What’s new in Canvas? Summer 2018 Update

Canvas updates every 3 weeks, sometimes with small changes and sometimes with big ones. These are the changes most relevant to our Engineering faculty and instructors:

  • The rubric importer
  • Make to-do items more prominent with Dashboard list view
  • Term names included in course titles
  • Canvas mobile and mobile analytics improvements
  • New roles for instructors

The rubric importer

If you’ve built rubrics in Canvas before, you may have found them frustrating. The rubric importer button now makes it easy to cut and paste a rubric from Google Sheets or Excel directly into Canvas.
To access rubrics for your course, just add /rubrics to the end of your course’s URL. Or click Outcomes, then Manage Rubrics. This KB doc includes instructions and links to sample rubrics.

Note that this feature was added as a result of requests from instructors. If you have an idea to improve Canvas, please contact us. (If you’re not in the College of Engineering, please use the Help button in Canvas.)

Dashboard list view

There’s a new option for students to view their Canvas Dashboard in a much more useful way. Courses and their associated to-do list items are grouped by date. Items can be checked off the list. Students can add their own to-do items to the list. A list of their grades is only one click away, and the bell icon surfaces all missing work.

dashboard list view option

Assignments will show up automatically as usual. Additionally, you can now set to-do dates for Canvas Pages and ungraded Discussions. For example, if you have a Page with links to reading assignments, you can add a date under Options so that page is prominent on students’ to-do lists. (To-do lists appear on the right side of the Card View.)

pages to-do dialog box

Note: Instructors don’t have this view available. Here’s a resource to share with students to explain how dashboard list view works.

Term names included in course titles

You may have noticed that your course titles are different. Fall 2018 course titles end with FA18, making it easier to identify which course is which. This should improve functionality of the Find a Rubric dialogue box and of Canvas Inbox. To customize the list of courses displayed under Courses and Dashboard, use these instructions. If you can’t find a migrated course, check under All Courses, the blue link at the bottom of the Courses global navigation. Then please contact us if a course is still missing!

Canvas mobile app analytics and mobile app improvements

Canvas has mobile apps called Canvas Teacher and Canvas Student (available in the app store). These enable both you and your students to access courses on the go. There are two updates of interest:

  • Recent changes have made the iOs and Android versions very similar, improving usability. (Note: The best way to do annotations in Speedgrader using a stylus is through the Canvas Teacher app.)
  • Mobile page views are now accurately recorded in Canvas’ analytics. If you have a question about how to interpret your course’s analytics, contact us at CEETE!

New roles for instructors

Beginning with Summer 2018 courses and continuing into Fall, for most use cases the Teacher role has been replaced with three new roles: Principal Instructor, Supervisory Instructor, and Auxiliary Instructor. These roles are applied automatically based on information that your course coordinator has entered into the campus student information system and campus HR system. Read more here. Note that TAs will have either a Principal Instructor role or a TA role in Canvas. Graders should also be automatically added to your courses.

If you have been assigned to a course very recently, your enrollment should update within a few days. If it does not, please contact us. If your TAs or graders are not showing up in your Canvas course please check in with your course coordinator to make sure they have been given an official appointment and entered into the system more than 2 days ago.