Canvas Updates

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.
    screen left "set default grade" highlighted in red from list of options in the gradebook; screen right set default grade modal window open with "MI" in window
  • 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."
    red arrow points at text "Replies to this email will be posted as a reply to the announcement..."
  • 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.

Zoom Updates

Instructors can now:

  • Zoom poll modal window with "Create Breakout Rooms" highlighted
    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

Old Screencast-O-Matic logo on left, red arrow pointing to new ScreenPal logo

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

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 Logo, screen left; Coffee cup with UMN block M screen right

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.

These guides offer step-by-step instructions and extra guidance to help you complete your tasks.

Other Resources