Canvas Workshops

Northwestern Information Technology is offering various Canvas workshops each week to help get you acquainted with Canvas, the University’s learning management system. See the current listing of workshops offered and sign up by clicking the button below.

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See a list of workshop titles and descriptions

Introduction to Canvas

Build your Canvas course with confidence! This workshop provides an overview of the basic features, dynamic tools, and functionality that allows you to build and support engaging courses.

Grading and Assignments in Canvas

In this hands-on workshop, you'll discover how much easier grading and creating assignments can be in Canvas. You'll learn tips and tricks on making assignments and grading easier than ever. Canvas will make you say, "I can't wait to start grading."

Participants in this workshop should already be familiar with the features and functionality of Canvas by completing the Introduction to Canvas workshop.

Accessibility Workshops

This workshop series is a partnership between the Media and Design Studio, AccessibleNU, and Northwestern Information Technology.

Accessibility 1: Accommodating Common Accommodations
Northwestern boasts a talented and diverse student body, with many individual learners who have individualized needs. And with these, students sometimes require special accommodations, whether for a specific learning disability, physical limitation, or an unusually demanding schedule, such with student athletes who are frequently away from campus. In this first session of a series on accessibility, we cover some of the most common affordances requested of Northwestern faculty (extra time, extended due dates, note-taking, and redundant learning materials. With these considerations in mind, we show you how to use and customize Canvas to address these specific needs.

Accessibility 2: Accessible Course Documents
Making course content accessible for students with disabilities is an important shared responsibility. Applying principles of universal design answers can answer these needs while simultaneously allowing every participant to have a richer learning experience. In this second session in a series on accessibility, we dive deeper into the some of the most frequently distributed types of course documents: Microsoft Word files, PDFs, and electronic course packets. We demonstrate the steps necessary to improve these materials so that they are searchable, navigable, and have improved compatibility with screen readers. In addition to this session, additional workshops in the series cover how to make other types of content —such as PowerPoint and online video — more accessible for your students.

Accessibility 3: Making Accessible Word Documents and PowerPoint Presentations
Word and PowerPoint make up a backbone of scholarly communications. How can we use these tools to both simplify informational organization and better communicate ideas? For example, how can we make PowerPoint presentations more effective and accessible to all students? How can we use Microsoft Word's built-in style features that can help you both quickly design your documents for readability and accessibility. Using hands-on strategies, we will learn how to use the powerful tools within Microsoft PowerPoint and Word to help make course presentations and documents accessible for everyone.

Accessibility 4: Video Captioning Video can be a powerful teaching and learning tool. Subtitles and captions can make video even more engaging by rendering its content quickly searchable and accessible. In this workshop we will look at the most common video platforms used at Northwestern (YouTube, Zaption, Library Course Reserves, Canvas Video) and participants will reflect on best practices in providing captions and subtitles.

Advanced Digital Learning Certificate Series

This workshop series is a partnership between Media & Technology Innovation, Northwestern University Libraries, and Northwestern Information Technology.

Have you taken our two introductory workshops and want to continue building your digital learning toolkit as an instructor? Teaching & Learning Technologies offers an Advanced Digital Learning Instructor Certificate program. Each quarter, we will offer three advanced workshops that provide insights and experience in key areas of digital learning. Once you have completed all three workshops, you will receive an Advanced Digital Learning Certificate from Teaching & Learning Technologies.

The workshops included in the series are:

Reducing Course Costs with Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free teaching and learning materials that allow instructors to modify, adapt, and reuse content for academic purposes. Traditional copyright and licensing practices for commercial textbooks introduce access barriers for students and limit the ways in which instructors can distribute and use the material. Studies have shown that as high as 60% of students report being unable to purchase a required textbook because of the cost, limiting their ability to fully participate in the course. Using OER guarantees that students have access to their required readings on the first day of class.

In this workshop, attendees will:

  • Gain fluency in defining Open Educational Resources, and see OER as an alternative to traditional textbooks for their courses.
  • Identify recommended resources for finding and using OER within their disciplines.
  • Understand the differences between licensed e-books, course reserves, and OER.
  • Connect with librarians who can partner with them to explore alternative course materials using OER and library materials.

Creating Pedagogically Sound Videos

Have you considered adding video content to your courses but are not sure where to start? Or have you tried, and it took too long or wasn't useful to your students?

This hands-on workshop includes a brief discussion about basic video production principles and both why and when to create video content for courses. Attendees will then have the opportunity to practice with easy-to-use recording and editing tools.

Creating an Engaging Classroom: Implementing Active Learning Techniques

In this session, you will learn what active learning is, how to develop and deploy active learning techniques for the classroom, and what considerations lead to successfully implementing active learning techniques. You'll leave the session with a deck of active learning resources and a plan to implement best techniques for your class.

No laptop necessary, this is a hands-on workshop and all skill levels are welcome.

Course Mapping

Imagine that the process of designing a course is like building a house, the course map serves as the blueprint used for construction. This workshop guides you through the components that will flesh out the course (the learning activities and assessments) along with the bones that the course will be built upon (the topics and learning objectives).

Custom Workshops Available Upon Request

Contact us at to request a custom workshop for your team or department. Participants in these workshops should already be familiar with the features and functionality of Canvas by completing the Introduction to Canvas workshop.

We offer the following workshops upon request:


Creating an Excellent Canvas Course

Students want Canvas courses that are easy to navigate! Learn about different organizational options to help students effortlessly find and use your course materials. This workshop is intended for instructors who are already using Canvas, but want to streamline their course sites.


Quizzes and Surveys in Canvas

This workshop will take a deeper look into the Canvas' quiz and survey tools. We will cover all the basics you need to start using quizzes and surveys in your Canvas courses including all the various question types you can make, to question banks, surveys, and how it all will appear in the gradebook.


Using Media in Canvas

Want to liberate your course from the monotony of plain text? Immerse your students in your course material using video and audio and give them more personalized feedback with media comments. In this workshop, we will cover the different types of media you can use in your Canvas course, from content found online, such as YouTube videos, to user-created content in Canvas's media comments, all the way to how to handle copyrighted materials.


Turnitin: Plagiarism Detection in Canvas

During this workshop, you’ll learn how to create a Turnitin assignment in Canvas, adjust your default Turnitin assignment settings, and evaluate Turnitin assignment submissions.

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