Canvas Q&As

Questions have arisen during Canvas training sessions. I am listing those questions and answers here and will update as questions are added.

Table Of Contents

Can I import grades into the Canvas gradebook?

The instructions on this page share the steps to import grades into Canvas.

How do I download and re-upload at once all student submissions?

It is possible to download all student submissions to an assignment.

It is also possible to re-upload student files back to Canvas. You will want to make sure you have not changed the names of the submission files from your bulk download. Canvas will not be able to recognize the files that should be replaced if the file names are different.

Is it possible for me to create an anonymous survey?

Anonymous survey is possible. (Select Survey Type, point 4) One note about the anonymous survey:  
“The anonymous option can be enabled or disabled before or after a survey has received submissions, allowing a user with sufficient permissions to see a student’s identity and responses. To collect fully anonymous survey responses, you may want to use a third-party survey tool.”

How can I import a course from Moodle to Canvas?

Here a link to a video demonstration of how to backup a course in Moodle and import into Canvas.

Why don’t I see any past enrollments on my “All Courses” page?

Whether a course appears in current or past enrollments is controlled by the term dates. If all the courses listed are for Fall ‘21 and beyond, then there will be no past enrollments.

How can I access and manage question banks in Canvas?

Question banks are imported from Moodle courses which contain them. Here is some information about accessing and managing question banks.

Does the Canvas quiz/survey support question branching?

This doesn’t currently exist in the quiz tool or currently in the new quiz engine Canvas is developing. There is a convoluted way you could create something like this in a course, but I don’t know that I can recommend this as a way you should go. One option you might try is using a Microsoft Form to create a quiz with branching.

How can I download all my course files?

I am pleasantly surprised that this is possible for you (and students if they have access to the Files area.)

How do I give a student extra time on a quiz?

This is possible using quiz moderation.

Can I set different due dates for different groups of students within a course?

This is possible. One thing this solution references is sections. Because of the way we are syncing enrollments, faculty are prohibited from creating/managing sections. If using groups does not work for you please contact me and we will investigate how to get this working for you.

Canvas Updates

I routinely receive updates for changes to various aspects of the Canvas platform. To make it easier for faculty to know what has changed I will be listing those changes/updates here. I will also note which roles (FacStaff, and/or Students) are affected by the change.

June 25, 2021

Gradebook Gradebook CSV Column Order


Summary: The Gradebook CSV assignment columns display in the same order as shown in the Gradebook for an individual user.

Affected User Roles: Instructors

When an instructor or other grader customizes the Gradebook assignment columns and downloads the CSV file, the CSV file assignment columns display in the same order as shown in the user’s Gradebook. Previously CSV files were always ordered by Assignment Group ID and Assignment Order. 

Pages Mark as Done Button Placement


Summary: The Mark as Done button for students has been moved to the bottom of the page.

Affected User Roles: Students

When students are required to read a page and mark it as done, the Mark as Done button has been moved to the bottom of the page. The button can be marked more easily after students have reached the bottom of the page. Previously users must scroll back up to the top of the page to mark the page as done.

Canvas: Group Quiz, Multiple Attempts with Penalties

Team-based learning is a well established active learning pedagogical strategy. I am aware of one instructor who is using team based learning at Lawrence. In his course he has students take a quiz individually, then the same quiz as a team. The second team based quiz allows multiple attempts but penalizes the students for each subsequent attempt. The purpose of this is to encourage students to discuss what the correct answer should be before submitting. He invited me and my supervisor to sit in on a class. It was amazing to see how much discussion happened in the breakout rooms. This approach works great in Zoom, and can be equally effective in face-to-face environments as well.

Canvas is currently developing a new quiz engine, New Quizzes. It is currently available in our instance of Canvas, but not the default quiz creation tool. It looks like New Quizzes will replace Classic Quiz in December 2022.

Canvas doesn’t currently support this quizzing behavior. One main mechanism to communicate with Instructure and effect change is the Community Forums. If you find this capability compelling and useful for you or other instructors, please add your voice to this community post.

Canvas Tips and Recommendations

The list of resources below will help you as you begin to learn and work in Canvas. The list will be kept up-to-date as resources become available.

Design Considerations

  • Image Size recommendations (dimensions are approximate)
    • Banner image: 1451×312
    • Topic heading image: 88×88
  • For images within a table: make sure they are all the same dimensions so that the table cells are all the same size and images center the same within the cells
  • Emojipedia: https://emojipedia.org/ – Use this to add images to module titles, assignment titles, or any place you can enter text.