What’s New in CarmenCanvas (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)


Release Notes: 08/04, 08/25, 09/15

For Everyone:

  • In DocViewer, comments with replies are now grouped together in expandable stacks.
  • In the Rich Content Editor, you can now provide longer descriptions for an image (for example, for accessibility purposes) using the longdesc attribute.

For Instructors:

  • The new scheduler is a great way for you to organize office hours and offer them for students to sign up, all inside Carmen; for example, Professional Development 1-A is currently using this new functionality to organize the Wellness Checks for VME-I students.
    • Instructors can also subscribe to the calendar feed that shows all scheduled appointments and related information; for example, using Outlook.
  • The SpeedGrader now lets you export submission comments into PDFs.

For Students:

  • The new Student To Do List View on the Dashboard lets you view all course tasks in a list format, organized by date and course. Besides graded items, you will also start to see non-graded to-do’s from your courses. You are also now able to add your own to-do items to your to-do list.

News from InstructureCon/Carn 2018!

The annual Canvas conference, InstructureCon (nicknamed “InstructureCarn” this year … as in carnival), took place from July 24th to 26th. Here are some of the new features and enhancements announced that I am most excited about, some of which have already been rolled out:

  • Available Now
    • Duplicate entire modules – This has made my workflow significantly more efficient in some cases!
    • SpeedGrader Enhancements including image annotation and comments showing on the same page as source location.
    • Non-scoring rubrics – This is a great feature for mastery-based marking, helping students focus on feedback rather than point values
    • App page view reporting – With all of your pre-clinical students having iPads, this helps with getting more accurate information on the usage of your course resources.
    • Anonymous & Moderated Grading – Did you know that
  • Coming Soon
    • Aug 4th Release:
      • Student Planner / Dashboard List View – This view puts deadlines and to do items front-and-center for students; this view also allows students to add their own to do items! Look out for an update on this from Teaching and Learning soon after release.

        New student dashboard list view

      • Assigning Pages and Ungraded Discussions to student to do – You’ve been able to set module requirements for students to view your content pages; now you can set due dates and help your students remind themselves by putting them on their Planner.
    • SP19 / Now in beta:
      • New Gradebook: This is a redesigned gradebook with additional functionality and a cleaner interface – faster, more informative, easier to customize view and make quick adjustments, and so on. In addition, you are able to set automatically-calculated late and missing assignment policies with the New Gradebook. Let Teaching and Learning know if you would like to explore the new gradebook in your courses!

        Screenshot of new gradebook showing ability to set late and missing assignment policies

  • In Development
    • Analytics 2 with “interactive and actionable charts.”
    • Quizzes.Next – This is a completely redesigned quizzing tool that will come with a new experience as well as additional question and stimulus types. I’m most excited about additional capabilities in question bank management and sharing, as well as ability to tag outcomes to individual questions!
    • More information forthcoming – Rich Content Editor drag and drop, SpeedGrader screen recorder, etc..

Work on AU18 Courses Continues! Easy Early Wins with Great Impact

The Office of Distance Education and eLearning held a focus group with students on their professors’ usage of Carmen, and created a video of the highlights:

In our Places to Start with Great Impact series (Part 1, Part 2), we offered some simple ideas for enhancing your students’ early experiences in your course. Even though July is almost over, it is certainly not too late to implement some of the ideas below – contact us today if you are interested!

  • Build as much of your course (materials) as possible now (in the master): Summer is a great time to build! Master shells are great for getting your course prepared for your students between semesters – you can start your projects (with us!) and/or revisions as we’ve got the shells prepared for a new semester, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally publishing something! As a bonus, Teaching and Learning does a final quality check of the master shells before we publish them to students in the semester shells. If you’d like instructor access to a master shell as a team member, please let your team leads know.
  • Syllabus quiz: This is a great way to make sure that your students review your course syllabus syllabus, and that you are all on the same page regarding course policies and logistics. ODEE describes an implementation in which the quiz is required, and course modules are released only upon passing. This is also a great use case for Top Hat questions, perhaps with bonus points, so your students are incentivized to review the syllabus, and also get an early, low-stakes experience of the tool
  • Course intro video: A short course introduction video can be an invaluable tool that serves multiple purposes: 1) it’s a great opportunity for you to talk briefly about your course, its purpose, why it is important, its structure, and so on; 2) it puts a face to your name; and 3) it can be your students’ first opportunity to get to know who you are as a professional, as an instructor, and/or even an individual from a personal perspective. Creating an intro video is simple with MediaSite; OTL would also be glad to help you with it!
  • Course banner: The latest iteration of the CVM Canvas Template added a banner on the home page that can be customized. We thought this might be a fun place to inject some personality into your course! Here are some examples:VM6550.01 homepage with banner
    VCS7722 homepage with banner
    VM6614.06 homepage with banner

What’s New in CarmenCanvas (JUNE/JULY 2018)

The annual Canvas conference, InstructureCon, takes place from July 24th to 26th. We’re excited for new features and enhancements that will be announced at the conference – stay tuned for another update coming soon!


Release Notes: 6/23, 7/14

For Everyone:

  • You can now create recurring “duplicate” events in the Calendar
  • The Discussions page has been updated with a new design
  • Canvas now displays an error if you try to upload a file exceeding available quota using the Rich Content Editor Content Selector
  • In SpeedGrader, comments now remain on the same page as the annotation
  • Language referring to “wiki” has been updated to “page(s)” for consistency

For Instructors:

  • You can now duplicate entire modules
    • A duplicated module and its contents are set to an unpublished status
    • Classic quizzes (indicated by a rocket icon) cannot be duplicated; a module containing a classic quiz cannot be duplicated until it is removed from the module
  • (This is not a new feature, but did you know that you can do moderated grading in Canvas, in which you can assign multiple graders as well as the grader who can determine the final grade?)
  • You can now create rubrics without point values; previously while you have had the ability to attach a rubric and not use it for grading, the rubric creation process required that you attach point values to the ratings.
  • The menu icon in SpeedGrader has been updated to include “Keyboard Shortcuts” and “Help”.

Canvas Student

Release Notes: 6.3 (iOS, Android)

  • The Rich Content Editor now supports attaching images from User Files
  • Page views in the mobile app are now reported
  • Where permissions are granted, an user can now delete annotations and comments made by others

Canvas Teacher

Release Notes: 1.6 (Android)

  • The app now displays an error message when uploading a file that would exceed the file quota
  • The Pages tool now supports editing page content if a student has been given edit access
  • The Pages tool has been redesigned


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

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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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.

Workaround for Buckeyebox Download Link Issues on iOS / iPad

What’s the Issue

  • If the Box Integration is used to insert a BuckeyeBox file link into a Module or a Content Page in Carmen, the resulting link opens up to preview page with a download button that is non-functional on the iPad.
  • This issue does not affect links that are generated manually on the BuckeyeBox website/in the Box app, and are then copied/pasted into Carmen.  

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What’s New In CarmenCanvas (As of Feb 17, 2018)

(For a full list of updates, please see release notes from 1/27/18 and 2/17/18)

For Everyone

  • In Inbox
    • The course menu is now an autocomplete menu, which should make finding the course that you’d like to message much easier.
    • The “new message” icon has been updated.
  • In SpeedGrader DocViewer
    • Free text annotations can now have either a white or transparent background. You can also now adjust the text size. 
    • Multi-page documents can now be navigated using the forward/backward pagination links, or by typing in specific page numbers
  • In the Rich Content Editor, you can now indicate images as being “decorative”; decorative images are those that do not necessarily contribute to the content, and as such you do not need to input alt text.
  • There is now a distinction between the “settings” (i.e. gear) and “options” (i.e. three dots) icons.
    • The Settings icon contains selections that would actively change how the page is displayed.
    • The Options icon contains selections that link to additional functionality or other Canvas areas.
  • The file download icon in Modules has been updated to a paperclip/attachment icon.

For Instructors Only

  • You can now leave individual feedback in group assignments that are individually graded.
  • There is now an additional “Student View” icon on the course home page.
  • In the New Gradebook
    • You can now enter grades as percentages or according to a grading scheme; previously, you could only enter point values.
    • “Muted” and “Unpublished” statuses are now indicated with text in the assignment column header.