How Students can Submit Handwritten Work to Canvas using their Phone

Document created by Doug Holton on Apr 4, 2018Last modified by Doug Holton on Aug 28, 2019
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I had some faculty interested in allowing students to scan and submit handwritten work to their online courses.  Creating a Canvas assignment that only accepts JPG pictures that students take with their phones wasn't good enough because instructors can't use the SpeedGrader (DocViewer) to annotate student work. [Update: as of the June 2, 2018 Canvas release, you can annotate images in DocViewer now.  There still may be some advantages to converting scanned images to a single PDF, however.]


So the solution we have now is for students to use one app on their phone to convert photos of their work to a PDF document and then submit that PDF to Canvas via the Canvas Student app.  One popular app for creating PDF scans is Tiny Scanner [UPDATE: Don't use CamScanner].  I know many have already known about this solution for years now, but I couldn't see it documented anywhere on this site.


Luckily, someone already made video instructions for this workflow on both Android and iOS devices.  I would also though recommend students turn their phone sideways, so that the images in the PDFs aren't rotated incorrectly in the SpeedGrader (which doesn't have a button to rotate documents or images back to the correct orientation - vote for the feature here).


Scanning Handwritten Work to Canvas (Android) - YouTube 

Scanning Handwritten Work to Canvas (iOS) - YouTube 

FlipGrid - Video Discussion Option

Another alternative technique that is growing in popularity is to let students use FlipGrid to submit videos in which they describe and comment on their work. See