Faculty Questions

Access to Canvas

Will my computer work with Canvas?

Yes.  Canvas is simply a web site with a wide range of features, and should work with most modern and updated browsers.  It’s always best to keep your web browser up to date for maximum compatibility and security.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on Canvas compatibility with different web browsers:

Which browsers does Canvas support?

How do my students get to Canvas?

All students and faculty can use the MyBC Portal as the gateway to Canvas.  Look for the Canvas icon in MyBC and click to proceed.  Alternately, you may go directly to canvas.butte.edu to bypass the portal.

Why can’t students see my class?

There are a few common reasons a student may not see a course in Canvas.

Students do not have access to Canvas courses until the first scheduled day of the semester (late-starting courses are released accordingly).   If the semester has not yet started, students will not be able to see their courses.

New courses in Canvas are Unpublished by default.  Students cannot see a course until the instructor Publishes the course.

See the following Canvas Guide on how to Publish your course:

How do I publish my course?

Also, instructors have the option to allow students access to a course in advance.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on adjusting student access to a course:

How do I change the start and end dates for a course?

Miscellany

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a Learning Management System with an intuitive interface that supports a deep focus on teaching and learning. Its robust features help to enhance teaching and learning beyond the physical classroom.

Canvas is:

  • intuitive – it has a clean interface for desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones
  • flexible – allows customization to support a range of pedagogical styles and formats
  • dynamic and cloud-based – with continual improvements to features
  • engaging – instructors can easily connect with students through multimedia, chat, and discussion board options
  • reliable – excellent track record, with 24/7/365 support
  • efficient – faster and easier grading with mobile app (SpeedGrader)

Canvas is developed by Instructure, Inc.

Is Canvas training available for students?

Based on feedback from other California Community Colleges that have implemented Canvas, there is no need to offer any training to students, as the Canvas user interface is much more intuitive than other systems. Students also have access to 24/7 phone support by accessing the Help menu in the lower-left corner of any page in Canvas.

Basic digital literacy (i.e use of a web browser, converting documents, etc.) is still a concern facing all of higher education.

Can I use Canvas for an on-campus class?

Yes!  In fact, the majority of faculty use of a learning management system is for courses conducted on campus.  Students benefit from having easy access to course content, such as the syllabus, as well as grades and means of communicating with the instructor.

Will my computer work with Canvas?

Yes.  Canvas is simply a web site with a wide range of features, and should work with most modern and updated browsers.  It’s always best to keep your web browser up to date for maximum compatibility and security.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on Canvas compatibility with different web browsers:

Which browsers does Canvas support?

Do I have to use Canvas?

No. Use of Canvas is purely optional for faculty.  However, using Canvas for basic purposes, such as posting the class syllabus, is highly encouraged and easy to do.

If you have never used Canvas before, you will benefit from participating in Canvas trainings provided by TMI.

View the Canvas training schedule

Errors and Troubleshooting

If I see an error message in Canvas, what should I do?

Most errors in Canvas are temporary, and can be resolved by simply trying the same action again.  Also, many common errors are more related to the user’s web browser than to Canvas.  

Can you replicate the error?  If so, try using another browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and see if the problem persists.  Faculty should contact TMI staff for assistance.

If you believe something is simply not working correctly (e.g. You consistently get an error message), you may contact the Canvas Support Hotline found in the Help icon in the sidebar menu available from anywhere in Canvas.

Help_menu-icon

Course Management

How do I see my course as a student would? (Student View)

Instructors may preview a Canvas course as a student at any time.  This is an important part of developing and testing a course before it is actively used by students.

See the following Canvas Guides for details on how to use the Student View feature:

What is Student View?

How do I enable Student View?

How do I copy content from course to another?

All course content can be copied from one course to another within Canvas.  Each course has the option to Import Content, which allows the instructor to copy some or all course content to another course, as the process allows an instructor to select which content is copied.  

Importing content can be used to copy a course from one semester to the next, or from a development (“sandbox”) course into a real course with students.

Note that this process does not copy student-generated content, only instructor created materials.

See the following Canvas Guide for instructions on how to copy course content from one Canvas course to another:

Copy An Existing Course Into A Course Shell

How do I post my syllabus in Canvas?

With a built-in Syllabus tool, Canvas provides a simple means for an instructor to post the course syllabus, and for students to view and print it.

Faculty may post their syllabus by pasting the content directly into the text box in Canvas (recommended), or by linking to a PDF document.

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I edit the Syllabus description?

How do I see the students who are enrolled in my course?

The best way to see a list of students enrolled in your Canvas course is by clicking the People tool in the Course Menu.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on how to view enrollments in your course:

How do I view enrollments in a course section?

Can I customize the courses on my Dashboard and Courses list?

Yes.  It’s easy to have your most used courses readily available on the Dashboard and Courses list, while keeping others out of sight but still easy to get to when needed.

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I customize my Courses list?  (including the Dashboard)

Can I combine multiple sections into one Canvas course?

Instructors can merge multiple Canvas courses together, so they behave as a single course, while still tracking which students are enrolled in each section.

This is referred to as cross-listing, and it’s quite easy to do in Canvas.

See the following post for details on cross-listing multiple sections into a single Canvas course:

Combine Multiple Sections Into A Single Canvas Course

Why can’t students see my class?

There are a few common reasons a student may not see a course in Canvas.

Students do not have access to Canvas courses until the first scheduled day of the semester (late-starting courses are released accordingly).   If the semester has not yet started, students will not be able to see their courses.

New courses in Canvas are Unpublished by default.  Students cannot see a course until the instructor Publishes the course.

See the following Canvas Guide on how to Publish your course:

How do I publish my course?

Also, instructors have the option to allow students access to a course in advance.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on adjusting student access to a course:

How do I change the start and end dates for a course?

Enrollments

How do I see the students who are enrolled in my course?

The best way to see a list of students enrolled in your Canvas course is by clicking the People tool in the Course Menu.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on how to view enrollments in your course:

How do I view enrollments in a course section?

Are enrollments the same in WebAdvisor and Canvas?

Official enrollments in WebAdvisor (accessible from within MyBC) are the source of enrollments in Canvas. New ADDS and DROPS are sent to Canvas approximately once each hour.

If a student appears on your WebAdvisor roster but not in your Canvas course, they will most likely be added to Canvas shortly.  If you can confirm that a student is officially enrolled but does not appear in Canvas, please contact TMI staff at tmi@butte.edu or 530-895-2200.

If there is someone who is NOT on your WebAdvisor roster and who IS in Canvas, it is probable that they have dropped the course. If this happens before the student has posted any graded work in Canvas, you may remove the student from your Canvas course.

See the following Canvas Guide on making an enrollment inactive in a course:

How do I deactivate an enrollment in a course?

What’s the procedure for dropping students from my course?

Students are not Added or Dropped from within Canvas.

To Drop a student, use the enrollment functions found in WebAdvisor.  Changes will be reflected within Canvas within approximately one hour.

Dropped students cannot access the course, and are hidden from within the course.  However, instructors can view any dropped students in the Grades tool by selecting Show Inactive Enrollments.

See the following Canvas Guide for details on how to view dropped students in the Grades area:

How do I view grades for inactive student enrollments in the Gradebook?

Dashboard

Can I customize the courses on my Dashboard and Courses list?

Yes.  It’s easy to have your most used courses readily available on the Dashboard and Courses list, while keeping others out of sight but still easy to get to when needed.

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I customize my Courses list?  (including the Dashboard)

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