Canvas at Mt. SAC
Canvas is Mt. SAC's Learning Management System (LMS). Every course is hosted in Canvas. Students use Canvas to manage school life and you make that easier by providing course content, grades, communications, feedback, and scheduled calendar items all in one place. Would you like to use Canvas? The Faculty Center for Learning Technology (FCLT) can help you get started!
Faculty Resources to Learn Canvas
Mt. SAC Resources
Join the Mt. SAC Canvas Faculty Center online! Find answers to many common Canvas questions and learn local information about Canvas such how default course dates work, what apps are integrated in our Canvas and where you can find workshops, faculty Canvas office hours, and technical help.
FOMA Readiness Training is a local self-paced, video-based training with lots of useful, local Canvas basics
CCC Training & Resources
Introduction to Teaching with Canvas free, 4-week facilitated course with @ONE
Self-Paced Intro to Teaching with Canvas no POD credit can be awarded to self-paced courses from @ONE
@ONE Canvas Resources here are session recordings, additional @ONE workshops, short Canvas videos, and more.
Pocket PD blogs and short course design challenges to continue building your online teaching skillset
Apps & Tools in Mt. SAC Canvas
Videos used in courses must be captions. Mt. SAC offers a captioning service. Access the form through the Help button in Canvas. For more information, or to access the request form from the website, visit the Captions page.
'Otter.ai offers artificial intelligence (AI) smart transcripts that can by synced to an institutional Zoom account. This provides an option to improve the default accessibility in live conferences. Otter can also generate a captioning file or capture audio. Audio and transcripts captured in Otter can be exported in various formats. Get an Otter account by requesting it in the Mt. SAC helpdesk.
For captions that meet the needs of those with accommodations, sign language interpreters, and other formal student accommodations can be addressed with Mt. SAC ACCESS.
UDOIT: Canvas Accessibility Checker
UDOIT is a Canvas course accessibility checker. Enable "accessibility checker" in your Canvas course navigation menu (the navigation tab can be found under "Settings"). Students cannot see this in the course menu. UDOIT checks all or selected portions of your Canvas materials and allows you to fix the issues from within the report.
- UDOIT in the Canvas Faculty Center (login to Mt. SAC Canvas required)
- UDOIT Info in the Canvas Community
Documents are one of the most challenging aspects of making a course fully accessible. Now the Ally tool generates alternative formats for documents in Canvas. When you add documents, Ally automatically generates alternative formats. This improves your course accessibility by allowing document content to be accessed in different ways.
Ally File Accessibility Indicator
Ally provides professors with an accessibility "gauge" to help you identify the documents that need the most accessibility work. The gauge is only visible to faculty and does not display to students. Learn more about Ally:
- Ally page in the Canvas Faculty Center (login to Mt. SAC Canvas required)
- Ally (by Blackboard) Alternative Document Help for Instructors
- Ally (by Blackboard) File Accessibility Indicator Info & Help for Instructors
Cidi Labs DesignPLUS
Cidi Labs is a design tool that is integrated into Canvas and can be found under the "rocket" in the upper right corner whenever you are in "edit" mode where content can be entered, such as a page, assignment, or announcement. This tool has multiple uses and benefits that include improving design, adding graphical elements, and using existing templates to rapidly generate materials. The "Check Accessibility" portion of the design toolbox checks headings, links, and photos and displays a red eye icon if there are errors. Headings, photos, and links can all be reviewed and fixed without having to click on each item. When color tools are enabled, it will check color contrast for elements on the page. Learn more about Cidi Labs tools, including the accessibility tools:
Readspeaker: Reading Support Tool
ReadSpeaker reads pages in Canvas or on the Mt. SAC website for you! It will not (yet) read files and documents including within your Canvas course-- but keep an eye out for updates! The following documents and videos explain how to use ReadSpeaker.
- What Can ReadSpeaker Do For Students?
- ReadSpeaker Accessibility Keys
- ReadSpeaker info on the Mt. SAC website
- Video: 1-minute Overview of ReadSpeaker
- Video: ReadSpeaker Tour in 4 Minutes
California Community College professors (and employees) can request a free membership in the institutional Zoom account that is managed at the state level by the CCC Tech Connect team. This tool can be used for live conferencing and is available within and outside of Canvas. The institutional account allows for no time limits on
- ConferZoom website
- ConferZoom local info in Canvas Faculty Center
- ConferZoom Zendesk Support Site
- General Zoom Support Guides
Otter is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can be synced to ConferZoom to translate speech to text in real time (it does not sync with free Zoom accounts--the Otter and Zoom accounts must be institutional accounts). Professors hosting Zoom meetings can offer a live smart transcript as an accessibility option. Otter has a one-time setup in Zoom and can be enabled or disabled in Zoom as desired.
If students require accommodations, a live captioner or interpreter can be added to the course with not conflict (students or faculty arrange with Mt. SAC ACCESS). Otter records both the audio and creates a transcript. For now, Otter's transcript appears in a separate tab on a web browser so it is best used on a computer. Transcripts and/or audio can be shared with specific individuals or entire classes, or can be exported in multiple formats including an .srt caption file to apply to the video recording of the session.
- Get an Otter account by requesting it in the Mt. SAC helpdesk.
- Otter and ConferZoom Page in the Canvas Faculty Center (login to Mt. SAC Canvas required)
- Mt. SAC Otter web page
- Otter's website
Respondus: Test Conversion to Canvas
- Respondus is a program that converts document-based exams into a Canvas format
- Respondus is available to download (PC only) for professor use or
- Document-based quizzes/tests/exams can be prepared and sent to the Test Processing Center who use Respondus to convert them and return them to the professor
- The page in the Mt. SAC Faculty Center explains how to get the program, install it, and use it.
- Respondus Page in the Mt. SAC Faculty Center (requires login to Mt. SAC Canvas)
Honorlock: Proctoring in Canvas
- Honorlock allows exams to be proctored online in Canvas. They include video, audio, and ID check, and lockdown browser options but no specific functionality is required. Lockdown browser options alone can be used and include options to record student screen activity, limit to one screen and one browser tab, track keystrokes, and more to increase security.
- If audio/video is collected as part of the exam proctoring, these recordings are visible only to the professor, meets FERPA, and cannot be downloaded or shared.
- Honorlock is an option to enable in any course but is best used after completing training or reviewing instructor support guides to gain a full understanding on how to enable it, set settings, and review exams. If Honorlock is used, professors should communicate clearly with students at the start of term about the materials required and if cameras are required, the limited uses of this data should be communicated to students. The Honorlock page in the Mountie Student Hub in Canvas provides information for students (Mt. SAC Canvas login required).
- To learn more about using Honorlock in your course, see the Honorlock Page in the Mt. SAC Faculty Center in Canvas (Mt. SAC Canvas login required).
Screencast-o-matic: Make, Edit, Caption, and Stream Videos in Canvas
Screencast-O-Matic Premier acounts are free for Mt. SAC Canvas professors. The Screencast-O-Matic recording tool is a downloadable program that you can use to record videos of your screen and anything you display on it (screencast), such as slides, documents, etc., or to record your webcam. It also has a mobile app that can be used to record videos. This program allows you to edit and add captions to videos.
Once you have completed the creation and editing of your videos, you can upload them into the Screencast-O-Matic Cloud. The online storage is integrated into Canvas, allowing you to see your library and add videos anywhere within Canvas. Videos do not have to be made in Screencast-O-Matic tools to be stored to the Screencast-O-Matic Cloud and can also be shared outside of Canvas as a link or an embedded video. This tool is available to all employees (staff, managers, and faculty) but is not Mt. SAC accounts are not available to students. Within Canvas, Screencast-O-Matic can be accessed by enabling in course navigation (Settings > Navigation tab) or accessed under the blue "V" in the Rich Content Editor.
Want to learn more about Screencast-O-Matic? See our workshop offerings in POD or visit:
- Screencast-O-Matic page in the Mt. SAC Faculty Center (requires login to Mt. SAC Canvas)
3C Media: the "YouTube" for the CCCs
3C Media is an educational media repository and distribution source for video content, streaming services, and event coverage. Think YouTube for the CCC system. 3C Media stores large media files securely. It also allows you to upload a caption file and you can request free captions that are funded through the Distance Education Captioning & Transcription Grant.
3C Media is integrated into Canvas, allowing you to easily stream videos into your courses without taking up lots of space. Enable it in your Course Menu (Settings > Navigation). You can also add videos to PlayPosit from 3C Media.
3C Media is free but you need to sign up for an account. Use your Mt. SAC email, making sure that it matches the way your email appears in Canvas. To set up your account: you can set up your account by registering at 3C Media Solutions.
- 3C Media in the Canvas Faculty Center (requires login to Mt. SAC Canvas)
- 3C Media Solutions websites
PlayPosit: Turn Your Videos into Interactive Lessons
PlayPosit allows you to add videos so you can track the usage by students. You can add annotations or make videos interactive with discussion questions, reflection points, or quiz questions that sync to the Canvas gradebook.
Where is it? Access PlayPosit in the Rich Content Editor or in Assignment (in Details page, under Submission type, choose "External Tool" and find "PlayPosit"-it integrates to Gradebook).
PlayPosit was adopted by CCC TechConnect and they manage the license and offer assistance on this tool.
- Upload videos from YouTube, Vimeo, or 3C Media to PlayPosit
- Learn how to make a "bulb" lesson with quizzing, annotation, or reflection questions
- Get Analytics on how your students are using the videos in your course(s)
Canvas: Getting Started FAQ
- How Do Professors Get Access to Canvas?
Every Mt. SAC faculty member is automatically given an account in Canvas. Mt. SAC does not require specific training or a test of proficiency to gain entry (There are specific requirements to teach hybrid or fully online courses, which can be found on the Distance Learning page.)
Every professor who worked at the college when we migrated to Canvas received several sandboxes* to develop course materials and try out Canvas functionality and features. See below for more on Sandboxes. If you need a Sandbox, see more info and request through the IT Helpdesk. They can also be reached at email@example.com or 909-274-4357.
- I Don't Have an Account- What do I do?
If you are in a professor role at Mt. SAC--whether part-time/adjunct or full-time, credit or noncredit--you should get Canvas access when your other IT and HR accounts are set up. First, be sure to try logging in to Canvas first (see How Do I Log in to Canvas below). If you cannot log in, contact the IT help desk. Be sure to let IT know if you have ever had an account at Mt. SAC before, whether as a student, prospective student, staff member, or professor, and if your name has changed.
Are you in a non-faculty role but you need access to Canvas? Make requests to the IT help desk (firstname.lastname@example.org or x4357), submit a helpdesk ticket via the portal, or submit a help ticket under "Report A Problem" from within Canvas Help.
- How Do I Log in to Canvas?Faculty and students log in to Canvas through the Canvas tab on the Mt. SAC portal (also referred to as "Banner" because the portal is the same software that manages course registration data). A "Sign in to Mt. SAC Canvas" button on this page will take you directly into Canvas. Because Canvas is part of Single Sign-On, your portal login logs you in to Canvas as well. You can also log in by typing the Mt. SAC Canvas URL directly into your browser: https://mtsac.instructure.com. You will be prompted to enter your portal login credentials. Chrome and Firefox are recommended browsers for Canvas. There are known Canvas problems with Internet Explorer and Safari.
- How Do I Get My Courses into Canvas?
Every course with a CRN is given a course shell in Canvas by IT. Enrollment is synced with the college registration system (Banner) to keep the student roster up to date.
Sandboxes are design areas with no enrollment and no expiration date. Sandboxes are provisioned to professors only. Simply file a ticket through the IT Helpdesk. They can also be reached at email@example.com or 909-274-4357.
If you wish to have a course shell that is not a Sandbox or a CRN course, you can make that request through IT helpdesk or contact the FCLT for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org (909)274-5016.
- How Do I Make Courses Visible to Students?If a professor wishes to use Canvas, they must "publish" the course to make it visible so that students are able to see it. If a professor does nothing, the course will not be visible to students and nothing is needed.
- What is a "Sandbox" Course / Why Do I Have One?
A sandbox is a course with no enrollment and no expiration date (unless you enter dates on the course settings Course Details page, which will cause you to lose editing access to the course). Sandboxes allow you the creative freedom to learn how Canvas works, to try out different tools and features, and to template courses or work on course design when you have time instead of waiting for the course shells to become available for the semester. Sandboxes will allow you to enroll people in any role except "student" if you'd like to share with a colleague. Students should not be enrolled into Sandboxes.
It is simple to move some or all materials that you create in a sandbox to another course. If you have more questions, feel free to contact the FCLT who can help you figure out how to best use or manage your Sandboxes.
- How Do I Request A Sandbox Course?
If you need additional Sandbox space or you were not given any sandbox courses to use, you can request Sandboxes. If you have Sandboxes that contain content you have already copied to a live course, it is also possible to simply wipe the content out of your existing sandboxes using the reset course content function. Then you can re-use the sandboxes, but use with caution. If you want the content in the sandbox, be sure to create a backup or copy it to another course before resetting the content to avoid losing material.
You can request additional sandbox space by contacting the IT help desk (email@example.com or x4357), submit a helpdesk ticket via the portal, or submit a help ticket under "Report A Problem" from within Canvas Help.
- How Was Canvas Selected as the Mt. SAC LMS?
Canvas was adopted in 2016 and was selected as part of the statewide Online Education Initiative (OEI). Read more about the OEI here.
- How Do Professors Get Access to Canvas?