2020 Canvas Livestream Collections Available Now

Canvas has posted a collection of informational videos to help you with the unique challenges facing us this semester. Topics range from getting started, contingency planning, tips, tricks and more. Please visit the link below to check it out!

Canvas 2020 Livestream Collections

Alternatively, you can jump to a specific section below:

Getting Started
Contingency Planning
Canvas Features
Course Design
Canvas Tips & Tricks
Communication & Connection
Motivation, Engagement, & Belonging
Conferencing & Video
Student Experience
Parents & Observers
Canvas Partners
Leadership Series
Professional Development

Testing Best Practices for Fall 2020

Here are some best practices from the Testing center to get you started off on the right foot this semester.

  • Onsite Proctoring- students must call the testing center to schedule an appointment after getting approval from faculty to test onsite. Schedule exams at least 48 hours (work days) before exam date.
  • Face-to-face proctoring onsite can’t be done in combination with other online proctoring options.
  • Seating is limited for face-to-face onsite proctoring. Faculty, please ascertain the need for services for a student before referring.

    If a student has:

    • had difficulty with using the online proctoring options,
    • limited or no access to internet service,
    • tester doesn’t have appropriate tech equipment on hand,

    then specific proctoring needs have to be considered. These must be discussed with testing staff prior to scheduling. A student needing a quiet place to test is not an exception.

  • Faculty must be aware of vendor online testing policies to create testing instructions that do not conflict with the policies. (Example: Do not instruct student to use cell phone to take a screen shot of written work while being proctored online). Please visit our keep teaching page for more information.
  • Use the sample test offered by the vendor to ensure the student knows how to use the service before credit based tests are taken.
  • Allow reasonable turn around times for Honorlock video reviews. Please consider weekends and holidays are not regular work hours when requesting viewing end dates.

Honorlock: Tips to Start the Semester

Below are some tips from Honorlock to assist you with using Honorlock to proctor your exams for the Fall semester.

As we quickly approach the launch of the fall semester, we wanted to remind you of the top 8 items to remember in order to ensure your success (and your students’) during the upcoming term.

  1. Honorlock Support: Our support team is available 24/7/365 via our live chat service. Encourage your students to contact us directly, via the Honorlock LTI within your respective LMS, if technical assistance is required. Students and faculty can also submit an email to support@honorlock.com, while faculty can still call our support team at (844) 243-2500.
  2. New Guidelines: Ensure that all of your profiles and new assessments utilize the updated guideline information we included in our latest release.
  3. Access Codes: Honorlock automatically generates an access code for each exam, once it has been enabled for proctoring. Faculty should not delete, alter, or provide the access code to students at any point.
  4. Minimum System Requirements: Have your students run a system check from our support page to ensure that their device meets our MSRs.
  5. No Scheduling Required: Students do not need to schedule their assessment with Honorlock. The assessment will be available to them for the time period you established within the LMS itself.
  6. Google Chrome: Exam takers must use Google Chrome to take their assessments.
  7. Practice Exams: Faculty should enable and administer practice exams so that students are well acclimated with Honorlock prior to taking their higher-stakes exams.
  8. Student Privacy: We take student privacy very seriously. With many students transitioning from the classroom environment to online remote learning, we have made several resources available to assist with your students’ frequently asked questions.

PS – For any new faculty, or existing users who may need a refresher of how Honorlock works, we suggest you register for one of their upcoming webinars.

Updated Zoom Integration

Zoom has released an updated integration which is now available in Canvas. The new integration can be added to your course navigation just as previously following the How to Integrate Zoom help guide. Once added, your Canvas Zoom will look like the image below:

the new Canvas integration provides direct student access to Cloud Recordings


Zoom now displays your Class Meetings by default, rather than your full Meetings list. This change also affects co-Teachers and TAs in the course, who will now be able to see (and join) class meetings created by other instructors.

You can access your complete list of Zoom Meetings by clicking on “All My Zoom Meetings/Recordings” (1). You can also schedule a meeting for your class using the “Schedule a New Meeting” (2) button, just as in the previous Zoom integration.

The newly added Cloud Recording Tab (3) enables both you and your students to see a list of all cloud-recorded meetings for your course. You no longer need to email out your recording link for students to be able to find the class recordings. Finally, Zoom has added a feature for importing already-created meetings into a specific course (4). A short tutorial is available on the Import an Existing Meeting help guide.

Testing Across Time Zones

What happens to remote instruction when many of your students are international and go home to various time zones? You get creative! Dr. Stover teaches a Financial Modeling class in the Harbert College of Business. The class explores using financial tools in Excel. With well over 100 students across 3 sections, delivering lectures and administering exams in real time became challenging.

“As an alternative to using Honorlock and having everyone take the exam at the same time, I created an Excel file, using the VBA scripting language, that generates a randomized set of questions and grades the exam,” explained Dr. Stover. Students start by accessing the Excel file on their desktop and entering their name. Once the name is entered and the questions are generated, the cell locks so the name can’t be changed, and students can’t share the same exam. “Because the questions are randomized, students can’t just share answers. They are supposed to work alone, but I won’t be able to monitor that. Still, I figure if they are talking with each other, at least they have to talk about how to do the problems and then actually apply that to their own version of the exam instead of just copying an answer.”

Once the exam is graded, all answers are locked. If students are unhappy with their grade, they can generate a new set of questions, but everything gets erased and they have to start from scratch. Students can get a good grade either by knowing the material and doing well initially, or by working harder over multiple attempts. “The students get to decide when the marginal benefit of potentially raising their grade is equal to the marginal cost of starting over. It takes their testing experience from being an assessment to a learning opportunity.”

When it comes to lecture delivery, Dr. Stover chose to use Panopto to record his lectures asynchronously. This allows students to go back and re-watch Dr. Stover explain a problem as many times as they need, which is especially helpful for students in a different time zone that can’t make real time Zoom sessions or students whose first language is not English.

When reflecting on how he will modify his classes once we return to campus, Dr. Stover noted that he will shift his Excel exams to homework assignments instead, so students have to learn to do their work in a timed environment. “Also, I’ve signed up for the Biggio Center’s Course (Re)Design program this summer. I’m looking forward to learning how to flip my classroom and use my Panopto recordings as lecture delivery out of class in Canvas and using in-class time for students to work problems with my help.”

Active Learning on Zoom

The Biggio Center has long supported faculty implementing active learning into their courses. But how does one continue active learning with the switch to remote instruction? Every semester Dr. Grinberg implements an active learning game called Reacting to the Past in her World Literature course. “It’s a role-playing game where students have assigned character roles, often historical figures, and must communicate and collaborate to push their character’s agenda forward. It has been repeatedly shown that these games promote engagement with big ideas and improve intellectual and academic skills,” explained Dr. Grinberg.

Once Auburn University transitioned to remote instruction, Dr. Grinberg began wondering how to adapt the highly interactive activity to the Zoom platform. Instead of a full-blown game, which can take several weeks to organize, her class adopted a mini game which only required a week’s worth of work – one session about the background and another session for the actual game.

Using Miguel de Cervantes’s “The Two Damsels”, the students had to put together a mock trial for their Reacting to the Past assignment. Students had to prosecute and/or defend Marco Antonio, an “almost polygamous” young knight who leaves his “wife and betrothed” behind. “Students love this activity in the face-to-face environment. They say it’s the most interactive thing we do all semester and is a different way to study the text while still allowing them to fully grasp the concept.”

Dr. Grinberg asked students to choose their character and grouped them in Canvas so they could receive specific instructions for their preparation. Students were then tasked with a writing assignment in accordance with their character (the main characters prepared their opening statements, the witnesses wrote depositions, the lawyers and their assistants wrote a series of questions, etc.) and uploaded the document to Canvas a day before the trial.

“Up to this point, the activities would be somewhat similar to what I requested past students to do. This time though, we met in our virtual classroom and I asked the students to change their name to their character’s name.” As the Game Master, Dr. Grinberg used the chatroom to send private messages to the players, reminding them of specific passages or the importance of calling certain witnesses to the stand.

After the attorneys and main characters presented their claims and defenses, the class used the breakout rooms to prepare their closing arguments. The closing statements were followed by a vote, using the chat reactions “yes” or “no” feature.

Dr. Grinberg reflected on the feedback her students provided after the activity saying, “The students said they welcomed the break from the ‘reading and reviewing’ format we had been following since we started working through Zoom.” Many students remarked that it must be a lively activity in the classroom environment, but they did “okay for our conditions”. “Indeed “our conditions” were not optimal, but it was a good way of making all participants think a little deeper. We all learned a lot and the students provided me with some wonderful ideas I can apply next semester.”