How do I contribute my training materials to Canvas Guides?
Download ScreenSteps Desktop Client
Download the 14-day trial of the ScreenSteps Desktop client for your operating system at http://www.bluemangolearning.com/screensteps/downloads/
Open the .dmg file (Mac)
Move ScreenSteps to your Applications folder (Mac)
You will need to click Use Trial every time you open ScreenSteps Desktop until you register the software. We think this software is the simplest way to create image-based documentation, so if you plan on writing a lot of it, you might consider purchasing ScreenSteps Pro.
Read Some Tutorials to Get Started
Blue Mango has great articles to help you get started using the software. We recommend that you read the Display Overview , followed by Creating a Lesson , followed by Sharing ScreenSteps Lessons with Other Users of ScreenSteps  to get started.
Visit the Blue Mango Documentation Site
Blue Mango has excellent documentation about every aspect of their software (we hope to be like them someday). Browse to the manual on ScreenSteps 2.9 to dig into the details.
There are many ways to work with ScreenSteps Desktop.
- One way is create a new lesson step (the short cut for creating a new lesson step is Command-Shift N), type in a title, and then drag in an image to illustrate your point. This is a "text-first" approach.
- Another way is to take piles of screenshots with the shortcuts you normally use (Mac users will be familiar with the Command-Shift 4 routine) and then select and drag all of the images into a ScreenSteps lesson. ScreenSteps Desktop will create a step for each image you add. Then you can add a title and descriptive text to each step.
- A third way, is to use the ScreenSteps shortcut (Command-Shift 2) to snap pictures one by one. Each picture you snap will turn into a new step in ScreenSteps. Then you can add a title and descriptive text to each step.
This third way is our favorite, since ScreenSteps Desktop gives you a lot of options.
Using the screenshot shortcut Command-Shift 2
We use Command-Shift 2 to open up the screenshot crosshair. Note that you can hit the space bar to toggle between "cross-hair" capture mode and "window" capture mode. "Cross-hair" capture mode allows you to draw a box anywhere on the screen. "Window" capture mode allows you to mouse over an open window and ScreenSteps Desktop will take a perfect shot of just the window. Press "R" to see all of the different dimensions you have used to take previous screenshots. Click "C" to toggle the cursor. If you position your cursor over a button before you press Command-Shift 2, you will be able to see that cursor in the screenshot.
Another cool feature is the ability to delay the cross-hair activation, so that you have time to set up your environment (clicking on drop down menus and selecting items, etc.). You can read more the Capture Tool Delay here.
One of the reasons we like ScreenSteps, is because it allows us to quickly update our lessons when the Canvas user interface changes. You can to! Open the Lesson you want to change and highlight a Step in that lesson (it will turn blue). Click on the small camera to the left of the image, and ScreenSteps will deliver the same crosshair dimensions you used the last time you took a screenshot. Move the screenshot crop area around if necessary and then press Enter. ScreenSteps will replace the image WITHOUT erasing the annotations. Now just adjust the annotations as needed and you are ready to go!
There are many ways to do documentation. In our case, we want articles that are as clean and simple as possible. Here is a growing list of best practices that you might consider if you plan to contribute your work:
- Lesson titles should be in the form of simple questions (i.e. How do I use free-form comments instead of ratings in a Rubric?)
- When possible, Lesson step titles should be in the form of second person commands like Enable, Find, Edit (i.e. http://guides.instructure.com/s/2204/m/4152/l/39723-How-do-I-find-existing-Rubrics-)
- Capitalize Feature names (see ScreenStepsLive site for example list)
- If you link to other lessons with the @ link in the toolbar, be sure to use the complete URL (no relative links)
- For the explanatory text (below the image) bold interface labels (i.e. Then click on Update Rubric.) Do not bold the period.
- If it’s a checkbox option use quotes (i.e. Check the box just above the Update Rubric button labeled "I'll write free-form comments when assessing students" then click on Update Rubric.)
- No more than 2 arrows or 1 rectangle box per image, if possible. Generally you want to point the eye to one place with the red annotations. Multiple sequenced numbers are okay, though.
- Use language that is as concise and to-the-point as possible; with Instructors use more descriptive language; with Admins more technical language.
Exporting a ScreenSteps Package
Saving a ScreenSteps Package
Sending the ScreenSteps Package
Attach the ScreenSteps package to an email and send to: email@example.com
Special Reminder: Your Work Will be Changed
When you contribute a ScreenSteps lesson, it will almost always be edited and changed before we upload it to the Canvas Guides site. We may even split your lesson in half or use only some of the steps you provide us. This is because we have internal guidelines that we are trying to follow to keep our help documents consistent. If you do not want us to alter your lessons, then please do not share them with us. You'll just be sad. And then we'll be sad too.
On the other hand, if you are open to us altering your lessons and you are okay with receiving credit for your work on this page only (see below), please email us what you have as a ScreenSteps package. Submitting your lessons as ScreenSteps packages will greatly decrease the time that it takes us to share your amazing work. All other submitted materials will be given consideration at some future date (but we can't promise when).
If you would like to find out more about how to help our documentation efforts going forward, please email firstname.lastname@example.org