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I am an instructor and new to Canvas. What are the available settings when creating Announcements, Assignments, Discussion and Quizzes in Canvas?
Posted by Anna Wright on 15 February 2013 12:46 PM

Note: These instructions are for faculty.

Canvas is our new Learning Management System (LMS), which offers a variety of settings when creating assignments, discussions and quizzes, some of which were not previously available in Blackboard. New features have been noted in blue below. After reviewing the list of available settings below, you can email your assigned Instructional Designer with a list of specific settings you'd like to use for the assignments, discussions and quizzes in your course. 

Click on one of the following links for more information:


Announcement Settings

There are a variety of other new features and tools available in Canvas:

  • Disable Comments on Announcements: Announcements in Canvas are similar to discussions in that students can post replies to an announcement. 
    • Do you want students to be able to post comments/replies to announcements in your course? If not, ask your assigned Instructional Designer to disable this option in your course.

Assignment Settings

  • Points:
    • How many points do you want the assignment to be worth (i.e. Out of 100 points)?
  • Grading:
    • Assignments can be graded by:
      • Letter grade
      • Points
        • This option is recommended.
      • Complete/Incomplete
        • You would use this option, for example, if you wanted an assignment to be worth 0 points but wanted to keep track if it was completed or not. When grading, you would mark assignments as "complete" or "incomplete." In the Gradebook, a "complete" would be noted by a green checkmark and an "incomplete" would be noted by a red "X" mark.
      • Percentage
    • Note: When grading you can now use Crocodoc to mark-up and add comments on student Assignments in the SpeedGrader.
    • Media Recording instead of Written Comments: Instead of a writing out your comments when grading, instructors can create a media recording (i.e. Record themselves speaking their comments into a web cam).
  • Due Date: 
    • When do you want the assignment due (i.e. Due by the end of Week 5)?
  • Submissions Options:  
    • No Submission: Assignments can be created that have No Submission. These work well for in-class presentations, daily participation points, or other optional activities used for extra credit. This is the only way to create an "ad-hoc" column in the gradebook.
    • Online Submission: Do you want students to submit their assignment through Canvas? If so, how do you want them to submit it?
      • File Uploads: Allow students to upload a file attachment (i.e. Word or PDF document). This is the option most commonly used.
        • Do you want to restrict the file type of permitted uploads (i.e. Students can only submit .doc or .docx file format)?
      • Allow Text Entry: Allow students to enter text for their submission (i.e. For a Journal Assignment).
      • Allow Website URL: Allow students to copy and paste a website URL (i.e. YouTube video).
      • Allow Media Recordings: Allow students to submit or record a media recording (i.e. A presentation video).
      • Turnitin Assignment: The following options are available for Turnitin assignments.
        • Students Can See the Originality Report options: 
          • Immediately
          • After the assignment is graded
          • After the due date
        • Compare Against options:
          • Other Student Papers
          • Internet Database
          • Journals, Periodicals, and Publications 
        • Do Not Consider options:
          • Bibliographic Material
          • Quoted Material
          • Small Matches
    • On Paper: Assignments can also be delivered to the instructor On Paper. On Paper Assignments are usually evaluated by hand and grades are manually entered in the Gradebook. 
  • Group Assignment:
    • Do you want you want students to work in Groups?
    • If so, do you want to assign grades to students individually or will all the students in the group receive the same grade?
  • Peer Review:
  • Add Rubric:

Discussion Settings

  • Points:
    • How many points do you want the discussion to be worth (i.e. Out of 100 points)?
  • Grading:
    • Discussions can be graded by:
      • Letter grade
      • Points
        • This option is recommended.
      • Complete/Incomplete
        • You would use this option, for example, if you wanted a discussion to be worth 0 points but wanted to keep track if it was completed or not. When grading, you would mark assignments as "complete" or "incomplete." In the Gradebook, a "complete" would be noted by a green checkmark and an "incomplete" would be noted by a red "X" mark.
      • Percentage
  • Due Date: 
    • When do you want the discussion due (i.e. Due by the end of Week 5)?
  • Threaded Replies:
    • Do you want the discussion threaded? Threaded discussions are hierarchal, collapsable, and expandable.
  • Require Users to Post Prior to Viewing the Discussion:
    • Do you want to require users to post to the discussion before being able to viewing their classmates' posts and replies on the discussion board? If yes, ask your assigned Instructional Designer to enable this option for the discussions in your course. This means that students will not be able to see any of the posts or replies of their classmates' until they've posted their initial reply.
    • Using this option would better enable you to see the student's thoughts or answers prior to them reviewing their classmate's answers.
  • Media Recording instead of a Written Reply:
    • Instead of a posting a written reply to a discussion board, users can create a media recording (i.e. Record themselves speaking their response into a web cam). For example, this option would be used when students are required to record a short video of themselves introducing themselves to their classmates.
  • Allow Students to Edit or Delete Their Own Discussion Posts:
    • Do you want to allow students to edit or delete their own discussion posts? If not, ask your assigned Instructional Designer to disable this option in your course.
    • If your discussions are graded, you may not want to allow students to edit or delete their own discussion posts because you wouldn't be able to tell if a student has gone back and edited posts from the past to improve them.

Quiz Settings

  • Shuffle Answers:
    • Do you want the answer choices for each questions to be shuffled (randomized)?
  • Time Limit:
    • How long do you want students to have to complete the quiz?
  • Answers:
    • Do you want to let students see their quiz results immediately?
      • Note: This option is not recommended for graded quizzes to prevent cheating.
    • If so, do you want them to see which answers were correct?
  • Multiple Attempts:
    • Do you want to allow students multiple attempts?
    • If so, how many attempts?
  • Show Questions:
    • Do you want students to see all questions all at once or only one question at a time?
  • Locked Until and After: When do you want the quiz to be available to students (i.e. From Thursday at 12:01AM ET to Monday at 11:59PM ET of Week 5)?
  • Due Date: When do you want the quiz due (i.e. Due by the end of Week 5)?

Other New Tools to Consider in Canvas

There are a variety of other new features and tools available in Canvas:

  • Conferences: The Conferences tool in Canvas allows the instructor and students to communicate in real-time using video (via webcam), audio (via USB headset) and text (via the Chat pod). 
  • Scheduler Tool: The Scheduler tool allows instructors to create appointment groups (collection of individual appointments) in the Calendar that students can easily sign-up for. The Scheduler tool may be used by the instructor to create appointment times for office hours or student presentations.
  • Track Student Progress in Modules: Instructors can track student progress in a Module, meaning you can see which items a student has viewed or completed in a Module. If you want to be able to track student progress, you can ask your assigned Instructional Designer to add requirements to each module.

More information and step-by-step instructions can be found in the Canvas Guides by Instructure.


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