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Canvas FAQs

Course Set-Up

What is the Canvas term start date?

The Canvas Term Start date is two weeks in advance of the U-M official term start date. The official term start date for the Winter 2016 term in Canvas is December 22, 2015. Students can access your course up to six weeks before the term start date but first you must publish it.

This timing enables you to give students earlier access to course materials, if appropriate.  This timing impacts all courses without explicit dates. Courses with dates set by instructors or department staff still adhere to those dates.

When do courses get added to Canvas?

Course sites are automatically created in Canvas six months before the official term start date, via a data feed from MPathways. To begin working on a course before that date or for a course you are not sure when you will teach next, request a “placeholder” course site by contacting the ITS Service Center. If you are using the ITS Convert2Canvas service, in the request form, choose Other Future Term for the Canvas course and term.

How do I import Canvas course content from a previous semester?

You can copy course content such as assignments, modules, pages, and discussions from previous Canvas courses into existing courses. For step-by-step instructions, see this page.

How are multi-section courses organized in Canvas?

By default, a Canvas site is created for each component of a multi-component course, such as a lecture and several discussion or lab sections. As part of the course set up process, the instructor of record can request that the ITS Service Center combine all or some of the components into a single Canvas course.

How do I set my Grades up so that GSIs can grade only the students in their assigned sections?

When GSIs are automatically added to the course via MPathways, they are given a role of TA and can only grade students in their own section. If you need to manually add someone as a TA, go to People in the Course Navigation List on the left and click + People. Pick the appropriate section from the drop-down list. Check Can grade students only in their section. If they are already in the course roster, click on their name to look at their profile. To limit them to grading only students in their section, in the Privileges section, click “limit this user to only see fellow section users”.

How are course sections combined?

You can request that cross-listed courses be combined but they are not by default. You may also combine course sections yourself by using the "Course Manager" tab on the left of the course. The "Add a Section" tool allows faculty to combine sections of the courses they are teaching.

If I set up Groups in a Course, can my GSI pull up only those students and enter grades for them?

Groups are a means of organizing students for collaboration purposes and aren’t part of the Grades feature. Sections are the way to organize students for assignment and grading purposes.



How can I copy an Assignment?

You cannot copy an assignment but you can duplicate it by importing it from the existing course. For moredetails, view the Canvas Guides.

How can I share student work samples?

The best option for sharing student work, with permission, is to set up a shared Box account and link to it from your course. For more details, view the FAQ on Adding Box to a Canvas Course. Request a shared Box account via this ITS form. 



How do I use exponents in multiple choice quiz answers?

Click on the pencil icon to the right of answer text box. Click on the X² icon.

How do I upload CSV files into Canvas Grades?

See the Canvas Guides question, ‘How do I Upload Changes to the Gradebook’ for details. Additionally, review a sample scenario for uploading changes to the gradebook. 



How well does the Canvas Calendar work with Google?

Using the calendar feed to enable Google Calendar, results in several changes to the calendar details. First, all course events are in the same color and can’t individually be hidden. Secondly, the feed only updates the Google Calendar every 24 hours.

How can I schedule appointments in Canvas for activities like student presentations and office hours?

The Canvas Calendar has a Scheduler feature that enables you to set up time slots for a variety of activities. View details about the Scheduler in the Canvas Guides.

How do I add Box to a Canvas Course?

To link Box to your Canvas course add the Box feature to the Course Navigation Menu on the left.

  1. Go to course Settings.
  2. Click the Navigation tab.
  3. Drag and drop the Box application from the bottom list up to the top list.
  4. Click Save.
  5. In the Course Navigation Menu, click Box.
  6. Drag the cloud into position. You will be logged into your personal U-M box account.
  7. Click the gear icon in the top right corner.
  8. Click Log Out.
  9. Click Login and enter the information for your Shared Box Account.

Note: To request a shared Box account, complete this form.

How do Teaching Evaluations work in Canvas?

Teaching evaluations are available in Canvas. To review your course evaluations, click the Settings link at the top right in the yellow bar. Teaching Evaluations is in the left-hand list, at the bottom. 

Students can now access Teaching Evaluations through the left-side navigation bar in Canvas. Clicking Teaching Evaluations will take students to CTools where they can complete the evaluation.