Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
for
Faculty and Staff (community organization site leaders) about Moving to Canvas

Why the move to Canvas?
The deployment of Canvas as the university’s primary L.M.S. is the result of a yearlong search and evaluation by a committee composed of Rider faculty and OIT representatives. Throughout the evaluative process, Canvas consistently beat out its competitors when it came to features and ease of use. A full version of the committee report can be found here.

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Who will be affected? 
All university faculty, students, and staff will be affected by this change. By May 18, 2013, all Rider courses and organization sites will be hosted on Canvas.  Canvas does not have a Community Organization site. Therefore, current community organization sites will be hosted under the Courses tab on Canvas.

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What is the timeline for moving my course(s) -
Can I still teach this summer or fall in Blackboard? 
No, starting Summer I this year, new courses will be created in Canvas only. As of May 18, 2013, no live courses will be hosted in Blackboard.

Faculty who will be teaching summer and fall 2013 courses, as well as organization leaders will develop their sites on Canvas after March 15, 2013. This will be done by starting from a blank “canvas” or rebuilding with content that has been migrated from Blackboard.

Faculty and staff will continue to have access to their Blackboard until October 28, 2013 to provide time to extract contents; however, after October 28, 2013, Blackboard will be taken offline.  If you need to access an older Blackboard course between October 28, 2013 and May 31, 2014, please contact the OIT Helpdesk at helpdesk@rider.edu. Blackboard will no longer accessible after May 31, 2014.

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What is the timeline for moving my organization(s) –
Can I still use this summer or fall in Blackboard? 
No, starting May 18, 2013, organization leaders won’t be able to create or add contents in Blackboard organization(s).

Organization leaders will develop their sites on Canvas after March 15, 2013. This will be done by starting from a blank “canvas” or rebuilding with content that has been migrated from Blackboard.

Faculty and staff will continue to have access to their Blackboard until October 28, 2013 to provide time to extract contents; however, after October 28, 2013, Blackboard will be taken offline.  If you need to access an older Blackboard course between October 28, 2013 and May 31, 2014, please contact the OIT Helpdesk at helpdesk@rider.edu. Blackboard will no longer accessible after May 31, 2014.

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What happens next?  Will I be able to use content from my courses currently on Blackboard? 
The short answer is, yes, you will be able to use the contents from your current courses and organizations.  Instructor and organization leaders are responsible to move the contents from Blackboard to Canvas. It’s time to re-visit courses and organizations site and select contents that you would like to move.  See the “Migration” video tutorial for quick steps.

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Where are community Organization sites that I belong to?
Canvas does not have a Community Organization site. We will use Canvas Courses for the organization site shell. If you don’t see the organization site(s) under Courses tab, you will need to contact your organization leaders of the site to enroll you to the site. If you see the organization site(s) under the Courses tab, but are not able to view the contents, you will need to tell the organization leaders to publish the site.

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How do I access Canvas?
You can access Canvas by going to http://canvas.rider.edu and logging in using your Easypass id. You’ll find your courses that you are teaching under the “Courses” tab, along with any organizations you’re a part of and any account(s) you manage.

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Will the OIT Help Desk handle Canvas questions?
The OIT Help Desk staff will be a resource for Canvas questions.

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Will there be any assistance to move my Blackboard content to Canvas?
Please check with your early adopter (.pdf) and check the Canvas student assistant for your department. You can always contact Canvas Support team at canvas@rider.edu.

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What third-party and external resources will be available to deliver courses? 
Turn-it-in, McGraw-Hill , NJVid and Sharestream are all are all tools whose integration with Canvas has been validated.

There will not be a university-wide direct integration to Sharestream Pick and Play (multimedia dropbox), SmartEvals (online course evaluation) or NoteFlight. These integrations will be placed by request per course.

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When are my courses added to Canvas?
Each semester, students are added to all Canvas courses approximately when registration begins.

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How do I learn to use Canvas?
Please see our schedule of upcoming Canvas training sessions for faculty and staff. We also recommend that you explore the tutorials in Canvas Faculty Center and the information in Instructure's Canvas Guides. View the Canvas instructor's manual.

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Why can’t students access my Canvas course?
Canvas course sites are not accessible to students until the site is made available or "published" by the instructor, so it is normal for students not to see all their courses listed in Canvas.

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How do I publish my Canvas course?
To publish your course, simply click “Publish Course” from the “Next Steps” menu on the bottom left of the home page. Alternatively, you can click “Published” from the banner that sits across the top of every unpublished Canvas course’s homepage and then click the "Publish Course" button at the bottom left of the page.

To enable students to access your course, you'll need to "publish" it. View a tutorial on how to publish your course. Once a Canvas course is published, it cannot be reverted to "unpublished" so be sure you publish when you're ready—this is not like Blackboard's course availability setting which could be switched off and on repeatedly.

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Can faculty easily submit grades from Canvas to the Registrar's MyRider grade submission system?
No. Currently this is a manual process. You will need to submit grades in MyRider.

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How can I request a "Sandbox" course or a community organization site?
If you would like to have a Canvas site to use for practicing or for collaboration with colleagues, please contact the OIT Helpdesk at (609) 219-3000 or helpdesk@rider.edu. Please provide the name you would like to give your Canvas course and the names of people who should be added. Preferably, your list should include easypass id ; at minimum, full names are required.

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My course list doesn't show all of my courses! How do I access them?
Canvas displays up to 12 courses in the Courses drop-down menu. Once users have more than 12 courses/organizations, they may customize the drop-down menu to choose which courses/organizations to display. View a tutorial on how to do so. After a semester ends, your courses from that semester will be retired from your course list. Also, if you're involved in many courses at once during a semester, you may not see all of your courses on your course list. In any case, you can always access all of your courses, past and present. Click on your course list and when that dropdown list pops open, look for the text at lower right that says “View all courses.” Click on that text and you'll be taken to a new screen which will list all of your courses, past and present alike. Click on a course's name to enter it.

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Is a student orientation for Canvas available?
Yes, we have a Student Orientation Canvas course available that you can link to your Canvas courses. Please contact OIT at helpdesk@rider.edu or (609) 219-3000 to obtain this course URL.

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Will Canvas work on my mobile device?
Canvas functions fully on several smart phones. Compatible devices include the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Android, Palm and Blackberry. On Android devices, browsers that work well are Opera, Firefox and Dolphin Browser HD. Others are functional but these three are currently recommended. Currently, Instructure released SpeedGrader and Canvas for iOS, and Canvas for Android mobile applications (app).

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When can I move content for courses I will teach in fall, 2013?
Courses for fall, 2013 will be available in April, 2013. As soon as a course shell is available, you can develop content into the course shell.

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How will students view the change?
Some Rider students have been using Canvas for more than two years as part of a pilot license that was in effect before and during our period of evaluating competing LMS options. Student response to Canvas has been overwhelmingly positive.

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Why is Canvas sending me so much email?
Canvas will contact you as part of its Notifications feature. Please see the tutorial on how to customize the notifications or alerts you receive from Canvas so that you receive the right amount of communication from Canvas. Canvas gives users the ability to receive a variety of different notifications via email, text message, or other registered services like Twitter and Facebook. You can also set different levels of frequency for each type of notification Canvas offers.

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What training will be required?
Training is highly recommended because Canvas is quite different from Blackboard in several respects.

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How does Canvas compare to Blackboard? 
Canvas and Blackboard have some functionality in common. However, Canvas and Blackboard vary in important ways.  Please see the Blackboard to Canvas Conversion document (.pdf) for an idea of how a tool you are used to using in Blackboard translates to a tool or area or feature in Canvas.

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Where can faculty get more information?
This site provides links to video tutorials, registration for training in several different delivery modes, and general information. Also, contact Canvas Support team at canvas@rider.edu for additional questions. We look forward to working with you during your transition to Canvas.

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How often are students populated into courses?
The loading of Banner course rosters into Canvas course sites is not automated. Banner roster updates will take place twice per day two weeks before and after semester starts, and once per day thereafter. Add and drop students will be added after Banner course roster update.

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Access Canvas: http://canvas.rider.edu

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