FAQ

Blackboard FAQ

Why can’t I see the grade center in blackboard?

Internet Explorer 10 is not compatible with blackboard.  Using IE10 will cause the grade center to not load the rows for the students resulting in an empty looking grade center.  Blackboard hasn’t released any patches to fix this and Microsoft is not likely to update their browser for one LMS.  The only solution is to use another browser like Firefox or Chrome.

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Is students’ Blackboard work migrated to Canvas?

When importing a course from Blackboard, only course content from the content areas are imported.

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Will Blackboard content be archived since course evaluations are related to those Blackboard courses?

Any and all Blackboard content will be accessible but will require contacting CIT Support @ 568_5312 or @ CITSupport@jmu.edu

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Can I teach two sections one in Blackboard and the other in Canvas?

Yes, both Canvas and Blackboard are available.  If you choose to teach a course in Canvas and another in Blackboard you clearly specify which course is on which software.

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How are future requests for Organizations to be handled?

If you need an Organization you should contact Robin Bryan (bryanra@jmu.edu) in IT.  Organizations will be moved to SharePoint unless they require specific functionality that only Canvas can provide.

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How will it work with students having Blackboard and Canvas courses if faculty decides to use Canvas?

Each faculty member will have to inform their students where their course exists and which software to use to access it.

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What happens to Blackboard Organizations?

Organization requests will be referred to Robin Bryan (bryanra@jmu.edu) and will use either SharePoint or Canvas.  If an organization requires some academic specific utilities, like grades, we can review them on a case by case basis.

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Is there a deadline for moving all Blackboard content to Canvas?

The summer of 2014 is when Blackboard will be officially taken offline.  After this time you will need to request the content from CIT Support at 568-5312 or CITSupport@jmu.edu.

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How will the transfer of Blackboard courses to Canvas take place, all at once or individually?

Currently course copies are done as requested on a course by course basis.  Once the automatic enrollment and creation process is functional we will work on copying over all the remaining courses.

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If we have a lot of content on Blackboard will it be gone later, can we copy that over?

The content on Blackboard will become publicly inaccessible but if there is data that you need to access we can retrieve that data.

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Calendar Announcements Assignments and Discussions

How are the due dates changed when an assignment was copied from a previous Canvas course to a new course?

When you import an exported course or do a course copy you are given the option to change the range of events and due dates.  You can also change the day an assignment is due.  For example if an assignment was due on Sunday but wanted to change it to Monday you can do that really easily. See this Canvas guide: http://guides.instructure.com/s/2204/m/4152/l/57077-how-do-i-import-content-from-another-canvas-course

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Is there a way to make Discussion Board posts anonymous?

Currently anonymous posts are not allowed, however Canvas is considering the possibility of adding the option in a later version.

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What is the best way for students to turn in large assignment files, like digital storytelling videos?

Use an assignment but keep a close watch on the total course size indicator on the bottom of the instructors screen.  If a course requires more space contact CITSupport@jmu.edu or call 568-5312 to get more space assigned.

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Can you set time/date restrictions?

Assignments have a Due Date parameter, Announcements allow you to set both time and date to post at a certain time, Quizzes have a From date and time and Available Until date and time.  Entries in the Calendar allow for both date and time parameters when adding an item.

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Can you put a variety of content, e.g. Word, PDFs, image files in an assignment?

As with Blackboard you can insert media within assignments and quizzes.

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Is there a way to sort out the Discussion postings by student names?

Due to the way Discussions are listed there isn’t a way to sort by names.  Currently discussions are held via a reply method like on Facebook or Reddit.  Subsequent replies get nested to the “original post”.  Because of this nest structure you can’t sort the discussions by name.  You can find a specific student’s post or find all unread.  There are also options to collapse all replies so you can focus on a particular post.

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Where does the audio/video comment go? Can students download and repost them somewhere such as YouTube?

When a student views their grades they will see on the side an option to view comments or audio/video.  The student can click the icon to view/listen to their feedback.  As with anything on the internet, the audio/video can be downloaded and rehosted elsewhere.  However, there is no “download” button to download video or audio feedback.

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Can a video be added so students can view them ahead of time?

Yes.

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Can audio/video comments be sent all at once, or does it have to be one at a time?

These comments can only be created and sent one at a time.  They can be removed and then another can be created, but only one can be contained in the email at once.

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Discuss video lectures created in Canvas, recommendations, length etc.

Because Canvas is hosted by Instructure there aren’t any real constraints on the size and length of a video.  The video lecture feature doesn’t seem to work 100% of the time so utilizing Youtube or NJVID may be preferable.

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Canvas FAQ

How can I hide a course since I cannot republish?

The workaround is to go to:

Settings –>  Course Details  –>  Edit Course Details

Change the start date to a future date and check the box corresponding to “Users can only participate in the course between these dates”.

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Does Canvas allow cross-session communications? For example, if one course has 10 sessions in one semester, how do faculty communicate with students between different sessions?

We would have to cross-list the courses.  If an instructor is enrolled in all 10 sessions they should have the ability to email all 10 sessions through the inbox.

 

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Can announcements be emailed other than by copy and pasting into a message through inbox?

Students can receive a notification of an announcement.  Students can control whether this notification stays in Canvas, goes to their email, gets sent to their phone, etc., etc.  However this is something only a student can control so if they decide to turn it off there will be no way to email an announcement to a student other than through the inbox.

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Questions about connectivity issues: Can you reset submissions from users?

Canvas doesn’t require you to reset submissions.  Canvas will save a copy of their attempts and if they timeout will keep their progress saved until they can rejoin.  Timed tests will still countdown even while they’re disconnected.

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Will “concluding” a course allow you to re-”publish” the course in the future?

No, when you conclude a course it removes all enrollments from that course including yourself.

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Are there ways to keep students from seeing a notification when faculty are moving things around in their course or building new content throughout the semester?

Student notifications are controlled solely by the student.  There is no way to disable course notifications for a student from an instructor’s side.

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Is there a way to share rubrics across courses?

The way we’ve created courses/sections is by making all courses and sections act as a completely separate course.  Rubrics can be made to be either account-level or course-level.  Account-level would be across the entire JMU canvas site.  Course-level would mean that particular course and any sections under that course would be able to access it.  Since we don’t use sections in Canvas the course-level rubric would only be visible in that one course.

No there isn’t a way to share rubrics across courses.

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When inside their course, their people menu has their students name in it. However, when they go up to the Inbox to where they could send messages to their students, the inbox only says they have 1 person in the class and that is them. Any thoughts? Will that change?

Can’t say for certain why this is but my guess is it is because when they go to inbox and see only 1 person in their class (themselves) it is because they are looking at the wrong class.  We create multiple draft courses and populated Canvas with SM13 and FA13 courses.  If they happen to have an extra section of a class they don’t realize it could very well be that when they try to message their class with enrollment they are in fact messaging the section of the class without enrollments.

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How long is the Canvas contract with JMU?

5 Years

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Grading and Gradebook

How can I create canned comments in the rubric?

Once you create a comment, you have the option to “Save this comment for reuse”.  You can then reuse it at will.

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Can an instructor have private notes about an assignment that students do not see?

There currently is not an ideal function for this request.  This is closest idea I have found on the subject:  This may be something that the Faculty Journal could help with. Faculty Journal entries are attached to a student, not an assignment. They also move with the student throughout their time with their Canvas school. Keep in mind thought that all professors can see the comments in any course the student is in from then on. This is the behavior we want in the project-based program I work with but it may not work for you. The faculty journal can be turned on by an admin or implementation manager if you want to try it

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With the voice comment option in grading can it do dictation?

A fun question but no Canvas cannot do dictation.  Some of the biggest tech companies in the world are working hard to get dictation perfect and have yet to come up with a very high successful transcribe rate, about 80% currently.

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How do you grade a website?

If the website isn’t somehow tied into Canvas you can create a column/rubric for the website and just use SpeedGrader to grade the website so it is included into the Gradebook calculations.

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How will the Gradebook handle importation?

Any assignments and quizzes will copy over without issue.

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Can you comment on a website submission as you comment on a blog?

You can comment on any item in the Gradebook via the SpeedGrader

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Do students see Complete/Incomplete for an assignment?

They see “out of 10 points” or whatever the total number of points are for the assignment. They will see a check mark in grades after it is graded.

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Quizzes and Tests

Questions about connectivity issues: Can you reset submissions from users?

Canvas doesn’t require you to reset submissions.  Canvas will save a copy of their attempts and if they timeout will keep their progress saved until they can rejoin.  Timed tests will still countdown even while they’re disconnected.

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For a fill-in-blank question, faculty had to list all the possible answers in a Blackboard quiz. Do they need to do the same for a fill-in-blank question in Canvas?

Yes, you will still have to fill in all possible answers otherwise the system will not know what is a possible answer and what isn’t.

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During Blackboard assessments often times there are problems forcing faculty to individually reset, is there a way in Canvas to save the quiz info as you go so that if crashes a restart can be done?

Canvas autosaves answers on a quiz every 7 seconds in case there is a problem and connectivity is lost.

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Support FAQ

What hours is CIT Support open for?

We have different hours for walk-in than we do phone and email support.

 

Phone Email Support Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Walk-in Hours

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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Syllabus

Syllabus changes and other notifications to students need to be documented. How do we configure the notification settings to ensure that?

Under “Course Activities” changing the notification setting for “Course Content” will allow the student to be notified of syllabus changes.  An alternative method would be to send out an announcement informing the students of the change.  By default announcements send emails to students.  A student can always opt out of any emails.

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Is there a way for students to download or print a syllabus from the Canvas syllabus feature?

Some browsers will let you right click and print the syllabus without the sidebars.  Print screen may also work depending on the browser you’re using.  The right click and print function works in Chrome and Firefox.  Here is what Canvas recommends if you want to make a syllabus available to students…

If you want the students to have access to a syllabus file (PDF, Word Doc or something similar).

1.Click on the “Edit Syllabus Description” Button on the right sidebar.

2.Then use the right sidebar “Files” tab to upload your syllabus file and insert a link to it in the Syllabus description.

3.If you highlight that link and click on the link tool in the Rich Text Editor you can choose to “Disable inline previews for this link”

Doing this will force students to download the file rather than preview the first page

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What is the Syllabus in Canvas

There are three main parts, a calendar, grading scheme and the Syllabus description.  The Description is where you post the course description, an introduction, class guidelines, weekly reminders and other important information.  You can copy Word documents directly into the Editor.  You can upload a previous saved Syllabus directly into Files.  Canvas will create a preview of the Syllabus and also enable downloading it.

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