New Features in Canvas 9/1/2012

New Features in Canvas 9/1/2012

This round of new Canvas features includes a change in the Quiz Results page, and new filtering options for Discussions and Announcements.

Quiz Results

What: The Quiz Results feature has a new look, or maybe we should say a similar look. To create more consistency between the quiz taking and quiz result experience for the students we altered the Quiz Results page to look more like the Taking a Quiz page. For instance, the radio buttons that are on the Quiz page now show up on the Quiz Result page too. This will help the students clearly see what answers they picked.

Also there should be more clarity on which answers are correct and incorrect. The answers students got correct now are called out with a green arrow that says “Correct”. The incorrect answers have a red arrow that says “You Answered” along with a red bubble. The correct answer that the student didn’t get says “Correct Answer” in a gray arrow.

Why: The Quiz Tool is a major foundation for any learning platform. Because of how important testing and grading is to the education experience, we decided to take care of this to some extent now. Over the next year we will be working on polishing the user experience in the Quiz tool.



What: Discussions took a step in the right direction. There is a new filtering option. It allows users to type in a phrase to filter by discussion title, body, or the author. There are also options to filter by unread discussions and/or assignment discussions, which are graded discussion threads. You can also multiselect threads to mass lock or delete them. The locking feature prevents the students from continuing to make comments on the discussion thread.

The student view is very similar. The only difference is that a student can’t re-order discussion topics, lock, or delete discussions..

Why: This has been a major request from our clients that we wanted to start resolving. This was all about making life easier for the teacher and making sure the LMS is not getting in the way of teaching and learning. Discussions can get rather complicated. This should make life easier for users to find specific topics, see graded discussion, or what is unread. This should also save the instructors time by being able to multi-select threads and either lock or delete them.



What: When creating discussions you could also make them announcements. This won’t be the case anymore. They are now separated in the interface.

Just like Discussions, you can now filter any announcement by announcement title, body, or author. You can also filter to see all unread announcements. Announcements can be mass locked or deleted.

Why: Announcements and Discussions are similar from a technical perspective, but as each feature matured, there was an obvious need to separate Announcements from Discussions. For instance, you can grade a discussion, but not an announcement. Based on feedback from our clients, users also don’t operate like these two correlate with each other. As each feature matures, this would only become more of a challenge.


For more information about these changes and for other changes and bug fixes, please go to  You will also see at the top of the page a link to the blog post that explains what went wrong last week when Canvas slowed to a crawl and none of us could use it for a few hours -- kudos to Canvas for explaining what happened and apologizing for it.

Content release date: Friday, August 31, 2012