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Canvas: FAQs for Instructors
Answers to common questions users have when adapting to Canvas LMS for Instructors.
Frequently Asked Questions about Canvas
- How do I publish my course?
Click the Publish button located at the top right of your Home page.
- How do I build my courses in Canvas?
Please visit our Teaching Resources.
- Does Canvas have a tool like Email Archive from OWL Space?
Using the Canvas inbox tool provides access to all of your emails sent using the tool and is searchable by recipients, sections, and classes. This is the recommended email tool for courses.
- How do I add T.A.s (or anyone else) to my course?
Go to People from the course menu, select +People, select Net ID, add one Net ID per line (Net ID only, no @rice.edu), then select the role and proceed. Read more on how to add participants for additional information.
- My students can't see XYZ. What's going on?
First, check to see if your course is published. If it is, check to see if your quiz, assignment, module, or file is published.
If students can't see a file you connected via a link, make sure you didn't connect a file from another course in Canvas.
If students can't see a file in Files, make sure that the parent folder is published.
If students can't see an assignment or a quiz, check the release date.
If students can't see an assignment or a quiz, and you are delivering it through modules, make sure both assignment/quiz and module is published. Also check the release date of module.
You can also use Student View feature (under Settings) to see what students are seeing.
- How do I stop releasing grades as I grade the homework?
You can turn the Grade Posting Policy to manual before you begin entering grades.
- Can I customize the front page?
- I don't see my course in my Dashboard.
Dashboard is like your browser bookmark. You can customize what shows up by visiting Courses then clicking All Courses in the global menu (navy background). Click on the star to place your course in Dashboard. To remove a course from Dashboard, click on the yellow star.
- I need help with publishing my syllabus.
You can choose to place your entire syllabus in Canvas or just point to your PDF syllabus. Either way, your students will see assignments and calendar events in chronological order below your syllabus. Read more on the Syllabus Tool in Canvas.
- How do I set up Gradebook categories & weighting?
Use the Assignment Group feature.
- How do I add columns in Grades?
Columns in the Gradebook are only created by adding an assignment in Canvas. If you need to create a column in the Gradebook to use for manual grading, you can create a No Submission or On Paper assignment.
- I used to use Resources in OWL Space a lot. Where is it in Canvas?
In Canvas, the area is now known as Files. You can upload and share any file with your class. There are three settings in each folder and file: published, unpublished, and restricted access. For your students to access your file, both the file and the parent folder must be published. If you want your students to only access files via assignments or quizzes, use restricted access. More information can be found in this detailed explanation.
- A student needs an extension to take quiz/test or submit an assignment. What should I do?
At the bottom of the Quiz or Assignment tool, you will find an area to set the dates. Just below that, you will find +Add button. Use it and designate the specific student to give her/him the custom due date.
- How do a give extra time to a particular student for a timed quiz/test?
Use the Moderate This Quiz option once the timed quiz/test has been published.
- My students tell me that they can add or edit their own grades. What is going on?
Students can approximate their grades in the Grades tool. The idea is for students to see what grade they need to make an A in the course.
- I can't create a folder in Files tool.
When creating a folder in Files, use +Folder button, type the name of the folder then use return (Mac) or enter (Windows) key.
- How do I hide course menu items?
In some cases, you don't want your students to see tools in the course menu. To hide them, go to Settings first. Then select Navigation from the row of top tabs. You can drag down the tools you don't want just above the Save button. You can reorder the tools at the top as well. Once you are done, click Save.
- Can I create a custom menu?
Yes. Go to Settings, then click on the Apps tab. Look for an app called Redirect, click Add App, give name that you want to see in the menu, place URL, click Show in Course Navigation, then click Add App. The change will take place when you click on the Home button.
- What is Speedgrader and how do I use it?
SpeedGrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric. You can access it by clicking on an assignment title in the Assignment tool or by clicking on the assignment title in the grade book.
- How do I assign different due date to a group or to a student?
In Assignment or Quizzes, you will find date settings at the bottom. Click +Add to create the desired due date for a group or an individual student.
- How do I undelete something?
It happens occasionally. Canvas has a nice undelete feature. Read about the undelete feature in Canvas which is really easy to use.
- How do I create a new course?
Use the Canvas New Course Request Form.
- What is Chat?
Chat is a generic text chat. What you type there will be shared with your entire course, not with just one student. Text will be saved as well.
- Are there mobile apps I can use?
- Will my course automatically populated with students?
Yes. Your course enrollment will be automatically updated twice a day.
- How do I view my site as a student?
To access Student View from the home page, select Student View from the right column.
- Can I have a demo/sandbox site?
Yes. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request the site.
- How do I set my profile picture?
Select Account at the top of global menu (with navy background). Choose Profile. Click on the default avatar to update.