Fall 2017 – Canvas Updates from the Office of Instructional Design


The Fall 2017 semester is almost here and your Canvas course shells are ready to be set up.  You can find Canvas support resources and workshop schedules at http://instructionaldesign.pages.tcnj.edu/ under the Canvas menu.  You can also reach these resources using the Canvas Help menu.  Below are some tips and links to help you get started.

  • Remove prior courses from your course menu by Customizing your Courses & Groups This helps reduce the number of course options on many of the menus in Canvas.
  • Check out the instructor quick start guide for a course check list and glossary of Canvas common terms.
  • In order for students to access a course, the course needs to be published and the course start date needs to have passed. The course start date is determined by the dates sent from PAWS.  Most undergraduate courses are set to start August 30.  Instructors can change the start date to allow early access to a course.
  • To message your students in Canvas, make sure the course has been published. It takes some time for your course to appear in the inbox after publishing.  Select multiple recipients by holding down the ctrl key while selecting.
  • Merge courses by cross-listing them under your course settings.
  • If you previously taught the course in Canvas, import previous course content into the new course.
  • Hide Canvas tools you aren’t going to use from students.

For additional assistance, use Report a Problem through the Canvas Help menu or contact us through canvashelp@tcnj.edu.

Customized Training

If you would like to schedule Canvas training for you, your department or a group, please reach out to us at canvashelp@tcnj.edu to setup an appointment.  We can work with you to create a training tailored to your needs.

Self-paced Canvas Training through Lynda.com

Lynda.com offers a 2 hour, self-paced tutorial on Canvas that you can access with your TCNJ login credentials.  The training covers topics such as:

  • Setting up a profile
  • Setting home page options
  • Building a syllabus
  • Working with student groups
  • Assignments and quizzes
  • Speed Grader
  • Modules
  • Duplicating a course
  • Publishing a course

Access the Training at:


New Canvas Features

            Modules Homepage as Default

            On July 15, 2017 Canvas updated the default Homepage setting for new courses to be the Modules tool. Instructors can still choose any home page for the course, but this change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. The Modules page includes two links to help new instructors either create a new module or add existing content through a course import.

You can learn more about modules at https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/724476-what-are-modules

            Canvas DocViewer

DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences. This feature replaces the current Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance.

For more information about Canvas DocViewer, please see the Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer document           

            B&N FacultyEnlight Integration

Canvas features three tools that integrate the TCNJ Bookstore with your course.  The first is FacultyEnlight, located in the course navigation menu, which allows Instructors to choose which course resources they would like to adopt for the course.

The second is Purchase Course Materials, also located in the course navigation menu, allows students to easily find which course resources are available for purchase through the TCNJ Bookstore.

The third item is YUZU Digital Course Materials, which is disabled by default, but can be turned on through the Course Settings -> Navigation interface.  If the course resources you’ve adopted have a YUZU digital component, you should enable this tool for your course.  It allows students to access their YUZU account that contains their resources.