Canvas Updates

Canvas User Updates December 2

Important Notices

End of Semester Best Practices

In order to ensure a smooth, end of the semester, if you are utilizing Canvas for grading, please consider following these best practices based on the district processes for handling enrollments in Canvas.

Important Note: Withdrawn student data, downloading of data, and sending of messages is not available after final grades have been entered in SIS.

Before entering grades in SIS

  • Archive Grades – Download your gradebook to CSV to archive it locally on your computer or flash drive (Click on Grades > Click on the Gear symbol > Click on Download to CSV)
  • Gather Data – Download any course surveys, quizzes or exam results to archive them locally on your computer or flash drive (Click on Quizzes > Select the Quiz > Click on Quiz Statistics > Select the download option of Student and/or Item Analysis)
  • Final Communications – Send end-of-course messages to students if desired

After entering grades in SIS

  • End Course – You can leave your course “as is” and it will automatically go into a read-only mode for students. They will no longer be able to submit assignments or communicate with the class. If you prefer, you can also end your course (Settings > End Course). We DO NOT recommend concluding your course as it becomes inaccessible to you and you cannot un-conclude it.
  • Course Copy – Get ready for Spring by copying your courses. Navigate to the Spring 2014 course > Settings and then follow the Course Copy Instructions.
  • Locking Content – Regardless of whether you end your course or not, if you don’t want students to view assignments, quizzes and materials after the course is over, we suggest locking items using the availability features within each tool. Enter a date far in the future – 1/1/2020 for example) to keep the contents locked. Locking Modules.
  • Clean Your Inbox – Archive your Fall messages in your Conversation Inbox so that you can start the Spring semester with a clean slate. Archiving Conversations.
  • Customize Your Course Menu – Remove your Fall classes from and add your Spring courses to your course drop-down menu. Customize Course Menu.

Internet Explorer Update

Internet Explorer 11 was released in November 2013. Canvas supports the two most recent versions of each of the major browsers, however for IE9 the support will be extended through May 2014. After May 24, 2014, Canvas releases will not be tested to ensure that new features work and over time, those using Canvas in IE 9 will experience more and more difficulties. Additionally some upcoming “new” features may not be supported at all in IE 9 even before the May deadline. We recommend leaving IE 9 as soon as possible. Review the list of supported browsers in the Canvas Guides.

Canvas Update Cycle

Canvas is on a 3-week update-release cycle. The beta release notes for this next cycle were available on 11/25, production notes were available as of 12/02 with the release and documentation to follow on 12/07. For information about Canvas updates follow the release page.

Beta Release Notes

What is a Beta Release?!? A Beta Release is a test period where users can try out upcoming feature changes and updates without disrupting the live “production” environment. To log-in to our MCCCD Beta Environment navigate to with your MEID and MEID Password. The Beta Environment will look just like the live environment, however, it will include new test features. Remember: Nothing that you do or change in Beta will have an effect on your live courses. It is just a place to play! Learn more about the Beta Environment.

Test Student Gradebook 

When accessing the Student View in your course you are doing so through the eyes of a Test Student. This student also populates the gradebook roster giving faculty a chance to test grading. Unfortunately, this Test Student appears in alphabetical order making it a little too easy to mismark grades. Currently in beta an option is being tested to always list the Test Student at the end of the Gradebook, no matter how the Gradebook is sorted!

Gradebook View

Sending Individual Conversation Messages

Canvas has been working on a series of incremental improvements to the New (Beta Version) Conversations feature. In this Beta Release the bulk message checkbox has been renamed to Send individual messages. This change is intended to make individual messaging more intuitive. To send a conversation as individual message, enter your recipients in the To field, and then select the Send individual messages checkbox. If this box is not checked, Canvas will send the message as a group message allowing all recipients to view all the conversation replies within that conversation.

New Message Feature View

The New Conversations was introduced as an opt-in feature as part of the 9/14 release. To try Conversations, click the question icon and select the Try New Conversations option.

Opt in New Conversations Canvas

The Canvas Community

The Canvas Community is a great place to learn and discover more about Canvas. Within the community you can:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Find resources created by colleagues worldwide
  • Access best practice training
  • Read product updates
  • Request feature updates

VIDEO: Learn more about the community.

Canvas Status Updates

Be in the know! Subscribe to Canvas Status Updates so that you can keep track of any issues that might be happening in Canvas. Subscribe Now.

Feature Requests

Every Canvas user has the ability to make a feature request. Features are not bugs or fixes, they are items and ideas that you think would improve Canvas. To make a feature request follow these steps:

1. Navigate to the Canvas Help Home page.

2. Select Feature Discussions.

3. Search and review current requests.

4. Add support to an existing request or add a new request.

If you find a similar request add your support by clicking on the Me Too! button.

If you cannot find your request, start a new discussion. Be sure to include a clear description of your request.

Note: You will be prompted to log-in to Canvas to complete this process.

Feature Request Guidelines.

Make a Feature Request.

Canvas Learning Opportunities


CanvasLIVE is a free webinar series designed to give Canvas users additional training and an opportunity to share their knowledge with the community. Each session includes a brief tutorial on a Canvas tool or feature, focused demonstration, and a short Q&A with Canvas experts.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • Item Analysis in Quizzes, Tuesday, December 3, 9:00am MDT (Register)
 How confident are you in your quizzes and tests? Do they measure what you want them to? Are your questions too hard or too easy? Does everybody cheat? What about accommodations? Let’s explore how Canvas helps you make tests less terrible with item analysis, moderation, and security settings. Facilitators: Jared Stein, Instructure
 and Hillary Scharton, Instructure
  • MOBILE SERIES: Grading On-the-Go with Wifi On-the-Side , Thursday, December 5, 9:00am MDT (Register)
 Instructors already appreciate the ease of using SpeedGrader in Canvas via their browsers. In this session we will cover the ease of student grading using the SpeedGrader app for the iPad. Facilitator: Allison Weiss, Instructure

Webinars are open to everyone. Review all upcoming and archived CanvasLIVE sessions.

2nd Annual Canvas Conversations January 31st

Register / Submit a Proposal

Please plan to join us for the 2nd Annual Canvas Conversations (January 31, 2014 from 9 am to 3 pm at GateWay). This event is open to all Maricopa faculty and staff.  In addition, we know you are doing awesome work in Canvas; please consider submitting a proposal today to share your ideas and expertise! Don’t delay – take a minute to register today!