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We received this recent question from a professor:

"I find that exceptions for sick, injured, and other students are hard to keep track of, and that my grading gets slowed down by me digging through my email to remember if I gave a particular person an exception. With the flu I'm needing to excuse more people. Is there a way to encode exceptions and personal deadlines in Canvas so that it automatically takes these into account?

Answer: YES!

In any Canvas assignment, when you click Edit, you’ll see a box like this at the bottom:

Click the +Add button and you’ll be able to give any student in the drop down list a different due date. You’ll notice that the “Everyone” in the box above then changes to “Everyone else”.



A redux from InstructureCon 2016

Several members of the EdTech team attended this year’s annual Canvas Users Conference, InstructureCon, in Keystone, Colorado. Pat Coogan and Adrienne Gauthier facilitated a great session on building a regional Canvas community – this topic came about since our Ed Tech team has taken on a leadership role in pulling together a Canvas users and constituency group in the Northeast, targeted at Instructional Designers and Canvas administrators  (side note: it is not too late to register for the 4th annual Canvas Round Table at Dartmouth College, to be held on August 12).

This shout-out aside, here are some of the product announcements, to give you a sneak preview of Canvas’ roadmap for the next year. They can be grouped under four main themes – read on below – but if that’s tl;dr (Too Long; Didn’t Read) for you – here’s the redux in a single tweet:

...continue reading "What’s in store for Canvas in 2016-17?"

Beginning Saturday, June 11, you’ll notice that Canvas has a new look. These changes are intended to make Canvas easier to use on a wide range of screen sizes.

The Dashboard and Global Navigation have the most changes. Click the image for the visual tutorial.
The Dashboard and Global Navigation have the most changes. Click the image for the visual tutorial.
From within a course you can hide/display the course menu – handy from within Grades! Click the image for the visual tutorial.
From within a course you can hide/display the course menu – handy from within Grades! Click the image for the visual tutorial.

...continue reading "Introducing the New User Interface for Canvas!"

After the next production release goes live (Saturday, February 20th, 2016), you'll be able to see whether your students are viewing feedback you leave using Speedgrader!

Whenever you use Speedgrader to annotate your students' work or leave comments, they should click "Grades" in the course navigation menu on the left, then click "Preview" after selecting the proper assignment. When they do this, they'll be able to view the annotations you've made in the margins of their work.


Instructors will now be notified that students have clicked "Preview". This is a good way to ensure that students are receiving the feedback you leave.


If you'd like to incorporate this feature into your assignments, feel free to contact an instructional designer by writing You may also be interested in registering for an upcoming workshop on Using Grading for Learning and Assessment (DCAL, March 16th, 12:30-2:00 pm). Click here to register:

When you manually add someone to your Canvas course, you can now change the role (and the associated privileges) without adding and removing the person from the course site.

...continue reading "Canvas Feature: Change User Role"

When you choose to hide the final grade from students in Course Settings, assignment group totals are now also hidden from students.

...continue reading "Canvas Feature: Hide Assignment Group Totals"

When creating a new calendar event, users can choose to create multiple occurrences of the event every day, week, or month.

...continue reading "Canvas Feature: Recurring Events in the Calendar"

The June 27, 2015 production release includes a new feature that allows instructors to excuse individual students from an assignment. To excuse an assignment for a student, enter the letters "EX" in the corresponding Gradebook cell. The Gradebook will reflect that the assignment is excused for the student. Excused assignments are not included in the calculation for a student’s total grade. Individual students can also be excused from a Group Assignment; the other members of the group will still be able to view and submit the assignment.

Excused Submission in Gradebook

When students have been excused from an assignment, they'll see "Excused!" on the assignment submission page. "EX" also appears on the student's Grades page instead of a score. Students who are excused from an assignment will not be able to submit the assignment, though they can still view the assignment details.

Excused Assignment Student View

Please note that this is the first phase of allowing instructors to indicate the assignment status of individual students. In future production releases, expect to be able to choose from late, missing, and absent, in addition to excused status.

After the new Canvas production release on June 6th, instructors will have the option to create assignments (including quizzes and graded discussions) for specific students, or give students different due dates for the same assignment. Read more about this new feature after the jump. ...continue reading "Differentiated Assignments in Canvas"