GEOG 487
Environmental Challenges in Spatial Data Science

Course Management System (Canvas)


Course Management System (Canvas)

How Canvas Organizes Content

Penn State uses an online course management system called Canvas to deliver most of its online courses to registered students. (For more information about Canvas, visit the Getting Started with Canvas page). Canvas organizes content using different sections in its site. Here is how we use it for the Penn State courses that use this course text. (Registered students might want to open Canvas in a second tab or browser window while studying this page.)

Main Menu in the left pane:

  • Courses: This section provides links to all courses you are enrolled in.
  • Calendar: This is the official record of assignment due dates. Refer to this page to see when you are instructed to begin working on readings or assignments and when you are instructed to complete quizzes and projects.
  • Inbox Here is where you can send messages to your instructor, grading assistant, and other students in class. We will use Canvas for course communications.
  • Account: This is where you can customize your personal profile, Canvas settings, and how you want to be notified about activity in the course (e.g., email forwarding). We will not be using the Canvas Inbox for much, if any, communication, but in case messages are sent via the Canvas Inbox, please configure your notification settings:

    Please review the Notification settings in your Canvas Account to be sure that your preferred email address is listed, and that you are configured to receive notifications Right Away for all Conversations. This way, any Inbox messages that are sent to you via Canvas will be forwarded to your regular email as well.

Menu of links once inside a course:

  • Home (Modules): This section contains the bulk of the course materials. Here you'll find separate modules corresponding to each chapter of the course text, for each project assignment, the final exam and other activities. Contents of these folders include:
    • Chapter modules: Graded quizzes (not chapter 1) and a discussion forum.
    • Project modules: Assignment instructions, drop boxes to submit project reports, and a discussion forum.
  • Syllabus: This section contains a link to the complete syllabus document in our course text website, which details all of the expectations, deliverables, and policies of the course. Also provided is a summary of the course schedule where you can track your progress.
  • Grades: This page allows you to view your assignment grades.
  • People: This section list all of the members of the course and provides a link to each individual's profile page so you can learn more about them.

For a more complete introduction to Canvas please see the Getting Started with Canvas page.

Need Help with Canvas?

When in Canvas, at the bottom-left corner of the screen you will see a round icon with a question mark. Click this question mark icon for a list of options, including "Search the Canvas Guides" which provides lots of information about how to operate in the Canvas site. You may also contact Penn State World Campus Support 24 hours, 7 days a week via the "Report a Problem for World Campus Courses" link.