Canvas is more than meets the eye.
Canvas is more than meets the eye.

While we push our way through the piles of books, homework and classes every semester– only to face it again the next semester– it can be easy to lose track of where we are in our academic progress and in our weekly classes.

Weber State University offers two online tools for students to use while taking classes: Canvas and Cattracks. Canvas is growing more and more in popularity, and not just for online courses. Professors are using it in traditional, on-campus classes as well. Canvas is more than just a place to email your professors, it’s a great tool waiting to be used to help pound out your success at Weber State.

Professors can save thousands of dollars in paper by uploading the necessary class documents on canvas. This allows students to access class information on their tablets, computers and smartphones. This also prevents them from using the excuse of losing their syllabus and claiming ignorance of an assignment’s due date.

There is no worse feeling than realizing that you missed an assignment. Professors will often put the assignments, the rubric and the due date on Canvas. Canvas also allows you to link your email addresses, phone numbers and other social media so you can be sent electronic notifications of grades, due dates, announcements or any other important information.

If you click on your name on the upper right hand corner of the screen it will take you to your user settings. You can link your Facebook and Twitter (because we all know we check those more often than Canvas) so you’ll receive notifications through your social media. No notifications will be displayed on your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed for the public to see.

Once you’re registered, you need to go into the service and choose which notifications you want to receive.

You can also choose your notification preferences by clicking on “notifications” on the toolbar on the left hand of your screen. This will tell you how often and how quickly you receive notifications, along with what the content of the notifications will actually be. Once your settings are saved, you do not need to readjust for each class.

No matter what class or what semester, you will be notified. Canvas is also available as an app on your smartphone. Download Canvas by Instructure at the Google Play app store or the Apple store. The Canvas URL for Weber State University is weber.instructure.com. Use your weber.edu login information to access Canvas.

Canvas can be an excellent tool to keep track of where you are in your class. However, in the broad spectrum, it’s nice to see the slow progression toward our degrees. Cattracks offers this information by showing credit progression, GPA and courses still left to complete in our degree.

Canvas allows professors to give you an ease of access to tools that will help you succeed in their class.
Canvas allows professors to give you an ease of access to tools that will help you succeed in their class.

The “degree evaluation” tab allows us to see which classes we still have to take. If you click on the classes you still need to take, it will show you a description of the class, prerequisites (classes you need to take before being allowed in the class) as well as what grade you need in that class to pass.

Personally, I use the GPA calculator to see how badly a grade will hurt my GPA. We all cringe and worry about the unknown effects of a “C” on our GPA.

Cattracks allows students to take their academic future into their own hands, allowing them to feel proud of — or cringe at — their progress. It keeps students on track with their degrees.

However, students should still see their college’s academic advisers for advisement. Advisers know the ins and outs of the system and can help keep you from doing extra work if you don’t need to. Canvas and Cattracks are available through your student portal.

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