Three Ways to Use PostEm in Canvas

PostEm is a new tool built by C21U that allows teachers to upload and share a spreadsheet to provide individualized feedback and/or grades to students. Think of it like the Canvas gradebook’s sidekick. Use it when you want to provide regular feedback and/or grades to students, but you don’t necessarily want to create a new column in the gradebook.

Here are three ways to consider using PostEm in your course this semester…

Tracking Attendance/Participation

Create a spreadsheet on your computer that looks something like this:

In this case, I’m using “1” in cases where the student was present, and “0” when they were absent. However, the tool is flexible, so you could use letters (P/A) or words (present/absent).

Then, upload that spreadsheet to the PostEm tool. When students access the tool in Canvas, they’ll only see their row in the spreadsheet. At the end of the semester you can enter a final “Participation” grade in the gradebook, but this will allow students to keep up with their attendance throughout the semester.

Providing Quick Homework Feedback

Create a spreadsheet on your computer that looks something like this:

This is handy when you want to provide quick feedback, but you don’t necessarily want to assign numeric grades. It might seem minor, but students appreciate knowing that you reviewed their work.

Tracking In-Class Polling

If you’re using TurningPoint for in-class polling, you might consider using PostEm to track students’ responses.

In this case, students get 1 point if they answer correctly. Use a naming convention for your columns that indicate date and question number. Once again, this allows students to track their credit for in-class polling without cluttering up their gradebook with excessive columns.

To get started with PostEm, go to for installation and usage instructions. The tool is now available in all Canvas courses at Georgia Tech.

New Feature Spotlight: CIOS Link in Canvas

As of this week, the Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS) is now accessible via Canvas! This integration aims to make the CIOS more convenient for students, and in turn increase response rates for the survey itself. 

A link to the CIOS will now appear at the bottom of the Course Navigation Menu within Canvas. This link leads to the CIOS site, where students will be able to complete their course surveys. For students using tablets or smartphones, the Canvas App provides the best display for completing the CIOS.

Students will also continue to receive the surveys via email, but the sooner they complete the survey, the sooner the reminder emails will cease. And everyone likes a cleaner inbox!

Questions? Please contact

Dropbox + Canvas = Streamlined Collaboration

Thanks to the integration between Dropbox and Canvas, students and faculty can safely access, edit, and submit their Dropbox content within Canvas! For both students and teachers, the use of Dropbox allows for seamless access to the correct and most up to date files.

How does this integration benefit teachers?

Teachers can embed any type of document from their Dropbox account (e.g. course materials, study resources, syllabi, etc.) into Canvas, either directly into pages using the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) or directly into modules.

How does this integration benefit students?

Students can link their Dropbox files to course content, or in conjunction with coursework submissions. Students can also access, embed, or submit their Dropbox files as assignments within Canvas. This integration also improves the ease and efficacy of student collaboration, allowing students to collaborate on many types of files (Word Docs, PDFs, Photoshop files) within Dropbox. Once students have completed their assignments, they can upload and submit their final drafts from Dropbox within Canvas.

For more info on Dropbox, visit the link below:

Dropbox at GT – General Information

Faculty Guest Post: Reflections on Using LockDown Browser within Canvas (Part 1 in a Series)

By Dr. Michael Smith, Full Time Lecturer in Information Systems

I was eager to use Canvas’s quiz feature to give tests in class because it would help me reduce the drudge work associated with testing, including preparing multiple versions of tests by scrambling question and answers, copying tests, grading multiple versions of tests, and compiling item level data for required reporting and for improving questions, tests, and teaching materials and activities.

The LDB (LockDown Browser) makes the use of Canvas to administer high stakes tests practical, because it prevents access to unauthorized resources through testers’ laptops. I use the features of the product that are suitable for a proctored environment.

This post includes some information and reflections regarding my experience introducing high stakes testing using Canvas/LDB during the 2019 spring term.

I was fortunate in my room assignment because some rooms don’t have enough electrical outlets to be suitable for giving tests on laptops. Since the rooms I teach in do, and I now know to request rooms that have plenty of outlets, I put it on the students to bring a power cord and make sure the outlet they use supplies power in case their batteries are not sufficient.

In business we say, “Never let your first presentation be to the client”— that is, take a few practice swings before you step up to bat. I wanted the Canvas/LDB test process to be like “drinking a glass of water” for my students. To help students prepare, I created two GT trivia quizzes in Canvas, set them up to be accessible only through LDB, and used a few minutes of two days in class so the students could practice with the product. I also made those quizzes available outside class time so students could practice the process as many times as they wanted before tests and sent them several messages advising them to practice. Before the first real test, almost all students had used the product several times.

Live by technology—die by technology. I bring a handful of paper copies of the test in case something goes wrong. Given enough students, it’s inevitable. That said, so far this term, I’ve given six high stakes tests and have had only a handful of problems with Canvas/LDB. The most easily preventable problems have been students not having installed the LDB software before the test (despite my appeals) and students signing in with their email addresses instead of just their GT account. If it seems like more than a few minutes will be needed to resolve the problem, I just seat the student near the front of the class and give them a paper copy.

In my next post, I’ll write about the process of migrating my old tests from Word documents to online banks of questions suitable for random ordering within a test which also includes random ordering of answers.

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 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 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 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 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 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

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

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.