Troubleshooting Tips for working with Students

“Help! It’s not working!” is something you are likely hearing on a daily basis from your students as they try to navigate this online remote learning environment. It is to be expected. They are often relying on you to be the expert as the classroom teacher, but this is a new teaching environment and we are often just one step ahead of our students. Here are some of the common fixes for helping to troubleshoot with students. Some of them are fixes on the student side and some are fixes you might need to make in Canvas.

Problems & Solutions

Problem: My student is using a Mac computer and seems to be having more problems.

Solution: Students using a Mac computer might be using Safari. We recommend asking the student and family to download Chrome since Safari does not work well with the integrated apps in Canvas. They can also download Office 365 to their Mac and that will allow them to use Office docs on their computer. To do this, they log into Office 365 from the browser and choose “Install Office.”

Problem: My student is on a Chromebook and cannot use my Office files.

Solution: Students on Chromebooks will be using Chrome, but they will not be able to download Office to a Chromebook. To help students be successful consider making your Office assignments external tool cloud assignments (make sure you are using docx, pptx, or xlsx files). The other workaround is for students to take the downloaded file and upload it to their One Drive. They can then edit the assignment there.

Problem: Student cannot access BrainPOP (it might say login with Google, or may appear blank).

Solution: For many external apps to work (BrainPOP, Actively Learn, Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, Newsela, Turnitin) students will need their ISD email included in Canvas. Confirm if the student has added their ISD email to their Canvas account or share the instructions how to do this. If they have added it, confirm they have spelled it correctly. We also suggest using Chrome and confirm if pop-up blocker is stopping the app from working (see below). For students using the ISD computers, the default browser is Edge (not Edge Chromium which also works well) so it will have problems with pop-ups. Students can search for Chrome and pin it to the taskbar (right-click on the icon).

Problem: Student cannot access Actively Learn (appears blank or won’t launch).

Solution: Again, confirm they have added their ISD email to their Canvas account. They may also need to disable the pop-up (recommended to have this on), which might prevent students from launching Actively Learn or other external tools like certain text books or Newsela. From Chrome, students can follow this protocol and Edge has a similar “allow” option.

Problem: Student is not being registered in Turnitin from Canvas or cannot find their feedback in Turnitin.

Solution: Confirm they have added their ISD email or any other emails they have used with Turnitin in the past. It will often resort to which email has been added first when creating the account from Canvas in Turnitin, so students might have two Turnitin accounts. To find their feedback, students should go to the assignment or grades in Canvas, click on the assignment submission feedback and use the colored icon (similarity index #) from Turnitin to launch the Turnitin feedback. This too works best in Chrome.

Problem: Students cannot see content (images, files, pages, modules, etc. in Canvas).

Solution: If students are seeing a locked image, confirm the image is in your course and that the file is published for them to view it. You can open files, find the image (or folder the image is in) and if you see the unpublished icon, change it to published.

If students cannot see a module or files/page/assignment in the module. Confirm that you have published both the module and the work within the module. We also suggest for Office issues that students open Office 365 and sign in on one browser tab and then open Canvas in another. Staying logged into Office while using Canvas will offer another cue to the student Office identity.

Problem: Flipgrid won’t open or students cannot open it from the Flipgrid app (there is no password for the Flipgrid)

Solution: For Flipgrid, if students would like to access it from their phone or another app, they will still need to go to Canvas. They can download the Canvas student app, open your course, and access Flipgrid there. It will then allow them to create their topic response. It also requires their ISD email to be in Canvas.

Problem: Student cannot log into Office 365 or ClassLink

Solution: If a student cannot log into Office 365, please confirm that they are using the correct username (email) and password (Student ID#). Students may be confusing logging into Canvas (which requires ISD at the end of their Student ID#). ClassLink is a variation as well (Network username and Student ID# password). Consider offering students a grade-level password cheat sheet (Thanks Kevin Krein). Find those here! For additional help, please ask your site tech to reset the students password.

Problem: ClassLink is not working or won’t launch the book properly.

Solution: We have seen this problem for years now, one way to help get ClassLink to work like it’s supposed to is clear your cache & cookies. Students might also store passwords that are out of date, so there is a tip on changing passwords as well. Finally, if there continue to be issues, please email online curriculum for support (teacher only)! Students can also request help from the Student Tech Help Desk (Call 425-837-6371).

Problem: Students cannot see the Office cloud assignment.

Solution: Make sure students are using Chrome or an updated browser (Edge Chromium or Firefox). Confirm they have their ISD email in their Canvas account. Next, have them LOG OUT of Office 365 in Canvas, refresh the screen (or log out of Canvas) then log back into Office 365 in Canvas. This often refreshes their connection. Have them check the assignment again. On the teacher side, it is best if you do not click “open in a new window” for the Office cloud assignments. They open better in the Canvas window (students can then choose to open in a new window).

If you have more problem/solution ideas for this post, please email Stephanie Olson, and they will be added here!

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