Hidden Figures: Easy-to-Miss Canvas Icons Doing Important Things

In its attempt to be streamlined and simple, sometimes the Canvas interface can seem to hide important features right under our noses. In this post we’ll take a look at some useful icons you may not have noticed.

Restricting File Availability

You may have files in your course that you want students to access during a specific time frame. You can set availability dates for each file. From the Files or Modules page, click the round green circle icon to the right of the file details. This symbol means that an item is published. Clicking on the cloud from Files opens the Editing permissions window. There are now three options: Publish, Unpublish, and Restricted Access. Click Restricted Access and Schedule student availability to set dates and times.

restrict files dialog box

 Finding the course menu from Grade Book view

When you click on Grades, Canvas takes you to the Default Grade Book View. To allow more space on the screen to show your grade book, Canvas collapses the Course Navigation menu. To expand or collapse the menu, click the “hot dogs” at the top left.

three horizontal bars icon

Muting assignments, curving grades, and messaging students who . . .

Also in the Default Grade Book View, if you mouse over an assignment, a triangle appears. Click the triangle to reveal a dropdown menu for that assignment. You can mute an assignment, curve grades, or message students who haven’t completed an assignment, haven’t been graded, or those who scored at, above, or below a certain score. (Muting an assignment allows you to hide the assignment grade from student view in the grade book). In the New Gradebook, hover over an assignment header to reveal the kabob (three vertical dots) menu.

menu appears on hover

Moderate quizzes

To add extra time to a student’s quiz, you need the Moderate Quiz tool. This tool only appears after you publish the quiz. (Remember you can restrict the quiz’s availability to students before you publish.) From the Quizzes page, if you click on a published quiz, the next page will list Moderate This Quiz under Related Items on the right hand side.

quiz page menu

Quiz Statistics will appear after students have taken the quiz.

Learn more about the Moderate Quiz tool.