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Canvas - FAQ's & Important Information
This document will talk about the most important information about Canvas and standard procedures at UW-Parkside regarding Canvas.
Canvas is UW-Parkside's learning management system (LMS). Canvas is where instructors can build and house online content such as readings, online assignments, quizzes, and discussions. Below is a list of the most important information about the standard procedures regarding Canvas.
- What is the difference between a "sandbox" and a "live course"?
- Sandbox: A Canvas sandbox is basically a course shell that students do not have access to. Sandboxes are used to build content in a space that can be reset, changed, and without the worry of students seeing any in-progress content. Sandboxes will not be deleted unless requested by the instructor. Sandboxes can remain active as long as the instructor wants to save that content. Sandboxes will also not be created unless requested by the instructor, so if an instructor wants to begin working on a new course, they should request a sandbox by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Live Course: Live courses are the courses that are tied to Solar, are tied to a specific semester, and are the courses that students have access to. Live courses automatically come into Canvas 90 days before the first day of class and the instructor can choose whether or not to make that course visible to students or not by "publishing" that course. Live courses will only stay in Canvas for one year, after this year, they will be automatically deleted. If an instructor wants to keep the content from a live course for more than a year, they should request a sandbox. That way, the live course content can be transferred into the sandbox that won't be deleted.
- How can I tell the difference between a sandbox and a live course?
There are a few different ways to tell the difference between a sandbox and a live course. The main difference will be the course card on the Canvas dashboard. By default, live courses will come into Canvas with the name that they have in Solar and they will have a semester listed underneath the course code. Sandboxes will not have a semester listed and will have "SANDBOX" in both the course title and course code.
Below is an example of what a sandbox will look like on a course dashboard vs what a live course will look like on a course dashboard. The sandbox is on the left and the live course is on the right.
- How do I make my sandbox into a live course?
Sandboxes and live courses are two separate types of courses. A sandbox cannot be changed into a live, however, the content from a sandbox can be copied into a live course. To copy content from your sandbox into a live course, instructors can either email email@example.com and make a request or follow these instructions: How to Copy Canvas Content
- When can students access my live course?
When live courses come in from Solar 90 days from the first day of class, instructors can choose to publish their live course at any point after that time. Publishing a course means that students can see the course and can view the content that has been made visible. If a course is left unpublished, students will not see that course in Canvas at all. Please click on the following link for instructions on how to publish a course: How to Publish a Course
- What if I only want students to see some of the course content, but not all of the content?
Instructors can choose to publish and unpublish specific modules and content items in a Canvas course. Like with publishing a course, students can only see modules and content if the instructor has chosen to publish it. Anything that should be hidden from students should be made unpublished. Unpublishing modules works on a hierarchy system, so if a module is unpublished, students cannot see anything within the module. Click on the following link for instructions on how to publish or unpublish content and modules: Publish Modules and Content
- What if I need help with Canvas?
Canvas offers 24/7 tier 1 technical support by phone, email, and online chat. Canvas support is the best way to ensure immediate assistance. To access Canvas technical support, click on the Help icon on the bottom left of the main Canvas navigation bar. Instructors can also contact the UW-Parkside Help Desk for support or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructors can also visit the Canvas Guides. The Canvas Guides are a searchable knowledgebase full of written and video tutorials on every tool in Canvas.