Navigating Canvas

Web Only

This textbook was authored for the CIS 526 - Web Application Development course at Kansas State University. This front matter is specific to that course. If you are not enrolled in the course, please disregard this section.

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This course makes extensive use of several features of Canvas which you may or may not have worked with before. To give you the best experience in this course, this page will briefly describe those features and the best way to access them.

When you first access the course on Canvas, you will be shown this homepage, with my contact information and any important information about the course. This is a quick, easy reference for you if you ever need to get in touch with me.

Let’s walk through the options in the main menu to the left. First, any course announcements will be posted in the Announcements section, which is available here. Those announcements will also be configured to send emails to all students when they are posted, though in your personal Canvas settings you can disable email notifications if you so choose. Please make sure you check here often for any updates to course information.

The next section is Modules, which is where you’ll primarily interact with the course. You’ll notice that I’ve disabled several of the common menu items in this course, such as Files and Assignments. This is to simplify things for you as students, so you remember that all the course content is available in one place.

When you first arrive at the Modules section, you’ll see all of the content in the course laid out in order. If you like, you can minimize the modules you aren’t working on by clicking the arrow to the left of the module name.

As you look at each module, you’ll see that it gives quite a bit of information about the course. At the top of each module is an item telling you what parts of the module you must complete to continue. In this case, it says “Complete All Items.” Likewise, the following modules may list a prerequisite module, which you must complete before you can access it.

Within each module is a set of items, which must be completed in listed order. Under each item you’ll see information about what you must do in order to complete that item. For many of them, it will simply say “view,” which means you must view the item at least once to continue. Others may say “contribute,” “submit,” or give a minimum score required to continue. For assignments, it also helpfully gives the number of points available, and the due date.

Let’s click on the first item, Course Introduction, to get started. You’ve already been to this page by this point. Course pages will primarily consist of readings covering the content of the course. Some may also include an embedded video; in this case the video will be followed by slides and a downloadable version of the video, and a rough script for quick reference - as is the case for this page.

When you are ready to move to the next step in a module, click the “Next” button at the bottom of the page. Canvas will automatically add “Next” and “Previous” buttons to each piece of content which is accessed through the Modules section, which makes it very easy to work through the course content. I’ll click through a couple of items here.

At any point, you may click on the Modules link in the menu to the left to return to the Modules section of the site. You’ll notice that I’ve viewed the first few items in the first module, so I can access more items here. This is handy if you want to go back and review the content you’ve already seen, or if you leave and want to resume where you left off. Canvas will put green checkmarks to the right of items you’ve completed.

Finally, you’ll find the usual Canvas links to view your Grades in the course, as well as People listing instructors, TAs, and fellow students taking the course.