Click on your teaching goal below to view Canvas tools that can help meet your need. You can also click on the attachment at the bottom of this article to download a comprehensive table of this information in PDF.

Legend

Good match for this purpose

Can work with some learning design

Jump to specific sections of this article:

Information transfer

Is it a tool for disseminating information to your students?

Announcements

   

Very simple to set up, and students will get automatic email reminders of the notices you post

   

Announcements are valuable for information transfer unless you dilute their impact through overuse

Discussions

   

Very easy to set up opportunities for you and the students to interact

   

Can be valuable, but information overload is a risk; important details may be lost in the chatter

Files

   

Easy to upload and organize PowerPoints, PDFs, images, and other documents through the  file menu

   

Yes, this is the primary purpose of the  files menu

Pages

   

Easy to create, edit, and embed content, including links and media  files

   

Yes, this is the primary purpose of pages

Pages [student editable]

   

You need to identify a clear purpose and communicate with your students when you enable wiki-like editing

   

You can ‘seed’ pages with content but students may edit or change it

Collaborations

   

Students must connect their Canvas and Google accounts first to enable collaborative writing in Google Docs

   

Teachers have the option to ‘seed’ content to guide students, but this is not its primary function

Conferences

   

Running live sessions online requires thought around timing, structure, and flow

   

Requires set-up but can be used to disseminate information by running live lectures online

Assessing learning

Will this tool allow you to assess your students’ learning?

                                                       

Discussions

     

Very easy to set up opportunities for you and the students to interact

   

Marked discussions are possible, but you should put thought into the pedagogical design

Pages [student editable]

     

You need to identify a clear purpose and communicate with your students when you enable wiki-like editing

   

You can assess student activity but it does not connect automatically to the gradebook

Assignments

     

Assignment set-up and use can be easy or complex; see the Canvas Assignment Guide for options

   

This is the primary purpose of assignments; try Speedgrader to mark entirely online

Quizzes

     

Effective quizzes require prior thought and some careful set-up

   

Yes, excellent for immediate feedback and student reflection; can be formative or summative

Collaborations

     

Students must connect their Canvas and Google accounts first to enable collaborative writing in Google Docs

   

Yes, students can share and submit their collaborations as assessed work

Conferences

     

Running live sessions online requires thought around timing, structure, and flow

   

You could technically do this, but it does not connect with the gradebook

ePortfolios

     

ePortfolios work differently from other tools so it is important to develop student familiarity

   

Yes, a strong way of assessing student development and reflection

 

Communication & interaction

Can students communicate with each other and the teacher?

Announcements

     

Very simple to set up, and students will get automatic email reminders of the notices you post

        

You can enable student replies to announcements, but interaction may be better as a discussion

Discussions

     

Very easy to set up opportunities for you and the students to interact

        

Discussions are an easy way to encourage students to interact with you and each other

Pages [student editable]

     

You need to identify a clear purpose and communicate with your students when you enable wiki-like editing

        

Students can interact by editing each others’ work

Assignments

     

Assignment set-up and use can be easy or complex; see the Canvas Assignment Guide for options

        

Students and teachers can communicate through feedback and (optionally) peer review or group work

Quizzes

     

Effective quizzes require prior thought and some careful set-up

        

Ungraded surveys can be used to elicit feedback and students can add comments to a completed quiz

Collaborations

     

Students must connect their Canvas and Google accounts first to enable collaborative writing in Google Docs

        

Teachers and students can communicate and interact through collaboration comments and content

Conferences

     

Running live sessions online requires thought around timing, structure, and flow

        

Excellent opportunities to communicate with video, audio, and text chat

ePortfolios

     

ePortfolios work differently from other tools so it is important to develop student familiarity

        

You can allow for comments on ePortfolio pages but this is not their primary purpose

 

Co-creating content

Can you and your students collaborate and create content together?

Discussions

     

Very easy to set up opportunities for you and the students to interact

        

Discussions can be used to negotiate, research, and discuss, but not really for the content creation itself

Pages [student editable]

     

You need to identify a clear purpose and communicate with your students when you enable wiki-like editing

        

Yes, students and teachers can design, edit, and embed content individually or together

Assignments

     

Assignment set-up and use can be easy or complex; see the Canvas Assignment Guide for options

        

Can be used for co-creation of content if you make it a group assignment

Collaborations

     

Students must connect their Canvas and Google accounts first to enable collaborative writing in Google Docs

        

Probably the best tool in Canvas to encourage co-creation of content

Conferences

     

Running live sessions online requires thought around timing, structure, and flow

        

Saved archives may not last (depending on your institution); consider using a collaboration instead