Canvas Update – Spring / Summer 2021

Here’s what’s new for Spring / Summer 2021

Bulk Question Upload for Canvas Quizzes

Instructors can create quiz questions in Microsoft Word or a text editor and import the questions into Canvas Quizzes. Instructors can access the Text to QTI Converter using their SUNet ID.

Landing page for Text to QTI converter

Slack in Canvas

Learning Technologies and Spaces (LTS) and Stanford University IT (UIT) partnered together to bring Slack into Canvas. Instructors, TAs, Course Admins, and Designers can now provision a Slack workspace directly from their Canvas course. There are many benefits to creating a Slack workspace through Canvas, including the CourseBot feature and automatic removal of students who drop the course. Learn more about creating a Slack workspace through Canvas.

Create Slack Workspace in Canvas

Ed Discussion (Q&A Tool)

Ed Discussion was chosen as the Piazza replacement. Ed Discussion is an online communication tool that can be used to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous online discussions in a course. Ed Discussion supports customizable thread categories and subcategories, anonymous posting, private posts among instructors and TAs, LaTex, multiple computer programming languages, and more. It can be integrated with Canvas or used as a standalone tool.

Ed Discussion course home page

For more information, please refer to the Getting Started with Ed Discussion guide.

Course Availability Date Enhancements

Instructure has improved the interface to easily see the course participation end date. Once the course end date has passed, the course concludes and becomes read-only. Students will no longer be able to engage in the course and instructors will no longer be able to grade or make changes to course content. If extended participation access is needed, instructors can adjust the end date of a course.

Course participation start and end date

SpeedGrader Comment Library

Instructors now have the option to save commonly used comments using the SpeedGrader Comment Library. Comments can be added and saved for reuse within SpeedGrader for individual users across their Canvas courses.

Content Library

Student Annotation Submissions

A new submission type has been added to Canvas Assignments. Instructors can now create an assignment and choose the Student Annotation option. This submission type allows instructors to upload a file for students to mark-up and annotate all within Canvas.

Edit view of the submission type for Canvas assignment

SMS Notification No Longer Supported

As of July 31, 2021, Instructure has removed support of all SMS notifications. Canvas users can no longer receive text messages for course related notifications.

Conferences Tool Removed

The Conferences tool (recently renamed to BigBlueButton (Formerly Conferences)) has been removed from all Canvas courses as of August 16, 2021. Conferences is no longer an option in Canvas. If you have a need for video conferencing, we recommend utilizing Zoom.

navigation with new Conferences tool name

Accessibility Checker

The Rich Content Editor (RCE) now notifies content creators when accessibility concerns are detected without needing to click the Accessibility Checker icon. Previously, there was no indication of whether content entered in the RCE had accessibility issues.

Accessibility checker icon

LTS Canvas Road Map

Learn more about the work the LTS Canvas team is working on by checking out the recently updated Canvas Roadmap.

Canvas Roadmap