What is Canvas?

A Quick Start Guide to the BISD Canvas LMS

"Canvas - a learning management system (LMS) - is a way to simplify teaching and learning by connecting all the digital tools teachers use in one easy place."

What is an LMS?

An effective LMS is a very complex ecosystem designed to make it easy for teachers and students to access resources from multiple sources. Some of the benefits are:

  • gives teachers a centralized place to post learning resources and make the administration of class work simpler

  • helps teachers create lessons and resources that engage their students, and deliver personalized learning (include resources for different levels of understanding, which can then be assigned to specific pupils)

  • automates routine administrative tasks and communication with colleagues, district leaders, parents and other stakeholders

  • allows online tools housed in the LMS to be accessed on the many devices used by teachers and students

  • promotes collaboration inside and outside the classroom, engaging students more in their learning and giving a voice to less confident students

  • provides the ability to share lesson plans, assignments, classroom announcements and other information with others

  • allows content coordinators and teachers to build content independently or together, and easily share

Click here to self-enroll in BISD Canvas Intro Course.

Short online course to help teachers set up their Canvas environment.

Canvas Best Practices

  • Plan an organized structure for your modules that you will use for all of them. Consistency in your design will make it more user-friendly for your students.
  • Try to not overload "content pages" with lots of text. If the students will have to scroll down to find more information, it is likely they won't see the other information. Create another content page.
  • Try to anchor student learning with a relevant visual when possible. The graphic will help students connect the online text to the concept.
  • Put a link to the Canvas login on your teacher web-page.
  • Include objectives for the lesson in the beginning.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread. It is always a good practice to have a few others look over your Canvas modules before you publish. PLCs are great resources for this type of detail work.
  • Try out the various page options to encourage online collaboration, interaction, and engagement. Discussions, assignments, and quizzes are all available.
  • Plan to discuss digital citizenship before and during use with an LMS. Students must be explicitly taught online learning etiquette and Canvas provides that opportunity.
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Click here to access Canvas INSTRUCTOR directions.

step by step help for instructor designers arranged by question topic

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Click here to access Canvas STUDENT directions.

step by step help for students arranged by common questions

Click here to access all of the Canvas video guides.

a video for every feature in Canvas!

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Catlin Tucker Resources for Students Working Online

Click here for student online Dos & Don'ts.

Catlin Tucker's Dos & Don'ts for Student Online Communication

Click here for student tips for online discourse.

Catlin Tucker's Tips for Students to Elicit Deep Conversations On-line

Click here for Student Online Conduct Contract.

Catlin Tucker's Student Online Conduct Contract

Click here for Sentence Starters for Online Discussions

Catlin Tucker's Sentence Starters for Students to use in online discussions.