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?
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 course offered in Canvas before Spring 2019?
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?

Accessibility

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

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

How do I transfer my Blackboard Learn course into Canvas? 

Visit our website's Canvas information page and scroll down to "How to Migrate your Course." This page provides information on steps you can take to move your course into Canvas.

How do I create a new course in Canvas?

If you want to create a brand new, fully online course or convert a face-to-face course to an online course, go to our website and click on "Request to Develop an Online Course" to submit a request.

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

This depends! We are currently migrating all UNT courses from Blackboard to Canvas and have a long assembly line of courses being moved. 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 course offered in Canvas before Spring 2019?

Starting Spring 2019, Blackboard will no longer be an option and the online component of all UNT courses will be offered exclusively in Canvas. If you plan to offer your course in Canvas before Spring 2019, you must complete the 2018 Canvas Course Offering Form for each section you want to offer. Otherwise, your course will be offered in Blackboard by default until Spring 2019.

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. Scroll down, and 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

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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

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Course Management

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

To perform a course copy in Canvas, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the course you would like to copy content into.
  2. Click “Settings” at the bottom of the navigation bar.
  3. Click “Import Course Content”  from the menu on the right side of the page.
  4. For “Content Type,” select “Copy A Canvas Course.”
  5. Begin typing the name of the course you want to copy content from in the “Search for a course” field.
  6. In the “Content” section, you have the option to copy all content or specified content from the specified 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. Though there is dialogue in the Canvas Community about introducing a preview or undo button, 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?

Follow the Canvas Community's instructions on how to hide grade distribution graphs from your course's students.

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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