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All Places > Canvas User Engagement > Blog > 2019 > September

A few weeks ago, I created this resource document while Nirisha Garimella and I were on site.  It is a basic "roll out" training document that you can share with your faculty/colleagues as they dive into Canvas usage!  If you're ever in a training with me, I will always highlight how much I love Canvas as an Instructor, specifically because it saved me time and helped my students access our course content on their timing!  I know it will do the same for you!  Please feel free to take this and use it, share it, adapt it, etc!


[UPDATE: Another member of the training team took this and made it beautiful! Take a look here!]


GETTING STARTED - First 3 Takeaways

Step 1: Customize Course Navigation

Your students only need a few Navigation options.  Customize your Course Navigation to limit student access without limiting your ability to build and organize your content.  You are the course manager and you know your students better than anyone so do what works best for your students.


  • Trainer Tip: Keep it Simple!  

      • We suggest that you start with Home, Announcements, Modules, and Grades


  • Canvas Guides to get started:

Step 2: Get to Know Modules

Think of Modules as your student facing organizational structure or your course’s Central Nervous System.  How do you want to organize your content for your students?  What do you want your students to see? You can follow this thought process as you start to build your modules:

  1. Do I need a column in my Gradebook?  
    1. No?  Create a Content Page.
    2. Yes?  Do I need my students to talk to each other or see each other’s work? Create a Discussion (Graded or Ungraded)
    3. Yes?  Do I need my students to submit an artifact?  Do I want to give detailed feedback? Create an Assignment.
    4. Yes? Do I need to assess my students’ learning and/or have Canvas grade their submission?  Create a Quiz.

Step 3: Learn the Rich Content Editor

Any time you want to create content in Canvas you will find a Rich Content Editor (RCE).  You will find a RCE as you build Content Pages, Assignment directions, Quiz directions and questions, Discussion questions, and Announcements.  Your students will have RCEs when they submit assignments with a Textbox, Short Answer Quiz Responses, submit responses to Discussion groups, etc.


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