Greetings, fellow Teaching Assistants! If you've landed here, you're clearly geared up to explore the realm of Canvas and become a TA superstar. In Canvas courses, individuals designated as TAs in GOLD are automatically bestowed with TA privileges.
As a TA in Canvas, you can add, edit, and delete content and activities. You can view and modify student grades and enroll users as Students or Observers. You can’t add users in the Teacher, Designer, or TA roles and can not publish a course. Go to Roles and Permissions in Canvas to learn more.
This article will cover the best ways to:
- Manage your course
- Track student performance
- Communicate with your section
- Target assessments to your section
- Navigate the Gradebook
- Grade your section's assignments and quizzes
First things first, when adding new users to your course, remember to use their Login IDs --the information before "@ucsb.edu"-- e.g. if the student's email is email@example.com, their Login ID would be "ulopez". Do you know about discussion section groups? They're the best place for posting section-specific content. Think announcements, discussion section forums, material, and even Collaborations.
If you want to keep things tidy, use Pages to organize your section's content. Here's a handy trick – create a new page for each week, labeling it with the week number (for example, the first page could be “Week 1. Section Information”; “Week 2. Section Information”). Easy peasy, right? Throw in links to course content, other Canvas Pages, files, or external URLs, and don't forget to add the page to your students' To-Do lists.
Canvas can be your sidekick when keeping track of your students. You can check out course statistics to see who's been hanging around Canvas lately. If you're curious, dive into a student's course access report to discover what content they've been eyeing, participation frequency, and even their latest content view.
For the real detectives among us, New Analytics lets you peek into a student's course grade, online activity, and communication stats. It's like having your own TA magnifying glass!
Communication is key, right? When sending an announcement to your section, pick the right crew from the "Post to" dropdown menu. Your students will get the memo, and so will the course instructor and others in the Teacher role. And hey, ever heard of bulk messaging? Head over to the Gradebook, use those nifty filters to narrow down your crew, and shoot out messages to students who fit specific criteria. You can drop them a line if they still need to turn in an assignment, still need a grade, or scored above/below a certain point.
Use the Gradebook filters to whisk you away to specific sections, modules, assignment groups, and more. Save your frequently used filters for a quicker journey. Sorting by grade or assignment status can be your secret weapon to spot late or missing submissions. And don't forget to jot down any important notes about your students in the Notes column – it's your TA notebook. Any note entered will be visible to the instructor and other TAs. Students cannot view this information.
Pro tip: Default grades are your friends. Use it after grading all submitted assignments to assign a default grade (typically a “0”) to students who did not turn in the assignment. Leaving a “-” in a student’s grade might alter the student’s final grade. Keep it section-specific by filtering the Gradebook first to your section and then applying the default grade. Remember to play safe by not checking the "Overwrite already-entered grades" button (unless you aim to wipe out existing grades.)
For those open-ended questions in quizzes, use the one-question-at-a-time setting. It's like having a spotlight on the questions that need your attention (instructions for Classic Quizzes and for New Quizzes). When you're hunting for assignments in the Speedgrader, filter by section.
Tired of typing out the same comments over and over again? The SpeedGrader’s Comment Library to the rescue! You can save and reuse those nuggets of wisdom, and trust us, it's a real time-saver.
If you have a grading issue, refer to the Grading history that lists all Gradebook changes in the course.