Sample syllabus language for Canvas
Canvas can be used for a variety of course activities and for a variety of different types of communication. As with any other tool, it will be important to communicate to students your expectation for how they will use Canvas in your course(s). The following is a sample statement about the use of Canvas that you can customize to reflect your specific course design, policies, and expectations and include in your syllabus.

In this course we will be using Canvas, the College’s learning management system, for [assignment submission, online discussions, quizzes, distributing readings and other materials, feedback on assignments, appointment sign-ups]. Canvas can be a powerful tool for supporting our work in this course, but, as with any tool, it will only be effective if we use it effectively. As a part of being an active participant in the course, students are expected to log in to Canvas at least once a [day/week] to [keep up with discussions, view assignment feedback, read and respond to messages]. In addition, I will use Canvas announcements to inform students of important course information, including [changes to assignments, class cancellations, distributing important documents]. I will also use Canvas messages to communicate with individuals or groups of students and students will receive assignment feedback in Canvas. To ensure that important communications are received in a timely manner, students are responsible for setting their notification preferences in Canvas to be notified immediately of new announcements and new conversation messages and to be notified [daily/immediately] of assignment submission comments. Students are also responsible for regularly checking their email or other means by which they elect to receive Canvas notifications. Instructions for setting your Canvas notification preferences can be found at:

Bb-to-Canvas Update

On July 31st, CELT sent an email to all faculty scheduled to teach using Canvas letting them know that fall courses were available, where to find the Canvas workshop schedule, and where to find additional support resources.

The information in the email is below:


Canvas Logo

Welcome to Canvas, Keene State’s new learning management system!

The Canvas login can be accessed from the blue footer on the home page.


Your courses are now available!
Your fall 2014 courses have been created and are available. Please login to Canvas and verify that your course list is accurate. [Please note that class rosters will not be posted until the week before the semester begins.] At this time you will find more courses listed than you are scheduled to teach as well as a practice course for those who participated in a Canvas workshop. As the courses have been created, a separate section has been created for the Continuing Education (CE) section of your course.

Identifying courses
To distinguish between courses in your courses list, hover your mouse over the title. The full course ID will appear. If you see a course with a “C” in the course id (INGEOL-110-03C-FA14), please do not use it! You can use the ‘customize’ link to hide/unhide courses in your list. It is recommended that you hide all the CE sections.


If you’re enrolled in a course you’re not scheduled to teach or if a course is missing let us know as soon as possible.

Canvas workshops
CELT is offering a variety of workshops throughout the fall semester and beyond to introduce Canvas and to learn more about its rich feature set.  We recommend you begin with Introduction to Canvas; in this workshop you’ll be given a practice course to experiment with or use to begin developing a future course offering.

You can also check out Getting to Know Canvas , an open Canvas course containing resource material that should help to answer some questions, particularly during evenings and weekends.

Here is the link to the workshop schedule and signup. Workshops will continue to be added to the calendar throughout the semester and into next year, so be sure to check back often –

Canvas Support
We’re also offering Canvas Study Hall sessions to provide you with a place to enhance your Canvas courses with a Canvas “expert” present to help with questions that arise.

If you have any questions we are recommending that you email either or contact the HelpDesk at 358-2532 or



Bb-to-Canvas Update

Canvas has extended its rich media capability with the integration of Kaltura, a YouTube-like media area specifically for Keene State faculty and students. Kaltura is available through Canvas and can be used by students to create video projects or upload original videos. Faculty can use it to upload tutorials, online lectures or any original work. Look for “My Media” and “Media Gallery” on the course navigation menu. If you’d like to learn more about Kaltura consider attending a Rich Media workshop:

Faculty interested in inviting colleagues or other experts to their class can now easily do so with the integration of Collaborate, on online web conferencing tool fully integrated into Canvas.




Bb-to-Canvas Update

As of Thursday, July 10th, 61.6% of the faculty scheduled to migrate to Canvas this fall have taken an Introduction to Canvas workshop or have used Canvas previously. This is up 11.6% from June 9th!

CELT has invited department and school administrative assistants to attend a session designed to provide a basic orientation to the Canvas environment. It should be noted that this workshop is not designed to teach AA’s how to use Canvas but rather it is designed to make them aware of the tools available for instructors and students and where end-users can find support.Sessions begin 7/11 and continue through the end of July. Please contact Susie Ericson-West for more information about the administrative assistant session:

CELT has worked with the faculty and staff in the Mason Library to talk about the migration plan, provide an orientation to the Canvas environment and facilitate a 7 task skill assessment in the evolving “Canvas Learning Center” course. This course will be used to help student workers understand Canvas basics.

Bb-to-Canvas Update

Frequently Asked Questions about Canvas:

The CELT staff have put together a list of frequently asked questions about Canvas, faculty and student support, the course creation process and everything in between. If you have a question that is not on this list, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer it. We might even include it on this FAQ list.

Q: How long will I have access to Blackboard?
A: You will have access to Bb and all of your course materials until the end of May 2015. However, we recommend you save materials such as Word documents, Powerpoints and PFD files to your “P” drive. Alternatively, you can export the entire Bb course as a zip file and re-import it into Canvas. Both come with pros and cons and it really depends on you.

Q: Can you customize the course navigation menu like you can in Blackboard?
A: Canvas directs course organization away from the navigation menu to the modules area. Here, faculty can organize the course sequence in a way that best fits their course and their teaching style. So the answer to this question is no.

Q: Does Canvas have an email tool?
A: Yes, though Canvas refers to it as the “inbox” or “conversations”. Faculty can message individual students or the entire class. Messages will be delivered to students via their preferred method of communication which includes their KSC email, alternate email, and text messaging. 

Q: How are students being supported with Canvas?
A: Students will have several ways to learn about Canvas including: student orientation leaders will be made aware of Canvas and some of the basic things that trip up students; Help Desk student technicians will participate in a Canvas training session and these same students will be in the residence halls during move-in day(s) should there be questions about Canvas; Mason Library students and staff who work at the Information Desk will be able to support some of the Canvas basics.
The online documentation created by Canvas are a great resource and are updated regularly. Of course CELT recommends instructors give a brief orientation to their course so that students know what to expect and where to find materials.

Q: I’m teaching a 100 level course and 2, 300 level courses. Do I use both Canvas and Blackboard?
A: No. If you are teaching a 100 or a 600 level course then all of your courses will be on Canvas. Here are the *criteria for fall 2014 Canvas use: .
* also included in the fall migration are faculty new to KSC.

Q: Is there a way to manage content in the course so it is not visible to students?
A: Yes, the “publish”, “unpublish” button allows instructors to work on their course away from student view. Once the instructor is ready they click in the gray “publish” button. Once published the button is green. There is no global “publish” button other then publishing the course.

Q: Can I drop the lowest grade on an assignment or a quiz?
A: Yes, you can. For individual quizzes you can ‘allow multiple attempts’ / ‘quiz score to keep’ <lowest or highest>. If you weight your grades, you would create an assignment group where you can create grading rules including ‘drop lowest scores for each student’.
Documentation can be found on the Canvas guides site:

Bb-to-Canvas Update

Thank you Keene State faculty!
As of Monday, June 9th, 50% of the faculty scheduled to migrate to Canvas this fall have taken an Introduction to Canvas workshop or have used Canvas previously. This is up 15% since May 9th. We’re thrilled with the number and hope to see it rise again in the next few months.

New material has been added to the Getting to Know Canvas course including a nifty Browsers for Canvas checker, and an assignment types flowchart. The course is open and can be accessed here:

Speaking of workshops, you can find a schedule of Canvas workshops and descriptions here including our newest addition, Using Assignments in Canvas. This session is led by CELT’s new Instructional Consultant, Chris Odato. Sign up for the workshop and say hi to Chris!

Bb-to-Canvas Update

We are very happy to announce that Mike Nieckoski has accepted a position with CELT as the Canvas Administrator! Mike has experience administering other learning management systems such as Moodle and Blackboard and has supported faculty who adopt technology into their teaching.

Canvas outreach:
CELT continues to offer outreach for the KSC community and will be in the Student Center on Friday, 5/16 between 11-1 and again on Thursday, 5/22 between 11-1 to answer any questions you might have about Canvas.

Canvas *workshops and descriptions:
*New workshop added: Using Assignments in Canvas. This session is led by the new Instructional Consultant, Chris Odato. Sign up workshop and say hi to Chris!

Am I teaching with Canvas this fall?
Here’s the schedule: . If you’re still unsure, please contact me.


Bb-to-Canvas Update

CELT will be offering Canvas workshops during professional development weeks in mid-May and through the summer months.  New topics in the hopper include: using rich media and using the Canvas assignment feature. I can promise you that these are not your run-of-the-mill tools. You’ll be excited to learn what Canvas can do!

Registration and workshop descriptions can be found here:

As of Friday, May 9th, 35% of the 310 faculty scheduled to migrate off of Blackboard to Canvas in the fall of ’14, have attended an Introduction to Canvas workshop or have have experience teaching with Canvas through pilot participation or having used free Canvas. Thank you to all who have made time in their busy schedules to learn the Canvas basics!


Bb-to-Canvas Update

CELT will be offering Canvas workshops during professional development weeks in mid-May. Registration and workshop descriptions can be found here:

CELT met with the following groups to discuss the Canvas transition:

Wednesday, March 26th – Graduate Coordinators from Education
Monday, March 31st – Department Chairs, Science and Social Science
Friday, April 11th – Department Chairs, Arts and Humanities
Monday, April 14th – Senate Chairs
Monday, April 28th – Department Chairs, Professional & Graduate Studies

Questions raised during the meetings included:

    • will faculty have access to Blackboard during the 2014-2015 academic year?

      yes, all faculty will have access to old course material through May 2015.

    • can faculty get access to Canvas to become familiar with the new environment?

      yes, faculty participating in an “Introduction to Canvas” workshop will get their own Canvas practice course which can be used to build a real course. Faculty can have more then 1 practice course.


Bb-to-Canvas Update

As of 4/15/14 CELT has run 2 Introduction to Canvas workshops and 11 faculty have attended. Additional workshop dates/times can be found at the workshop link below including Saturday (5/3) and an evening (5/8) session. 

CELT met with the following groups to discuss the Canvas transition:

  • Wednesday, March 26th – Graduate Coordinators from Education
  • Monday, March 31st – Department Chairs, Science and Social Science
  • Friday, April 11th – Department Chairs, Arts and Humanities