MCC Faculty will be interested in knowing that there are some significant features in Canvas LMS as they prepare for Fall 2019 semester courses. Here is a brief rundown for each new feature:
Course Card Images
For several years Canvas has allowed course instructors and designers to add an image to their course card so it shows up in the Canvas dashboard, but forever has been in a state not allowed for use at MCCCD. If you don’t have time to design a course card image yourself, the feature integrates an image search. This allows you to spruce up your course design in less than 5 minutes.
New Grade Book
Canvas has had a new grade book design in the works for several semesters as an institutional opt-in feature for several years. Their new Grade Book is finally ready for prime time use in preparation for a final switch over in January 2020 as the ONLY way to keep an online grade book in Canvas. We are encouraging faculty to begin using the new grade book as soon as possible. In order to use it you need to go to your course settings and opt-in via the Features tab. Check the CTL Calendar for in-person workshops/tutorials on how to use the new grade book, or contact a CTL Staff Member for an in-person consultation.
New Quizzes Feature
Canvas has had a new quizzing engine in the works for several semesters as an institutional opt-in feature for several years. The new quiz tool features many improvements to building and delivering quizzes in Canvas over the quiz feature that MCC faculty have been used to from the time Canvas was adopted in Fall 2012. Instructure has not determined 100% when this new quizzing engine will become the default, but is allowing instructors to opt-in if there’s a feature that makes it compelling to try out in your course offering.
What you should know before you use New Quizzes:
It is recommended that you work closely with a CTL staff member to determine if using new Canvas quiz tool is right for you. It is not up to feature parity with the existing quiz tool, and there are a number of known issues.
If you are interested in trying to use the tool, please contact a member of the CTL staff first.
Quiz Log Auditing
Canvas has an opt-in feature for logging student interactions with Canvas quizzes (in the existing quizzing engine) that we expect to become always on at some point in the future. For now, in order to use it you need to go to your course settings and opt-in via the Features tab.
This feature option has at its heart the idea of adaptive learning. Mastery Paths lets you design course content that will direct students to content that can serve as a remedial or for review before progressing to other content. In other words, students have to master a certain aspect of course content in order to have access to other course content. In order to use it you need to go to your course settings and opt-in via the Features tab.
Release Schedule Change
Did you know that Canvas updates on a regular schedule? If you do or do not, you should take note that the release schedule has been updated to become more predicable. New features are released on the 3rd Saturday of each month with smaller changes like bug fixes are relegated to updates called Deploys. Check out this Instructure blog post for details.
Visit the Canvas release calendar for a list of release dates.
New Turnitin Plagiarism Framework
Turnitin is MCCCDs official Plagiarism review platform. In the past, Canvas has been able to integrate with Turnitin in a variety of ways, with the latest being called the Plagiarism Framework option. At some point in time MCCCD will switch off the existing integration, but for now we are beginning to migrate our existing faculty users to this new framework. Some of the highlights of this new integration option are as follows:
- The setup is easier to discover from the Online assignment type. It’s just a box you check
- You can use existing Canvas rubrics that are visible to your students…with the previous integration the Canvas rubrics aren’t visible to students until they receive their feedback in Speedgrader
- Assignments that may not make it to the Turnitin service can be pushed through manually by instructors