FWIW, this Feature Idea, Providing a Word Count in Speed Grader, was open for voting in an earlier voting period, and it didn't get enough votes to move on to the next stage. Maybe it can get some more votes this time 'round.
Hi Renee Carney,
I just came across this idea submission as well as the one you linked to above. However, unless I'm misunderstanding the comment chain in that post (Word Count ), it is related to adding that functionality to the RCE. Specifically, Scott Dennis' comment was, "While I can't share a specific timeline, it looks promising that we will be able to add a word count to the RCE where a user will see a running count as they are typing in the editor." However, this idea post here is requesting that the word count be added to the SpeedGrader/Crocodoc - which is actually the one we are interested in the most. It would not serve any purpose for the instructors who grade papers, submitted as an uploaded file, to have a Word Count in the RCE.
Thank you so much for your response. I did goof on this one. I miss-read it. My apologies.
We can open this idea for voting, however, if it is ok with you I would like to take 'crocodoc' out of the description. I know it is the tool used in the SpeedGrader now, but we have no control over the development of Crocodoc.
Thanks again. Your idea will open for voting December 2nd.
Word count in RCE would be great to help students self-monitor and meet the requirements for Discussion replies and Assignment text entry submissions.
But yes, word count in SpeedGrader would be brilliant so teachers can see, at a glance, if that requirement was met. This would be especially helpful when teachers have word count as part of the rubric.
Hey, it's Dec 2! When can we vote?
See this posting from Scott Dennis... https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2109#comment-30713
Thank you for your patience, Sylvia Newman. This idea is now open for voting.
This is a fantastic idea, it would save so much time for our faculty and staff!
Currently, to determine whether students have met the required length requirements in an assignment, it's necessary to open a file in a word processor, use Turnitin and look at the summary of the originality report, or copy and paste the content of an essay into a blank word processing file. Though each workaround will yield a word count, they each involve several extra steps that add time to evaluating a student's submission.
The tool would help any faculty who requires essays. Our Intensive English department requires a specific word count for essays in various levels.
I could not agree more.
In a course section having +35 students not having to do this would save a great deal of time. That said, I am getting rather good at visually estimating word counts.
In a course of 130 students, each of whom I require to write at least 200 words five times a week, this feature would help me a lot, too.
I can relate. To mix it up, starting this term I redesigned a course so some of the writing assignments transitioned to become video/ webcam recordings. This approach affords variety to the activities. I am hoping this change provides benefits to the students and instructors alike. With over a thousand student enrollments in this single course each year we'll have a sizable population to review. Cheers!
This would be great for essay questions on quiz submissions in speedgrader. I think our English faculty especially would appreciate it!
It would be great if there was a Word Count in Speed Grader also for (graded) Discussion posts (as well as graded Assignments).
A Word Count feature in Speed Grader would promote a linear and focused writing style that is beneficial in developing effective communication skills.
Anna Go - what might be a counter argument against integrating a word count? Would a visual indication of the word count have students focusing on 'how many more words do I have to type' vs. the construct of their post?
This reminds me of the concrete vs. abstract thought process and how such a word count indicator might be a distraction. Is this a consideration?
A word count feature may be distracting and affect the writer’s choice of words in either brevity or filler sake.
But, overall a word count would outweigh the benefits for the student as well as the instructor.
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Just to play devil's advocate here, many of my students compose their posts (and their written assignments) in Microsoft Word (or other word processors) and then copy and paste them into the Discussion Board (or into the assignment text box). And students are using Microsoft Word (or other word processors) for most all of their writing assignments in most all other classes.
Microsoft Word (and most other word processors) *already* have a visible word count feature. So whatever beneficial or detrimental effect having a visible word count feature in Canvas's RCE (Rich Content Editor) would have on students' writing, it's already having that effect is my guess.
Cheers - Morton
I agree Morton – there’s always a workaround. Cheers, Anna
I require a word count as part of the paper grade. I can't see what the word count is once they submit it. It matters not that THEY could see it when they made it. I need to see it once they have submitted to see if they fulfilled the requirements.
Agree with Pam Smiley (and several others below). The word count is to save instructors the time it takes to copy and paste into Word, or the time-kill of settting up some other method of counting words (Chrome or anything else). If the word-count is displayed for each post and replies to posts, including threaded student responses to their classmates, we can quickly and efficiently complete our assessments and responses. The word count should be accessible through/on/at the discussion itself, not just through Speedgrader since not all of us use Speedgrader or access Docview.
The reason students need to see word-count in Canvas is for accountability; if they ask why a deduction was made, we can ask them to check their word count.
This is a great idea especially if you set a minimum thresh hold for responses in the rubric.
Would you be able to access the word count without specific words included, or would it only be to see the actual count altoghether? An example of this would be leaving out words in paranthesis or the words "the" and "and".
Sounds like a good reason to have an option button in the settings for word count.
For now, I think we're at the mercy of Crocodoc on this one... they are the ones that generate the PDF's that you view and mark up in Speedgrader. We may be able to do something with Text Entry submissions... but that would be the only one I can think of where we would have control over the word count. Were you hoping to have the word count on document submissions or Text Entry submissions?
I was envisioning the Word Count for Text Entry submissions. Thanks - Morton
Ideally, both document submissions and text entry. Certainly, if a word count were available for text entry submissions (but not document), I imaging that would be adequate reason for some faculty to select text entry over giving students a choice.
I would also like to see visible word counts for graded discussions in SpeedGrader.
Word counts in speed grader or even somewhere more immediately visible, maybe in stats would be helpful in prefiltering entries. You need to go where the trouble is first.
Word count for text entry submissions would be very helpful.
I need a word count in Speed Grader. Anyone teaching a lower division history class in the state of California is supposed to require 2000 words of non-test writing in order for that course to be transferable. If we can't prove that we are requiring and receiving that number of words our classes won't articulate or transfer to the CSUs or the UCs. So I'd say this is a pretty critical issue--or should be--in California.
I'm actually finding it a bit difficult to navigate YOUR site to figure out how to quickly and expeditiously make a suggestion! Apparently several have suggested this before, but as someone using Canvas for the first time this semester and with assignments that contain minimums and maximums for word counts, I'm finding it very frustrating that I have to download the documents into Word to get the word counts rather than being able to use the (wonderful and excellent!) speed grader!
Hi Gail Saltveit
I see that your previously submitted idea at Word count for Speedgrader (DocViewer) grading, and which received the following comment from Instructure:
From Christi Wruck:
Following that comment, I don't know if this will be re-opened for voting.
Let's see what happens, because this would sure be convenient.
An English professor at my school made a plug in for Chrome that adds a word counter that works with .docx submissions. So far it works really well. So I guess I know it is technically possible (since I am currently using it). I don't want to give out his contact information because this was something he just built for me as a favor.
Wow! That's amazing! If he would be willing to share I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy trying out the plugin or perhaps reiterating on it and contributing to its development.
This will be a useful tool for students and teachers, with no downside that I can imagine. Please just add it.
Now that the Canvas DocViewer has been pushed out, is this something that could be incorporated into it?
I was just researching this very thing for a faculty member today and I am hoping that this tool comes online soon. However, this may be an alternative until Canvas has its own word count tool.
"Word Count Tool": https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/word-count-tool/ibjgdahgcdkpdlbkadidojhfddflblcm?utm_source=gmail
I really want a word count for discussion posts (not just assignments)! Please
Thanks for suggesting the Word Counting Tool. I just recommended "Word Count Plus" for a professor instead. It is a little easier to use, as you just highlight all the text, right click an then click on "Word Count Plus." Instead of opening a new tab, it displays it on the page in a popup window that you close when you're ready. Seems a little easier than having to manage another window.
I'd like this feature request to come back to life, now that the Word Count feature is available in the RCE for the author. See Canvas Beta Release Notes (2018-04-09) and look at Word Count.
So students will now see the word count in their RCE, however, teachers still will not be able to see the word count in SpeedGrader.
Now that SG has the new viewer, can this Word Count feature for teachers be re-considered?
Yes, now that there is a working Word Counter in the RCE. We would like teachers to be able to:
Excellent ideas Susan Hicks. The min/max on word count is particularly helpful, and it would be great if there were separate options for the initial reply and replies to replies.
Yip, it seems pretty logical to have this as a feature in the SpeedGrader, possibly just under the submitted date. Even if this only worked for Text Entry submissions to start with, that would be something.
A word count is VERY necessary. You can do it easily on Google Classroom, why not Canvas? I teach Advanced Comp and receive way too many papers at a time to have to open each in Google to see their word counts.
I really miss this feature! I hope we can add it soon. I am forever pasting paragraphs into Word to find out the word count.
It would be nice to see the word-count included for each discussion alongside student submissions, and not just in Speedgrader or Docviewer. It would be nice to have a word count on all threaded responses and replies. To be honest, it would be nice to see word-count as a standard feature across the board for all Canvas features.
The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process. You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.
This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities. This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.
I would love this feature. My assignments for students have very tight word limits and word minimums, and I hate having to download the assignments in order to open them in a different application that allows me to see the word count (or copy and paste them, which doesn't work reliably, because Canvas prevents me from copying and pasting more than one page of a submitted document at a single time; so I have to do multiple copy and paste actions into another app, which is tedious and not speedy). In order to use speed grader in grading my assignments, I really need a word count feature, so that I can hold students accountable to the word limits and minimums that I've set. I have a lot of short assignments, all with word limits and minimums. Thanks!
This would be extremely helpful. Currently, if a professor is not able to eyeball the word count then they have to actually download every assignment simply to check that, which eliminates a lot of the benefits of Speed Grader.
Yes, Please. A word count for all written submissions (discussions, text entry, and word documents would be very helpful. Right now there is a word count when creating content but it would be so helpful if a word count was available to instructors when GRADING work. Thank you.
I up voted this, but I agree with many here that the word count needs to be available across assignments (and assignment types), not just in Doc Viewer. As others have mentioned, this is a basic feature as well as a basic instructional need. Suggesting that workarounds are easy deflects from the fact that they require instructors to take extra steps that over even a short period of time add up.
Especially when you multiply it nearly 800 students which is the case for some courses.
I whole heartedly agree. This could not happen fast enough for me.
Please implement this feature. When requiring students to meet a specific word count, it would be nice to be able to check it without having to download each assignment. The idea of saving time with speed grader is minimal if I have to download and check every assignment for word count. While I don't always require it, on all essays I do, and need them to submit it to reference with turnitin. PLEASE add this feature.
Yes, a word count would be extremely helpful!
This is a no-brainer!
Word count is the only functionality that I miss in Canvas. Grading takes too long as I must cut--and-paste every assignment into MSWord before completing the rubric. Is word count in our future?
Need this! Would seriously save time. Even better would be to tie this directly to the grading rubric since my rubric includes a minimum word count requirement. Right now, I'm having to select and use "Word Count" extension for Chrome. It's an unnecessary extra step for review. Please add this!
Nifty idea, Roni Abusaad ! May I ask which extension did you select and why?
There are three to choose from: Chrome Web Store
It would be very helpful it Word Count could be added as a requirement for submitting Assignments or Discussion replies, or any writing that students submit through the Canvas system -- then show the word count.
Charles, the word count requirement for discussions is the subject of Word count minimum and maximum in Discussions , which is open for voting at this writing.
Since it counts words when typing in it, it should be able to have a final count. For now, I am using a Chrome plug-in, but it would be great if it was just in there.
Please add this feature. It would be extremely beneficial to us if we could see the word count when we are grading. I would like to add a minimum word requirement to assignments but do not as I don't have the time to keep moving in and out of each assignment. Pretty please!!
Without and automatic word count, perhaps "Speedgrader" should be renamed
The failure to make word count possible for teachers is YET ANOTHER example of how little Instructure cares about teachers. This fix was suggested how long ago? Over four and a half years? But, of course, you haven't gotten around to it yet.
Students are always given word minimums on assignments -- when I suspect they didn't meet them, I have to copy and paste their assignment into Word or a Google Doc to find out a word count. That takes at least 30-45 seconds. That may not seem like much, but when you grade several thousand papers each year? It really adds up. It's maddening.
The SIMPLEST programs have word count, like Notepad. Yet, for some baffling reason, you all can't work this in to SpeedGrader?
When I think about all the things I loathe about Canvas -- most of them are in SpeedGrader, where I spend way too much of my time -- I'm left with debating between the following options:
1. You don't care about your customers. One a school starts using the product, it's too much hassle to switch, so you keep customers, regardless of how inferior your product is (and it's bad.) Why bother investing in improving your products?
2. You're wildly under-staffed. You put resources into sales and marketing, but that's it.
3. Whoever runs the company had a bad experience in school or college and hates teachers. This is all a sick joke to get back at Mrs. Whatsherface or Mr. Whositwhat. If so, well played, sir. You've succeeded. Clap. Clap. Clap.
With genuine fury,
Mr. Matt Pacenza
Perfectly said. I feel the same fury on a regular basis.
I feel your pain! I am so frustrated with this issue. I don't understand why the word count is available for the assignment instructions I type into Canvas, but there's no word count for student submissions. I've worn out the control button on two keyboards from copying text into Word for thousand of students submissions each semester.
From the students' perspective, not everyone is using word processing software that has word count. I have received messages from multiple students who are counting every word, since Canvas doesn't provide the count.
My students have a minimum word count they have to post in the Discussion Board. My grading time would be greatly reduced if I could see that word count when grading.
YES! I 100% agree. I keep having to copy and paste the materials into a Word document to check on those that look close to the minimum word count. This is not best practices and slows down my grading, considerably. We need a word count in the discussions, the speed grader, and anywhere else documents are submitted. I am genuinely surprised that this is such a difficult feature to fulfill.
I appreciate the suggestion by a user above to use a browser extension to more quickly find word counts. That works in Speedgrader, although it can be finicky to properly select all of the text across several pages. At least it saves me from having to download the files.
I get that the developers use a "top 10%" approach to implementing new features, but adding a word count is really simple stuff. In PHP, str_word_count will do the work for you.
How is this not a thing?
It baffles me!
This would save me so much time. Right now I have to copy/paste student writing assignments into another site to see if they've met the min. word count. So many instructors use min. word counts as assignment requirements... This seems like a no-brainer.
Unless this program is using an outdated database there are very few reasons as to why it was not included in the first build........ If it is not using an outdated database, then spend the 10 minutes it would take to read that section of the database and report it.
Or is this just laziness?
Maybe if we all sent you all of our papers that require a certain amount of words so you can copy each to word and write down the word count and then input those into the grade books. You think the "Added Feature" will be created?
As I type this, I realize that this feature will never happen because you do not want it to happen.........
Something so easy to do. Something THAT would be useful.
Each csv file that I get from Canvas is mostly useless. sis_id/section_sis_id/section_id -------------------- don't need these.
id means nothing to me. Oh it should to a programmer and to various other parts behind the scenes but not to us.
But we have those in outputs and not a word count............
I think most opinions on this and reasons for having this functionality have already been posted above, but I will comment to keep this idea open and running strong. Even here in Sweden, where we are quite new to Canvas, we find that a word count would be very useful.
Trying to have teachers embrace a "one system" working environment (Canvas, Assignments, Upload, Comment and grade in SpeedGrader etcetera), which would allow for a healthier digital workplace, while at the same time having to support them by saying that they need to download the files for a word count doesn't really feel logical (there are other examples of this as well). Until it is plausible to fully make use of SpeedGrader teachers will be complaining about the inefficiancy of using SpeedGrader for the whole process.
THis would be extremely helpful! I give word counts on assignments to give students guidelines of what I'm looking for, but it's a pain to cut and paste their submissions in Word to check. Having this on Canvas seems like a no-brainer!
I'm absolutely amazed that a word count feature is not available and that Canvas is so insensitive to the need for it! I see that this feature was voted on previously and "it didn't get enough votes". How many is enough? I agree with the previous comment that Canvas and/or their partners just don't want to do it. Which is really sad since length/word count is pretty standard in higher education.
I don't see how to vote here. Is Canvas making it hard to vote too?
Barbara when you are logged into this site there are voting buttons near the top of the page. It looks like this:
A word count integrated into speedgrader would be very helpful! I have seen ideas that canvas directly rejects, and since that is not the response here, I doubt the delay in adding this feature is caused by a fundamental objection.
In the meantime, most submissions that require a wordcount, also need to be checked for plagiarism. Many plagiarism checkers also provide a wordcount, and so encouraging canvas integrations with plagiarism checkers could accomplish both. I believe there are already integrations for programs like turnitin and unicheck, if the word count calculated in those is not displayed through the speedgrader, perhaps an idea to add that to the display would help solve whatever problem is in the way of canvas directly providing a wordcount. Also, here's an idea for adding an integration with grammarly, because that's the program we use Grammarly@edu integration
I hope Canvas adds this feature because the process of downloading a document just to check the word count takes time when considering how many assignments we grade. I was wondering if anyone has heard any feedback from Canvas about this idea?
I'm also astonished they have yet to integrate this feature. In the
meantime, I've installed a Chrome plug-in called Word Count that at least
allows me to highlight and right click to see how many words there are.
This would be very helpful, especially for PDF documents. It doesn't even need to be 100% accurate. Anything within 5% would probably be good enough for most of us!
Hi everyone. I developed a simple browser enhancement, driven by TamperMonkey, that adds a word count directly into Speedgrader. Check out the install guide and let me know if it helps: Speedgrader Word Count.
I couldn't get it to work, I tried to debug and found that since speedgrader was being loaded in an iframe extensions such as Tampermonkey (and even custom Canvas theme JS as the JS in my case is hosted on some other instructure domain) could not touch any of it due to Same-origin policy - Wikipedia which only appears to be able to be turned off by running Chrome with a flag that kills this security feature. Since extensions run locally to the user Chrome seems to still kill access to iframe content.
Does your TamperMonkey script still work for you or has a change to Canvas/Speedgrader killed it?
Thanks for the heads up! Let me look into it and get back to you.
James Ashby thanks for sharing your Speedgrader Word Count resource you developed. I was able to add your browser enhancement, and I found the word count accurate. Recently, I noticed the word count, unfortunately, doesn't appear anymore, and I wondered if perhaps Google or Chrome made updates that impacted the tool. :-(
Alexandria Lewis Thanks for the heads up! Turns out Canvas did tweak the HTML without me realizing it. I've adjusted the script. If you click the Tampermonkey icon in the upper right corner of your browser and choose "Check for userscript updates", the script should update automatically. Let me know if it's working at that point! I'll start testing this when new updates are released in case Canvas adjusts anything else.
James Ashby thank you SO much! I am back in business with the word count. :-)
Alexander McPherson: sorry for the delayed response. I've had my hands full with end-of-term stuff and haven't had a chance to look into this more. But the enhancement is still working for me on the latest version of Chrome, so I'm not sure why it isn't working for you. If you're still having trouble, can you send me a direct message and let me know what specific error is displaying in your Chrome console?
I just went back and tried it again, I realise now that our speedgrader documents load from canvadocs-syd.instructure.com rather than just canvadocs.instructure.com
It works for me now, thank you!
Edit: Maybe change line 5 to "// @include https://canvadocs*.instructure.com/*"
Alexander McPherson Oh great, thanks! I'll make that change.
Hi James! I finally got around to adding it and it works great. Thank you!!!
Please help us by adding the word count feature to discussions for students and teachers. I’ve seen multiple customer requests and support posts asking for this. As educators, we would be incredibly grateful, as our students would be in a much better position to be successful. Thank you in advance for addressing this and taking action with solutions.
This would be a simple option to include and would be very helpful as assignments often have a word count minimum. Having a page minimum is too easily manipulated with font, margins, etc.
This seems pretty simple from a programming point of view. This has been a feature suggestion for nearly 5 years and nothing has been done yet?
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