Canvas Corner: March 2019 Edition

Canvas CornerEvery month in Canvas Corner, we discuss the new features and enhancements available in Canvas. This month, we cover new WalkMe guides, options to Notification Preferences, updates to Quizzes.Next, and the new Student Dashboard in Canvas Commons.

New Student Dashboard in Canvas Commons

Resource cards, in commons, display the number of times a resource has been downloaded or imported and the number of times a resource has been favorited. Users can also sort search results by Most Favorited and Most Downloaded. This new update also includes several changes to the interface of resource cards in Commons search results. The updated resource cards now show updated icons, resource type, and grade level.
A picture of a Canvas Commons Card, showing the new downloaded and favorited icons

Instructors can use the Commons Favorites button in the Rich Content Editor toolbar to import favorite content from Commons.

Any supported content added to the Favorites list in Commons is available for import in the Rich Content Editor. Users can search for items or filter by content type within the sidebar. Users can only import embeddable content types (documents, videos, audio, and images).
A picture of the new insert commons favorites ability inside the rich content editor

Discussions in Canvas Courses

When viewing the Discussions page, users can use the search field to search for a discussion by title or author.
A picture of the new search by author ability in Canvas discussions


Instructors can enable an on-screen calculator with basic or scientific functions from the Options menu of any question type.

On-screen calculators are best used for assessments presented in One Question at a Time mode. If a calculator is enabled in an assessment where students can view all questions on the same page, students can use the calculator to answer any question.
A picture of the new Canvas option to enable a calculator for students

If the calculator is enabled, students can open the calculator by clicking the Calculator icon.
A picture of the new Canvas Calculator icon for students.

Basic calculators include the functions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Scientific calculators include all basic functions in addition to several scientific functions.
A picture of the new Canvas' calculator - both regular and scientific

Instructors can add tags when editing an item bank item. From the Tags and Metadata field, instructors can enter text to create a new tag. After a tag is created, it can be selected as a tag in any item bank associated with the user who created the tag. (March 30th)
A picture of the new Canvas metadata tags inside

Instructors can search for items within any item bank by using the Search field. Search results will display items with matching results in question titles, question stems, and answer choices. Instructors can also use the Add Filter button to filter search results by tags or item type.
A picture of the new Canvas metadata tag search ability inside


If instructors want to be notified of broken links in their course, instructors can visit their Notification Preferences page and select the Content Link Error notification. Instructors are notified with both the location and content of the link error. The Notification default is set to daily delivery.

This notification is triggered in the following conditions:

  • The link cannot be accessed by students because of a permission error
  • The link is broken
  • The link is unpublished

Deleted links are not included in this notification and can be validated using the Validate Links in Content option in Course settings.

A picture of the new Canvas' ability to alert you of broken links

WalkMe Guides

WalkMe provides real-time guidance that is easy to follow by providing on-screen, step-by-step guidance that you can utilize to complete any task successfully. To access a WalkMe guide, simply click on the Canvas WalkThru menu and type in a 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 214-768-HELP.

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Published by

Cassidy Porter