What’s New in CarmenCanvas (MAY 2018)


Release Notes: 5/12, 6/2

For Everyone:

  • The Files tool now has the 3-dot settings menu icon.
  • In DocViewer …
    • You can now annotate image files (BMP, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, and TIFF).
    • Users who are not the author of an annotation can comment on it.
    • Long comments are not truncated after five lines, rather than one.
    • Comments are now aligned with their associated annotations
  • In the Rich Content Editor under the Links tab Course Navigation section, some links have been updated to reflect what’s in Course Navigation (left menu).

For Instructors:

  • In DocViewer, you can now delete any annotations or comments for any user; for example, for peer review assignments.
  • In Gradebook, comments are hidden if an assignment is muted.

For Students:

  • The assignment submission page now shows “Submitted” when you submit an assignment; previously the terminology was “Turned In”.

Canvas Student

Release Notes: 6.2 (Android), 6.2.6 (iOS)

  • Android 6.2
    • Students can now edit pages for which they have been given permission
    • Pages tool has been redesigned for improved usability and accessibility
  • iOS 6.2.6
    • A share button has been added to external URL module items

Canvas Teacher

Release Notes: 1.5 (Android, iOS), 1.6 (iOS)

  • If you have a multi-section course, you can now send section-specific announcements in the app
  • External tools can be opened in Mobile Safari by tapping the Launch External Tool button.
  • User Files
    • You can now access your personal user files via the user menu.
    • The Rich Content Editor now supports attachment from personal user files.
  • Speedgrader supports submitting a grade by tapping the Return key using a mobile keyboard.
  • Android: Discussions with multiple due dates are now labeled with “Multiple Due Dates”.
  • iOS: If you’re encountering issues with the app, you can now tell the app to reset temporary files (i.e. cache) upon next launch under the Settings app.

What’s New In CarmenCanvas (APR 2018)

For a full list of updates, please see the following release notes:


For Everyone:

  • Inline file preview box is now taller (400px to 800px)
  • The Rich Content Editor now sports a word counter
  • BUG FIX: Video controls for embedded video files now displays as expected in Firefox

For Students:

  • BUG FIX: Rubrics using criterion ranges now correctly highlights the range that corresponds with the score given

Canvas Student

  • You can now view and access concluded courses that still exist
  • (Android) External tools can be opened outside of the Student app by tapping the Open in Browser icon
  • Redesigned Login (iOS) Announcements, Discussions, Conversations/Inbox (Android), Files, Assignments (iOS), Pages (iOS), and Grades (iOS) pages
  • The Rich Content Editor can now be used to create or reply to announcements

Workshop opportunity: Kickstart Week by DELTA

The Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA) is once again offering the Kickstart Week, which is “a series of related workshops that will prepare you to design for and teach in online and hybrid settings. Each day focuses on a different set of skills and pedagogies.” Staff from the Office of Teaching and Learning have attended the workshops, and have found the experience to be useful for face-to-face offerings as well – our newest member, Sean McCready, plans to attend this upcoming offering!

If you are interested, feel free to follow the links below to register for the workshops:

  • Day 1: Course design process, (online) quality assurance
  • Day 2: Assessments and rubrics, writing in (online) courses, academic integrity
  • Day 3: Planning activities, making the most of Ohio State supported tools
  • Day 4: Recording media content (@ Denney Hall Digial Union), library materials, copyright in (online) courses

Some of Our Favorite Productivity Features in the Canvas Teacher App

We previewed the Canvas Teacher app last August – since then, the app has truly grown into an powerful tool for managing courses on-the-go. The Canvas Teacher app is available for both smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android, and it is regularly updated by the vendor with new features and bug fixes – the latest version is 1.5 on iOS, and 1.4 on Android (differences between the iOS and Android app).

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Welcoming Our New Instructional Designer – Sean McCready

Earlier this week, the Office of Teaching and Learning welcomed our new instructional designer, Sean McCready. Sean will be working closely with our faculty and staff on creating curriculum and learning modules for the new Clinical and Professional Skills Lab (CPSL), which is slated to open in August of 2018.

Before coming to the CVM, Sean served as a teacher and curriculum specialist at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). At ECOT, Sean implemented backwards design principles in multiple curriculum development projects throughout the school. He also created content for courses that followed Universal Design Learning principles, ensuring that all students, regardless of disability or learning preferences, had an opportunity to learn; his work involved the use of web content, video and interactive learning modules built in Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate.

Sean has a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the Ohio Dominican University; he also received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Ohio Dominican University.

Welcome, Sean!

Class of 2021 Students Evaluate iPads in the Classroom

The Office of Teaching and Learning surveyed Class of 2021 students regarding their usage, thoughts and opinions of the iPad in and outside of the classroom. As a reminder, the class of 2020 was the first cohort of students equipped with iPads, and we surveyed them earlier last year.

From the survey results, OTL has identified concrete action steps to help resolve the issues reported, as well as to better take advantage of the technology.

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What’s New In CarmenCanvas (As of Mar 31, 2018)

For a full list of updates, please see the following release notes:

For Everyone:

  • Announcements have been updated to have a cleaner and more accessible design.
  • Comment replies in DocViewer are now included in annotated PDF downloads.
  • Individual comments in DocViewer now include an icon that displays the type and color of the annotation.
  • Starting with the 3/31 release, Internet Explorer 11 is now supported at a functional support level – while all features will continue to be supported, there may begin to be visual differences from other browsers.

For Teachers:

  • New features have been added to the Announcements page, including  clearer indication of delayed posting, quick toggle to allow/disallow comments, and section-specific course announcements.
  • The Outcomes functionality in Canvas allows for tracking of student competencies throughout a course and across different activities (assignments, quizzes, etc..) While there isn’t currently a curriculum-wide implementation of Canvas Outcomes, please contact us if you want to learn more. The Outcomes tool now supports bulk import from CSV.

Increasing productivity with the iPad

By Jay Hsiao, instructional designer

As a recent student myself, I enjoyed learning on my iPad not only because of the lightweight form factor with long battery life, but also because I was able to be productive with it for learning. Besides the many apps available in the App Store, there are features built into iOS (now at version 11) that are great for productivity.

Ultimately, like any other technology, the iPad is a just another tool. The goal of Office of Teaching and Learning is to help you with optimizing the tool for your daily learning activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, while working with the instructors and the curriculum to affect technology-agnostic changes that’d improve the overall educational experience.

Back to the topic of iOS, have you discovered the Tips app? The Tips app offers a fantastic collection of productivity and creativity ideas – here are a couple of my personal favorites:

  • Quick settings: You might have already figured out that you can access quick settings (including mute and Do Not Disturb!) by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, but you can actually customize it in iOS 11. To do that, go to Settings, Control Center, then Customize Controls.
  • Widgets: If you have or are using an Android device, you may be familiar with these quick bites of information called widgets. Widgets are also available in iOS, by first swiping down to reveal the notifications, then left to reveal the widgets screen. Some apps that you use may come with a widget – check by swiping to the bottom fo the widgets screen, then Edit.
  • “Right-clicking” on the iPad: While the iPad doesn’t have the nifty Force Touch feature that newer iPhones have, try to discover the of extra actions that maybe available to you by tapping and holding on an app or a toolbar icon. For example, you can press and hold on the Notability app icon to access recent documents.
  • Single-app mode: By default, iOS presents only one app on the screen at a time. I’ve found this to be a productivity in that it helps me focus on only whatever I’m working on or reviewing at the moment, especially when used with Do Not Disturb.
  • Master the dock: Once your iPad is unlocked, you are able to call it up any time by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. For me, I put (drag and drop) all of my most used apps directly on the dock, and other apps that I use frequently in a folder on the dock. The dock holds up to 15 apps (for 12.9” pro), including a special section on the right side for recently used app, suggested apps based on usage habits, and Handoff apps that lets you continue what you’re currently working on on other Apple devices.
  • Multitasking: You can work with two apps at the same time on the iPad – notice that all apps support multitasking. There are two multitasking modes: slide over and split view.
    • To put an app in slide over mode, first swipe up from the bottom to call up the dock, press and briefly hold on an app icon, drag it onto the screen so it shows a rectangular outline, then let go. Slide overs float on top of the main app that’s open, and can be put either on the left or right side of the screen. You can even hide your slide over app by swiping it into the left or the right side of the screen, then call it back out by doing the opposite.
    • To put an app in split view mode, you would follow the same steps above, but before letting go, you would hover the app outline over the left or right side of the screen until the main app shrinks, then let go to put the second app in place. You can add a third app in slide over mode when you have two apps on the screen, but you would not be able to interact with them.
  • Spaces: When you use split view multitasking, you are essentially creating workspaces that you can quickly switch to and from. For example, if you are writing a paper and you’ve already collected references, you may create a workspace with Word and OneNote; if you are taking notes while watching lecture capture, you may create instead a workspace with Safari and Notability … with some captures, you may even be able to open the video in Picture in Picture mode!
  • Your apps work together: there are a couple features that iOS provides that lets your apps work together, including: 1) share sheet functionality that we talked about during orientation, which lets you send content from one app to another (for example, the Safari Apps lets you save a webpage as PDF using the share sheet); 2) file organization and usage through the Files app and the file picker, including sources such as offline, iCloud, and BuckeyeBox storage; and 3) as of iOS 11, you are now able to drag and drop content between apps that support it. We plan to write more about workflows in future updates.
    • Speaking of iCloud, we STRONGLY encourage that you backup your iPad to iCloud and turn on iCloud Backup – you would be glad that you did in the worst case scenarios that you lose your iPad, or your iPad becomes nonfunctional. You can do so by going to Settings, tap you profile at the top of the list (or sign in), then iCloud.
  • One last bonus – take a screenshot then annotate: if your courses assign videos for you to review, you can take a screenshot a desired frame of the video by pressing the Home and the Power buttons simultaneously, or by pressing Cmd-Shift-3 (for whole screen) or Cmd-Shift-4 (for part of the screen) on the keyboard. Once you have taken a screenshot, a preview of it will show on your screen, which you can then annotate using, for example, your stylus. When you are done annotating, use the Done button to either delete or save the screenshot to your Photos, or use the share sheet to forward it on.
I hope that you will find the iPad/iOS tips that I have listed here useful. Feel free to reach out to Teaching and Learning if you have questions!

Some of our favorite student features in the Canvas app

The Canvas Student app for mobile/tablet is great for viewing or interacting with your courses on-the-go. Using the app rather than the website on a mobile device also means you can take advantage of platform features, such as push notifications and Slide Over multitasking on the iPad. The Canvas Student app is regularly updated by the vendor with new features and bug fixes – the latest version is 6.0 on both iOS and Android.

Here are some features in the Canvas Student app that we like:

General Functionality

  • Tucked inside the hamburger menu (top left), you can go to Settings –> Landing Page to change what screen you would like to see first when you launch the Canvas Student app. Are you a timeline person? The Calendar tab may be best for you. Are you a list person? Then the To Do tab may be a better fit.
  • (Initiated on web) On the Calendar Page on the Canvas web app, you can grab the calendar feed link (bottom right of page) and subscribe to it using a mobile calendar app, such as iOS’s built-in Calendar app (under Settings, Accounts & Passwords, Add Account, Other, then Add Subscribed Calendar).
  • (Also available on web) On the Dashboard tab, did you know that you can change the courses that are shown to you and how they are shown? To show/hide courses, tap the “Edit” icon and select/unselect stars; by default, all of your current courses are shown. If you are a color-coding person, tap the settings icon (3 dots) on a course card to change its display color.
  • The Notifications tab is handy in that it not only shows most of not all activities that take place within Carmen, including inbox messages, announcements, announced changes to course materials and activities, and discussion replies.
  • If you are on a smartphone, the Inbox tool is very handy for sending quick messages to your instructors and/or classmates without needing to remember their OSU dot-number email addresses.

Functionality Inside Courses

  • Want to review course content in full-screen? Use the double diagonal arrow button around the center of the screen to expand the content shown on the right side; by the way, the course navigation menu was freshly updated in version 6.0!
  • Notetakers probably already know this trick, but when you open a PDF files that resides within a course, you can tap the edit icon (looks like pen and a writing surface) to reveal tools that you can use to annotate it without leaving the Canvas Student App! When you are done annotating, use the share icon (looks like a box with an arrow pointing up) to save or send the file to another app … with your annotations!
  • Worrying about forgetting to take a quiz? On the information page of a quiz that is not past due, tap the alarm clock icon at the top right to schedule a notification for yourself.
    • While not all types of quizzes are currently supported by the app, it will prompt you to access the web app if and when needed.
  • Speaking of quizzes, as of app version 3.20 on iOS, the Canvas Student app gained an iOS widget (the left-most screen on the home screen, or swipe down and left from the top of the screen) that shows you your current course grades.

We hope that some of the features that we listed above would be helpful for you with using the Canvas Student app more effectively. As a final bonus, if you are an Amazon Echo user … did you know that there is an Alexa Skill for checking what’s going in your courses? This blew our minds last July when it was announced and has become much more capable since then!

Top Hat doesn’t have to stop when the class session ends

If you are a power user of Top Hat, you may have realized that it is more than an engaging in-class student response tool in that it is also a flexible, on-demand tool for organizing your class sessions. For example, Teaching and Learning has worked with some instructors to upload their PowerPoint slides to Top Hat, where they can insert activities strategically at certain points during the class (for example, for start-of-class and end-of-class knowledge checks/reviews) and present the entire set without having to leave Top Hat.

Top Hat also now supports interactive slides that contain hyperlinks, animations, and embedded videos from YouTube or Vimeo.

The quality learning that takes place in Top Hat does not have to stop when your class session ends. While the “Present” mode makes your Top Hat content available to students in a live setting, the “Homework” and “Review” assign modes allow students to access them outside of the class.

  • Review: This mode releases content to students on a non-graded basis. When you assign a question to students for review, they will be able to respond to it and see the correct answer, but you will not have a way to tell who has completed it and how they did. This mode is great for displaying items such as learning materials, practice questions, and activities that have already taken place in class.
  • Homework: This mode releases content to students on a graded basis. When you assign a question to students for homework, their responses will be automatically graded and recorded in the gradebook. This mode is great for items like out-of-class activities that are not available in Carmen; for example, “Click on Target” and “Word Answers” (for word cloud purposes) or activities that you intended to get to during class but didn’t quite make it.

Just like in Carmen, you are able to create differentiated experiences by assigning different items to different students. You can also schedule future activities and/or offer timed activities by adjusting item availability. (More Information)

As always, for all things Top Hat, please feel free to consult with Teaching and Learning.