Exploring Canvas is an adventure

Feb 8, 2017 | Faculty, Staff, and Student Stories

headshot of karen c. theveny

By Karen C. Theveny

To quote the American astrophysicist and author, Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That’s a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don’t know what you are doing.”

Now that I’ve taken the leap and committed to Canvas for all courses, I am feeling more confident exploring the more unique aspects of the program, just like Mr. Tyson. Join me in exploration.

In a recent blog, I mentioned that I have made great strides in creating quizzes. (Maybe I was too soon in my boasting, but I am committed to lowering the time it takes to create a quiz from 2-3 hours to 1-1.5 hours). So for this blog I am sharing my fun finds and sending out a plea for collaboration.

I have become obsessed with the feature called context cards. Here at Brandywine, I can have the same student in 2 or sometimes 3 classes per semester. It becomes challenging to sort out the individual details of the student for each class if I need to conference with the student. The context card allows the instructor to see myriad details about the student, either for individual classes or all classes simultaneously. With just the click of a button, one can see: last student interactions (which seems to be if you email with the student), current grade, final grade and ungraded assignments. It also provides a little letter icon for emailing right in the program.

The context card is easy to find, too. Once in Canvas, in “people,” just click the student’s name and on the right will be the clickable interactions report and/or an access report link. The access report gives more fun details such as whether the student has opened lessons, quizzes, assignments in Canvas, and tells how many times. Of course there is a button for accessing grades for the student, which also shows which assignments have been completed.

Finally, for those of us who are visual processors, there is an option to view all this information in graph form. Too much information at your fingertips! Try it out for yourself.

My next obsession is to determine if Canvas can store an auto signature for use when sending emails, similar to the one in the email of UCS. As of now, I have not been able to find the area from which to create or store this. If anyone has information, please share.

Enjoy Canvas and make it yours.

We learn together.