Category Archives: Staff

Canvas Syllabus and ‘To Do’ list: How to add items for students

Using the Canvas Calendar, Syllabus and To Do list is an easy way to keep students engaged with your course.

The Syllabus and student ‘To Do’ list show a summary of any course items that have a date or time assigned to them. For example an assignment will have a due date, so this will automatically appear in a student’s Syllabus and ‘To Do’ list. Items which can be given dates include assignments, pages, calendar events and quizzes.

The student 'To Do' list highlighted on a homepage
The student ‘To Do’ list

Syllabus and Course Summary

The Canvas syllabus page includes the Course Summary which shows all content with dates across your course. This is a great way for students to gain an overview of the course and what is required of them. It can be accessed from the course navigation menu or the syllabus (course dates) button if you have one on the course home page.

‘To Do’ lists are unique to the user

As a staff member your ‘To Do’ list will be different from the student’s. For example your list may show that you need to Grade an assignment, where the student’s list will show that they need to submit. If groups or individuals have different due dates these will display accordingly to the user. Staff can check the student ‘To Do’ list of a test student simply by entering student view when on the course homepage.

How to populate the ‘To Do’ list

Population of the ‘to do’ list happens automatically when you add content with dates into your course. To assign a date and time to any page in your course, when editing the page, simply tick the ‘add to student To Do’ checkbox and add a date and time before saving the page.

screen shot of the 'To Do' check box

Dates are added to other items during the setup process, for example when creating an assignment. Follow the guides below to setup these items which will then appear in the Syllabus Course Summary and ‘To Do’ lists.

For help using any of the Canvas features above, please contact us at

Gathering Feedback from your Students using an Ungraded Survey

One of the primary uses of the Canvas quiz tool at the GSA is for gathering feedback and opinions from your students. This feedback can be used to improve course design and evaluate course delivery. The best quiz type for gathering feedback and opinions from your students is an ungraded survey.



Creating an ungraded survey

To create an ungraded survey:

  1. Visit the Quizzes link in your Course Navigation menu and click on the + Quiz button
  2. Give your quiz a title and enter instructions for students in the text box below
  3. Choose Ungraded survey as your quiz type
  4. Choose whether you would like to keep responses anonymous and whether students can have multiple attempts at your survey
  5. Choose whether students should be able to review their own responses and untick ‘show students correct answers’
  6. Give your survey a due date and fill in the ‘Available from’ and ‘Until’ dates.

Adding questions to your survey

The next step is to create your questions by clicking on the questions tab at the top of your survey. questions.png  

To add a question to your survey, click on the ‘+ New Question’ button. 

Question types

There are a number of question types you can choose from. The question type you choose relates to what kind of feedback you’d like to gather. 

  • Free Text/essay:  if you have open questions, such as ‘What could be improved?’ you can use an essay question, which will provide students with a text field, where they can write as much or as little feedback as they’d like to give.
  • Likert scale questions are often used in surveys to gather more focused feedback from respondents. Likert scale questions measure the degree to which your respondents agree or disagree with a statement. Please see the table below for an example of a Likert scale question:
Strongly agree Agree Not sure Disagree Strongly disagree
Canvas has all the information I need to progress through the course week by week. X
Miro is a useful tool for mind mapping.  X

If you would like to create Likert scale type questions in an ungraded survey on Canvas, you can use the multiple dropdowns question type to do so. This question type is the most similar to Likert scale questions. For more information, please see the Canvas Instructor Guide How do I create Likert scale quiz questions? (Links to an external site.)


Viewing the results of your ungraded survey

Unlike graded quizzes and surveys, ungraded surveys do not display in the Gradebook or in Speedgrader. To view the results of your ungraded survey:

  1. Select the Quizzes item in your Course Navigation.Quizzes.PNG
  2. Click on the name of your surveyQuizname.PNG
  3.     Click on the three dots next to the Edit buttonsurvey.png
  4.   Select ‘Show student survey results’ to look at each students individual response

To download a CSV file of all responses to your survey, 

  1. Select Survey Statisticsstats.png

  Select Student Analysis to generate a CSV file with all of the responses to your surveyanalysis.png 

Please note that when you’ve reviewing the results of your survey by question, Canvas will always show one of the answers as the correct answer. However, this can be ignored, and students will not see a “correct” answer.


Help with Ungraded Surveys

If you need help setting up an ungraded survey, or with any other learning technology related query, contact us by emailing


Two Minute Tech Tip No. 20: Adding Live Automatic Captions to your Zoom Meetings

 This week’s Two Minute Tech Tip demonstrates how to add automatic, live captions to your Zoom meetings in real-time. That means your participants will be able to turn closed captions on and off during your meeting. 

There are two different methods for providing automatic, live captions in Zoom. You can use Zoom’s live transcription service or’s live transcription service. There may be errors in the captions provided by either service as they are both provided by an AI program.

Choosing between Zoom Automatic Live Transcription and Live Notes Transcription

Whether you choose to use Zoom’s live transcription service or’s live transcription service will depend on whether you are recording your Zoom meeting in order to upload it to Planet eStream or Canvas. 

Zoom Automatic Live Transcription provides automatic, live captions in-meeting. Live Notes Transcription provides live, automatic captions in-meeting. Live Notes Transcription can also be downloaded as an .srt file to upload alongside a recording of your meeting to provide closed captions.

If you’re recording your event, you’ll need to provide a closed caption file (.SRT) to upload alongside your video, as captions will not be captured in your Zoom recording. You can do this by using’s live transcription service. 

If you have used Zoom’s live transcription to provide your captions, you’ll need to upload your video to to get captions. 

Setting up closed captions with Zoom Automatic Live Transcription

Setting up closed captions with Live Notes Transcription Live Notes transcription is slightly more tricky to set up, but the benefit is that you can download closed captions to upload alongside a recording of your meeting.
Our Canvas page on Uploading content to Planet eStream provides more information about how to upload and share recordings of your Zoom meetings. For further information about using Zoom’s transcriptions options, please see the Zoom Support pages
For help with setting up live cations, or any other learning technology issues, please contact us at

Two Minute Tech Tip No.19: Adding extensions to Assignments


In this Two Minute Tech Tip we show you how to add student extensions to Assignments in Canvas.
Canvas takes care of the admin, making adding new dates easy. Extensions can be added for any number of individuals, groups and sections, each with their own unique dates. 
For further information on setting up assignments, please see this step-by-step guide on the Using Canvas for Staff course
If you are managing many assignment dates, Canvas also has a useful bulk update function. Details of this can be found on the Canvas Guides. 
For help with setting up or editing assignments, remember you can contact us at

2 Minute Tech Tip No. 18: How to set up an Assignment so that Students can Submit Padlets

 This week’s tech tip demonstrates how to set up a Canvas assignment so that students will be able to submit both an embedded version of their Padlet, as well as a PDF version of their Padlet. By submitting the PDF version of their Padlet alongside the embedded one, you’ll be able to check that the Padlet has not changed since the due date of your assignment. 

Students will need guidance on how to embed their Padlet into a Canvas assignment, and how to export their Padlet as a PDF. To help with this, we’ve created a Student Tech Tip video that you can embed in your assignment instructions, which demonstrates how to embed a Padlet into an assignment, and how to export their Padlet as a PDF:
You can grab the embed code for this video in Planet eStream.
If you have questions related to setting up assignments or any other learning technology related topics, please contact 

2 Minute Tech Tips No. 15 : How to Set Up a Rubric

In this week’s 2 Minute Tech Tip video you can find out how to set up a rubric and add it to your assignment to Canvas. Rubrics make your grading criteria clear to students, and can be used to provide feedback in Speedgrader.

For more information about setting up assignments and using Speedgrader in Canvas, please take a look at our guidance on Canvas.

If you have questions about this video or any other questions related to learning technology, please contact

2 Minute Tech Tip No. 14 : How to Add Captions to a Video in Canvas

This week’s 2 Minute Tech Tip demonstrates how to add subtitles to a video that you have uploaded directly to Canvas. By following the steps in this video, you can make sure that any videos you upload to Canvas are accessible. 

For more information about producing transcripts and subtitles, please take look at our guidance on Canvas. 

If you have any questions about this topic, or any others in our 2 Minute Tech Tips series, please contact

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