Getting Help with Canvas

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

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

November 16, 2020

Did you know Canvas has 24/7 live-chat technical support? Find out how to access it and other helpful Canvas resources below! 

Canvas Help Options

From your Global Navigation Menu, open the Help tab.

Here you’ll find a whole list of helpful resources for Canvas:

    • Browse the Canvas Guides for instructional videos on common Canvas questions. Access the Canvas Student Guides for detailed answers to your questions.
    • Use the Ask Your Instructor a Question feature if you have a specific question related to your course syllabus, assignments, or grades. Select the course in the drop down menu to message your instructor directly through Canvas. Easy!
      • Tip! Asking your instructors should be the last step after you review the course Syllabus and Discussion boards, where many FAQs may already be addressed. 
      • Remember to always include a formal greeting/goodbye!  

 Self Help Portal

  • The Self Help Portal is a newer Canvas feature where you can search FAQs, troubleshooting tips, and access to 24/7 live-chat technical support.
    • On the main Portal Support Centre page, type in your specific questions using the Canvas search engine.
    • Tip! Click on the chat bubble icon to find out current wait times for help options.
      • Click on the Chat to be connected with a Canvas support agent. Or, contact Canvas technical support by phone.

USask Help with Canvas

  • For help to access your courses’ Panopto videos, try these instructions. If you still have Panopto issues, contact itsupport@usask.ca. Panopto is a separate video platform from Canvas and so the best option is USask support. For questions about WebEx or MEETS, itsupport@usask.ca is also your best option.
  • For answers to common questions, see Canvas Student FAQs written by IT Support Services.
  • The USask Students Canvas page has answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions.

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 detail about Canvas, see the USask Student Canvas page.

Viewing Grades and Due Dates

Spooky season is here . . .  Midterm season that is! 

But don’t let that scare you…check out these tips for viewing and predicting your grades with Canvas. 

“Friendly Fall Face, near Broadway, Saskatoon” by Brette D. W. Kristoff, CC BY 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, October 28th, 2020

Viewing Grades

From the Course Navigation menu on the left of your screen in any of your Canvas courses, select the Grades tab:

  • Use the Course search tab in the Grades menu to view grades in each of your courses. 

See the Canvas Grades guide for full explanation of all numbered items.

  • Various symbols appear in your Score [7] column.
    • These symbols represent the status of your submission (marked, in progress, incomplete, etc).  Click on the submission to view it, or review this guide to Canvas grading icons.

If a grade submission is marked as incomplete, don’t panic! 

  • Components of the assignment or quiz might need to be manually graded and will appear incomplete until then. 
  • Group work and labs might also appear incomplete in Canvas and your instructor may have to manually manage these assignments.

Late Submissions

Your instructor might have implemented an automatic late policy:

  • Assignments submitted after the due date will be automatically flagged as late.
    • Depending on how your instructor has set up the course, a
      late policy may be enforced resulting in a deduction of marks. Late assignments will display the red Late icon [1] in the Status column of your gradebook.
    •  Review the course syllabus and submission rubric for your instructors policies on late submissions. 
  • To view details for a late assignment, click on the name of the submission [2].

    “A Ghosty with Midterm Stress” by Brette D. W. Kristoff, CC by 2.0

  • If you have concerns about your grades, view any rubrics or checklists provided for the submission, and the course syllabus before contacting your instructor. A Q & A discussion board is a good place to ask classmates questions about grades and assignments before contacting the instructor directly.
  • Tip!  Due Dates and Available Until dates for submissions might be different. This might mean that your instructor allows for late submissions up until the Available Until date but a penalty may be deducted. 
    • The Submission details will show you the amount deducted for the late penalty and your final grades.

 

What-If Grades

You can use the What-If Grades feature in Canvas to predict hypothetical grades and changes to your overall average:

    • Use the What-If feature to In your Grades menu, select a course and assignment. Then, enter a hypothetical score:

  • Click the arrow to the left of the What-If grade or the Revert to Actual Score button on your grade page to undo the What-If.

 

In the right side-bar of your Grades page, you can also look at What-If scores that you’ve tried out before.

 

 

When calculating your overall grade, you can do so using only graded assignments, by clicking the box in the right side-bar, also on your Grades page.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Using Canvas Discussion Boards 

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

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

October 19, 2020

Canvas offers various communication channels designed to make your virtual learning experience more interactive and personable. 

Both your Inbox and Discussions in Canvas are useful tools for communicating with your classmates and instructors. 

Your Canvas Inbox function is an internal messaging system separate from your USask email account. Use this to communicate directly and in private with other Canvas users in your courses and with your instructors.

Discussions are specific to each Canvas course and function as online discussion boards for group work and general classroom communication. 

  • Some discussion boards are set up like forums, useful for discussing course related questions or sharing resources.
  • Discussions can be focused for group work or used for general communication with the entire class. 
    • Depending on how your instructor has designed the course . . . it may be set-up so students can initiate new discussions.
    • Inside a group home page, members can start discussions – and all other functions shown to the  right. 
  • Using Discussions may be part of your course requirements.
    • Check the course Syllabus to know which Discussions are optional and which ones are for marks.
    • You might be assigned as a group leader or moderator for a discussion, so check the syllabus or other instructions to see what your tasks are for this role.
  • Within a thread or focused discussion you can reply directly to an individual classmate, however everyone that is in the discussion group sees the post.
    • You can also attach or embed files, links, or YouTube videos. Depending on the kind of discussion and its requirements, you might even be able to do your whole post as a video.
  • Tip! Start your discussion drafts on a Word.doc. After you’ve proofread your draft, copy/paste it directly to the discussion. This way you won’t lose your work if your connection goes down when you’re in the middle of posting. It will also be useful to have a document with all your discussion contributions in one place for later use. 
    • Some Discussions might count towards your grade, and you might be graded on the quality, not just the number of your contributions. Your instructor may give you a rubric about how discussions will be graded and what qualities they are looking for in your posts.
  • Be sure to subscribe to receive notifications about new posts and new Discussions.

Remember … 

  • If you have a question, scroll through your course Discussions first to see if it’s already been asked somewhere else.

    Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

    • It would be rude to repeat a question that has already been answered.
    • Keep your posts brief and relevant. Proofread before you post!
  • Consider your tone and remember that sarcasm and humour are often not appropriate in these types of online forums. 
    • Make sure your posts are thoughtful and organized neatly–don’t forget to include a salutation or greeting! 
    • Has your class set group norms for online communication? No? Check out this handy USask netiquette guide about interacting online.

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

Tips for Taking Quizzes in Canvas

 

“Pumpkin Patch” by B. D. W. Kristoff, CC BY 2.0

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

October 9, 2020

One of the biggest changes this term will be the online test and quiz format. Open book?! More like scrambling to find your laptop charger half-way through…

Here are some tips to help ace your Canvas Quizzes this term!

1) In your Canvas Course Navigation, find the Quizzes in the menu.

  • Depending on how your instructors have set up the course, you might be able to see some, or all, of your upcoming quizzes. Select the available quiz that’s due. 

      Here are a couple of examples of Canvas Quiz instructions, in different formats – the second one is from ‘new quizzes’:

  • Your instructor has different options for how to set up a Canvas quiz (multiple choice, true/false, or fill-in the blank styled questions for example).Questions might show one at a time (if so, figure out if you can back track in different quiz formats – classic or new).The hints below are for the ‘classic’ format.
    •  The point value of each question will show in the top corner once you begin a new question. 
  • The Questions sidebar is a helpful tool for navigating the quiz [see #2 in the figure below]. This list will show you which questions have been completed (they’ll be slightly faded out), and which questions are left.
    • If your instructor allows for more than one attempt on a question, you can Flag a question to come back to it later. These questions will have a yellowish tab next to them.
    • Canvas Quizzes will save automatically, so even if you get booted out for some reason, your work will still be there. Use the Questions tab to return to the question you were working on.

2) Keep an eye on the time!

  • Canvas quizzes will autosubmit at the end of the allotted time. 
    • This means if your quiz is due at midnight and will take 60 minutes, be sure to start the quiz early enough to complete the exam.
  • Once you begin a Canvas quiz, a Time Running box will appear on the margin of your screen automatically (under the Questions list).
    • Depending on how your instructor has designed the quiz or exam, the Time Running will show you how much time you have left to complete the quiz.
      • You can choose to hide the TIme Running window, if that stresses you out. 
        • Tip: If you know the general format of the quiz ahead of time, determine how much time this will roughly leave you for each question! 

3) Prep your virtual exam-space ahead of time

  • While the Canvas mobile app is super useful on the go, it’s not recommended you take quizzes on the mobile Canvas app.
  • Instead, use a fully-charged computer or laptop with Chrome or Firefox as your internet browser.
  • Restart your computer just before the quiz. Make sure you’re logged on plugged in , and ready to go before your exam is scheduled.
  • Make sure your internet connection is strong and that you’re in a quiet, private place to write any exams. Use an ethernet cable if possible.

Wondering how your assignment grades will impact your overall average? Check out these Canvas Student tips for using the Canvas “What-if?” grades tool.

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

3 Canvas Tips to Stay Organized

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

October 1, 2020


Staying organized and on top of your coursework is easier with Canvas. Here are a few tips to help you use Canvas tools this term!

1. It’s important to keep all your deadlines together, in one place. This is the function of the Canvas Calendar—all your important Canvas course dates will be synced to your Calendar when your instructors update the course schedule to Canvas.

    • Visually, this will help you map out the flow of the term. Take note of all major deadlines and assignments (Any weeks where you have multiple things due? If so, prioritize, and plan ahead accordingly!)  

2. One time I couldn’t get my computer to turn on 3 minutes before a timed final exam. To avoid this stress, I recommend you give yourself some time (15 minutes at least!) to secure your web connection and platform access before any remote learning sessions, MEETS, or online exams (worst case, you’ll have more time to review your notes). 

Here’s a list of web browsers supported by Canvas. 

  • Tip: Unsupported browsers such as Internet Explorer will not run Canvas properly. Most other major Internet browsers will work just fine for most Canvas functions.
  • For troubleshooting tips and IT help, go here.

3. Try out the What-If Grades function on Canvas to predict your grades and averages: 

  •  Under your Grades tab, select the course and assignment and enter a hypothetical score to see the What-If result (sorry, this won’t change your actual grade – only instructors can do that). So feel free to plug in any numbers at first to get the feel for it! 
  • Canvas will show you how this new hypothetical score would affect your overall grades. This can be done with all upcoming or completed assignments or tests.
  • Predicting your grades like this will give you a better sense of your overall grade standing in each of your courses.

Click the arrow beside your What-If grade to revert to your original score.


Remote learning is an adjustment for everyone but Canvas is designed to streamline our student experience. What’s been your biggest adjustment in transitioning to remote learning?

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