It’s the first Friday of our Canvas blog-a-thon. So far this week, we have looked at:

However, we all run into difficulty at times. So let’s look at how you would use the Help function and where you can either join training or look through previously recorded training content.


Help is always available if we need it and there are different levels of help. All you have to do is click the Help option on the Canvas Global navigation. A side panel will appear with all the different offerings of help (as shown below):

Canvas - Help panel
Canvas – Help panel

As you can see from the panel above, there are many help methods for staff and students, such as Getting Started (staff) and Student Orientation Courses. There is access to the Canvas Blogs from Digital Learning via the Centre of Educational Development (CED).

Anyone can access the Canvas community and search through the Canvas themes. There are ‘Live Chat’ and ‘Phone’ options available for staff and students if they have difficulty with Canvas or something breaks.

In the event of emergency or general query, staff can submit a ‘Support Ticket’. In the past, we have submitted support tickets for many things, including:

  • getting new staff members access to Canvas
  • where students couldn’t get logged into the system
  • to recover deleted content
  • feature queries
  • to request an increase of file storage
  • TurnItIn issues and conflicts

When you submit a support ticket, someone from the DLS team will get in contact to assist you with your query. There are two other items on the help panel, let’s look at those.

Ask your instructors a question

This is very helpful for students where academics can be contacted through the Canvas system. Students can choose to contact an instructor from the Canvas modules they are enrolled in. This is especially helpful after a teaching session where students may have questions where they didn’t get time or opportunity to ask during a teaching session.

Canvas Help - Ask your instructors a question
Canvas Help – Ask your instructors a question

The last item on the help panel is the Accessibility Statement for Canvas.

Accessibility Statement for Canvas

This links Canvas users to a helpful page about how accessibility statements should be written for the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment. In short, it’s a statement within your module about what content and why something may not be accessible and the steps which are being taken to make them more accessible.

As an academic, you are not responsible for any 3rd party items that Queen’s didn’t pay for. You didn’t create the content, you can’t stand over whether that is or is not accessible but do put this into the accessibility statement. It’s legislation. Accessibility is not a ‘nice to do’, it’s a ‘must do’ and if we all do our bit as responsible people, everyone benefits.

Central Canvas Training

Canvas as a virtual learning environment (VLE) has been at Queen’s now for several academic years. It’s a digital tool which has new features added to it regularly and this helps improve the processes of getting teaching content online and students accessing the content.

Training on Canvas is available centrally via Digital Learning at CED. However, sometimes the dates and times of training doesn’t suit everyone and it can be hard to attend, even when offered online. If you want to see what Canvas training is available, Digital Learning at CED have a page for that. Through the Canvas Blog page (available via Canvas Help), you can access Canvas Training (as seen below) by clicking Staff, Canvas and Training:

Digital Learning - Canvas Training for Staff
Digital Learning – Canvas Training for Staff

When you access the training page, you will see the current training on offer:

Canvas Training as virtual sessions
Canvas Training as virtual sessions

As already mentioned, it can be hard to find a date and time to suit you. So let’s have a look at the training recordings and how you would find those. You may not be able to attend a whole session but you could watch back the recordings on the Canvas topics where you feel you need to know more.

Training Recordings

To access recording from previous training sessions, it’s on the same page as the Canvas Training. Just scroll down the page until you see the Recording of Training Sessions and the ‘go’ link (as shown below):

Recording of Training Sessions
Recording of Training Sessions

The link will take you into Canvas to an area where you can find recordings of Key Training and Training by educational process for designing courses. Queen’s staff can access Canvas via the quick links in Queen’s Online. If you don’t have access to Canvas yet, please look at the Guided 1-2-1 Support page and contact the relevant person in the area you work.

Key training includes:

  • How to facilitate an online session
  • Building inclusive online learning communities
  • Recording video for online learning
  • Building your course in Canvas
  • Alternative approaches for teaching and learning AY2020/21
  • Enhancing learning through assessment
  • Creating a learner journey
  • Canvas quizzes
  • Canvas assignments
  • Marking & Exporting in Canvas
  • Blackboard Ally and Canvas

Training by educational process for designing courses includes:

  • Accessibility, Assessment & Feedback
  • Curriculum Design
  • Fieldwork
  • Learning Communities
  • Online Tools
  • Remote Learning
  • Student Engagement
  • Teaching Room Induction, and
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The recordings should cover everything you might need to know at a time and pace that suits you. We know it’s early July and September is not that far away. It’s a good time to reflect on the previous years teaching and start planning for the incoming year.

Next time

As part of this blog-a-thon, on Monday we will look at the Canvas Student Orientation Course.

Please do join us then to learn more and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @MDBSelearn.


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