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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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Columbia MD, 21046
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FAQs for Online Faculty

An Overview of Canvas:

  • The grade book is easier to use.  Students can play "What if?" scenarios with future grades.
  • Discussions have been organized so that it is much easier to grade student participation.
  • Chat and web conferencing have been integrated.
  • SpeedGrader makes assessment a snap!
  • Integrated web 2.0 features such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, and Linkedin.
  • E_Portfolios.
  • Media Comments for both faculty and students.
  • Notifications Preferences.


Q: How do I learn to use Canvas if would like to teach online but currently do not? 
A:  We will offer a hybrid (f2f and online) training program for faculty who would like to teach a fully online course. The purpose of this course, "Teaching Online at HCC," is to provide resources and methods for developing and managing quality online courses,.  While instructors might use different materials and pedagogical approaches, the accepted best practices for eLearning can be applied to all online courses.  The goals of this course focus on:

  • Preparing participants to become effective online instructors by discussing the essential skills necessary for teaching online.
  • Collecting effective practices and strategies for teaching online.

At the end of this training, successful faculty receive professional development credit and certification to teach online at HCC.

Contact Michelle Franz at xt. 3554 or for more information.


Q: How do I learn to use Canvas if I currently teach online?
A: Faculty are asked to attend the Canvas Basics training to learn how to manage their couse site.  Training schedules and updates are emailed to all faculty on a regular basis. In the interim, ff you have not yet learned Canvas, please use HCC's Faculty Canvas Training site: for additional support.


Q: How do I learn to use Canvas if I am a supplemental user?
A: Your division eLearning Coordinator can assist you, and you can consult the Faculty Canvas Training site:


Q: How do I log on to Canvas?
Online courses at HCC are taught using the learning management system called Canvas.  Canvas is included in HCC's Single Sign On services which means that your HCC Login ID provided to you by Information Technology will serve as your login information for Canvas. Steps to login to Canvas are dependent upon your student status at HCC (credit, non-credit, or student attending one of our service center locations). Please visit the Canvas SSO page for more information. 


Q: How are courses created in Canvas?
A: The Canvas course creation process is automated. Course sites are created as part of your assignment as faculty of record in Colleague.

Q: How do I get a supplemental site on Canvas for my F2F course?
A: The Canvas course creation process is automated.

All credit-bearing courses will have a Canvas course site created in Canvas. Continuing Education faculty should request a Canvas course site by reaching out to their supervisor who can take the appropriate action in Colleague to create a companion course site for your section.

Course sites are created daily, so you will have a course site on Canvas within 24 hours of the course/section having been designated in Colleague.


Q: How do my students learn to use Canvas tools?

A: We have created a “Student Guide to Canvas” site.

We have posted a “Student Guide to Canvas” course site that provides instruction on how to use the tools in Canvas. Log in information is posted on the main Canvas log on page at:  Links and log in information are also posted on the Distance Learning Homepage.

Although it is designed for students, you might find it useful, too.

Q: When are students populated in course sites?
 Student population of your Canvas course sites is automated. At no time should you add students to your course sites independent of the institutional registration process.  Students will be 
populated into your course site two or three days before semester or term begins at which time your roster will be continuously updated every 2-4 hours through the census date.

Q: How often are students populated into courses?
A: Student population into course sites is automated and takes place every two hours after the initial population.

Q: Does this automated population also remove students who have dropped?

Students who have dropped your course during the official drop period will be unenrolled from your course automatically. 

Q: Should I delete students who withdraw after the drop period?
A: No

We automatically drop students who withdraw. Their names will appear in red once they have withdrawn from your course. You want to keep them on the site, so you have a record of their activity, but you don’t want them to have continued access.

Q: Should I delete NA students?
A: No

NA simply means that the student had not logged on by the end of the third week. The student should continue to have access to the site. Please structure your course requirements and assignment due dates appropriately.

Q: What should I do if one of my students cannot log in?
There are several possible reasons for this situation.

First, you should check the Roster in Express to make sure that the student is actually enrolled in your course. Next, check the Grade Book in Canvas to make sure that the student has been entered in your course site. If the student is both enrolled in your course and appears in your site Grade Book, ask the student to call the HELP DESK.

Sometimes students cannot log on if their birth date is incorrect in Colleague. The student, in this case, is trying to log on with the correct birth date, while Canvas will only recognize the incorrect date. The student needs to contact Records and Registration to get make sure the correct date is in Colleague. Once the correct birth date is in the system, a correct student account on Canvas will be created.  

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