Canvas Release Notes Highlights (December 8, 2018)

Canvas is updated every three weeks.  Each update typically includes a variety of small fixes and minor improvements, but occasionally there are more substantial updates to specific tools, or new features added.

Highlights in the 2018-12-8 Release Notes:

  • HTML 5 Media Recorder (Rich Content Editor)
  • Card View Course Ordering (Dashboard)
  • Navigation Home Link Menu Removal (Course Menu)

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Canvas Release Notes Highlights (November 17, 2018)

Canvas is updated every three weeks.  Each update typically includes a variety of small fixes and minor improvements, but occasionally there are more substantial updates to specific tools, or new features added.

Highlights in the 2018-11-17 Release Notes:

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QUICK TIP: Use Course Analytics For Insight Into Student Activity

It can be hard to know just how much students are actually using your Canvas course, or what content is accessed the most, or the least.

Every course includes access to a Course Analytics report that displays course activity, assignment submission timing, grade distribution, student activity, and more.

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QUICK TIP: Try The Canvas Teacher App

Canvas Teacher mobile app iconIf you use Canvas for more than posting the syllabus, the Teacher mobile app can give you easy access to grading, communicating and updating your courses.

It’s easy to install, simple to use, and adds a convenient way to manage content and stay connected with your students.

See the Canvas Guides:

What is the Canvas Teacher app?
Canvas Teacher App – iOS Guide
Canvas Teacher App – Android Guide

Download the app (mobile devices only):

iOS App Store    Google Play app store

QUICK TIP: Message Students Who…

Blue message bubbleInstructors can easily send a Message about an assignment to students directly from within the Gradebook.  You can choose to send a message to students who have:

  • not submitted an assignment
  • not been graded
  • scored higher/lower than a particular grade

This is a quick an easy way to communicate with all of the students who meet a particular criteria.  Instructor contact is one of the keys to student success!

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I send a message to my students from the Gradebook?

QUICK TIP: Enter Zeros For Missing Assignments

Hand holding a large zero.Canvas automatically generates a running total of each student’s current grade.  However, this only includes assignments that have a grade entered.  If no grade is entered, the assignment is not counted in the Total grade calculation.

This can lead to students misunderstanding their current grade.

To ensure an accurate point total/percentage, be sure to enter a “O” for all missed assignments. 

You can assign a zero to multiple students in each assignment by using the Default Grade feature.  Note the option to “Overwrite already-entered grades.”
See the Canvas Guide:

How do I set a default grade for an assignment?

NOTE: The Treat ungraded as zero option in the Gradebook only affects the instructor view, and does not actually adjust the point total. It also is for all items in the Gradebook, not individual assessments.

Add Another Instructor To Your Course

Add Person iconFaculty may wish to add other instructors to their course for a variety of reasons.  Please keep in mind that official enrollments are handled automatically, so there is no need to add instructors who are already assigned to a course.

Other instructors (or administrators) may be added to permit them to import (copy) some or all content from the course, collaborate on course development, or just browse the course. Whether or not the other instructor can make changes to the course depends on the role they are assigned when added.

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QUICK TIP: Delete Unused Courses!

Abandoned carFaculty have the ability to create new Canvas courses for experimentation and course development.  These courses are often temporary in nature, and rarely used with students.  Over time, they can accumulate and should be deleted if no longer needed.

Have you checked your Courses list in Canvas lately?  If you have old and unused courses, take a few minutes to clean house and remove the clutter.

Any course that you have created yourself (using the Start a New Course option), you can also delete.

NOTE: Official scheduled courses cannot be deleted.

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QUICK TIP: Student View

binocularsInstructors may preview a Canvas course as a student at any time.  This is an essential part of developing and testing a course before it is actively used by students.

While in Student View, the instructor may navigate the course content, submit assignments, post to discussions, take quizzes, and more.  

Whether you are just learning Canvas or are an experienced user, taking the time to examine your course as a student is an important part of understanding how to best use the tools effectively.

See the Canvas Guide:

What is Student View?

How do I enable Student View?

QUICK TIP: Validate Course Links

404 Page Not Found errorIf you have added links to web sites in your Canvas course, it’s a good idea to ensure they are still active and accurate, particularly before a new semester.

Fortunately, you don’t need to go through an entire course and click every link to make sure the site is still there.

Use the Validate Links In Content tool to automatically check web links throughout the course, and review a report of any unresponsive sites.

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I validate links in a course?