In addition to the robust features in Canvas, JHU has approved some great new features released at the start of a new term. There are additional features from the vendor in continuous improvement of Canvas.
New University-Wide Features
Released on 11/22/2023
- All Courses and All Groups – Easier to Access in Navigation – In the Global Navigation, All Courses and All Groups links display first in Courses and Group trays.
- This update improves experience by creating easier access to these links as they display first.
Released on 10/25/2023
- Discussion Push Notifications – Discussion New Topics and New Replies – In Notifications, users can enable Push Notifications for Discussion New Topics and New Replies.
- This update allows users to set up notifications for new topics or new replies in a discussion.
Released on 10/21/2023
- Calendar – Recurring Events – In the Calendar, users can create and edit recurring events.
- This feature optimizes scheduling and improves user workflows.
- When adding or editing an event in a calendar, users can select the frequency using the drop-down menu in the Edit Event modal. Each frequency selection has an occurrence default.
- Users can have a maximum of 400 occurrences.
- 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)
- Users can have a maximum of 400 occurrences.
- When the custom option is selected, a modal displays allowing users to customize the frequency of the event. Additionally, users can edit or update the frequency of an event on the More Options page. When a user has selected the Use a different date for each section checkbox, the frequency option is removed.
- When deleting a recurring event, a modal displays where users can select which events are deleted. When editing a recurring event, a modal displays where users can select which events are updated. Additionally, Recurring Calendar Events are not available for appointment groups.
Released on 9/27/2023
- Announcements – Delayed Posting Save Button – When creating a delayed announcement, the Publish button is updated to display as Save, clarifying the intended behavior of the button.
- In an announcement, when the delay posting date is set in the future, the Publish button text is changed to Save.
- If its checkbox is unchecked or the date set is in the past, the button text displays Publish.
Released on 9/16/2023
- Editing Page Title Updates URLs – In Pages, when editing a page title, all links to that page will automatically update in a Canvas course.
- This update improves Instructor workflow and reduces the need to update page links manually.
- In Pages, edit the title of an existing page. When clicking the original link, the URL is automatically updated and leads to the page with the updated title.
- The URL is updated with the new title. The existing text of a link does not update automatically.
- Release Screencast: Pages Editing Page Title Updates URLs (Screencast from Instructure – Vendor)
Released on 8/30/2023
- Apple iWork file previews are now available – iWork files (.pages, .numbers, and .key) can be uploaded via Canvas apps on iOS or the web and they will now preview in Canvas’s DocViewer.
- With this feature enhancement, students can submit iWork files for their assignment directly into Canvas and the instructor can now view and annotate them in SpeedGrader, in addition to downloading the original iWork file, as was previously available.
- Additionally, this enhancement allows instructors to create Student Annotation assignments and provide an iWork file for students to annotate and submit.
- Please note that iWork submissions created prior to August 30, 2023, will not automatically convert; the file will need to be re-uploaded to enable the preview.
Released on 8/30/2023
- Gradebook – Section Filter Sorts Alphabetically – In the Gradebook, when filtering by section, section titles are displayed alphabetically.
- This update allows instructors to quickly navigate the list of sections.
Released on 8/30/2023
- Rich Content Editor – Course Links Modal – New Links – In the Rich Content Editor, the Course Link modal is updated with a Content Type icon and a link to create an item.
- This update improves the instructor workflow by easily navigating to the appropriate areas to create content from the Rich Content Editor Course Link modal.
- When adding a course link, you can add a new item by clicking the Add One link for course link options with nothing added yet.
Released on 8/19/2023
- Enhanced Gradebook Filters – You can use Enhanced Gradebook Filters to create and apply gradebook filters using an updated interface.
- This allows you to select and manage filter types used in a gradebook filter and enable or disable a filter. A filter may be used once or saved for future use.
Released on 8/19/2023
- Rich Content Editor Update – Edit Course Link Sidebar Update – When editing a course link, the sidebar is updated to allow users to view the name of the current link and choose a replacement from all available course links. Note, this only for new course links added via RCE since this update.
- This update allows users to quickly and efficiently update course links.
- When editing a course link, to update a link, view the name of the current link , choose a replacement link  and click the Replace button .
- Previously, you could only update the text and view the link URL within the course.
Released on 8/16/2023
- Inbox – Number of Recipients – In the Inbox, when composing a message to all members with a specific user role in a course, the number of users in that specific role displays.
- This update allows users to view how many people will receive the message in a specific user role.
Released on 8/2/2023
- Announcements – Warning – Unpublished Course – When creating an Announcement in an unpublished course, a warning displays that notifications are not sent retroactively.
- When creating an Announcement in an unpublished course, a warning displays. This update clarifies announcement notification expectations in unpublished courses.
- Announcements – Warning – Editing Announcements – When editing an Announcement, a warning displays that the user will not receive notification of the update. To receive updated notifications for edited announcements via the notifications settings, a new announcement must be created.
- When editing an Announcement, a warning displays. This update clarifies announcement notification expectations for edits made to Announcements.
Released on 6/21/2023
- External Tools Assignment Add Rubric Button – After creating an assignment using an external tool, the Add Rubric button is available, so instructors can add a rubric to an external tool assignment.
- After creating a new assignment with an external tool, the Add Rubric button displays.
- Previously, the Add Rubric button was unavailable for external tool assignments and instructors were required to use a workaround to add the rubric to the assignment.
Released on 6/17/2023
- Bulk Publish and Unpublish Module Items – In Modules, instructors can bulk publish all modules or individual modules. Instructors have the option to publish all modules and items, publish all modules only, or unpublish all modules and items.
- Additionally, the publish icon on individual modules is updated to include a Module status menu. This menu includes the options to publish module and all items, publish module only or unpublish module and all items for individual modules.
- This change provides instructors additional options and improves efficiency when publishing Modules. Note, the ability to select multiple specific items to publish is not available.
Released on 6/7/2023
- View Gradebook Menu Location and Name Update – When instructors switch between Gradebooks, the View Gradebook Menu displays to the left of the page. Additionally, the main Gradebook is renamed Traditional Gradebook. This provides consistency across Gradebook views.
- Additional updates on New Quizzes features are on the Classic Quizzes v. New Quizzes page.
Released on 5/20/2023
- SpeedGrader – Additional Quick Links – SpeedGrader quick links are added to Options menus for Assignments, Graded Discussions, Modules, Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes.
- This update improves accessibility to SpeedGrader from various areas within Canvas.
Released on 5/10/2023
- Rich Content Editor – Drag and Drop or Paste Multiple Files – In the Rich Content Editor, users can drag and drop or paste multiple files.
- This change allows users to quickly and efficiently add files in the Rich Content Editor.
- Users can drag and drop multiple files into the Rich Content Editor.
- Additionally, users can paste multiple files in the Rich Content Editor.
Released on 5/8/2023
- Assignments – Submit Assignment on Behalf of Student – When the Submission-submit on behalf of student permission is enabled, instructors can submit a file upload assignment on behalf of a student in the Gradebook. The submission includes the timestamp and who submitted the assignment. Additionally, the instructor can submit multiple files at a time for a single student and submit beyond the availability date.
- Gradebook – Sort by First Name – When the Split Student Names Gradebook Setting is enabled, instructors can sort students by first name. The Allow gradebook users to view and export student first and last names in separate columns must be enabled at the account level to use this feature. Additionally, sorting students by last name continues to be available. You need to turn on Split Student Names in the Gradebook view options in your course to see this in the Gradebook.
Released on 1/3/2023
- Anonymous Grading – Enable anonymous grading of assignments.
- Anonymous Grading works for Group Assignments. You need to turn on Anonymous Grading in the assignment first and then check the option for the Group.
- Anonymous assignments automatically default to a manual posting policy. Grades for anonymous assignments, like other manual post-policy assignments, are not displayed to students until assignment grades are posted.
- Warning: Posting grades for an anonymous assignment will remove anonymity from the assignment.
- Anonymous Instructor Annotations – Anonymize all instructor comments and annotations within DocViewer. This option only affects comments added in DocViewer in the SpeedGrader submission window. Comments added in the SpeedGrader sidebar are not anonymous.
- Confetti for On-Time Submissions – Displays confetti for users that turn in an assignment prior to the set due date. Note, this is an opt-in feature for students.
- Confetti for valid links – Displays confetti for instructors that run the link validator on a course and no issues are found. Note, this is an opt-in feature for faculty.
- Moderated Grading – Enable moderated grading (to be graded by multiple reviewers).
- When an assignment reaches its maximum number of graders, the grading notification gets removed from the Dashboard for graders who have not yet assessed the assignment. Submissions can still be accessed through the Gradebook if needed. SpeedGrader displays the submissions in a read-only mode to hide all student names and submission details.
- When ready, you need to release and post Moderated Grades, for students to view them.
- If, for example, a TA adds comments and an Instructor adds comments, it only adds one set of comments and it drops other comments, losing the other user’s comments.
- Once you release a grade, you are unable to revert it to be unreleased again.
- Scheduled Page Publication – You can schedule when pages should be published.
- When your page is saved for scheduled publication, you can return to the page and manage the publishing of it at any time by clicking the ”Will publish on” button. Note, you cannot schedule a page if it is already published.
- You have to edit the page itself. This feature is not available in the module view.
- Warning: The date needs to be in the future and cannot be in the past. If the date is set to be the current day or in the past, the page will not publish.
Recent Divisional Features
Apply Score to Ungraded – Allows instructors to apply scores to ungraded submissions en masse rather than having to hand enter them individually. This feature is particularly useful at the end of a term.
This is approved by the following divisions: AAP, BU, SAIS, SOE, WSE/EP
Adding Features to Canvas
JHU has developed a process for reviewing and approving new features for Canvas that are determined by the LMS Steering Committee. This is separate from the process used to approve 3rd party tools.
- Potential features offered by Canvas are reviewed by IT@JH, the Canvas Implementation Group, and LMS Steering Committee to see if there are any conflicts with JHU policies and our unique technical implementation.
- If there are no conflicts, the Canvas Implementation Group, with representation from each division, vote on whether or not to test the feature based on their research and the needs of their users.
- Once testing is complete, the Implementation Group votes on whether to implement the feature at this time.
- All approved features will be launched in the following term.
Interested in a new feature? Share your interest with your teaching and learning center so it can be evaluated for a future term.
Questions about New Features?
Reach out to your division’s teaching and learning center if you are interested in learning about these new features or have other Canvas-related questions and ideas.