Students in a classroom with the text Canvas Plus overlayed.

Canvas Plus: October 2023 Edition

Canvas Plus LogoIn our Canvas Plus Monthly, we discuss the new features and enhancements available in Canvas and any updates to academic technology/software that are integrated into Canvas. All Canvas updates will be available in Canvas by the 3rd weekend of the month. 

Canvas Courses

Delayed Announcements Update

When creating a delayed announcement, the “Publish” button is updated to display as “Save”.

A screenshot of the delayed announcement dialog in Canvas

Canvas Calendar

In the Calendar, users can create and edit recurring events. This feature optimizes scheduling and improves user workflows.

A screenshot of the Frequency option when creating an event in Canvas.

When adding or editing an event in a calendar, users can select the frequency using the drop-down menu in the Edit Event modal.

Notes: Each frequency selection has an occurrence default

  •     daily = 365 (days in a year)
  •     weekly = 52 (weeks in a year)
  •     monthly = 12 (Months in a year)
  •     annually = 5 (The event will occur for five years)
  •     every weekdays = 52 * 5 (weeks in a year * weekdays)
  •     Custom

When the custom option is selected, a modal displays allowing users to customize the frequency of the event.

A screenshot of the Custom Repeating Event dialog in Canvas.

Canvas Integrations

Feedback Box

Your students are using feedback box as a way to communicate with you. Up until this month, the company has had issue with sending emails to SMU, the issue is now resolved, please check your course to see if you have messages.

Simple Syllabus

There is a released beta version of a built-in accessibility checker. This feature checks the accessibility of your images, table headers, table captions, color contrast, sequential headings, and much more. The accessibility checker will be added to our production instance for the Spring 2024 term.

A screenshot of the beta Accessibility Checker in Simple Syllabus.


Please note that Canvas’ deep linking feature will result in PlayPosit bulb titles overwriting any existing assignment description once it is added as part of an assignment.

Canvas Community – Feature Requests

Ideas & Themes will be open for voting from October 16, 2023 to November 15, 2023.

Please take the time to vote on the improvements you would like to see in Canvas.

Go here:

2022’s voting results:

This body of work will allow instructors to:

  • Differentiate content for students through the selective release of modules
  • More efficiently and effectively use rubrics for meaningful assessment of student learning
  • Provide opportunities for more meaningful discussions with checkpoints (or multiple due dates) for the initial post and subsequent replies.
  • Deliver faster Item Analysis, which allows instructors to make meaningful and timely decisions about teaching and learning.

In addition to the work tied to these 4 In-Development themes, Instructure’s product teams have also released updates and improvements that address 73 individual ideas submitted.

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Published by

Zach Peterson and Cassidy Porter

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.