Updating Preferred Names on Canvas

Last week, the UW responded to concerns about name representation on institutional interfaces. Both staff and students have long wanted the freedom to represent their preferred names on UW information systems and directories.

According to a recent email from Phillip J. Reid (Vice Provost, Academic and Student Affairs), students can update their preferred names by going to https://identity.uw.edu/. This website allows students to update their preferred name, which will then appear on select institutional systems. The following interfaces are available for the Autumn 2016 Quarter:

  • Class photos
  • Rosters
  • UW Directory
  • Grade Page

There will be additional interfaces made available in the Winter 2017 Quarter, which include:

  • Canvas
  • MyPlan
  • MyGradPlan
  • Electronic Academic Records (EARS)
  • Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
  • Panopto

To get more information about these changes, see the Office of the University Registrar’s Preferred Names page.

Because Canvas is not an available selection until Winter Quarter, we wanted to take a moment to share how Canvas users can have their preferred name represented.

1. Go to Canvas.

2. Click on “Account.”

3. Click on “Profile.”

4. Click on “Edit Profile.”

5. Enter the name that you would like to appear on Canvas.

6. Click “Save Profile.”

As always, please let us know if you have any questions!




Scheduling Conferences with Canvas

Tired of using a piece of paper to have students sign up for conferences? Then it’s time to try the Scheduler function on Canvas. Here’s how:

  1. Log in to Canvas and click “Calendar” in the purple menu bar.

2. On the Calendar page, click the Scheduler tab on the upper right, and then click Create an appointment group.

3. In the Edit Appointment Group, under the Calendar menu, select your course.

Canvas Workshop

As you turn your thoughts to spring 2016, please join us for a workshop on using Canvas as a teaching tool on Friday, March 4, at 10:30 a.m. in MGH 082. Whether you’ve never used Canvas before or are looking to take your Canvas use to the next level, you’ll get answers and help from two experienced Canvas users, Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges and Ann Shivers-McNair. To accommodate a range of experience and comfort levels, we’ve organized the workshop in two parts. You’re welcome to attend either or both parts.

10:30 – 11:30  Introduction to Canvas Basics

If you’re new to Canvas and considering using it for the first time, this is for you! We’ll be covering the following essentials:

  • Navigating the Canvas interface
  • Editing your syllabus and syllabus description
  • Uploading and managing files
  • Creating assignments

11:30 – 12:20  Small group and one-on-one consultations

If you have a specific question about or a feature you want to learn on Canvas, this is for you! Ann and Kimberlee will be available to work with you one-on-one or in small groups (if a few people have the same question). Also, if you joined us for the first hour, you can stick around to find out more about other commonly used features on Canvas, like pages, discussions, groups, and other settings options.

Let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Workshop: Canvas Peer Review

peer review workshop

Join us for a hands-on workshop on using Canvas to facilitate electronic peer review! We’ll meet in MGH 082 from 10-11:30 a.m., and all are welcome. We’ll discuss approaches to peer review and options in the Canvas interface, and there will be plenty of time for practicing–both from an instructor’s perspective (setting up and viewing assignments) and students’ perspective (completing the electronic peer review).

Here is the agenda:


10:00 – 10:15 a.m. – Welcome and introductions

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Discussion of Peer Review Pedagogy, Questions and Concerns

11:00 – 11:05 p.m. – The CIC Faculty Guide:

11:05 – 11:25 p.m. – Canvas Peer Review as Instructor and Student

11:25 – 11:30 p.m. – Wrap-up

If you have any questions, let Ann or Kimberlee know. We look forward to seeing you there!

Muting Assignments in Canvas

If you use the SpeedGrader in Canvas, you’ve probably noticed that your comments are live as soon as you post them, which might frustrate you if you want all students to get their feedback at the same time. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this: muting the assignment until you’re done posting feedback.

  1. Click on Grades in the left navigation menu.
  2. In the grade spreadsheet, hover your cursor over the assignment you want to mute. You’ll see a button appear in the bottom right corner of that cell.
  3. Click that button, and you’ll see a menu with the mute assignment option. Click Mute Assignment, and students won’t be able to see the feedback until you unmute it.mute assignment
  4. Don’t forget to unmute when you’re done with feedback! Go through those same steps to unmute the assignment.

As always, let Ann or Kimberlee know if there’s anything we can help you with.

Using Headsets in the CIC

Planning an in-class activity with VideoANT? Want your students to record their comments to each other on a Canvas discussion board or peer review activity? Then you’ll want to take advantage of our headsets (headphones and microphone), which are stored in the office across the hall from the labs (088) and available for your use. Below are step-by-step instructions, with screenshots, for configuring the headsets on the computer (this is unfortunately not an automatic process, nor do the computers remember the configuration after they’ve been rebooted) and for recording media comments on Canvas. As always, I’m happy to help you during class if you’d like someone to walk your students through the steps.

Configuring the Headsets

  1. Plug in the headset cord to the USB port on the left side of the monitor.
  2. On the desktop, right click on the sound icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Click Playback Devices on the menu (this configures the output sound).1 sound menu
  4. In the Playback Devices window, click on Headset Earphone, and then click Set Default. 2 playback set default
  5. A green check mark will appear next to the Headset Earphone icon. Click OK. If your activity only involves students listening with the headsets, then you’re done. If you want them to record audio, then proceed to the next step. 3 playback ok
  6. Right click again on the sound icon in the bottom right corner of the desktop.
  7. This time, select Recording Devices.
  8. In the Recording Devices menu, click on Headset Earphone, and then click Set Default. 4 recording set default
  9. A green check mark will appear next to the Headset Earphone icon. Click OK. Now you’re ready to go.5 recording ok

Recording Media Comments on Canvas

As of October 2015, this ONLY works in the Chrome browser, so please instruct your students to use Chrome if you want them to record comments on Canvas. Please also have them make sure the toggle switch on the top of the monitor is in the far right position (if it is to the left, the camera will be blocked).

  1. In the “Reply” box on the Canvas discussion board, click the Upload/Record Media button. 6 discussion media
  2. A window will open, and you will need to click Allow to grant Flash access to the camera (or if you are doing audio-only comments, to the microphone). 7 allow flash
  3. You may also see a pop-up asking for permission for Canvas to access the camera/microphone. If so, click Allow.
  4. You may get yet another prompt from Flash asking you to allow use of the camera and microphone. If so, click Allow and Close.
  5. Please note that it may take awhile for the camera image to load, but it will, and you’ll see a red dot over the recording image. Click anywhere in that image to begin recording. record
  6. When you’re done recording, the audio/visual file will appear as a link in the “Reply” box. Click Post Reply.post

As always, if you have any questions, let Ann or Kimberlee know.

By Ann Shivers-McNair

Enabling Apps on Canvas

Hello CIC Instructors!

As many of you know, Canvas contains a variety of apps that enable you to use certain functions directly through the site, rather than having students open another window and navigate to pages separately. For example, if you would like students to post videos from Youtube as part of a Discussion, they don’t need to copy and paste links. If you enable the Youtube app, they can easily embed the video without going through any extra steps.

To enable an app such as Youtube, click on “Settings” in Canvas’ left-hand menu. From there, click on “Apps.” That should show you all of the apps that it is possible to enable:


To add an app, simply click on it and then select “Add app.”

add app

After you’ve done this, you and your students will automatically see the option reflected in Discussion and Announcement windows. For example, after you’ve enabled Youtube, you will see it in the taskbar like this:

app appears

We hope this proves to be convenient in your teaching!

As always, have a great week and let us know if you have any questions.

Managing Canvas Navigation

Hello CIC Instructors!

As we all know, Canvas is an excellent platform for creating and sharing course content. There is so much you can do (in fact, there is almost TOO much to do!)! Since there are so many options, the site can seem overwhelming to both students and instructors.

An excellent fix for this is to control what you want your students to see by reducing the amount of options in the navigation bar on the right hand side of your screen. If you’re not using – say, Tegrity – in your class, great!  You can eliminate that as an option!

To manage the navigation bar, first click on Settings.


Next, select Navigation from the bar at the top of the screen.


Now, you can drag and drop menu items in order to eliminate them from the navigation bar. Select the items that you don’t want students to see, and drop them!


Here is where the eliminated items will live (in case you want to reintroduce them in the future):


…and that’s that!

Thanks, and have a great week in the CIC! As usual, please let Kimberlee or Tesla know if you’re experiencing any issues.