DigiKnow-- The Samuel Merritt University Academic Tech Blog

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Monique Pinkney updated "Canvas Updates! Mar 3, 2014." 1 month ago, 3/14/2014
Monique Pinkney tagged "Canvas Updates! Mar 3, 2014" with the tag "gradebook." 1 month ago, 3/14/2014
Monique Pinkney categorized "Canvas Updates! Mar 3, 2014" as "Canvas Updates." 1 month ago, 3/14/2014
Monique Pinkney updated "Canvas Updates! Mar 3, 2014." 1 month ago, 3/14/2014
Monique Pinkney updated "Canvas Updates! Mar 3, 2014." 1 month ago, 3/14/2014

Gradebook: Total Grade in Points!

Faculty who prefer to use an all points grading schema now have the option to show student total grade score in points. The only option previously available was a percentage. The inconsistency of having assignments display as points, and the total column score read as a percentage often created confusion. From the Total column select Switch to points to make this change in your gradebook. Your students will see the total points earn against total points possible, and the hover text will display the percentage breakdown of those points. This option is not available if you’re using a weighted grading schema; and there are no changes to assignment group scores, they will continue to display as percentages.

 

Note:
Canvas publishes release notes every three weeks. We will highlight items we believe are most relevant to our community in this blog. To view the full version of Canvas’ latest release notes, go to the Canvas Help Center and select the Release Notes link.

 

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Add a Notes Column in the Gradebook!

Viewable by faculty only, you can choose to show/hide a notes column in the Gradebook. This is the second most requested feature by the Canvas community! To get started, check out the Canvas guide How do I use the Notes column in the Gradebook?

 

Note:
Canvas publishes release notes every three weeks. We will highlight items we believe are most relevant to our community in this blog. To view the full version of Canvas’ latest release notes, go to the Canvas Help Center and select the Release Notes link.

 

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Canvas' built-in rubrics give you a fast and easy way to grade students' work quickly, but all my old rubrics are in Microsoft Word docs! Not to fear-- this video will teach you some quick keystrokes to copy and paste your old rubrics into Canvas' tool in under 15 minutes flat.

From Rubrics in Word to Rubrics in Canvas from Samuel Merritt U Academic Tech on Vimeo.

This video uses three powerful keystrokes that can help you copy your rubrics quickly:

  • Ctrl + C : Copy
  • Ctrl + V: Paste
  • Alt + Tab: Switch Between Open Windows

[Note: These keystrokes are for Windows. If you're on Mac, replace your "Cmd" key for "Ctrl"]

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In addition to the many technology tools provided by the university, there is a whole world of free apps that can make your teaching and learning more efficient and convenient.

Make sure you check out our Recommended Tools lists for faculty and students!

No matter whether you prefer Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, these great free apps are widely used by students and teachers to solve common tech problems we encounter in education. If you've ever wanted to explore the world of free Web 2.0 apps but didn't know where to start, start with these lists of tried and true apps to help you get things done.

Digital tools for Students

Digital Tools for Faculty

 

For a more in-depth understanding of cloud apps, see the slides from our recent talk on Web 2.0 apps. 

 

Web 2.0 Apps Talk Archive

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Did You Know? Getting Help in Canvas is a Click Away!

Getting Help in Canvas LMS

Sorry that the DigiKnow has been silent for so long, but we've been quietly preparing for SMU's transition from Blackboard to Canvas Learning Management System. Now that the first Canvas classes are up and running, it's time to talk about one of the great new features of Canvas-- the comprehensive Help System.

 

 

In the top right corner of every screen in Canvas, you'll find a Help button.

Getting Help in Canvas LMS

Step 1: Search the Canvas Guides

Canvas comes with a comprehensive knowlege base of step-by-step tutorials and videos on just about every feature of the system. Most of the time, simply searching the Guides will give you just the information you need.

Step 1: Search the Canvas Guides

Step 2: Contact Instructure's Live 24-hour Phone and Chat support

If you can't find the help you need in the Guides, you can contact live help via phone, chat, or online ticketing 24 hours a day. Instructure's support experts have 24-48 hours to resolve your issue, but they can usually help you right over the phone when you call.

Step 2: Contact Instructure's Live 24-hour Phone and Chat support

Step 3: SMU's Help Desk-- Here to Help!

If you need individualized help designing your course in Canvas or other SMU-specific help, you can always contact the Academic & Instructional Innovation team on the SMU Help Desk line:
510-869-6836 press 1.

Take Advantage of our Online and In-Person Trainings and Drop-In Hours

Throughout the entire Canvas transition, we will be offering in-person training sessions and an online training course to help you master the basics of Canvas. Once you complete the training you can come to our Drop-In Hours for individual assistance building your course in Canvas.

To learn more about the Canvas transition, don't miss our Canvas Resource Page.

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Did You Know? A Screenshot is Worth a Thousand Words

There are lots of situations where a screenshot of your computer can communicate much more than words. From giving students detailed directions to helping your tech support people (ahem) solve issues you're experiencing, screenshots can make it easier for people to see what you're talking about.

Screen capture software lets you take an image or a video of your computer's desktop, annotate it with text, arrows, shapes, and more, and then post it online or email to friends. There are many great free and low cost options for screen capture software for Mac and Windows.

Did You Know? A Screenshot is Worth a Thousand Words

Create Your Own Diagrams

I took this screenshot of ZygoteBody.com (formerly Google Body) and then added the numbers in my screenshot program so I could draw students' attention to certain areas. When you have the power to capture images of everything you see on your computer, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Create Your Own Diagrams

Share, Not OVERshare

Many good screenshot tools have a blur tool to help you obscure sensitive information.

Share, Not OVERshare

There are a number of great tools for taking screenshots. Let's look at the best of the best:

Windows: Snagit

Snagit is a full-featured tool for taking, annotating, and sharing your screenshots. I could list off the features but it's better if you just read about them here. SMU faculty who are interested in getting Snagit can request it from Mary Grefal in IT.

Windows: Snagit

Mac: Skitch

Mac users can use the built-in Cmd+Shift+4 for basic screen grabs, or use the fun, free Skitch for full featured annotation and sharing tools.

Mac: Skitch
Once you master the art of taking screenshots you will find opportunities to use them everywhere you look! These great tools, which can be summoned with a single keystroke or click, will free you to communicate visually in a way text just can't convey.  Happy shutterbugging!
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Have a great YouTube video to show your students? Make it easy for them to view it right inside your Blackboard course.

 

1)    Find the YouTube Video you want to share.

2)    Click Share / Embed / then copy the embed code.

3)    Switch your Canvas text editor to HTML mode, paste the code, and submit! Your video will appear on your Canvas course page.

 

 

Pretty cool, right? Well embedding is not only a feature of YouTube-- you can embed a PowerPoint with Google Docs, SlideShare Presentations, Flickr slideshows PDF files with Scribd-- you can embed almost anything in your course now that you know this one simple trick! Please leave us comments to let us know how you are using embeds to enhance your online course!

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Though many educators make several PowerPoint presentations per term, a lot of us feel like mastery stays just out of reach. I  recently found this excellent website called Digital Presentations in Education that is a treasure trove of tips and tools for presenters. The news feed here is updated often, so there are always new ideas for you to explore and try in your own presentations.

 

Digital presentations in education

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