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. 

Groups in Canvas

Teamwork makes the dream work.

Tribute to Youth, bronze sculpture, 1998 by A. Epp – Photo by B. D. W. Kristoff, CC by 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate StudentCommunications Specialist, GMCTL,        Feb.1, 2021

In your Canvas courses, instructors may have you work in groups for different assignments and tasks.

1) How do I find my group?                                                                                          Click on the Groups icon from your Global Navigation Menu to view the groups you are a member of. Select the name of the group to access the Group Homepage.

2) What is a Group Homepage?                                                                                       Each group has its own Homepage with a variety of tools for collaborating on assignments, presentations, and projects. From the Homepage you can review the most Recent Activity within the group, or view/create group Announcements.

  • Only members belonging to the group (and your instructors and TAs) have access to the Groups Homepage and content. 
  •  To see who else is in the group, select the People tab.

3) What are Discussions and Collaborations used for?                                               From your Group Homepage, you can also access Discussions, Collaborations, and Files that your instructor may have set up for your group. 

  • Discussions allow you to participate in group conversations and discussions. Create a new discussion topic for your group by clicking the ‘Add Discussion’ button.
  • Remember that all group members have access to all group Discussions. To send a private message to a classmate or to your instructor, use the Canvas Inbox tool. 
  • Collaborations allow you to create shared documents with group members. 
  • Files will store all uploaded group content. Use the ‘Upload’ button to share documents and files for other group members to access. 

4) How do I view my group’s Calendar?                                                                There are two ways to view your can view your groups’ Calendars: 

Option 1: From your group Home Page, select the View Calendar link on the right side of the Home Page.

Option 2: From your Global Navigation menu, open the Calendar tab, accessible wherever you are in Canvas. The names of your Groups will be listed on the right side of the page under CALENDARS, at the bottom of the list. Each group needs to have a coloured square beside it, to be visible in the Calendar.

 

 

5) How do I join a ‘self sign-up’ group?                                                                 There may be a course requirement to join a ‘self sign-up’ group and participate in discussions and activities:

To join an available group, go to the People tab in your course, open the Groups tab. All available groups for this Course will be listed here. 

  • To join a group, click Join to open the group and add your name.
  • You may be able to ‘Leave’ to switch to a different group. Review the requirements for ‘self sign-up’ groups in your Course syllabus. 

6) How do I communicate with my group?                                                                Within Canvas there are several options for communicating with group members:

Option 1: Use the Canvas Inbox tool. The Inbox create a list of your groups so you can easily message all group members; or select individual group members or classmates from the drop-down ‘To” menu when sending a message.                              Option 2: Start a new Discussion topic or contribution to on-going topics in the group Discussion tab. Remember all group members and instructors can access Discussions.                                                              Option 3: Your Course Chat allows you to DM (direct message) your groups members in a quick and casual way.                                                                          Option 4: From your group Homepage, you can add an Announcement to create Calendar events, messages, updates, or reminders for your group. 

 

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. 

A new year.

Hello 2021. Thank goodness you’re here.

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, January 11th, 2021

A new year, a new term, a fresh start. 

Canvas is our new Usask learning management system (LMS). Over the last two years, USask has been on track to phase out the old system, Blackboard, and replace it with the much more efficient and user-friendly system, Canvas. 

We know change is difficult, so we’ve created the Canvas Tips for Students blog to help students get to know Canvas and learn some useful info to use this new learning management system. 

Remote learning isn’t easy, but Canvas has some pretty cool features that will help simplify learning at home. My favourite things about Canvas’ user-friendly interface so far, are:

Stay tuned in coming weeks for more Canvas Tips or browse our archived posts.  Happy Studying!

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.

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.

Think clean slate. Think new opportunities. Think Canvas.

USask campus sculpture. Photo by B. D. W. Kristoff, CC by 2.0

Brette D. W. Kristoff, Graduate Student – Communications Specialist, GMCTL, September 9, 2020

As USask students begin an unprecedented academic year from remote locations across the globe, the U of S is transitioning to a new learning management system (LMS), Canvas. What does this mean and how will this impact USask students?

Concern over the functionality of Blackboard, our long-time LMS, was the impetus for this change. Canvas was selected as a superior LMS to support USask student learning. 

 Canvas offers a streamlined and user-friendly platform that integrates various learning tools and resources. Comparatively, features of the new system include: 

As we navigate this exciting new platform from home, it’s bound to feel intense at times, but Canvas Tips for Students is here to help. 

Watch for regular blog posts about how to navigate and customize your Canvas experience and more!

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