Writing Mathematical Expressions in Canvas Using LaTeX

An update coming to Canvas on Feb. 20th should be of interest to anybody involved in courses that use mathematical or chemical expressions, equations, and formulae. The update will enable MathJax, a JavaScript display engine that works in all modern browsers and was designed with the goal of creating a single, comprehensive, math-on-the-web platform. Continue reading “Writing Mathematical Expressions in Canvas Using LaTeX”

Redirect Tool App in Canvas

DEU often uses platforms like WordPress, Pressbooks and other content management systems for building learning technology functions beyond the capabilities of a standard LMS. We tend to think of the LMS as a central learning hub where students can branch out from to access pockets of content across the world wide web. However, once unleashed into the vast sea of the internet students can, at times, lose focus and be set adrift. It would be nice if we could “wrap” these outside websites, news channels, homework systems etc. inside of Canvas in order to keep students within the walls of the LMS and on task. The Redirect Tool does just that, and we’ll show you how. Continue reading “Redirect Tool App in Canvas”

Exporting and Printing Content from Canvas

If you have an online/remote Canvas course, especially one with a lot of text-based content, there are a number of reasons why a student may prefer to export your course to an e-reader to study offline, or even print as much of the course content as possible. Some students struggle to read from computer screens for extended periods of time. Others like to take lots of notes or highlight any text-based content they are learning from. Others might have poor internet connections, or be planning to travel to areas where they know their connectivity will be limited. Whatever the reason, giving students the option to Export the content from Canvas will improve the accessibility of your course! Continue reading “Exporting and Printing Content from Canvas”

Canvas HTML editing

At the start of 2021 Canvas released a new Rich Content Editor (RCE) with a variety of new and updated features. Despite these upgrades the Instructional Design team at DEU has had a number of requests from instructors for some specific ways to enhance the look of their course content pages. The HTML Editor in the RCE allows you to do some basic HTML editing on course pages to add features and functions otherwise not available in the main editor. However, this is not a TRUE HTML editor in that Canvas will, at times, strip out or block any HTML code that it sees as a security risk. If you hit a wall trying to make HTML work in Canvas, that is likely why. A second warning is to perhaps practice in a test course before trying these methods in your live class as you can inadvertently cause errors on your page if you’re not a seasoned HTML’er. That said, you don’t need a background in coding to try out some of these features. A little patience and an adventurous spirit should get you through.

In this post we’ll look at adding some simple code snippets to add to the HTML editor in the Canvas RCE to help add function and create more dynamic web pages in your Canvas course. From Text Boxes, Line Breaks, Wrapping Text to Creating Interactive Buttons, see some of the common items people are adding to their course pages using the HTML editor. Continue reading “Canvas HTML editing”

7 Tips for Setting up Group Projects in Canvas

Are you looking to set up a Group project in your Canvas course? Canvas Groups offers a “small version of a course” and can be used as a collaborative tool where students can work together on projects, such as Assignments, or to split a large class up for smaller, more digestible Discussions. Using Groups to assign projects to students can also help you give shared feedback and grades back to Group members more efficiently.

The Groups tool in Canvas is quite flexible, so this post will offer tips for using Groups in the most commonly applicable ways I have seen. There are some best practices, and also links for further help. Continue reading “7 Tips for Setting up Group Projects in Canvas”

Creating a Custom Course Template: A Canvas Commons Case Study

Program administrators often desire a feeling of commonality and a cohesiveness of the learning experience across the various courses of their program. However, when each course might be designed, developed, and taught by a different instructor, this can be tricky to achieve. This post will offer an example of how Canvas Commons can be used for building shared elements across the different courses of a program, and how even entire online courses might be built in a similar manner through this tool. Continue reading “Creating a Custom Course Template: A Canvas Commons Case Study”

The New LMS is here! The New LMS is here!

It’s official! USask is moving away from the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) to Canvas by Instructure! But what’s the hubbub? Why did the University choose to make this change to the Learning Technology ecosystem? In the 10 years since Blackboard was first launched at USask, university teaching and learning has evolved, and so too has the learning technology marketplace. Institutional research, institutional priorities in learning and teaching, and feedback from faculty, instructors and students indicated that Blackboard was not meeting our needs. The decision to begin a review process was also prompted by our current contract with Blackboard being up for renewal. The version of Blackboard we are currently using was almost at the end of its life cycle, and replacement was necessary. You can visit the Learning Management System Renewal project pages for more details on how and why the LMS review took place at USask on your own time, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the major upgrades this LMS has to offer under the hood! Continue reading “The New LMS is here! The New LMS is here!”

Get up to speed fast with the new Canvas LMS

The new Learning Management System (LMS) is reason to celebrate. But transitioning to new learning technologies can also be a little daunting. Although DEU, GMCTL, and ICT will be working hard to develop professional learning plans that merge teaching and learning practices with technical skills, and will be designed to support a change in either or both within the new LMS, you may want to take some time on your own to orient yourself with the LMS update. USask training will take place throughout the summer for early adopters and into the fall and beyond for those transitioning for winter term. Keep an eye out on https://training.usask.ca/ for these and other opportunities as they come available.

In this post, however, the Instructional Design Team at the Distance Education Unit has curated a few resources from Canvas to get you familiar and even, up and running in Canvas, quickly and easily. Continue reading “Get up to speed fast with the new Canvas LMS”