Canvas Update December 9

Canvas was updated to a new version on Saturday, December 9. Here we’ll highlight some of the noticeable changes.

First, you’ll see a new Move Contents menu item under the Assignment Group Settings menu:

New Move Contents option for the assignment group Settings menu

Selecting this option will bring up a sidebar menu where you may specify the Assignment Group where you’d like the assignments moved.

Move Content option with drop-down placement menus

This is analogous to the Move Contents function which was recently added to the Module Settings Menu:

Module settings menu

You can still use the dots on the leftmost side of the module item or assignment to drag and drop individual items within and between modules.

Another update is that the student Groups page will now show the “inactive” label for any inactive students.

Groups inactive status

Previously, you would have to view the People page to identify inactive students. Students can be inactive for a variety of reasons such as no show, drop, or unpaid tuition, and typically are set as inactive at the SIS level (Datatel/Colleague.) With the inactive status now viewable on the Groups page, you can more quickly identify and remove inactive students from Groups.

This change only affects instructor view – student view does not show inactive students.

Watch the New Feature Screencast for a walkthrough of these changes:

Full release notes are available on the Canvas site. The next beta release will be available on December 18 (see Macomb Canvas beta server), and the next official production release will be on January 6.

The Center for Teaching and Learning has also released the Winter 2018 Professional Development Brochure. We have a full lineup of workshops, courses, and Lunch & Learns prepared for the new semester, so please look over the booklet to see what interests you. Printed copies should be available in early January.

Canvas November 18 Release

The new Canvas release will go live this Saturday, November 18 – let’s take a look at some of the updates.

Rubric criterions can now be easily duplicated. This will save you some time in building rubrics in which several of your criterions are similar and only need a few words modified.

Rubrics Criterion Duplication Option

Just click +Criterion at the bottom of the Edit Rubric window and choose which criterion you want to duplicate.

You can also duplicate module items such as assignments, graded discussions, and pages. Select the Duplicate option from the Settings menu (gear) to the right of an item:

Modules Page Module Items Duplication Menu

The duplicated items include “Copy” in the title and are unpublished by default, so don’t forget to publish them if needed.

Canvas email notifications have been updated with responsive HTML and CSS design, which should improve the look of the emails on phones and devices with smaller screens. This replaces a fixed-width design that required scrolling on some devices.

Please see the Release Notes for detailed documentation of all the updates in this release.

The next release will be available in the beta environment on Monday,  November 27, and will go live in the production environment on Saturday, December 9.

We’d like to wish all of our faculty and students a happy Thanksgiving and to please contact us at 586-226-4774 with any questions about Canvas, course design, or professional development.

Canvas October 28 Release

It’s time for the triweekly Canvas release – let’s take a look at some of the new features.

The release will take effect Saturday, October 28. To view the changes before then, please visit the Canvas beta site. This site resets every week and any changes you make will not be reflected on the “normal” (Production) Canvas site.

Foremost is the Accessibility Checker, found in the Rich Content Editor toolbar (the new person-shaped icon to the right of the Paragraph styling menu – depending on your screen resolution, you may have to use the scrollbar to scroll to the right.) The Checker allows you to detect and fix common accessibility issues with headings, text color, images, links, and tables.

Accessibility Checker

This much-requested feature is already generating lots of discussion in the Canvas Community where faculty and course designers are sharing feedback. We expect ongoing development and improvement of what promises to be a valuable tool in making courses accessible for persons with disabilities.

See Canvas’ New Feature Screencast video for a demonstration of this release.

You can also read and comment on the full Release Notes in the Canvas Community.

Also notable is the restyling of comments in the DocViewer application (for viewing file submissions in SpeedGrader.) Rather than showing the full text of multi-line comments, DocViewer will show expandable ellipses. This will allow you to view more comments at once without sacrificing detail in your comments.

DocViewer comments with condensed content

This update is already available in the current production environment.

The next Canvas update will be released November 18 and can be previewed in Beta mode starting November 6.

Dr. Sue Richardson (English) will be facilitating a Lunch and Learn workshop on using Canvas Groups to enable peer reviewing among your students. Join us on Friday, November 10 at 10am–11:30am at South Campus, J-211 – lunch will be provided! Please register on WebAdvisor and search for 5-digit registration number 54489.

Canvas Production Release – October 7

Get ready for the new Canvas release, which premieres on Saturday, October 7. As always, you can preview the release before this date on the Canvas beta server.

The main update is the missing and late assignment labels have been removed from the student-facing submission details and Grades page. These labels were introduced in August and caused some confusion among students and debate among instructors on the definition of a “missing” assignment and the level of control instructors had over these labels. Instructors’ SpeedGrader view has not changed and will still show missing and late labels for online assignments.

Another new feature is the option to enter point ranges for the criteria of your rubrics. This option can be activated by clicking the Range checkbox under a criterion:

Rubric Range Checkbox

Rubric criterion ranges have also been available in Blackboard, and allow more flexibility and precision in assigning points to rubric-graded assignments.

Please see the Production Release Notes for a full description of all updates and bug fixes.

The New Feature Screencast gives a video presentation of the above changes:

The next Canvas production release will arrive on October 28 and can be previewed in beta mode starting October 16.

Please contact The Macomb CTL at 586-226-4774 if you have any questions about Canvas or other instructional technologies. We still have plenty of on-ground and online workshops lined up for the Fall term, so please see our Professional Development brochure and sign up for one today!

Canvas Production Release – September 16

The new Canvas release goes live on Saturday, September 16. To preview the updates before that date, please visit Macomb’s Canvas Beta site.

The most visible user-facing updates include a re-styling of the buttons on the student Assignments page. The new buttons provide better functionality with screen readers for visually-impaired students, and also complement recent cosmetic changes in fonts and icons.

Student Assignments page with Show by Date and Show by Type buttons

The other change you and your students will notice is the sender name when Canvas sends notification emails for assignments, inbox messages, and other course updates.  Rather than “Macomb Online,” your students will now see the course name – ENGL 1080, MATH 1000, etc. – which will make identifying and organizing Canvas-related email quicker and easier.

notifications

A complete description of all the changes and fixes can be found in the official Release Notes.

The following video contains a great summary of the updates:

After September 16, the next release will be October 7, and you can preview it on Macomb’s Canvas Beta site starting September 26.

Canvas Production Release – August 26

The most recent Canvas beta release was deployed on August 14 and will go into production this Saturday, August 26. As always, you can view beta releases at macomb.beta.instructure.com and logging in with your Macomb credentials.

Insert/Edit Media Button

The new insert/edit media button allows for easier embedding of videos and images.

One notable addition is the Insert/edit media button to the Rich Content Editor toolbar.

Dimensions of Embed

This new feature is especially useful when working with embedded videos. Although Canvas can automatically embed videos from some services such as YouTube and Vimeo when you paste the URL into the Rich Content Editor, the dimensions (size) of the video may need adjustment. The Insert/edit Media button allows you to easily modify the media’s dimensions without having to use the HTML Editor.

Please see the complete Release Notes for further details and look forward to using this new feature in your Canvas courses starting August 26.

We’re excited about the Fall term at Macomb and helping you engage your students in innovative ways. Please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at 586-226-4774 or stop by our offices located at South Campus J-211 and Center Campus C-127. Be on the lookout for the Fall schedule of CTL and Professional Development workshops.

Canvas Production Release – August 5

This Saturday the new Canvas production release will go live. To preview its new features, log in to Macomb’s Canvas beta server at macomb.beta.instructure.com with your Macomb credentials. This beta installation resets every week and allows you to view Canvas updates before the production release. Please see the official Canvas documentation for more information on the release schedule and beta server.

Canvas releases are launched every three weeks. To sign up for email notifications on beta and production releases, visit the releases.canvaslms.com page and click the Follow button in the upper right.

The most noticeable changes are the late and missing assignment status labels:

Student Grades in Canvas with Late and Missing Status Labels

These red labels are visible on the submission details page, the student Grades page (shown above for fictional student), and in SpeedGrader. These status labels allow you to quickly distinguish between assignments which were submitted after the due date and assignments which were never submitted at all.

Please see the official release notes for more information on the status labels and for detailed explanations of several small bug fixes, including issues with screen reader accessibility, the Canvas Calendar, and the Rich Content Editor.

The New Feature Screencast video gives a great overview of the new release:

The next Beta release arrives on August 14 – you’ll find any changes on the Beta server in preparation of the next Production release on August 26.

Please contact the Macomb Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at 586-226-4774 or ctlsupport@macomb.edu if you have any questions about using Canvas in your courses or would like to speak to our knowledgeable Instructional Technology Specialists!