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.

Resources for Using Video Media

Hello CIC Instructors!

Though many instructors have started using Panopto to capture lectures or draft presentations, we wanted to share a couple of the other resources that are available for students to construct less formal projects, like filming a documentary or commercial advertisement.

This post is inspired by CIC Instructor Jacki Fiscus, who has had great success in her 121 using video media and other forms of multi-modality (assignment provided below!). When her students were wondering about resources that they might use to film and edit a documentary, we found a few links to share:


– The Odegaard Learning Commons has video editing workstations; moreover, all machines in that space have iMovie: http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/learn/technology-spaces/odegaard-learning-commons/softwarelist/

* Odegaard has a new video studio students can reserve:  http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/connect/conferencing/services/video-studio-in-odegaard-320/


– UW-IT online tutorials for using digital video authoring software available in general access computing labs: http://www.washington.edu/itconnect/learn/workshops/online-tutorials/

* Note that the CIC lab has Adobe Premiere. UW-IT staff can come to the lab and give a custom workshop during class. See the workshop guide for more information.

We’re really excited by the possibility of incorporating video composition into our CIC classes!

Here is Jacki’s excellent assignment:


If you are interested in learning more about this, please contact us and we’d be happy to help (or, we can put you in touch with Jacki, the expert)!


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.



Introducing the Amazon Education for Canvas App

Hello CIC Instructors,

We hope your quarter has gotten off to a good start!

We wanted to let you know that the UW is participating in an ongoing project with Amazon.com, piloting an app that lets you distribute course content directly from Canvas to a Kindle app in your students’ mobile devices (Kindle, iPad, Android, etc.).

Obviously, using this app would enable your students to read course documents directly on their phones or tablets, which may increase their engagement with the texts (or change it in interesting ways!)!


Some of the other benefits include:

– Documents that are uploaded to Canvas “Files” are synced automatically to the students’ devices (they don’t have to go back and sync each one individually)

– As new documents are added or existing documents are changed, an updated version is automatically sent to students

– Any work that students do with a document on one device (such as highlighting or annotating) is automatically synchronized across all Kindle readers

There is no cost for the UW to participate in this pilot. Similarly, it is free for students to download the Connect to Kindle app here. Amazon also offers a $10 gift card to students who participate.

UW IT Connect is running the pilot. If you are interested in trying the app with your current or future courses, please contact Tom Lewis (Director of Academic and Creative Applications) at tomlewis@uw.edu. This will definitely be an interesting opportunity to provide feedback that actually influences the future of this app and its role at UW!

For any questions about the Amazon Education for Canvas app specifically, please email kindle-lms-feedback@amazon.com. As usual, for all other questions or concerns, please email Tesla at schaeffe@uw.edu or Kimberlee at kgb@uw.edu.

Have a great rest of the week, CICers!


Top 4 Tips for Designing Canvas ePortfolio Assignments

Hello CIC Instructors,

Portfolio Season is upon us!

Even if you’ve taught portfolios before, you may want to review the material on the CIC Faculty Guide for step-by-step instructions on building ePortfolios in class. There are also instructions for students on the CIC Student Guide.

Additionally, you can find extra resources, lesson plans and support on the EWP Instructor Resource page dedicated to portfolios (log in is required).

Below, you’ll find a few additional tips on designing Canvas ePortfolio assignments and introducing them to your students.

1) Before your class meets on the scheduled training day, you will need to set up a portfolio assignment page on your Canvas site so that students have a place to submit links. Here are instructions on setting up Canvas Assignments.

2) It is also helpful to provide students with a link to the skeleton portfolio, which models the portfolio itself and provides tips for generating content.

3) Several sample portfolios can be found at the end the faculty guide post on Canvas ePortfolios. It may be helpful for your students to look through one or more of them, either alone or as part of a class activity.

4) Remember to have your students submit their links on the day of the portfolio training. To do this, have students go back to the portfolio dashboard by clicking the link below the Edit this page button. Right-click on the Copy this link option and submit to instructor on Canvas eportfolio assignment page. This lets the instructor make sure she/he can view all submissions. Students do not have to submit again after the first time. The instructor will see their updated content.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about this process! We are always here and happy to help.

Happy Portfolio-building, everyone!

Panopto on Panopto

During last Friday’s workshop, “Teaching with Panopto,” participants received a hands-on introduction to the platform, practiced recording and submitting or embedding their recordings into Canvas, and brainstormed best practices for assigning and assessing multimodal projects made with Panopto. Presenters and participants also used Panopto to capture selected instructions and discussions. Read on for workshop highlights; you’ll find video links within the text. Note that you must be part of the CIC instructor group and log onto Panopto with your UW Net ID to view the videos. If you’re not a CIC instructor, but would like to view the videos and the workshop materials, email Kimberlee (kgb [at] uw [dot] edu) to be added to the CIC group.

Workshop Overview

Kimberlee provided an overview of the workshop agenda. One of our overall objectives was hacking Panopto, or using the platform for multimodal class activities rather lecture capture.

Screenshot of Workshop Overview Video

Screenshot of completed Panopto recording in Panopto viewer. Kimberlee added the video description visible in the Contents tab. Viewers can take Notes and create Bookmarks while watching the video.

Creating a Dropbox for Student Panopto Submissions

In order for students to make their own Panopto recordings, instructors must create a dropbox within their class Panopto Recordings folder. To do so, go to your Panopto folder settings and choose Create dropbox. As you can see from the video, attempting to alter Panopto Recordings folder settings within Canvas may not work. Instead, you may have to go to UW Panopto instead, as Kimberlee did.

Technical Considerations for New Panopto Users

Ashley LeBlanc filled in the technical instruction gaps in Kimberlee’s presentation.

Panopto viewer screen with PDF file added

Ashley provides essential instructions. The “Panopto: Mac vs. Windows” file she shared is included in the Panopto video. Just click the file icon to display it.

In order for students to see the Panopto Recordings option in Canvas, you must add it to your course navigation by going to the Navigation tab in your Canvas course Settings, dragging Panopto Recordings into your visible navigation links, and clicking Save, as pictured below.

Screenshot of Canvas navigation settings

Move “Panopto Recordings” into the live course navigation items

Ashley also reminded us that the Windows and Mac versions of Panopto have fundamentally different interfaces. She provided a PowerPoint file that walks instructors through the process of working with Panopto via Windows and Mac interfaces. The file is accessible via the workshop agenda page and the recording itself.

Screenshot of Mac versus Windows Panopto interfaces

Panopto: Mac versus Windows interfaces (aka Two Different Worlds)

Discussion: Pedagogical Possibilities and Best Practices for Assignment and Assessment

Workshop participants brainstormed ideas for designing multimodal assignments students can complete with Panopto. They also discussed best practices for scaffolding and assessing such assignments. The group used the installed microphone on one computer to create a Panopto audio/screen recording of the conversation and notes, thus modelling an activity students could do in the CIC classroom. The notes taken during the session are available via the workshop agenda page.

Screenshot of Panopto audio/screen capture

Screenshot of a completed Panopto audio/screen capture in the Panopto viewer

Submitting and Sharing Panopto Recordings

Workshop participants not only created Panopto recordings as students, but they submitted them via two methods: copying/pasting a link into a Canvas assignment and embedding video into a Canvas discussion posting. The notes taken during our discussion are available via the workshop agenda page.

The Instructor View: Panopto in SpeedGrader

Before participants discussed final questions, Kimberlee showed what student Panopto recordings submitted as assignments look like in an instructor’s SpeedGrader. We found that the recordings didn’t appear within the SpeedGrader window, and we thus opened the recording in a new tab instead. Ashley will discuss the glitch with UW-IT’s Learning Technologies team.

Additional Resources



Panopto Workshop

Hello CIC Instructors!

Thanks again for your flexibility this week. MGH 076 will be unavailable for at least another week, and we’re working right now to find you alternate rooms. We’ll let you know as soon as we have them!

In other (better) news, Kimberlee will be facilitating a workshop on Panopto tomorrow, November 7th. It will be in MGH 082 from 10:00 to 11:30, and should be very useful!

The workshop will focus on how instructors might use the platform’s audio, video and screen capture functions to develop multimodal assignments and peer review options. It will also address assessment issues and allow time for hands-on practice. Please RSVP to Kimberlee at kgb@uw.edu if you would like to participate.

We will be uploading a recording of the workshop on Panopto itself, so keep an eye out for that if you can’t make it.



Icons Upon Icons

Many instructors performed double-takes as they first examined the wealth of icons on their CIC computer screens. You can find most necessary course tools grouped under two headings: “Browsers, Cloud Services, News & Weather” and “Microsoft Office.” However, some of you may want to explore additional options:

  • To support student researchEvernote creates searchable, cloud-based archives of notes and digital clippings. Students may also use the tool to present research-in-progress to peer groups.
  • To incorporate print or digital publishing into course assignments: Adobe’s InDesign and Acrobat Pro help users author printable brochures and PDF files as well as digital EPub books . Microsoft Publisher has templates for multiple types of print publications, including flyers, pamphlets, brochures, and business cards.
  • To create web pages: Dreamweaver, part of Adobe’s Creative Suite, features “starter templates” students can customize. They may also build pages from scratch using a textual/graphical interface (read, no coding knowledge required).
  • To create, remix, or edit images: Try Adobe Fireworks, Illustrator, or Photoshop. The free program, GIMP, features fewer options than the Adobe Creative Suite programs, but works fine for basic image composition and editing.

The iSchool’s web site contains a complete list of lab software. Let Kimberlee or Tesla know if you’d like a training workshop on any tool listed.

Going to (Lan) School

The flat-panel display isn’t the only option for projecting your instructor screen in the CIC labs. LanSchool allows instructors to send their screen–or any student screen–to all machines in the room. Instructors can also use LanSchool to send files to all student computers.

Picture of CIC lab machines.

Instructor’s computer and lab computers display the same image.

Look for the LanSchool icon on the desktop.

Screenshot of instructor desktop with arrow pointing to LanSchool icon

You will see live images of all student desktops.

Instructor Console

The Show menu gives you the option to project your desktop as a full screen that students cannot manipulate or as a window within their desktops. You can also use the Show menu to send a selected student desktop to all machines.

Screenshot of LanSchool menu

Show menu projection options

The Show menu’s Send Files option lets you select a file from the instructor station hard drive to send to all students. They can access the file from the C: drive in Windows Explorer.

Go to "This PC"-->Local Drive (C:)-->LanSchool Files to find the sent file

Go  to “This PC”–>Local Disk (C:)–>LanSchool Files to find the sent file

If you’re interested in learning more about LanSchool, ask Ann or Kimberlee. We’ll be stopping by at the beginning of lab classes this week and next.