Tag Archives: update

Canvas Release Notes for December

Before you all venture to food, friends and family for the Holiday break, we at ITG wanted to let you in on some Canvas functionality changes that will await you when you return to Canvas and campus. One of the major requests we have heard from all of you (faculty and staff) has been that the Files area of Canvas wasn’t very “21st Century”. Well, Instructure has heard you as well! Here is a great overview over the new look and feel of Files:

Files has been redesigned for a more improved user experience. The new files redesign allows users to view more details about their files, manage editing permissions, and preview files. In addition, Files is fully accessible for all keyboard users and screen readers.

Files is fully searchable by file name and offers quick access to add a folder or upload a file. The left panel shows all folders for quick navigation. Clicking the name of a folder displays all the contents of the folder in the right panel. For each file, users can view and sort files by name, the date the file was created and modified, the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user), and the size of the file. Files can also be published and unpublished within Files.

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Note: Currently, files can only be published and unpublished within the Files page. If a file is placed in a Module, Modules only displays the state of the file; you cannot directly publish or unpublish files within the module itself.

Additionally, Files is built with responsive design to adjust for browser scaling. The folder navigation window, file displays, and even file names adjust to the width of the browser window.

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Files can be uploaded and previewed without the use of Flash. Users can view a queue of uploaded files and their status. To upload a file, click the Upload button, or drag and drop a file from the computer desktop.

When a file is selected, Files displays the file toolbar at the top of the window. Users can download the file, edit the file name, share the file, delete the file, and move the file to another location. Users can also edit permissions for files, including setting the state of the file (published or unpublished), schedule availability dates for the files, or make files available to students who have the link. Users can also download, rename, move, or delete a file using the Settings icon for each individual file. Users can select and manage multiple files at one time.

To move a file, users can also drag and drop the file into different file folders. Files will display the icon for the file type that is being moved.

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To view a file, click the file name. Files can also be previewed by clicking anywhere on the file information and clicking the View button in the toolbar. Files displays any file type that is compatible with the document previewer in Canvas. The preview displays the file and file information details, as well as a link to download the file.

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The full release notes can be found on Instructure’s website and, as always, feel free to contact ITG by emailing itg@emerson.edu or calling 617-824-8090 if you have any questions about the new Files or any other Canvas feature.

New Canvas Features for November

Canvas has been just as busy as you these past few weeks. While there have been lots of little changes in the admin-side of things, two very visible features will be arriving soon to assist you in how you moderate quizzes and review student activity in your course.

Moderate Quiz Updates

The Moderate Quiz page has an updated design for a cleaner look. Additionally, the page also adds functionality for improving outstanding quiz verifications for large courses.

When a student views a timed quiz and time expires, Canvas auto-submits the quiz. However, if a student navigates away from the quiz page, the quiz submission remains outstanding. Previously instructors had to manually submit each outstanding quiz individually as indicated in the Time column as Time Up! Now, when instructors open the Moderate Quiz page, Canvas generates a warning message so instructors can manually check outstanding submissions for the entire quiz at one time.

Screen shoot of the new quiz moderation page.

User Access Report Additions

User access is now logged in the following areas of Canvas:

Course Home Page
Outcomes
Modules

At the course level, user access activity appears in a user’s Access Report. User access information also displays at the account level in user page views.

accessreport

As always, don’t hesitate to call ITG at 617-824-8090 or email us at itg@emerson.edu if you have any questions about this update or Canvas in general. For the full release notes from Instructure, visit this link.

Changes to Publishing in Canvas

Changes to Content Publishing in Canvas

This fall, there will be a small visual change, but a BIG functional change to how content in Canvas works. Instructure has implemented a new way to publish individual course content, and in doing so, has fulfilled the number one requested feature to date. While it was always necessary to publish a course for it to be visible to students, faculty can now show or hide individual content. The terminology for content visible to students is “published”, and content that is hidden is “unpublished”. Each can be toggled as one sees fit (with some minor exceptions we’ll broach later in the post). Let’s see what the new interface will look like.

It’s Actually Pretty Easy Being Green

Throughout the course, all Pages, Modules, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes will now have a new icon in either their header area or to their right within a list view. This icon will be of a “cloud” with a “check-mark” in it, and will be either grey to mark it as unpublished, or green for published.

Screen shot of new module look.

In the above screen shot, all of the contents within the module are published. If you wanted to hide the Page entitled “Module Workflow”, all you’d need to do would be to click on the green “cloud” icon on the right. If you wanted to hide the entire module from students, you could click on the green icon on the upper right of the course header.

Publish As You Go

If you’d like to make things available to students immediately, it’s still easy to publish individual content as you’re creating it. At the header of every tool editor, you’ll see a button to enable a Page, Quiz, Discussion or Assignment to be published. Below you’ll see a closer view of what this button will look like once your item has been published and made available to students.

New publish button look.

One caveat: once students have begun to interact with a tool, it cannot be unpublished. Examples include: a discussion post with replies, a quiz that has been started, or an assignment with submitted work.

Bulk Publish and Unpublish

Within modules, there is a new feature that will allow you to Publish All or Unpublish All content within your modules.

Publish All and Unpublish All Buttons

 

As of right now, this is only available for the content with modules. This is geared for the beginning of the term, so that you can either create all your content, place it within the modules, and then publish it all at once. Or, if your content has been created, and copied over from another course, say – so the module’s contents is already published – you can go ahead and Unpublish All, and then release at your own discretion.

As always, if you have any questions about publishing content or want to delve deeper into Canvas in general, don’t hesitate to contact ITG by emailing itg@emerson.edu or by calling 617-824-8090.

New Canvas Features – March 1st Update

Canvas continues its incremental updates with additional faculty-requested features. Let’s start with a small, but welcome addition.

NEW GRADEBOOK CSV FORMAT

Within the Gradebook, when one downloads a CSV file, it now includes your assignment group columns. Here’s what Instructure had to say about it:

Assignment group columns are part of the CSV download from the Gradebook. This feature allows instructors to examine the overall performance of their course related to each assignment group and student scores. Each assignment group in the CSV file displays current points, final points, current score, and final score. Assignment group columns are read-only columns calculated by rules or percentages set in Canvas, and changes made to these columns within the CSV file will not be recognized if the CSV is uploaded to the Gradebook. (source)

Screenshot of the new downloaded CSV.

SHOWING POINTS IN STUDENT GRADE TOTALS

Now to some big news! You can now set student grades to be viewed as point totals instead of percentages. That sound you hear is all of the CC-100 faculty cheering.

If an instructor grades by points in the Gradebook, students will also view their total grade in points. This option only applies if an instructor changes the grading option within the Gradebook total column from percent to points.

Reminder: Instructors can only grade by points if they are not using weighted assignment groups.

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When students open the Grades page, the total column displays the total grade as earned points compared to total points possible (this view is different than the Gradebook view, which only shows the number of earned points). The hover text displays the percentage breakdown of those points. Both instructors and students still view assignment groups as a percentage. (source)

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SELECTIVE COURSE CONTENT IMPORTING

Finally, a nice touch has beed added to importing content from a previous course. When doing a selective import, things are now deselected by default. This should make it much more apparent what one’s options are when it comes to moving past content from course to course. Here’s more from Instructure:

The Select Migration Content process has been redesigned within Course Imports. When admins or instructors copy or import courses and choose to select course content, Canvas will no longer select all content by default.

The import screen is grouped by content type. Content types that include more than one item are placed within a group that indicates the total number of content items. To expand the group, click the drop-down arrow next to the content type.

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To import all content for a content type, click the checkbox next to the content name. If the content type is a group containing multiple items, Canvas will automatically select all items within the group (no need to expand the group and select the items individually).

To import only a few items from a content group, expand the drop-down arrow and click the specific items to be imported. Canvas will place a dash in the content checkbox, indicating that only a few items are selected within the group.

If a content type should not be imported, leave the checkbox blank. (source)

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We hope these new features will be helpful, and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact ITG with any questions or requests you may have. Email us at itg@emerson.edu or give us a call at 617-824-8090. For further information about the other components of this update, click here.