Teaching with Technology During a Disruptive Event

Update: September 2020

Instructors planning to teach in-person for the fall 2020 semester need to quickly pivot to teaching remotely. Start by learning about and using Canvas if you are newer to teaching with technology. Consult additional Pages in this guide for information on conducting lectures and other activities. Consult the L&S Remote Teaching Toolkit for additional help planning.

This guide is part of the College of Letters & Science's efforts to ensure that instruction continues after a disruptive event. Please also consult UW-Madison's comprehensive instructional continuity resources.

Canvas Quick-Start Guide

Canvas is UW-Madison's learning management system, an enterprise solution for remotely conducting many essential teaching functions. Instructors can share educational materials, communicate with students, receive student work, provide grades and feedback, and much more.

Canvas course sites are automatically generated according to data in the Student Information System. By default, these automatically created courses will remain invisible to students until it is published. Use the steps below to access Canvas and begin using it to teach.

1. Log In to Canvas

Log in to the Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) by going to https://canvas.wisc.edu/ and logging in with your NetID and password. This will take you to a "Dashboard", which shows you the courses you are teaching. Select the dashboard icon of the course you wish to work with.

2. Review people list

Canvas rosters are a reflection of how sections and crosslistings are combined in the UW-Madison course catalog. Before you begin using your site, it may be helpful to quickly view the list of enrolled students to verify that the roster matches your expectations. Select the "People" option in the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the screen to view a class roster that lists each students, email addresses, section numbers, and other information.

How do I use the People page?

3. Add & Arrange materials

Canvas offers a flexible set of features to conduct regular class activities. Add materials to the course such as readings, recorded lectures, assignments, quizzes, discussions and more. Focus first on materials that are most important in the coming weeks. This will allow you to have students complete readings, submit work for grading, take a quiz, or contribute to a discussion. These materials can be organized into modules - e.g., Week 3 Content.

How do I add a module?

How do I upload a file to a course?

How do I add course content as module items?

For more information about other course content in Canvas, please see 3. Discussion and 4. Assessment in this guide.

4. Publish the course

Before students can view any content you have put in to the Canvas course, you must first "Publish" the course.

How do I publish a course?

5. Communicate with students

Once your course is Published in Canvas, let students know. Using the "Inbox" within Canvas allows you to send a message to all students in your course. You can also send messages to your class via the Canvas "Announcements" within a specific course.

How do I send a message to students?

How do I add an announcement in a course?

6. Grade assignments

If students have submitted work, you can use the Speedgrader within Canvas to review their submissions and provide feedback.

How do I use the Gradebook?

How do I use SpeedGrader?

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