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Assigning Digital Projects in Canvas

Digital presentations are very common in the working world, so why not encourage students to hone their digital skills in your class? Assigning a project like this is relatively easy to set up when using Canvas pages. We’ve created a how-to guide for students called “Multimedia Projects in Canvas.” When students review this handout, they will get a clear view of what they can do in Canvas pages. You are also welcome to contact us at canvas@northwestern.edu to get assistance with setting up these projects.

Last year, Educational Technology Teaching Fellow Karrie Snyder talked about her experience assigning her students digital projects using Canvas pages. Students enjoyed doing the projects and also gave each other plenty of feedback using Yellowdig. Take a peek at one student’s project to get an idea of what students can do with Canvas. This student did a excellent job of communicating his ideas using videos, photos, graphs, Canvas material, and links.

pages1If you want to use these kinds of projects in your class, follow these instructions: First, create a page for each student or group and make sure students and teachers can edit it by selecting “Teachers and students” in the drop-down menu under the Rich Content Editor box. This way, students are given permission to edit their page. Make sure you publish the pages and email your students the link to their page. Another option is to allow students to create and name their own pages by visiting the “Settings” area in your Canvas course site and enabling the setting for both students and teachers to create pages. This option is at the bottom of the settings page and is the final drop-down item after selecting “more options.” Select “Teachers and Students” can create, rename, and edit course pages by default from the drop-down menu if you would like to use this option. Make sure to save your changes in both of these instances. pages2

During the creation of the projects, you will want to hide access to the Pages area in Canvas so that students can only see their own project. To do this, go to “Settings” at the bottom of the Canvas course left navigation area. Under the “Navigation” tab, drag the “Pages” bar under the “Drag items here to hide them from students” header. Make sure to click “Save” at the bottom to maintain these changes. Also,  ensure students have the link to their own page so they are able to access it directly.

Students may then add materials to their projects. They can also use the Main Library’s One Button Studio to record professional podcasts and videos to add to their research projects.

Once all students have concluded work on their projects, turn off editing permissions for students by visiting the Settings area. At the bottom, under “more options,” select “Only teachers” can create, rename, and edit course pages by default from the drop-down menu. There should be an additional check box to apply this change to existing pages. Then, go back to settings and un-hide the Pages tab. This will allow all of the students in the course to see the work of their peers.

For more information on Canvas pages, take a look at the Canvas Learning Center module on pages.