Welcome to LeTourneau University! We are excited to have you as a part of our faculty here.
If this is your first time teaching for LeTourneau, or if you haven't taught a course for some time, the course setup process may seem daunting. We want to make sure you have all the tools you need to teach successfully in Canvas, our learning management system. This guide should contain everything you need to get your course ready.
Every course at LeTourneau contains elements that require setup by a teaching instructor. In order to make these elements readily available to you, all courses contain a startup guide with directions and links contained within. Be sure to always begin your course setup by consulting this guide.
If you're teaching a Trad course (previously known as a "Residential" course), this checklist will be called the Course Build Guide; if you're teaching a Non-Trad course (previously known as a "Global" course), this checklist will be called the Faculty Course Startup Checklist.
In either case, this item is located at the top of the Modules page. To access it, (1) Click on Modules on the left course menu, then (2) click on Course Build Guide / Faculty Course Startup Checklist.
For more detailed help with these checklists, please see the following guides:
If you're teaching a Trad course (also known as a "Residential" or "On-Ground" course), you are not required to utilize Canvas at all, and many instructors choose to forgo Canvas altogether. However, there are a few parts of Canvas that we do recommend utilizing, as they can save you time in the long run and help your students feel confident and informed.
If you're going to utilize Canvas, you'll want to make sure students know what course they've visited and how they can reach you for help if needed. Please follow the links in the Course Build Guide at the top of the modules page to edit these pages. For more information on editing a page in Canvas please see Edit a page.
NOTE: For full instructions on this process, please see the Canvas guide How do I edit the Syllabus in a course?
On the left course menu, there is a link to Syllabus; click this to be taken to the Syllabus page.
By default, the Syllabus page has a skeletal outline that's set up to allow you to easily insert your own content. To do so, simply click the "Edit" button at the top right of the page.
Canvas will open the page in Editor mode, where you can edit the page as you see fit. Once complete, be sure to click the blue Update Syllabus button at the bottom.
If you already have a syllabus developed for your course, you can easily add it to this page from the right-hand menu. From the Editor, click on Files, then click +Upload a new file. Once your file is uploaded, highlight the text in the Editor where you want to apply the file link, then click the file in the Content Selector to add a link to your file.
By utilizing assignments and assignment groups in Canvas, you can quickly and easily create a gradebook that does all the grade math calculations for you. All you'll need to do are input your grades and Canvas will do the rest!
To set up your gradebook in this way, you'll want to navigate to Assignments (not Grades).
Once on the Assignments page, you'll first need to create assignment group(s). While not exactly necessary, assignment groups allows you to assign values to each kind of assignment; for example, you can create a Quiz group that's worth 40% and a Papers group that's worth 60%. Create an assignment group by clicking the +Group button, then giving your group a name and a grade %. Repeat this until you have set up all your groups. While the % can total under or over 100%, we strongly recommend having your total groups calculate to 100%
NOTE: For a full, step-by-step walk-through of this process, please see the Canvas guide How do I add an assignment group?
Now that you have the groups set up, the next thing you'll want to do is create an assignment placeholder. You can create just one placeholder for all your items (for example, "all quizzes") or you can create an assignment placeholder for each of your assignments (recommended).
NOTE: If you want to use Canvas assignments to their full potential instead of just as placeholders, please see the Canvas guide How do I create an assignment?
To create an assignment placeholder, click the + button on the right side of the group, just after the %.
Since this is just a placeholder, leave the drop-down as "Assignment," then give your item a name and a point value (we recommend always using 100). Since you'll be entering the grade yourself, feel free to leave the due date blank. Once complete, click Save & Publish (NOT save).
Once you've entered all the assignment placeholders, your gradebook is set up and ready for you to enter grades! When properly done, the assignments page should look something like the following:
Once you've set up your assignments and assignments groups on the Assignments page, entering grades is a fairly simple matter. To do so, click on Grades on the left-hand menu.
The gradebook will open, and should display a table with all active students listed and with the assignments listed next to them. To enter a grade, simply click on the " - " and type in the student's grade.
The assignment group subtotal and overall course total should update on the far right of the table. Do note that blank values are not calculated; you must enter a zero for missed assignments!
Here is what the students will see when they navigate to Grades to view their gradebook. Note, again, that the blank value for Quiz #2 is not calculated in the overall grade.
For more information on utilizing the gradebook, including explanations on filter options and the Grade Detail Tray, please see Canvas's page How do I use the gradebook?
Generally-speaking, setting up a non-trad course will involve the following steps at minimum. The actual requirements for your course will vary, so be sure to consult both the Faculty Course Startup Checklist and the Notes to Instructor pages listed under Modules.
It's important for students to know how to contact you if they are having issues, especially since they will likely never have face-to-face contact with you. Please include any information necessary for students to obtain help, and please also include a photo of yourself,
To edit the Instructor Information page, first navigate to the page (a link to it is listed on the Faculty Course Startup Checklist) and then click the "Edit" button at the top right of the page to open the page editor. Don't forget to save once you're finished!
Most discussions at LeTourneau are discretionary, meaning it is up to you as to what content to actually use. Because of this, you do have to insert the content yourself for each of the discussion elements. Each course will have a list of suggested devotionals and interactive assessments on a page linked in the Faculty Course Startup Checklist.
To edit a discussion, navigate to and open the relevant discussion (again, a link to this is on the Faculty Course Startup Checklist), then click the "Edit" button at the top right. Make your edits to the discussion, then don't forget to save when complete!
All non-trad courses already have the coursework set up; however, because your course was automatically copied from a template, there will not be assignment due dates set. You will need to set a due date for every assignment and every discussion.
You can also set "Available from" and "until" dates, which will limit when the students can access the assignments. Please do not set Available from or Until for Turnitin assignments.
Please see the following guide for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to set an assignment's due date: Add Due Date to Assignment
In addition to setting due dates in Canvas, Turnitin assignments require a second step, in order to sync the assignment to both Turnitin and Canvas. If an assignment's settings are not set in Turnitin, the assignment will not sync to the course and students will not be able to submit. This process must be done for each Turnitin assignment in a course.
Please review the following guide if you've never synced a Turnitin assignment before: Turnitin Settings in Canvas
While there are many ways to grade an assignment or discussion in Canvas, probably the easiest way is to utilize Speedgrader. To access Speedgrader via the Gradebook:
Please see the following guides on grading in Canvas:
We have a video tutorial on using grading available here: Canvas Instructor Training, Grading
While devotionals are a graded requirement for all LETU courses and most dual-credit courses, some dual-credit courses do not utilize devotionals. If you are teaching one of these courses, you will need to leave the devotional columns completely empty for every student. This is because Canvas does not calculate blank grades into the final grade calculation. If you put any value into those devotionals (including 100), the students grades will not calculate correctly.
This does mean that the grade weightings will be slightly different for your course, as the course will be graded out of a 95% scale instead of a 100% scale (assuming the devos make up 5% of the course grade). Canvas will automatically calculate the math for your students.
Feel free to contact the Curriculum Design and Technology (CDT) department at 903-233-4070 or at CDT@letu.edu. We are available M-F 8:30am-5:00pm. For after-hours support, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 903-233-3500.