The Final Countdown to Canvas at GT

In less than three weeks, T-Square course sites will no longer be supported by Georgia Tech. So, what does that mean for Spring courses? All new courses will live in Canvas!

If you are a faculty member or instructor and you have not yet migrated your course(s) from T-Square to Canvas, please reach out to the Georgia Tech Digital Learning Team as soon as possible to receive support as you prepare for the 2019 spring semester.

Faculty and instructors will still be able to access old courses and project sites in T-Square through the end of 2019. However, since all new courses will live within Canvas beginning in January of 2019, faculty and instructors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with Canvas via training options provided by the Digital Learning Team.

There are several ways to reach out to the Digital Learning Team for help or to access training options for your spring course:

  • Do you need help designing and developing your course(s)?  
    • Visit the CTL website to set up a one-on-one instructional design consultation with the learning technology specialists in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).
  • Do you need technical support?
    • Georgia Tech has subscribed to 24/7 support provided by Canvas, which means that you can ask their experts questions via email, chat, or phone at any time.

The Digital Learning Team also provides updates about Canvas, training sessions and support via the Georgia Tech Canvas Blog and the OIT Twitter account (@GatechOIT). You can also subscribe to the Georgia Tech Canvas Newsletter to receive updates about new features, training opportunities, and other announcements.

Say Hello to the New Canvas Quizzes Tool, Quizzes.Next!

Want to use Quizzes within your Canvas course(s)? Say hello to the new Canvas Quizzes tool, Quizzes.Next!


What is Quizzes.Next?
Quizzes.Next is an assessment engine that integrates with Canvas as an LTI tool; it replaces Canvas’ classic Quizzes functionality. Currently, it must be manually enabled within individual courses.

Why would I want to use Quizzes.Next?
Quizzes.Next can be used to create assessments using a variety of question types. Quizzes.Next assessments display as assignments in the Assignments page, and can be easily duplicated. (To learn more about the benefits of Quizzes.Next, read the full Canvas Community document here.)

How do I enable Quizzes.Next? 
Quizzes.Next is currently available to all GT instructors. To enable Quizzes.Next for your Canvas course(s):

  1. Within Canvas, select the “Courses” button, then choose an individual course
  2. Go to the bottom of the course menu and select Settings
  3. On the top center menu, select Feature Options
  4. Enable Quizzes.Next by clicking on the sliding bar

That’s it! Now you’re prepped and ready to use Quizzes.Next within your Canvas course!


Have questions about Canvas? Contact the Digital Learning Team at canvas@gatech.edu. We’re here to help!

Canvas + Turnitin: Integrations, Training, & more!

Did you know that Turnitin offers two integrations for Canvas?

Turnitin  provides instructors with the tools they need to detect plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback on assignments. Georgia Tech’s site license for Turnitin consists of two Canvas integrations – the Canvas Plagiarism Framework and the Turnitin External Tool (LTI). Both of these tools can be used when creating assignments in Canvas.

Want to learn more about Canvas and Turnitin? Check out our Turnitin page here! You’ll find helpful info about your integration options, as well as a link to register for our upcoming Turnitin training, with both remote and in-person options available, Monday, November 12, 2018, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM!

Badgr for Canvas

Did you know that Canvas now has Badges powered by Badgr? With the integration of Badgr, instructors and students can now benefit from badging capability within every course!

Badges are an exciting addition to Canvas and the educational landscape at large. Not only does Badgr allows instructors to monitor and illustrate student achievements in new ways, but from a student perspective, badges are a unique way to visually ascertain the skills and learning outcomes they are mastering within their courses.

Per Instructure’s announcement, “With Badgr now native to Canvas, teachers can effortlessly create badges within Canvas, and associate those badges with the completion of modules in their course. Teachers will be able to easily see the progress of students in their course and export badging data. Additionally, students can view a privacy-protected class leaderboard to see how they compare to their classmates.”

For more information on Badgr, you can check out Instructure’s announcement here. To read the Badgr setup document for Canvas, click here.

 

 

Goodbye T-Square, Hello Canvas!

As you know, beginning in January 2019, T-Square will no longer be supported for course sites. Since all courses will live within Canvas as of January, instructors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with Canvas in anticipation of the Spring 2019 semester

In order to facilitate your use of Canvas, the Digital Learning Team would like to provide you with several options and opportunities:

  1. Self Help:
    • We have a variety of options available on our Canvas “Self Help” page, including: 
      • Canvas Resources for Instructors: Access the Canvas Community homepage, Canvas Instructor Guide, Canvas Video Guides, and information about Georgia Tech LTI Plugins.
      • Canvas Basics for Instructors: Materials to get you started creating or modifying your course, using the Canvas Teacher app, adding TAs to your course, etc. 
  2. Online Training:
    • We have a variety of online training options available on our Canvas “Training Options” page, including:
      • Canvas Online (Live Training): Canvas Training offerings are divided into seven unique series. Whatever your skill level, find a variety of training offerings to meet your needs. Click here to access current live training offerings. (Note: Please use your Georgia Tech email address to create an account and gain access to Georgia Tech’s enterprise license.)
      • Canvas Online (Self-Paced)Choose from a variety of training offerings within the Canvas community that fit your schedule. Click here to access current self-paced training offerings. 
      • Canvas Training through Lynda: Several Canvas training courses are available in the Lynda library. To access these courses, log in at http://lynda.gatech.edu/ and search for “Canvas” in the search box.
  3. Expert Help:
    • We have a variety of Expert Help options available on our Canvas “Expert Help” page, including:
      •  One-on-One Instructional Design Consultations: Schedule a time with the learning technology specialists in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to discuss how to effectively use Canvas in your courses.  
      •  One-on-One Canvas Consultations: Schedule a time with the Digital Learning Team to discuss migrating your course(s) to Canvas and/or using Canvas for your course.
      • 24/7 Help Desk: Georgia Tech has subscribed to 24/7 Canvas support, which means that you can ask their experts questions via email, chat, or phone, at any time. 
      • Contact the Digital Learning Team: Feel free to reach out to the Digital Learning Team at canvas@gatech.edu if you have additional questions, concerns, or suggestions for how we can further support your teaching with Canvas. We are excited and motivated to assist you as you move forward with developing your courses for Spring 2019 and beyond!

Upcoming Trainings and Open House

On-Campus Canvas Training by Instructure – August 7-9, 2018
Georgia Tech has begun the migration of courses from T-Square to Canvas, Georgia Tech’s new learning management system (LMS). Since all courses must migrate to Canvas by the end of the Fall 2018 semester, instructors are strongly encouraged to migrate courses to Canvas and begin development now. In order to facilitate migration, Instructure will return to campus from Tuesday, August 7th through Thursday, August 9th to provide on-campus Canvas training for all interested GT faculty, TA’s, and staff. This includes beginning, advanced, and speciality Canvas training and will be held in Klaus 1207.

To find out about and/or sign up for upcoming training sessions, please visit http://canvas.gatech.edu/training. If you have questions about training or the migration of courses, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Canvas support team at canvas@gatech.edu.


Canvas On Demand Help & Digital Learning Team Q&A – Friday, August 10th, 2018
The Digital Learning Team will hold an Open House on Friday, August 10th! Come meet the Digital Learning Team and get help with your questions on Canvas, student response systems (Turning Point / Clickers), and anything else you may need assistance with related to Digital Learning. Refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there! Please address all inquiries to canvas@gatech.edu.

Date & Time: Friday, August 10th, 1 PM – 4 PM ET
Location: Digital Learning Office (Economic Development Building – Suite 118, 760 Spring Street), or online: https://bluejeans.com/472142387


On-Campus TurningPoint Training – Thursday, August 16th, 2018
Need help with TurningPoint? Join us for on-campus training sessions! We will be offering both New User Training and Advanced Training.

New User Training covers the basics of TurningPoint that every user needs to get up and running with the software.  Attendees will learn how to set up Response Options, Create a Presentation, Run a Presentation, Save a Session and Generate Reports.

Advanced Training is generally a shorter session that builds on the New User Training.  It’s more interactive and conversational.  Attendees will learn how to use additional question slides including Comparative Links, Convert to Picture, Demographic Comparison and Competitions.  Strategies for utilizing Anywhere Polling will also be discussed.

Available Sessions:

  • Thursday, August 16th, 9:30 – 11:30 AM — New User Training
  • Thursday, August 16th, 12:30 – 2:30 PM — New User Training
  • Thursday, August 16th, 3:00 – 4:15 PM — Advanced Training

Click here to register for a TurningPoint training session or sessions.

GaTech Roster Tool

In Fall 2017, Georgia Tech officially started using Canvas for academic courses. One of the first customizations the Digital Learning Team (DLT) built is the GaTech Roster tool. Faculty use this tool to view students’ BuzzCard photos (which helps instructional teams learn their students’ names), export lists of student data, search and filter students by section, and more.  
 
The DLT quickly built version one of the GaTech Roster tool in Canvas for our first group of users, and it’s been utilized throughout the past two semesters. The tool worked well, but there were some performance issues – particularly in large classes. We also received great feedback from Georgia Tech instructors and TAs about the tool. 
 
Our team is happy to announce that version two of the tool is now in production and available to all Georgia Tech courses in Canvas. The improvements include: 
 
  1. Performance improvements: You should notice your courses loading much faster now. Extremely large courses will still experience a slight lag, but your roster will begin appearing as the data becomes available (rather than waiting to display any data until all of it has loaded). 
  1. Confidential student indicators: If any of your students have requested confidential status, they will be indicated as such in your roster. This indicator will also provide a link to Georgia Tech’s policy on student confidentiality. 
  1. Section filters: Faculty can now filter students by section (both in “Table” and “Photo Grid” views). This should greatly improve utility for large, cross-listed courses. 
  1. Printable photo grid: The photo grid can now be printed without splitting a student’s photo across page breaks. 
  1. New pagination options: New pagination options make it possible to view all students on one screen or split into groups of students per screen. 
Please continue to provide feedback to our team via canvas@gatech.edu. Your suggestions will enable us to continue improving your Canvas experience.  
 
Finally, a huge thank you to Emily Reese and Stuart Freeman, application developers in C21U. They’ve worked tirelessly to bring this tool to Georgia Tech instructors, and we hope that you find it useful.

A Georgia Tech Instructor Grades Canvas 

This summer I moved my course to Canvas and the jury is in – I can work with it!  I approached Canvas with the same skepticism with which I’ve approached many other learning management systems (LMS) in the past.  Part of the challenge that I have had with the design of various LMSs is that they are quite often not suited to the type of work that we do in humanities, specifically writing and communication classes.  I have to say that Canvas excels as a management tool, providing both instructor and student with an opportunity to manage class and individual activities as the course develops throughout the semester.

Here are some specific features that I like about Canvas:

      1. The Course Summary: on the Syllabus tool of your course site, Canvas automatically populates a summary of the course as you develop it.  For example, as I set up a new module or new assignment, students can see these activities at a glance.  I find this feature particularly useful as a reminder to me (and my students) as to what’s been posted, and more importantly, when it’s due (The Calendar tool is also a great way to see due dates). 
      2. The Attendance tool:  In 2015, Canvas listened to users who wanted the tool redesigned so that students could have access to their attendance records. I teach in a program at Georgia Tech that has an attendance policy, but the management of that policy has always been cumbersome and the dissemination of that information to students has always been problematic.  While not perfect (currently there are some new features that are on Canvas’s product radar for this tool), the attendance tool is certainly heading in the right direction.
      3. The People tool:  Again, when using Canvas as a management system, I like that I can see students’ activity in the course.  While not meant to be an indicator of student engagement with the course, I do like that I have a way of checking in with students based on their activity in Canvas.
      4. 24/7 help:  With Canvas, help is always available.  I appreciate that Georgia Tech has ensured that our community has access to technical support whenever we need it (click here find out more about online support options). And the best part? I haven’t had to use it yet.    Canvas is intuitive and easy to learn. As a former software trainer, I’ve never felt the need to go to formal training sessions in my pursuit of learning new software, so part of the litmus test for good software has always been how easy it is to learn.  I find Canvas to be very straight forward to navigate and learn.

Overall, I give Canvas a B+ as it displays great potential to improve!  The development environment is responsive: Canvas Studio encourages their users to tell them what they need. Once the idea is posted, other users vote on the idea, leading Canvas quite often to develop that feature for their users if there is sufficient interest (read more here about the  feature development process).

 

Dr. Halcyon Lawrence is a Marion L. Brittain Post-doctoral Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech and teaches courses in Technical Communication.  Halcyon has over twenty years of industry experience in technical writing, usability testing, and end-user training. Her research focuses on the design of speech technologies for underrepresented and marginalized communities. In the fall, Halcyon will be a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Towson University in Maryland.

New Gradebook Tool and Trainings

Throughout the summer, Instructure will host online trainings for the new Gradebook and Speedgrader tools!

NEW GRADEBOOK AND SPEEDGRADER (V 2.0) TRAININGS:

THURSDAY, JUNE 7TH, 5:00pm (EDT) – Register here now!
THURSDAY, JUNE 22ND, 12:00pm (EDT) – Register here now!
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 7:00pm (EDT) – Register here now!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3RD, 10:00am (EDT) – Register here now!

Keep reading to find out more about the new Gradebook tool below!

Instructure has heard faculty’s suggestions and concerns and has released a new and improved gradebook in Canvas. Once the New Gradebook project is completed (currently in Beta), it will become the official gradebook in Canvas. Currently, instructors may enable the new Gradebook on a course-by-course basis. If you are new to Canvas this summer or fall semester, we encourage you to use the New Gradebook. Existing Canvas users should consider trying the New Gradebook in one of their courses and/or the test environment before using it for all courses. Eventually, the New Gradebook will replace the current Canvas Gradebook. Students will not encounter any significant changes with their view.

Canvas offers two environments, test, and production. Test is a reproduction of the courses as they appear in production and gets reset back to the current production state every 3 weeks. Production is where official GT courses are built and offered to the students. The Canvas release schedule for beta, production, and test environments can be found in the Community.

In production, course owners can turn on the beta version of the new gradebook in their courses (Settings > Feature Options tab > enable New Gradebook). It is important to note that you cannot go back to the old Gradebook once you apply a grading rule to late and missing submissions or manually adjust submission status to none, late, missing, or excused.

In test, faculty can experiment with the New Gradebook without impacting a live course. Steps to enable new gradebook in your test course(s) are the same as in production.

Improvements in the New Gradebook project are being released in two phases. These changes are included in the phase I release:

  • New menus for more settings and sorting options
  • Control over color feedback with a built-in color key
  • More filtering options
  • Improved keyboard accessibility on grade entry
  • Drag and drop total columns
  • Crosshairs and highlighting for orientation
  • Late and missing flags with automatic deduction policies

All functionality within the current Gradebook is included in the New Gradebook with the following exceptions:

For additional information, please refer to Canvas Release Notes for New Gradebook. If you have any questions or need help with the New Gradebook, please contact the Digital Learning Team (canvas@gatech.edu) or Instructure 24x7x365.


Further information can be found about the new gradebook using the links below and by accessing the Canvas community.

New gradebook FAQs: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11512-new-gradebook-faq-wip

How do I use the new gradebook? https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13738-73553813659

How do I access Speedgrader within the new gradebook? https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13712-73553814114

How do I export grades from the new gradebook? https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13720-73553813648

Important Change to T-Square Course Sites

As you may have heard, beginning in January 2019, T-Square will no longer be supported for course sites.

To make the transition from T-Square to Canvas more transparent for faculty, staff, and students alike, GT is changing the process for creation of T-Square course sites. As of summer semester 2018, T-Square course sites will not be accessible to students until their instructor publishes the site. Course sites will still be automatically created in T-Square, but faculty members will now be required to complete a 1-click operation within T-Square in order to publish their courses for student viewing.

If you are a faculty member who needs to publish your courses within T-Square, please see this one-page quick sheet, which contains detailed instructions and screenshots.

In addition, please note that faculty members are encouraged to include a paragraph within their syllabi which lets students know whether their course communications will be conducted in T-Square or in Canvas.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Digital Learning Team at canvas@gatech.edu.

Be sure to follow the latest updates at canvas.gatech.edu/blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information. Training is always available at canvas.gatech.edu/training.


Interested in finding out more about the Canvas implementation process at Georgia Tech? Click here for more details!