Canvas is Randolph-Macon College's learning management system (LMS), accessible at https://canvas.rmc.edu. Canvas can be used to communicate with students, to provide assignment details, collect assignments from students, administer quizzes, surveys, and tests, and grade. Users should use the current Chrome or Edge for Mac and PC for accessing Canvas.
This page provides information about:
Use a current version of Chrome or Edge on Mac and PC. Other web browsers may cause problems for displaying uploaded course files, posting to the discussion board, submitting online assignments and taking quizzes and exams in Canvas.
Navigate to https://canvas.rmc.edu and login with your R-MC username and password.
"Getting Started with Canvas" Workshop
Five Steps to Building a Learner-Friendly Canvas Course
Canvas Features for the Inexperienced User:
(View time for each video: 2 minutes)
|Global Navigation||Video | Text|
|Course Navigation||Video | Text|
|Adding the Syllabus||Video | Text|
|Selecting a Home Page||Video | Text|
|Modules||Video | Text|
|Pages||Video | Text|
|Assignments||Video | Text|
|Quizzes||Video | Text|
|Discussions||Video | Text|
|Student View: viewing a course as a test student||Video | Text|
|Setting up the Gradebook||Video | Text|
|Publishing your Course||Video | Text|
Instructors should communicate regularly and clearly with students about each course. Especially if teaching a hybrid or online class, regular communication is one of the best ways to stay connected with your students and to encourage participation and engagement. Especially in hybrid or online teaching, frequent communication can influence whether a student succeeds or not. Instructors should communicate reminders about:
See Canvas Homepage Design Ideas:
Consider Welcoming Your Students to your course. This can be a chance to introduce yourself to your students, to share your passion for the course topic, to share some of your strengths and weaknesses if you're teaching in a way that is at the edges of your comfort zone, or to start to set expectations for the class. Also think about Managing Your Online Presence.
There are two important communication tools in Canvas; click the links below for how to use them:
You can import a course from a previous semester and then bulk update assignment Available and Due Dates.
The Files link in the course navigation houses course documents, which can be PDF or Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, images, and many other formats.
When sharing content through email or Canvas, it is preferable to link to readings found through the library catalog, library databases, or content that is open access. Use of these links guarantees access to material and helps the Library see that materials are being used. If there is no access through the library or via open access, use Interlibrary Loan. Be cautious about sharing material found on the open web, as sharing it with your class may violate copyright law. If you are concerned about whether content may be in violation of current interpretations of copyright law, please content Laurie Preston at email@example.com.
When linking content from a library database, make sure you use a persistent link rather than the url in the address bar.
Persistent Links show up in various places, depending on the database, for instance, in ProQuest the persistent link shows up on the abstract/details of the record:
The persistent link is also known as a document URL, persistent URL, PURL, durable link/URL, or stable link/URL. Locate persistent links in other databases.
To ensure that links are available for use off-campus, add the following prefix to the link: https://rmc.idm.oclc.org/login?url= for example: https://rmc.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A240097363/LitRC?u=vic_randolph&sid=LitRC&xid=28b8792d
The prefix will route any off-campus user to login with their Randolph-Macon College username and password.
Canvas organizes content by type: Files, Assignments, and Quizzes. If you rely on these to organize your course, students will constantly be trying to guess where to look for your course materials, which can cause them to not complete readings or assignments, or to miss deadlines.
To better support student learning, it is best to organize content by Modules or Pages that present all the materials on a theme or topic together, including presentations or pre-recorded lectures, quizzes, assignments, and other materials related to the topic. Organizing by topic also makes it easier for students to find materials for review. It can also be effective to organize the course by week, but students may not accurately remember what week a certain topic was discussed.
The image below shows a module on the topic of information literacy that includes a pre-test (quiz), short assigned videos (external urls in Canvas), two assignments, and a post-test, all grouped together and easily navigated.
The People link in the Canvas course navigation allows the student to see the class roster, which can be useful when a student tries to seek help from his/her peers. You can enroll and remove students from a class, change students' rolls in a course, and see the last time students logged into the Canvas course. (Video | Text)
Groups can be created in the People section of the Canvas course.
Groups can be used in a variety of ways to support student learning. Instructors can:
Please visit the teaching toolkit on Collaboration.
Use Discussions to encourage students to participate in class-wide discussions outside of synchronous class sessions.
Learn more about working with discussions in Canvas (text)
Go to the Faculty Canvas Course for tips on leading good online discussions.
Chat lets the instructor or student post messages, which are viewable by all members of the class. Chat does not allow private messages. The student cannot delete any messages posted on Chat. The course instructor can delete chat messages. (video | text)
Instructors are encouraged to use Zoom for synchronous lectures and online meetings. The instructor and students need a microphone, and optionally, a webcam.
Canvas offers a tool called Roll Call that allows instructors to keep track of course attendance. When instructors take attendance using Roll Call, Canvas automatically adds Attendance as a student assignment that appears in the Gradebook. Roll Call appears as Attendance in the Canvas course navigation.
Zoom allows you to meet with students individually if you are not able to meet in person. You can do this on an as-needed basis, or can schedule regular office hours and allow students to register for appointments.
This process requires scheduling a recurring meeting in Zoom and then using Canvas's scheduling tool to allow students to register for meetings. If the recurring meeting is scheduled from within Canvas, all available office hours will appear on all students' calendars. Using this process ensures that students only see the office hours they have registered for.
To schedule regular office hours:
This page includes a comparison of Zoom office hours in Canvas and offering office hours using Google Calendar, which is a simpler process.
In Canvas, Assignment describes anything that can be submitted online through text entry, file uploads, media recordings, Google Docs, URLs, or Canvas pages. Thus in Canvas an essay, speech, or a lab report is considered an assignment, but so is a quiz or test, and everything that a student is expected to complete appears under Assignments in the Canvas navigation.
The Assignments tool in Canvas can accommodate a wide variety of assignment types. If you haven't used Assignments extensively, start with this overview video (4:29)
There are many more options and details related to Assignments in Canvas. Learn more (text).
Rubrics can be useful in Canvas because they communicate clear expectations to students and can speed up the grading process.
Rubrics can be added to assignments, graded discussions, and quizzes.
Canvas Quizzes offers sophisticated tools for creating online quizzes and tests. Question types include multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, true/false, essay questions, questions requiring a numerical answer, formula questions, and more.
Canvas does not include proctoring software, and existing online proctoring tools do not guarantee that a student cannot or will not cheat. So what can instructors do to accurately measure student learning?
Canvas has a robust annotation tool called DocViewer that is part of SpeedGrader. DocViewer allows the instructor to review student submissions and annotate them using comments, multiple colors of highlighting, strikethrough, and free draw. Comments and annotations can be easily edited and deleted.
Learn how to annotate (text)
While you can use SpeedGrader for grading student submissions and for giving feedback, you don't have to. Speedgrader allows you to grade using rubrics, and will automatically update the Gradebook with grades given to individual students or groups. If you are not very familiar with SpeedGrader, a quick orientation might be useful (video | text)
Learn how to:
Learn more about SpeedGrader (text)
The Instructor may set up the Gradebook to include all assignments, which can be organized by assignment, due date, points, or module. If you are not very familiar with the Gradebook, a quick orientation might be useful (video | text)
Canvas has created thorough documentation covering basic and advanced features, and their guides are usually available in both video and text formats. If you have questions not addressed in this page, please visit:
Getting Started with Canvas
Global Navigation (view time: 3 minutes)
Your R-MC Canvas dashboard, notifications settings and profile
Course Navigation (view time: 6 mins.)
Streamline the course navigation links to facilitate student access to course content and activities.
Syllabus (view time: 5 mins.)
The "Syllabus" page allows the instructor to add graphics and styles to the course home page.
Modules (view time: 12 mins.)
Use modules to organize course content to facilitate learning.
*Sorry about a typo in a couple places where “Unit” was misspelled as “Unite".
Grades and the Gradebook (view time: 23 mins.)
Set up the gradebook and assign grades.
Publishing your course (view time: <1 min.)
Publish your course so that students can access it.
Text instructions and video tutorials are provided by Instructure (the Canvas company).
Classic Quizzes will be replaced by New Quizzes in Summer 2023.
New Quizzes will be enforced on Canvas Systems by Instructure (the company) in Summer 2023.