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Canvas - Considerations Before Transitioning to Canvas (UW-Madison)

    Not all courses are ready to be migrated to Canvas. If you use any of the following features in your current Learning Management System (D2L or Moodle), please review the current limitations in Canvas. If you are concerned that Canvas will not currently meet your needs, please visit with a Canvas Consultant before migrating your course. (To schedule an appointment with a Canvas Consultant, please e-mail

    Canvas and Scantron

    Currently there is no integration between Canvas and Scantron testing. Manual Excel work will need to be done by faculty and instructional staff who wish to use Scantron testing and import those scores into the Canvas gradebook. Instructions for how to import scores are being developed and will be linked here as soon as they are available. Integration solutions are also currently being explored.

    Canvas and TopHat

    Currently there is no integration between Canvas and the TopHat student response system. Grades will need to be exported from the TopHat gradebook and imported into the Canvas gradebook. Instructions for how to do so are currently being developed and will be linked here as soon as they are available. It is anticipated that Canvas and TopHat will be integrated by the Fall 2017 semester.[a]

    Large Course Considerations

    While SpeedGrader makes most grading easier and quicker, it currently does not allow users to search or filter students. Instead, users will need to select a specific course section and then scroll through the students in that section. Additionally, SpeedGrader also has no unique identifiers associated with students. The student name is the only identifier, so if there are students with the same name, in the same course, it can be difficult to determine one student from the other. One workaround is to ask students to include additional information to help identify the individual student in their assignment document. For example if the students are submitting Word documents, ask the students to include their name with middle initial in the document itself.

    Additionally, cross-listed courses in Canvas organize students according to the area/topic they registered in. For example, in a Math and Computer Science cross-listed course, students who registered for Math Section 2 are listed separately from students who registered for Computer Science Section 2. So, even though cross-listed students all meet together in the same section, they will be listed in two separate sections with two different rosters.

    Graded Discussions

    If you plan to use graded discussions in Canvas please be aware that discussions are graded in SpeedGrader, not in the discussion tool itself. This means discussion posts will be graded outside of the context of the discussion string. Instructors may need to read the discussion first within the discussion tool, then open SpeedGrader. In addition, SpeedGrader does not recognize groups. SpeedGrader displays the students in alphabetical order. Therefore instructors must read a group discussion in the tool, then open SpeedGrader, find individual students, and enter each student's grade for that discussion.

    Canvas and Case Scenario Critical Reader (CSCR) Modules

    Please refrain from developing new CSCR modules. The university plans to replace the tool due to the potential challenges with migrating content and integrating with Canvas.

    Those who wish to continue using previously developed modules may do so, but should be aware of future plans to migrate content into another authoring tool that will integrate with Canvas. Additional information regarding these plans should be available summer/fall 2017. For more information on Canvas, please see For a recommendation on what to use in the meantime, please contact your unit’s instructional technologist.

    SCORM / Learning Object Activity Report 

    While SCORM and other learning objects can be loaded into Canvas courses, and grades can be passed to the Canvas gradebook, Canvas does not provide an activity report for SCORM / learning objects that displays data on student interaction with the content. For example, there is no reporting on how long students spent on a slide.

    Advanced Quizzing 

    The quizzing tool in Canvas does not have as robust functionality as the quizzing tools in D2L and Moodle. For example, Canvas does not provide submission view controls and it does not support a number of quiz question types that are available in the other two LMSs. As of December 2016, the following quiz question types are not available in Canvas:

    • Ordering
    • Arithmetic
    • Significant Figures
    • Free Body Diagram
    • Graph Sketching
    • Variable Numeric Set
    • Calculated Simple
    • Calculated Multichoice
    • Calculated Format
    • Clickable Image
    • Drag and Drop into Text
    • Drag and Drop onto Image
    • Drag and Drop Markers
    • Pattern Match
    • Embedded Answers (Cloze)
    • Random short-answer matching
    • STACK

    Keywords:canvas, issues, challenges, considerations, migration, transition   Doc ID:67877
    Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
    Created:2016-10-19 10:54 CDTUpdated:2017-03-16 13:00 CDT
    Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison, UW-Madison Canvas
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