The beauty of Canvas is they are always giving us new toys — which amid the craziness of the semester can make for a challenge to keep up on!

As such, per Faculty request, we will be putting out pre-Semester Roundups to Review & Highlight the Most Important new capabilities and features Canvas has rolled out in the last little while…

ASSIGNMENTS Updates of Note

  • Differentiated Assignments Capability Added (December 2014)
    Instructors have the flexibility to differentiate assignments between sections and select which sections are required to complete specific tasks. When enabled, this feature is available for all assignments: Assignments, Quizzes, and Graded Discussions. When creating or editing an assignment, instructors can specify whether the assignment should be for everyone in the course or for specific sections only. Only the section(s) specified in the assignment details can view the assignment. Varied due date functionality remains available for each section.
  • Anonymous Peer Review (April 2015)
    Note: This release is the first part of this feature. Hiding the submitting student’s name from the reviewer will be part of a future update. Instructors can choose to create peer reviews with anonymous responses. Located in the Peer Review options for assignments and graded discussions, the Anonymity option allows instructors to hide the name of the student reviewer from the student with the submission. The student whose work has been reviewed cannot see the name of the reviewer. However, instructors can always view the name of the student reviewer in SpeedGrader and on the student submission page.
    Anonymous-Peer-Review-Assignment-CreationPeer Review Documentation: 

CONTENT EDITOR Updates of Note

  • Content Editor Upgrade (April 2015)
    Effective with this update, the Rich Content Editor has been updated… The main feature of this upgrade includes better support for creating and deleting tables. Users can easily add, merge, and split table cells. Rows can be added, copied, and pasted anywhere in the table.

    Rich Content Editor Documentation:


  • Copy of Created Conversations Notification Option (October 2014)
    Users can set a new notification preference that allows them to receive a copy of all conversations they created. When enabled by the user, this feature allows users to see what conversations have been sent and how they appear in their specified communication channels.
  • Assignment Submission Comments RESTORED TO INBOX! (December 2014)
    This feature restores user functionality of viewing assignment submission comments in the Conversations Inbox.  Users can filter messages in Conversations to view comments posted on assignment submissions:Inbox-1

DISCUSSIONS Updates of Note

  • LIKE BUTTON Option Added (December 2014)
    Instructors can create Discussions and allow students to indicate “liked” discussion replies. The Canvas Like icon is only available in Discussions and is enabled on a per-discussion basis. To enable the liking feature as part of a discussion’s options, instructors can select the Allow liking checkbox.
    Discussions-Like-Icon-AllowIf a discussion allows liking, users will see a Like icon within each discussion reply. For each individual user, a gray icon indicates the reply can be liked, while a blue icon indicates the reply has already been liked. Liked replies include the total number of likes next to the link.

FILES Updates of Note

  • FILES area Redesign Update (December 2014)
    Files has been redesigned for a more improved user experience. The new files redesign allows users to view more details about their files, manage editing permissions, and preview files.Files is fully searchable by file name and offers quick access to add a folder or upload a file. The left panel shows all folders for quick navigation. Clicking the name of a folder displays all the contents of the folder in the right panel. For each file, users can view and sort files by name, the date the file was created and modified, the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user), and the size of the file. Files can also be published and unpublished within Files.


  • Learning Mastery Gradebook View Levels Update (April 2015)
    The Learning Mastery Gradebook view will now include an Exceeds Mastery level, which is a score earned above the mastery threshold. Additionally, the Remedial level has been renamed to Well Below Mastery.
    LMBG-mastery-levelsLearning Mastery Gradebook View Documentation:

  • New Outcomes Calculation Methods (April 2015)
    Outcomes will now allow instructors and admins to specify one of four calculation methods used for student mastery in the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook. Previously the only calculation method available in Canvas was calculating by highest score. When viewing Outcomes, the current calculation method displays as part of the outcome data. The Calculation Methods available from this update will be:

    • Decaying Average: Calculate the average of all aligned items while weighing the most recent item at a higher percentage. If the current item is set to be weighted at 75% of mastery, prior scores are weighted at 25%:
      • Current item score: 5
      • Average of prior item scores: (4 + 3 + 2) / 3 = 3
      • Calculated score: 5 (.75) + 3 (.25) = 3.75 + .75 = 4.5
    • n Number of Times: Require a specific number of times mastery must be met or exceeded and the number of aligned items that must be completed for calculation eligibility. For example, a student is required to achieve mastery 2 times with a mastery score of 5. If the student has scores of 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 3, and 6, only the scores of 5 and 6 would be part of the calculation.
      • Average score of eligible items: 5 + 6 = 11
      • Calculated score: 11 / 2 = 5.5
    • Most Recent Score: Always use the score in the most recent item.
    • Highest Score: Always use the highest score in all attempts.

    For all existing Outcomes in Canvas, the default calculation is the highest score. Unless an outcome has not yet been used to assess a student, existing outcomes cannot be edited and must be re-created to apply another calculation method.

    –For new Outcomes created in the Canvas interface, the default calculation is Decaying Average.

  • Student Learning Mastery Student View Graph (April 2015)
    When viewing Learning Mastery assessments, students can view a graph that shows their progress over time.  Students can view the mastery graph by expanding an outcome group and hovering over or clicking the more icon. The graph shows each outcome alignment using a black dot and also displays the date of the alignment’s assessment. The green dotted line represents the mastery level for the outcome. A solid gray line represents the student’s average trend for the outcome.
    Student-Learning-Mastery-Gradebook-GraphOutcomes Documentation:

PUBLISHING Updates of Note

  • “Save & Publish” 1 Step Button Added (May 2015)
    When creating a new assignments,discussion, page or Quiz,instructors have the option to save an assignment, discussion, page or quiz and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button.
    Assignments-Save--amp--PublishPublishing (“Draft State”) Overview video:

QUIZZES Tool Updates of Note

  • Incomplete Quiz Icon Added For Student view (October 2014)
    When students complete a quiz that includes a manually graded question, the Grades page displays a Quiz icon instead of the current score, indicating that the quiz score is not yet complete. When students hover over the icon, students can view a message indicating that grading is in progress:
    The Moderate Quiz page has more functionality: When a student views a timed quiz and time expires, Canvas auto-submits the quiz. However, if a student navigates away from the quiz page, the quiz submission remains outstanding. Now, when instructors open the Moderate Quiz page, Canvas generates a warning message so instructors can manually check outstanding submissions for the entire quiz at one time:
    Quizzes has an updated design that enhances the details within quiz statistics.  You can also hover over the answer bars to see the percentage and number of students in the tooltip. Expanding the question shows the exact percentage of each answer below the answer bars with the exact answer choices from your students. Quiz statistics for True/False and Multiple Choice quiz questions include an item discrimination index, which attempts to look at a spread of scores and reflect differences in student achievement. This metric provides a measure of how well a single question can tell the difference (or discriminate) between students who do well on an exam and those who do not. It divides students into three groups based on their score on the whole quiz and displays those groups by who answered the question correctly. Lower discrimination scores (in red) are scored +0.24 or lower; good scores (green) are +0.25 or higher. An ideal discrimination index shows students who scored higher on the quiz getting the quiz question right, students who scored lower on the quiz getting the quiz question wrong, and students in the middle range on either side. A discrimination index of zero shows all students getting the quiz question right or wrong:
  • Quiz Log Auditing (January 2015)
    Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Instructors can view the quiz log by showing student quiz results and clicking the name of a student. Canvas generates the quiz log when the student clicks the Take This Quiz button.
  • QUIZ Question Answer Comments & Content Editor (May 2015)
    Quiz question answer comments include the Rich Content Editor. Instructors can post images, format text, and perform other Rich Content Editor functionality in correct answer comments, wrong answer comments, and general answer comments.
    Quiz-Answer-CommentsQuizzes Documentation:

For Help/Issues, 1on1 Consulting and or further training:
Contact the eLearning & Innovation (eLi) Department:
dl@ncstatecollege.edu | @goaskeli



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