Content authoring tools training, archiving content and Canvas feature updates (Canvas News Digest)

This news digest is part of a regular series of updates about UW-Madison’s transition to the Canvas learning management system (LMS).

Summer courses now available, with new instructor roles

Summer 2018 credit-based courses are now available in Canvas for faculty, instructors and instructional support staff. Summer 2018 course enrollments now feature three new “instructor roles” established by the university:

  • Principal Instructor
  • Supervisory Instructor
  • Auxiliary Instructor

The new roles will be assigned to course instructors depending on their role assignment when the course is built in the Student Information System (SIS). More details about these new roles, including their respective permissions, can be found in the “Course Roles” section of this KnowledgeBase document.

Fall 2018 courses in Canvas will be available March 14.

Spring trainings continue with new courses on content authoring tools

Whether you have been teaching in Canvas for awhile, or you still need to convert a course, you can learn exactly what you need to do through several spring training options. See the full list of training events to learn more, and to register.

New trainings that focus on content authoring tools such as Pressbooks, Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are also now available.

How to archive content from D2L and Moodle

After June 1, 2018, faculty, instructors, staff and students will no longer have direct access to credit and/or noncredit courses in D2L and Moodle. If you want to retain any course content from the retiring systems, it is important that you take the following steps to ensure you retain what you need:

  1. Migrate your courses to Canvas – Make sure to migrate all courses – past and present – that you wish to maintain access to:
  2. Download and save course data – Only course content such as lecture slides, readings, etc., that were added by the instructor, can be automatically moved to Canvas. If you will need access to student-generated content, grades, submitted assignments or other types of information to fulfill incompletes or for other purposes, you will need to properly archive this information. For details on how to do so, and how to identify and handle restricted or sensitive data, please review “How to Download Data from D2L and Moodle.” If you have a noncredit course with specific reporting needs, please contact Tom Kourakis at for assistance.

Faculty and instructors are also encouraged to discuss how to archive course data with their students. Students may want to archive assignments, discussion posts, etc. for job and graduate school applications, building a portfolio, taking future courses at UW-Madison or other institutions, or asking you or other instructors for references in the future. All UW-Madison students will receive multiple notifications during the spring semester about the process as well.

What’s new in Canvas

Latest Canvas feature updates

The following is a list of recent Canvas updates that were released in mid-February. For a complete summary, view the official production release notes.

Course Home Page Student View Button

The Course Home Page now includes a Student View button. This change allows instructors to access student view without having to open Course Settings.

Image of Canvas Course Homepage Student View Button

New Gradebook – Entered Grades Calculation Value

Instructors can enter grades in the New Gradebook in any format without having to confirm the grade display originally set for the assignment.

When the Enter Grades option is set to points, grades can be entered as points or percentages. The entered grade is converted into points and displayed appropriately.

Entries without a percent symbol are always calculated as a percentage, which helps graders save time by not having to always enter the percent symbol.

Image of the Canvas New Gradebook Enter Grades option

Sidenote: As many browsers are moving away or completely disabling Flash, note that the RCE video and audio editor in Canvas still relies on Flash. While Canvas is working on a solution to this, note that as instructors use this feature they may run into browser issues.