17 STEPS to create a UC Davis course in Canvas

By Robert Blake, early user of Canvas, Distinguished Professor of Spanish Linguistics, and Director of the Davis Language Center

  1. Enter Canvas http://canvas.ucdavis.edu; In Global Navigation bar, choose <courses> and then enter either your sandbox or the appropriate fall course.
  2. In the Course Navigation bar, choose <pages> and create a front page with introductory course material (description and maybe the grading scale; add a picture; whatever), publish it and then, go back to the home, scroll down to “Choose home page” and select your special front page.
  3. In Course Navigation bar, again, choose <files>, add your resources from your desktop* or USB drive (web pages, docs, pdf, ppt, keynotes, sounds, videos, images, etc.) by drag and drop. It would be a good idea to make folders in Canvas to organize your materials.
  4. In Course Navigation bar, choose <modules>; create 11 modules using <+> icon: one module for preliminary notes and 10 others for each week in the quarter.
  5. Use the plus icon <+> given by each module to add headings (e.g. text), assignments (discussion, quizzes, etc.), URLs, and resources (from your files archive) under each week.
  6. EDIT ALL ASSIGNMENTS, DISCUSSIONS, QUIZZES AND GIVE THEM A DUE DATE AND GRADE POINTS (from your entries, Canvas will automatically sync the calendar, syllabus, and gradebook with due dates and points by all magic). Without a due date, nothing will work right in Canvas; take the time to do this step.  Use the <Group> button in Assignments to divide up global weights for tests, comps, quizzes, etc.
  7. The options for an assignment are many and amazing: you can make students enter assignments directly in a Canvas field, you can have them upload files; you invoke peer review; you can require them to include a video/sound posting as part of the assignment.  VERY FLEXIBLE—EXPLORE THIS.   And grading is a snap using SPEEDGRADER (explore it!).
  8. In Course Navigation bar, choose <gradebook> to manage grades. If you did step #6 correctly, everything is already set up—end of story.
  9. In Course Navigation, choose <pages> to add new content using Canvas´ rich text formats.
  10. In Course Navigation, choose <settings>, to change navigation scheme, add sections, and add LTI features and lots of other things like changing the interface language to Arabic or whatever.
  11. In Course Navigation, the tab <people> will let you see your roster as well as add others as visitors.
  12. In <conferences> at far left, you can set up synchronous videoconferences.
  13. In <collaborations> at far left, you can set up group writing tools and link automatically to Google Docs.
  14. In Global Navigation bar, use Inbox to message people from your difference courses.
  15. Consult the <calendar> from the Global Navigation bar to see all of your assignments marked on the correct day.
  16. LAST STEP:  If you created this course in a sandbox, then go to <settings> and scroll down to choose <EXPORT COURSE> and download this document to your desktop and then upload it into the desired Canvas course using <IMPORT content into this course>.
  17. LAST STEP: Publish the course!

* Unfortunately, there is no smooth transfer between SmartSite and Canvas.  Go to your SmartSite course and DOWNLOAD all of your resources to your desktop.  Make updates on your desktop and then drag and drop your resources into the Canvas files area.