Canvas & Heartbleed

heartbleed bug

Wondering about "Heartbleed", the Open SSL bug as it relates to Canvas at UMW? Last week we received an advisory from Instructure of the vulnerability and the steps their security team were taking to secure communication and privacy within the LMS. A patch was applied, SSL certificates, keys and admin resets were secured to protect against possible session hijacking. Additionally, Instructure outlined processes and provided information about addressing concerns with integrations such as with Banner, our SIS. As a secondary precaution, it is advised that users who have installed  LTIs in their course, take the precaution of changing those passwords to secure your integration as well. Here at UMW, similar steps were also taken on our network and users were advised to change their UMW password. If you have not yet done so, please visit to change your password. Since your Canvas password is the same as your Eaglenet password, you will not need to take any further … [Read more...]

Canvas Mobile Apps – always evolving!

canvas 3.0.1 app

Instructure has released their latest version (3.0) of the Canvas mobile app for iOS featuring an improved design experience for your iPhone and iPad. Download it in the iTunes store. Version 3.0 requires iOS 7.0 or later. Please note the Canvas for iOS app (for iOS 6+) is no longer supported. Documentation for the Canvas by Instructure can be found in the Canvas Mobile Guides. … [Read more...]

Introducing Canvas Studio

canvas studio

It's always struck me as funny that the most intriguing feature of Canvas during our search period was often defined as  "the dynamic aspect" - an LMS that is continually updated with new features. Why funny? Because it was also the one complaint I heard most often once we began using Canvas. Some people just liked relying on a system that never changed during the academic year, while counting on minor updates run only before the start of the first semester. Kinda like shopping for new school clothes as a kid. Big day on the calendar. "Shopping" with Canvas is like having an unlimited budget with spending all year! Our closet keeps growing! So what's the IN color for Spring?  Check out Canvas Studio at, a new website that let's us peek at the projects and features in development. … [Read more...]

Finishing up 2013 with Redesigns to Groups, Quizzes and more!

Canvas by Instructure Mobile App

Improving the User Experience is a continued goal at Instructure. Finishing up 2013, we saw a redesign to the Groups page, Quizzes, Calendar 2, the Gradebook, Etherpad and the Rich Content Editor! Groups: sidebar was removed to maximize the Group view; Group and Group set buttons were added; and a new gear icon allows group members to edit, delete and access the Group homepage Quizzes: Quiz options are now expanded; instructors can allow students to see correct answers within a date range; and for multiple attempts see quiz responses only after the last attempt Calendar 2: an agenda was added Gradebook: column attributes allow for resizing frozen columns - however, stickiness is browser-specific; downloaded csv files now place the Test Student at the bottom; keyboard shortcuts have been added Etherpad: new collaborations open in a new browser tab and have condensed menus to be less intrusive Rich Content Editor: Superscripts and Subscripts have been added to the standard … [Read more...]

Cross-List Your Courses

Did you know that instructors can now cross-list their own courses? If you are teaching multiple sections of a course and would like to load your content into and teach from one parent course, then cross-listing is your answer to workload fatigue. Essentially you load your content into your 01 course, then you move your section (02,03...) into your 01 course. This action brings over all student enrollments from each section. The beauty here is you can still assign different due dates for quizzes and assignments per section and for ease of grading, you can grade by section too. Watch the Cross-Listing Video or review the text instructions How do I Cross-List? in the Canvas Guides. … [Read more...]

Quiz Formula Updates: Absolute and Relative Errors

Canvas Quiz Formula

Canvas will compute responses for Quiz Formula questions based on relative error in addition to absolute error. Margins of error can now be created as a percentage or as a point value (up to three decimal places).     … [Read more...]

Opt-in to the Conversation Redesign

image canvas new conversations fall 13

Have you noticed the changes to Conversations? Canvas has been tweaking a beta version for the last few months to improve its functionality. If you haven’t tried it yet, click the question icon and select the Try New Conversations option (the new Conversations is an opt-in feature). You'll see it mimics the look of Discussions. You can switch back to the old Conversations at any time by clicking the question icon again and selecting Switch Back to Old Conversations. So what's new? Courses drop-down menu: In the courses menu, you'll now be able to filter messages by course. Yay! We wanted that! You’ll also be able to organize your inbox by more courses and concluded courses. Tags will appear at the top of the inbox to show what course is being filtered. Compose new messages: The compose message icon creates a new window in the middle of your screen. You can filter recipients by course, create subject lines, and add attachments to messages. And you can continue the … [Read more...]

Canvas Notes: Online Canvas Training Opportunities

Canvas LMS

Did you know that Instructure offers training opportunities online? Besides the Canvas Guides that offer step-by-step illustration of Canvas features, there are numerous mini-instructional videos listed in their Canvas Video Guides. Some are even presented with closed-caption and in Spanish. Another great opportunity is the CanvasLIVE  webinar series. Designed to give Canvas users additional training and an opportunity to share their knowledge with the community, each session includes a brief tutorial on a Canvas tool or feature, focused demonstration, and a short Q&A with Canvas experts. Webinars are offered monthly, are free and open to everyone. You will need to register. Keep an eye on @umwctln on Twitter for a monthly announcement of the webinar topics for the month. So when you can't figure something out and want to find a resolution quickly, check out what is already out there from Instructure. … [Read more...]

Canvas Notes: Canvas Mobile 2.0 is here!

image canvas m@bile 2.0

Canvas Mobile 2.0 * is here! Download the Canvas by Instructure app in iTunes or the Google Play store. Changes to the mobile app reflect full browser version functionality so you can complete an entire course online. With the addition of Modules and Quizzes, you can now access the same navigation tabs you use in your course, providing more consistency between the mobile app and your desktop. Need help with Canvas Mobile 2.0? You can locate all the mobile lessons in their new mobile manuals in the Canvas Guides. *iOS version 6 (iOS5 will no longer be supported but is still available in the app store) and the iPad 2.0 tablet release will be released this Fall.   ** Speedgrader for iPad™ is a separate application and does not currently support APIs.   … [Read more...]

Canvas Notes: Summer Changes in Canvas

edu app examples

Welcome back faculty! Here's a run-down of what's changed in Canvas over summer.  New to Explore:  EduApps - Want to transform your course? Bring the best of the web into your course with open integrations. Look in your course Settings to add cool external tools like TedEd, Quizlets, Google Charts, Twitter, Khan Academy, Word Press and more. You can add these to your course without any IT help and most are free! We'll start exploring these apps one at a time shortly so stay tuned to Canvas Notes. New Navigation buttons: Attendance: Now you can easily mark students present, absent or late; create a seating chart and even award badges for achievements. Best of all, it integrates with the gradebook! Chat – it’s back, newly designed and more secure. Give it a try for virtual office hours! Evaluations: You'll see two buttons (Student Evaluation of Courses and Course Evaluation Reports). The Assessment office has successfully concluded a pilot test of an evaluation program … [Read more...]