CANVAS Universal Guidelines

The Canvas Universal Guidelines include the following components to be posted on all courses in advance of the first day of class:

  1.  A syllabus that outlines learning outcomes, course requirements, grading metrics, class expectations and policies, office hours, contact information, and the like. A guide has been developed for creating a comprehensive syllabus. A syllabus serves multiple functions, and chief among these is as a contract between instructor and students. See The Montclair Syllabus.
  2. University information that include University protocols and links to resources regarding accessibility, academic honesty and integrity, campus closures, as well as guidance to services provided to support students’ learning and growth.  These include the Center for Academic Success and Tutoring (CAST), Center for Writing Excellence, Counseling and Psych Services (CAPS), Dean of Students, University Career Services, and the like. [This information is provided in the embedded Syllabus found in all Canvas courses, reproduced here: The Montclair Syllabus].
  3. A clear schedule that includes assignment due dates, and also clear indication of sessions or days when class will be online, face to face, synchronous, or asynchronous, so that students are fully aware of what commitments they must make for the course.  This is true for face to face courses as well as hybrid and online courses.  
  4. Clear information on content: required textbooks and course content that is not provided through a textbook or courseware, including lecture notes, slides, links to referenced sources, publisher-supplied content, and study guides.  
  5.  Regular use of the Announcement function in CANVAS, first prior to the semester start date and then throughout the terms to communicate with students to update students about changes and clarifications regarding CANVAS usage, (e.g., syllabus, due dates, assignment details, and course content).  
  6. Full use of “Assignments” and “Gradebook” for all assessed course elements. Assignments should be created and posted to receive and grade student submissions; evaluations should be completed in Gradebook and grading and feedback on assignments should be completed in a timely fashion, so that students can track their learning progress.

Canvas training and support are provided by the Instructional Technology and Design Services team, ITDS.  ITDS staff provide frequent trainings in Canvas, both introductory and advanced, and are also available for one-to-one consultations as faculty seek to best utilize this essential tool.

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