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Fall 2019 – Start of Semester


The Fall 2019 semester is almost here and your Canvas course shells are ready to be set up.  You can find Canvas support resources and workshop schedules at under the Technology Support menu.  You can also reach these resources using the Canvas Help menu.  Below are some tips and links to help you get started.

  • Remove prior courses from your course menu by Customizing your Courses & Groups This helps reduce the number of course options on many of the menus in Canvas.
  • Check out the instructor quick start guide for a course check list and glossary of Canvas common terms.
  • In order for students to access a course, the course needs to be published and the course start date needs to have passed. The course start date is determined by the dates sent from PAWS.  Most undergraduate courses are set to start August 28.  Instructors can change the start date to allow early access to a course.
  • To message your students in Canvas, make sure the course has been published. It takes some time for your course to appear in the inbox after publishing.  Select multiple recipients by holding down the ctrl key while selecting.
  • Consider using Announcements instead of messaging. They are available to all students in the course, even those that enroll later in the semester.  Students can always find the announcement in the course (No need to search through their messages!).
  • Merge courses by cross-listing them under your course settings.
  • If you previously taught the course in Canvas, import previous course content into the new course to save time.
  • Hide Canvas tools you aren’t going to use from students.
  • Check your Start and End Dates and be sure you Publish!

For additional assistance, use Report a Problem through the Canvas Help menu or contact us through

Canvas and Kaltura Training

If you would like to schedule Canvas or Kaltura training for you, your department or a group, please reach out to us at to setup an appointment.  We can work with you to create a training tailored to your needs.  If you aren’t sure which area of Canvas you’d like to learn more about, check out our training topics gallery for some ideas.  You can also stop by our office located in room 4 of the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library.

Self-paced Canvas Training through offers a 2 hour, self-paced tutorial on Canvas that you can access with your TCNJ login credentials.  The training covers topics such as:

  • Setting up a profile
  • Setting home page options
  • Building a syllabus
  • Working with student groups
  • Assignments and quizzes
  • Speed Grader
  • Modules
  • Duplicating a course
  • Publishing a course

Access the Training.

Instructional Design Events

The Office of Instructional Design hosts events throughout the year.  Check out our event schedule for dates and times once the semester has started.  If you have an idea for an event, contact us at

Canvas Features of Note

Improved Conferences Tool

Canvas Conferences has received several improvements.

  • New HTML5 Interface – You may have noticed the slick new interface which is now HTML5 based, which should improve performance and reduce issues with webcams and microphones.
  • Breakout Rooms – Conferences now also offers the ability to create breakout rooms. You can easily move your students out of the main conference to their own groups and then bring them back together again before ending your session.
  • Share YouTube video – Conferences allows the presenter to share a YouTube video link to the session. When playing the video, all participants will view the same playback time and speed selected by the presenter.
  • Shared Notes – Participants can now collaborate on shared notes which can be easily exported in several different file formats.

To get started with conferences visit this link.  Be sure to use the help feature within the Conferences tool for more assistance on the different features.  Email if you’d like to meet with our staff to learn more about how to effectively use Conferences in your course.

Course Card Images

Canvas now allows you to further customize your course by adding an image to the Course Card that will appear on the Dashboard for all enrolled participants.  Images can be added through the Course Settings page.  Detailed instructions can be found here.

NameCoach Roster

NameCoach is a tool integrated into Canvas that gives students the ability to record the pronunciation of their names, provide the phonetic spelling of their names, and store their pronouns. Instructors can access this data to learn how best to address students.  NameCoach aims to create a more inclusive campus community and classroom, and encourages a culture of respect.  This tool is available by default in all courses on Canvas and can be found in the course menu.  Instructors can also use this tool to record the pronunciation of their name.  More details can be found here.

New Kaltura in Canvas Features

Hot Spots – Add clickable URL Hot Spots to your videos.  Use Hot Spots to link to additional resources, launch forms, jump to another time in the video and more!  For more details click here.

Video Quiz: Multiple Attempts – Enable multiple attempts for a Kaltura Video Quiz.

B&N FacultyEnlight Integration

Canvas features three tools that integrate the TCNJ Bookstore with your course.  The first is FacultyEnlight, located in the course navigation menu, which allows Instructors to choose which course resources they would like to adopt for the course.

The second is Purchase Course Materials, also located in the course navigation menu, allows students to easily find which course resources are available for purchase through the TCNJ Bookstore.

The third item is YUZU Digital Course Materials, which is disabled by default, but can be turned on through the Course Settings -> Navigation interface.  If the course resources you’ve adopted have a YUZU digital component, you should enable this tool for your course.  It allows students to access their YUZU account that contains their resources.