Canvas Updates

Starting the Fall 2014 Semester with Canvas

Canvas User Update: Fall Start-Up

 Important Canvas Notices

  • Course Copy: The course copy process continues to improve in functionality. Now you can more easily select items that you want to copy from a course, rather than deselect content. Don’t forget to use the Adjust Events and Due Dates option to save yourself time. Please note it can take up to 2 hours for copies of courses from one semester to another to be completed (size and traffic determine speed). Feel free to leave the copy page or logout of Canvas while the copy is being made. Additionally, pay close attention to any error notices at the end of the copy process. Review any alerts reported (posted notice in the import history) and take corrective action. Errors will most often be related to broken links or empty pages. Please see our copy guidelines to get you started.
  • Publish Course Items: Publish any quizzes, assignments, discussions, content pages or modules that should be visible to students prior to publishing your course. Publishing the course will not publish items within the course that are still in “draft state”. Learn more about the draft state in the recent update section below.
  • Course Publish: Don’t forget to publish your course to make it available to students. To publish the course find the publish notice dialog box on the course home page. Select Publish and follow the screen prompts. Once a course is published you can continue to make changes and updates as needed. Courses cannot be unpublished once students have submitted work to the course. Directions for publishing courses.
  • Special Tools & Publisher Integration Changes:Due to recent changes to several of our special integrations in Canvas including ShareStream, Pearson and McGraw Hill you may to re-integrate these tools to ensure that they are working properly. For Pearson integrations users will need to use log-in to access Pearson materials. If you are using one of these products, contact the MCC Center for Teaching & Learning OR (480) 461-7331 for additional details.

Canvas Update Cycle

Canvas is on a 3-week update-release cycle. The next beta (preview) release is on 8/25, production notes will follow on 9/2 with the release and documentation to follow on 9/6.Follow the release schedule on the Canvas Updates Calendar.

View More Notices

Canvas Updates

If you did not teach this summer you may notice that there have been lots of new additions and changes to Canvas. Here’s a list of highlights:

  • The Draft State is the ONLY State! The highly anticipated Draft State feature became a standard, permanent part of Canvas on July 5th. Draft State allows for content in Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, Content Pages, and Discussions to be in an unpublished (draft) state even if the course itself is published. Draft content will be invisible to students throughout Canvas and excluded from grade calculations. By default any newly added Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, Content Pages and Discussions will be unpublished. It is critical that you publish any items you want students to see by selecting the “Cloud” icon. Content published and copied from one semester to another will be published by default in the next course.

Draft State in Canvas Assignments

 Video Tutorial: Learn more about Draft State

Review the MCC Draft State Quick Reference

  • Conversations are something to talk about! Canvas Conversations is the global messaging feature in Canvas. The old Canvas Conversations inbox was retired at the end of May. The new Conversation inbox features a more “email” like layout with a larger compose window, a subject line, a clearer group/individual message feature and a variety of options for filtering and organizing messages. All composing, filtering and searching for messages starts by first selecting a course. The course menu within the inbox will correspond to the users customized course drop-down menu making it easier to find and send messages. Users can now also select multiple messages to archive or delete when managing the inbox.

Canvas Conversations Inbox

Accessing the Conversations Inbox

Overview of the Conversations Inbox

  • Plan to love the new Calendar and Scheduler! The Canvas Calendar is a global feature used for reminding students of assignment due dates and events. It automatically syncs with other features in Canvas such as Assignments, Syllabus and Grades. The old calendar was retired at the end of May. The new calendar features a more clear interface with brighter colors and icons to designate different course events/assignments. An Agenda display has also been added to the view options. Like the inbox, the calendar list will correspond to the users customized course drop-down menu making it easier to find the most important calendars first. A Scheduler Feature has been added that allows instructors to set-up and students to sign-up for appointments. Users can now also drag-drop events/assignments from undated items to the calendar to assign dates.

Canvas Calendar Agenda View

What is the Calendar?

Using the Scheduler

  • Get Dynamic with alternative Front Pages! The Home Page is the first page that students will see when visiting a course. The Home Page can be set to the Assignments List, Modules, Syllabus, Course Stream or a customizable Front Page. Instructors can now change the designated Front Page throughout the semester. This allows for dynamic and relevant content to be shared with students at certain points in the course without losing previous versions of the “home” page.Note: A Front Page must be designated to use the “Pages Front Page” option. A Page must be published to be designated as the course Front Page.

Home Page Options in Canavs

Where is the Course Home Page?

Changing the Course Home Page

Canvas Training & Support

MCC Center for Teaching & Learning Appointments, Workshops and Customized Sessions

The CTL is your partner as you implement innovative teaching, learning and workplace strategies. From general support, to consultation services, and/or tailored workshops, we are here to help you, your department, program or division reach your goals for student success.

The CTL provides day-to-day support for faculty and staff on technology, teaching and productivity issues including Canvas. Stop by our offices, send us an email or give us a call for support or to set-up an appointment. We are here for you!

View our learning opportunity calendar.
Visit us on the web at

Email us at
Call us at (480) 461-7331

Online Resources, Tutorials & Guides

A New Canvas Webinar Series: Better Ed, Difference Making Sessions on Teaching & Learning in Canvas

Better Ed is a new webinar series designed by Canvas to help you make education better with Canvas. In this series they will share their favorite difference-making sessions from InstructureCon (the annual Canvas conference) for you to get ideas for using Canvas in your courses. Get inspired with these engaging and FREE learning sessions. Register Now.

Mark Your Calendar for the MCCCD 3rd Annual Canvas Conversations Event

The 3rd Canvas Conversations, annual MCCCD Canvas Conference, is scheduled for November 7th. Mark your calendar for this exciting day of all things teaching and learning in Canvas. This event will include a variety of workshops, training and discussions around Canvas.

Canvas Updates – Be in the Know!

Canvas now has a public (google) calendar which shows all Canvas updates to BETA Releases and PROD (Live Production) including when release notes are published! By following these updates you can prepare for changes and test out cool new features before they are released. Learn more about the Canvas production schedule and test environments.

You can add Canvas Updates to your personal Google calendar so you will always be in the know! Learn how to add a calendar link to your Google Calendar.

New MCC Getting Started Module for Canvas

Get a jump on your course design with the -NEW- MCC Getting Started Module. This “Start Here” module includes everything you need to get students going in Canvas and in your course. The template includes a custom home page, welcome letter, syllabus sample, links to important student resources, Canvas tutorials, sample introductory activities and much, much more.

This module was designed by the MCC eLearning Committee and can be used with any course format.

Preview & Download the MCC Getting Started Module Template into your course today!