WSU eLearning Faculty Newsletter

Spring 2015

Things to Remember for the Start of the Semester

1. Publish, Publish, Publish


Your students won’t have access to your course(s) content until your course semester start date has passed and you've hit publish. This can be a bittersweet function in Canvas if you have proactive students but aren’t yet ready for the semester.


Many students check Canvas first thing Monday morning at the start of a new semester to see if their courses have any content (syllabus, assignment list, etc.) in order to begin planning for the weeks ahead.


You can help students out and save time answering student questions by having something as simple as a welcome message in Canvas.


Note: If you’re teaching online courses, you absolutely should have content ready and published by the first day of classes (August 31st).


Draft State


Speaking of publishing, Canvas has a feature called Draft State that allows instructors to include unpublished content within a published Canvas course.


This means any new content you create for your Canvas course - Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, even Modules - will need to be published before students can see it.


For a quick guide on how to publish your course, check out this Canvas help guide.

For more info on how Draft State works with Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, and Modules, check this out.


2. Testing for Distance Students


That is, your students may live outside the Weber, Morgan, and Davis county area, out-of-state, or even out-of-country. It's important to provide them with information for proctored testing as early as possible so they are able to secure proctors and have them approved.


How to Configure your Chi Tester tests for remote proctoring:

If you would like to deliver your tests to remote students through a secure testing proctor, be sure to complete the following tasks:

  • Make your test available at the 'Remote Proctors' site. This can be set on the "Sites" tab in Exam Parameters.
  • Encourage your students to set up their proctors early! This process can take up to two weeks the first time. It's really in your students' best interest to get their proctor located and approved early in the semester.
  • Note: Please be aware that remote students pay their proctors on average $20 to $50 for EVERY exam they take for your course. If a student has four courses that each has an average of ten proctored exams, that could be roughly $2,000 in testing fees!


We are happy to discuss your exam's settings with you and offer recommendations to ensure they allow exactly the student access you want them to allow.


If you are unsure of whether or not you have set up your test correctly, we encourage you to contact Chi Tester Support.

More information about testing for distance students is available in the Chi Tester Users' Manual.


3. Get Your Dates Straight


Canvas has two assignment settings that may cause confusion in your courses: Due Dates and Available From/Until Dates.


Due dates tell students when assignments are expected to be submitted. But unless an available from/until date is also used, students will be able to submit an assignment after a due date has passed.


The only way to limit submissions is to use the available from/until date option in addition to the due date.


Here’s a guide on the differences between due dates and availability dates if you’re curious.


Be sure to double check your assignment settings because these dates occasionally get muddled when copied over from previous semesters. And with Canvas’ new Differentiated Assignments feature, things can get even more interesting if you’re not careful.