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


Canvas and Crocodoc

This past weekend the people at Instructure rolled out some new features in Canvas. One big part of their update was Crocodoc. I made of small mention of it during a previous blog posting about Scribd. Crocodoc has now gone live in Canvas is available to use in the SpeedGrader.

There are something that should be mentioned about Crocodoc. In their 9/29/12 Release Notes Instructure talked about a few features on Crocodoc:

“Canvas now integrates with Crocodoc primarily to preview and annotate homework submissions in the Speedgrader application.  Instructors can now annotate using text or handwritten comments directly on assignments to provide specific feedback for their students.  Students will be able to use the same features through peer reviews.”

It is also important to note that currently Crocodoc only allows users to preview certain file types:

“Crocodoc will only be used for supported file types: .doc/.docx, .pdf, .ppt/.pptx and .xls/.xlsx.  When another file type is submitted for a homework assignment Canvas will fall back to Scribd, which won’t have the annotation feature.”

Below is a video that features Crocodoc’s capabilities!

Canvas and Scribd

For those of you working in Canvas right now, you may have noticed that the Scribd preview feature is not working correctly. For those of you new to Canvas, Scribd is a third-party program used by Canvas to allow teachers and students to preview their documents in the browser window before downloading them. Here is an example picture:

Scribd preview window

Scribd is a great tool employed by Canvas. It also provides a few options such as Fullscreen, Print, and Zooming in/out of the page.

However, going forward, Canvas will only be using Scribd is limited usage. Here is a quote from their update notes from 9/15/12 (original posting can be seen here):

“We’ve been working with the team at Scribd and they’ve been great. It turns out the bandwidth issues due to a network configuration on our side. We’re working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Scribd to find a speedy resolution. Scribd has reaffirmed their ability to handle the quantity of files we’ll be sending. The previewing option is being removed from the File Repository, Pages, and other locations short term.”

While most locations are unavailable at this moment for Scribd usage, the Assignment area still works:

“This still works for assignment submissions in Speedgrader where it is mostly used by our clients, but we want to make sure there are previewing options in a variety of locations across Canvas.”

According to their 9/29/12 update notes, they have found a new technology to use known as Crocodoc. Crocodoc is software similar to Scribd in both look and ability. However, Crocodoc provides a few more options in it such as the ability to create annotations directly in Speedgrader. Crocodoc is expected to go live in Canvas this weekend.

Check back here next week for a posting about Crocodoc and some of its features!