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2 Posts authored by: Matthew Jennings

Cross posted from the Instructional Designer's Group



I love the start of a new term. It allows for a fresh start and for new ideas to be brought forward. As I have reflected over our process for this post, I really love the way we assist our faculty with getting ready as it seems to be very personal and allows for a lot of collaboration. Here are some of the ways we like to P.A.R.T.Y. as we begin a new term.


  1. Personal contact - We start personally contacting each Course Manager either by email, phone or stopping by their office to reach out and ask if the is anything we can do to assist them in getting their course ready for the start of the term.
  2. Attention to details - In those meetings we emphasize the need for tight consistency of directions, terminology, and structure of the learning materials. This means that all of the dates are accurate, links are not broken and that there is a unified look and feel to all pages.
  3. Readily available - While we are not a 24/7 help desk, we work hard to be available when needed to answer questions during business hours, with a willingness to eagerly assist when asked. We also have a knack for showing up at the office door just as a faculty member is getting ready to call/email us. Which happens because we go…
  4. Trouble hunting - We go looking for trouble. A couple of times a day members of our office will “make rounds” to each faculty office to see if they need any help or to check-in on any issues we have been working through with them. This is where we most often get accused of have telepathic super powers. We just know when and where to find trouble.
  5. Yelling allowed - We tell our faculty to not hesitate in contacting us. Actually we tell them if it takes them longer than 5 minutes, they need to call us, email us or hunt us down.


So the next time you are getting ready for a new term, make it a PARTY and keep being awesome!



So one of my favorite things about being a Canvas user is that we can create and vote on changes we would like to see the company implement into the system. However as I was looking today at the current list available to vote on, I was discouraged by the sheer volume of feature requests. There was over 30 pages of requests! How in the world are people going to ever find things? There is search functionality, but it's still a lot to sift through if you are just looking for other ideas. Well I decided to make a "Top 40 of Buried Feature Ideas" to help out some of the ideas that I think have some merit but are buried under a few other pages of other good ideas. So in order of least votes at the time of making this list, here they are. If you are a Canvas user, log in to the community and go vote on these.


1Editable Faculty Journal1
2Add "Groups" filtering feature to Assignments/Grading1
3Create If - Then Statements in Assignments Groups2
4Offline Testing2
5Allow resize of question bank windows2
6Check box next to the until date3
7Survey Functionality- Questions Appear Only When Specific Answers Are Given to Previous Question3
8Update ALL links when Page name changes5
9Open date for Quizzes5
10Peer Review Assigned within the Group7
11Add functionality to print the calendar from within Canvas7
12accept course invites in mobile app7
13Shuffle all questions8
14PDF export for Wiki Pages8
15Differentiate between the two different uses of "Assignment"8
16Provide option to hide some features in group areas10
17Assign a Total Quiz Value and Automatically Distribute the Points to Questions11
18Mute assignment by section for cross-listed courses11
19Create Option for Extra Credit Question in Quiz12
20Edit Calendar Assignment13
21Make an announcement that all students in class are forced to acknowledge.13
22Make "Let Students See Their Quiz Responses" Setting Do What It Says (or Say What It Does)13
23Back and Next buttons at top of module items14
24Include "Mute" in the Quiz Settings14
25Form-based assignments (e.g. worksheets or guided reflections)15
26Add needed css and js for style guide items to core code15
27The link icon16
28TinyMCE - Allow admins to add additional allowed tags16
29Quiz Statistics PDF17
30Question Randomizer in Canvas20
31Mute assignment as a option at assignment creation22
32Increase the number of questions supported by the Quiz Statistics function25
33Course Analytics for high-enrollment courses25
34Hot spot question type25
35Course Level Analytics that can be refined to show Sections26
36Option to set or turn off shuffle answers at question level in a quiz26
37Multiple Response Statistical Data Needed For Testing Validity30
38Add Option to Hide Old Groups From Dropdown30
39Quiz Question Numbering in Edit Mode31
40Allow regrade after changing quiz question points47
* Votes as of 12pm Central Time on 07/02/2015


Originally post on my blog A Story to Tell on July 2, 2015

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