As many of you know, the University will be moving to Canvas on the 1 August 2020 and all use of Blackboard will end on the 31st July.
We know colleagues across the University are working incredibly hard at the moment to implement the remote delivery and assessment of the University’s programmes. We have therefore postponed the start of the workshops for colleagues in academic units from this week, until after the Easter break.
The way we are delivering this support is also changing. The face-to-face workshops we had intended to deliver will not now take place. These will be replaced by a programme of shorter webinars, supported by a range of online resources. We have arranged these webinars so that in total, there will be the same number of spaces available on webinars as we had planned to deliver in face-to-face workshops. As with the face-to-face workshops, there is no requirement to attend these webinars if your preference is to get familiar with Canvas via the other online resources we are providing.
We know that the demands on colleagues means that many will not be able to engage with the training opportunities at this time. We will be offering a comprehensive programme of webinars throughout the summer, so that if you wish to participate in a webinar you will be able to do so at a time that fits with all your other commitments.
If you are unable to attend a webinar, you also have access to the Canvas Online Orientation Course available on the dashboard when you log in to Canvas. This has been designed by University colleagues to support you in using the key features and tools in Canvas and there are a number of self-check quizzes for you to check your understanding as you work through each section.
2. Use Canvas modules to set a flow through your course
Use your Canvas modules to direct student’s activity week by week or topic by topic. Every Canvas course has a sample structure that you can adapt to match your teaching pattern. You can hide or lock materials that aren’t yet relevant and even set requirements so that student need to view or complete certain conditions before they can move on.
Without the normal structure of face to face time on campus it’s harder for many students to structure their time.
Add a weekly overview to give students an idea of your expectations for how much time to spend on the activities for a given week. This will help them plan their time, and make sure they give their attention to the things that you signpost as being most important.
From overwhelmed to ordered
It will take a bit of time to consider ordering, signposting, and setting a flow in your modules, but this need not be onerous and it’s one way you can help your students feel less overwhelmed in these strange times.
To help you to check that the Canvas course for your module is ready for your students, we have created a handy checklist which can be found on the Canvas section of the Digital Learning Website. You can also view our downloadable pdf version.
Remember, your Canvas course must be published for your students to be able to access it. This also applies to archive courses from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
If you need help with Canvas you can access the following channels of support:
Canvas 24/7 support for your ‘How do I?’ Canvas questions
In 2014 University Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee agreed a set of principles which stated that all appropriate assessments should be submitted through Turnitin.
Now we have moved to Canvas as the Virtual Learning Environment, this has opened up some new options for online submission. Alongside the Turnitin tool it is now possible to create Canvas assignments, which offer features like double blind marking, group submission and moderated marking, whilst still using the Turnitin similarity checker.
Given the new functionality now available, this is an appropriate time to revisit the principles. The updated Online Assignment Submission Principles were approved by University Education Committee in August 2020.
These principles are guidelines for how to get the most from submissions, advising that the Turnitin Similarity checks are carried out on Canvas and Turnitin assignments. If you allow students to submit multiple drafts they should not be allowed to see the similarity score, unless the assessment is focused on improving the students’ academic writing. Where appropriate the students’ work should be added to the Turnitin repository.
The principles recommend that Schools communicate to their students when their work is going to be put through the Turnitin similarity checker.
This post provides some further information on how the move to Canvas affects Numbas tests.
Will my Numbas tests roll over to Canvas automatically?
Numbas tests are attached to a particular course in a VLE, and therefore will not be moved across when we change from Blackboard to Canvas. Tests will need to be set up again for the new academic year, which is no bad thing as you will need to make some decisions about the set up in Canvas. See the section How do I create a Numbas test in Canvas? below.
Remember that Numbas tests are prepared on the Numbas Editor (the Public Editor is at numbas.mathcentre.ac.uk). This means that you can redeploy your existing test in Canvas.
How can I access scores from Numbas tests deployed in Blackboard?
If you require scores from Numbas tests deployed in Blackboard then you should access these before the close down of Blackboard on July 31st.
However, the Numbas LTI tool will continue to have a record of attempts. A request can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need access to data after the close down of Blackboard.
How do I create a Numbas test in Canvas?
Numbas can be deployed in Canvas in two ways:
as a module item, alongside other learning resources; or
as an assignment.
Numbas module item
Add Numbas content
Record student scores
Hide from calendar, to do list, etc
Restrict by date
Add scores to Gradebook
Use as a pre-requisite
The following videos demonstrate the set up of each. For full step-by-step instructions see the Canvas Orientation Course.
Adding a Numbas test as a module item
In the following video, I add a Numbas test as a module item in Canvas:
Adding a Numbas Assignment
In the following video I set up Numbas as an assignment in Canvas:
You can now book onto one hour webinars which will cover the core functionality and exciting new features of Canvas, providing colleagues with the skills and knowledge to set up their Canvas courses ready for the 2020/21 academic year. All sessions are available to book on Elements.
We know that the demands on colleagues mean that many may not be able to engage with the training opportunities at this time. The team will be offering a comprehensive programme of webinars throughout the summer, so we hope that if you wish to participate in a webinar you will be able to do so at a time that fits with all your other commitments.
All Learning and Teaching colleagues can now log in to Canvas, our new Virtual Learning Environment, which will be replacing Blackboard from 1st August 2020. This is an exciting milestone as we transition to Canvas and with access to a personal sandbox (practice) course and an online Canvas Orientation course, colleagues have an early opportunity to familiarise themselves with the platform.
How do you get access?
Go to https://canvas.ncl.ac.uk and log in with your email@example.com account. Once you have access you will see your personal sandbox (practice) course and the Canvas Orientation course on your Canvas dashboard. Please do not use Internet Explorer as this browser is not supported by Canvas.
What training and support is available?
To support you with the transition from Blackboard to Canvas and to help you to get the most out of Canvas, a comprehensive suite of training has been developed including Canvas Fundamentals, Professional Service sessions, Assignments and Quizzes and more.
Sessions taking place throughout April-June are now available to book. There will be further sessions released in March to run from July 2020 onwards.
If you are based at our London, Malaysia or Singapore campuses and are unable to attend face to face training sessions in Newcastle, we are working with colleagues at each campus to organise suitable sessions, which will be communicated to you shortly.
Further information regarding PGR access to training will also be communicated soon.
In addition to training, the following support is available:
Access to the 24/7 help from Canvas. This is a fantastic resource and is available to all staff and students. You can contact Canvas via live chat, from within the platform, phone or email for all of your ‘How do I’ questions.
The online Canvas Orientation course accessed from the Canvas dashboard. This has been designed to support you in using the key features and tools in Canvas and there are a number of self-check quizzes for you to check your understanding as you work through each section.