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  • You can export scores from the Gradebook and download them to your computer as a CSV file. At the time of export, the CSV file data matches the current filter(s) and settings shown in the Gradebook.

    Notes about CSV files:

    • Some columns that appear in the CSV file are read-only columns calculated by rules or percentages set in Canvas. Any changes made to these columns will be ignored when you re-upload the file to your course.
    • For assignment group columns, changes made to assignment scores will automatically be included in the assignment group calculation in the Gradebook.
    • CSV downloads honor multiple grading periods. The Gradebook exports the grading period being viewed in the Gradebook. For All Grading Periods, if the option to view total grades is not enabled, Total Score columns and assignment group totals are not included in the download.
    • The Total Score displayed in the Gradebook reflects each student's score at the time of viewing, taking into account whether the instructor has chosen to have ungraded assignments treated as zero, muted assignments, assignment due dates, etc. Therefore, the CSV download includes read-only columns for current and final score. Current score reflects the total while ignoring unsubmitted assignments, and the final score counts unsubmitted assignments as zero.
    • If a student has submitted an assignment multiple times, the CSV file only accounts for the most recent submission.
    • The notes column is not included in the Gradebook CSV export file.
    • Concluded and inactive enrollments are not included in the CSV file unless their respective option, Show Concluded Enrollments or Show Inactive Enrollments, is enabled in the Gradebook Settings menu.
    • Complete/incomplete assignments are shown as full or no credit (e.g. for a 10-point assignment, 10 or 0).
  • The Dashboard is the first thing you will see when you log into Canvas. The Dashboard helps you see what is happening in all your current courses.

    You can return to your User Dashboard at any time by clicking the Dashboard link in Global Navigation.

  • The Global Navigation Menu is located on the left side of every page in Canvas. Global Navigation links provide quick access to frequently used Canvas features. These links provide access to all your courses collectively. Default links include the Dashboard, Courses, Groups, Calendar, Inbox, User Account, and the Help menu.

    Depending on your institution account settings, other links may appear in the Global Navigation Menu.

  • As an instructor, you can create a discussion for your course.

  • You can allow students to attach files to a discussion by changing the settings from the Discussions page.

    This setting can also be changed from the Course Settings page.

  • Groups are a subset of a course with a course-like environment including their own Calendar, Discussion board, and Collaboration tools. Only students added to a group have permission to see and use the respective tools within the group.

    A group discussion assignment creates an identical discussion topic in each group category. When students reply to the discussion topic they do so within their group environment, which is linked to the course from which the assignment was created.

    If you prefer to create a group discussion for grading, learn how to create graded group discussions.

    Note: You will need to create group sets and groups before setting up a group discussion assignment.

  • You can create a graded discussion for a course group by using the Group Discussion checkbox. Canvas uses group sets to assign group discussions, and each group within the group set that is assigned to the discussion is required to complete the discussion.

    You will need to assign a group set as part of the discussion. You can add an existing group set, or you can create a new group set as part of the assignment and add students to groups later. However, if you create a group set with self sign-up or manual group assignments, you will not be able to use the group set until users have been added to the subgroups.

    When differentiating groups in graded discussions, students can only view the discussion if they are a member of an assigned group. Otherwise the discussion does not appear in the group's discussions page. Grades cannot be assigned for students who have not been included in the graded discussion, and graded discussions that are not assigned to a student are not factored into overall grades. 

    You can still view the links to all groups that are in the group set (as with any other group discussion). However, if you do not select a group in the differentiated assignments list, the group does not show a differentiated due date.

    When Multiple Grading Periods are enabled in a course, graded discussions are also respected against closed grading periods.

  • If you have permission to publish your course, you can publish your course in the Course Home Page sidebar.

    You can also publish your course in the Course Setup Checklist.


    • Publishing a course is a course permission. If you cannot publish your course, your institution has restricted this feature.
    • Publishing your course will also send invitations to any users added to your course and allow them to access the course. However, the course invitation will not be sent until after the course start date. (The start date is commonly the term date, unless the term is being overridden by a specific course or section date in Course Settings.)
  • Admins or instructors can start a new course in Canvas. New courses are created as course shells to host courses for their institution. Some institutions will have this option disabled and instead provide courses to faculty automatically via SIS (student information system) imports.

    Note: If you are not able to start a course as shown in these instructions, your institution has disabled this feature. Contact your Administrator for assistance.

  • You can change your Course Home Page to reflect one of five layout options: the Recent Activity Dashboard, Pages Front Page, the Course Modules, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus. Learn about Course Home Page options.

    Note: You must set a Front Page before selecting the Pages Front Page option. Additionally, only Published pages can be set as the Front Page.