1. ETM’s wiki has instructions for how to log into Canvas as well as a brief overview of Canvas basics.
  2. Basic elements of a Canvas course
    • Modules:  To take full advantage of all that Canvas offers, we recommend using modules to set up your course.  
    • Modules offer a path through your course that can help prevent student confusion.  One way to set up your modules is by weeks (Week 1, Week 2, etc.).  This has the advantage of making each week’s tasks clear to students.  Once your modules are set up, you can then organize the various elements of your course (assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, and files) within your modules.  
    • Pages:  Pages are where you communicate content through text, images, video, and slideshows.
    • Assignments:  Assignments are where you can communicate assignment details (including rubrics) to students, and where students can turn in work.  Work can be submitted as text, file uploads, video, audio, and web urls.
    • Quizzes:  You can use quizzes for assessment and for surveys.
    • Discussions: Discussions provide opportunities for students to interact with each other and with their instructor. Options include small group discussions, graded discussions, rubrics for discussions, and discussion replies that include image, audio, and visual components.
    • Files:  Files is an area in Canvas where you can store documents.  While this storage area is useful for you as an instructor, we strongly recommend that your students access your files via modules, not via the files tab.  To do this, you can create a page in the module with a hyperlink to a file, and on the page you can provide context for the file.  This makes it clear when to read a file, which file to read, and why the file is significant.  We suggest removing the “Files” tab from student navigation.
  3. Grading:  Canvas offers a gradebook and a function called SpeedGrader which allows you to do most of your grading right in Canvas. Assignments and graded discussions will automatically be added to the gradebook. Speedgrader even has a feature that allows you to annotate student work, right within Canvas!
  4. You can import course content into Canvas.  You can import either part of an existing course or the whole course. 
  5. Don’t forget to publish.  If you don’t publish it, your students can’t see it!
  6. There are many other teaching and learning tools connected to Canvas.  More information coming soon!
  7. Each SPU faculty member has a Canvas sandbox–you can use this to play around with Canvas and see what it can do. You can find your sandbox on your dashboard after you log in. 
  8. ETM has created a Remote Teaching Template which shows you what a Canvas course can look like and which provides you with lots of information that you can share with your students about studying online at SPU. To import this template into your course: find your course, select “import from Commons” on the right side of the screen, click “filter,” click toggle to “Only Seattle Pacific University Approved Resources,” click the x to close the filter, click the course titled “Remote Teaching Template,” click the check box next to the course, you want to import the template into, click “Import into course.”

Additional resources:

  • ETM’s wiki 
  • Canvas Instructor Guide offers detailed information on a broad range of topics 
  • ETM offers a self-paced course about Canvas titled “Growing with Canvas.”  If you’d like to be enrolled in this course, please email etmhelp@spu.edu