OAT Update for 9/09/22

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Sharing Canvas Content

When you have decided to share content from a Canvas course with a colleague, what are your options?

Option 1: Build a course archive and share access

Sharing an entire course is best done without having to worry about student activity being revealed to unauthorized individuals. For this reason, the best option is create a blank course as a "sandbox" and use it to store your materials.  Then, add colleagues to it in the Teacher role so they have full access to the course.

Note: creating new courses should never be done for academic courses (i.e., courses with students and grades).

Option 2: Share an entire course using Teacher's Friend role

In some situations, it might necessary to add a colleague to the roster of an existing academic course. Because there are privacy issues with academic Canvas courses, OAT recommends adding the person in the "Teacher's Friend" role. 

Steps to add a user to the course in the Teacher's Friend role:

Note: the course must be open/available in order to add new users to it. For help with closed courses, contact oatsupport@csustan.edu.

  1. Open the People page and enter the user's campus email address.
  2. Select "Teacher's Friend" in the role drop down menu.
  3. Click "Next" and then confirm the new addition on the next screen.

» Limitations of Teacher's Friend users

Understand the following details about the Teacher's Friend role:

  • Teacher's Friend users can view course instructional content but cannot see student submissions, grades, or grade the students.
  • Teacher's Friend users cannot see the main course roster and cannot see ungraded discussions at all.  Graded discussion activities appear on the Assignments page of the course, but Teacher's Friend users cannot view any existing posts made in them.
  • Assignments in the course that use External Tools for the submission type (e.g., VoiceThread, Turnitin, Discussions Plus, textbook publishers, etc.) need to be recreated by the new user in their own course.

» Receiving a shared course

To use the shared course materials in their own Canvas shell, the user uses the standard "Import Course Content" tool on the course home page.  They can then select the donor course to import.

Option 3: Share an entire course via backup file

In this method, the instructor creates a backup file of the whole course and makes that file available to their colleague, via email attachment or some other transfer method. Backup files may be too large to email. In that case, upload and share the file via your OneDrive.  Access OneDrive.

The receiver imports that file into their own course using the "Import Course Content" tool.

Option 4: Upload your course into Canvas Commons

Canvas Commons is the shared cloud repository for Canvas materials from across the university and across worldwide Canvas users.  Sharing your course in Commons means your colleague can search for it there and pull it down into their own course.  The user does not need to be added to your course first.

» Sharing into Commons

How to share a course into Commons:

  1. Open the Settings page of your course.
  2. Click the button to "Share to Commons" on the right.
  3. Configure the sharing details. Note that sharing cannot be limited to a single individual but can be limited to users from CSU Stanislaus.

How do I share a course to Commons?

» Retrieving and importing a course from Commons

Colleagues can locate and download your course from Commons.

How do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?

Option 5: Share individual course items

Items that can be shared include most assignments, discussions, quizzes, documents & files, Canvas pages, and entire modules.

  1. From the Modules page or the item's home page, click the 'three dots' menu to the right of the item.
  2. Choose "Send To..." and then search for the colleague's name.
  3. Select the correct person in the list (be careful as the list includes student names)
  4. Click "Send".

Repeat these steps for other individual items.

» Sharing caveats

Assignments that use the External Tool submission type can be shared but the External Tool content (Turnitin, VoiceThread, Discussions Plus, etc) will not be included.  The receiving instructor must recreate this part of the assignment using their own accounts.

External Tools that are added as module items will not be included when an entire module has been selected for sharing.  Those items must be rebuilt by the receiving party using their own accounts.

» Receiving and using individual items

Canvas will display a badge notification on your Account menu icon when you have received a shared item. 

  1. Click your account profile picture in the main menu and click the "Shared Content" link.
  2. In the Actions column for the item, click the 'three dots' and choose "Import".
  3. On the Import screen, choose the course to import the item into. Also choose the Module within the destination course for the item to be placed into.  It will be placed at the end of the module by default.


For questions about sharing content, contact oatsupport@csustan.edu.

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2022-23 Faculty Ambassadors for Canvas

This year, OAT is again sponsoring the FAC program, which makes experienced Canvas instructors available to each college, as a supplement to OAT staff. Instructors may find it more helpful to work with other instructors in their general discipline on questions related to Canvas, and are encouraged to contact these individuals.

2022-23 Ambassadors

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Canvas Data Sync Update

OAT is pleased to announce that Canvas course roster information is now receiving the PeopleSoft data feed every hour, 24/7.  With Canvas remaining such an integral part of courses of all modalities following the events of 2020-21, and students having 24/7 access to use PeopleSoft for enrollment management, OAT believes it's important for Canvas to keep up as much as possible.  The previous 2-hour interval from 6 am to 6 pm was no longer enough.  This expansion of the data sync'ing schedule should help in that regard.

If you have questions about this or any other Canvas data sync issue, please email oatsupport@csustan.edu.

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Canvas How-To Tricks

Here are two cool Canvas grade book tricks that will impress your friends and frenemies alike!

1. Incorporate "choose your own adventure" assignment pathways into a course grade

With this trick, you can offer students a choice of possible activities to complete, as a way to generate the overall grade for a category of assignments in a course. Do this when you want students to choose their own pathway to demonstrating course learning objectives.  Offering students choices in how they complete course activities allows them to focus on activities that resonate most strongly with their own interests and learning style.  This makes them more engaged in the activity, which tends to result in better performance.

  1. On the Assignments homepage of the course, create assignment groups for the various activities in the course (instructions).
    • The assignment groups here should correspond to the groups/categories and independent activities that are identified in the syllabus as contributing to the overall course grade.
    • Be sure to create an assignment group to hold all of the student choice activities.
  2. Create an additional group that will hold the final grade for the student choice assignments. This is a separate group from the one that holds the activities themselves.
  3. Enable weighted assignment groups in the course and specify percentages for each group (instructions).
    • Specify 0% for the assignment group containing the student choice activities. This will allow you to grade the activities without the scores directly affecting the final course grade.
    • For the weight of the additional assignment group created in Step 2, enter the percentage given in the syllabus for the student choice activities. It is this group/weight that will contribute to the final course grade.
  4. Open a new assignment called "Pathways Final Grade" (or named something else meaningful to your class) and configure the following settings:
    • Points: the max points you will be allowing for the student choice activities.  In other words, how many points are the student choice activities going to count for?
    • Assignment Group: from the drop-down menu, place this assignment in the weighted additional assignment group created in Step 2, not in the 0% assignment group.
    • Submission Type: set this to "No Submission" since your students will not be interacting with this particular assignment directly.
    • Leave the due date and all other settings at their defaults. There is no need for a due date for this assignment placeholder.
  5. Create the rest of the course activities as normal, including the student choice activities.  Place them into the appropriate assignment groups in the settings.  The student choice activities should each have points associated with them and be placed into the 0% assignment group.  Due dates are optional.
    • You can move or reorder assignments at any time from the Assignments home page (instructions). Nothing is ever 'set in stone'.
  6. Calculate the final grades for the student choice activities:
    1. As part of normal grading, review and assess the student choice activities using SpeedGrader.  Not every student will have a grade for every choice activity.
    2. Open the Grades page of the course.
    3. Among the student choice activities, manually add up the scores for each column that a student has completed. Use a calculator to ensure accuracy.
    4. Click the cell of the Pathways Final Grade column for the student and type the total points they earned.  Press Enter to save the number.
    5. Repeat these steps for every student.

That's all there is to it!

2. Award bonus percentage points

While it's easy to create activities that are worth extra credit points, what if you want to directly increase students' overall grade percentage?  The trick is to use weighted assignment groups that total more than 100%.

  1. On the Assignments homepage of the course, create assignment groups for the various activities in the course (instructions).
    • The assignment groups should correspond to the groups/categories and independent activities that are identified in the syllabus as contributing to the overall course grade.
  2. Create an assignment group for each activity that will be worth bonus percentage points -OR- create a single assignment group for all of the bonus activities.
  3. Enable weighted assignment groups in the course and specify percentages for each group (instructions).
    • The bonus groups should be weighted at the desired percentage (1%, 2%, etc.). You do not indicate these percentages to be 'bonus' groups.
    • If using a single group for all of the bonus activities, set the weight of this group to the total bonus percentage of all the activities.
    • The total of all the weights in the course should be greater than 100%.
  4. Create new assignments or activities in the bonus group(s).
    • The activities must be worth 1 point or more.
    • Place the assignment(s) into the appropriate bonus assignment group.
    • Recommendation: If you are planning to award whole bonus points only (1%, 2%, etc.), choose "Complete/Incomplete" in the Display Grade As setting. This will prevent fractional bonus percentages from being awarded during grading. A mark of "Complete" will automatically award full points on the assignment and may be easier for the student to understand.
    • All other assignment settings are at your discretion based on the needs of the activity.
  5. Grade the bonus activities as normal, using SpeedGrader or directly entering scores in the Grades page.  Canvas will automatically use the bonus groups as part of the student's final grade calculation.

That's all there is to it!

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Ed Tech Tool Spotlight: Hypothes.is

Hypotheis and Canvas logosUpdate: Join us Oct. 5 from 1-2 pm for a workshop introducing Hypothes.is and social annotation.  Instructors in all modalities are welcome to attend and learn how social annotation can benefit their course.  Stay turned for details!

If you're looking to boost student engagement in your course, adding Hypothes.is activities supports student success by placing active discussion right on top of course readings, enabling students and teachers to add comments and start conversations in the margins of texts.

In short, Hypothes.is aims to make reading active, visible, and social. Hypothes.is activities allow students to interact directly with readings, providing highlights, annotations, and comments that are visible to the class. This screenshot demonstrates one example: collectively annotating The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Screenshot of Hypothesis annotations

Any reading or website from any discipline can be used as the source for a Hypothes.is activity!

Six Ways to Annotate for and with Students

Here are six ideas to think about to get you started with Hypothes.is.

1. It’s not about annotation, it’s about community

Yes, we want our students to do the reading. We want them to understand it. We want them to think critically about it. And annotation is a great way to help cultivate those skills and practices. But beyond just being an annotation tool, Hypothesis is also a great way for students to connect online in a substantive way, to ask each other questions, to share ideas, and to collaborate around their learning.

2. Invite your students to annotate the syllabus

Reading assignments are not the only educational artifacts that we can read and annotate together. Have students annotate your syllabus or other ancillary course materials. This is a great way to get students playing with the Hypothesis tool ahead of more rigorous or high-stakes assignments, and a way to open up your course design to student input. Especially if you are not meeting face-to-face, annotating “handouts” with students can help you continue to have those important, usually in-class meta-conversations about the course itself. 

3. Just make (all) your readings annotation-enabled

When we deliver content in digital formats we often lose the margins we’ve used in traditional books. And educational research suggests that students aren’t retaining as much when they read online. So, don’t worry about coming up with an annotation activity or assignment. Don’t worry about assessment. Just turn annotation on for your students, give them some basic guidance on how to use the Hypothesis tool, and see how they make use of the digital margins.

4. Guide your students through the reading

Don’t worry about making students do a new activity or learn a new tool, just annotate the texts yourself for their benefit. This is a very real way to be present in their learning when you can’t physically be in the same place.

5. Seminar-style discussion online

Collaborative annotation is about as close to a seminar-style experience as one can have with a class online. Everyone has the book open, our conversation is grounded in the text and in each other’s comments about it. Even if you are meeting “face to face” through video conferencing, annotating the reading together ahead of those synchronous meetings will help make better use of that precious time.

6. Have students annotate your lecture

Post your lecture notes and slide deck as a PDF online and ask students to annotate them with questions...Like in-class clickers, the notes students make will help you better understand where students are confused and enable you to clarify course concepts. You might even get some feedback on how to improve your own teaching materials!

Interested to Know More?

Hypothes.is is an External Tool in Canvas. It is available in all classes and be used immediately.

Visit the OAT overview page about Hypothes.is for more information and resources for using this cool tool!

Contact oat@csustan.edu with any questions.

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Classroom PC Security Reminder

Instructor PC Security - Protect Your Account

Be sure to log out of the Instructor's PC in the classroom before you leave the room. Use the Sign Out function on the lower left pop-up menu to close out your session. Leaving the room without logging out of your account is a security risk as the next user could access your personal account information, including email, browser, Canvas, etc. Faculty are responsible for any breach of security resulting from leaving an instructor PC signed in. If you have questions, please contact the Technology Support Desk for more information. 

New Classroom Technology Resources - Classroom Training Videos

OIT Learning Services published a new resource for faculty. The Classroom Training Video page includes new, updated, and existing video resources and print materials for easy access. Let us know if you have any questions or ideas for new content by contacting the Technology Support Desk.

You may reach the Technology Support Desk by calling (209) 667-3687, emailing techsupport@csustan.edu, or submitting a ticket on the OIT Client Portal.

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Accessibile PDFs

Supercharge accessibility scores for your Canvas courses! 

Now that the Fall semester is rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to have our Document Remediation team make your PDF files accessible! 

  • Were your PDFs created by scanning printed pages? 
  • Is the image quality of your PDFs less than ideal? (e.g., skewed pages, handwritten notes) 
  • Is the PDF your only copy of the content? 

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, the PDFs are a perfect fit to submit to our Document Remediation team! 

  • Submit a document remediation work order: Select Accessibility Work Request in the Request Type drop-down menu, and Make my document accessible for me in the Service Type section

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Article ID: 148025
Tue 9/6/22 10:41 AM
Thu 11/3/22 9:43 AM