Canvas Tips & Tricks – Series 4

To help you maximize the new features in Canvas, the Instructional Consulting office will post a series of Canvas Tips & Tricks. These tips are to help you make use of all the great features of Canvas.

Tip 1: Canvas Mobile Application

You can access Canvas on your mobile device through the Canvas mobile app. While you are away from a computer, you can access and manage your courses seamlessly. The mobile app displays To-Do items, Notifications, and Messages, and access to course content. You can subscribe to your course calendar feed and view it as part of the calendar on your mobile device. Learn more about mobile applications in the Canvas Mobile Guide. Please note that not all Canvas features may be supported on your mobile device. View Canvas mobile features by version and device.

Here, we provide a quick guideline to install and login to the Canvas mobile application. (* Apple device was used for this guideline)
Go to the App Store and type in Canvas. Once download is complete, you will see the Canvas icon on your device.

Canvas app in the iOS app store

Type in “IU” or “” in a blank line and the device will search it for you. Then you will be prompted to type in your IU credentials. When you logged in, you will see a list of courses you are registered.
Logging in to Canvas App

You also might be interested in SpeedGrader™ App (iPad only, iOS 5.0+) that allows you to grade student submissions on the go. Learn more about SpeedGrader™ App.

Tip 2: Canvas Discussion Tool

Canvas allows you to increase your interaction with students in online courses, and can serve as an extension of face-to-face class discussions. In addition, Discussions can:

  • Help students start thinking about an upcoming Assignment or class discussion.
  • Follow-up on a conversation or questions that began in a face-to-face classroom.
  • Test student comprehension of important points made in class.
  • Debate contradictory ideas.
  • Brainstorm different approaches to a class problem.

The Discussion tool easily integrates with Gradebook, allowing you to grade individual, group, and peer-reviewed discussions.

Creating a New Discussion

Go to Course Navigation (the Menu items on the left-hand of the screen) and click Discussions.
Canvas Discussion Menu

Click on + Discussion to add a discussion topic
Start a new Canvas discussion

Manage your discussions with the following options:
Manage Canvas discussions

  1. Enter a title for your discussion topic.
  2. Use the Rich Content Editor to create your content (similar to Google Docs).
  3. Click the checkbox This is a Group Discussion to create a group discussion. Note: If you want to make the Group Discussion graded, click the Graded checkbox. Even though this is a group discussion, student submissions will be graded individually
  4. You also can indicate that Users must post before seeing replies, requiring students to post their own response to the discussion forum before seeing what their peers have written.

Click on Publish
Publish Canvas Discussion

You or your AI will see links to each discussion group. Click the group name to open the discussion and view student replies.
Group Canvas Discussions

The content above was adapted from the Canvas link below. Follow this link to learn more about the Discussion Tool:


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