Canvas New Features & Updates Fall 2017

There are many new features and updates to Canvas this Fall quarter. One of the exciting new features is the ability to duplicate assignments and pages.  Updates include the Course Home Page Default to the Modules layout and option to add existing course content.  The Docviewer feature replaces the Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools.  Canvas DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences, which allows instructors and students to annotate submissions.  


The Mobile Canvas Teacher App has replaced the SpeedGrader app.  The Canvas Teacher app provides quick access to grading submissions, communicating with students, and updating course content through Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes.  For full details about the new features & updates check out the Canvas Teacher App release notes.

CanvasTeacher App

Blueprint Courses makes it easy for administrators or designers to deploy, update, and maintain course design templates or components across any number of courses or instructors.  Blueprint Courses allows Canvas admins to create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.  Any items that are not locked can be managed individually by a course instructor. Content that can be managed by an instructor is not overwritten when the Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected.  Check out the Blueprint Tool Overview Video!


The Canvas team is committed to supporting and improving platform functionality by closing major feature gaps for those migrating from CourseWork to Canvas.  A Speedgrader pop-up window warning will remain visible, which provides tips for multiple graders to avoid data loss. The Roster Photos and NameCoach integration is our latest support update.  Roster Photos display official university photos that now integrates with NameCoach data. NameCoach enables student submissions of a correct name pronunciation and preferred pronouns.

Roster Photos and NameCoach Integration

Instructure, the company that develops and operates Canvas, is committed to improving the loading of data for large course submission thresholds.

SpeedGrader Performance Improvements

A pop-up warning will remain to remind users that multiple graders should not grade the same assignment at the same time to avoid data loss.

Pop-Up Warning: Avoid Data Loss

Upcoming Canvas features include: Section-Specific Announcements, Analytics 2.0, Quizzes.Next, Gradebook Enhancements, Dashboard To-Do List and Course Notifications.  Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) supported by Stanford currently are: Zoom, NameCoach, Harmonize and *SuiteC.

The Canvas Help Center provides articles on Stanford specific issues, policies and answers to the most commonly asked questions.  It’s accessible through the URL or the help menu within Canvas.  The GoCanvas blog provides articles on the most recent features and Canvas updates.  If you have questions regarding upcoming features, LTI tools or 3rd party integrations, such as Gradescope, please email the Canvas Support Team.

*Update 9/23/20: SuiteC is no longer available.  Please contact us if you’d like to try Harmonize (a rich discussion tool that is similar to SuiteC) or to schedule an appointment to discuss your course and get one-on-one help. For more information, check out our Stanford Canvas help resources for instructors.  

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