Updated Notification Preferences

Recently, Canvas added an option to user notification preferences, which is beneficial for students to be aware of. Students can select the Include scores when alerting about grades. checkbox under Grading. If the checkbox is unselected, grades are not included as part of the notification. This option relates to notification for both initial submission grading and changes to existing grades.


Please contact the LDT team with questions.

Gradebook Icons and Colors

There are a variety of icons and colors in the Canvas Gradebook. Depending on how an assignment is graded, different icons and colors appear. Canvas provides clarification on what each means in their Instructor Guide.

Visit What do the icons and colors in the Gradebook represent? to learn more.

Email us with questions about Canvas, or what topics you’d like to learn more about!

Requesting a Sandbox

Are you interested in having your own sandbox, or development course, in Canvas? A sandbox, or development course, is essentially a testing course. It allows you to try out Canvas features, course ideas, etc. in an environment similar to your typical Canvas course without actually updating a live course and potentially confusing students. You also have access to the same student view feature as you do in a live course, so you can see exactly what a student would see.

With a sandbox, or development course, you can:

  • Build your course and import all the content into your live course(s). This is especially helpful to instructors whose courses may not be available for months, but want to work on building the content.
  • Test out new course ideas.
  • Try out Canvas features.

To request a sandbox, or development course, email Learning Design and Technology.

Adding / Removing Courses to Your Dashboard

If you’re registered for a course, and it’s within two weeks before the term starts, you should have access to the course in Canvas.

New courses may not appear on your Canvas dashboard automatically. If this is the case, follow these steps to add a course to your Dashboard. Also included are instructions for removing a course from your Dashboard. As a reminder, non-online Nursing students receive access to a course in Canvas two weeks before a term starts.

To add a course to your Dashboard

1. Log in to Canvas.
2. Click Courses from the left-hand navigation menu.
3. Click All Courses.

4. Click the gray star next to the course you want added to your Dashboard. The star turns gold, and appears on your Dashboard. Typically, if you don’t have any courses favorited / starred in Canvas, they all appear on your Dashboard. Once you click the star next to one course, only favorited / starred courses appear on your Dashboard. Favorite / star settings will be reflected on the Canvas iPad app.

To remove a course from your Dashboard

1. Log in to Canvas.
2. Click Courses from the left-hand navigation menu.
3. Click All Courses.
4. Click the gold star next to the course you want removed from your Dashboard. The star turns gray, and no longer appears on your Dashboard.

Contact us with your Canvas questions!

Quick Tip: Submitting Multiple Files to an Assignment

Do you have an assignment that requires students to submit multiple files? This is not an issue if the assignment doesn’t have Turnitin enabled. By default, Turnitin doesn’t accept multiple file. When Turnitin is enabled, only one file is able to be submitted to an assignment by a student. We don’t want to discourage you from using Turnitin for assignments, so we’re providing you with a couple recommendations when your assignment requires the submission of multiple files.

  • Create an assignment with Turnitin enabled for each file the student needs to submit.
  • Ask students to combine their files into one file to submit.

Please contact LDT with questions about Turnitin and/or Canvas.

Semester FAQs and Checklist

The next┬ásemester is fast approaching. To prepare for the upcoming semester, we’ve put together frequently asked questions we typically receive before each semester.

Beginning of the Semester Frequently Asked Questions

When is a course made available to faculty in Canvas?

The general rule of thumb is that courses are available to faculty 28 days prior to the first day of class.

When does content appear for online courses?

If you teach online, content will be applied to your courses either the day the course becomes available OR in some cases, shortly after.

When do students gain access to their courses in Canvas?

Students gain access to courses two weeks prior to the start of the term UNLESS they are in an online graduate nursing course. Students in online graduate nursing courses receive access the morning of the first day of the term.

When is a course published to Canvas?

Courses remain unpublished until students gain access. Publishing is an automatic process.

I’m an instructor, but my course isn’t appearing in Canvas.

First, make sure it’s 28 days prior to the first day of class. If it is, and your course still isn’t appearing in Canvas, make sure you’re listed as the instructor for that course. You can check that via accessmu.maryville.edu. If you are not listed as the instructor, please contact your college/school. Once listed as the instructor, the course will appear for you in Canvas within 24 hours.

Beginning of the Semester Checklist

This checklist is applicable for non-online courses.

  • Copy content from a previous course into the new blank course (not applicable to online courses). If you’re copying over Turnitin-enabled assignments, you must re-enable Turnitin after the copying process. If you don’t, students won’t be able to submit an assignment through Turnitin. Remember, just updating due dates will enable Turnitin.
  • Post your syllabus in all your courses. Instead of just posting a link to the file, copy and paste the syllabus information… and post a link to the file.
  • Post an initial announcement in all your courses.
  • View recorded Canvas workshops for a refresher on the system.
  • Bookmark community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides, as it provides GREAT documentation on using Canvas.
  • Keep a look out for in-person and online (webinar) Canvas workshops hosted by the LDT team.

If you have any questions not listed above, please contact LDT.

Using Firefox for Grading

You can absolutely use Firefox to grade items in SpeedGrader. Chrome is preferred, but there are plenty of faculty who use Firefox without any issues. There are a couple things to keep in mind when using Firefox for grading.

  • To avoid losing any annotations, click off the comment and onto the screen before moving to the next student.
  • When entering a grade, make sure you see the page refresh before moving to the next student.

Contact LDT with questions about Canvas.

Canvas Quick Tip: Course Card Customization

In canvas, course cards on your dashboard represent courses you’re enrolled in either as a faculty member or student. You can change the nickname and color of each card by clicking the gear icon on the card. Once finished customizing your course cards, click Apply.

The sidebar also supports course nicknames. Once you create a nickname for a course, it appears with all associated assignments or events. Once you click Apply to save your nickname, refresh the page for the change to take effect.

In addition, a new item indicator appears for new announcements, discussions, assignments, files, and graded items.

As always, please contact LDT with questions about Canvas.