Introducing Portfolium: Using the Canvas ePortfolio Tool

When applying for summer jobs, internships, or other such opportunities having an ePortfolio is essential for showing off your projects, abilities, and growth as a young professional.

Brette Wilton-Kristoff, Graduate Student, Communications Specialist, GMCTL

April 23rd, 2021

Photo by Omid Kashmari on Unsplash

 

Portfolium is a tool offered in Canvas where you can build an electronic portfolio to showcase your work as a student.

“An electronic portfolio/ePortfolio is a collection of student work that is useful for showing both the product and the process of learning …” – Julie Maier,* Instructional Designer, USask Distance Education Unit

Your instructors might also use Portfolium as part of your course requirements: 

    • Be sure to review your course syllabus for specific instructions for using Portfolium as a part of your course requirements.

 

When integrated across a student’s entire degree program, an ePortfolio allows [student’s] to exit with a thoughtfully-compiled collection of their best work, a timeline of their growth and development as a learner, and a showcase of who they are as a professional and scholar in their field.” – Julie Maier, Instructional Designer, USask Distance Education Unit

 

 Before you start building your Folio using the USask ePortfolio tool in Canvas, here are a few things to know: 

1. Access your Folio in your Canvas Account profile, accessible from your Global Navigation Menu: 

2. Update your Portfolium Profile and Settings:

  • There are lots of ways you can customize your Folio to showcase who you are as an aspiring scholar!
    • You can customize settings and formatting similar to other platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. 
  • Edit your privacy settings and visibility options.
    • Add a list of your current or past Courses to demonstrate your range in educational experience.

3. Upload your ongoing or completed Projects:

  • You can either import directly from Canvas or from your computer files. 
    • Upload a variety of file formats including PDF, Powerpoint, Word Docs, Panopto, Youtube videos, and more. 
  • Showcase your projects and samples of your work that you are most proud of, or that you think demonstrate your learning abilities:

4. Add your Resume, work experience, internships, and scholarships as a way to connect your education with your work/life experience and goals.

  • Be sure to include any fun projects, volunteer experience, or extracurricular community involvement you’ve been involved with.

5. Have more questions about setting up your Folio? Check out the Portfolium Network

*Many thanks to Julie Maier, DEU for her expertise and advice on this post!

 

Need a quiet place to study?

 The USask Study rooms & seats are open for bookings in advance here: https://libcal.usask.ca/reserve/murray

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

Final Exam Prep with Canvas

Exams in the Springtime are made somewhat more bearable with the promise of warmer weather, sunshine, and iced coffees.

Prairie Crocus: Sign of Spring, Photo credit to Ales Maze on Unsplash

 

 

 

Brette Wilton-Kristoff, Graduate Student Communications Specialist, GMCTL,

April 10th, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing the basics is a good place to start to prep for your exams:

  1. Check your Canvas Calendar and map out your exam dates  (and any other important ‘To Do’ items).
    • Each of your courses and groups in Canvas will have a corresponding colored square on your Calendar.
      •  Go to your Calendar page, accessible anywhere from your Global Navigation Menu in Canvas.
      • You can view your Group Calendars from either your Group Home Page, or by locating the corresponding color of that group in your Calendar.
      • All groups and courses are listed on the right side bar of the Calendar page. The coloured square must be showing (clicked into) for course’s or group’s calendar items to appear on your Calendar.
      • Isolate a specific course or group to view in your Calendar for easier viewing.   

     2.  Review your Course Syllabus.

    • Remember this old thing? I find going back at the end of term and reviewing the course outline, outcomes, and assignment breakdowns a helpful way to refresh the themes of the course.
    • In each of your Canvas courses, your Syllabus can be accessed in the Course Navigation Menu. 
    • Right click To Print or, Change to PDF file and save the syllabus directly to your desktop.

3. Check out these Study Smart Tips from last term. 

Remember! The USask Study rooms & seats are open for bookings in advance here: https://libcal.usask.ca/reserve/murray

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

What the . .?! Canvas FAQs

We’ve scoured the Internet and compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Canvas.

Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

 

 

Brette Wilton-Kristoff, Graduate Student , Communications Specialist, GMCTL,

March 26th, 2021

 

 

1. Why am I receiving so many notifications from Canvas? 

  • All new Canvas user accounts are set to certain default notification settings.
    • Change your ‘Notifications’ preferences in your Account  settings, accessible from your Global Navigation menu (left-hand side bar) or on a course page, the Course Notifications – in the right-hand sidebar.
    •  To learn more, see setting your notifications

2. Why does Canvas seem slow at times?

  • Many factors can affect the processing speed:
    • Like your wireless connection strength, shared usage and/or bandwidth of your internet connection, and other applications you have open, which internet browser is being used, and the processing power/age of your computer.
  • If Canvas seems slow, try doing these first: 
    1. Close all other applications and browser tabs
    2. Try disconnecting /reconnecting to your wireless network
    3. Try moving closer to the wireless router/access point
    4. Restart your computer

3. Which web browser is most compatible with Canvas?

  • Chrome, then Firefox works best. Currently USask IT Support is identifying issues with using Safari for accessing Canvas. Check to see if your web browser is compatible here.

4. How do I view my grades in Canvas?

  • See your grades and any feedback via the grey View Grades button on your Dashboard’s right-hand sidebar.

  • Locate your grades directly in your course by clicking on the ‘Grades’ tab in the course menu (usually in green at USask). 

 

5. Can I hide my recent grades from the Canvas Dashboard?

 

 

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

 

Unprecedented: Reflecting on One Year of Virtual Learning

Guest Blogger, Kaytee Fisher, Undergraduate Student, March 24th, 2021

It has been officially one year of living in a global pandemic—a year full of changes and uncertainty. “Unprecedented Times” as we adapt to our “New Normal”— phrases that bombarded the media a year ago . . . phrases that I could have lived without hearing. For a while, it seemed like that was the only constant about this pandemic—that we were facing or enduring unprecedented times. 

It was certainly an unprecedented year for students, as schools and universities closed their doors and switched to remote learning. At first, cancelled classes and postponed exams didn’t seem so bad. But then that meant welcome week, beer-gardens, late-night library study sessions, any kind of social gathering, and even graduations— all canceled. Students sequestered to remote learning locations across the globe, leaving our stunning USask campus empty and quiet. 

A year later, I find myself missing the classroom setting.

USask Classroom, Photo by David Stobbe, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I’m an unorthodox learner; more of a social learning-type. I know that I thrive best in the company of my peers. We share a common goal, my peers and I, one of academic success and accomplishment. I gravitate towards smaller sized classes where I don’t feel like I’m just a student number. I enjoy engaging in class discussions and physically surrounding myself with other like-minded individuals, who inspire and motivate me to be the best version of myself that I can be. 

Identifying as neurodivergent, I appreciate the classroom setting where my body and mind can better achieve equilibrium. Sometimes simply just getting to class on time was half the battle, but as long as I could physically get to the classroom, then the rest seemed to be smooth sailing. The classroom setting allows for my mind to wander still, but not in the same way it can get totally derailed when I’m doing at home “learning” alone. In the classroom, routine and accountability systems are established. I crave this structure– it’s vital for my academic success. After a year of remote learning, I now appreciate the classroom setting as more conducive to my education and overall academic victories. After all, our goal is to be successful and learn things.

Not surprising, remote learning has been difficult to say the least. My computer screen is now my portal to my education but it is also a portal of procrastination. 

However, there have been positive outcomes during this year of remote learning as well. Aside from the technical glitches and seemingly heavier workloads, remote learning has been much more convenient, especially with Canvas

If you miss a lecture? No problem, you can find the time later on in the week to catch up by watching the recording. If you can’t watch the recording you can use the Canvas app on your cell phone and listen to it, say, while you’re working out! Don’t want to get out of bed? Easy—you don’t have to have your video on and can listen to the lecture while still safe and warm, all cozied up. This works great if you wake up late or if that day just isn’t your day. 

Remote learning allows for us to experience our education on some of our own terms and Canvas has allowed for that experience to be a lot more accessible than before. If I have questions I can post them in a group thread on Canvas and have them answered or discussed with my classmates. Everything seems to now be at my fingertips, all I need to do is go online. Canvas allows for a much more interactive online experience, and for that I am thankful.

This all goes to say . . . I’m looking forward to seeing my peers face-to-face again. For now, we adjust and adapt . . .

 

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

 

Goodbye Blackboard!

Plus tips for Accessing Files and Folders, and about Storage Quotas in Canvas 

Blackboard Heart, Photo by Mark de Jong, Unsplash

 

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student, Communications Specialist, GMCTL   March 10th, 2021

 

 Out with the old, in with the new, as they say… Blackboard will no longer be accessible for USask students after August 30, 2021.  

 

 

 

 

Here are a few things you should know: 

Get your materials out of Blackboard!

As USask transitions from Blackboard to Canvas, you’ll want to download and save any material you have generated from your Blackboard courses.  

On August 30, 2021, the transition of USask’s learning management system, from Blackboard to Canvas, will be complete and Blackboard will no longer be available.

Please keep these important details in mind:  

  • The material you created for and in your classes are owned by you.  
  • The material your professors composed or created remain their intellectual property. See the student information about copyright page for details.  

Course materials will remain in Canvas for up to four years after the class ends.

Accessing Files, Folders, and Cloud Storage in Canvas 

  • Canvas Student User Files and Storage
    • By default, each Canvas Student User (that means you!) has 50 MB of ‘cloud’ storage space in Canvas. 
    • User Files include uploaded assignment submissions, conversations, saved photos, and more. 
    • Only you can access and view your user Files. 
    • See Canvas File Quotas for info about how your quota gets used up.

How do I access my materials and files in Canvas?  There are a few ways to access your course and group files.

Option 1: From the Global Navigation in Canvas, open your user Account [1] to find your Files: 

  • Open the Files tab [2]. Here you will find subfolders organized by Course, Group, and category (uploaded assignments, conversation attachments, etc.)

Option 2: Course and group files may also be accessible via the Course Navigation menu, if the instructor has made the Files tab visible.

  • From your Course Navigation menu, click the Files tab. Course Files will contain all uploaded content for that course.
  • Locate the All My Files link (located at the bottom of your course files page) to access your other user Files.

 

  • Create, reorder, and  rename folders to organize your files. Unused or old Folders can be deleted but all files within that folder will also be deleted.
  • Download your files to save a permanent copy to your desktop or hard-drive for future use.
  • See more details about organizing files here.

Option 3: If your course requires group work, each Canvas Group has 50 MB of storage space.

  • Similarly, Groups have their own Files folder easily accessed from the Group Homepage. 
  • All content published and uploaded within a Group can be viewed by all group members (and instructors). 

 

Files Storage:

  • Files submitted for assignments cannot be deleted but other materials can be. (Deleting unused files from previous courses will help to free-up storage).
  • Files and your course materials be accessible in Canvas for up to four years.

Accessing Panopto Lecture Capture

  • Panopto is the official USask video platform for lecture capture, instructional videos, and more. 
    • Panopto Recordings will have their own folder in your course menu.
  • Videos can be viewed and uploaded through Canvas.
    • Install the Panopto software from an eligible Web browser to record, edit, and upload your own video content. 
    • See Panopto for Students for info about recording and uploading from a mobile device.

What’s been your biggest adjustment in transitioning to remote learning?

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

 

7 Cs of Communication

Brette D. W. KristoffGraduate Student, Communications Specialist, GMCTL  February 24th 2021

“How often do you communicate with people during your day? How clear is your communication? This article, published on Mind Tools, shares seven Cs of communication to ensure you’re communicating in the most clear and effective way possible.” Education Executive, June 28th, 2017

Step-up your written communication game with these 7 tips, adapted for USask Student Canvas Users! 

Photo by David Roberts, May 18, 2016, CC by 2.0

The Education Executive (UK) quoted above, used the 7 Cs of Communication from Mind Tools as a checklist for ensuring maximum efficiency and clarity in your writing.

Not only did I find this list straight-forward, the 7 Cs of Communication can be applied to any style of writing or communication. Whether it be email, Canvas discussions, or even your essay writing, the 7 Cs of Communication will enhance the clarity and efficiency of your writing. 

I read the article (so you don’t have to) and summarized the 7 Cs with some examples specifically for USask Student Canvas Users

What are the 7 Cs of Communication?

Remember these 7 Cs when you’re expressing your ideas in emails, discussion posts, or term papers. Your communication/writing should be:

1. Clear: Be clear about the goal or purpose of what you are trying to communicate.

  • Whether you’re writing a paper, responding to a discussion post, or sending a risky text, be as crystal clear as you can be in your intent. 
  • Be assertive but not aggressive, and AVOID passive-aggressive language at all costs. 
  • Use direct examples when appropriate, and a mix of simple/complex sentences ordered in a logical format. 

2. Concise: Stick to the point and keep it brief.

  • Are there filler words that can be deleted? Have you repeated the same idea more than once just in slightly different phrasing?
  • The article says: 
    • Eliminate and avoid using cliches and sayings such as, “for instance,” “you see,” “literally,” “basically,” “i mean,”… 

3. Concrete:

  • “When your message is concrete, then your audience has a clear picture of what you’re telling them.
  • There are details (but not too many!) and vivid facts, and there’s laser-like focus. Your message is solid.”

4. Correct/Credible: Your information should be audience appropriate and error free. 

  • Your aim should always be to facilitate accurate and relevant information. 
  • Provide proper references for any information that is not your own. Provide external links when appropriate.
  • Technical terms should be clearly explained (and audience appropriate!)
  • Names, titles, and other proper nouns are correctly spelled. Remember that spell check isn’t flawless, and especially sucks at grammar. Sorry Spell Check.  

5. Coherent/Creative: Your information should be ordered logically and express thoughtful ideas. 

  • All of your points must be relevant and related to the main topic.
  • Tone and flow should be consistent. Read your work aloud or to a friend to hear how it sounds. 
  • Be thoughtful, consider different opinions other than your own. Be considerate of what other people might be experiencing, too. 

6. Complete: 

    • Have you included all the necessary information? This includes things like the date, time, location, your information, acknowledging specific questions, or responding to previous correspondence etc. and so on. 
    • When writing an academic paper or assignment, review the requirements for the assignment and ensure you have met each one. 
      • Review your Canvas Course Syllabus

 

 

7. Courteous: “Courteous communication is friendly, open, and honest.”

  • The article reminds us to keep the reader’s viewpoint in mind, be empathetic, and to consider different opinions other than just your own.

Our ability to communicate effectively is essential. Everyday we share thoughts, ideas, stories, and information with others. Does what you’re trying to say meet the all 7 Cs of Communication?

                  – Content quoted and adapted from EdExec – 7 Cs of Communication

How can we use these 7 Cs in Canvas? 

  • Remember the 7 Cs of Communication in any setting, to better express your ideas and opinions!
  • Canvas has multiple communication channels which makes interacting with classmates and instructors easier. Offering various ways to collaborate and participate, Canvas Chats, Discussions, and Groups can be used to enhance your  virtual classroom setting. Use the Inbox for internal messaging.
  • Review our Canvas Student Tips posts on using Canvas Discussions and Canvas Groups.

Writing Help

  • USask Students have access  to many services, including the Library Writing Centre, tutoring, and academic writing workshops. 

 

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6, traditional Nehiyaw territory, and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

Using the Canvas Student App

Checking out the Canvas app - Photo by K. D. W. Kristoff, CC by 2.0

Checking out the Canvas app – Photo by K. D. W. Kristoff, CC by 2.0

 

Download the Canvas Student App on your iPhone (IOS) or Android for easy access to your course content, calendars, and chats.

 

Brette D. W. KristoffGraduate Student, Communications Specialist, GMCTL, February 8th, 2021

 

Use the Canvas app to take your coursework on the go with you. If you have reading assignments, group work, or Inbox messages to respond to, the Canvas Student App is easy to use from wherever you are. 

Canvas Student IOS Guide:

  • Search and Download the Canvas Student app for iOS from your app store.
  • Open the app, and select the  U of S as your institution. Then, login using your NSID and password.
  • Check out the full Canvas Student Guide for IPhone for further instructions.

Canvas Student Android Guide:

  • Search and Download the Canvas Student app for Android from your Play Store. 
  • Open the app and select the U of S as your institution. Then, login using your NSID and password.
  • Check out the full Canvas Student Guide for Android for further instructions.

Getting Started with the App: 

By default, the app takes you to your Canvas Dashboard where you can access your courses and favorite groups from your mobile phone.

  • Customize your app landing page and other app features in your User Menu, located at the top left corner of the App.
  • The App looks similar to the desktop version with access to pretty much all the same stuff!
  • Remember, it is not recommended that you use the mobile version of Canvas to take quizzes and exams. 

How do I find my User Menu?

  • At the top left corner of the app Dashboard, is your User Menu.
  • Here is where you can find your settings and help features, there you will find your Files folder.
  • For both IOS and Android, access mobile Help options from the User Menu. 

 

How do I manage my email and push notifications for the App?

  • Find the Settings tab in your User Menu.
  • Enable your notification preferences to get important reminders, calendar updates, Inbox notifications and more.

 

 

 

 

Where do I access my Course content in the App?

  • From your Dashboard, select the course you want to access. This will take you to the Course Home page just like in the desktop version.
  •  Click on the title of the course you want to access to find your Modules, Files, People, Grades, and everything else.

What else is cool about the app?

  1. Use the document scanner in the app to easily scan and upload Files and Assignments.
  2. Bookmark pages on the app for quick reference later:
    • If you’re using the app to catch up on your course Reading Assignments, select the bookmark option from the drop-down menu at the top right corner.
    • Your saved bookmarks can be found for quick reference in your User Menu.

Remember: Use the Student App for anything except Canvas quizzes and exams. It is not recommended you take quizzes on your mobile device and “remotely proctored” exams will only work on your laptop or desktop computer.

_____________________________________________________________________

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

Planning your Term with Canvas: Getting Started

An icy view, somewhere in Saskatoon. Photo by Marina Moreland, CC by 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, January 20th, 2021

Here are some ways to stay on track from the beginning of term.

Using your Canvas Calendar

View your Canvas Calendar from your Global Navigation menu:

  • Each calendar view will list your upcoming due dates and assignments (as soon as your instructor updates or adds content to the course schedule). 
  • View the calendar in Week, Month, or Agenda format by using the selection menu in the navigation bar. Add Calendar items as they come up throughout the term.

  • Ensure all calendars for all your classes are selected – meaning the coloured box is showing next to each class title, so all due dates/events show in your Calendar
  • Take some time to view your calendar and make note of upcoming To-Do’s and assignments. Stay on top and on track by making regular check-ins with your Canvas Calendar.

Ways to Contact Your Instructor in Canvas

There are two main ways to contact your instructor in Canvas:

1. Send a message through your Inbox

  • Your Canvas Inbox is a messaging tool (instead of email) used to communicate within a specific course, to an individual student or instructor, or to a group of students. 
  • Open your Canvas Inbox from your Global Navigation Menu. 
  • Select the drop down menu to choose your course and instructor you wish to message. 
  • Filter your messages by Inbox, Unread, Starred, Sent, Archived, or view Submission Comments. 
  • Your Canvas Inbox allows for simple and private space for conversations with your instructors and peers. Remember to always start any online communication with a formal greeting and goodbye; use proper spelling and grammar; and remember to clearly state your objective/question. 

2. Use the Help option to Ask Your Instructor a Question. 

  • Locate your Help tab at the bottom of your Global Navigation Menu and select the appropriate course and instructor.
  • Check out the other Help resources linked in the Help menu.

Other Student Resources

  • As a USask student you have access to free online Student Learning Services  including academic writing resources, math & stats helps, and other tutoring services.
  • For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. 

Study Smart with Canvas

Tara Million, Ph.D Student, Indigenous Studies – Photo by Julia Million, CC by 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, December 11, 2020

Even the very idea of final exam season is enough to raise a students’ blood pressure! But don’t sweat it…sometimes, opening your books is the hardest part! Study smarter, not harder, with these Canvas Study Tips.

Some USask Study Tips:

  1. Focus on the process, not the outcome. Start by simply immersing yourself in your Canvas course content. Once you’re more familiar, it won’t feel so scary!
  2. Engage in Active Studying. Simply reading and rereading your notes is not studying. Reading and review are important “pre-studying” steps, but you must also actively engage with the material. You also need to connect and give meaning to what you are reading. Here are some active studying tips we like:
    1. Take notes when reading or watching lectures. 
    2. Create concept maps, or other visual aids to help your brain make sense of all the information.
    3. Use a story, an acronym, or a rhyme to help retain names, dates, and ideas. 
  3. Take time for you.
    1. Schedule regular study breaks which includes getting outside, being physically active, and remembering to eat. 
    2. Take some time to call or connect with your loved ones. 
    3. Review these USask remote learning studying tips

Review Canvas Course Content and Panopto Lectures: 

A good place to begin when preparing for final exams is to review the course syllabus before studying. Yes…dust off that old thing and review the course outline, chapter titles, and the course outcomes as described by the instructor at the beginning of the term. Then, go back and highlight the areas most relevant for the final exam: 

  • Questions you might ask yourself include: What topics will be covered on the final exam? Of these topics, which ones do I feel most competent in and which areas or chapters do I feel the least confident in?

Tips for Avoiding Procrastination

  1. Plan out your exam schedule, and pencil in study time. This will help you develop a more accurate plan of how much time you have to prepare for each exam. Creating and committing to a study schedule is a good way to stay organized and be more prepared!
  2. Set time-limits on your social media apps, or keep your mobile phone in a different room while studying to limit distractions. Dividing your study time into reasonable chunks is a good stratgey. Set an alarm for 20-30 minutes and leave your phone in the other room. When the time is up, you can get up and stretch and have a bathroom break, and then set the alarm again. 
  3. Keep your internet tabs limited and organized by using a different window for each of your courses.  Keep related tabs open, close all the rest.

Be Prepared for a Different Experience

   Exams in Canvas will need new strategies.

  1. If this is the first time you’re doing an exam in Canvas Quizzes (or Canvas New Quizzes), know that the quiz tool can be set up to show only one question at a time and prevent you from returning to a previous question. So the exam-taking strategies you used in the past (like looking over the whole exam first, and planning your time and order of doing questions), might not apply for this kind of exam, so you’ll need to be flexible and ‘go with’ the situation.
  2. If you can go back to other questions, look for the question name in the right sidebar, if your quiz looks like this.
  3. You can click the flag next to a question name/number as a reminder to go back to that question. The flag then appears beside the question name in the righ sidebar. . 
  4. Or if your quiz is like the one below, click on the pin icon [1] to bold it, marking that question for review later, and click on the Question Navigator arrow [2], to reveal previous question details.
  5. Collapse the Question Navigator again with the same arrow.
  6.  Watch the “Time Elapsed” or “Time Remaining” below the questions list in the right- hand sidebar to track your time, shown below,          or top – middle for New Quizzes.

 

 

Good luck on all your finals!

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

Student Guide for Canvas Discussions

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, December 2, 2020

Evhan Kristoff, Art History Major Photo credit – B. Kristoff

 

Whether it be email, instant messaging, or online forums like Canvas Discussions, online communication is our primary mode of communication these days. It’s important to get a handle on how to communicate effectively online.

 

Here’s a Student Guide for Using Discussions in Canvas: 

 

 

What are Canvas Discussions?

Discussions are specific to each Canvas course and function as online workspaces for large or small group communication. The Discussions tool might also be used for general classroom communication.

  • Ask a course related question or participate in ongoing Discussions threads. 
  • Smaller groups might be determined by your instructor OR there might be a self sign-up option. 

Using Discussions in Canvas may be a part of your course requirements.

  • Check your Course Syllabus to see what the course requirements for Discussions are. 

Each of your Discussion Groups will have a Group Homepage as shown below:

  • Here, you can access all your group members’ contributions with that group.

How do I use Canvas Discussions?

1. Open the appropriate Discussion:

  • You may have to post initially before being able to see others’ posts. 
  • Read through the threads to see all the conversations happening.

2. When you want to make a contribution, start your discussion drafts on a Word.doc. After you’ve proofread your draft, copy/paste it directly to the discussion forum. This way you’ll have all your written discussion contributions in one place for later reference. 

  • Within a discussion you can reply directly to an individual classmate, however everyone that in that group can view these threads. 
  • You can attach or embed files/links/images or even a video.

But what do I say?

Online communication has its perks but it can also be intimidating. Often, getting started is the hardest part! 

  • A great writing strategy to remember is the PEEL acronym… 

Point. What point are you trying to make? Clearly state your point of view but also consider the point of view of others. Make comparisons or summarize the points of others. Most importantly, get to the point!!

Evidence and Explanation. Use full sentences to explain your thoughts carefully. Provide referenced evidence for information you share that is not your own. Embed or attach links when appropriate. 

Evaluate. Be Critical. Ask Questions. 

Link. Always link back to the larger course themes or conversations that have already taken place. This shows that you are engaged in class discussions.

Discussion Board Etiquette 

Here are some things to keep in mind when using Discussions in Canvas, email, Canvas Inbox, or any other online communication channel!

  1. Always use proper capitalization and punctuation.
  2. Consider your tone and remember that sarcasm and humour are often not appropriate in these types of online forums. 
  3. Make sure your posts are thoughtful and organized neatly.
  4. Don’t forget to include a formal greeting (‘Hello all!,’ ‘Hi everyone,’ or ‘Good afternoon!’)and goodbye: (‘Thanks for your time,’ or ‘All the best,’).
  5. Reference the contributions from others by mentioning them by name or by replying directly to their post. 

Check out this handy USask netiquette guide for more tips. 

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

For more support options with Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.