For Instructors: Getting Started in UVACanvas

Favorite your current courses on your Dashboard.

Screenshot example of an instructor's All Courses page. One course is set as a favorite.

Favoriting your courses ensures they will be displayed on your UVACanvas Dashboard. If you have access to more than 20 courses and no favorites, your Canvas Dashboard will display a sampling of them. At the beginning of the semester, follow the steps in the help article How do I customize my Courses list as an instructor? (opens new window) to find all your sites and favorite the ones you would like displayed on your Dashboard. Once you have favorited at least one site, any sites that are not favorites will no longer appear on the Dashboard.

Tip: Keep your favorites to 20 or fewer sites to ensure that your desired sites always display.

Include multiple rosters in a course site. (Optional)

In UVACanvas, a section and course site are automatically created for each class roster in the Student Information System (SIS). Instructors and TAs can combine (cross-list) sections into a single course site. You can find a link to steps for your school below.

Note: Canvas strongly recommends cross-listing sections before adding content to your course sites or publishing them.

UVA (Charlottesville)

Screenshot of Manage SIS Sections tool.

You can use the Manage SIS Sections tool by following the steps in How do I combine/cross-list multiple courses or sections into one course site?

UVA (College at Wise)

Screenshot of a section's page with the Cross-List this Section button outlined.

You can use Canvas' cross-listing feature by following the steps in How do I cross-list a section in a course as an instructor? (opens new window).

Release specific items to the correct sections.

Items added to Announcements, Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions can be released to specific sections if needed.

Screenshot of the Post to section for an announcement highlighting the Post to setting of All Sections.

When creating or editing announcements, assignments, quizzes, and discussions, they are released to All Sections (announcements and discussions) or Everyone (assignments and quizzes) by default.  

  1. The screenshot above shows the Post to section of an announcement's page.  In the Assignments and Quizzes tools, this section will be labeled as Assign to.  To make an item available to all the students in your course, leave All Sections or Everyone selected.  
  2. Select one or more roster sections to release the item to students in specific class rosters in the Student Information System (SIS).  .In the example pictured above, 22Su CIS 1031-1 (Lecture), 22Su CIS 1031-2 (Lab), and 22Su CIS 1031-2 (Lab) are sections with enrollments created automatically from class rosters in SIS.

Warning: In addition to having at least one section created by SIS, every UVACanvas course site includes a section with the name of the course, for example 22Su History of UVA. This section does NOT include students. It should not be used to contact students or release assignments or assessments.

Post grades to release to students.

Screenshot of Post grades link in the Gradebook.

In the Gradebook (shown above), the default Grade Posting Policy for many UVACanvas courses is set to Manually Post Grades.  This policy prevents a notification from being sent to each student immediately upon entering their grade. You can make grades visible to students by following the steps in How do I post grades for an assignment in the Gradebook? (opens new window).

Alternatively, individual assignments or the Gradebook overall can be set to Automatically post grades, which will release the grades to students and notify them immediately upon entry.  

To have grades posted automatically:

Tip: Enable automatic posting for quizzes that only include auto-graded questions such as multiple choice and true false questions.  This allows students to see their grade and feedback once they submit the quiz.

Accept multiple items in the same assignment.

For students to submit different types of items to be graded together, follow the steps in How do I create an assignment with multiple submission options? to create a Text Entry assignment. With the Text Entry option, students can use the Rich Content Editor to enter text and website URLs, embed media, and upload files.

If you create an assignment with the Submission Type of Online and select multiple Online Entry Options with checkboxes, each student submission can only include one of these items at a time.

Use groups for students to share files.

Screenshot of 1 group in the People tool that includes all 7 students enrolled in the course.

When students are added to a group in the People tool, Canvas creates a group-specific Files area where the students can upload and share files. By adding all the students in a course site to the same group, you can leverage this functionality for students to share files with the entire class. For steps, see How do I allow students to upload files to share with the class?

Set up grading schemes to export grades to SIS.

Screenshot of Modify SIS Grading Scheme page in the Export Grades to SIS tool.

By default, the Export Grades to SIS tool uses the default schemes (opens new window) set by the University for assigning corresponding letter or other grades for numerical scores.

If your syllabus uses different grade thresholds than those in the default schemes for your course, and you plan to use the Export Grades to SIS tool to send your grades to SIS, follow the steps to update the grading schemes in advance.  That way, the grading schemes will be ready when you go to the tool to review and export the final grades.