Canvas Corner: August 2018 Edition

Canvas CornerEvery month in Canvas Corner, we discuss the new features and enhancements available in Canvas. This month, we cover new WalkMe guides, New Student Dashboard, New Scheduler Workflow, Stacking Replies, Longdesc Whitelist, and mobile updates.

New Student Dashboard in Canvas

The Canvas Dashboard now includes an option for students to view all course tasks in a list format. The List view is automatically populated with graded To Do items, but allows you as an instructor to add non-graded items to the To Do list and students to add their own items to the To Do section.

This update will help students manage all tasks across all their courses in a user-friendly format that also allows for user customization. Students also still have the Recently Activity View or the Card View available.

For more details, questions, or comments about the new Dashboard List View, please see the Canvas Release: Student Dashboard List View document.

Picture that shows the new Student Dashboard view in Canvas

New Scheduler Workflow

The Scheduler interface has been updated with improved functionality. As an Instructor, you can now create a Scheduler appointment group as a new tab through the Add Event window. Unfortunately, you can only create an appointment group for courses that are represented in the Calendar sidebar. To adjust for this limitation, it is recommended that the appropriate course calendar(s) should be selected in the sidebar before you create the calendar appointment group.

Picture that shows the updaed Scheduler Workflow in Canvas

Once you create an appointment group, the appointment dates and times display directly in your calendar. Time slots that have been claimed are shown as a solid color; unclaimed time slots are slightly faded. Please note, if an appointment group is added to multiple courses, the appointment slots only display in the calendar for the first course shown in the appointment group.

To view individual signups, student comments, or remaining slots available, you can click on the appointment within the view. You can also edit the number of users who can sign up for an individual appointment slot through your Instructor role.

Within each date and time, you can view the entire appointment group by clicking the Group Details button. In the Group Details page, allow you to see all the details for the appointment group as per existing Scheduler functionality, add new appointment slots, and even message students. You can also view the status of each appointment slot along with the name of each user in the reservation.

Picture that shows the updated scheduler in Canvas

Picture that shows how students find appointments in teh calendar in CanvasStudents can easily find available appointments by clicking the Find Appointments button in the Calendar sidebar and display an appointments window. Previously, students could only view appointment groups for courses being shown in their Calendar sidebar.

Once a student selects a course from the appointment window, all available appointments display in the student’s calendar. Any time slot that has been reserved will appear grayed out. To book an appointment slot, the student will simply need to click a date and time

Stacking Replies with Annotation Management

Replies to comments are stacked together and can now be expanded to view the entire comment thread. When a user views the comments for a DocViewer-supported document, the comments with replies will appear stacked together. To expand and view all additional comments, just click on the first comment. The number of replies will be displayed under the comment.

Picture that shows how teh comments stack up in speedgrader inside Canvas

Longdesc Image Attribute

The Rich Content Editor now supports the use of the longdesc attribute for images, which permits an IMG tag to link to a detailed description of the image. This update allows users to add references to image descriptions that provide more information than what could be supplied as ALT, or alternative, text.

To enable, users can add an image via the Rich Content Editor and then use the HTML Editor to add the longdesc attribute. The long description attributes include a URL that can direct to another element in the Rich Content Editor, another file within Canvas, or even an external website.

Anonymous Grading Update

With this update, when an assignment is submitted for anonymous grading, the SpeedGrader sidebar will show when the assignment was submitted but not the date and time.

Picture that shows the updated anonymous grading in Canvas

When the assignment is unmuted, the sidebar will reveal all anonymity details, including the student names and submission details.

User File Attachments in Canvas Mobile (iOS)

Picture that shows the new ability to attach images in Canvas MobileThe Rich Content Editor now supports attaching images from User Files by tapping the Image icon in the Rich Content Editor and selecting the iOS My Files option. The My Files is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 11 or later.

Picture that shows the new ability to attach images in Canvas Mobile

Delete Annotations in Doc Viewer

You can now delete annotations and comments made by other users within the Doc Viewer. Of course, the user must have the appropriate permissions to delete an annotation or comment.

WalkMe Guides

walkme help assistance dialog boxJust a reminder, WalkMe provides guidance that is easy to follow by providing on-screen, step-by-step instructions right within the Canvas LMS. To use the WalkMe guide feature, simply click on the Canvas WalkThru menu and type in your question or task, then follow along as WalkMe shows you where to click, what settings to choose, and explains the options. If you ever experience an error in a WalkThru, please contact the IT Help Desk at

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Published by

Cassidy Porter