The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
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Canvas Tips - January 2014

Tip of the Month: Discussion Boards

Engaging your students in class can be a bit difficult especially if students are shy, speak a different language, or may have a learning disability. Discussion boards in Canvas are a great way to broaden the spectrum of ideas and conversations between your students.

 Advantages of a Discussion board:
  • Creates a safe environment for students to voice their ideas and opinions with one another,
  • Creates a starting point discussion for the next class meeting,
  • You will be able to clear any questions students have regarding the assignment(s),
  • Students can carefully write an in depth response to a topic or conversation;
  • All students will be able to participate,
  • Gives you, the instructor, an opportunity to interact with your students.
 Tips for a successful Discussion board:
  • Make it an assignment with a grade,
  • Include in depth instructions on your expectations of what they should write,
  • Introduce students to Discussion boards in the beginning of the semester by having them introduce themselves before the next class,
  • Create an open discussion board for students to post questions to you or to the entire class.

Tips before Spring Semester:

As spring semester approaches you start to realize that you need to prepare for spring classes. Here is a list of quick tips you need to know before classes start:

How do I import my items from my Fall Course?
You can import items from your previous Canvas course. Items such as discussion boards, quizzes, assignments, and announcements will be moved over without previous student data. Here is the step by step guide to assist you: How to Copy Content to a New Course Space

Be sure to Publish your course
Before students can view items in your course, you must publish it to make it available. Here is a step-by-step guide to assist you: How do I publish my course

I have multiple sections of my course, can I Cross-list my courses?
The answer is Yes. This is also known as Merging your sections together. You no longer have to request for this to happen, you can do it yourself by following the instructional guide provided: Cross-list Courses into One Course

Tips on Migration:

Interested in moving your Blackboard course over to Canvas? Here is a guide to help you plan out your course: Migrating your Blackboard Course to Canvas
For more information or would like to make an individual appointment feel free to contact us at