Notes from InstructureCon: What’s New & Next in Canvas

Late last month, OIT’s two intrepid Canvas administrators, Steve Snider and Cassidy Porter, traveled to Keystone, Colorado for the annual InstructureCon conference. At this meeting of the minds, the creators of Canvas share the latest and greatest features to educators and IT administrators alike. There were a lot of interesting developments this year, and Cassidy and Steve have brought back a few to talk about!

Zoom Integration

Zoom, the cloud-based video conferencing service, is now integrated into Canvas. Since SMU has a campuswide license for Zoom, you can now create and manage meetings directly in your Canvas courses. This could come in handy for creating online office hours, study groups, guest speakers, and more.

UPDATE: Zoom integration is now available in Canvas


The new generation of Canvas quizzes is now out of beta and ready for everyday use! The new quizzes allow for even more question formats, easier quiz duplication, and improved multimedia integration. Assessment features and detailed metrics are also available, providing faculty with a closer look into student progress.

New Student Dashboards

On the student side of the house, there have been improvements to the dashboard one sees at login. Now, the list view takes your courses and presents them in a to-do-style list of important calendar events, assignments, and announcements. In Card View, you can now click and drag classes into whatever order you like! If you prefer the old Recent Activity view, that’s still available, too.

Anonymous Grading

There may come a time or situation where you would prefer to grade assignments anonymously. A new anonymous grading feature can be enabled for individual assignments that removes student names from submissions for both instructors and TAs. This setting can be changed at any time.

There are a lot more features coming down the pike, too! For more Canvas news and tips, check out the Canvas Corner, our monthly showcase.

Featured Image photo © Cassidy Porter. Used with permission. 

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Zach Peterson

Zach is a Senior IT Training & Communications Consultant with OIT. Zach began his SMU career at the IT Help Desk in 2012 and joined the Training & Communications Team in 2015. He is a 2011 graduate from the University of North Texas and obtained a Master of Liberal Studies degree from SMU in 2018. He enjoys reading and collecting vintage and antique radio sets. He grew up in Valley View, Texas near Denton.