Skip navigation
All Places > Canvas Mobile Users Group > Blog > 2019 > April
2019

The improvements made to the Canvas Mobile app demonstrate that its development team is singing the same melody as the teacher-instructor promoters who run their courses on Canvas.

 

The drive to achieve near-complete transparency between the computer-web based Canvas experience and the mobile-based one is the most important feature to increase usage across a school and campus. Like original Apple GUI guidelines, creating parallel environments that work relatively the same promotes usage because a user skill set is interchangeable across platforms.

 

Bravo to the CMA team for its efforts as detailed in Peyton Craighill's Canvas Mobile Product Update - Spring 2019 post. Keep 'em coming!

Here's some stuff that's worth writing home about!

 

Canvas Student:

 

We’ve been working for months on a new assignment details page and a new submission workflow for students in mobile. I outlined some of the features of that project in a post last fall. To minimize the risk of disruption, we don’t plan to release the update in stores until summer, but we will provide a link to a beta version of this update as it nears completion.

 

Cloud assignments have been harder to make good than we originally thought they would be, but we aren’t giving up yet. Everything else is going swimmingly. This is going to be an awesome update. Right now, it’s slated as Canvas Student 6.6 – more to come soon.

 

We will have a smaller feature release – Canvas Student 6.5 – likely before the end of the school year. That’s going to contain a syllabus update for both platforms. The old (current) syllabus works like this:

 

 

That’s...one way to present a syllabus. But probably not the best way. If you use the syllabus as your course homepage, you probably create attractive and/or important content to be featured on the syllabus, which today gets hidden behind a “Syllabus” button when the student has already tapped to view the syllabus. The old design is also inconsistent with the way the syllabus is presented on the web: rich content more prominent, and list of assignments less prominent.

 

The new syllabus looks like this:

 

 

 

So that’s better.

 

The 6.5 update will also include some cool iOS-specific features: support for viewing augmented reality files, checking grades via Siri Shortcuts, and updated Apple Pencil support.

 

Canvas Teacher:

 

We’re almost done with the most-requested feature for the teacher app, which is adding support for modules. Starting with Canvas Teacher 1.8, you’ll be able to navigate your course via modules list, like this:

 

 

 

Editing the module progression is significantly more complex because of features like mastery paths and module item prerequisites, and it also seems like a task more aligned with course creation rather than course facilitation, so that won’t be included in this release. Instead, if you like navigating your course via modules, you can do that!

 

This update also improves our use of temporary file storage so the teacher app stops eating all the goshdarn space on your iPad.

 

If you want to try out modules in Canvas Teacher 1.8 (iOS-only at the moment, Android is still in progress), use this link from your iPhone/iPad: https://testflight.apple.com/join/XzMfiwYM

 

If you see anything wonky, wobbly or just straight up whack, please reply to this post so we can fix it.

 

Canvas Parent:

 

I’m on a mission to make the parent mobile experience good. Less like Twinkies good, more like Plato’s Form of the Good. That means two things for the app most urgently:

 

  • Improve the process of connecting parents and students and teachers and Canvas. We started this last summer by unifying the parent user/Canvas user paradigm, which was 100% necessary and fundamental for kicking things up another notch, but now we need to actually kick things up another notch: allow teachers to mass produce pairing codes, allow students to create pairing/QR codes from mobile, allow parents to connect with multiple students from the parent app…that kind of thing.
  • Provide parents with more/better information. They access Canvas because they’re trying to help their kids. That could require viewing course announcements, school announcements, course content, calendar, assignment grades, communication with teachers, maybe even content recommendations to help them understand the topics their kids are learning.

 

We’re in a position to help parents support their students, and to reduce stress for admins and teachers in dealing with parents, and most importantly, to accomplish these things in a way that actually helps kids (instead of creating more noise or adding unnecessary burden). I’ll provide more specifics on upcoming parent app development soon, but if you feel passionately about this, I’d love to pick your brain and steal your ideas! The best way to arrange this is probably through your CSM.

 

That's all for now! 

It's been a slow developing love affair Canvas Apps.

Knowing people LOVE your company and just want to have you around. 

Getting to know you myself - just holding hands and becoming familiar with what makes you tick. 

Now I find it hard to get by for a day without you. 

Knowing you are there for me, day or night. My wish is your command. 

 

Seriously folks, it has taken me a while to get to know some of the magic in the Canvas Apps. I think we still need to get to know each other a little more but the love is growing. 

 

My favourite is the immediacy of Announcements. I'd love to know what other people's favourite aspects are. 

 

 

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: