Heather Smith

September 2015 Canvas Connection

Blog Post created by Heather Smith Employee on Sep 11, 2015

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Visit your beta site! {your institution}.beta.instructure.com



  Customer Success

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August Highlights from the Extra Credit Blog

Do you follow Extra Credit: The Canvas Blog? If not, you may have missed two recent posts by Canvas Coach Kona Jones and SVP of Customer Experience Mitch Macfarlane. Kona highlighted the key successes of Richland Community College’s migration from Angel to Canvas, while Mitch explained that not all notifications about Canvas outages affect all Canvas users equally. Read the full posts below.


And while you’re at it, feel free to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on future posts.


New UI

The new Canvas UI and Theme Editor are now available. Ask your Customer Success Manager what that means for admins, teachers, and students. Your CSM can answer all your questions and help make the change easy.




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Updated Features

      • Course Home Page: Published Link
      • Groups: Clone Group Set
      • SpeedGrader: External URLs


Platform/Integration Updates

      • APIs: Accounts, Discussion Topics, Notifications, Quiz Question Group
      • External Apps (LTI Tools): Account-Level App Placement, Grade Passback


Other Canvas Updates

      • Course Imports: User Roles
      • Courses: Course List Details, Course Navigation Term Date
      • Notifications: External Mail Handling
      • Rich Content Editor: Element Path
      • User Settings: Time Zones


For more details and updates, see our Product Release Notes.



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New User Video

Check out our new user video about the University of Central Florida to see how they extend the learning experience through LTI.



Wherever we go, there we are. Check out our events calendar to find out where we’re going this fall.


Canvas News Highlights

Inside Higher Ed published a story about the language of learning analytics, which includes comments from Instructure’s Linda Feng.


Inc. Magazine published a story on the growing tech sector in Utah, citing Instructure as an example of a successful technology company.


In international news, we welcomed a new partner from Denmark, Elevtavlen, as well as new institutions, including the University of Auckland and University of Hull.




  Research and Education

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This fall, our Research and Education team is busy analyzing global teaching and learning trends. We’re also gathering information about how K-12 instructors and students use mobile technology—iPads, phones, and laptops—both inside and outside the classroom. In the next few weeks, we’ll launch our own Canvas Community page, which will be open to anyone who’s curious about what we’re up to. You’re invited to ask questions about educational technology and research, so stay tuned and come join the discussion.


Keep Learning Blog

In September, the Keep Learning blog will launch its first Twitter hashtag chat using #facdevchat. The chat will be focused on issues of faculty and professional development, and will echo the work discussed in our Faculty & Professional Development page. Follow @learningblog and watch for announcements on Keep Learning for more information.



  Canvas Network

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For you movers and shakers out there, Canvas Network is currently offering more than 50 courses. From the road to the White House to the hospital bedside, or from caring for the land to caring for that special someone, our newest lineup of Canvas Network courses can help you change yourself—or change the world.


      • Iowa Presidential Caucuses: Learn how the caucuses began and how they have impacted past presidents on their political journey.
      • Foundations of Evidence-Based Practices in Healthcare: Investigate how patient data, clinical research, and physician expertise combine in the practice of health care professionals.
      • USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights: Discover the significance of property rights on social issues such as poverty reduction, food security, conflict, urbanization, gender equality, climate change, and resilience.
      • Science of Relationships: No longer feeling as attached as you once were to your significant other? Enroll in this course to learn about relationships and what makes them work.




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Back to School with Canvas

This session by Cortny Lyon (Instructure CSM) presents key considerations for publishing your Canvas course—from training materials and practical design tips to setting up parents as Canvas "observers." Whether you teach in higher ed or K-12, walk away with a checklist of to-dos to ensure a successful term. 


Back to School with New Canvas Features

This session by Chris Long (from California’s Huntington Beach School District) walks you through the fantastic enhancements to Canvas that were made this summer, including the new UI, Community, Gradebook, Mobile, and much more.


“I Can” do so much more with Canvas this year!

This easy-to-follow checklist by Megan Tolin (from Pike High School in Indianapolis) will help teachers see how they can use Canvas to its full potential.




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In August, we added some great new learning tools to our ever-growing educational ecosystem. Some of our newest partners include Badgr, Blended Schools Network, Essay Assay, Planet estream, and Vocareum


Visit the EduAppCenter and the Canvas Partner Portal to discover learning tools that integrate with Canvas. 


Partner Spotlights


Vocareum, our newest Certified partner, has developed a cloud platform built specifically for coding classes. Vocareum products are accessible as LTI-compliant apps within Canvas. They offer two products, codeLMS and cloudLabs, built on top of their cloud platform. Platform capabilities range from enabling course content on the cloud, to delivering the ability to execute and assess the code created by students through assignments, exams, and projects. The main platforms components include:


      • Assignment Management
      • Grading Automation
      • Plagiarism Detection
      • Learning Analytics
      • Cloud IDE
      • Exams-as-a-Service


codeLMS is an LMS built specifically to address the needs of coding classes. Unlike horizontal LMS offerings, Vocareum delivers coding-specific capabilities like grading automation, plagiarism detection, and learning analytics that are missing in horizontal LMS offerings.


cloudLabs provides access to cloud computer labs to browsers. Students do not need to install any software to work on their coding projects. This capability is particularly useful for online classes where students may not have access to either physical labs or IT support and if they work on a variety of devices including tablets or Chromebooks.


Vocareum has been used by approximately 3,500 students in coding classes at leading universities such as UCSD, Penn State, UIUC, and USC. Learn more by signing up to attend any of Vocareum’s weekly product demos every Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT.



CK-12 Foundation is a leading open educational resources (OER) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to high-quality K-12 STEM education materials. CK-12 offers free high-quality, standards-aligned, open content in the STEM subjects through an integrated set of tools for learning, including digital textbooks, concept-based learning resources, simulations, interactive practice, and more. All content is created and curated by teachers, for teachers and students.


CK-12 believes that all students have an inalienable right to learn, so we should ensure access to educational resources and information. To that end, CK-12’s resources are aligned to state and national standards, can be translated to any language, and ported to any device, anytime, anywhere, and is 100% forever free.




The Canvas Partners webinar series resumes in September. Join us to learn more about how our partners help make teaching and learning easier with Canvas. We have four webinars scheduled this month.  


September 15th - EvaluationKIT

"Online evaluations simplified with EvaluationKIT, A Canvas Alliance Partner”

Streamline the administration of course evaluations.

Register Now


September 22nd - Andover Education and Tutor.com

"Lessons. Learned."

Find lessons for your class and give students opportunities to control their learning.

Register Now


September 24th - Dropthought and Collaaj

"Messaging Made Simple"

From student feedback to help desk user support, make it simple.

Register Now


September 30th - RealizeIT 

“Intelligent Adaptive Learning”

Provide tailored, targeted, and individualized guidance to students.

Register Now