In the spotlight: Canvas Week: October 16 - 20, 2017
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Robby FuselierThe start of the fall semester marked a major milestone for the university's move to Canvas – half of the courses created online were done so in Canvas. We are thrilled that so many instructors have chosen to make the switch early and are taking advantage of the new features and opportunities offered through our new LMS!
If you have not had the chance to transition to Canvas, there are still several opportunities available to help you along the way. Between October 16th and 20th, ODL will be hosting Fall Canvas Week, where students and instructors can attend workshops from a variety of locations around campus. We will also be offering one-on-one consultations, webinars, and migration assistance for faculty who may need last-minute help moving from Blackboard to Canvas. Our goal is to offer as many options as possible for you to make the move before the beginning of the spring semester, when all course enrollments will take place in Canvas.
I couldn't be more proud of the ODL staff who have worked tirelessly on the transition and would like to thank the faculty and TAs who have jumped in and embraced the move from Blackboard to Canvas. I truly appreciate all you have done and am looking forward to building upon our success.

Robby Fuselier
Interim Director


Finish your move! Register now for Canvas Week training October 16-20, 2017
Canvas Week: Campus-wide Training
The Office of Distance Learning is hosting a campus-wide Fall Canvas Week on October 16-20, 2017, to provide training for faculty and staff before the university moves to Canvas on January 8, 2018.

The training sessions will be held at the College of Education's Stone Building, Carothers Building, Strozier Library, and Office of Distance Learning and will cover a range of topics, including orientation, course migration, modules, Design Tools, testing, and accessibility.

"ODL is excited to be taking Canvas training on the road and making it more convenient for faculty and staff to get their Canvas questions answered," said Annette Jones, Assistant Director, Instructional Development Faculty. "We are offering both formal themed workshops for those with particular interests as well as informal labs and help desk times for general questions. Faculty may be interested in the Blackboard-to-Canvas boot camp sessions where we will help you move your course and set it up in Canvas. Staff will want to attend the Organizations workshops where we will present ideas and solutions for establishing new Organization sites. New to Canvas Week are half-hour sessions for students that will help them set up their profile and notifications and manage their dashboard. We hope this week offers something for everyone!"

For more information and to register, please visit our Fall Canvas Week page.
Sessions for Students
ODL is offering two training sessions - "Canvas Essentials" and "Using the Library in Canvas" - to help students get the most out of their Canvas experience.

The 30-minute workshops are scheduled for October 16-19 in Strozier Library. Each session is followed by an informal Q&A with our Technical Support team.

Visit our Fall Canvas Week page to register. For students who cannot make it to campus, we provide a webinar alternative.
Canvas Migration Progress
FSU instructors and departments are making significant progress in migrating their courses from Blackboard to Canvas, with 50 percent of fall courses being taught in Canvas.

"Just four months ago, the Canvas Transition Team set a goal that 50 percent of FSU's course websites would be running in Canvas by this fall," said ODL Technical Support Manager Scott Bickley. "The challenge was accepted, and an overwhelming number of colleges and departments jumped on board. With the engagement of instructors and the support of our hard-working transition team, we met our goal!"

More than 700 instructors from colleges, departments, and schools across campus have received training on Canvas, as well as instructors at the campuses in Panama City, Florida, and the Republic of Panama.

graph of Bb vs. Canvas course sites for Fall 2017Since May, ODL's Instructional Development Faculty have offered more than a dozen different workshop and webinar training sessions, reaching well over 600 faculty and staff. Our Technical Support staff have completed more than 150 one-on-one Canvas consultations and have resolved more than 2,500 support requests.

"But, we aren't finished yet, and we need everyone's help," Bickley continued. "You or your colleague may still be apprehensive about making the move, but ODL stands ready to take your call or to sit down with you. We are eager to see you at our next workshop or to send someone your way to assist you."

For departmental training, contact John Braswell at 850-645-0469 or For individual support with course migration, see the article below.

Course Migration Assistance
ODL's Canvas Migration Specialists can provide you with basic conversion of your Blackboard site into the Canvas learning management system. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, this service will ensure that your course materials are set up in their new virtual home, which you can then fine-tune with skills obtained in ODL workshops and self-paced tutorials. If the course has more material than will fit within the Canvas 2GB limit, we will help you find options. Because of anticipated demand, please limit your request to one course per instructor. To learn more about this service or to request migration of your course materials, contact Joseph Clark, Associate Director of Instructional Development Faculty, at 850-645-5638 or

Fiscal Talking Points
For departments offering distance learning courses, our Fiscal Unit provides the following tips.
  • Travel authorization forms should be submitted to and approved by ODL prior to any travel taking place that will be funded by distance learning auxiliary funds.
  • Expenditure request forms should be submitted to ODL for review and approval before making any purchases using distance learning auxiliary funds.
For more information on fiscal matters, contact Laurita Jones, Assistant Director, Finance, at 850-645-9917 or


Welcome to Tool Time, where we feature an instructional design tool and show how it can enhance course development.

Turnitin IconTool: Turnitin
What is it? Turnitin (TII) is a text-matching tool that helps instructors promote academic integrity and educate students about plagiarism. It includes a separate, robust markup and feedback tool.
How does it help? More than just a match-detection tool, TII can be used to help students learn by seeing examples in their own work.
Training: Text-Matching Tools workshop on Nov. 7 at 2 pm (register here)

Turnitin is a top-ranked plagiarism deterrent service that integrates with Canvas. When students submit their assignments to Turnitin, originality reports show which portions may have been improperly cited or plagiarized. TII checks assignment submissions against a large database of journals, publications, and student-submitted papers and reports the percentage of text matches against the sources. This percentage can be used by instructors to assist in the detection of Snippets of the Turnitin interface screenshotplagiarism. Additional Turnitin features include inline grading, rubrics, revision assignments, and anonymous peer-editing options.

"I've been using Turnitin in my online Communication course for several years and found that it greatly decreased the incidence of text matches in student assignment submissions," said Joseph Clark, Associate Director of Instructional Development Faculty. "The Grademark tool lets me create and save custom sets of comments tailored to each specific assignment, and I can drag and drop these onto student papers rather than retyping the most common comments about mechanics or use of sources. This lets me focus my time on the unique features of the student's work and provide more personal feedback."

Turnitin's PeerMark assignment type allows students to review their peers' papers based on scale and free response questions selected by the instructor. Reviews can be anonymous or attributed, and offer students an opportunity to critically engage one another's ideas and work.

Instructors who have been using TII in their Blackboard courses will find the Canvas interface very familiar. The recently released Feedback Studio interface looks just the same in both systems, and in most cases all custom feedback sets and TII-specific grading rubrics will follow the instructor from Blackboard to Canvas.

It is important to note that while TII has a robust rubric tool built-in, it does not integrate with the rubric tools available in Canvas. So you'll need to give yourself time to re-create any Canvas rubrics you wish to use in TII the first time you employ the tool in your course.

For questions regarding specific TII features, see our help resource or contact ODL Technical Support at 850-644-8004.


Online Resources for Making Up Class Time
ODL is here to help with options for online delivery content for instructors still playing catch-up after the university closure in September. The resources and techniques listed below are available for both face-to-face and online instructors.
  • Web conferences. Use BigBlueButton in Canvas for online meetings and activities.
  • Online discussion boards. Review these resources on discussion boards in Canvas and Blackboard.
  • Due dates. Read about how to adjust your due dates in Canvas and Blackboard.
ODL Media Studio Assistance
The ODL media studio will be One Button Studio photoavailable this semester to help instructors develop short video lectures that may have been missed during the closure. You can either work one-on-one with the ODL Media Team for video assistance or use the One Button Studio to develop your own. Kaltura Media is also available for instructors who would like to capture video from their own computer.

To schedule a media consultation or recording, visit our Registration page. You can also contact D.D. Garbarino at or 850-644-7574.

FSU Libraries Resources
The FSU University Libraries offers the following resources:
  • Screencasting software such as Camtasia Studio 8 at Strozier Library for creating tutorials and asynchronous assignments. Instructors can reserve the Audio Room to create learning objects.
  • Asynchronous learning objects such as LibGuides and videos that can be used for asynchronous assignments.
  • Workshops relevant to undergraduate and graduate students that can be counted as class time.
  • Library instruction sessions online synchronously or in-person.
For more information about how the Libraries can help, contact Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian, at

Tips for Instructors Using Canvas
If you are teaching courses in Canvas this fall, these tips should help ensure a smooth instructional experience.
  1. Be sure to access the Canvas Instructor Training Course, designed to get you started with Canvas, and access the Canvas Video Guides for quick help on specifics. Check out ODL's Canvas Support Center for additional support articles.
  2. Set up your notifications, and be sure to encourage your students to do this also.
  3. Publish, publish, publish. You must publish pages, modules, assignments, and the course itself before it is ready for students to use. A green cloud with a white checkmark indicates an item is published; a gray cloud with a white "x" indicates an unpublished item.
  4. Always use Student View when your course site is ready. This will show you exactly what students will and won't see when they access your course site.
  5. Avoid being a Canvas troubleshooter. Show students the help menu in Canvas. Be sure they submit a ticket to ODL Technical Support when they have Canvas questions.
  6. We suggest you and your students use Chrome or Firefox and not IE or Edge, even though they are on the Canvas supported browser list.
  7. Canvas discussion boards do not have the same forum features you may be used to. Learn how to set up a discussion board forum on a Canvas page as a workaround.
  8. Sign up for training to learn about Canvas quizzes, grading, and more!

Tips for Students Learning Canvas
Are some of your students using Canvas for the first time this fall? If so, they may come to you with questions. Rather than troubleshoot issues yourself, we suggest you have students contact ODL Technical Support so we can help them navigate their new LMS.

In the meantime, we've compiled some quick tips for new Canvas learners that you can share with your students.
  1. Need help with Canvas? Contact for Canvas questions. Click on the help icon (bottom left of the garnet global navigation menu in Canvas) for more options.
  2. Can't see your course? Access your course list to customize your dashboard.
    Note: Your instructor must publish the course before you can access it.
  3. Download the mobile app (Android and iOS). The app does not do everything, though. Use your computer if you don't see what you are looking for on the app.
  4. Can't see an assignment or module? Your instructor must publish each page, module, and assignment before you can access it.
  5. Wondering if your assignment uploaded correctly? Click on the assignment link again to view your completion status. You can download your uploaded assignment to check.
  6. The "To Do" list can be helpful, but don't rely on it for everything. Check your course sites regularly for assignments and announcements.
  7. Always type your assignments and discussion board posts into Word first so if you encounter connection issues, you won't lose your work. Then, copy and paste into the Canvas assignment.
  8. Can't find the submit button? Try another browser. We suggest Chrome or Firefox. Don't use IE or Edge.
  9. Can't find your grade feedback? Click on the Grade icons to see specific feedback.
Canvas Support Articles
Check out these recent articles from our Canvas Support Center:
Have questions? We can help!
Contact ODL Technical Support.


E-portfolio Access

All Florida State students are welcome to use the FSU Career Portfolio tool.

The Career Portfolio is an online tool created by the FSU Career Center that helps students show evidence of learning to instructors and showcase their skills to employers, graduate schools, and other organizations.

Through the Career Portfolio, students can
  • examine and demonstrate their learning and career goals
  • reflect on courses, work experiences, and extracurricular activities
  • learn about skills employers value
  • find ways to develop skills
  • demonstrate acquisition of transferable skills through examples of work
Students may use the tool to
  • upload resumes, cover letters, and samples of work associated with the skills they have gained
  • provide FSU course information, unofficial transcript and/or service transcript through seamless Campus Solutions integration
  • prepare for interviews
  • more effectively articulate their qualifications, skills, and abilities to employers and graduate schools
  • share their portfolios via email or upload a shareable link (for assignments in Canvas)
To learn more, visit the Career Center website.


We are eager to receive your feedback on what you would like to see in future issues of the newsletter, so please feel free to send us your suggestions about ways ODL can better serve you.


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