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2018
Super Panda

Mission: Recognize Awesome

Posted by Super Panda Jan 28, 2018

Hello there Canvas Mobile Users Group!

 

In CMUG is Back and Redesigned, Ryan and Kristin shared that I would come to visit from time to time. Since the launch of the new CMUG space, I have been busy helping with Mobile Ideas and cheering on the Mobile Team at Instructure.

 

But! Now the time has come! In the next week, you, the amazing Canvas mobile enthusiasts, deserve some recognition. I'll be flying through content and looking for awesome mobile-centric contributions.

 

Mobile On!

I have compiled a list of difference between the iOS and Android Teacher app. If you notice a mistake or something I'm missing, let me know and I'll add it to the list. 

 

Attaching Media

  • On Android, the camera will only take photos and won't let the user create a video.

  • Not sure if it’s a bug, but editing an assignment doesn't allow a user to attach an image on Android.

  • Android will not allow the user to record audio only, but this is available on iOS. 

 

NOTE: a user can only attach ONE item to an announcement, discussion or conversation message on BOTH iOS and Android. Conversation messages support more than one. 

 

Rich Content Editor (RCE)

The teacher app brings rich context editing for the first time to a Canvas mobile app. This gives instructors the ability to add simple styles to text. This includes the

  • bold
  • italics
  • numbered lists
  • ordered lists
  • links

 

Android only

  • underline
  • insert an image*

 

*To insert an image, the user will need to know the link to the image. The app doesn’t support uploading any media directly through the the RCE on either mobile platform. 

 

Inbox

The Inbox is really a nice upgrade over the existing Canvas App version. It’s quick, easy on the eye and had intuitive features.

 

The only difference is not really a difference. This is the only place where a user can attach more than one item when attaching media. Conversation messages support attaching more than one item. 

 

Profile

  • Android users can change their profile photo and name (if allowed by their administrator) 
  • iOS support Act as User

 

To Do Items

  • No differences. 

 

Announcements

There are few subtle differences in the Android and iOS version, which are mostly focused on attaching media to announcement text and the announcement itself.

 

Assignments

The Assignments section in iOS and Android are very similar except the following:

  • Under the submission list
    • Android does not filter by Graded.
    • Terminology for iOS is Haven't submitted yet while Android is Not Submitted
    • Terminology for iOS is Haven't been graded while Android is Not Graded
  • Refer to the Rich Content Editor section for other differences.
  • iOS will let a user try to unpublish an assignment when there are user submissions, but there is an error (and there should be), but Android hides this option.

 

Quizzes

On the surface there isn’t much difference between iOS and Android, but the biggest differences come when accessing quiz settings on Android.

 

The Android and iOS app share the following settings in common:

  • Quiz Type
  • Published (On/Off) - NOTE: Android won't allow publish settings once due date has passed.
  • Require Access Code (On/Off)

 

The iOS app allows the user to adjust more settings than Android, which includes:

 

  • Assignment Group
  • Shuffle Answers (On/Off)
  • Time Limit (On/Off)
    • Length in minutes
  • Allow Multiple Attempts (On/Off)
  • Quiz Score to Keep (Average/Latest/Highest)
  • Allowed Attempts
  • Let Students See Their Quiz Responses (On/Off)
  • Only Once After Each Attempt (On/Off)
  • Let Students See the Correct Answer (On/Off)
  • Show Correct Answers At
  • Hide Correct Answers At
  • Show One Question at a Time (On/Off)

 

Refer to the Rich Content Editor section for other differences.

 

Quiz Summary Information

The quiz summary shows slightly different information in Android and iOS

  • Android shows points in quiz summary, iOS doesn’t, but does at the top of the quiz details screen.
  • Android shows multiple attempts (Yes/No), while iOS does not. 
  • Android has Show Correct Answers as “Immediately” while iOS is “Always”
  • iOS shows Score to Keep, while Android does not. 
  • iOS uses the terminology Allowed Attempts while Android uses Attempts

 

Discussions

As mentioned above in Announcements, the RCE on Android and iOS share subtle differences. As for the discussions tool itself, here are a few small differences:

 

  • Android can only delete, but not upload or edit attached media to an existing discussion topic
  • iOS orders discussion by topics that have no replies followed by last replied. Android orders discussions by last replied and then topics with no replies. If the discussion is closed for comment
  • iOS allows users to subscribe to a discussion, but Android doesn’t have this option. 
  • Android allows a teacher to like a discussion reply (if enabled on the web)
  • Refer to the Rich Content Editor and Attaching Media section for other differences. 
  • Users cannot view ungraded group discussions on iOS and Android Matthew Jennings

 

Attendance

  • No differences. 

 

SpeedGrader 

SpeedGrader is really the heart of this app. It gives teachers the ability to do so much on the go, and with the addition of an iPhone version, it’s even more convenient than before.

 

The parity between Android and iOS is very good with only a few subtle differences:

 

  • When annotating, the Android app doesn’t have a button for undo
  • Under comments, the Android app adds the text “Submitted Files” with the submission.
  • The Android version hides “Add Comments” or “View Long Description” in a Rubric if this hasn't been set on the web. iOS hides "Add Comments" if not set on the web, but shows "View Long Description" regardless.
  • The rubrics area on Android has a save button that needs to be tapped to save the grade. With iOS, the user can just swipe to the next user and the grade is saved
  • The Android version can export documents from SpeedGrader to the device, while iOS does not. 
  • Rubrics display from smallest to largest, left to right - This is opposite on the web version (8/10 Victoria Maloy)

 

Pages 

  • On Android, users can add choose the option Set as Front Page when creating a new page

 

Files 

  • Refer to Attaching Media section for differences. 

People

  • Android can filter people by section.

 

General

Android and iOS are fundamentally different, so it’s not reasonable to expect perfect parity with how features work on both platforms. For instance, Android generally leans towards drop downs, when iOS uses dropdown menus. Other difference(s) noticed: 

 

  • Android version has limited support for web-based LTIs

woman at a coffee shop using her smartphone to check Canvas and her son's academic progress

 

In May of 2017, a small group of families from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota was invited to provide feedback and to talk about the Canvas Parent App. During these meetings, Canvas administrators were able to gather great user-stories and adjust the way in which Canvas Parent was supported. Additionally, a list of "best practices" was compiled and shared with teaching faculty.

 

--------------------------------------

 

At the time of this interview, Dawne White's son Will completed his junior year at DeLaSalle High School. He is a methodical thinker and likes to have concrete expectations. While he is a good student, his mom set up a great system at home which provides him with the independence he will need to be successful after high school while still supporting him through challenging courses such as English.

 

Dawne enjoys that “with the app, the information, more or less, is in real-time." She continued to explain how she realizes that Canvas is only as current as a teacher can get the grades updated, but she likes to know in real-time what’s missing and that she can check that information against what Will tells her.

 

"Canvas [Parent] gives me a barometer of how truthful he is, how honest he is, and I can use that to shape conversations.”

 

Dawne doesn’t talk with Will as frequently as she could, as she’s trying to give him some space to be independent in his studies. She does, however, check Canvas Parent routinely. She tries to moderate her involvement and trying to have more “real” consequences in hopes of preparing him for the experiences of post-secondary education.

 

Dawne decided to shut the mobile notifications off, but she goes in at least once a week (usually Tuesdays) to see how the week will unfold. She typically checks Canvas Parent more frequently than that, but she feels that by opting out of notifications, she has more control on the schedule and urgency of her involvement.

 

She appreciates having the assignment details available, and she likes it when teachers include more information about objectives. Simply writing the page and problem numbers, for example, doesn’t provide much context for a parent. The more information that is provided in the assignment information, the better. She can then increase her “coaching” role as a parent and help at home, without having to communicate frequently with teachers.

 

She’d like to be able to see Will’s submissions for certain classes, but it would be more helpful to have easy access to the rubrics and teacher comments/feedback.

 

"Having Canvas on my phone definitely helps me keep track of Will’s academics.”

 

She continued to explain how convenient the Canvas Parent app is. “I can be anywhere. I can even be in the car in the garage, and before I go in, I can think, ‘I’m going to just check Canvas for a second.’ and then I go into the house. I then kind of have my game plan and talking points ready.” This way, Dawne can easily create prompts which open her son up to talking about his day.

My students can be the biggest procrastinators.  I suppose we all can procrastinate from time to time but I find that my students every year have trouble with completing their assignments early enough to have proper time for editing and self-reflection.  I teach in a graduate school; all of my students are adults and choose to be students at the school. We have discussions in class about the issue of procrastination but for some it seems to be difficult to change. I am hoping to find advice from the community on any tips or strategies you find effective to help students avoid putting off their work until the last minute.  Specifically, I am wondering whether there is anything related to the mobile use of Canvas that can motivate students to work in a more time efficient manner. Thanks! 

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