Thursday, October 6, 2016

Media Recording Assignment

Canvas built-in media and feedback tools (refer to Leaving Summative Feedback in Speedgrader) facilitate the process of assessing student audio or video recordings that are typically less then two or three minutes in length. Media recordings can be used in a variety of ways including introduction to class, dictation, audio reflection, informal podcasts, and teach a concept.

(For extended recordings that are longer than five minutes or so, please contact to discuss alternative solutions)

When submitting to a Canvas Media Recording assignment students can submit their recordings in three ways:
  • By computer: Record directly into Canvas with Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. A webcam is required. Students can also take advantage of the built-in FaceTime cameras in the Computer Center's Multimedia Resource Lab, located in the Library Building. See the student guide: Submitting a media assignment (computer).
  • With mobile device: Record with the Canvas app on their Android or iOS mobile devices, which have built-in microphones and cameras. See the student guide: Submitting a media assignment (mobile).
  • Not recommended: Students have the option to record with available software on their computer and then upload the audio/video file separately to your assignment. As seen by students the Upload Media tab (see diagram below) is part of the Canvas interface and cannot be disabled.

  • Create a new assignment. For steps on how to create an assignment for my course refer to
  • Enter the assignment title (e.g. audio reflection, media recording). Below are suggested instructions for students.

  • Enter the number of points for the assignment and place it into an assignment group.
  • Choose Submission Type = Online and check the Media Recordings box. Enter other settings as needed such as a due date and click Save and Publish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Canvas Turnitin Assignment


Turnitin is an cloud service that enables instructors to assess the originality of student submissions. Turnitin can be used as a deterrent and instructional tool for students. The Canvas Turnitin app allows instructors to create Turnitin Assignments in their courses and assess student submissions without having to leave their course environment. 

Integrating the new Turnitin app (replacing the old Turnitin ANGEL plug-in) and implementing it in Canvas requires a different process as explained below.  


When creating a regular Canvas assignment (no Turnitin) in which students submit documents online (and not on paper) then choose Submission Type = Online. For Turnitin assignments you will need to choose Submission Type = External Tool as explained below.

  • Add a Canvas assignment
  • Give the assignment a name (tip: append the name with something like TII so you know that the assignment is using Turnitin)
  • Set the Due date and Points that the assignment is worth
  • If there is a More Options button click to expand the choices. Otherwise scroll down to Submission Type. 

  • To the right of Submission Type choose External Tool and follow the steps below. 
  • Click the Save button. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Published vs. Unpublished Courses

By default all new courses are unpublished. Although students are enrolled in these courses they can never access them in an unpublished state.

  • An unpublished course is like a house with the front door locked. You are the only one that can get inside and do things.  
  • The Canvas term start date for students is the week before classes begin. 
  • Thus students cannot access your course until you Publish the course AND the Monday before classes has begun. These two conditions are required before you can send Canvas messages to your students. You can of course communicate to your students through or by Gmail. 
  • However, you are under no obligation to Publish courses the week before and in fact can Publish them later such as the first week of classes. (Students, though, may persist in asking when their courses will be available.)
  • In unpublished courses you as the Canvas Teacher can freely add materials and interact with the course without worry that students can see your ongoing work. 
  • Because the Test Student (Settings > Student View) works in Unpublished courses you can test access to your materials (e.g. modules, assignments, discussions) before the course is Published. See What is Student View: and How to Enable Student View:
  • Modules and items within modules need to be published for students to access them (once the course is published). Extending the analogy, modules are like rooms in a house. The rooms need to be opened (module and items published) for students to access them

Monday, May 23, 2016

Adding YouTube Videos

YouTube is much easier to add in Canvas and provides new opportunities for enhancing course resources for your students. Below are two ways to add YouTube videos with brief descriptions of how they can be used differently. Enjoy!


Go to or and find your video (example 5 ways to listen better: and copy the URL (web address).


This method works well when adding videos as items in a module. For example, you could add YouTube videos in week by week modules and/or add them together in a module named Videos. Students can play these videos without leaving the course.

In an existing module following these steps:


This method works well when mixing up content in a page such as text, images, links, and videos. 

In a Canvas module follow these steps

Proceed with inserting the YouTube video

Choosing Return link displays an embedded thumbnail of the video, which is especially useful for the syllabus description where top of page space is at a premium. Regardless, any of the embedded videos size formats will expand to a larger or full size in your course 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Leaving Summative Feedback in Speedgrader

Instructors can leave feedback for your students in SpeedGrader by attaching a file, recording an audio or video, or using the Speech to text tool (Google Chrome only), which provides a new way of providing feedback to your students. Read below for the different options. 

Open the Assignment in SpeedGrader to access your student submissions. To the right you will see Assessment (for grading) and Assignment Comments as illustrated below: 


SpeedGrader’s speech to text recognition tool - Google Chrome only - provides a new experience in commenting on student assignments and has the potential to expedite and improve feedback to your students. Give it a try!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Films on Demand in Canvas

Instructors can take advantage of the Library's database collections to add streaming videos hosted by services such as Films on Demand (FOD). The LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) app was designed by Films on Demand to allow instructors to easily find and embed FOD videos into Canvas pages for on and off campus viewing. The videos also play on mobile devices. Because the app connects Films on Demand and Canvas there is no need to worry about ezproxy strings and authentication! 
Find your Video
  • Go to (Links to an external site.) and click the Databases tab.
  • Go to Films on Demand.
  • Browse for, search, filter, and locate your video (e.g. Technology, Trumpets, and Tunes)
  • You can copy the video title for convenient pasting when inserting the video. 
Insert the Video in a Canvas Page
  • Create a Canvas page, typically in a module
  • Insert the cursor where you want to embed the video. 
  • Choose More External Tools > Films on Demand (see screenshot below)

  • Paste the full title into the Titles box. (You can also search for videos directly within the Canvas app but searching and filtering is limited.)
  • Preview the video if necessary and then click the Embed button. 
  • The video displays in your Canvas page as a gray HTML iframe embed box. 
  • Click the Save button to save changes to your page and to play the video (see example below). 
The video will play on and off campus and on mobile devices. Again, there is no need to fuss with the ezproxy logon string. The usual video options in the controller bar apply (e.g. view full screen, display closed captioning if available, and playback speed.)
Image only - will only play within Canvas at Elmira College