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2 Posts authored by: Kona Jones Champion
Kona Jones

Message students who!!

Posted by Kona Jones Champion Feb 12, 2020

I love Canvas, and I hope you do too!



Dear Canvas,

One of my favorite quick and easy ways to reach out to students and keep in contact with them is the "Message Students Who" option in the gradebook! 


With just a couple of simple clicks, this amazing and wonderous tool allows me to remind just the students who haven't submitted an assignment that their assignment is due... or even that their assignment is late and they can still submit it! It also allows me to message students who didn't do well on an assignment (Ex: Below 70%) and provide encouraging words, tips on how to improve, and a reminder that I'm here to help and support them if they need assistance! Or, on the flip side, I can send a note to just the students who did great on an assignment (Ex: 90% or above) and let them know I noticed how amazing they did and that I really appreciate the effort they are putting into doing well in our course!


These are just a few of the many ways I use the "Message Students Who" tool, but the truly awesome part of using this tool is how it impacts students. I continually get feedback from students about how with their busy lives and crazy class schedules they really appreciate the reminders of when assignments are due. I also hear from students that they feel like I really care about them and their success in our class because I reach out to them with these reminders and messages. Overall, what I've found is that when you keep in contact with students and show them that you care, students end up enjoying and being more successful in your course - and what could be better than that?? 


Love Forever,



On the second day of Canvasmas, the Canvas Community gave to me: two overlooked Canvancements...


Canvancements are Canvas enhancements created by James Jones to fill in the gaps between Canvas functionality and user needs. They are the gifts that keep giving all year around and done in a true spirit of giving - with no thought of compensation or self-benefit. In many cases James saw a need in the Community and even though the issue didn't impact him directly he knew he could do something about it, so he did, selflessly spending his own time to develop something that would help fix a problem or make life easier for fellow Canvas users. Canvancements are free, easy to use (no programming skills needed!), and openly available on GitHub for those who are interested in the code/programming side of things. This means that pretty much everyone in the Community can use and benefit from Canvancements!


There are currently twenty-one Canvancements which include crowd pleasers like Sorting Dashboard Course CardsAdjust All Assignment Dates on One Page, and Importing Rubrics from a Spreadsheet.  Yet, as my gift to you, I'm going to tell you about my two favorite and often overlooked Canvancements - sorting the find a rubric dialog and Speedgrader enhancements.


Sorting the Find a Rubric dialog is a nifty little script that once installed will move the current course to the top of the "Find a Rubric" dialog and optionally sort and filter the information to make it easier to find rubrics. 

In the example above I was in Math 230 and wanted to find a rubric from that course. Initially (pre-Canvancement) I had to search through all my current and previous courses to try and find the right course and then the right rubric. After quickly/easily installing and customizing this Canvancement the course I was in was automatically put at the top of the list, I could see which semester the courses were from, and the full name of the courses would show up if I hovered over a course name. This Canvancement has saved me a lot of time and frustration, and I hope it helps you as well!


QuizWiz: Enhancements to SpeedGrader and Quizzes often gets overlooked (I think) because of the name. The name doesn't really explain what it does or why you would want to use it. So why would someone want to use it? For me it's all about the Speedgrader enhancements which work for quizzes, assignments, and discussions. There is a LOT of functionality packed into this Canvancement, but the ones I use and appreciate the most are: 

  • Adds a button next to a submission comment's Submit button that will submit the submission comment and automatically advance to the next user.
  • Adds a button next to a rubric's Save button that will save the rubric and automatically advance to the next user.
  • Automatically expands a rubric when you advance to the next user. 

I use these features the most when grading assignments (papers/projects) and discussions. 


It's so nice to be grading with a rubric and then with ONE click of the blue arrow button (shown above; this button is added when you install the Canvancement) it saves all the rubric information, updates the grade, goes to the next student, and opens up the rubric. One click and I'm ready to start grading again! Goodbye extra clicks! Installing this Canvancement is super easy (less than 2 minutes!) and then you'll be ready to start saving time and clicks! 


This is just a small taste of the many super useful and Community inspired Canvancements that are available to everyone! Check out this list and let me know if you find any new and overlooked favorites!


I hope you’re having fun reading our “12 Days of Canvasmas"! Happy Holidays and here's to a great New Year!

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