Instructor Guide

This guide will help instructors to set up an OpenDSA eTextbook instance for use within a Canvas course. If your institution has its own Canvas installation, then you can attach an OpenDSA eTextbook to any course where you have instructor permissions. If you don't have access to Canvas at your institution, then you can create a Canvas course at the public Canvas site, https://canvas.instructure.com

Note: If you are an OpenDSA developer, then you probably want to set up your own test installation following the directions at https://github.com/OpenDSA/OpenDSA-DevStack.

  1. Get access to an OpenDSA instructor account. Click "Sign Up" in the upper-right corner of this page to create a new account, and then send email to opendsa@cs.vt.edu asking for instructor access.
  2. Go to your institution's Canvas site, or create an account at the public site at https://canvas.instructure.com. Once there, create a course. Give it a name, and copy the course ID (the number that you will find at the end of the course URL). You will use this ID later.
  3. Click the "Course" button at the top of this page, then click "Create new course". This will take you to a simple form that asks for the necessary information to define your course instance. Fill in all of the fields, and then click "Submit".
  4. Once you have created your course offering, you will be redirected to the page where you can configure your eTextbook, and then generate the course in Canvas. Click the "Generate Course" button, and this process will take care of generating modules, assignments, and assignments groups in your Canvas course.

If you only want to include your choice of OpenDSA visualizations and exercises without compiling the entire book, please follow these steps.

  1. Get access to an OpenDSA instructor account. Click "Sign Up" in the upper-right corner of this page to create a new account, and then send email to opendsa@cs.vt.edu asking for instructor access.
  2. Login using your instructor account and click on your email address at the upper right corner of the home page. Copy the Consumer Key and the Shared Secret to use them later.
  3. Go to your Canvas course and click the "Settings" link in the left sidebar. Click the "Apps" tab and then click "View App Configurations".
  4. Click "+ App" to add a new LTI application. Select "By URL" under the "Configuration Type" dropdown menu. Write "OpenDSA" in the name field. Paste in the Consumer Key and the Shared Secret that you copied in the earlier step. Finally, add the OpenDSA LTI configuration URL https://opendsa-server.cs.vt.edu/lti/xml_config to the "Config URL" field and click "Submit".
  5. In your Canvas course, when you want to insert OpenDSA content into a module, select "External Tool". You should see the configured app "OpenDSA-LTI" with a "find" icon. Click the app to bring up a new dialog where you can pick one of OpenDSA’s interactive materials to be inserted as a page or resource within the current module.
  6. If you want an OpenDSA exercise to report a score back to Canvas, you have to create a Canvas assignment. Go to the Assignments option in the left menu, then create a new assignment by clicking on the "+ Assignment " button on the upper right. Fill in the necessary information and select "External Tool" as the "Submission Type". You will see OpenDSA-LTI app, click it to choose the exercise.