Canvas Quick Video Tutorials: Instructor and Student

Atomic Learning LogoCan’t make it to one of our Canvas Open Labs? Need a quick answer to a quick question about how to use a Canvas feature? Well…do you have a minute or two? Literally, just one to two minutes!

Atomic Learning, available for free through USF, offers short video tutorials on several Canvas features including Assignments, Groupwork, Quizzes, Communication, and much more. If you have an hour, you can watch the whole series in sequence, or watch one of the specific tutorials, none of which are longer that 2.5 minutes.

Accessing these tutorials is quick and easy. Just visit the Atomic Learning: Canvas Instructor Training Page. Log in with your NetID and Password. Click the “+” icons next to your desired topic to view the available videos. Then click on the title of the video to view.

Atomic Learning Expand GroupAre you ready for even better news? Atomic Learning also has a series of Canvas Video Tutorials for Students. You can share the link and remind students that they will be asked to log in with their NetID and password. Or, if you have a specific tutorial you want them to view, click the “Share” button on the left side of the video viewer and send them the direct link.

Atomic Learning Video Share Link


New this week in Canvas

As many of you may already know, Canvas is a living and breathing LMS. Canvas schedules updates and new features every three weeks! This week canvas released several new items that I thing faculty will like.


  • The Attendance is a new tool that Canvas just enabled.  It links to a service called Roll Call, and is used to take daily classroom attendance.  This attendance tool is supposed to be integrated with the Gradebook as well.  It’s a brand new tool, so there’s not yet any documentation, so use it as you will.

Calendar 2

  • Also enabled for us this week was the option of using Calendar 2.  This is a revamped version of the Calendar.  The new calendar is faster, supports weekly and daily views, along with Scheduler.  The scheduler tool lets you set up time slots that students (or student groups) can sign up for.  For more information on Scheduler visit the Canvas help guides.

LearnCanvas LIVE! December 2012 – Gradebook! (follow-up)

Last week Canvas held another Webinar. The topic was about the Gradebook in Canvas. For those of you who were unable to join us, take a look at some follow-up information that was sent. You can also see a recording of the Webinar below. Keep in mind though that the file is quite large and might take a few minutes to load. Also, be sure to check back for future Webinars about Canvas!

LearnCanvas LIVE! Gradebook! December 2012

This was a lively and engaging session! Thank you to everyone who registered for and participated in the webinar. Our discussion included many different perspectives on Gradebook – we heard use cases and questions from Canvas users across the country.Thank you for joining in, sharing, and being a part of the Canvas Community.

In this email, find links to resources (including video archive) and responses to a few topics in the chat worth sharing:

Essential Gradebook Tools: Hyperlink to Help Page

Hot topics in the chat

Q:  End of semester: “I am using Canvas now and I am wondering if there is anything we need to do to close out the gradebook at the end of the semester.”
A: At the end of the term, instructors should be encouraged to: Make sure all assignments have a graded value. For example, a score of 0 or default grades for all ungraded assignments. Also: You may download .csv gradebook for backup. Read more on our Guide: What should I encourage instructors to do at the beginning and end of each term?

Q: What are Grading Rules? (Assignments)
A: Grading rules are a feature in Assignment Groups. It gives you a way to, for example, easily drop the lowest score from an Assignment Group. An attendee noted that “Grading rules are applied when all assignments in the group have been graded”, so keep that in mind.
Read more on our Guide: How do I add Assignment Groups?

Discussion on Hiding and Filtering students in the Gradebook

  • “Once you have hidden student names (main gradebook tool menu; top left corner) you can narrow it to one student by searching for single student using the search field (located at the top right corner of Gradebook).”

Discussion on Grading with 0’s  (default grades and marking as zero)

  • “The default option in the GB is only calculating graded items, correct? As a best practice should we tell faculty to enter zero for unscored or is it okay to leave items blank?”
  • “I use “set default grade” to make unsubmitted assignments a 0. Otherwise, students are graded on what they’ve done and it doesn’t reflect an accurate grade if a student aced the first assignment and skipped the next ten.”

Discussion on“What if” grades (student view)

  • “I wonder why the “what if” function was created.  It seems to be a tool that serves the students to know what grades to “negotiate” rather than a self help function.” Guide: What are What-If grades?

Attendees rallied around this feature, sharing use cases:

  • “I know of one instructor who uses “What if” to help students understand that all hope isn’t lost (yet).”
  • “What if” has helped students figure out if they can recover and get the needed grade for a course, or if they should withdraw without penalty.”
  • “I see the what if as letting students understand that even “lower” points add up and these smaller “projects” are important overall”

Thank you all for participating! Hope to see you again soon. Look for more LearnCanvas LIVE! events at We will be posting Spring 2013 events very soon.

HIGHER ED Video archive: In case you missed it (or want to see it again) (large file – be patient)