Maxine Wicks is thrilled to be the newest member of the Instructional Design and Learning Technologies team, with Erin Marshall and Anthony Auge. From the Fall of 2018 to her start in ITS at the beginning of November, Maxine was an Administrative Coordinator for the Family and Community Health Department at Nursing, where she supported the Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric Mental Health, and Gerontology Nurse Practitioner programs. Her time in FCH gave her a huge appreciation for the work done here at Nursing. 

Her accomplishments during her time in FCH include editing and proofreading documents for Dr. Bridgette Brawner’s R01, Project GOLD 2.0, working with faculty to adapt their Canvas sites for the pandemic, and updating and maintaining the FCH Sharepoint website. Maxine is a proud graduate of Bryn Mawr College where she earned her degree with Honors in Creative Writing and German. Her hobbies include hiking in the Wissahickon Valley, baking while pretending she’s on the Great British Bake Off, and cuddling with her very round and floppy cat, lovingly nicknamed The Pudding. 

As part of the Penn Nursing community, our faculty have access to self-enroll in an online Canvas Catalog course that contains a number of valuable resources. As Canvas Catalog is separate from the ordinary Canvas instance, you will need to first create an account if you do not already have one in order to self-enroll.  From the Catalog dashboard, you will see a button to either log in if you have an active account or to register if this is your first time in Catalog:


Once you click the button to Login/Register, you'll see the following image where you can sign in with your already existing PennPath account or sign up with your Nursing email:


Depending on the link you use to access this site or any other Canvas Catalog site, you may also have the option to select "Other User" when signing in. To distinguish between the two, below is more information on the differences in account access.

PennPath: This is the current default account option for those who search and enroll in any of the open Canvas courses on Penn’s online platform:

Other Users: This was the default account option prior to August 2020

  • Anyone who created an account in Penn’s external-facing Canvas environment prior to August 2020 created what is now called an “Other Users” account. 
    • This includes anyone who had created an account to access any Preceptor content on Canvas
    • If you already have an Other Users account, signing up for PennPath will create a duplicate account that needs to be merged with the assistance of ITS
  • Currently, Other Users accounts get created if the platform administrators manually enroll/batch enroll any faculty directly into a specific site

Still have access questions? Reach out to for support.

With a novel academic year still underway, support for remote tools, alternative learning styles, hybrid education models, and additional needs are still important areas for consideration. Specific to Nursing, faculty should begin to peruse the online resources related to remote final exams.

Final Exam Schedule

According to Penn's preliminary exam schedule, final exams will take place Tuesday, December 15 through Tuesday, December 22. For more information on the specifics of the schedule, click here.

Remote Exam Development

As shared previously during the spring and summer 2020 semesters, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has developed a landing page for adapting exams for the online teaching environment

Suggestions expressed here include:

  • Setting a specific timeframe and access mode (synchronous vs. asynchronous)
  • Considering technical barriers
  • Communicating exam expectations with students, which can be done using the descriptive text associated with the quiz or assignment in Canvas

Remote Exam Accessibility Needs

For students who have documented accessibility needs, it is important to utilize the testing moderation options. Faculty can add additional testing time and extra attempts for particular students, and this is demonstrated in the Canvas Vitals video tutorial linked here.

SDS has a set of standards in place for exam accommodation. These standards include the student signing the Penn Code of Academic Integrity, the instructor informing the student about the extended exam end time prior to the beginning of the exam, and the instructor communicating the permitted exam window during the proctored time period. 

In the case of extended time, faculty needing assistance should contact at least 48 hours before the start of the exam.

Read: Important exam information for students requesting accommodations

Remote Proctoring Tools

Please note: The Provost’s office has determined that Penn is not recommending or supporting proctoring tools during this remote teaching and learning period. Due to potential technical barriers and other challenges students may face when using these tools, this has been enforced across the Nursing community since the spring semester. For any special use cases or further questions, please email

As many within the Nursing community are aware, Zoom is now an option for any live, synchronous sessions or meetings alongside the School's other videoconferencing platform offerings, such as BlueJeans and Teams. The addition of Zoom has enhanced the quality of remote classes for many, but it is still important to address common access issues that some of our users have encountered. Below we have outlined possible Zoom error messages, their causes, and potential solutions.

Error Message 1:



You may be using either the incorrect URL or signing into a personal Zoom account rather than Penn's Zoom instance.

Solution 1:

When accessing Zoom for class, a team meeting, or any other school-related event, make sure to use the following URL:

Solution 2:

To ensure that you are signing in to the Penn Zoom service, you will need to make sure you are completely signed out of any other Zoom accounts so that you can sign in with your PennKey credentials when you arrive at the site.

In addition to accessing your Penn Nursing Zoom account through the URL, you can also download the Zoom application to your desktop, smartphone, or other device. To learn more about Zoom download options, click here.

Once you download the application, make sure you choose to sign in with SSO as shown below:


After you select this option, you will need to type in "upenn" as the company domain:


Once you are logged into the Zoom application, ensure that you are using the licensed account by clicking your account initials as shown here:


Error Message 2:



It is possible that your school or center has yet to transition to the central Penn Zoom service. 


When this is the case, this will require an override from ITS. If you receive the error message shown above, you will need to take a screenshot and attach it to a Nursing ITS ticket submission so that our team can resolve the issue.

For more information on Zoom access and frequently asked questions, access our Zoom page on the Nursing ITS website linked here.

Additionally, you can access Penn's Information Systems & Computing (ISC) article "Zoom resources for users."

Although copyright in relation to online teaching materials has long been a topic of conversation at Penn, the rapid transition to remote teaching and learning in recent semesters has sparked newer fair use questions for navigating a socially distanced educational landscape. 

There are a number of requirements in the online course realm that do not apply to face-to-face teaching, and many of these are outlined in the Penn Libraries' Copyright and Teaching Guides, the Penn Almanac, and related resources. This article serves to summarize the major points pertaining to teaching online and sharing various forms of multimedia content with students, as both synchronous and asynchronous lecture recording access, file sharing, and image distribution are now widespread across the university. 

  1. Video Recordings: According to Penn Almanac's Policy for Guidance on Recording Classes, all students must have the ability to access lecture recordings after the class sessions have concluded, as difficulties with stable Internet connection, time zone differences, and other barriers can impact the quality of synchronous remote learning.
    Access CTL's guidance on video recordings in classes.

    "Instructors who have other concerns about recording their class should contact their program director, department chair, or Dean." 
    Quote from

  2. Published Articles/Readings: As numerous articles, text excerpts, and additional reading materials are referenced throughout Canvas courses at Penn, it is important to first determine whether the material is under copyright and, if so, to determine the copyright restrictions. To make a fair use case, according to Penn Libraries' Copyright Resources Guide, instructors should do the following before posting copyrighted materials to Canvas:
    -Use brief quotes from the literature when possible
    -Use diverse content, including that pulled from the public domain or open-access repository
    -Utilize content that is factual rather than creative in nature
    -Highlight particular elements of the work that stand out in order to use the content in a different way from the original creator's intended purpose

    "Distribution of more text than a short quotation, however, likely does require the permission of the publisher (not necessarily the author) of the work."
    Quote from

  3. Content from Outside the United States: According to the Penn Almanac, some countries and regions regulate online content that violates certain political, cultural, or moral values or is otherwise deemed offensive. Instructors with courses that could reference this content should consider including a statement to prospective students warning them of potential law violations. More details can be found in Penn Almanac's Policy for Guidance on Recording Classes under "Risks related to accessing certain online content from outside the United States."

  4. Other Copyrighted Materials: Images, audio files, or short video clips are often utilized to supplement course content. For this reason, it is best to first identify the source of the media content and determine whether or not it is part of the public domain. Before redistributing any online content, always make sure there is a link between the material and the point you wish to make as part of your teaching plan. According to Penn Libraries' Copyright Resources Guide:

    "If you are unable to use public domain or openly licensed (e.g., Creative Commons) materials AND are unable to make a good fair use argument or use another copyright exception, you may need to get permission to reuse all or part of a work."
    Quote from

In closing, there are many resources provided by Penn that detail copyright, fair use, and ownership models. Please reference these materials prior to posting your content in order to make an informed decision regarding copyright in a remote environment.


ADA Compliance

As students across the University have unique, diverse needs that may require assistive technologies, faculty should understand Penn's accommodation process and the role that the Penn Nursing Online Learning team plays in facilitating many forms of accommodation for Nursing students. For optimal results, please make sure to involve our team early and often so we can help set your students up for success in a timely fashion. 

After students submit documentation of a disability to Student Disabilities Services (SDS) and once they receive written approval of accommodations from SDS, the instructors will receive a letter verifying the accommodations for each student. When your course first receives a SDS request, please notify the Nursing Online Learning team at for the Canvas and Panopto-related accommodations described below. For questions about other types of student accommodations, reach out directly to Weingarten Learning Resources Center staff for assistance. 

The following sections outline best practices for the accommodation request process.

Learning/Assessment Accommodations

A common request for learning accommodations is extended time for in-class tests and quizzes. SDS has a set of standards in place for exam accommodation. These standards include the student signing the Penn Code of Academic Integrity, the instructor informing the student about the extended exam end time prior to the beginning of the exam, and the permitted exam window during the proctored time period. 

For extended exam time requests, course faculty will need to add extra time to the student’s Canvas quiz attempt. Faculty needing assistance should contact at least 48 hours before the start of the exam.

Canvas guide: adding extra time and attempts in Canvas quizzes

Important exam information for students requesting accommodations

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Accommodations

In the remote learning environment, pre-recorded lectures and other video content are an important element of the learning process. The School of Nursing uses 3Play Media, a captioning and transcription company, that integrates with our Panopto video workflow. After completion by request, ADA Section 508-compliant captions are automatically uploaded and available to toggle on and off for each video for which it has been requested.

When a student is hard of hearing and requests closed captioning through SDS, notify the Penn Nursing Online Learning team immediately so that captions may be made available to the student in a timely fashion. To request captions, please email

Please note: standard turnaround time for captioning is between 4 to 10 business days.

Visual Impairment Accommodations

As some students may use screen readers that assist with keyboard usage to navigate web pages, visual impairment is another important accommodation to consider when distributing teaching and learning materials remotely. For reading materials that need e-text conversion for use with screen reading software, as an instructor, please reference the Alternative Format Materials guide shared by Weingarten Learning Resources Center here: There are procedures in place for students to request e-text and other alternative formats (even for textbooks) through their office.

In addition, faculty can ensure that Canvas course materials are accessible to all students, including those who require assistive technology, through the use of universal design features like headers and alt-text. Contact to learn more.

Assistive technology at Penn

Alternative format course materials

Universal design in Canvas

As there are many different tools students can use to create audio and video recordings and later upload to Canvas for an assignment, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each one: Is the platform easy to use? Can a number of people log in at once? Does it integrate with Canvas?  

For BlueJeans, Penn's current platform for synchronous video conferencing and further recording options, students can schedule a meeting through their actual Canvas course, making it very easy to later click on the recording and download the file to their personal computers. The steps below outline this process.

1. In Canvas, select the BlueJeans tab to get started:

2. Click to Schedule a BlueJeans meeting:


3. Fill out the meeting details:


Include a title, description, and start and end time. Additionally, make sure to check the boxes for "Send email notifications through BlueJeans" and "Auto record meeting" so that you can easily download and access the meeting recording. When inviting someone else to the meeting, make sure to deselect "Invite All Course Members" and type in their specific email address under "External Guest Emails."

4. When time to record your audio conference, return to the BlueJeans tab and click to enter your meeting:


If you have never used BlueJeans before, click here to learn more about navigating the session. Ensure the meeting is recording once you start the interview (top left-hand corner of meeting screen) and turn on your microphone (don't need video):


5. When you are finished recording, end the call and wait to receive an email from BlueJeans instructing you to access the session recording. If you do not receive an email, you can also access your meeting recordings by logging in to using your Penn credentials:

Then, click on the recording to view additional meeting details:

You can either proceed to Step 6 to download the meeting recording to your computer, OR you can copy the URL (Note: Make sure the Sharing options are set to Enterprise Access Only or Open Access so everyone can view the recording using the URL:

6. Scroll down the page to download the meeting recording:


Make sure to download Audio Only to obtain the audio file (AAC format - you may need to convert this to mp3 and can use iTunes to convert:


7. Your audio file will now be accessible in your computer's Downloads folder. You can access the downloaded file and upload to a Canvas discussion board or assignment using the Record/Upload Media button shown here:



8. If the file is too large, you can also upload to Panopto (green Class Recordings icon), but make sure the correct course number is selected before uploading, as it will save to the specified folder (Note: DO NOT save to "My Folder" since no one else will be able to access):



Although the online test environment is much different from traditional paper-and-pencil testing in a classroom, faculty and staff at Penn Nursing have worked to ensure that the experience is identical in terms of academic efficiency and integrity. To establish a secure testing platform while preventing cheating of any kind, the University uses Respondus Lockdown Browser, a tool which locks students in to the testing environment. Respondus is a browser separate from the browsers you typically use, such as Chrome and Firefox. The Respodus Lockdown Browser is the only application that can run throughout the testing timeframe. In other words, students cannot have PowerPoint, Word, a PDF document, a snipping tool, or any other window open during the exam unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Installing LockDown Browser

Download and install the browser prior to your practice test/exam period using this link only:

Once you complete the setup wizard, you will find the LockDown Browser in your computer’s applications. Often, this will show as an icon on your desktop:


Before you can begin working in the browser, you will need to ensure that all other applications are closed. Either close the windows manually or enable LockDown to terminate the applications when prompted by a pop-up message.

Using Duo Push Notifications & Authentication

When the applications are closed, you will then be directed to complete two-step authentication. Type in your PennKey credentials, and then open your Duo Mobile phone application. Often, your phone will generate a pop-up for you to “Click ‘Approve’ in the Two-Step prompt”:


If you do not receive the prompt or do not have the Duo app installed on your phone, refer to the additional options listed below.

Option 1:

If you do not receive the prompt, you can click the University of Pennsylvania dropdown to generate a code. The Duo app on your device can generate six-digit verification codes without a real-time Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

To generate a code, open the Duo app on your mobile device and tap to expand the “University of Pennsylvania” dropdown. A six-digit code will display, as shown below. Enter this code on the Two-Step page in your browser:


Option 2:

Print a list of 20 pre-generated passcodes to use for Two-Step Verification.

If you do not have the Duo app on your mobile device, you can pre-generate and print codes from the Two-Step website at After logging in to the website using PennKey, click Manage Settings as shown below.


You may be asked to confirm your PennKey password to access the Settings page. Next, scroll to the Devices section, and click Generate Codes. On the next page, click Print to print your list of codes for future use, as shown below.


To use your passcodes after printing:

1. Log in with your PennKey and password.

2. When prompted, enter a passcode in your browser.

3. Each code works one time and must be used in consecutive order (cross them out as you use them!)

If you lose your codes, you can log in to again, click “Manage settings,” and generate a new list. Note that you’ll need access to your primary or back up Two-Step device to generate a new set of codes.

For more information, visit the Two-Step Verification FAQ page:

Important note: To ensure that Duo Push Notifications/Authentication and the LockDown Browser are functioning properly, your instructors will provide a practice testing environment in Canvas. Prior to beginning the Respondus LockDown Practice Quiz, please download and test out the software.

Navigating to the Exam

Once you have completed two-step authentication, you will then be directed to the dashboard.

Navigate to the correct course and begin taking the exam:


Please note: An access code may be required to enter the exam. If applicable, you will need to wait for your instructor to administer the code.

In today's tech-focused society, our desire for instant gratification often hinders the deeper thinking needed to trigger the cognitive state of "flow," a focused mental state conducive to productivity. However, studies show that using multimedia elements such as video in the classroom helps to amplify the learning process. According to German researchers Yousef, Chatti, and Schroeder (2014), an analysis of video-based research led them to discover that the use of video in online learning facilitates reflection for both teachers and students, attracting attention and motivating individuals to increase their collaboration.

As a result, many instructors have turned to video for inducing this learning "spark." In the School of Nursing, instructors have access to one important resource that can aid in the achievement of this goal. 

Panopto Canvas Integration

Panopto, a tool that enables screen and slide sharing along with webcam and voice-over recording, is integrated into a number of faculty members' course curriculums. For example, for courses that are entirely online, lecture recordings are embedded on course pages so that students can visualize their instructor alongside the accompanying slides in order to feel more involved when learning the material. 

To use this function, log in to your Canvas course and tap the "Class Recordings" tab shown here:


Here you can see your folder and any videos that are saved within this course. To add new content, click the blue "Create" button:


Next, choose to record a new session using a webcam and/or microphone, upload sessions that are already saved to your computer, or schedule a recording by selecting a remote recorder source located in a Fagin Hall classroom. (For more information on how to set this up, refer to this article.):


Important Note

However, if you do choose to incorporate video in your online courses, it is important to note that lecture videos do not carry over to the next course iteration. For example, when you request to copy your 2018C course into a new 2019C course, the video content will be visible in the course, but students will not have access to view the embedded content.

Since new students are enrolled in your class each year, the newer students will not have access to the older content. For this reason, you will need to copy the older video content into the newer course using the Panopto copying function. Once the videos are copied into the newer course and are accessible in the "Class Recordings" tab, then you will need to re-embed the videos on to the course pages or anywhere else they appear in the new Canvas course (for example, some faculty will embed videos into quizzes, so they will need to be re-embedded into the quizzes, as well). 

If you are unsure how to copy and re-embed videos, reach out to the instructional design team in Nursing ITS by emailing the service desk:

References: Yousef, Chatti, and Schroeder (2014). The State of Video-Based Learning: A Review and Future Perspectives. International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences, 6, 122-135.

As a new student in Penn Nursing, regardless of your program, you will need to set up three different accounts in order to take advantage of all academic resources and materials that are crucial to your success. These accounts will allow you to access emails, course information, and all of the programs and software applications you will utilize throughout your time at Penn. These accounts require proper account requests and setup. Your three accounts are as follows:

  1. School of Nursing
  2. PennKey
  3. Penn O365

School of Nursing Account

First, you will need to request your School of Nursing email address and computing account here. It is important to regularly check your School of Nursing email account. Once you arrive on campus, it will be the School of Nursing’s primary means of communicating important class and clinical requirements, information about scholarships, jobs and internships, as well as School news and events. 

The computing account will also give you the ability to log in to the computer lab at the School of Nursing as well as access your shared drive – be sure to take a look at our Office of Information Technology’s information for incoming students, as well. 

For further details on setting up your Nursing account, watch the video clip here.


Next, you will need to ensure proper PennKey setup, as this username will enable you to access course information through Canvas, the School of Nursing's learning management system (LMS). Your PennKey username and password are required to access many of the University’s electronic services. Learn more by watching the clip here.

Penn Office 365 (O365)

The last account you will need as a student in the School of Nursing is your Penn O365 account. PennO365 provides full-time Penn students, faculty, and staff with access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus services and applications. Office 365 ProPlus features a full version of Microsoft Office, which includes: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and more. Watch the clip here.

Remember, all three Nursing accounts will need different password combinations, and the University takes excellent security measures in order to keep your confidential information safe.

Account Security and Password Creation Best Practices

To start, Penn is requiring all faculty, staff, and students to enroll in Two-Step Verification to enhance security for University information assets and community members’ personal data. 

Two-Step Verification provides an additional layer of security to your PennKey account by requiring two methods to verify your identity. With Two-Step enabled, you will continue to log in with your PennKey and password; however, a second step will be required to verify your identity using a device in your possession--either a mobile phone or a key fob.

To enroll in the Two-step verification process, click here.

Additionally, view the instructional video here.

To further protect your password, the University has partnered with LastPass to supply LastPass Premium password management accounts to all members of the Penn community.  LastPass offers a secure vault for storage of your passwords and other secure information, allowing users to create stronger and more varied passwords for their various accounts, ultimately leading to a more secure environment.   

For more info, visit the LastPass website

Security tips provided by the University of Pennsylvania Offices of Information Systems & Computing.


Now that all Penn students are required to use two-step verification for PennKey, questions may arise regarding the feasibility of accessing Canvas through Respondus LockDown Browser in order to take online exams, especially in large classrooms. Below, we have answered two frequently-asked questions related to Respondus LockDown Browser and Two-Step Verification for PennKey-dependent resources.

Two-Step and Wi-Fi/Data Connectivity

Question: My class meets in a large classroom/lecture hall where reliable cellular data connectivity is not always available. How can my students complete two-step verification for PennKey without a Duo push notification?

Answer: Fortunately, there are easy ways for students to use two-step verification, even in cases of limited Wi-Fi or cellular data connectivity in classrooms throughout Penn’s campus:

  • If students are using the Duo app on their mobile device to manage two-step authentication, they can open the app and view a verification code to enter into their browser, even while completely offline.
  • If a student prefers not to or is unable to use the Duo app, they can still obtain single-use verification codes from the Two-Step Verification website, A list of codes can be generated and printed at any time in advance of an exam.

ITS has created a step-by-step instruction guide for students:  

Please distribute this guide to your students in advance of course exams using Respondus, to help decrease student questions on exam day.

Exam Integrity

Question: If students will use their mobile devices for two-step verification, how can I still prevent the use of mobile devices for cheating on my exam?

Answer: Although students will need their mobile devices for two-step verification in most situations, all non-testing devices should still be stored away after verification is complete. A few suggestions that work well:

  • Ask students to put all mobile devices face down on the desk in front of their laptop (where it can be clearly seen by proctors but not discreetly accessed by students).
  • Provide students with an envelope, into which they will place and seal their device until the exam is completed.
  • After completing two-step verification, ask students to bring their mobile devices to the front of the classroom, at which time they will receive the access code for the exam.

For more details about promoting academic integrity during exams, visit

In your Canvas course, does an assignment need regrading to resolve an incomplete?  Do you ever wonder where the course goes once the semester has ended?

When a Canvas course is open and the semester is in session, the course appears in a list found on student and faculty dashboards. This list is shown in a catalog format with the name of the course and course number:


However, once a semester has officially ended, the Canvas course moves into the Past Enrollments section of Canvas.  

When a course is in the Past Enrollments section, students and faculty can no longer complete actions in the site (e.g. submitting assignments), since the term has officially ended. Student access automatically switches to read-only unless the instructor specifically requests otherwise.

Generally speaking, all graduated Penn students retain access to Canvas indefinitely post-graduation because Canvas uses PennKey authentication and PennKeys do not expire. 

However, there are a few factors that could affect students’ access to individual Canvas sites:

  1. Age of the site - Penn has a five-year retention policy for Canvas sites.
  2. Instructor preference - Faculty can ask Courseware Support to enable the "Restrict students from viewing course after end date" setting.  If instructors decide to turn on this setting, students will no longer have access to Canvas once a term is over. View the Canvas article linked here to learn more.

Other than these two scenarios above, graduated students still have read-only access to Canvas sites they were enrolled in as students.


No Wi-Fi? No Problem

Poor signal strength is never ideal. Whether you are traveling in airplane mode, surrounded by skyscrapers, or in a basement with spotty connection, your environmental conditions can make academic and professional tasks difficult to complete. However, there are certain applications that can function in the absence of Wi-Fi or cellular service, and Duo mobile is one of them. When using Two-Step in your classes at Penn, remember that there are ways to complete the verification process when service is weak.

Using Two-Step Verification without Wi-Fi or Cellular Service

Two-Step allows you to securely access your data, even if your Two-Step verification device isn’t connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network. Use the provided instructions below to utilize two of several available options.

Option 1: The Duo app on your device can generate six-digit verification codes without a real-time Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

To generate a code, open the Duo app on your mobile device and tap to expand the “University of Pennsylvania” dropdown. A six-digit code will display, as shown below. Enter this code on the Two-Step page in your browser.


Option 2: Print a list of 20 pre-generated passcodes to use for Two-Step Verification.

If you do not have the Duo app on your mobile device, you can pre-generate and print codes from the Two-Step website at After logging in to the website using PennKey, click Manage Settings as shown below.


You may be asked to confirm your PennKey password to access the Settings page. Next, scroll to the Devices section, and click Generate Codes. On the next page, click Print to print your list of codes for future use, as shown below.


To use your passcodes after printing:

1. Log in with your PennKey and password.

2. When prompted, enter a passcode in your browser.

3. Each code works one time and must be used in consecutive order (cross them out as you use them!)

If you lose your codes, you can log in to again, click “Manage settings,” and generate a new list. Note that you’ll need access to your primary or back up Two-Step device to generate a new set of codes.

For more information, visit the Two-Step Verification FAQ page:

Have you ever logged in to your Canvas course, navigated to a page containing lecture videos, and received this message?


If so, you're not alone! Although this is often a stressful error message to receive, especially if you're on a time crunch, there are a few quick ways to resolve this.

General Troubleshooting Tips

Since Panopto is a third-party tool, it needs access to your Canvas account so that you can access the platform to watch videos. There are a few things that may be preventing Panopto from finding and verifying your Canvas account, so you'll need to try the following:

  1. Sometimes Panopto can't find your Canvas account if you don't have an email address listed in Canvas. Please try following the steps at this link to either add an email address or confirm an existing one:
  2. Additionally, if you don't have cookies enabled in your browser, Panopto can't make the connection to Canvas to find your account. Please enable cookies using these instructions for your specific browser:

After completing both steps above, refresh the video page and try again. 

Accessing Panopto Videos in Canvas as a Student on a Mobile Device:

If you're attempting to watch your course lecture videos on an iOS device, make sure your Privacy and Security Settings for Safari are set correctly. 

To check this, access your mobile device's Settings by clicking the gray gear icon, and then scroll to Safari.  Once in the Safari settings, make sure Prevent Cross-Site Tracking and Block All Cookies are toggled off and not green as shown here:


If none of the solutions suggested in this article work for you, reach out to the ITS Service Desk.


The Fall 2018 semester is in full swing, and it has brought with it many new people, projects, and processes. As usual, faculty, staff, and students utilize the Canvas LMS to supplement online, traditional, and even hybrid courses. To gain a better understanding of all Canvas has to offer this school year and successfully aid learning acquisition, take a quick peek at the items below:

1. For students, the List View Dashboard includes Peer Review assignments, and the Alerts tab displays both new and dismissed alerts.

How does this help me?

For students who are enrolled in a course that has either discussion boards or assignments that require peer reviews, they no longer have to click on the actual course to see the students whom they are assigned to peer review; they can view the peer review assignments on their dashboard just as they can see any ordinary assignments that are coming up.

On the Alerts or "To Do" tab, even if a student has dismissed a reminder to complete an assignment or take a quiz, the dismissed item will still show on the dashboard.

2. Course directors can now duplicate modules.

How does this help me?

In courses where students are required to complete the same activities each week, it can get tedious for professors to type the exact same headers, content, etc. into each module. If a director chooses to duplicate a module, all content is copied over to the next module with just the click of a button.

Note: You can duplicate individual assignments, graded discussions, and pages in a module within a course. When a module is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the item name.  Currently, external links, headers, and files cannot be duplicated. 

3. Canvas offers anonymous and moderated grading.

How does this help me?

If instructors are at all worried about bringing unconscious biases into grading, there is now a way to grade a particular assignment with the students' names hidden in SpeedGrader. Additionally, moderated grading allows multiple reviewers to grade a students work and create draft or provisional grades for an assignment. As many nursing courses have multiple TAs and additional faculty members, this is a very useful feature.

4. Announcements can now be sent to a specific course section, aiding faculty who teach multiple sections in the same course.

How does this help me?

Managing various sections in Canvas can get confusing, and sometimes announcements intended for one section accidentally get sent to another--it's an easy mistake to make. Now that instructors can branch the announcements, the ease of course management increases.

5. There are new Canvas Teacher App updates.

How does this help me?

The Canvas Teacher app allows instructors to manage certain aspects of their course, communicate with students, and grade assignments from a mobile device. Updates include section-specific announcements, external tool access, and user file uploads.

a. Section-specific announcements - If instructors are teaching multiple sections, they now have the ability to send announcements out to one particular section or multiple sections  in a course.


b. External tool access - If an assignment uses an external tool, such as Turnitin, the mobile app now enables instructors to access the tool in a mobile browser.


c. User file uploads - Instructors now have the ability to upload files to their Canvas accounts directly within the mobile application.


To test out these new features and more, download the Canvas Teacher app on Android and iOS devices.

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For most students, having the ability to re-watch course lectures after the fact is incredibly beneficial. If content is difficult to understand or loaded with complex medical terminology, students can pause the lecture at different points to meet their learning needs. With this concept in mind, faculty can create and manage their video content using Panopto, a video platform that integrates with Canvas.

If you plan on using Panopto to record a lecture, you'll first have to request a recording.  To do this, access the Academic Event Recording Scheduling Form here: You'll be asked to provide instructor and full course information.

Some classrooms at Penn have special capabilities that allow you to have your class sessions automatically recorded. The Auditorium and Rooms 203, 213, and 218 use Panopto: 

In the Fagin Hall Auditorium and 218, you can record with audio and slide options only, as these rooms don't enable video.

In 203 and 213, you can record video and audio along with slides.

Wondering how to reserve these rooms? 

Email your requests.

Once the video recording occurs, your recordings will automatically be posted in your Class Recordings tab in Canvas:


If you want to record in rooms other than the four mentioned above, contact The service desk can help you utilize other recording options, such as BlueJeans or the Panopto Desktop Recorder.


Plagiarism is a topic that faculty, staff, and students are all very familiar with, and instructors strive to prevent it from occurring in both the classroom and online environment. 

For this reason, a variety of tools exist that work to both catch and avert cheating and any deceptive behavior among students. One of these tools is the Turnitin LTI application. Turnitin has been active at Penn since 2016, and it is conveniently integrated with Canvas so that faculty members may view student submission originality reports as soon as a file is uploaded.

For those instructors who have used Turnitin prior to the Fall 2018 semester, the default Turnitin settings did not match normal Canvas assignment settings. Now, the submissions match what people are used to in Canvas, and the instructor can easily identify a Plagiarism Review section under Submission Type in the assignment settings (as long as the Submission Type is marked as Online):


For more information, visit the Canvas at Penn site pages that explain Turnitin CPF for Faculty/TA/Staff and Turnitin CPF for Students.

Need to request a Canvas course site? This article can help!

As an instructor, if you've ever contacted the Service Desk with questions about requesting a Canvas course, you have likely received a link explaining how to do this. However, this link has changed and now exists here: 

Once you view the documentation, you can access the new form here: 

To successfully fill out this form, keep these three steps in mind:

1. Find your course.  You are able to filter or search to find a course. In the upper right hand side of the page ( you will find a search box. You can type in either the full course code or a partial course code. You can also search by title.

To filter, click the ‘Filter’ button at the top of the page and fill out as many fields as you would like and then submit. You can always remove filters after you have searched by clicking the ‘x’ in the filter badge:


2. Submit your course site request. Requests and courses have a one to one relationship. Requests can have “additional sections” specified in the Request form and these are created as sections in the Canvas site. Additionally, you have the ability to override the course site title, copy content from an existing course site, add additional users, and request library services.

Important note: When including multiple sections (e.g. a large Intro to Nursing course), double-check to make sure you're selecting the right sections, and be sure to select all of them. If you don’t see particular sections automatically listed for you, use the comments area to list any missing sections.

Adding all sections to your Canvas site is the quickest and easiest way to ensure that everyone who needs access to the Canvas site gets enrolled in it automatically. If you're unsure what sections are included in a course, OAA can confirm this through the email listed here:

3. Review enrollment and request additional services. After the site is created and enrollment is added:

And that's it! Completing three simple steps will get you started on the right foot for the upcoming semester.

The Office of Academic Affairs asks for your support to help SON improve the quality of our course enrollment data, by following the best practices outlined below:

  • Begin all requests for new course faculty with your respective Department.  The Department Chairs and Managers notify the School Registrar which courses are being offered and which faculty are teaching each semester.  Faculty must have contracts and be in payroll to be able to add them to the Student Records System (SRS).  After entry to SRS, faculty will automatically feed into Canvas within one hour and will have access to Courses in Touch the next business day. 
  • Submit requests for TA additions to Canvas websites by emailing Nursing Registration at The School Registrar will add new TAs to your course section in our Student Records System (SRS). After entry in SRS, new enrollments will automatically feed into Canvas within one hour.
  • Submit any course faculty or TA removal requests to the email address above, so that SRS can be updated.
  • Submit all requests for Canvas course observers, designers, staff, and other special additions to the email address above. The Registration team will advise on the best method to add these individuals to your course site, and will collaborate directly with ITS staff as needed to fulfill your request.

These four small steps will help OAA and the Nursing School Registrar:

  • Ensure that Nursing academic course data is up-to-date every semester in SRS, which is the central source of academic course data for the University.
  • Provide students with accurate information about who is teaching their course.
  • Ensure compliance with federal FERPA laws regarding protection of and access to student academic records. 
  • Ensure the accuracy of end-of-semester course evaluations and course reporting.
  • Ensure that all faculty have access to Courses InTouch and other essential tools to manage their courses.
  • Guarantee continuity of course faculty/TA enrollments from semester to semester, and ensure that onboarding and off-boarding of enrollments reach all relevant Penn systems.

Nursing Information Technology Services and the Penn Libraries' Courseware Support team fully support OAA in this effort, and we ask that you join us in advancing this important data initiative.

Please reach out to Nursing Registration at with any questions.



For both instructors and students, understanding the design elements used and the reasoning behind the particular course structure chosen is crucial for becoming well-versed in online learning. Whether you are a novice to the online environment or someone who has worked with some of the more complex features within Penn’s Canvas learning management system (LMS), here are some online learning best practices:

Introduction to the Course


As an instructor, developing a quick introductory course video makes the class more inviting. Students are often reluctant to speak out online as it can seem a bit abnormal, but introducing the course creatively in the role of instructor can positively affect the class dynamic.

To do this, schedule a recording session with Erin Marshall, ITS’s Online Learning and Instructional Design Manager.

As a student, getting familiar with the course format before class even begins will allow for a smooth transition into the online environment. Students should always check what they currently have access to in the course, such as modules, pages, and discussion boards.

Since each course design is unique to the instructor’s needs, students should be aware of the differences in Canvas sites across all courses—whether traditional, hybrid, or entirely online.


Design Aesthetics


If the course material is broken into sections and edited often to remove any redundancies, course quality will improve, and students will be more likely to utilize everything the course has to offer. 

For example, vamping up the course content with media elements and other unique features increases student motivation and attention. Depending on the topic, visuals are a great way to convey information.

Although students are not able to edit specific design elements within their courses, they can edit their profile to include a biography and personalized links. In Settings, they can add a profile picture that will appear on every post and help the professor to put a face to the name.

Overall Organization


When organizing your course in Canvas, keep the module formatting consistent. For example, say a module for one week contains three pages:

1. Work that should be completed before class

2. Content that was discussed during class

3. Work that should be completed after class

If the other course modules follow this same page format, students will likely feel more at ease.

Students also have the ability to stay organized in Canvas, particularly within their files. This is where images such as the profile picture are stored. There is also a folder for additional images, conversation attachments, submissions, and unfiled items. 

For best practice, students should create folders for any items that are stored within the files section. Another way for students to stay organized in Canvas is to only show active courses in which they are currently enrolled on the dashboard.



Keep the conversation going using discussion boards and synchronous course sessions where students can lead class conversation. Especially if the course is entirely online, communication should be open and ongoing. As an instructor, it is important to make students feel comfortable reaching out with questions.

As a student, make discussion happen. Whether or not an instructor provides an ongoing discussion board, when a question arises, send out a message to others in the class either through Canvas or another form of communication.

If one person has the question, chances are others are wondering something similar, and this could help to break the communication barrier that often exists between the instructor and students. Similarly, instructors should work to provide consistent feedback to students in a way that furthers their growth in the course.

Get Creative

Most importantly­­--use the technology! A big part of mastering online learning is using all Canvas has to offer. Sending out periodic announcements, organizing your course content into modules, starting class discussions, and thinking of creative ideas that work to explain the content effectively while also bringing the students together can take an online course to the next level.