RMIT Canvas FAQs

Here you will find relevant, RMIT specific, information about Canvas and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we come across. What we mean by RMIT specific, is that Canvas has their own out of the box set up but RMIT has made various changes so it reflects our own style, designs and requirements.

Getting Started

How do I log into Canvas?
You can log in to Canvas using your regular RMIT staff enumber and password from the following link: https://rmit.instructure.com/
What browser should I use for Canvas?
It’s a good idea to have more than one browser installed on your personal computer. Often problems you experience online can be fixed by switching from one browser to another. To get the most functionality out of Canvas, we would recommend using Chrome as it will allow you to use a number of Chrome features such as “Speech-to-text” technology. However, if you do not use these features, Firefox is a supported browser as well.

  1. Download Google Chrome
  2. Download Mozilla Firefox
I like Internet Explorer (or Edge) – why shouldn’t I use it with Canvas?

Although officially Canvas supports Internet Explorer/Edge, it does not work well with Canvas. You may experience the following issues on Internet Explorer:

  • course content not opening correctly or showing up at all
  • problems submitting assignments (it will say a file is submitted, but it doesn’t submit)
  • not being able to submit quizzes

As of March 2018, Internet Explorer will become a Functionally Supported browser only:

“Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) will transition from a fully supported browser to a functionally supported browser. As future Canvas releases take place, Internet Explorer may begin to exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences will not restrict product functionality or accessibility.” – Instructure, March 2018

Where to go for help
If you are looking for some official help from either Canvas or RMIT there are options available to you: Canvas support If you’re having trouble doing something in Canvas, we suggest your first stop is to search your query on the Canvas Community’s frequently asked questions page. If you are still having trouble, there are two Canvas Support Hotlines, operating 24/7. One is for staff and another is for students. Staff: +61 1800 861 359 Students: +61 1800 910 175 Canvas Support Chat can also be accessed from the Help button located in the Canvas global navigation on the left-hand side of Canvas. Canvas_Support-oxwz41.png RMIT Support If you don’t have access to Canvas, contact RMIT Support and they can help to set up an account for you. Note: If you are having issues accessing your course on Canvas, please check with your Lecturer/Course Coordinator and they should be able to advise when your course will be available. The RMIT Canvas team is working with lecturers to help prepare courses and get them live as soon as possible. The RMIT Service and Support Centre can be called on +613 9925 8888. They will direct your request as required. You can also send through a service request online by clicking here. There is a Canvas / Rewire Request option listed under Systems, Hardware and Software. For any issues with student enrollment please contact the ITS Service and Support portal. For support on how to develop your course further or set up assessments:

How students can submit multiple files for one assessment
Previous systems haven’t allowed us this luxury, but Canvas definitely does. You can see how easy it is in the GIF below:
Can I still access content from my Blackboard course?
Yes. RMIT staff can access Blackboard content via their new RMIT Limited Access role. This new role will allow you to view past Blackboard content whilst restricting edit access. Access to Blackboard Collaboration tools such as Wikis, Blogs and Journals will continue to be available. To view more information on what you can access, visit the ITS post.

Setting up your course

Will my course content be moved to the new semester automatically?
No. Course Coordinators now have the flexibility to choose when to “set up” a new course themselves and which content to re-use for the next semester. Once your course shell has been created, you will be able to start working on it whenever you are ready. Instructions on using re-using previous course content will be available in your course.
How do I add staff to my course?
We wrote a post explaining how you can add staff to your courses. Click here to read it.
How to create a quiz with a question group to randomise quiz questions?
In order to allocate a randomised set of questions out of a pool, you can use a Question Group. Once you have created the question group, you can draw from the bank/pool of questions that you have set up. You can find instructions on how to set this up in the Canvas Guides: How do I create a quiz with a question group to randomise quiz questions? Here’s some more video guides for your convenience: Quiz Creation: Questions Quiz Creation: Settings
How students can start a Discussion?

Students will be able to see the Add Discussion button in the top right hand corner of the screen – the same as an instructor. You can find more information on this in the Canvas Community Guide: How do I create a course discussion as a student? Keep in mind, this is separate to creating a discussion in a group which can be restricted by an instructor.

How can I make my Canvas shell content dynamic so it renders well on phones and tablets?

Canvas will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you because it’s responsive. That being said, there are a few things you can consider when developing content in Canvas that will make it more accessible on smart devices:

  1. Reduce the width of your browser window – this will give you an idea of what it will look like on mobile devices.
  2. Chunk your content! By avoiding the horizontal scrollbar in your content it will provide easier reading in bite sized portions on mobile.
  3. Make use of modules. Modules are extremely easy to navigate on mobile so add those pages into modules pronto!
  4. Avoid fixed widths. When embedding content from external tools (such as Youtube or similar), don’t edit the HTML to a fixed width, rather a percentage. This will allow Canvas to use responsive programming and adjust it for smaller screens.
  5. Check your media type in your pages – Flash and Java don’t display on mobile so it will pay to look into other media such as MPEG4, MP3 and HTML5.

We know not everything will be mobile friendly just yet, but if you take these into account when designing, you will make the experience for any mobile user much more accessible. You can find more information on the Canvas blog. However, if you can manage all that and want to go one step further, you can explore the tools involved in verifying mobile friendly web content.

Going Live

Who decides when a Canvas version of a course is to ‘Go Live’ to students?
Project Rewire are working with each college to define and detail prioritised roll out plans based on Academic Teaching Milestones. All courses that are transitioned to Canvas will be subject to a QA process which will be required to be completed prior to opening up the course to students. Please speak to your Program Manager if you have any questions in regards to accessing these courses.
What should I do if students cannot see my course?
If your course has passed QA, yet your entire class of students is not able to see the course on their dashboard, then please immediately lodge a service request in the ITS Service and Support portal. Use the Canvas / Rewire Request link and enter in the information about the course. Ensure you include the course code, the program code and the url of your canvas course.
What if students can't see course content?
The most likely reason that student’s aren’t able to see your course is that the module/content/assignment hasn’t been published yet. In Canvas, any pages/assignments/modules that are published are visible to students. It’s important that you check that all your modules and pages that you wish students to see are published, which is displayed by a green checkmarkPublished Icon - Green tick. Whereas, unpublished items are invisible to students and are displayed with a grey ‘no’ symbol Unpublished in Canvas is represented with a grey no symbol. Unpublished assignments are invisible to students and excluded from grade calculations. You will need to make sure that the module and the respective pages in that module are published: Publish Modules and pages in Canvas by a green tick NOTE: If an assignment or page is edited while published, students receive a notification that it has been updated. If you need to edit a page, then un-publish the page, update the information and then re-publish the page. For more information about publishing and unpublishing pages view the short video here. Learn how to use Draft State (Unpublished) or restricted access: Assignment Draft State Module Draft State Pages Draft State Discussion Draft State Files Access Restriction Quizzes Draft State

LTI’s in Canvas

What is an LTI?
LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. It is a global standard that lets you easily integrate external tools into learning management system (LMS)’s like Canvas. Instead of each third party tool needing to develop and maintain a specific integration for each different LMS, an LTI integration allows the application to connect to any LMS which supports the LTI standard.
What LTIs are already supported and available in Canvas for RMIT?
To see the most current and up to date list click here.
How do I know what LTI applications and integrations are out there?
One useful source is The EduAppCenter. The EduAppCenter is an app store for LTIs that have been checked to see if they work well with Canvas – it is constantly updated and a good source of potential LTIs. LTIs on the EduAppCenter are categorised as; Open Access (which are simple and typically don’t require any specific configuration or licensing to use) or Authenticated (which typically are more complex, and usually require licensing and specific configuration) While there are a large number (approx 232 as at May 2017) of LTIs listed on EduAppCenter, the vast majority of these are Authenticated (192) with only a small number that are Open Access (40) and only some of these that are free to use (21). Of the 21 Open Access LTIs that could quickly be enabled (Completely Free, Higher Education focused and Supported on Canvas), 7 of these have already been enabled for you to use in your courses (such as Twitter, TedEd, Vimeo, Khan Academy etc) and 5 have been found to have issues that make them unsuitable and 3 others are currently being assessed.
How do I request LTIs?
Project Rewire is working closely with Academic Development Groups and other key stakeholders to facilitate open exploration of LTI’s in a controlled manner. On top of this requirements gathering sessions are currently ongoing with various stakeholders, with LTI’s being a large focal point of these sessions. If you have requirements you would like to add to these sessions, please contact the ITS Service and Support portal.

Course End

What happens when the course finishes?

Staff and students can continue to view courses that have ended, right up until graduation, but it will no longer be possible for them to participate in the course. Participation could include assessment submission, changing grades, post discussions or use other active based task in a course.

The end date of a course will be an allocated time after the courses scheduled SAMS finish date:

Teachers can participate the course until Class End+ 90 days.

Students can participate the course until Class End + 30 days.

Once a course reaches its end date, it will effectively go into read only (archive) mode. If a course disappears from your dashboard, you will find the course listed in Past enrolments, which can be found in the Global Navigation > Courses > All Courses. See: How do I customise my courses list as an Instructor?

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