Welcome to our Canvas FAQs

These are quick answers to questions that are regularly asked of us. If you want to find out how to something in Canvas then you may prefer our “How To” resources which are much more detailed and feature step by step instructions.

Make sure you check back here regularly as we add new questions.

 Context

Using Gmail, how can I set up a filter that manages the influx of Canvas notifications?

  1. Put a tick in the checkbox next to an example of the message you want to filter
  2. Click the More dropdown button on the top menu bar
  3. Select Filter messages like these
    You need to choose text in the subject line or the body of the email that is specific to that particular type of message. So for Message notifications, for example, adding the following into the Subject line field and replacing [course name] with your actual course name will select only the notifications of new messages from that particular course.
  4. Add into Subject field: ([course name]) just sent you a message
  5. Click Create filter with this search
  6. Select the options you wish to apply.
  7. Recommendation: select Apply the label and create a descriptive label for messages coming from that course.
  8. Create filter

Can I see my Canvas calendar in Google?

Yes, you can. Follow these instructions to pull your Canvas calendar into Google so you can view it alongside your RMIT calendar.

Can I create repeating events in the Canvas calendar?

Hypothetically Canvas allows instructors to create repeating events in the course calendar (not your personal calendar). However, at the time of writing this is an opt-in feature that has not yet been enabled in the RMIT instance.

 Roles & Responsibilities

What are the different Sections that I can see in vertically integrated courses or studios?

In vertically integrated studios, students are added to Canvas courses in Sections that indicate (1) the course in which they originally enrolled, and (2) the studio they are doing. This information is imported from (1) SAMS and (2) a spreadsheet that is provided by the course coordinator.
For more information about Sections, see Note: using Sections in Canvas.

Can I send an announcement to just one section of students?

Currently, No. However, you can send a message to all students in a section.
To do that:

  1. In the Global navigation menu, click Inbox
  2. From the All Courses dropdown menu, select the correct course.
  3. Click the Compose a new message feather icon
  4. Click the address book icon
  5. Click the Course sections link
  6. Select the desired section
  7. Type your message below the line
  8. Click send

How do I filter the gradebook by section?

By default, your course shows all active students. If your course includes more than one section, you can filter your Gradebook by section [1]. You can also search for a student by name or secondary ID [2].

Can staff add other staff to their course?

Yes, they can.  Please remember that the staff member to be added must have an active Canvas RMIT account. If you try to add them using the instructions below, and Canvas does not find the account, please contact ITS.
How to: Add staff to a Canvas course

 

Where do I go to see who is enrolled in my course?

To see who is enrolled in your course, just click on People in the Course Navigation Menu.  You will see a list of everyone enrolled in your course.

Inactive tag in People page

If a student has a grey ‘inactive’ button next to their name in the People page it means they were enrolled but have since dropped the course. They’re still listed in the People section for auditing and record keeping, but they won’t appear in the Grades section.

Can I view my course as a student in Canvas?

Yes, you can. In the Course you wish to view

  1. Click Settings
  2. Click Student view (right-hand side menu on your screen)

NOTES:

  • This does not allow you to see an accurate view of section restrictions.
  • When you’re in student view you will see a pink bar at the bottom of the page. Use this to return to normal view. Choose Leave student view.

 Learning Activities & Content

Why do I get a “Flash required for recording video” error message when I try to use the Record Video function?

Often if you’re using Chrome the Record Media comment tool will show a spinning circle with a note saying “Flash required for recording video”.

This usually means that Flash is not enabled for this Canvas site by default.
To fix this:

  1. To the left of the browser’s URL bar you’ll see a lock icon with Secure in green. Click this.
  2. Select Site Settings

  3. Next to the Flash icon, select Allow from the dropdown menu.

  4. Now refresh your browser view by clicking the Reload button presented, or the arrow next to the URL bar.

Can I give students individual feedback on a group assignment?

When you set up your assignment you can select to Assign grades to each student individually, and thus give students individual grades and feedback. Or, if this is not selected, you can still provide individual feedback on a group submission by going to Grades, clicking the cell with the student’s score for the assignment, and then clicking the comment icon in the right corner of the cell.

Comments in Gradebook

How do students submit group assignments?

In the student view, group assignments are identical to other assignments. Like with other assignments, a Submit Assignment button will be visible when the assignment is available. However, after one member of the group submits something, the button will display Re-submit Assignment.

When students submit or re-submit files to a group assignment, a read-only copy of the file is saved to their Group area in Files > Submissions.

How do I adjust a table width in the Syllabus page?

Go to the page that contains the table you wish to adjust.

  • Click Edit
  • Click once on the table border to select it

    (click for a larger view)
  • Click the table icon in the menu bar

    (click for a larger view)
  • Select Table Properties
  • In the Width field remove any numbers and replace with 100% (including the percentage sign)
  • In the Height field remove any numbers and leave blank

    (click for a larger view)
  • Click OK
  • Click Update Syllabus

How to we deal with duplicate names (different students with the same name) when assigning students to groups?

Canvas can’t display students by their student ID number but you can use the group set-up page search field to search by their ID number.

How do I see the whole student name on the assigned students group set-up list? 

If you’re working on a small screen (laptop), part of the student’s name might be obscured. To expand the buttons, you can minimise the course menu by clicking the hamburger menu icon next to the breadcrumbs.

hamburger icon

When in a student group, can students see a teacher’s email address? 

No.

Staff view

Student view

 

Can I post to Twitter from Canvas?

No, you can’t.   As an instructor, you will only be able to connect your Twitter account to your Canvas shell.  Students will be able to see your tweets as you post them.  For more information on connecting your Twitter account to your Canvas account, click here.

How do I communicate with individual groups in Canvas?

You can use the Conversations (Inbox) function to communicate with the individual groups in your course.  When composing a message, click on the arrow next to Select course, and then select the group from the list.  To learn more about conversations, refer to How to: Use conversations in Canvas.

How can I bulk delete files?

In the files area use one of the following methods:

  • Multiple files – Ctrl click to select multiple files, then click delete
  • Multiple sequential files – Shift click top file then bottom file, then click delete
  • All in a folder – Click one file then Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on Mac)

Bulk deleting options within Files?

Adding a link to a Youtube video

If you want to add a link to a Youtube video without generating a thumbnail video:

  1. Click the YouTube icon in the text editor
  2. Search for the desired video
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Embed button.
  4. Select Return Link
  5. Highlight link and select the link icon in the text editor
  6. Select the Disable Inline Previews for this Link box
  7. Click update link.

Can I import templates into my course?

Yes, you can. Canvas provides to all users access to Canvas Commons, a repository of learning objects that can be imported into any course shell. To learn more about Canvas Commons read our How to: Using Canvas Commons post.

 Feedback & Assessments

Assignments

Why do I get a “Flash required for recording video” error message when I try to use the Record Video function?

Often if you’re using Chrome the Record Media comment tool will show a spinning circle with a note saying “Flash required for recording video”.

This usually means that Flash is not enabled for this Canvas site by default.
To fix this:

  1. To the left of the browser’s URL bar you’ll see a lock icon with Secure in green. Click this.
  2. Select Site Settings

  3. Next to the Flash icon, select Allow from the dropdown menu.

  4. Now refresh your browser view by clicking the Reload button presented, or the arrow next to the URL bar.

How do students submit group assignments?

In the student view, group assignments are identical to other assignments. Like with other assignments, a Submit Assignment button will be visible when the assignment is available. However, after one member of the group submits something, the button will display Re-submit Assignment.

When students submit or re-submit files to a group assignment, a read-only copy of the file is saved to their Group area in Files > Submissions.

Can I have calculated and weighted columns?

Yes, you can.  You can weight final grades based on assignment groups.  Remember that grade totals are displayed in the Total column of the Gradebook.  To learn more about the Gradebook, refer to “How to: use Gradebook in Canvas”.

Can I duplicate an assignment in a course?

Yes, you can duplicate an assignment in your course. Once an assignment is duplicated, the word Copy is added to the end of the assignment name.  To duplicate an assignment:

  1. Click on Assignment
  2. Locate the Assignment to duplicate
  3. Click on the Settings icon
  4. Click Duplicate

To find out more on duplicating assignments, visit this page.

Can I delete a student’s assessment submissions?

No.  As an instructor, you do not have the option to delete student assessment submissions.
However, as long as the Available Until date has not passed, students are able to resubmit any assignment, so if a student has submitted an incorrect file, advise them to resubmit.

What is the grade distribution graph?

By default, Canvas allows students to see a grade distribution graph for each assessment task. This graph displays to students the highest score, the lowest score, and the mean for each assignment, allowing students to visualise how their result compares with that of other students.  If you do not wish students to have access to this graph, follow the instructions below:

  1. Login to Canvas and select the course in which you want to hide the grade distribution graphs.
  2. Click on Settings at the bottom of the left navigation menu.
  3. Click on the Course Details tab at the top.
  4. At the bottom of the list of settings, click the more options link.
  5. Tick the check box next to the Hide grade distribution graphs from students option.
  6. Click the blue Update Course Details button.

What is the difference between the assignment submission types “paper” and “no submission”?

Functionally there is no difference between these assignment types, both create an Assignment (assignment details) and a column in the Gradebook (to enter grades and feedback), but no submission link for students. In the Canvas community “paper” is often used for assignment submissions external to Canvas and “no submission” for extra credit, however either can be used for assessments where online submission is not appropriate. See How do I add or edit details in an assignment? for further instructions.

How can I hide grades from students until I’ve finished marking?

In the Gradebook (Grades) you can mute a published assignment until you’re ready to release the grades to students. You currently can’t set it to automatically release on a specified date, it is a manual process. See ‘How do I mute or unmute an assignment in the Gradebook?‘ for further instructions.

In student view, the assignment appears as follows.

Canvas assignments with multiple submission types

When you set up a Canvas Assignment to include more than one online submission type, only one of the files / link the students add are actually submitted. There’s no indication or message that not all the things they’ve added via the tabs have been submitted. Students can add multiple submissions, but they need to do this by ‘resubmitting’ the assignment, and then you can toggle between the different submissions in SpeedGrader.

Demonstration Screencast

 

Can I use Canvas rubrics with a TurnItIn assignment?

Yes. If you want to use a Canvas rubric for the assignment, you must add the rubric before setting the External Tool submission type. Create the assignment with any other submission type, save the assignment, add the rubric, and then edit the assignment to select the External Tool > Turnitin. You can then use the Canvas rubric when grading in SpeedGrader.
This is very important if you wish to have Turnitin submissions but also wish to track learning outcomes/accreditation requirements/competency attainment using the Canvas Outcomes function.
Turnitin

How do I submit an assignment to Turnitin on a student’s behalf?

To resubmit an assignment on behalf of a student:

NOTE: assignment settings must allow re-submissions (Check originality report generation and allow late submission settings) see Resubmitting of Behalf of a Student.

  1. In the Assignments section, click on the assignment title link
    (Note need at least one submission to see the Assignment inbox list)
  2. In the options column click on the options menu ‘…’ and select ‘Upload’
  3. Confirm re-submission
  4. Enter title and select file to upload
  5. Click Accept Submission & Save

To submit an assignment (with no previous submission):

Using Turnitin with Canvas you must log in to the Turnitin interface to submit on behalf of a student. Here’s how.

  1. Log in to Turnitin
    • go to: https://turnitin.com/login_page.asp
    • enter your email address then click the link ‘Click here’ for ‘Forgot you password’
    • when you receive an email follow the instructions to reset your password, and login
  2. Click on the the name of your course
  3. Under Actions for your assignment, click on view to view all assignments submitted
  4. Click on Submit File
  5. Select the student you are submitting on behalf of, details and select the file to upload
  6. Select Upload to load the paper

Can I use Canvas rubrics with a TurnItIn assignment?

Yes. If you want to use a Canvas rubric for the assignment, you must add the rubric before setting the External Tool submission type. Create the assignment with any other submission type, save the assignment, add the rubric, and then edit the assignment to select the External Tool > Turnitin. You can then use the Canvas rubric when grading in SpeedGrader.
This is very important if you wish to have Turnitin submissions but also wish to track learning outcomes/accreditation requirements/competency attainment using the Canvas Outcomes function.
Quizzes

Can a quiz be regraded after it has been completed?

Yes you can regrade the quiz for automated marking type questions (e.g.: multiple choice questions, true/false).
click on edit quiz -> Questions -> select the correct answer (thus changing it) -> click the green arrow on the top left corner of the hover window -> This will open the regrading options popup -> select your choice and update.

Does Canvas record when a student starts a quiz?

Yes it does but only when the course setting “Quiz log auditing” is switched on. Switch this on before you release a quiz. You can find do that by going to Settings->Feature Options->Quiz log auditing.

You can track student quiz attempts under the “Moderate this quiz” option on the quiz page.

 

Grades

Can I give students individual feedback on a group assignment?

When you set up your assignment you can select to Assign grades to each student individually, and thus give students individual grades and feedback. Or, if this is not selected, you can still provide individual feedback on a group submission by going to Grades, clicking the cell with the student’s score for the assignment, and then clicking the comment icon in the right corner of the cell.

Comments in Gradebook

How do I filter the gradebook by section?

By default, your course shows all active students. If your course includes more than one section, you can filter your Gradebook by section [1]. You can also search for a student by name or secondary ID [2].

Can I have calculated and weighted columns?

Yes, you can.  You can weight final grades based on assignment groups.  Remember that grade totals are displayed in the Total column of the Gradebook.  To learn more about the Gradebook, refer to “How to: use Gradebook in Canvas”.

What is the grade distribution graph?

By default, Canvas allows students to see a grade distribution graph for each assessment task. This graph displays to students the highest score, the lowest score, and the mean for each assignment, allowing students to visualise how their result compares with that of other students.  If you do not wish students to have access to this graph, follow the instructions below:

  1. Login to Canvas and select the course in which you want to hide the grade distribution graphs.
  2. Click on Settings at the bottom of the left navigation menu.
  3. Click on the Course Details tab at the top.
  4. At the bottom of the list of settings, click the more options link.
  5. Tick the check box next to the Hide grade distribution graphs from students option.
  6. Click the blue Update Course Details button.

How can I hide grades from students until I’ve finished marking?

In the Gradebook (Grades) you can mute a published assignment until you’re ready to release the grades to students. You currently can’t set it to automatically release on a specified date, it is a manual process. See ‘How do I mute or unmute an assignment in the Gradebook?‘ for further instructions.

In student view, the assignment appears as follows.

 Communications

Why do I get a “Flash required for recording video” error message when I try to use the Record Video function?

Often if you’re using Chrome the Record Media comment tool will show a spinning circle with a note saying “Flash required for recording video”.

This usually means that Flash is not enabled for this Canvas site by default.
To fix this:

  1. To the left of the browser’s URL bar you’ll see a lock icon with Secure in green. Click this.
  2. Select Site Settings

  3. Next to the Flash icon, select Allow from the dropdown menu.

  4. Now refresh your browser view by clicking the Reload button presented, or the arrow next to the URL bar.

Can I send an announcement to just one section of students?

Currently, No. However, you can send a message to all students in a section.
To do that:

  1. In the Global navigation menu, click Inbox
  2. From the All Courses dropdown menu, select the correct course.
  3. Click the Compose a new message feather icon
  4. Click the address book icon
  5. Click the Course sections link
  6. Select the desired section
  7. Type your message below the line
  8. Click send

Can students create a discussion topic?

By default, YES. You can disable this for discussions in your course in the More Options dropdown in the Settings button.

Using Gmail, how can I set up a filter that manages the influx of Canvas notifications?

  1. Put a tick in the checkbox next to an example of the message you want to filter
  2. Click the More dropdown button on the top menu bar
  3. Select Filter messages like these
    You need to choose text in the subject line or the body of the email that is specific to that particular type of message. So for Message notifications, for example, adding the following into the Subject line field and replacing [course name] with your actual course name will select only the notifications of new messages from that particular course.
  4. Add into Subject field: ([course name]) just sent you a message
  5. Click Create filter with this search
  6. Select the options you wish to apply.
  7. Recommendation: select Apply the label and create a descriptive label for messages coming from that course.
  8. Create filter

Can I post to Twitter from Canvas?

No, you can’t.   As an instructor, you will only be able to connect your Twitter account to your Canvas shell.  Students will be able to see your tweets as you post them.  For more information on connecting your Twitter account to your Canvas account, click here.

How do I communicate with individual groups in Canvas?

You can use the Conversations (Inbox) function to communicate with the individual groups in your course.  When composing a message, click on the arrow next to Select course, and then select the group from the list.  To learn more about conversations, refer to How to: Use conversations in Canvas.

Do I have to sign off announcements?

Yes, we recommend you to sign off every announcement you post.  The reason for this is that when announcements are sent via email and students read them from their inbox, Canvas does not specify who the sender is.  The details of the sender can only be viewed if the announcement is being read from within Canvas.

 

Have a question about Canvas in the College?