Learning Systems Announcements

Put Some Tech in Your T&L

Greetings VCU Faculty,

Welcome back! Our team is optimistic that the Fall 2022 semester will prove to be the most successful semester yet. Below, we have provided some highlights that will hopefully be useful as you prepare for the semester ahead.

Table of Contents

AT Quick GuideGoogle Apps 1.1 ReplacementAdding a Syllabus to a Course
Student Orientation Canvas VideoCopy Course with LTIsCanvas Help Menu Improved
Student Adobe Creative Cloud AccessCanvas Course Cross-ListingTraining Opportunities
Canvas LoginInactive Students in CourseNew IT Status Alert System
Copy a CoursePublish/Unpublish CourseProvide Feedback

Academic Technologies Quick Guide

VCU Academic Technologies has put together an AT Quick Guide for faculty intended to pinpoint all of our services in one convenient place and can be distributed during individual department meetings, training sessions, new faculty orientations, etc.

Student Orientation to Canvas Video

Additionally, AT has created a Student Orientation To Canvas video to help orient students to some of the most important “how-to’s” for getting started in Canvas. Feel free to share this video in one of your course modules or any other way you see fit.

VCU Students Gain Full Access to Adobe Creative Cloud

VCU’s Enterprise License agreement now includes full access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite for all VCU part-time or full-time students enrolled in at least one credit-bearing course.

VCU employees and affiliates who are enrolled as students are also eligible.All other employees should consult with their department about discounted bulk licenses.

More information is available at go.vcu.edu/adobe.

Canvas Login

Login to Canvas by going to go.vcu.edu/canvas and clicking on the Rodney the Ram astronaut image. Be sure to use your eID and password.

If you have been granted a non-VCU account using your personal email, click the “Login for non-credit/other” link and use your email and the password you have created.

Copy a Canvas Course

Course copying is the fastest way to transfer content from one course to another in bulk. This can be performed by anyone listed in the Canvas course with a Teacher role. Please be aware that you can only copy content to an existing course, not a new course. For more information, visit the Copy a Course page or watch the Importing Course Content in Canvas video. 

Friendly reminder, all Canvas courses have a 2 GB storage limit. Kaltura is still the best place to store your audio and video files. Once there, you can embed these videos in your Canvas course without any impact to your course storage limit.

Similarly, Google Drive is still the best place to store additional files that do not fit within your Canvas course structure. From there you can directly link these files to your course also without impacting your storage limit.

Google Apps 1.1 has been Replaced with Google Assignments 1.3

Recently Google Apps 1.1 was deprecated and replaced with Google Assignments 1.3. Due to this change, all new assignments should be created using Google Assignments 1.3.  Any existing assignments created using Google Apps will need to be updated and converted to Google Assignments 1.3.

For additional information regarding this change, visit the Google Apps 1.1 Being Replaced with Google Assignments 1.3 blog.

Copying a Canvas Course with LTIs

Please be aware that if you are copying a course that contains LTIs (Canvas+ 3rd Party Tools) you may need to to add the LTI to the newly copied course. This includes Kaltura, VoiceThread, Top Hat, and Zoom to name a few. Visit the Integrated Canvas Plus Tools Available for Use page for a current list of tools. Please note the “Who Provides Support?” column for additional information should you need assistance.

Currently, instructors are able to add LTIs at the course level within Canvas at VCU. However, as of June 30, 2022 a change related to LTI standards was implemented which may affect instructors’ ability to integrate LTIs at the course level. For some tools (utilizing LTI version 1.3), this change will require intervention from a Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator to proceed with installation. In the case that a tool requires assistance from the Learning Systems team to install, please see the Canvas Plus (3rd Party Tool) Requests page to begin the required review process.

What is Course or Section Cross-Listing?

Cross-Listing is the equivalent terminology to merging allowing you to move section enrollments only from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course (or different courses that need to be merged together, i.e. HIST course merged with an AFAM course) and only want to manage course data in one location.

Instructors can perform cross-listing (merges) themselves within any Canvas course they are teaching. 

It is strongly discouraged for instructors to manually enroll students in courses; this may result in your student(s) being unenrolled each time the automated system enrollment file runs, causing confusion, and potential loss of student activity in your course.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cross-listing should be done while courses are unpublished. DO NOT cross-list after you have published your course and students have accessed it. Course work is retained within the course, not within the sections, so if a published course is cross-listed after publishing, all cross-listed enrollments will lose any associated assignment submissions and grades.

For more information regarding Cross-Listing instructions, best practices, and FERPA Compliance, visit the Cross-Listing Course Sections page or watch the Cross-Listing in Canvas video. 

Inactive Students in your Canvas Course

You may have noticed a list of students on your Canvas People page marked as Inactive. For more information on the purpose of this change and what it means for your course, visit the Inactive Students in Canvas – FAQs page.

Publishing and Unpublishing Courses

A course will not be visible to students until it has been published by the instructor.

Publishing a course means it is available to students and can now be accessed from their Canvas dashboard. Here, you can find more information on how to Publish and Unpublish a Canvas Course.

Adding a Syllabus to your Canvas Course

There are a couple of ways to add a syllabus to your Canvas course:

  1. Use the built-in syllabus feature within Canvas – How to use the Syllabus as an Instructor 
  2. Simply upload the syllabus as a Word or PDF file and add it to the desired module within your course (see Upload File section).

Canvas Help Menu Improved

Academic Technologies’ Learning Systems team has performed an in-depth overview of our Canvas Help Menu and made a few adjustments. The purpose of these changes is to provide VCU faculty, staff and students with more transparency about where to seek assistance and exactly who that assistance is coming from, allowing them to make more informed decisions. For more details, visit the Canvas Help Menu: New and Improved! blog.

Training Opportunities

Upcoming Opportunities – For upcoming training, you can register at www.training.vcu.edu  (Keyword: Canvas or Kaltura.)

Surviving in Canvas Mini-Courses (Asynchronous/Self-Paced) – VCU Online and Academic Technologies have teamed up once again to bring the VCU community the Surviving in Canvas Mini-Courses series. These courses are a redesign of our previous Teaching with Technology Bootcamp sessions and integrate both technological and pedagogical insights. They are intended for faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about using Canvas to facilitate their course(s).

Canvas users with beginner to intermediate experience will benefit immensely from the knowledge brought forth by our qualified professionals at their most pivotal moments throughout the semester. Each course has a 10 day time limit from the time of enrollment and should take no longer than 1 hour to complete.

Pedagogical Assistance – VCU Online has put together a series of courses designed to help faculty enhance the online teaching experience for themselves and students.

Between their Excellence in Online Learning Program and Online Learning Specialization Program, you are sure to become well versed in online teaching.

These courses are available as open enrollment and, once registered, participants have roughly 45 to 60 days to finish. Timely feedback and best practices are provided throughout by the VCU Online team.

Open Office Hours – VCU Online and Learning Systems will resume our regular open office hour sessions on August 23, 2022. Hours take place every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12pm to 2pm. Faculty are encouraged to drop in anytime during these hours to receive one-on-one assistance with your unique issue.

Training Recordings – We hope that you were able to participate in the Canvas Workshop Series where the CTLE, VCU Online and Learning Systems joined forces to bring you dynamic training that included Outcomes, MasteryPaths and so much more. The series took place from February – April 2022 and if you were unable to attend, you can view the recordings on our Training Recording List.

On this page you can also access recordings of many of the training sessions largely led by Learning Systems’ Learning Support Specialist, Jon Reed, as well as a few vendors.

New IT Status Alert System

The new IT Status Page is finally here!

VCU Technology Services has rolled out the new IT Status page which will be the primary IT alert page for central IT systems and service outage notifications.  VCU faculty, staff and students can subscribe and sign up for email and text message alert notifications for the systems and IT services that are most important to them. To visit the new page, go to https://it.vcustatus.com

Some of the benefits of this new page and tool are as follows: 

  • VCU faculty, staff and students can subscribe and sign up for email and text message alert notifications for the central IT systems and services that are most important to them.
  • The new IT Status page allows us to display alerts, updates and data about system and service performance so customers can quickly access updates and information on their own.
  • Advanced reporting and metrics capabilities allow us to track downtime and communications patterns so that you can identify opportunities to streamline and perform quality management.

For information on how to sign up for email and text alerts, please review the documentation by clicking this link
If you have any questions or problems with signing up, please feel free contact the IT Support Center at 804-828-2227 or email itstatushelp@vcu.edu directly with your question.

We Appreciate your Feedback

As usual, we welcome and appreciate your feedback; it is valuable to our team’s continued success. Please take a moment to fill out this short 4 question survey whenever you are assisted by anyone in any capacity on the Learning Systems team –  Learning Systems Support Survey. Additionally, if you would just like to give us general feedback on any of the systems we support, training we provide, suggestions, our website, etc. please email lsfeedback@vcu.edu.

For any information regarding our team, what we do, what we support and/or how to get support, visit the Learning Systems website or email lsrequest@vcu.edu.

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Categories Beginning of Semester, Canvas, Faculty, Online Teaching and Development, Private, Staff, Teaching with Technology, Workshops and Training

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