Canvas Overview

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New Features

Canvas offers a wide array of features which allow instructors and students to interact in a user-friendly environment and achieve more in less time. Use the following list to explore what is new in Canvas.

Whenever applicable. For example, if you wish to change the date of an event in the calendar, simply drag it to the desired date, drop it, and you’re done!
Rich Text Editor
Whenever there is text to edit you will have this tool at your disposal. It allows everything from simple text editing, formatting, and font colors to linking images and videos.

Dashboard

image This is Canvas’s homepage and is composed of three sections:

  1. Global Navigation (across the top of the page),
  2. the Sidebar (with various feeds present), and
  3. the Global Activity Stream (which comprises the main body of the page).
The activity stream contains a stream of recent activity from all of your courses. These include announcements, calendar events, discussion postings, due dates, and grade updates. For more information on this section, visit What is the Dashboard?

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Syllabus

The syllabus can be an uploaded file or as text embedded into the page (created by, or pasted into, the rich text editor).

At the bottom of the syllabus is the calendar of the course which synchronizes automatically and in real time with the calendar of the instructor.

For more information on this section, visit What is the Syllabus?
or watch What is the Syllabus? (video)

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Files

If a user wishes to upload a file to Canvas they can do so through the Files page. Access to files is achieved simply by logging into Canvas. Files can be locked by the instructor so that only instructors and TAs can access them.

For more information on this section, visit What are Files?
or watch How do Files work? (video)

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Announcements

Announcements allow the instructor to communicate publicly with all the enrolled students in a course. It is possible to delay the posting of the announcement until a certain date and time and link to other pages within Canvas in the announcement.

For more information on this section, visit What are Announcements?
or watch How do Announcements work? (video)

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Pages

Content and educational material which do not stricly belong in the Assignments section can be organized in what Canvas calls Pages. Using the rich text editor, pages can be created and can link to files or even other pages. They serve as informational outlets for users.

For more information on this section, visit What are Pages?
or watch What are Pages? (video)

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Calendar

Each Canvas user has their own personal calendar with their private events and schedules. However, the calendars of the instructors affect those of their enrolled students when the instructor adds an assignment, for example. When this happens the students’ calendars synchronise automatically to reflect any changes.

For more information on this section, visit What is the Calendar?
or watch How does the Calendar work? (video)

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Notification Preferences

These settings allow the user to specify which updates from Canvas, and in what frequency, they would like to receive. For example, users can receive a notification if the due date for an assignment changes. Supported mediums are email, SMS text messages, Twitter, and Facebook.

For more information on this section, visit How do Notification Preferences work?
or watch What are Notification Preferences? (video)

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Assignments

Student assignments can be created and will automatically appear in the Grades, Calendar, and Syllabus sections of the students’ Canvas pages. Assignments can also be used to record attendance.

For more information on this section, visit What are Assignments?
or watch How do Assignments work? (video)

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Conferences

Remote teaching, office hours, and other similar activities can be held remotely using this tool. Conferences allow the broadcasting of real-time audio, video, demo applications on the desktop, and presentation slides.

For more information on this section, visit What are Conferences?
or watch What are Conferences? (video)

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Collaborations

Collaborations allow students to collaborate on assignments using Google Documents (a popular option amongst many) or Etherpad (a very nifty, user-friendly, and versatile tool).

For more information on this section, visit What are Collaborations?

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Discussions

This tool allows focused and threaded discussions to be created. Discussions are date stamped when created, or replied to, and can be enhanced with any rich media like video, images, wikis, or files attachments.

For more information on this section, visit What are Discussions?
or watch What are Discussions? (video)

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Conversations

Conversations allow the instructor to communicate privately with members of a course (or with a subset of all the members).

For more information on this section, visit How do Conversations work?
or watch How do Conversations work? (video)

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Mobile Application

Canvas for iOS is the free Canvas application for iPhone and iPad. It is available for download from the App store.

For more information on this section, visit What is Canvas for iOS?

For help downloading this application, visit How Do I Download the Canvas for iOS?

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Modules

Modules are used to organize course content by weeks, units, or whatever organizational structure works for the instructor. Each module can contain files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials.

For more information on this section, visit What are Modules?

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Course Analytics

This tool allows the instructor to see when students view a page or participate in the course as well as if students submit an assignment on-time, late, or not at all. It also allows grade distributions tobe plotted and shows page view, participations, assignments, and current score for every student in the course.

For more information on this section, visit What are Analytics for my course? or watch What are Course Statistics? (video)

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Quizzes

This tool allows the instructor to create various types of quizzes and/or surveys for the students. Parameters such as the due date and the number of attempts can all be specified when creating the quiz. Surveys can be used, for example, to investigate the students’ opinions on a certain subject.

For more information on this section, visit How do Quizzes work?
or watch How do Quizzes work? (video)

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Student Groups

Students working on projects or group assignments can be organized in groups (at the course level). This creates a group workspace where students can create pages, announcements, collaborations, discussions, and calendar events in real time.

For more information on this section, visit What are Student Groups?
or watch Group Creation and Management for Instuctors (video)

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Contact

Systems Availability

  • Our online services may not be available during these maintenance periods.

    Regularly
    Fridays: 5pm-midnight
    2nd & 4th Tuesdays: 5pm-7pm

    Occasionally
    Tuesdays: 5am-7am
    Thursdays: 5pm-7pm

    Notices
    https://twitter.com/pennlawitsalert

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