Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Category: Canvas

Make a Canvas Course Available

By default, courses for upcoming semesters are set to Unpublished.

Any students enrolled in the course site will not have a Canvas Card for a course on their Dashboard until the instructor “Publishes” the course site.

  • Instructors can add other Instructors, TAs or Course Designers to the site and they will be able to access an unpublished course site.
  • Instructors cannot message the students through Canvas Inbox if the course site is unpublished.
  • Course Announcement emails will not be sent from an unpublished course site

To publish a Canvas course site:

  1. Go to the course Home Page.
  2. Under Course Status, click Publish.
  3. Publishing your course gives your students immediate access to the course site. Note: This is a change from Summer and Fall 2020 course settings.
course status in canvas
Course Status is located on the Home Page of Canvas courses.

Once you Publish a Canvas course site, you do not have to publish it again if you add new content. You only have to Publish the site once.

You can Unpublish the course by going to the Home page and clicking Unpublish. This will remove the Dashboard Card link from all student accounts.

To Allow Student Early Access to a Canvas Course

  1. Go to the Course.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on the Course Details Tab.
  4. Uncheck the box for “Restrict students from viewing this course before start date.”
  5. Click Update Course Details.

Note: Once you have graded a student assessment, you can no longer Unpublish the course site.

Voting Up New Feature Ideas in the Canvas Community

Canvas New Feature Ideas allow all Canvas users to suggest ideas and rate ideas for new and existing features and fixing bugs in Canvas. Canvas use New Feature Ideas to prioritize work. They have some great pages about starting idea conversations and the Canvas development process.

Who can start an idea?

Any registered user! Your UIS Canvas account allows you to create new ideas and rate or comment on existing ideas. Rating the is the “voting” mechanism that Canvas uses to measure support for an idea.

How do I rate a conversation?

Rating is how you demonstrate just how important an idea conversation is to you.

To rate an idea conversation, click on the “Log in to participate” button in the red banner at the top of the page. Click on the number of stars you wish to rate it, with 1 being low and 5 being the highest importance.

Notes: You must be logged into the Community to rate. Also, you cannot rate your own idea.

Canvas Ideas that we think UIS faculty and staff may wish to rate and move up in the development pipeline:

What do the stages for Canvas Ideas mean?

  • Initial Stage: Canvas is reviewing your idea
  • Moderating: An idea conversation starter that is incomplete or needs clarification may be placed into Moderating status.
  • Open for Conversation: Ideas that are open for conversation allow any Community member to rate or comment on the idea.
  • In Development: In Development ideas conversations are currently being worked on or will commence work within the next six months.
  • On Beta: On Beta idea conversations have features available in the Beta account of your Canvas environment. Visit How do I access the Canvas beta environment?
  • Archived/Not Currently Planned: Archived idea conversations include a comment and provide clear reasons for why the conversation was archived.
  • Complete: Complete ideas have features that are implemented and deployed to Canvas.

Scoring of Matching, Ordering, and Multiple Answer Questions in Canvas Quizzes

In Canvas’s New Quizzes tool, partial credit is not available on Matching, Ordering, and Multiple Answer Questions. To adjust student scores for these questions, you can use “fudge points” in the Canvas SpeedGrader. You can also manually override the grade, by entering the correct grade in the total points for the quiz.

Partial credit is given in the Canvas Classic Quizzes tool for these question types.

New quizzes in Canvas have a solid green spaceship logo. Classic quizzes have an outlined spaceship logo.

New quizzes in Canvas have a solid green spaceship logo. Classic quizzes have an outlined spaceship logo.

Canvas users, including UIS faculty and staff, can “vote up” new features and feature changes in Canvas.

Copy and Paste Resources for Faculty Use in Canvas Assessments

If you are developing Canvas assignments that require your students to create and post videos, the following copy and paste resources may be helpful.

Student: How to to Record a Video in Kaltura Media

Students can follow the instructions for recording a video with Kaltura Media from UIS ITS. Be sure that you have My Media enabled in your course menu (under Settings > Navigation), so that students can record their videos.

Student: How to Upload a Video in Kaltura Media

  1. Go to UIS Canvas.
  2. Go to a Canvas Course and click on “My Media.”
  3. Click on “Add New” and then select “Media Upload.”
  4. Click “Choose a file to upload” and select your file.
  5. Your video will upload automatically. Depending on the size, this may take a while.
  6. After your video uploads, edit the name, description, tags (key words), and privacy settings.
  7. Click “Save”  to complete the upload process.

Student: How to Submit a Video Link to a Canvas Assignment

kaltura-share-button
Kaltura “Share” button
  1. Find the link to your Kaltura Media video.
    • Click on My Media.
    • Click on the title of the video you want to share.
    • Under the video, click on Actions > Edit.
    • Along the bottom of the video player, click on the share button (see image on right).
    • Copy the top link to submit to your assignment. It will begin something like this:
      https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/[…]
  2. Navigate to the assignment on UIS Canvas (usually in Assignments or Modules).
  3. Click on the assignment name.
  4. Click on “Submit Assignment.”
  5. Click on the “Website URL” tab.
  6. Paste the URL into the “Website URL” textbox. Enter any comments.
  7. Click “Submit Assignment.”
submit Website URL to Canvas Assignment
Submit “Website URL” assignment.

Student: How to Embed a Video in Canvas Assignment

Apppl Embed Kaltura Media
Click on Apps, then Embed Kaltura Media.
  1. Navigate to the assignment on UIS Canvas (usually in Assignments or Modules).
  2. Click on the assignment name.
  3. Click on “Submit Assignment.”
  4. Click on the “Text Entry” tab.
  5. Click on the Apps button, then Embed Kaltura Media.
    or click on the Tools menu > Apps > Embed Kaltura Media.
  6. Click on the “Select” button next to the video you wish to submit.
  7. Enter any comments.
  8. Click “Submit Assignment.”
Canvas assignment Text Entry submission

Student: How to Submit a Video Link to a Canvas Discussion Post

  1. Find the link to your Kaltura Media video.
    • Click on My Media.
    • Click on the title of the video you want to share.
    • Under the video, click on Actions > Edit.
    • Along the bottom of the video player, click on the share button (see image on right).
    • Copy the top link to submit to your assignment. It will begin something like this:
      https://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/[…]
  2. Navigate to the discussion on UIS Canvas (usually in Discussion or Modules).
  3. Click on the discussion name.
  4. Click on “Reply” to add your post.
  5. Type the title of your video, highlight the text, and then click on the “Link” button in the Canvas content editor.
  6. Paste the video URL into the Link text box and click Done.
  7. Click “Post Reply.”
add link button
Link button in Canvas text editor.
insert link in canvas
Paste the video URL into the Link text box.

Student: How to Embed a Video in a Canvas Discussion Post

  1. Navigate to the assignment on UIS Canvas (usually in Assignments or Modules).
  2. Click on the discussion name.
  3. Click on “Reply” to add your post.
  4. Click on the Apps button, then Embed Kaltura Media.
    or click on the Tools menu > Apps > Embed Kaltura Media.
  5. Click on the “Select” button next to the video you wish to submit.
  6. Click “Post Reply.”
Apps Embed Kaltura Media
Click on Apps, Embed Kaltura Media

Student-Created Video Presentation Assignments and Submissions

Assignments that ask students to create video presentations can be excellent methods to assess synthesis of course materials or to present original research. Below you will find best practices for setting up student video presentation assignments in Canvas, including some instructions that you can copy and paste to include in your assignment instructions.

But, first, a word about what NOT to do.

No Media Recording uploads to Canvas Assignments
Media Recording uploads to Canvas Assignments are NOT recommended.

Please do not create a Canvas assignment with a submission type of “online” and “Media Recordings” upload. This type of assignment will have the students upload video files directly to Canvas, which will quickly cause your course size to reach its storage limit. After your course meets its storage limit, you will not be able to upload any additional files to your course.

Best Practices for Student Video Submissions

Students have access to record and share videos through Kaltura Media, the UIS video creation and storage solution. Student video projects can be created in Kaltura Media or created else and uploaded to Kaltura Media. Students may share the videos by (1) submitting a URL (web link) to the video to a Canvas Assignment, (2) embedding their video in a text box, or (3) adding a link to the video or embedding the video in a Canvas Discussion.

Create a Canvas Assignment for Student Video Submission

  1. Click on “Assignments” from the course navigation.
  2. Click “+Assignment” at the top right corner.
  3. Name your assignment.
  4. Enter a description or assignment details in the rich content editor. Be sure to include instructions for how your students can embed or link to their Kaltura Media video to submit their assignment.
  5. Points – Set the number of points the assignment is worth. If ungraded, enter “0”.
  6. Assignment Group – Select an assignment group if any have been created.
  7. Display Grade As – Select the type of grade that shows up in the gradebook and on the students’ view.
    • Percentage
    • Complete/Incomplete
    • Points
    • Letter Grade – Uses the grading scheme
    • GPA Scale – Uses the grading scheme
    • Not Graded – If the assignment has no submission AND is ungraded
  8. “Do not count this assignment towards the final grade” – Check this box if the assignment has a submission BUT is ungraded.
  9. Submission Type – Set the submission type to “Online” and check the box for either:
    • Text Box – choose if you want students to embed their Kaltura video for you to view. This submission method doesn’t involve extra steps for your students to locate the Kaltura URL.
    • Website URL – choose this option if you want students provide a URL to video on Kaltura, YouTube, or other video sharing platforms.
  10. Group Assignment – Select to designate the assignment as a group assignment.
  11. Peer Reviews – Select to have students review their peers’ work provide feedback.
  12. Assign – Select who and when will see the assignment, as well set the due date.
  13. Click “Save & Publish” to allow student submissions or just “Save” to keep it hidden from students.

Video Submissions to Canvas Discussion Board

By default, students will be able to embed Kaltura Media videos in a discussion post. Follow these directions to create a Canvas Discussion. Be sure to include instructions for how your students can embed or link to their Kaltura Media video in their post.

How to use the Total Column in the Canvas Gradebook

You can customize the Total column in your Gradebook. The Total column can be moved to the front of the Gradebook or sorted to display grades in an ascending or descending order.

You can switch your students’ total grades from a percentage to a point value in the Gradebook.

By default, total grades are shown as a percentage with two decimal places.

Notes:

Viewing total grades as a point value is available only if you use unweighted assignment groups in your course. When assignment groups are weighted, points cannot be displayed for the total grade.

Open Grades

"Grades" item in the course menu

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

Open Total Column Menu

Hover over the Total column header and click the More Options menu.

total column

Sort Total Column

sort total column

To sort the Gradebook by ascending or descending total grades, click the Sort by link [1], then select the Grade – Low to High or Grade – High to Low option [2].

Switch to Points

display as points

By default, total grades are shown as a percentage with two decimal places.

If your course uses unweighted assignment groups, you can view your students’ total grades as points. Click the Display as Points link.

warning

Canvas confirms you want to switch the total grade view. If you do not want to see this warning message for your course again, click the Don’t show… checkbox [1].

Click the Continue button [2].

Switch to Percentages

display as percentages

You can switch back to percentages by clicking the Total menu icon and selecting Display as Percentage.

Move Total Column

move to front

To move the Total column to the front of the Gradebook, click the Move to Front link.

Canvas Tips for Faculty: My Links Don’t Work!

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:) site.

Solutions:

  1. When including the link in a module, set the link to open in a new tab.
  2. Create a new link in a Canvas “page”

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.

Solutions:

  1. When including the link in a module, set the link to open in a new tab.
  2. Create a new link in a Canvas “page”

Problem #3: My imported Kaltura links no longer work, but I know my videos are still there. What can I do?

Explanation: If you Kaltura media links have “BBLEARN” included in the link, they are linking to the My Media area in Blackboard. Students will not be able to view them.

Solution: Follow the steps in this video to add Kaltura media links to your Canvas course.

Canvas Teaching Tip: Sending Messages to Students from the Gradebook

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.

Open Gradebook

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

"Grades" item in the course menu

Open Assignments Menu

arrow pointing to assignments menu

Hover over the assignment column header and click the Options icon.

Message Students

"message students who" highlighted

Click the Message Students Who link.

Select Message Category

select message category indicated by arrows

By default, Canvas will show names from the Haven’t submitted yet category.

In the drop-down menu:

[1] 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 

[2] You can also remove students from the message by clicking the Remove icon. Canvas will also generate a subject line based on the category 

[3] You can edit the subject line if needed.

Send Message

Message students who feature highlighting message box

[1] Type a message to the students in the message field.

[2] 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 individual message.

Importing Course Content from Blackboard into Canvas

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

Select 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

choose "show all"

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.

arrows pointing to box and delete

Here is a video demonstration of this process.

Create Export Package

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:

Arrow points to Packages and Utilities in Blackboard

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:

Content areas in Blackboard shown

Click “submit.”

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.

Export Package in Blackboard 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:

import existing content button on canvas home page indicated

Under Import Content, select your content type (Blackboard 6/7/8/9) from the dropdown menu:

Arrow pointing to 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:

green indicator that importing process in complete

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.

Here is a video demonstration of the export/import process.

Canvas Tip: What Do My Students See?

Using “Student View” in Canvas and Managing Course Navigation

Student View

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, find Student View on the right:

student view in canvas

You can 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:

Leave Student View Button

Course Navigation

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:

Canvas menu icon: Eye with line

CANNOT be seen by students. To enable links for students, follow these steps:

Click on Settings at the bottom of your Course Menu:

Canvas course menu; arrow pointing to Settings

Find the Course Navigation tab:

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” –

the "kebab" icon with the Enable option highlighted

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.

Moderating Quizzes in Canvas

One question that we are anticipating coming up as we move to Canvas, is how to “moderate” student quizzes. Often, faculty need to give students “special” access to quizzes for a variety of reasons.

Examples of “special access”:

Student needs an extra attempt
Student needs extra time

To “Moderate” a quiz in Canvas:

1. Go into your Canvas course and select “Quizzes” from the navigation bar.

2. Locate the quiz you wish to “moderate” and select the name of it.

3. This will take you to the information for that quiz. Locate the “Moderate This Quiz” button in the upper right and select it.

moderate this quiz

4. This will take you the “Moderate Quiz” screen. You will have a list of all of your students and the following information will be provided.

  • Name of Student
  • Number of attempts available
  • Time it took student to take quiz
  • Number of attempts left
  • Score
  • Edit/Moderate pencil icon

To give your student extra time and/or an extra attempt, select the “pencil” icon.

pencil icon

5. A dialogue box will appear where you can give this student:

  • Extra Attempts
  • Extra Time on Every Attempt

If the quiz is locked, choose to” Manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt.”

Quiz extensions

Please note: When adding extra time for a student, include only the additional time they should have in completing the test.

How to Use the Canvas Dashboard

The dashboard is the first thing you will see when you log into Canvas. It helps you see what is happening in all your current courses, and it gives access to unpublished courses that have not started yet. If you have not favorited any courses, by default the dashboard will automatically display up to 20 courses alphabetically. Any courses you have with an instructor role will be listed first, followed by TA or course designer roles. Your courses with student roles are listed last.

When a term closes on Canvas, those courses will automatically disappear from your dashboard – but you can still access them from the blue Global Navigation menu on the left-hand side of Canvas.

To access all of your Canvas courses, including those from past semesters, click the “Courses” link in the Global Navigation menu, and then click “All Courses.” In this view, you may choose certain courses as favorites by clicking on each star next to the course name. If you favorite certain courses, only those courses will appear on the dashboard.

Captioning in Kaltura Media through Canvas

Transcript for Viewing and editing captions in Kaltura Media in Canvas

Note: All new videos uploaded to Kaltura automatically have captions requested. You do not need to request machine captions. However, the captions do not automatically show on your video. To show your captions, you will need to review and edit them, and then select the button that says Show on Player. See below for instructions.

  1. Go to Canvas at UIS and go into one of your Canvas courses.
  2. Click on the My Media button to view all your videos uploaded to Kaltura Media.
  3. Click on one of your videos to open it.
  4. Click on Actions, and then Caption and Enrich.
  5. Scroll down to locate the captions. Click on the Pencil icon to edit. The caption editor will show up in the browser next to your video so that you can view them simultaneously.
  6. To edit, click in the text of the caption to make edits.
  7. When you are finished reviewing and editing your captions, click on the Save button. This allows you to come back and finish editing later. At this point, your captions still do not show on your video.
  8. To publish the captions and make them visible, click on the back button so that you viewing the video again.
  9. Click Actions, and then Edit.
  10. Beneath the preview of the video, click on the Captions tab.
  11. Next to the English captions line, look for the button on the far right to “Show on Player.”
  12. Once this button is clicked, your students will be able to turn captions on and off by using the CC button the video player.
Click on the "Show on Player" button (with box around it in image) to show the captions for your students.
Click on the “Show on Player” button (with box around it in image) to show the captions for your students.

Using the Inbox Messages in Canvas

What can I do in Canvas Inbox?

  • Send a message to someone in your course
  • Reply to messages from others in your course
  • Filter conversations by course or type (read, unread, starred)
  • View and reply to assignment submission comments

In the Inbox, you can send a message to one user or multiple users in a course. You course must be published to send messages to currently enrolled students. If students have not yet been added to your course, you can obtain a list of emails for your students in Self-Service and send a message through UIS Webmail.

How do I use Canvas Inbox?

If your recipient list contains more than 100 users, your message will automatically be sent as individual messages to each user. As the sender, you will also be included in the total recipient count.

Notes:

  • Currently you cannot send a single message users in multiple courses. You would need to send one message for each course.
  • You can also send a message to yourself, but messages can only be viewed in the Sent messages folder.
  • You cannot send messages to users in concluded courses.

Open Canvas Inbox

Open Inbox by click on “Inbox” in the blue menu on the left side of the screen in Canvas.

Blue Canvas universal menu with Inbox selected
Inbox in Canvas Menu

Create a New Canvas Message

Click on the Compose button (a square icon with a pencil on top). A new Canvas Message box will appear.

compose message button for Canvas Inbox
Compose message button

Choose Recipients

Next to Course, click on the Select Course dropdown menu. If you click on Favorite Courses, you should see your currently active courses in the list.

Compose Message in Canvas Inbox
Compose Message in Canvas Inbox

In the “To” line, click on the Address Book graphic to select your recipients. You can select from

  • All in the course
  • Teachers (once you click on Teacher, you may select either All Teachers or specific teachers)
  • Students (once you click on Students, you may select either either All Students or specific students)
Click on the Address book button after the "To" line to select your recipients
Click on the Address book button after the “To” line to select your recipients

To finish your message enter a Subject, type your message, and click the blue Send button.

Add “Remote Learning at UIS” Orientation to a Canvas Course

In order to prepare students for remote learning this fall, COLRS has create a short orientation module that can be imported into any UIS Canvas course site. The materials have been reviewed by UIS faculty and posted to Canvas Commons for easy inclusion in your course(s).

  1. Log in to Canvas with your NetID and password.
  2. Click on Commons in the blue Canvas menu.
  3. Search the Commons for “Remote Learning at UIS” and click on the green MODULE (for a version that will not hide navigation links in your course) or click on this direct link to the Remote Learning at UIS content.
    [Note: the blue course import that will appear during this search will hide your navigation links upon import. We apologize for the work that has caused some faculty. We have created this modules version to prevent that issue. The content is the same.]
  4. Click on Import/Download on the right side of the screen.
  5. Check the boxes for any courses into which you wish to import the module
  6. Click “Import into Course.”
Canvas Commons screen capture showing the Remote Learning at UIS module.
Click on “Commons” in the blue Canvas menu. Search for “Remote Learning at UIS.” Click on the graphic to begin the import process.

The materials are also accessible through the “More” menu in Canvas. Click on the “Remote Learning Orientation” to view the materials.

Using Messages within Canvas

By Layne Morsch, FDRO Faculty Associate

While email is one of the main modes of communication for most of us faculty, many of our students don’t regularly check their email no matter how much it is recommended. Canvas has a good solution with the Canvas Inbox. There are several reasons the Canvas Inbox is superior to regular email:

  • Students are used to having to check Canvas (LMS) for class information.
  • Students using the Canvas app get a notice when they have a new message.
  • Students can add a mobile number to receive text notifications.
  • Students can send emails to other students in class without having to share personal email addresses.
  • Faculty using the Canvas app get a notice when they have a new message.
  • It organizes all communications for each course and keeps them out of your email inbox (though you can choose to get an email each time you get a message in Canvas, or daily, weekly or no notifications).
  • Canvas Inbox is FERPA compliant.

View this post to learn how to send messages using the Canvas Inbox.

Guest Accounts in Canvas

Guest accounts cannot be created for Canvas. All users must have a NetID to have access to UIS Canvas.

If an instructor or unit needs to provide access to a person who does not have a NetID, the unit may request an External Affiliate UIN and NetID.

An External Affiliate is typically a person who is not an employee, student, or faculty member that requires a UIN and NetID. This could be a visiting scholar, guest, etc. This is not to be confused with a person requiring only WiFi access, which can be provided by other methods. A new request for an External Affiliate status will typically pertain to three types of people

  • A person who has an active NetID on any campus, this implies a UIN has previously been assigned.
  • A person who previously had an active NetID and/or UIN on any campus, e.g. a graduate 10 years previous, who is now a guest instructor or vendor.
  • A person who has never had a relationship with any University of Illinois campus, a new UIN will be required.  

A sponsor will have been assigned to assist the requester before this request is initiated. The sponsor must be a university employee that will assist in the submission of the new request and is the point of contact for any questions during the process. The employment status of of the sponsor will be validated at submission time.  

The unit sponsor will complete this External Affiliate request form. This form must be completed on campus or while connect to campus by VPN.

The sponsor will be required to provide this information for the affiliate who needs a NetID:

  1. First Name (Required by i-Card)
  2. Last Name (Required by i-Card)
  3. Date of Birth (Required by i-Card)
  4. Gender (Required by i-Card)
  5. Personal email address for the affiliate (Utilized for status notifications or for additional information follow-up)
  6. University email address of sponsor

Optional information

  1. Middle Name
  2. UIN (If known from current or previous University relationship) 
  3. NetID (If known from current or previous University relationship)

If a NetID and UIN from a current or previous university relationship is entered, this will expedite the approval process. Otherwise, the iCard office will search for a previously utilized UIN/NetID.

Add People to Canvas Courses

Search by Login ID

To add a user by NetID, select the login ID button [1].

In the text field [2], enter the NetID for the user. You can copy and paste multiple NetIDs at one time by placing a comma or line break between login IDs.

Select User Details

Enter User Information

In the Role drop-down menu [1], assign the user(s) a role for the course based on available course roles.

In the Section drop-down menu [2], assign the user(s) a section in the course.

If you want to limit the user(s) to only interact with other users in their section, click the Can interact… checkbox [3].

Click the Next button [4].

Note: If you are adding multiple users at the same time, all users inherit the same role and section.

Add Existing Users

Add Existing Users

If Canvas finds an existing user, you can confirm the user before adding the user to the course [1].

The user’s name displays in the page along with the user’s information you used in the user search. Although Canvas may display additional search columns, existing information in a user’s account will not be displayed.

When you are ready, click the Add Users button [2].

If Canvas did not find your intended user, you can click the Start Over button [3].

If you cannot locate a user, they may not yet have a Canvas Account. Please have the user log in to Canvas, which will automatically create their UIS Canvas account.

Close a Canvas Course

Your Canvas course will become unavailable to students on the Friday before the next term begins. Instructors do not need to take any steps to close their courses.

How To Activate Your Canvas Account

If you are new to UIS, or you are an employee who has never accessed Canvas before, you will need to activate your Canvas account before you can begin working in Canvas.

Step 1

Visit the Canvas login page at go.uis.edu/canvas.

Step 2

Log in with your UIS NetID and password. Important: A NetID is required to access Canvas.

Step 3

Once you have logged in to Canvas, your account has been activated. If you are a student who needs access to an orientation or advising course, you should contact your program coordinator or advisor to let them know that your account has been activated and to request access to the course in Canvas.

Special considerations

  • Academic advisors and online program coordinators: Please share these instructions with newly admitted students who are not yet active in Canvas, whom you wish to enroll in your advising or orientation courses. You will not be able to manually add these students until they activate their Canvas accounts.
  • Committees and departments: UIS employees who have never accessed Canvas must manually activate their Canvas accounts before they can be added to committee and department courses in Canvas.
  • Guest accounts: Instructors who wish to grant guest access to their courses will need to sponsor a guest NetID. Alternately, if you were planning on simply using Canvas to share documents and resources with your guest, consider using Box instead.

How to Combine Course Sections in Canvas

Please note: This guide replaces the Course Combination Request Form that was formerly used for Blackboard courses.


WATCH A VIDEO TUTORIAL ON HOW TO COMBINE CANVAS COURSES.


Cross-listing allows you to move enrollments from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course, or whose courses are cross-listed in several different departments, and only want to manage course data in one location. Instructors can allow students to view users in other sections or limit them to only view users in the same section.

WARNING: Cross-listing should only be done at the beginning of a semester or before a semester has begun. Student progress, including assignment and quiz submissions, will not move with the section enrollments. If you cross-list your course after students have begun working on their coursework, their progress (including grades) will be lost.

Step 1: Determine your primary course.

Your primary course is the course where you will manage your course materials, assignments, and grades. Student enrollments in all other Canvas sections will be moved to your primary course.

Step 2: Find your SIS ID.

  • Enter your primary course in Canvas.
  • Click on Settings > Course Details.
  • Copy the SIS ID.
Screenshot of settings, course details, and SIS ID circled in red.

Click the image to enlarge.

Step 3: Merge your sections into your primary course.

  • Enter one of the sections you wish to merge into the primary course.
  • Click on Settings > Sections.
  • Click on the title of the section under the Course Sections header.
Screenshot with settings, sections, and the course section name circled in red

Click the image to enlarge.

  • Click on Cross-List this Section.
Screenshot with "Cross-list this Section" circled in red.

Click the image to enlarge.

  • Paste the SIS ID of your primary course in the Search for Course field, and select the course name when it appears.
  • Confirm that the selected course is correct, and then click Cross-List This Section.
Screenshot with the "Search for Course" field and the "Crosslist this Section" button circled in red.

Click the image to enlarge.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 for any additional courses you wish to merge into your primary course.


NOTE: If you accidentally merge the wrong section, and you need to de-cross-list it, contact COLRS at colrs@uis.edu. Student progress in your course, including assignment submissions and grades, are not preserved in the cross-listing and de-cross-listing process, so this should only be done before your course has begun.

Using JAWS Screen Reader with Blackboard

Canvas is designed to be accessible. Learn more about Canvas and  accessibility, including for screen reader users.

Canvas officially supports the following screen reader and browser combinations:

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Firefox)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome

Canvas Navigation with a Screen Reader

Canvas makes extensive use of ARIA landmark regions. Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) defines ways to make web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. Therefore, the best way to get around in Canvas is to navigate via regions. Within regions, Canvas uses HTML headings, so navigating between headings can be helpful.

When using a screen reader, the Canvas page navigation menu is as follows:

  1. Main navigation
  2. Context navigation
  3. Breadcrumbs navigation
  4. Main region
  5. Complimentary information
  6. Content information

If you are a JAWS user and need additional assistance, please contact the UIS Office of Disability Services.

Adding Kaltura Media Videos to Canvas Courses

Kaltura Media is a media management tool built into Canvas. Recordings made with Capture are automatically published to Kaltura. You may also upload videos you’ve created with other tools to Kaltura. Learn More about Kaltura and Personal Capture.

Accurate captions (99% accurate) for all videos are required by law. Learn how to caption your videos in Kaltura Media.

Embed in any Canvas Rich Content Editor (Page, Quiz, Discussion, Assignment)

  1. Log in to Canvas.
  2. Go to your Canvas course.
  3. Create or edit any page, quiz, discussion topic, or assignment — any area in which there is access to the Rich Content Editor.
  4. Click on the Apps button (looks like an electrical plug) on the far right side. You may need to click on the “More” button to see it.
    Canvas Rich Content Editor, click on Apps to embed a Canvas video
  5.  On the Select App screen, choose Embed Kaltura
    Select App in Canvas. Choose Embed Kaltura Video
  6.  Click on “Add New” to upload or create a video
    OR click “Select” next to the video you want to add.
  7. The video will be embedded in the content editor.
  8. Click “Save” or “Save and Publish” when you are done editing your content.

What is Respondus LockDown Browser?

Respondus LockDown Browser is a customized browser that increases the security and integrity of online testing in Canvas.  Learn more  about Respondus LockDown Browser.