How to Release Content Conditionally in Canvas

Would you like to require students to participate in a discussion, view a file, or some other prerequisite before moving forward in your Canvas course? Faculty who enjoyed Blackboard’s adaptive release tool will be pleased with what Canvas offers, as it’s easier to use, and more flexible. 

 You have multiple ways to release content conditionally: 

  • By date and time 
  • By requiring completion of another module, in its entirety 
  • By requiring students view a file, or mark it as done 
  • By requiring students participatin a discussion 
  • By requiring students to submit an assignment 
  • By requiring a performance threshold on a submitted assignment  

It’s recommended that you build a module or two before configuring the conditional release settings. However, we encourage you texperiment with the tool at any time, as it opens up ideas for how you can design and facilitate your course.   

 

To Get Started:  

Go into a Canvas course, navigate to your Modules page, and click the three dots, as shown below, to edit the module. The settings will appear on the page. 

Kebob menu

 Module Conditional Release Settings: 

edit module settings popup window

An Instructure-developed video provides a walk-through on setting up the settings. You’ll need to navigate to the two-minute mark for the demonstration on module settings.

When you set up prerequisite modules, students must complete a module before moving to the next module.

For each module, you can only set prerequisite modules that come before a specific module. You may need to reorder modules to create correct prerequisite availability.

Please note that you cannot prevent a student from accessing an upcoming module unless requirements have also been set for the prior modules. Requirements indicate the order that students are required to complete module items.

Note: You can only add prerequisites if you have added at least one module.

How does this align to Canvas training materials?

Canvas logoPriming the Canvas: Module 6 “Structuring the Course”

 


Additional Resources: 

Our next article will highlight Gradebook & Speedgradervisit Canvas Blog to see all our Canvas articles. 

The Syllabus Tool in Canvas

The syllabus tool in Canvas is powerfully integrated with a course’s Assignments, Grades, and Calendar tools. When you select the Syllabus in the left menu of your Canvas course, the Syllabus tool will display.

Syllabus tool link in Canvas Course Menu

The text in the top section [1] can be edited by clicking Edit, then working with the text in the Rich Content Editor (RCE). Below the text area [1] is an auto-generated list [2] of assignment due dates based on due dates set for your assignments, quizzes, discussions, etc. Events will be displayed in a calendar view on the right [3].

Canvas Course Syllabus, Summary and Events

Instructors can disable the Summary of assignments and due dates displayed if they choose “Edit” and uncheck the box for “Show Course Summary.”

Show course summary button

 Note:
If you are using a course template rather than building your course from scratch, you will see pre-populated information in the content area of the Syllabus. Some of the information on the page is linked to a Course Information Module that already contains academic resources and institutional policies referenced in the WCU Syllabus template document and in what was formally known as the “Academic Toolbox” in Blackboard. There is also supportive guidance in the content area of the syllabus tool  that explains best practice for using the Syllabus tool and chunking out the information to the student from the Syllabus to a module, creating an improved user experience that is easy for students to navigate.

How does this align to Canvas training materials?

Canvas logoPriming the Canvas: Module 6 “Structuring the Course”

 


Additional Resources: 

Our next article will highlight the Groups in Canvasvisit Canvas Blog to see all our Canvas articles. 

CFC Open Training Sessions

In order to practice social distancing and safety precautions, the CFC will be operating by appointment only. No walk-in hours will be available until further notice.

We are here to partner with you, help answer your questions and find solutions that will work in this rapidly changing environment.

Join an open session

Every Tuesday, Thursday & Friday at 11:00am

Bring all your LMS, educational technology, pedagogy and course design questions.

 

Authenticated WCU Zoom account will be required to join the session.

Visit zoom.wcu.edu to log in with WCU credentials, click “Join” and enter Meeting ID: 910 6773 8483


Interested in how to apply online teaching concepts or how to use the LMS or Panopto?

Each session provides a space for attendees to ask specific questions about their courses and interact with members of the CFC. Find out about Assessment, Discussion boards, using Zoom or other synchronus tools to interact with your students, as well as how to approach teaching online and flexible face-to-face changes. Review the video Playlist before attending a session.

Please contact the HelpDesk at 828.227.7487 or submit an IT Help Ticket for immediate course related requests.

CFC Offers Course for Rapid Online Transition for Online Fall Courses

Moving Rapidly to Remote Instruction (MRRI) will help you rapidly develop your face-to-face course for remote instruction for this fall’s semesters. If you are planning on teaching a fall course that needs to move online quickly, attend this three-week online workshop that will walk you through an intentional course design process and provide the expertise of the Coulter Faculty Commons who are experienced online faculty.  This is not the full Online Course Design Institute, but will take you through the streamlined basics of creating an online course so that you can be prepared for the Fall of 2020.

Dates: July 10 – August 1, 2020
When: There will be a combination of live Zoom sessions, recorded tutorials, content and assignments/deliverables.  You will have the opportunity to have 1:1 conversations with CFC staff and experience online faculty. Expect to commit 8 – 10 hours each of the three weeks to complete this process and be ready to teach.
Where:  Fully Online through the LMS, Zoom, and Teams
Outcome: By the end of July, you will have your online course designed and developed, in the LMS, with a teaching/facilitation plan in place.  You will also have the support of colleagues and the CFC throughout the summer.

The workshop is free and open to all instructors, including adjuncts.  Please register, to let us know you are joining us and to allow us to ensure that we have enough facilitators to make this workshop successful!

The PLEA for using just-in-time over in-real-time teaching modes!

It is easy to just assume that you will be able to have live class sessions online using Zoom at the same time and day they have been scheduled, but that will not produce a good learning experience for the students, nor will it be pleasant for you as the instructor.  We gathered a couple of really good posts that align with our approach to moving online quickly.

Do This, Not That

~Alison Wang, Online Teaching Do This Not That

Click on image to download the PDF. Creative Commons License Attribute No Derivative, No CommericalShared through Creative Commons, Attribute, No Derivative, No Commercial Purpose.

 

Do This, Not That Graphic

This has been flying around social media, but it’s one of the good ones. She refers to particular systems and programs but her advice is right on.

Please do a bad job of putting your courses online

What? Did I hear you correctly? YES!

As Rebecca Barrett-Fox says “You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.” ~https://anygoodthing.com/2020/03/12/please-do-a-bad-job-of-putting-your-courses-online/ 

And we like her list of 10 considerations:

  1. Your students know less about technology than you think. Many of them know less than you. Yes, even if they are digital natives and younger than you.
  2. They will be accessing the internet on their phones. They have limited data. They need to reserve it for things more important than online lectures.
  3. Students who did not sign up for an online course have no obligation to have a computer, high-speed wifi, a printer/scanner, or a camera. Do not even survey them to ask if they have it. Even if they do, they are not required to tell you this. And if they do now, that doesn’t mean that they will when something breaks and they can’t afford to fix it because they just lost their job at the ski resort or off-campus bookstore.
  4. Students will be sharing their technology with other household members. They may have LESS time to do their schoolwork, not more.
  5. Many will be working MORE, not fewer, hours. Nurses, prison guards, firefighters, and police officers have to go to work no matter what. As healthcare demand increases but healthcare workers get sick, there will be more and more stress on those who remain.
  6. Some of your students will get sick. Others will be caring for people who are ill.
  7. Many will be parenting.
  8. Social isolation contributes to mental health problems.
  9. Social isolation contributes to domestic violence.
  10. Students will be losing their jobs, especially those in tourism and hospitality.

Other recommendations she puts forward that we promote as well:

  • “Don’t do too much. Right now, your students don’t need it. They need time to do the other things they need to do.”
  • Make all assignments due at 11:59 pm on the same day of the week. Make them due on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. instead of Friday so that they use the evenings and week-end to get work done.
  • Allow students to take every exam or quiz twice so that if there is a technical problem (such as getting kicked out of the LMS), they will have another opportunity to complete the exam.
  • Record lectures only if you need to.  But use the TED talk method: no longer than 18 minutes and focused on one concept, big question or idea.
  • Don’t fuss over videos.  Don’t worry about your ums and ers. It helps if you write a script (also provides a transcript for ADA purposes) and read through it a few times.  Then practice 5 times just the first few sentences or first few slides. That will get you into the recording without the jumpstarts we do at the start.
  • Do NOT require synchronous work!  Students’ life and schedules have been turned upside-down as well. A good use of Zoom or Bb Collaborate is to use it for office hours or tutoring sessions. But make it optional.
  • Do not use proctoring or ask students to record themselves when taking a test.  This is a violation of their privacy and they did not sign up for an online course.
  • Remind them of due dates. This is not hand-holding!!  They need contact from you and as we said before, their lives have been turned upside down.  Be kind to them and kind to yourself.  Be supportive and encouraging, Be a mentor and coach!
  • Respond to them when they ask for help.  These are anxious times and they will need encouragement.

We will continue to share quick tips and helpful resources over the next few weeks!

 

Assess Your Students’ Changing Needs – A Survey Template

Student needs are changing during this move to offering alternative modes of instruction. Faculty who want to find out what challenges students are facing can utilize a new web form created in Office365. 

The form can be modified by faculty prior to sending out. The survey should take students 5 minutes to complete, and asks for the following types of information:

  • whether students expect to have reliable Internet access
  • times of day students expect to do online work
  • preferences for asynchronous or synchronous activity
  • accessibility requests (content in different formats, for example)
  • basic psychological and physiological needs

The survey form is available below. Note the options for modifying the survey questions, collecting data, and sending out the link (the Settings icon can be found top-right of your screen, to the right of the Share button).

Open the Form


A heartfelt thank you to our colleague Dr. Mae Claxton, Professor of English, for reaching out to the CFC with this idea.