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Teaching Using Canvas: Getting Started

Welcome to our Instructor Resources

This guide provides instructors at UW-Superior with resources that support your teaching, both in person and online, with a focus on the use of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) in the UW-System Digital Learning Environment (DLE). This guide includes foundational resources used in the 2020 Superior Learning Experience that we’ve updated and revised due to ongoing changes in the UW System DLE.

The Getting Started resources include:

  • Self-paced Canvas Basics course
  • Technology and Help Resources Directory
  • Canvas Professional Development Resources
  • Instructional Design Support request form

Download the Canvas Basics Pre-Work Guide

This one page guide has active web links to guide you to the essential content within this Teaching Using Canvas online resource. Completing the list of activities on this sheet will help prepare you for one of our CLIC Canvas Basics hand-on training sessions or for individualized professional development one-to-one training with one of our instructional designers. Once downloaded, this document will guide you through a "fast-track" series of training resources on the Canvas basics.

UW-Superior Course Design and Engagement Standards

Introduction to the UW-Superior Course Design and Engagement Standards

UW-Superior prides itself on excellence in teaching and learning. Our many instructors and staff members are mission-driven to foster intellectual growth and career preparation. There is no limit to the creativity and innovation that members of the UW-Superior community bring to developing curriculum, choosing and making their instructional materials, and creating learning experiences, assignments, and projects.

The below set of standards are also a product of this innovative community. They were inspired by nationally-accepted standards (such as Quality Matters and Canvas Checklist 2.0) and refined by UW-Superior instructors and instructional designers focused on Creating excellent student learning experienced regardless of learning modalities. The below standards are shaped by five Key Values and ask course designers at UW-Superior to:

  1. Adopt generally accepted instructional design principles (for instance, using a sequential, scaffolded organization)
  2. Gain a working (or better) knowledge of the course management system in order to facilitate a smooth student experience.
  3. Attend to students’ needs and preferences by using the tools of the course management system for course basics such as routine communication, assigning work, submitting work, feedback, grades, and scheduling.
  4. Create chances for meaningful engagement between the instructor, students, and, where appropriate, community partners, guest speakers, visitors, etc.
  5. Adopt practices of universal design, accessibility, and multiple means of delivering information and assessing students’ learning

 The instructional support professionals at UW-Superior aim to empower instructors and staff members to grow their expertise and creativity as teachers – able to leverage teaching technologies to enhance their instruction. Therefore, when a course is designed using the standards, instructors will have the technology, resources, and guidance they might want, including on-demand, personalized, one-to-one support. Additionally, the standards are accompanied by explanation, context, and links to resources throughout. There are no surprises in the review process: we aim to articulate each standard, explain clearly its purpose, and we will support you in implementing them in your course design.

Download the Standards Guide

New to Canvas and our Digital Learning Environment?

If you are new to Canvas and would like to learn the basics we invite you to self-enroll in our "Canvas Basics Online Course" which provides an overview and video reviews of the main Canvas features that you will work with as an instructor.

Steps for getting enrolled into the online course:

  1. Click this link will take you to a “Sign up Now” page on the Canvas website.
  2. Select “I’m a Student” to advance to the next screen.
  3. On the next screen, enter the join code “8GHBEE”. 
  4. Complete the online form to create an user account. Enter your name, a username, and an 8 character password.
  5. Select the Start Learning button to access to the course.

The Canvas application will open to the Dashboard screen with the course tile on the dashboard. Select the course tile to open the course.

Canvas Tutorial Videos

If you are ready to get started right now by viewing a selection of video tutorials, visit our Canvas Basics Video page. We have collected a series of 8 short video into a convenient location for viewing these Canvas basics videos in under 30-minutes. 

Technology and Canvas Support Directory

The following links provide access to additional support resources beyond the UW-Superior Canvas instructor support team:

  • UW-Superior Canvas Team – Available for instructional design and Canvas support.
  • UW-Superior Training Events Calendar – Register for UW System-wide training and events related to the Digital Learning Environment.
  • 24/7 Canvas Support – Available while logged into your Canvas account under the Canvas Help menu.
  • Canvas Instructor Guide – Complete online Canvas user guides. 
  • IT Help Desk – UW-Superior Technology Services Help Desk.
  • Panda Pros – Edtech and instructional design experts who can help you with all things Instructure (Canvas), whether it’s big-picture planning, hands-on support, or technical tips and tricks. For UW-Superior users, access to a Panda Pro can be gained through the Instructure Site. Please note, this service is available until September 30th, 2021.

Other Professional Development Resources

Along with the resources complied here there are many other great professional development resources available to UW-Superior Instructors including those listed below:

Getting Instructional Design Support

If you need assistance designing your course in Canvas or deciding how to best utilize the Canvas tools available, please reach out to our Instructional Support Team via this online form. We will respond as soon as possible or schedule a consultation appointment as needed.

Our instructional support form is also useful if you have questions about the larger Digital Learning Environment, including Kaltura and web conferencing tools.

This work "Teaching Using Canvas" is a derivative of "Designing and Teaching for Impact in Online Courses" by Indiana University, used under CC BY-NC SA 4.0. "Teaching Using Canvas" is licensed under CC BY-NC SA 4.0 by the Markwood Center for Learning, Innovation & Collaboration.