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Alamo Colleges Education Services is a secure portal connecting Faculty, Staff & Students to Academic Resources, Email, and other Online Resources.

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Location:
1001 Howard St.
San Antonio TX, 78212
(210) 486-0554
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What is the Learning Management System?  

A Learning Management System is an online integrated software package that enables instructors to manage and deliver a variety of education materials to students and allows instructor-to-student and student-to-student collaboration. LMSs typically include tools for online discussion, quizzing and submission of assignments, sharing of files, and for assessment and grading.  Canvas is the Learning Management System used at Alamo Colleges. 

Why did we choose Canvas among the LMSs that are available? 

Canvas is a feature-rich, flexible platform and it best serves the needs of the Alamo Colleges students.  A team of faculty and staff reviewed over 15 LMS options and chose Canvas for its rich LMS functionality and the user interface that maximizes efficiency.  Canvas offers a set of features that significantly surpasses what competitors offer. 

What are some of the notable features of Canvas? 

Canvas is very user-friendly and has several intuitive features, including: 

·         Social Media Integration 

·         Easy to Use Grade book. SpeedGrader option. 

·         Several Student Engagement options including collaboration, web based conferencing, email, and chat tools. 

·         E-Portfolios 

·         Multimedia discussion and comments feature. 

·         Notification preferences and More… 

How do I learn to use Canvas? 

To receive training, access our Instructional Innovation Center (IIC) Training Calendar or call the IIC office at 210-486-0041 or send us an email to sac-canvas@alamo.edu. 

Who are the Canvas Mentors? 

Several Online Faculty have volunteered to serve as Canvas Mentors.  In addition to the IIC office, Canvas Mentors will provide one-on-one consulting, online training, pedagogy training assistance for Faculty and Staff at San Antonio College. 

How do I log on to Canvas? 

Canvas has two technical environments for your use: 

·         Sandbox Environment (For course development purposes) 

·         Production Environment (Live environment that students can access. 

To access the Sandbox environment, select http://alamo-sandbox.instructure.com.  Your IIC office will create a username and a course instance for you to use.  You must enroll in the Canvas training session before receiving access to the Sandbox system. 

The Production Environment is fully integrates to ACES.  Once you define your Canvas course in Banner, the course and the student users are automatically updated within Canvas.  To access the production environment, login to ACES, select the MY COURSES tab and select the course you are teaching.  You will automatically gain access to Canvas. 

What is my username for Canvas? 

Same as your ACES userid.  Once you log into ACES, you will be automatically signed in to Canvas. 

How do I get help with using Canvas? 


Students can click on the orange Help button at the top right corner of the screen while logged into Canvas to request help. Students can also call the Alamo Colleges Helpdesk at 210-485-0555 and select option 2 or San Antonio College Helpdesk at 210-486-0777 during the normal business hours, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  
 

Can I use Canvas as a supplemental site for my F2F courses? 

Yes, you can use Canvas to serve as a supplemental site for your F2F courses. Contact your department secretary and ask them to define the Canvas Code within Banner. At Alamo Colleges, the course creation process is automated, any course that is designated as a Canvas course in Banner will automatically have a corresponding course site created in Canvas. 

Will I be able to migrate content from my Blackboard Course? 

Yes.  Canvas has a specific migration tool that works well with the Blackboard platform.  You can migrate all or parts of the Blackboard Course to Canvas.  IIC staff are available to help you with converting courses to Canvas. 

Can I start playing with Canvas now? 

Training is required for Canvas use at the Alamo Colleges.  However, there is a free, trial version of Canvas available to anyone through the following website: http://www.instructure.com. The version is limited to a few weeks but lets you get the feel of the software. 

How often are students populated into the Canvas Courses? 

Does the automated population also remove students who have dropped? 

What should I do if one of my students cannot log in? 

First, you should check your Banner, Faculty Services roster to make sure that the student is actually enrolled in your course.  Also check your Grade book within Canvas to make sure that the student is listed within the course.  If the student is in Banner and does not appear in your Canvas site, ask the student to contact the Alamo Colleges Helpdesk 210-485-0555 or the College Helpdesk 210-486-0777. 

I can't see my course in Canvas. Why? 

A field within Banner must be configured before you can teach a course in Canvas.  Contact your department secretary or the person designated to schedule courses for your department to place the Canvas code within Banner.  If you still cannot access your Canvas course, contact Alamo Colleges Helpdesk at (210) 485-0555 or our College helpdesk at (210) 486-0777. 

How can my students learn more about Canvas? 

Students can access the Canvas Student Quick Guide that is available 24/7 to learn more about the Canvas platform.  However, if you wish to attend an on campus workshop our Student Mega Lab offers several Canvas workshops on a monthly basis.  Access the  Student Mega Lab Training Calendar for additional information. 

I have a dropped student still showing up on my Canvas course roster.  How do I get the student removed?
 

 Canvas currently does not have a student deny access option.  This feature request has been submitted to Canvas.  In the meantime, please submit a Track-It work order to the SAC IIC office and the staff will manually unenroll the students within the course.  For documentation purposes, you are encouraged to submit a Track-It request.  

How do I create a Canvas Shell in ACES? 

In order to create a Canvas course shell in ACES (production site), staff within the department who are responsible for scheduling classes, typically your department’s Administrative or Unit Assistants, will have to code your course for Canvas within Banner using the SSASECT form.  Your department’s scheduler will change your course’s “Integration Partner” field to “IC” for Instructure Canvas in Banner thus creating your Canvas shell in the production site.   

My course is already in Canvas but I never asked my Administrative or Unit Assistant to code it “IC.”  Do I still have to do this?  

 Yes. Courses that are not marked with “IC” may have issues with data updates between Banner and Canvas.  

How do I determine who has been “absent” from my Canvas online course? 

In Canvas, the Student Access Report will show you who has been “in” your course.  Click on the “People” button on the left hand sidebar.  Choose a student in your class and click on their name which appears in blue.  On the right hand side, you will see a button for “Access Report for <Student Name>.”  Click on the “Access Report” Button and you will see how many times your student has accessed your course.   

How do I drop students who have not attended my online class during the first week of school?   

Use the Smart Start Drop link to drop students who never attended class the first week of school.  To access the Smart Start Drop link, log into ACES.  In ACES, click on the “Faculty” tab and select  “Web Services.”  Click the “Faculty” link.  Click on the “Term Selection” link and “Select a Term” by clicking on the drop down menu, choosing the current term and clicking “Submit.” Then select the CRN by clicking on the “CRN Selection” link and select the course from which you want to drop students.  Once you have the CRN selected, click the “Smart Start Drop” link and Select “Drop Before Census” from the dropdown menu for the appropriate student(s).  Don’t forget to submit. 

 

Contact Information

Alamo Colleges/Instructure Support Hotline: 210-485-0555, Option 2
SAC Help Desk: 210-486-0777

Faculty Canvas Walk-In Support: IIC, Moody Learning Center, 712

Canvas Training and Peer Reviews:
sac-canvas@alamo.edu
210-486-0030
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Canvas Mentors

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