Instructure releases updates to Canvas each month. Some recent updates include:
- In the Gradebook, instructors can use the Missing Status keyboard shortcut (MI) for bulk marking assignments as missing with the Set Default Grade option.
- If you receive emails when an Announcement is posted in Canvas, you may have replied to the email thinking your reply would only go to the author of the announcement. In reality, your reply is appended to the Announcement for all to see. To remind you that everyone will see your emailed reply, Canvas added a note to the announcement that reads, "Replies to this email will be posted as a reply to the announcement, which will be seen by everyone in the course."
- Canvas’ Rich Content Editor (RCE) now supports pasting and drag and drop of images, audio, or video files. An earlier release of this feature was pulled back. Now it is tested and available to all.
Instructors can now:
Choose to create breakout rooms while setting up polls, which allows them to split students into separate breakout rooms based on their answers. Instructors can set a limit for how many students are placed in each breakout room and move/exchange participants after launching the breakout rooms. Learn how to create breakout rooms from poll results.
- Search breakout rooms for participants. If you are not sure which breakout room a specific person is in you can search for that student’s name. This is available, but requires a minimum of seven participants for it to be usable.
Screencast-O-Matic has Rebranded as ScreenPal
If you use Screencast-O-Matic you may notice that it has been rebranded as ScreenPal. According to the vendor, “Our new name provides many benefits, including that it’s easier to say, spell, understand, and type. This name reinforces our mission and aligns closely with our core values.” Learn more about ScreenPal on it.umn.edu.
Use Audio & Video Feedback in Canvas
Canvas provides several ways for you to leave feedback for students on their assignments. In addition to the written option, you can also leave audio or video comments. Some instructors find that it is quicker and easier to leave a video or audio comment within SpeedGrader. Students also feel more of a personal connection when they hear their instructor's voice or see them on video. Learn more about how to leave audio and video feedback.
Add Events to Canvas Course Calendar
Sometimes you want to add an event to the students' calendars for your course that is not associated with an assignment or quiz. This can be a field trip, art show, or even spring break. Learn how to add an event to calendar.
Save the Date - Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Save the date for this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness day, which will be held online via Zoom on Thursday, May 18, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is an opportunity for the community to engage in conversation, thinking, and learning about access and inclusion. Last year’s inaugural event created so much enthusiasm it was decided to make this an annual event. Review last year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day events.
Canvas Coffee Time
Join us for Canvas Coffee Time, an informal gathering for instructors to ask questions of academic technology staff and share experiences with peers. We meet at 9 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in our Zoom Online Meeting Room.
In February 2023, the UMN FeedbackFruits (FbFs) implementation team completed usability testing for FbFs, a suite of tools for peer learning including self-assessment, peer review, and group member evaluation.
Usability testing participants included instructors who use the tool for instruction as well as instructors who have not used the tool but use peer review strategies in their courses. Observers included members of the academic technology community across the university system. They were joined by representatives from FbFs who emphasized how beneficial it was for them to see the tool embedded within Canvas and from the users’ perspective. Based on the observations, some changes were made by FbFs staff members the next day that enhanced user experience. Read the Extra Points blog post, FeedbackFruits Usability Testing: Issues and Recommendations, for more details.