The Canvas App just released a great new update. It’s a small update BUT it is a much appreciated one. When you download the Canvas app, you can now search for Maryville instead of having to remember our Canvas URL. This is create for EVERYONE, and makes the process much easier to get logged into our Canvas instance via the app. See a screen shot below for how this looks (i.e. you would just search for “Maryville University.”)
Canvas released a new “Polls” app about a month ago. I realized I didn’t have a write up of this, so I figured I’d take the time to explain what it is and what it can do. The Polls app, available in iOS/Android, allows for an instructor to conduct polling in class. Essentially, this app can take the place of clickers.
Here is the description of the product in the app store.
“Canvas Polls allows you to instantly assess student comprehension with live, in-class polling. Canvas Polls is free, easy-to-use, and leverages students’ own smartphones or tablets, making it more accessible than off-the-shelf devices. It provides the core features needed for active teaching models like peer instruction. And because Canvas Polls integrates with Canvas courses, participation and performance data is saved for every student, so you’ll never lose touch with student understanding.”
I’ve done some testing with this app, and it’s pretty slick.
Here is a short demo of what it can do.
Here is how to get started.
1. Go into app store and download “Canvas Polls.”
2. You will need to insert the Canvas URL (learn.maryville.edu).
3. Log in w/ your Maryville username/password
4. You are ready to begin creating !
What’s also nice about this, is that the set up and distribution is simple. You can create polls on the go OR ahead of time. Then, you can select which course to start a poll with. Since Canvas knows the enrollments of that course, as long as the students have the app downloaded, they will see the poll on their phones automatically ! Compared to other polling software, this is significantly easier to use.
Here are some screen grabs of Polls (pretty slick, right ?)
Canvas has a new production release (updates to the system) coming on Saturday, July 12th. There are some big changes coming to groups.
1. Instructors can now create/view groups within the “People” tool. In the past, Instructors had to go to “People,” then “View User Groups” to create/view groups. This definatley will streamline the process for creating and viewing groups !’
The old view from “People”
The new view from “People”
2. Instructors can now easily move between Group sections
For the full details of what is coming with this production release, please visit the following link:
Canvas has added a new feature to allow for users to open URL’s in new a new tab within Modules (& It’s about time !). This will help fight the dreaded “Insecure Content” issues of trying to bring websites into Canvas, and the content not displaying without toggling the “shield” icon on your browser.
By popular demand, Canvas finally shows “Last Activity” and “Total Activity” in the People area.
- Total Activity = Total amount of time spent in the course in Canvas
- Last Activity = Last time the user accessed the Canvas course.
This will be a helpful guide to use, especially if you have students who are struggling.
Canvas has released a new feature called “Group Leader.” Basically, within a group, you can assign a “leader.”
This feature doesn’t have any real functionality, yet, but expect Canvas to begin expanding this role with the next few production releases.
For updates on this feature, check out the Canvas Guide.
As we have moved from D2L, we will no longer have D2L Capture. Our new lecture capture system is called “Panopto.” If you had videos in Capture, they have been moved for you. If you plan on recording additional videos, you will need to use Panopto.
Below you will find instructions for inserting a Panopto video in a Canvas course.
How to Insert a Panopto Video into a Canvas Course
1. Access the “Courses” dropdown from within Canvas, and access the course you would like to put the video into.
3. When you find the video, hover over it and select “Share.” A dialogue box will appear. Choose to share this with “Anyone on the Internet.” This will produce a public URL that you will use to put into your Canvas course.
1. Go to the correct course, and select “Modules” from the left side Navigation bar.
2. Select to “+ to add to an existing module (OR create a new module, then select to “+” to it.) When you select “+” a dialogue box will appear. Use the dropdown to select “External URL.’ This will provide you an area to copy the Panopto video URL and give it a title. When finished, choose to “Add Item.”
Canvas has recently launched a new interface, and one of the great additions is “Draft State.” Draft State allows for users to set things to “draft,” which means that students do not have access to the item (assignment, discussion, quiz, page, module….etc.).
For an overview of draft state:
There is just one small problem, draft state doesn’t work with documents. So, if you’ve loaded a bunch of files (.pdf, .docx, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pptx….etc.) into Modules, and want to hide some of them, you are out of luck with the built in draft state functionality.
Luckily, I”ve come up with a fairly easy around, that doesn’t really take any additional effort or time.
1. Go into Modules. You will see your recently created modules, and everything should have a green checkmark next to it, indicating that these items are “published,” and students have access. 2. If you attempt to unpublish a document, it will tell you that “publishing is disabled for this item.” This means that you cannot alter the “published” state of any document.
3. Create a module (I called mine “Unpublished Items). Add all of the items you want to hide from students into this module, and “unpublish” the module. This will cause the entire module AND anything in it to be invisible to students. Then, when you are ready for a student to see a specific document, just drag it into the appropriate published module. Now, this really doesn’t take any extra time or effort to complete. Since you have to manually select the cloud icon to publish an item anyway, it doesn’t take any extra clicks to drag that item into the appropriate module using the method above.
We went live with Canvas for the entire university on May 5th for summer courses. D2L has officially been retired. While there were a few bumps last week, this has been a relatively smooth process. Now, we are officially at the end of the second full week, and things are running pretty smoothly. Let’s take at some statistics for Canvas over the past two weeks.
Canvas Stats: Usage #’s
- Pageviews (how many different clicks have occurred in the system): 862, 831, over 1M since we brought Canvas on in November 2013.
- Sessions (Unique log in’s): 66,265
- Pages per session: 13.02
- Avg. Session Duration: 12:25
- Most popular browser: Chrome (30.32%)
- Most popular operating system: Windows (64.3%)
- Most popular mobile device: iOS (79.28%)
- Most are accessing Canvas via the Maryville Portal (61.46%) OR by going directly to Canvas (25.4%)
Canvas Stats: What are users doing in Canvas for Summer 2014
- 638 courses (summer 1 & summer terms—-not summer 2)
- Assignments created: 9, 215
- Files uploaded: 22,407
- Discussion topics: 4,729
It’s been a lot of work over the past few months, but it’s great to see this in action and take a look at the numbers.