Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Advanced Features

This page links to detailed instructions on several advanced functions in Canvas that can assist in managing courses.

Course building steps

Click on the buttons below to access information on building courses in Canvas.

Additional Assistance

If this site does not provide you with the information you need or you’d really prefer to sit down and work through the course site setup with a real person, feel free to contact Geisel Instructional Technology to setup a personalized session.

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

View Analytics & Course Statistics

Analytics evaluate individual components of a course and student performance. Course Statistics is less robust than Analytics and provides instructors with a view of which content within a course students are viewing.

Course Analytics has four main sections:

  • Activity – This view allows the instructor to see when students view a page or participate in the course.
  • Assignments – This view allows the instructor to view if students submit the assignment on-time, late, or not at all.
  • Grades – This view presents instructors with a quick view of the distribution of grades in the course.
  • Student Analytics – This view shows page view, participation, assignments, and current score for every student in the course.

To learn more about Analytics and Course Statistics, feel free to view the Course Analytics Video and the Analytics and Statistics Tutorials on this page.

Course Analytics Video

Analytics and Statistics Tutorials

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Outcomes

Outcomes allow instructors to track student mastery of topics and concepts within a course. Using Outcomes would allow Instructors to align course assignments, quizzes, and other assessments with the Course Objectives stated within the Geisel Curriculum.

Note: It has not yet been determined if the Geisel School of Medicine will take advantage of this feature.

If you would like to learn more about how Outcomes work in Canvas, feel free to watch the videos and review the tutorials on this page.

Outcomes Overview Video

Skip to 1:48 for instructions on how to setup Outcomes.
Note: This video does apply to Instructors even though it is aimed at Admins.

Outcomes Workflow Video

Note: Outcomes can be created at the Admin level or the Instructor level. Thus, this video still applies to Instructors even though it is aimed at Admins.

Outcomes Tutorials

If you would like to talk about implementing Outcomes within a course, please contact the Geisel Instructional Technology Staff.

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Rubrics

A Rubric is an assessment tool used to communicate performance expectations to students. Rubrics are typically comprised of performance criteria and defined levels of performance organized in rows and columns respectively. Rubrics can also aid in more consistent grading by multiple graders.

Rubrics in Canvas can be aligned with:

To learn more about Canvas Rubrics, feel free to watch the Rubric Video and view the Rubric Tutorials on this page.

Rubric Video

Note: While the Rubric Video is aimed at Administrators, the content within it applies to Instructors as well. To access Rubrics as an Instructor, go to Outcomes then select Manage Rubrics.

Rubric Tutorials

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Course Settings

There are a variety of tools and settings that an Instructor can access from Settings. When viewing the Settings page, there are two primary areas of action: Center page and Sidebar.

Center Page

In the center of the page are four tabs:

  • Course Details – This tab allows Instructors to set course start and end dates as well as a variety of student permissions within the course.
  • Sections – This tab allows Instructors to create and mange students in Sections. Example: Clerkship 6.1, 6.2, Anatomy SG Section 1, Anatomy SG Section 2, etc
  • Navigation – This tab allows instructors to show, hide, and rearrange navigation links for the course.
  • Apps – This tab allows instructors to add a variety of 3rd party tools, called LTIs or Apps, to a course.


The Sidebar provides instructors with access to:

  • Student View – This feature provides Instructors with a view of the course from the student perspective without needing to login with a separate username/password.
  • Course Statistics – This feature provides instructors with general summaries for recent activity within the course.
  • Course Calendar – This link opens the course calendar. Right click (control + click) on the link to Open in a New Tab.
  • Course Action Options
    • Conclude Course (Not Recommended)
    • Permanently Delete this Course (Avoid at All Costs)
    • Copy this Course
    • Import Content into this Course
    • Export Course Content
    • Reset Course Content (Not Recommended)
  • Current Users Summary

To learn more about Course Settings:

  • view the specific links in Center Page and Sidebar above
  • view Course Settings Overview Video on this page
  • read the Course Settings Tutorials listed on this page

Course Settings Tutorials

Please contact the Geisel Instructional Technology Staff for questions about these tools.

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Sections

Courses and sections work together in Canvas. Sections help subdivide students within a course and offer section-specific options such as varied due dates for assignments, discussions, and quizzes. Sections can also be used to create student groups.

Think of the Course as the location where students will:

  • access course content
  • interact with the instructor
  • interact with other students

Sections are groups of students created to manage administrative differences within the course. Each section still has access to the content within the course as well as the instructor and other students. However, the Sections allows the instructor to:

  • Manage different instructional timelines
  • Vary assignment due dates by Section
  • View/Manage grades by Section
  • Assign TAs or Facilitators to specific Sections for grading

At the Geisel School of Medicine, Sections will likely be used to:

  • Manage Clerkship Rotations
  • Manage OnDoctoring Facilitator Groups
  • Manage Small Group discussions

To learn more about Sections, feel free to view the Sections Tutorials on this page.

Sections Tutorials