easy way to communicate with students about their performance in your class is by sending messages to a subset of students using the Gradebook. You can use the Gradebook to send messages to select students based on their status or performance on a specific assignment:
Haven’t submitted yet—email students who haven’t submitted the assignment, even if they have been manually awarded a grade.
Haven’t been graded—email students whose assignments have not yet been graded (submitted or unsubmitted).
Scored less than [point value]—email students who earned a grade on their assignment less than X number of points.
Scored more than [point value]—email students who earned a grade on their assignment more than X number of points.
Although one message can be sent to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an individual message. You can also message students individually in the Gradebook by using the student context card.
In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.
Open Assignments Menu
Hover over the assignment column header and click the Options icon.
Click the Message Students Who link.
Select Message Category
By default, Canvas will show names from the Haven’t submitted yet category.
In the drop-down menu:
Select the category of students you want to message. Based on real-time
data, Canvas will show the names of the students who fall in the
category you selected
 You can also remove students from the message by clicking the Remove icon. Canvas will also generate a subject line based on the category
 You can edit the subject line if needed.
 Type a message to the students in the message field.
 Click the Send Message button.
Note: Although one message most likely will be sent
to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an
Course content created in Blackboard can be imported in Canvas by following these steps:
Remove Excess Grading Categories from your Blackboard Grade Center
Open the full Blackboard Grade Center
Go to Manage and choose Categories
You may see several empty grading categories. These appear and multiply each time you copy Blackboard content from one semester to the next. While these categories do not affect Blackboard, they can cause serious issues with the Gradebook and Assignments page in Canvas and, therefore, must be removed.
To remove the excess grading categories, click “show all” at the bottom of the page
Next, click on the box to the left of the word “title” (this will “select” all empty grading categories) and click delete to remove excess grading categories.
Once you’ve deleted the excess grading categories, you’ll need to create an Export Package (zip file) with your course content that can be imported into Canvas.
First, go to your Blackboard Control Panel and click on Packages and Utilities:
Choose “Export/Archive Course” and click on “Export Package.”
From there, choose the content you would like to import into Canvas. You may select “all” or choose individual content areas and tools:
When your Export Package is ready, you will receive an email message in your UIS email which tells you “the operation has been completed.”
When you go back to Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive course, you will see the Export Package ready to download.
Click on the link to save it to your downloads.
Import Your Content to Canvas
Open your Canvas course.
On the right side of the home page, you will see a button called Import Existing Content:
Under Import Content, select your content type (Blackboard 6/7/8/9) from the dropdown menu:
Under “source,” choose the Blackboard Export File from your downloads. Choose “all content” or “select specific content” and then click “import.”
You’ll see a green indicator when the process has completed:
You’ll then be able to begin creating, rearranging, and updating your Canvas modules with your newly imported content.
Note: Canvas courses have a size limit of 500 MB. Export packages larger than 500 MB will not import properly. If your course exceeds the size limits, you may need to upload videos to Kaltura and/or move files to Box which can be shared to Canvas.
Using “Student View” in Canvas and Managing Course Navigation
To see the student’s perspective on Canvas, use Student View to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, view the calendar, etc. Enabling Student View creates a Test Student in your course. You can also activate Student View in your Course Settings.
To access Student View through your course home page, click on the Student View icon on the upper right:
now view the course as a student user would see it. For example, students
cannot see the Settings navigation link like instructors can.
You will know if you are in Student View because of the persistent box on the bottom of the screen indicating you are logged into Student View.
Click Leave Student View to return to your instructor view:
As an instructor, you can control which links appear to your students in your course menu. Canvas includes a set of default Course Navigation links that cannot be renamed.
All menu items with this icon:
CANNOT be seen by students. To enable links for
students, follow these steps:
Click on Settings at the bottom of your Course Menu:
Find the Course Navigation tab:
From the Navigation Page, you can re-order menu items using
the drag-and-drop interface.
You can also “enable” a menu item, by clicking on the “kebab” (three dots) associated with the menu item and choosing “enable” –
Be sure to click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your changes.
NOTE: Some navigation areas, such as Announcements, can be enabled, but show the “hidden” icon when there is no content. Adding content will enable students to see the menu item.
Authentic assessments require students to apply concepts
they have learned to real world situations by having them complete meaningful
task-based assessments. This type of assessment engages a variety of skills,
and measures higher levels of learning than traditional assessments. Authentic
assessment helps students practice creative thinking and problem-solving, and
allows for multiple paths to demonstrate knowledge.
Most authentic assessments involve complex questions and
tasks that do not have straightforward solutions; students must research,
brainstorm, practice, draft, and refine solutions in order to complete the
Examples of authentic assessments you can use in online
learning environment include:
Problem Based Learning
Interpretation of charts/graphs
Have students design assessments
Require answer justification (why is the answer
Peer evaluation of reflections/essays
Experimental interpretation- analysis of research
For the next couple of
weeks, COLRS will be sending out a Teaching Remotely Tip of the
Day that comes from the most frequently asked questions by faculty.
All Remote Teaching Tips are
archived on the COLRS blog. The Teaching Remotely at UIS website is another starting point for faculty who are converting their
courses to alternative formats. This week, open Office Hours will be hosted by COLRS staff daily at 10 am for
faculty to ask pedagogy-related questions. In
addition, you may call COLRS at 217-206-7317 or e-mail email@example.com to schedule a one-to-one meeting with any COLRS staff member.
In online courses, and now with “remote delivery”
of previously face-to-face courses, discussion forums provide a place for
student-to-student and instructor-to-student interaction. Within discussion
forums, students share thoughts and review the ideas of others modeled through
collegial, dialogic exchanges. Research shows the benefits of discussions for
student engagement and learning.
To help alleviate discussion board burn-out, here are some recommendations
and resources that will help us keep our discussions fresh and prevent excessive
Post the rules of netiquette and behavior
expectations at the start of class.
Encourage students to introduce themselves and
meet one another to form a learning community where they will feel safe to
share and discuss.
Develop discussion questions that allow the
student to critically reflect on the material and synthesize it with their own
Encourage students to participate early and
Create their presence in the classroom but not
interfere with the flow of the discussion.
Intervene when the discussion is veering off
in the wrong direction and help move the discussion back on track.
Ensure that the discussion forum is a safe
Promote further thinking and reflection by
posing more thoughtful and engaging questions within any given discussion.
Zoom allows you to schedule meetings with multiple
occurrences, so that each occurrence uses the same meeting ID and settings. You
can schedule these meetings in daily, weekly, and monthly increments. You can also
set a recurring meeting to be used at any time. Meeting IDs for recurring
meetings expire 365 days after the meeting was last started.
As millions of people around the world shift to working from home,
the unprecedented transformation of our behavior has put a large strain
on internet infrastructure which can lead to slow internet speeds.
Here are some ideas to help us address this challenge:
The following companies are offering free or low-cost internet service during the crisis:
In August of 2017, Turnitin will be moving to an updated user interface called “Feedback Studio.”
Turnitin Feedback Studio is designed around empowering you and your students by giving you the information and the tools needed for an efficient submission and marking process. Turnitin has made improvements to accessibility, responsiveness, and navigation, all designed to help instructors build better writers, with an emphasis on integrity.
This Instructor Guide offers video tutorials as well as written guidance for using Feedback Studio.
Tables: Use Tables Titles and Avoid Blank Rows and Columns
One very common mistake is leaving column A blank (because it makes it look like a margin).
Place table titles in the first column (A) so screen readers can find them easily.
If the table does not display the full text, merge cells and center them by selecting the Home tab, then clicking on Merge & Center. Be sure to keep the original text in the first column.
It’s OK to have merged cells in titles, but do not merge cells in the data part of the table.
Resize your rows and columns to provide spacing that makes the table readable (rather than using
blanks to create your spacing).
If you have two or more tables on the same worksheet, leave a single blank row between each
table. You can resize the blank row to create a space that is visually appealing.
Add an “End of Table” message in the row after the last row of a data table row. The text can be in white against a white background.
Table Cell Range and Header Cells: Define the Regions
You can use the Names feature to name a range of cells so that screen readers voice the names of header cells along with the value of each cell.
Select the top-left cell in your table. Don’t count the titles, but do count all row and column headers as part of your table.
Go to the Formulas tab in the Ribbon, and choose Name Manager in the Defined Names Choose New in the top left corner.
A new dialog box opens. In the Name field, type TitleRegion then put a 1 if this is the first table on your worksheet, then a period, then the range of cells in your table from top left to bottom right (with a period in between), then another period, then the worksheet number. For example, your Title code might look like this:
Click OK and Close.
Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images
Insert the image, then right-click and choose Size and Properties.
In the Size and Properties dialog box, choose the Alt Text Type in a brief description with
enough detail to explain the picture, then Close the dialog box.
Charts: Use Alt Text Descriptions
1. Right-click on the chart, select Format Chart, then Alt Text.
Complete the Description field (not the Title field).
Headings: Use Properly Formatted Headings to Structure Page Content
Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.
Lists: Use Ordered/Unordered Lists to Group Related Items
Rationale: Logical organization of content is conveyed to all users, along with other useful information for assistive technology users about the number of items listed. Mobile users also benefit as information is presented as it is meant to be presented.
Tables: Use Tables for Tabular Data and Provide Column and/or Row Headers
Rationale: Screen readers linearize content and read tables from left to right, top to bottom, one cell at a time. If cells are split or merged, it can throw the reading order off and make the table difficult to comprehend by users who are blind and using a screen reader to navigate.
Images: Use Alt Text for Informative Images
Rationale: Alt text is read by a screen reader. It should adequately describe what is displayed and its purpose. This allows screen reader users to benefit from information conveyed by the image, even if they cannot see it.
Links: Use Meaningful Text for Links
Rationale: Headings help to organize content, making it easier for everyone to read. Headings are also a primary way for people using screen reading software to navigate a page of text.
Keyboard: Check Keyboard Access
Rationale: Users with visual and mobility impairments rely on the keyboard, rather than a mouse, to access and navigate online content. If content is not keyboard accessible, it restricts who can learn from that content.
Color: Use Sufficient Color Contrast
Rationale: Without sufficient color contrast between font and background, people who are color blind and low vision may not perceive the content. Additionally, using color alone to convey meaning (e.g., items in red indicate a deficit) excludes color blind or blind users. To check color contrast, use the Paciello Group’s Color Contrast Analyzer: https://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrastanalyser/
Video/Audio: Provide Captioning for Video and Text Transcripts for Audio
Rationale: Captions are essential for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, but they also benefit non-native speakers, those unfamiliar with the vocabulary, and viewers with some learning disabilities or in a noisy environment. Audio transcripts are essential for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also assist others who can easily read or search the transcripts.
Math: Write Math and Science Equations Accessibly
Rationale: For web pages, use an equation editor that outputs MathML, a markup language that allows equations to be stored as structured text that is compatible with many assistive technologies. With screen readers, for example, blind users can navigate and review parts of an equation, such as the top portion of a complex fraction. For more information on MathML, see the W3C Math guide: https://www.w3.org/Math/.
From the Home tab, choose the New Slide dropdown menu.
Select a slide template (do not use Blank slide template).
Avoid using Text Boxes to create or arrange slide content (screen readers will always read Text Boxes last).
Keep Slide Content Clear, Concise, and Readable
Use concise, non-figurative, and accurate language.
Slides should appear clean and uncluttered with adequate foreground-background color contrast.
Use standard fonts. For readability, sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica are preferable.
Use Unique Slide Titles
Create slide titles with the Title placeholder visible in default slide layouts. Do not use text boxes for titles.
Use a unique slide title for each slide. If you have multiple slides that continue a topic, you can label them in the following way: “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 1 of 4,” “[TITLE OF SLIDE], 2 of 4,” etc.
Check titles and document structure: from the View tab, select Presentation Views and click Outline View.
Insert Charts and Graphs with Data Tables
Go Insert and select Chart. The PowerPoint datasheet view appears for you to enter your table data.
Add values to the PowerPoint datasheet by selecting a cell and typing in the value. Remember to add labels for the rows and columns. Close the datasheet window by selecting ESC from your keyboard.
Display the corresponding data table. For Office 2010, select the chart, select Layout from the chart tools menu, and choose Show data table from the Data Table For Office 2016, use the Add Chart Element from the Design tab to choose a layout that displays the data table with the chart (e.g., Data Table > With Legend Keys).
Keep Lists Readable
Avoid presenting more than six points per slide at default font size.
Use one line of text, ideally, and no more than two per point.
Use Alt Text for Informative Images
Right click on the image, and select Format Picture, then Alt Text.
Fill in the Description field (not the Title field).
Use Meaningful Text for Links
Type out text that describes the link’s destination (e.g., “CITL Summer Intensive”). Avoid text like “Click here.”
Select the text, right click on it, and choose Hyperlink from the menu.
In the Insert Hyperlink window, enter a URL address in the Address field.
Click the OK button to save the link.
Document Properties: Identify the Title and Author
In Windows, click File, then expand the pull down menu for Properties to select the Summary On a Mac, click File, then select Properties, and then select the Summary tab.
From the Summary tab of the Properties dialog, add or change the Title and the Author.
On February 17, the COLRS Staff offered a presentation titled “Emerging Technologies for Education” through the UIS Faculty Development Office. The following is a list of technologies presented along with others that are among the new favorites for online educators.
Even if you haven’t added captions to your video, YouTube may use speech recognition technology to automatically make captions available.
Since these are automatically generated, the quality of the captions may vary from video to video. As the video owner, you can always edit the captions to improve accuracy, or remove them from your video if you do not want them to be available for your viewers.
If your video does not have automatic captions, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
• The language in the video is not yet supported by automatic captions
• The video is too long
• The video has poor sound quality or contains speech that YouTube doesn’t recognize
• There is a long period of silence at the beginning of the video
• There are multiple speakers whose speech overlap
Fangs renders a text version of a web page similar to how a screen reader would read it. The ambition is to help developers understand how an assistive device would present a website and thereby increase chances of finding accessibility issues early.
Vialogues (which derives from “video dialogues”) is an award-winning discussion platform that proves that videos are both powerful teaching resources and the ultimate conversation starters. Vialogues provides a space for users to hold meaningful and dynamic time-stamped discussions about videos.
The ShowMe iPad app lets you create lessons using a whiteboard. The app is free and there is no limit what you can teach! Our community has created millions of ShowMes, from chemistry to history to football strategy – and more knowledge is being shared everyday.
Swivl was founded in 2010 by Brian Lamb and Vladimir Tetelbaum, with the idea of making video a more useful tool with robotics. They launched the first concept to market through crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, and have been engaging with users and improving solutions ever since. This culminated with the launch of the second generation Swivl and Swivl Cloud in April 2014.
The Leap Motion Controller senses how you naturally move your hands and lets you use your computer in a whole new way. Point, wave, reach, grab. Pick something up and move it. Do things you never dreamed possible.
BibMe is an automatic citation creator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe leverages external databases to quickly fill citation information for you. BibMe will then format the citation information and compile a bibliography according to the guidelines of the style manuals.
Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format mobile app localized in more than 20 languages. The software collects content from social media and other websites, presents it in magazine format, and allows users to “flip” through their social-networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with the company.
Flipboard is produced by Flipboard, Inc., a United-States-based software company founded in 2010 by Mike McCue and Evan Doll and headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
WhatsApp Messenger is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. The proprietary, cross-platform app enables users of select feature phones to use the Internet to communicate. In addition to text messaging, WhatsApp can be used to send images, video, and audio media messages. WhatsApp has also started rolling out the much awaited voice calling feature.Locations can also be shared through the use of integrated mapping features.
s a suite of integrated mobile productivity apps. The company’s first product, the Any.do task management app, was launched on Android in November 2011 and later for iPhone and Chrome on June 3, 2012.
Any.do’s namesake to-do list app was released on November 10, 2011 on the Android platform and TechCrunch reported it to have 500,000 downloads in its first 30 days after launch.It was later released on iOS in June 2012 and reached another milestone with 100,000 iPhone downloads in its first day on the platform.Any.do includes numerous planning and task management functions:
Unlimited, customizable task folders
Task sharing and delegation
Built-in microphone can be used for voice entry of tasks
Remind (formerly Remind101) is a private mobile messaging platform that enables teachers to send Reminders to students and parents via text and email.The platform has over 10 million users and sends over 65 million messages per month.As of February 2014, 15% of the K-12 teacher population in the U.S used Remind101.