Keep Teaching with Canvas FAQs

Powerpoint presentations that have ‘audio’ attached should be saved as an MP4 video file. Once it is saved as a video file, it can be uploaded to Mediasite or MS Stream. We would recommend that you ‘host’ large video files on these platforms so you do not use up all your Canvas storage allocation. You can then easily take a ‘link’ to these recordings and embed the videos into a Canvas page for your students to view. (MS Stream and Mediasite are services supported by Queens.)

Currently there are no storage limits for Mediasite. For MS Stream, each individual staff member can upload a maximum of 5000 videos and the maximum size of an individual video file is 50GB, although short/small video file sizes are strongly recommended. Note: The overall video storage capacity available to Queen’s for all users will be monitored by both the Mediasite & Information Services Teams.

For more information on the optimal length of a video recording for student engagement, please see the FAQ ‘How long should videos be?

Watch this short 5 minute video tutorial Canvas Conferences to learn how to use the Conference facility within Canvas to record your lecture/tutorial/meeting with students. Canvas guidance says the Conferences tool can support up to 100 students however, some staff have used this for larger classes. The recording lasts 14 days and can be accessed via Canvas Conferences. Transcripts and closed captions are not provided.

Note: An email notification to join the conference and the recording will be made available to only the students who were invited. (as long as the option to invite all course members has been unticked) If you are experiencing any contrary behaviours, please submit a support ticket through Help.

Note: Please bear in mind, due to the amount of people now using these systems across Queens and globally, you may experience some performance issues.

The file storage limit in Canvas in 750mb. If you want more storage you can request this through the Help button inside Canvas and it can be increased to 1GB. However, if you want to upload numerous, large audio/video files into Canvas you will very quickly reach your storage limit and this will not be sustainable in the long term and may impact the system performance. Therefore, we would recommend that you use MS Stream for uploading large video files or Mediasite for large video or audio files, essentially ‘hosting’ them outside of Canvas. You can then easily take a ‘link’ to these recordings and embed the videos into a Canvas page for your students to view. (MS Stream and Mediasite are services supported by Queens.)

Use various tools such as Announcements, Discussions, live Chat, Inbox/email, Groups or Collaborations in Canvas to keep in touch and encourage communication and engagement with your students. For more information check out the Getting Started with Canvas at Queens online course. (available on your Canvas dashboard or through Help) Lesson 5 Groups and Communications will guide you through all these tools.

Announcements: Watch this short 2 minute video tutorial Announcements Overview to learn how to use Announcements in Canvas. Announcements are used in Canvas to communicate important information to all students. Further information and guides.

Discussions: Watch this short 5 minute video tutorial Discussions Overview to learn how to use Discussions in Canvas. Discussions should be used in Canvas to encourage communication, participation and engagement between instructors and students. They will help to build a sense of community and can be used as graded activities. Further information and guides.

Chat: Watch this short 2 minute video tutorial Chat Overview to learn how to use live chat in Canvas. The Chat feature in Canvas allows staff and students to interact with each other in real time. Further information and guides.

Inbox/Email: Watch this short 4 minute video tutorial Conversations Overview to learn how to use the Inbox/email functionality within Canvas. Conversations are effectively your emails within Canvas (Inbox on the Global Navigation menu). This is where you can send and receive email communications between instructors and students. Further information and guides.

Groups: Watch this short 3 minute video tutorial Groups Creation & Management to learn how to use the Groups functionality within Canvas. The ‘People’ link within Canvas enables you to create groups of students within a Canvas course. When you create a group, you are essentially creating a digital space for those students to collaborate and communicate. Each Group has its own announcements feature, discussions area, content pages, space for files, opportunities to hold conferences and participate in real-time collaboration. Further information and guides.

Collaborations: Watch this short 2 minute video tutorial Create & Manage Collaborations in Canvas to learn how to use the Groups functionality within Canvas. Collaborations are used in Canvas to enable students to communicate with each other by being able to view and edit a shared document. Further information and guides.

The file storage limit in Canvas in 750mb. If you want more storage you can request this through the Help button inside Canvas and it can be increased to 1GB. However, if you want to upload numerous, large audio/video files into Canvas you will very quickly reach your storage limit and this will not be sustainable in the long term and may impact the system performance of your module. Therefore, we would recommend that you use MS Stream for uploading large video files or Mediasite for large video or audio files, essentially ‘hosting’ them outside of Canvas. You can then easily take a ‘link’ to these recordings and embed the videos into a Canvas page for your students to view. (MS Stream and Mediasite are services supported by Queens.)

Watch this short 4 minute video tutorial Host Video on MS Stream to learn how to use MS Stream to ‘host’ your large video files. You can then embed them into a Canvas page and as they are hosted outside of Canvas, it will not use up your Canvas storage allowance. Note: MS Stream is not compatible with audio files. Supported files for MS Stream can be viewed here.

Watch this short 4 minute video tutorial Host Video on Mediasite to learn how to use Mediasite to ‘host’ your large video/audio files. You can then embed them into a Canvas page and as they are hosted outside of Canvas, it will not use up your Canvas storage allowance. Note: When uploading an audio file into Mediasite you may receive an error message to say the upload/processing has failed. This is currently being investigated but the file will upload and will be available in your ‘My Mediasite’ area. More information on Mediasite can be viewed here.

You could either schedule a number of separate meetings and add the relevant students to each meeting. You could also schedule a number of Teams meetings, inviting all students to all the meetings but name the meetings, group A, group B, etc. Then tell the students which group they belong to and then join only that meeting.

If you record a Teams session, then the video is available to the meeting organiser in MS Stream. If others are to view this then the organiser must grant them access, so a link to the video on Stream could be added to Canvas but permissions would need to be updated if the students are to view it. Note: The video is downloadable from Stream in MP4 format, this could then be loaded into MediaSite for normal inclusion into Canvas. However, if downloaded from Stream no captions or transcript comes with it.

You can set up a Canvas Conference in your Familiarisation Area to test how to use Conferences as an instructor. However, you will not be able to access the conference as a student using the ‘student view’ functionality. More information on the Canvas Conference interface is available here. You can also set up a test conference in MS Teams and perhaps invite a colleague to become more familiar with the process and how it works.

Watch this short 6 minute video tutorial Online Meeting in MS Teams to learn how to use MS Teams to record your lecture/tutorial/meeting with students. MS Teams may be more robust for dealing with larger class sizes, there is no time limit on your recordings and the huge benefit is that the recording will be saved into MS Stream and this automatically provides a transcript and closed captions for your recording.

Watch this short 5 minute video tutorial Canvas Conferences to learn how to use the Conference facility within Canvas to record your lecture/tutorial/meeting with students. Canvas guidance says the Conferences tool can support up to 100 students however, some staff have used this for larger classes. The recording lasts 14 days and can be accessed via Canvas Conferences. Transcripts and closed captions are not provided.

Note: An email notification to join the conference and the recording will be made available to only the students who were invited. (as long as the option to invite all course members has been unticked) If you are experiencing any contrary behaviours, please submit a support ticket through Help.

Note: Please bear in mind, due to the amount of people now using these systems across Queens and globally, you may experience some performance issues.

To record audio or video, you must ensure your device and your web browser has access and/or permission to use your webcam/microphone. Look at the guidance for PC and for Mac to check your audio/video permission settings and also check your browser preferences. It is a good idea to test your microphone/webcam in advance of any live/synchronous sessions where possible.

You can select whether to ‘upload’ or ‘record’ media through the Canvas inbuilt tool. If you decide to record, you can also select an audio or video option, however there is no facility to ‘edit’ your recording.

Research suggests the optimal length for a video recording is 6 minutes to capture student engagement. You could consider doing a short 5 minute ‘introductory video’ before your lecture/weekly content. Or perhaps after your lecture/weekly content you could consider doing a short 5 minute ‘recap video’ on the important points for students remember. Or if you want to capture a longer lecture (e.g. 30 mins) you could consider breaking the topics into bite-sized pieces. Click here to read the short ‘optimal video length’ research article.

To register for a Mediasite account and for further information Click here

Watch this short 2 minute video tutorial Recording Video in Canvas to learn how to use the Canvas inbuilt recorder to do a piece to camera from within your Canvas course.

Watch this short 2 minute video tutorial Screencasting using MS Powerpoint to learn how to use powerpoint to record your presentation with audio/video.

You can also use Mediasite to record a presentation or capture your desktop. To register for a Mediasite account and for further information Click here

Watch this short 14 minute video tutorial Keep Teaching With Canvas to firstly learn how to create a Canvas ‘page’ and create ‘links’ to your teaching resources/documents. (e.g. lecture notes, powerpoints, PDFs.) You can also create links to ‘external resources’ such as websites & articles or fully ‘embed’ audio/video content into a Canvas page. This will give students everything they need in one place and you can easily write instructions and give context to all your teaching and learning content.

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