Top Glow FAQs - Read Me First


  • Publish Your Course

    Course Publish Button
    The home page of your course will indicate that it is unpublished and have a button for publishing to make the course available for students.

    Click the Publish button under “Course Status”  in the upper right hand corner of the page. Students cannot see your course and content until you publish it.


    Item Availability


    Content areas in Glow can be made to be available or unavailable to students even after a course is published. To the right of modules, pages, or other content will be a publish/unpublish icon. If the icon is a light grey circle, then the content is unavailable to students. You can click on the icon to toggle the availability. When the circle is green with the check mark, the content item will be available to students.

    In the case of modules, you will want to make sure that the parent module is available to students as well as the content items listed in that module. Both the icon for the parent module and the content items in the module will need to be the color green.

    module status icons


    You can use Settings > Navigation to hide menu items from students including the Files menu item. When students view the course, the Files menu item would not be present. This effectively hides all the files in the file repository. You could then selectively share files by linking to files from a page or module.

    However, there is also the option of keeping the Files menu item accessible to students, but controlling what students can see or access.  For more information about it,  refer to this documentation.

    Student View

    glow student view buttonOnce you have uploaded content and made it available or unavailable to students, you can check on your work  using the Student View button on the right side of the Course Home Page. This will allow you to explore the course and see the course as it will appear to students. Click on the File menu item and test the accessibility of the files there. Also look at any modules or pages you have added and see if you can see them. To exit student view, there is a button in the lower right hand corner that says “leave student view.”

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  • At Williams, a GLOW (Canvas) course typically contains only one Section (defined student enrollment) per course based on the course schedule. Typically, this is to accommodate courses with large enrollments where lectures, labs, or other course sessions have been scheduled to occur during different dates or times.

    However, faculty who are Teachers in multiple sections have the ability to combine, or “cross-list”, those course Sections into a single GLOW course. For example, if a faculty is teaching 25F-PHIL-100-01 and 25F-PHIL-100-02, and the course content and assignments are identical for each, they can save labor by cross-listing the two Sections into a single GLOW course, then building and maintaining the course content only once.

    N.B.: Even when Sections have been cross-listed into the same GLOW course, faculty maintain fine-grained abilities to differentiate between Sections – for example, by assigning different due dates for the same assignment, or by sending Section-specific Announcements. Your department’s Academic Technology Consultant can be an excellent partner in implementing your specific pedagogical designs in the GLOW environment.

    • In the course whose Section you wish to move, navigate Settings > Sections, then click the Section title to select it. Click the Cross-List this Section button, then use the Cross-List Section dialogue box to select the "destination" course. Once you've selected your target course, click the blue Cross-List This Section button. Once a success confirmation banner appears, the Section has been moved into the target GLOW course, alongside the Section which was originally there.

      the Cross-List Section dialogue box in GLOW (Canvas).
      Use the Cross-List Section dialogue box to choose the destination course.

      N.B.: This may seem counter-intuitive, but you must go to each course section and add it TO the desired course, rather than going into the desired course and adding FROM each course section. 

    • Once a course contains multiple Sections, faculty may wish to edit the course name, to prevent student confusion. (For example, students who registered for 25F-PHIL-100-02 may assume an error if their course is titled 25F-PHIL-100-01.) Please contact your ATC or submit a ticket to request a name change.

    • Although most content may be identical for multiple Sections, faculty may still wish to differentiate some elements - common examples are assignment due dates, and announcements. Course elements which have a Post To or Assign To field (Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes) can be targeted to a specific Section rather than the entire course. Additionally, a single Assignment can have multiple availability and due dates, again assigned by Section.

      Discussion with different due dates for different sections.
      Many GLOW items can have different dates for different Sections in a cross-listed course.

  • Enrolling non-Williams Users to Your Course

    Unlike normal student enrollment, auditor enrollments aren’t controlled by the Registrar and the automated system feeds they manage. If an instructor has approved a person to audit their course who already has an active Williams account (e.g. spouse, dependent, etc.), then the instructor can just add the auditor to a course using the auditor’s existing Williams email address or user name.

    However, enrolling a non-Williams user into their course is more complicated, and involves coordination between the instructor and auditor (see below). Instructors, please share this resource with an auditor so that they know what to do.

    • STEP 1: Auditor contacts the Instructor for permission to enroll in a course, and provides the instructor with the auditors contact information (full name, email address).
    • STEP 2: Instructor submits the Affiliate Account Request Form on behalf of the auditor.
      • Note: If the instructor knows that the auditor had a Williams account in the past, then select “Renewal” for Affiliation Status on the request form instead of “New.”
    • STEP 3: Instructor notifies the auditor of their approval, including that the affiliate account request has been submitted, and shares this webpage with the auditor so that they know what to do next.
    • STEP 4: Auditor waits one full business day after being notified of their approval, then contacts Client Services (413-597-4090) to receive their Williams account username and invitation to set up their account password.
    • STEP 5: Auditor contacts the instructor to provide them with the new Williams account (username or email address).
    • STEP 6: Instructor enrolls the auditor in GLOW.
    • STEP 7: Auditor accepts the GLOW course invitation that was sent to their Williams email, logs into the course using the new username and password, and accepts the course invitation at the top of the course page.

    View or download a machine readable PDF of the auditor enrollment process.

    Questions? Please contact your Academic Technology Consultant.


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  • To copy course content, assignments, and quizzes from previous semesters, use the Course Import Tool from the Course Settings.

    1. Go to your new course, then in the course navigation menu on the left, click the Settings link.

    2. Click the Import Content Content link on the right.

    3. Select Content Type
    select "Copy a Canvas Course"

    4. Search for a Course

    5. Select Migration Content
    To import all content from the course, select the All Content radio button.
    If you want to select specific content, click the Select specific content radio button.

    6. Click the Import button.

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  • Not all courses on Glow are published. Your professor may have decided NOT to use Glow this semester. Please contact your instructor first. If the course is published and available, but you still don’t see it, please contact Academic Technology.


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  • Open Rich Content Editor (RCE)

    Rich Content Editor, Fall 2022

    Upload Images from Toolbar

    Upload Images from Toolbar

    To upload an image from the toolbar, click the Image icon [1].

    You can also upload an image from the image options menu. To view additional image options, click the Image Options arrow [2]. Then select the Upload Image option [3].

    Note: To view the Image icon, you may have to click the Options icon [4].

    Upload Images from Menubar

    Upload images from Menubar

    Alternatively, you can embed images from the menubar. Click the Insert link [1]. Navigate to view the Image options [2], then select the Upload Image option [3].

    Upload Image from Computer

    Upload Image from Computer

    By default, the Image Upload Tool displays the Computer tab [1]. Click or drag and drop an image file to the image uploader to upload a file from your computer [2].

    Note: Images uploaded from your computer using the image upload tool within a group are added to your group files.

    Select File

    Select File

    Select the image file [1] and click the Open button [2].

    View Selected File

    View Selected File

    The uploader displays the image file name [1] and an image preview [2]. To remove the image, click the Delete icon [3].

    Upload Image from Unsplash

    Upload Image from Unsplash

    To upload an image from Unsplash, click the Unsplash tab [1].

    Enter a search term in the Search Term field [2] and select from the displayed options [3]. To view more image options, click the page navigation links [4].

    Note: Canvas uses safe search filters provided by Unsplash. You can read more about the Unsplash content policy on their Terms page.

    Upload Image from URL

    Upload Image from URL

    To upload an image using a URL, click the URL tab [1].

    Enter the URL in the File URL field [2].

    Manage Usage Rights

    Manage Usage Rights

    If required in your course, you may need to select usage right settings for your image.

    In the Usage Right drop-down menu [1], select one of the five usage right options:

    • I hold the copyright: original content created by you
    • I have obtained permission to use the file: authorized permission by the author
    • The material is in the public domain: explicitly assigned to public domain, cannot be copyrighted, or is no longer protected by copyright
    • The material is subject to an exception – e.g. fair use, the right to quote, or others under applicable copyright laws: excerpt or summary used for commentary, news reporting, research, or analysis in education
    • The material is licensed under Creative Commons: this option also requires setting a specific Creative Commons license

    If known, enter the copyright holder information in the Copyright Holder field [2].

    Note: If you are an instructor and are not sure which usage right applies to your image, please consult your institutional admin for guidance.

    Manage Image Attributes

    Manage Image Attributes

    To add Alt Text to your image, type an alternative text description or text tags in the Alt Text field [1]. By default, the Alt Text field displays the image file name. Alt text is read by screen readers, and it displays when an embedded image cannot display.

    If the image is decorative and does not require alt text, click the Decorative Image checkbox [2].

    By default, the Embed Image display option is selected for embedded images [3].

    To display the image file link, select the Display Text Link display option [4]. The file link will replace the image in the Rich Content Editor.

    Embed Image Upload

    Submit Upload

    To embed your selected image, click the Submit button.

    Note: The image will flash before it embeds in the Rich Content Editor.

    View Embedded Image

    View Image

    View your uploaded image in the Rich Content Editor. You can also add alt text tags and manage the image display options.

    Update Image via File URL

    Update Image via File URL

    Click the image [1], then click the Image Options link [2].

    You can manage display options for embedded images in the Image Options menu [3].

    To replace or update an image added to the Rich Content Editor via URL, enter an updated image URL in the File URL field [4].

    Click the Done button [5].

    Save Changes

    Save Changes

    Click the Save button.

    Note: When using the Rich Content Editor in Discussions, the Save button may appear as the Post Reply button.

    View Content

    View Content

    View the content created in the Rich Content Editor.

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  • In Global Navigation, click the Calendar link.

    Find Appointment

    Find Appointment

    In the Calendar sidebar, click the Find Appointment button.

    Select Course

    Select Course

    If a course includes an appointment, the name of the course displays in the Course drop-down menu. Select the course where you want to look for an appointment [1], then click the Submit button [2].

    View Appointments

    View Appointments

    View the appointments available for the course. Faded time slots indicate the time slot has been reserved.

    Read More.

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