Canvas Updates

Canvas User Updates Week of March 3, 2014

Important Notices & Updates

URGENT: Daylight Savings Time Issues

Currently Canvas operates and adjusts based on Daylight Saving Time (DST). Arizona is an exception to the observation of this custom. We believe we will continue to see instances in which due date times (and corresponding “available from” and “available until times”) for assignments and other dated activities will shift by one hour after DST begins at 2 am on March 9.  You are encouraged to check your course (including discussions, quizzes and assignments) to verify the accuracy of all due dates and times after the time change.  

We suggest holding off as long as possible on all course copies to give Instructure time to work on a fix.  If you must perform course copies now, please check your course (including discussions, quizzes and assignments) to verify the accuracy of all due dates and times.  We will update you as soon as we have more information from Instructure on an anticipated fix date. We apologize for the inconvenience. The MCCCD LMS Core team is working diligently with Instructure to resolve this issue.

More Information on Editing Assignment Due Dates/Times

Recent Updates

Here are some highlights of the latest new features, updates and changes from the March 1 Release. Note: Features are subject to change based on testing! Some features may be selectively released by MCCCD.

Outcomes: Learning Mastery Gradebook

The Learning Mastery Gradebook is a feature to help instructors and administrators assess the student learning Outcomes that are being used within Canvas courses. This addition to the gradebook allows instructors using the Outcomes feature to see an overview of student learning based on set Outcome standards rather than grades. Note: Instructors must be using the Canvas Outcomes feature to benefit from this new feature AND must enable the Mastery Gradebook in the Course Features area. 

 Learning Mastery Gradebook Screenshot

Learn more about Canvas Outcomes.
Enable the Mastery Gradebook in Course Features.

Specific features of the Learning Mastery Gradebook:

  • Each course Outcome is arranged in a column and student performance results on Outcomes are display by row (student score / mastery threshold)
  • Scores are color-coded to show a quick visual indicator of performance (Mastery = green, Near Mastery = yellow, Remedial = red)
  • Standard gradebook options to sort, resize and reorder columns
  • Outcome statistics can be viewed by course average, median or mode
  • Hover over an Outcome column for a visual graph that breakdown the class performance

 Outcome Details Screenshot

Gradebook: Total Points Display

Instructors can now switch percent to points in the gradebook from the Total Column. This switch applies to the student view of grades, i.e. when a student opens the Grades page the total column will display earned points over total points possible if an instructor has made the switch to points in the course gradebook. Note: Points cannot be viewed in a course using percent weights. Learn more about the Canvas Gradebook.

 Points Switch Screenshot

Course Imports: Easier Error Free Imports

Canvas will no longer select all content by default when copying or importing courses using the Select Migration Content option (when you don’t want to copy the entire course). Users will have to select what content they want to copy by placing a check in each content category or beside individual items within a category. This change should make it harder to make content copy errors. Learn more about course copy/import.

Other Updates & Fixes

Review the full Production Release Notes for details of all the recent changes to Canvas applied on March 1. Reminder: MCCCD may not implement all changes to the production environment on the same time schedule and some features are course-level and must be enabled by each instructor individually.

Canvas Training

Canvas Live Webinars

Collaboration Tools
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 9am or 1pm MST; 
Click here to register
When should you use Google Docs vs. EtherPad when collaborating in Canvas? What’s the difference between discussions in the group site versus group discussions in a course site? Canvas has several features that enable students to interact and work together on projects and assignments. This session will provide a brief overview of the tools and considerations needed to set up good collaborative environments. Facilitator: Biray Seitz, Instructure

Mobile Series: Mobile-Friendly Assignments
Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 1pm MST; 
Click here to register
With Mobile 2.0 in our pockets, instructors want to leverage new types of activities that students can complete on their mobile devices. Join our panel discussion about designing effective mobile activities in the classroom and hear other teachers share their lessons learned about mobile-friendly assignments. Facilitator: Biray Seitz, Instructure / Panelists: Jared Ward & Rachel Murphy, Canyon School District

Canvas Live Archive
Review former presentations and learning sessions in the Canvas Best Practice Webinar Archive.

Resources, Tutorials & Guides
The Instructor overview course video is designed for people who are new to Canvas and want to get started. The concepts are presented in the order that new users often have questions about.

Canvas 101 is an open enrollment course that will walk you through the basics of setting up a new course in Canvas. To enroll, simply click on the “Join this course” button on the Course Home Page. There is no facilitator, but it is a good series of self-paced exercises.

MCC Center for Teaching & Learning How-To Documents – Review our helpful how-to guides including Getting Started with Canvas in 10 Steps.

Canvas Connections User Group

Don’t miss the next meeting Wednesday, March 19, 12noon – 1:00pm, Online Conference/Meeting

Our next meeting will be conducted using Big Blue Button, the Canvas Online Conferencing Tool. Learn about this tool as we discuss and share updates, best practices and features of Canvas.

*To join the session, Enroll in the Course and navigate to Conferences from the left-side course menu. Join the March 19 conference.

What is the Canvas Connections User Group?
This informal user-focused group will meet bi-monthly to discuss: Features, Best Practices, Upcoming Changes, Issues/Bugs, Teaching Strategies, Design and Feature Requests.

New and seasoned users are welcome to join us to:

  • Connect! Stay on the inside track with all things Canvas.
  • Share! and Learn! with others.
  • Engage! in some great conversations over a virtual lunch.

Join Now!

Canvas Update Cycle

Canvas is on a 3-week update-release cycle. The beta (preview) release for the next cycle is was on 3/10, production notes will follow on 3/17 with the release and production update on 3/22.

For information about Canvas updates follow the release page.

Accessing the Beta Environment

To access the MCCCD Beta environment and try these new features, in the address bar of your browser and log-in with your MEID and Password. Remember this is a beta environment, so changes made will not be reflected in the live (production) environment. The next beta release is March 10.