Canvas Updates

Canvas Updates Week of March 24

Important Canvas Notices

Summer Canvas Course Shells Delayed

Several people have asked when the summer courses will be created in Canvas. Summer courses have been held, for now, until a fix is in place for the ongoing Daylight Savings Time (DST) issue. The hope is that this issue will be resolved by Saturday, April 12th. Once the fix is in place, instructors will be able to copy courses from one semester to the next without having to worry about due dates/times changing when dates fall over DST.

What happens if the issue is not fixed by April 12th?
The LMS Core Team (responsible for the transition and implementation of Canvas) will continue to assess the situation and advocate for a speedy resolution to this issue. So that faculty can begin their preparations, summer courses may have to be released without a fix in place. Please note that this will only impact course due dates that fall over the DST date of March 9. However, it is best practice for faculty to review all of their due dates/times each semester.

Canvas Update Cycle

Canvas is on a 3-week update-release cycle. The next beta (preview) release is on 3/31, production notes will follow on 4/7 with the release and documentation to be published on 4/12. For information about Canvas updates follow the release page.

March 22nd Production Release – Draft State Option

Here are some highlights of the new features, updates and changes from the March 22nd Canvas Production Release. Note: Features are subject to change based on testing! Some features may be selectively released by MCCCD.

Draft State (Pending MCCCD Release)

Canvas has released the highly anticipated Draft State feature will allow content in Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, Pages, and Discussions to be in an unpublished (draft) state even if the course is published. Draft content will be invisible to students and excluded from grade calculations. Draft State is a Course-level feature option, and will be available on a course-to-course basis once MCCCD decides to enable the feature at the institutional level.

Assignments View of Draft State

The Draft State feature will impact all of the major user interfaces within Canvas (for instructors only). You are strongly encouraged to log-in to the beta environment to explore the features within Draft State to see what this new world will look like! Here is an overview guide to prepare you for the change: Canvas Feature Options: Draft State PDF. Additional documentation will be available in the Canvas Guides when Draft State is officially placed in the production environment.

Streamlined Assignment Settings

The Assignment Settings interface has been streamlined and follows the same style as Quiz Settings. Previously hidden settings items under the More Options link have been placed at the top level, making it easier for instructors to set and view Submission Types, Peer Review and Group and other details.

Assignment Options Screenshot

Learn more about setting Assignment Details.

Gradebook Updates – Assignment Sorting

When sorting an Assignment Column in the Gradebook, Canvas will move no-submissions or not-yet-graded submissions to the bottom of the column. This will make it easier to find assignments that need faculty attention. To sort a column in the Gradebook, click the column header. The blue arrow will indicate the direction of the sort.

Assignment Sorting in Gradebook Screenshot

More information about sorting the Canvas Gradebook.

Mobile/Tablet Updates

iOS 3.0 Release Notes Featuring Enhanced Interface and User Experience
Android 2.3 Release Notes Featuring Groups and Multi-User Sign-in Functionality

Other Updates & Fixes

Review the March 22nd full Production Release Notes for all of the changes and bug fixes for this release. 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.

Accessing the Beta Environment

To access the MCCCD Beta environment and try out new features before implementing them in your course, type 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.

Did You Know?

Universal Design & Accessibility in Canvas

This is a continuation of our ongoing review of features and best practice to keep the content within Canvas as accessible as the system!

WAVE Training at MCC

WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) is a free, online accessibility evaluation tool “to help you determine the accessibility of web content.” WAVE is being used to help faculty and admins at MCC determine if their websites meet ADA compliance standards for students needing alternative content delivery. Come to this session for a hands-on demonstration of the WAVE Tool. Best practices in creating accessible content will also be touched on.

Register Now
Registration Instructions

Theses sessions are HIGHLY recommended for department administrative assistants responsible for department, program or faculty websites AND for faculty that are using web sites (including Canvas or Publisher Resources) to deliver course content and materials.

Choose from one of the following sessions:
Monday, March 31, 3:00 p.m.  –  4:30 p.m.* 
HRMS Course #002083, Session #0004; CTL Lab AS Building, Room 175 – Southern & Dobson Campus

Wednesday, April 2, 11:00 a.m.  –  12:30 p.m. 
HRMS Course #002083, Session #0003; CTL Lab AS Building, Room 175 – Southern & Dobson Campus

Tuesday, April 8, 8:00 a.m.  –  10:30 a.m. 
HRMS Course #002083, Session #0005; CTL Lab AS Building, Room 175 – Southern & Dobson Campus

*Note: This session will be recorded and shared publicly for those unable to attend an in-person training.

Helpful Resources

WAVE Users Guide
MCC Accessibility Checklist
MCC Disability Resources & Services

Archived Accessibility Training

The MCC Center for Teaching & Learning is hosting a series of Accessibility and Universal Design Webinars this semester in partnership with the Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction (MCLI). Review the archived sessions.

Canvas Training

Canvas 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 collaborati

ve environments. Presenter(s): Biray Seitz, Instructure

Mobile-Friendly Assignments
Date/Time: 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. Presenter(s): Jared Ward & Rachel Murphy, Canyon School District

Discussions in the Palm of Your Hand
Date/Time: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9am or 1pm MST; Click here to register
Course conversations can extend well-beyond the classroom environment. Leveraging the Discussions tool in Canvas Mobile App may lead to greater student engagement. Not only can it foster on-going conversation threads, but students can contribute anytime and in multiple ways, such as, via text, images, audio, and video — right from the palm of their hands! Presenter(s): Biray Seitz, Instructure

Design, Delivery and AssessmentDate/Time: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9am or 1pm MST; Click here to register
How do you leverage discussions in your courses? What are some ways Canvas allows you to set-up, moderate and grade discussions? This session focuses on the functionality of the discussion feature and the considerations instructors may need to make when designing discussions in Canvas. Presenter(s): Biray Seitz, Instructure

Canvas Live Training Archives

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

Canvas Connections

Don’t miss the next meeting Tuesday, April 1, 12 noon – 1:00pm, CTL Team Spot – AS Bldg

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 lunch.

This informal user-focused group will meet bi-monthly to discuss: Features, Best Practices, Upcoming Changes, Issues/Bugs, Teaching Strategies, Design and Feature Requests.

Users should bring their own lunch. Snacks and desserts may be provided.

Join Now!