Configuring Canvas LMS

Canvas is a global Learning Management System (LMS) powered by Instructure.

You will require an API access token in order to integrate your Canvas environment with your SMS system – please ensure this is retrieved in order to complete the steps detailed here. A guide to retrieve this item is available via Canvas help resources here.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Enabling the Canvas Integration within your system

To set up the Canvas LMS Integration, follow these steps:

  • Under the Administration heading, select Preferences:
  • On the left-hand side, expand the Integration item and select Integrated Systems. This will open the Integrations Page, displaying any existing Integrated services/systems:
  • Click the [+] New button to start the process to implement a new integration:
  • Find Canvas LMS, and click Connect:
  • You will then need to enter your Configuration Information.

Entering Configuration Information

Fill out the fields as displayed, starting with the the System Details window:

  1. System - This refers to the system you are integrating with.
  2. Name - Provide the Integration with a name. For example, Canvas LMS Integration.
  3. Canvas URL - Your Canvas LMS should follow the following format [organisation name].instructure.com.
  4. Token - This unique Token gives your SMS the permissions it needs to push and pull data. We recommend that you create a Site Admin User in Canvas LMS to Generate and attach the Token to. As the Token attaches to a Canvas LMS User, you do not want to risk deleting that User as it will void the connection between the two systems. Here is a helpful guide on how to Generate a Token in Canvas LMS.
  5. Enabled - You must check this box for the Integration to work and be Active. To Deactivate the Integration, un-check this box.


The next section is the System Settings window:

  1. Tag - In this instance, Tags are used to distinguish whether a Course and/or Party has been pushed to Canvas LMS. The integration will apply this tag if the Course or Party records have been transferred, making it easier to distinguish between Canvas vs. Non-Canvas records.
    Note: If you do not have a Canvas Tag, you can create one by going to AdministrationLookupsTags. Click the + icon in the top left-hand corner to add a new tag. Use the example below to create your new tag.
    Once created, this tag will then be available as an option in the Tag drop-down. 
  2. Disable Enrolment Notifications - When a Student is enrolled in a Course in Canvas LMS, they automatically receive a System Confirmation Email from Canvas LMS; if you would like to disable this automated notification from Canvas LMS, un-check this box. 
  3. Run Outside Transaction - If checked the integration will be run from a background job queue, rather than immediately and inside the web or API transaction. This will reduce load times, but means that the external site will not be updated immediately.
  4. Show on Integrations Centre - If you want the Canvas LMS integration to be available/visible on the Integration Centre, then check this box. 

The final configuration step is the Workflow step.


Configuring Canvas Workflow

Four unique workflows have been designed to support the different use-cases that have been identified for companies integrating Canvas LMS.

These target how you manage the training information within your SMS, in order to provide the best option for pushing this information to Canvas, before retrieving results and updates into your system.

When you select a Workflow, the options below this field will change. Please refer to the Workflow Breakdown below to see which Integration works best for your institution and how to finalise your Canvas LMS Integration set-up. 

To select a Workflow, Drop-down the Workflow option within the following window:

This will change some fields within this area, so read the below workflows to understand which set up options may best suit your needs.

 

Workflow Breakdown

Process: Canvas Unit Workflow

This workflow works by pushing across students from Units into select Courses in Canvas. Each Unit within your system will be mapped across to a single Course setup in Canvas. Assignments within the course will be required to be completed to return the result back into the SMS.

Each unit will be pushed to Canvas independently – as example, should an enrolment have 10 units, there will be 10 groups of push requests made to Canvas; resulting on 10 different courses and 10 different enrolments. Failures are also individual, a failed unit won't prevent others to be pushed across. Retries will also be handled separately for each unit.

Fill out the fields as displayed, based around your SMS Unit set up:

Process: Canvas Module Workflow

This workflow works by pushing across students from Programs with your system into a single Course set up in Canvas.

Within the Course in Canvas, each assessment (Quiz, Assignment or Assessment) will be mapped to a Unit that a student is enrolled in. These must have the Unit Identifier within brackets so we can determine student competency when transferring the results. I.e., “Written Assessment (BSBLDR501)”.

If there are multiple assignments that contribute to a unit grade, you can apply the same unit id across multiple assignments.

Fill out the fields as displayed, based around your SMS Module set up:

Process: Canvas Subject Workflow

Similar to the Unit based workflow, this workflow works by pushing across Student Records via Subjects (Units of Study) into select Courses in Canvas.

Each Subject or Unit of Study within your SMS will be mapped across to a single Course setup in Canvas. Assignments within the course will be required to be completed in order to return the result back into the system.

Fill out the fields as displayed, based around your SMS Subject set up:

Process: Canvas Course Workflow

This workflow works by pushing across students from enrolled courses into Courses in Canvas.

Each course within your system will be mapped across to a single Course setup in Canvas via a 1:1 relationship. Assignments within the course will then require completion to return the result back into your SMS.

Fill out the fields as displayed, based around your SMS Course set up:

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Nick is the author of this solution article.

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