Frequently Asked Questions

Below are commonly asked questions about UNT's new online learning platform, Canvas.

If your question can't be answered here, please contact the CLEAR Faculty Helpdesk at (940) 369-7394, clearhelp@unt.edu, or come and see us during our normal hours in Chilton 112C. We also highly recommend that instructors attend a face-to-face Canvas Training Session.

Table of Contents

Getting Started: Moving from Blackboard to Canvas

How do I transfer my Blackboard Learn course into Canvas?
I want to offer a new course online. How do I get started?
How do I create a new course in Canvas?
How long will it take to migrate my Blackboard course to Canvas?
My course has been migrated to Canvas. How do I get my students into my migrated course?
Who is my IC (Instructional Consultant)?
How do I publish my course?

Communication

If I make an announcement in Canvas, will my students receive an e-mail notification about it?
I am worried that students in my course are not receiving my Announcements. How can I fix this?
Does Canvas have default Notification settings?
I've downloaded Zoom and opened the app. How do I sign in?

Accessibility

How do I check if my content is accessible on Canvas?
I want to use a screen reader in Canvas. What browsers are supported?

Course Management

How do I copy content from a previous Canvas course into a new one?
Can I combine courses or course sections?
Will Canvas be unavailable because of maintenance at a consistent time during the week? 
How do I keep an attendance record through Canvas?
How do I create exceptions for due dates? In Blackboard, this was called "Adaptive Release."
How do I create a Wiki Page in Canvas?
How do I revert page changes?
How do I enable Respondus Lockdown Browser for a quiz in Canvas?
Can I submit a Turnitin assignment on my student's behalf?
How do I restore a deleted item?

Grades

How do I weigh grades in Canvas? In Blackboard, this was called creating a weighted column.
How do I grade assignments (or, how do I use Speedgrader)?
Can I curve grades in Canvas?
How do I hide grade distribution graphs from students?
How do I hide the "Totals" column in students' Grades summaries?
I want to edit grades offline through Excel. How do I export and import grades in Canvas?

Getting Started: Moving from Blackboard to Canvas

Note: We are no longer migrating courses for Fall 2018. To migrate your course to Canvas, please fill out a migration form for Spring 2019. Feel free to contact the CLEAR Faculty Help Desk with any questions.

How do I transfer my Blackboard Learn course into Canvas? 

Visit our website's page for Canvas Migration; it explains different paths you can take to move to Canvas.

I want to offer a new course online. How do I get started?

If you want to create a new, fully online course or convert a face-to-face course to an online course, please complete the Request to Develop an Online Course form to get the process started.

How do I create a new course in Canvas?

Fill out a Canvas Development Shell Request. You will be given a "Development" course which you can fill with content and copy into a live course before the beginning of the semester.

How long will it take to migrate my Blackboard course to Canvas?

This depends! We have a long assembly line of all UNT courses being moved from Blackboard to Canvas. Time for this transition varies case-by-case. If you have questions about the status of your course's migration, contact your Instructional Consultant.

My course has been migrated to Canvas. How do I get my students into my migrated course?

Your migrated course is in a development shell that you'll use as a template for future semester offerings. Students are not enrolled in this development shell. A new, blank Canvas course shell will be automatically created in Canvas approximately 90 days before the semester starts for all courses with two or more enrolled students. Enrollments will process to the semester course offering shells. Once your new course is created, you can then import the content from your migrated development shell into the new semester course offering.

Who is my IC (Instructional Consultant)?

Your Instructional Consultant can help you construct and manage online and face-to-face courses through Canvas! The name of your department's IC can be found on our website's Instructional Design page. Scroll down to look for your department beside a name!

How do I publish my course?

Once your Canvas course has been created, go to the Home Page and follow these instructions on how to publish your course to students
Note:
You cannot unpublish a course after students submit assignments in the course.

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Communication

If I make an announcement in Canvas, will my students receive an e-mail notification about it?

That depends! Every Canvas user is responsible for setting up their Notification preferences. If a user does not go into their Canvas account and choose how they want notifications to be sent to their UNT e-mail (or any other contact method they list in Canvas), there are no guarantees for how they will be notified of changes or messages in Canvas. Faculty cannot view or change a student's method for receiving notifications, but they can advise their students to set up notifications early in the semester. Visit the Canvas Guides website for instructions on how to set up student notifications and similar instructions on how to set up instructor notifications

Canvas has a video explaining notifications. Graphics within Canvas have changed since the video was made, but the video's instructions still apply. Skip to the 2 minute, 30 seconds mark within the video for a Notifications tutorial. 

Note: when your students log in to Canvas for the first time, they will be reminded by the system to update their Notifications.

I am worried that students in my course are not receiving my Announcements. How can I fix this?

You can tell students about the importance of setting up notifications and/or downloading the Canvas app. You can also opt to show recent Announcements on your course homepage:

  1. Go to your course, and click on "Settings" at the bottom of your course menu.
  2. Under the "Course Details" tab, scroll down and click on "more options" at the bottom of the page.
  3. Check the "Show recent announcements on Course home page" box (image shown to the right).
  4. Select the number of announcements shown on the home page.
  5. Click "Update Course Details" to save.

Does Canvas have default Notification settings?

Yes! Notification settings for every new Canvas user are the same. These settings can be found on page two of the Canvas Guides' document regarding Notifications

I've downloaded Zoom and opened the app. How do I sign in?

When you open the Zoom app, click “Sign in with SSO.” You will be redirected to the UNT sign-on page for Zoom, where you can sign in with your normal UNT EUID and password. After that, the app will open. For more information, see our page on the Zoom Web Conferencing Tool.

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Accessibility

How do I check if my content is accessible on Canvas?

Canvas offers several options for ensuring accessibility, like the Accessibility Checker; this tool analyzes whether written content can be understood by students with visual and auditory impairments. Your Instructional Consultant is also a knowledgeable resource for anyone seeking to design an accessible course according to UNT's standards

I want to use a screen reader in Canvas. What browsers are supported?

According to the Canvas Community, Canvas officially supports the following screen reader and browser combinations:

Desktop

  • Windows: JAWS and NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome, IE11, or Edge browsers.

Mobile Apps

Official browser support means that these browsers are actively tested against Canvas code. Canvas may be able to be used in any other browser or screen reader not listed, but official support is not provided.

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Course Management

How do I copy content from a previous Canvas course into a new one?

To copy content from one of your courses into another, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the course you would like to copy content into.
  2. If this is a new, blank course, click on "Add existing content" (pictured right) on the homepage.
    If this course already contains content, click “Settings” at the bottom of the navigation bar and then "Import Course Content" on the right side of the page. 
  3. For “Content Type,” select “Copy A Canvas Course.”
  4. Click “Import Course Content”  from the menu on the right side of the page.
  5. Select the course you want to copy content from in the “Search for a course” field.
  6. In the “Content” section, you can copy all content or specified content from the selected course.
  7. Canvas also gives you the option to shift the dates on the assignments and quizzes in your previous course to accommodate the dates of the course you are copying the content to. If you would like details on how to do this, see the Canvas Community’s guide on date adjustments.
  8. When you have made your desired selections, click “Import.”
  9. If you chose to copy over only “Specific Content” you will now have the option to select the content you would like to copy over by clicking “Select Content.”
  10. Once the Course Copy is complete, the Course Copy status will show as “Completed."

Can I combine courses or course sections?

Yes! If you want to combine courses or course sections, send an e-mail from your UNT e-mail to clearhelp@unt.edu with the name(s) of your course(s) and sections along with a request to combine them.

Will Canvas be unavailable because of maintenance at a consistent time during the week? 

Good news! No, because Canvas does not shut down for maintenance. Changes are made constantly so that the site can remain available. Because of this, new tools and system updates can appear at any time. For notes on changes in Canvas, see our Canvas Updates page.

How do I keep an attendance record through Canvas?

The Attendance tool in Canvas allows you to mark students as present, late, or absent from class! To access this, go to "Attendance."  

adding a due date in CanvasHow do I create exceptions for due dates? In Blackboard, this was called "Adaptive Release."

If a student (or several students) miss a due date or needs an extension, you can allow the student(s) to access an item with a new due date by following the steps below. 

  1. Go to the page of any graded assignment and click on "Edit."
  2. Scroll down to the "Assign" section of this page. At the base of the "Assign to" box (pictured right), click on "+ Add"; a second "Assign to" box will appear.
  3. In the "Assign to" section of this second box, choose the student(s) or sections who you want to give a different due date. Give them a due date, and choose when you want them to see the assignment by choosing an "Available from," and "Until" date. 
  4. Do not change the first box. The due dates will not conflict. 
  5. You can create as many exceptions as you need by clicking on "+Add" and repeating the steps above.
  6. Remember to save! 

How do I create a Wiki Page in Canvas?

When creating a page within Canvas, instructors have the option to open a page to be edited by students (see the Canvas Community's guide on how to create a page under "Edit Page Settings"). Students can then treat the page like a Wiki, and any changes can be undone by an instructor through the page history.

How do I revert page changes?

To view the previous version of a page and/or revert the page back to the way it was in the past, follow instructions on how to manage page history.

How do I enable Respondus Lockdown Browser for a quiz in Canvas?

To set up a quiz in Canvas that requires students to use LockDown Browser, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the quiz has been deployed in the Canvas course.
  2. From the Course Navigation in Canvas, select LockDown Browser.
  3. A list of quizzes in the course will be displayed. Quizzes labeled with “Required” require students to use LockDown Browser. Quizzes labeled with “Not Required” do not require students to use LockDown Browser.
  4. To change the settings, select Modify Settings from the context menu to the left of the quiz title and select the desired option. You may additionally require that LockDown Browser be used to view quiz feedback and results. Optionally you may create an access code that students must enter to start the quiz. LockDown Browser will prompt students to enter the instructor-provided code before proceeding with the quiz.

Can I submit a Turnitin assignment on my student's behalf?

No, this capability is not available within Canvas.

How do I restore a deleted item?

Instructors have the ability to access Canvas's "undelete" page, where they can restore assignments, discussions, quizzes, and other items that were accidentally deleted. To access this page, instructors should go to their course, and then insert "undelete" in the last portion of the URL at the top of their page. An example of this URL is https://unt.instructure.com/courses/12345/undelete.

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Grades

How do I weigh grades in Canvas? In Blackboard, this was called creating a weighted column.

Similar to Blackboard’s capability to weigh grades within the Grade Center, Canvas offers instructors a simple way to assign values to different assignment types within a course. To take advantage of this feature, follow the Canvas Community’s guide on weighting grades

Weighted grades in Canvas do not occupy a second column; it modifies the total column. These weights can be removed at any time, and added back just as easily.

How do I grade assignments (or, how do I use Speedgrader)?

Canvas Guides provides information on using Canvas's Speedgrader, and the CLEAR website provides instructions on how to use the Speedgrader's new markup features.

Can I curve grades in Canvas?

Yes, but it's not recommended. Depending on the class's overall score, curving grades may send scores down or up at various rates. Curved grades can only be reverted to previous scores by accessing students' grade histories and then manually editing grades that were curved. If you are interested in curving grades through Excel, you can export grades from your gradebook into Excel, change and/or curve them, and then upload new scores

How do I hide grade distribution graphs from students?

By default, students can see a high, low, and median score grade distribution for graded assignments with 5 or more submissions (pictured below).

You can hide this feature from students by following these steps:

  1. In your Canvas course, select "Settings."
  2. Go to the "Course Details" tab.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select "more options."
  4. Check the box next to "Hide grade distribution graphs from students" (pictured below).
  5. Click "Update Course Details" at the bottom of the page.

Note: Instructors will still be able to view the grade distribution graphs after this option is disabled.

How do I hide the "Totals" column in students' Grades summaries?

You have the ability to hide the "Total" column from students. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your course. On the bottom of your course's left-hand menu, click "Settings."
  2. Click on "Course Details" tab at the top of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of this page. Click "more options."
  4. Check the box for "Hide totals in student grades summary."
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page again, and click the green "Update Course Details" button.

Note: If you hide this column, students will not be able to use the "What If" feature on their "Grades" page. This option allows students to explore what grades they need to earn in upcoming assignments and assessments in order to receive the total course grade they desire.

I want to edit grades offline through Excel. How do I export and import grades in Canvas?

To export and import grades from a course in Canvas, see the Canvas Community's guide on how to download grades and how to upload grades.

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