Canvas FAQ for Colorado Mountain College Faculty

This FAQ page is being phased out and replaced with the Office of Innovations’ blog on Canvas and other tools in use at CMC. Visit that blog here.
Your first resource when you need help with using Canvas in general, or when you would like to learn how to use a Canvas feature is the Canvas Instructor Guide which contains extensive tutorials and explanations for teachers. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, please begin by consulting the Canvas Mobile Phone Instructor Guide. This FAQ page only contains answers to questions that are specific to Colorado Mountain College. For more general questions and “how-tos”, please consult the Canvas Instructor Guide or the Canvas Mobile Phone Instructor Guide. For tech support with Canvas, please contact the IT Department’s Service Desk. Faculty and staff can visit the Office of Innovations website to file common Canvas requests online. Online forms available here include the request for a sandbox course, the request to add or remove someone from your Canvas course, the request that your multiple Canvas courses be consolidated or “cross-listed”, and more.
 How do I log into Canvas for the first time—what will my username and password be?
How can I find my CMC ID Number for logging into Canvas? 
 Is Canvas running normally? Click here to check! This webpage by Instructure offers breaking news on Canvas, including outages and technical issues bulletins. You can also follow @canvassupport on Twitter for news.
 Did you know Canvas is frequently updated? Click here to check on the latest changes to Canvas!

 

How do I log into Canvas for the first time—what will my username and password be?

To log into Canvas, use your full 7 digit CMC ID number as your username. All zeroes must be included, even leading zeroes. Your default password will be cmc followed by the last 6 digits of your Social Security number, for example: cmc123456. Or, if you don’t have a Social Security number, your default password will be cmc, followed by the 2 digits of your birth month, followed by the 2 digits of your birthday, followed by the letters xx. So, for example, if your birthday is January 5, and you don’t have a Social Security number, your default password would be cmc0105xx. If you have no Social Security number and no birthdate in the system, your password will be a randomly generated number. You would need to contact the IT Department’s Service Desk for assistance in that case. Your Canvas account is automatically activated and available when you enroll in a course or teach for CMC; instructors automatically receive a Canvas course for each course they are teaching. Students are automatically added to Canvas courses when they register. Other CMC employees who need to use Canvas and aren’t sure that they have an active Canvas account or need special assistance, please contact the Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning or the IT Department’s Service Desk.

What happens in Canvas if CMC cancels my course?

If CMC cancels your course and its status in Datatel Colleague is set to “cancelled,” then typically your Canvas course will be automatically deleted within a day by our regularly scheduled daily updates.You can create a course export file of your course if you anticipate that it will be canceled so that you can save your work, files, course design, etc.  If you would like to have a demo Canvas course to store your course materials, to use for practicing, or for collaboration with colleagues, please click here and fill out this online form. This form will be sent to the Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning.

How do I learn to use Canvas?

Please see our training calendar for faculty and staff. We recommend as well that you explore the Canvas Guides. Instructure also offers a free, open Canvas training course for instructors with videos that takes about 40 minutes to complete.

Who do I call or send my students to for Canvas support?

Students can click on the Help link at the top right corner of the screen while logged into Canvas to request tech support directly from Instructure. Students can also contact the IT Department’s Service Desk. We recommend as well that students check out the tutorials in the Canvas Student Guide.

Is a student orientation for Canvas available?

Yes, please direct your students to visit this link for a student orientation course set up by Instructure. It is not specific to Colorado Mountain College. Your students can also check out the MyCMC Success website here.

I would like to use an e-textbook or course cartridge in my Canvas course.

Textbook publishers commonly provide “course cartridges”, “e-textbooks,” question banks, tests, or other course materials. Please see this tutorial on the Course Import Tool, which is generally how these materials are added to a Canvas course. It’s the same tool you would use to copy a Canvas course. Sometimes another software tool is needed to add publisher-provided materials to Canvas. One commonly used tool is Respondus 4.0, which CMC distributes for free to faculty/staff. To learn how to obtain your copy of this software and for more information, please click here. 

There’s typically no need to “unzip” or try to unpackage the files a publisher provides – just upload them as-is, selecting the type of material you’re “importing”.

Since Canvas is still a fairly new LMS, you may have to ask your publisher if they are producing course materials in a Canvas-specific format.  “Canvas-compatible” does not necessarily mean that the materials are optimized for Canvas; since that is too vague of a term, so be sure to ask if the materials were designed specifically for Canvas. First and foremost, faculty should ask the publisher if they can or will provide a Canvas-specific course cartridge. Even if you know they don’t have one, this kind of feedback may encourage the publisher to embrace Canvas.

If a Canvas-specific cartridge is not available, then your next best bet is ask the publisher if a “Common Cartridge” format package is available. Common Cartridge is a global format for learning materials packages and Canvas accepts Common Cartridge.

If the publisher can’t provide either a Canvas-specific option or a Common Cartridge option, then we suggest that you try to import a cartridge formatted for Blackboard version 8 or version 9 (i.e., the newest versions), or formatted for Angel into your Canvas course with the Course Import Tool, as Canvas supports these course package types already.  There may be some glitches however; we suggest that you proofread your materials if they were not designed specifically for Canvas.

Finally, please note that if your course cartridge or digital textbook originally required a code or key to install it or make it accessible, there is a good chance that it will not copy into a new course. Publishers, for obvious reasons, tend to block your ability to endlessly copy their materials. Please contact your publisher for new materials and/or technical assistance if you have tried unsuccessfully to copy your courseor add their materials to it.

In the future, can I copy a Canvas course from a previous term rather than creating it again?

Yes, you can! We have compiled a detailed list of instructions, tips, and guidance here.
Instructors have two ways to copy a Canvas course. First, the Course Import Tool will enable you to copy an entire course or parts of a course. Please click here for a video tutorial on copying materials between your Canvas courses. Or click here for illustrated instructions on using the Course Import Tool. In Canvas, course copying should be initiated in the course which lacks the materials you intend to copy– the Course Import Tool will import or “pull” materials into the course where you launch it. The second way to copy materials between Canvas courses is to create a Canvas export file package (it will end with the extension .imscc), which can contain either the entire course or just the quizzes and assessment materials. This is a good solution for sharing course materials with other instructors who are not enrolled in your course and therefore cannot use the Course Import Tool to copy materials directly from your course. For a video tutorial on creating a Canvas export file package and then importing it into a Canvas course, please click here.

Why did a student(s) vanish from my People section and Gradebook?

If a student drops your class, he or she will no longer appear in the People section and the Gradebook of your Canvas course once the system has had time to process this change in registration. Typically one day it takes one day to process registration changes. Approximately a month after a semester ends, your Canvas course will be set to a read-only state as part of our archiving process. You will no longer see any students listed in the People section or in the Gradebook once this occurs. For more information about Canvas archiving, please visit our FAQ here.

I have a question concerning Colorado Mountain College’s former Blackboard 8 system.

CMC’s Blackboard 8 system was taken offline on Jan. 31, 2013. The Office of Innovations maintains offline archives of all past Blackboard courses. Please contact the Office of Innovations at innovations@coloradomtn.edu or (970) 947-8408 for assistance with archived Blackboard courses

When will my course be archived or deleted from the Canvas learning management system?

At this point, we are not scheduling any deletions of older courses in the Canvas learning management system. Please do not attempt to delete or “conclude” your Canvas course yourself.

Approximately a month after a semester ends– to be exact, 45 days after your course’s official end date–your Canvas course will be set to a read-only state as part of our archiving process. Instructors will no longer see any students listed in the People section or any data in the Gradebook once this occurs. Students will continue to see all of their own grades as before. For everyone, the course is read-only. Please note that this read-only mode is not always self-evident: although it may appear as if you can still build new items, submit assignments, take tests, etc., eventually Canvas will block your action or give you an error message, and you will be unable to complete the task.
For more information about Canvas archiving, please visit our FAQ here.