Peyton Craighill

Recent Mobile Happenings & Feedback!

Discussion created by Peyton Craighill Administrator on Nov 14, 2016
Latest reply on Jul 8, 2017 by Kona Jones

Greetings Canvas mobile users!


Just a quick note to let you know what we’ve been working on this fall, followed by a call for feedback.


We’ve had three big projects in the works at the same time:

  1. Canvas Parent 1.2: Allowing parents to authenticate in Canvas Parent using Canvas observer credentials. Note: Parents will still require their child's username and password to add students after authentication; students attached to observers won't rollover from the web. The benefit here is additional administrative control for schools (i.e., control over the observer's account), as well as single sign on support for institutions that provision Canvas observer accounts on behalf of parents.) For a small front-end change -- only the addition of a "Log In With Canvas" button on the login page, literally -- it was a super complex feature to add.
  2. Open sourcing mobile: We've kept this under wraps, but the Canvas mobile app will be made open source for iOS and Android within a couple of weeks! Apps will be made available under the GPL v3 license, and frameworks and tests will be made available under the Apache v2 license. Fun!
  3. Support for Mastery Paths: Mastery Paths is a new Canvas feature that allows teachers to automatically "unlock" assignments based on student scores in "trigger" assignments. Condensed example: If student receives 75% on trigger quiz, then unlock these assignments and allow student to choose a path for improvement. It's a cool thing, and it's coming soon to a production environment near you. Significant mobile effort was required to ensure that modules continue to function properly and Mastery Paths are supported in mobile.


All the while, we've continued work to improve the Canvas app. We hope to have all quiz question types supported natively and a streamlined submission interface for students soon. These are two mega pain points for many people and we want to make them go away as soon as possible (the pain points, not the people). In addition, Canvas Parent admin tools are coming that will allow admins to 1) See connections between Canvas Parent users and students, 2) Block connections between Canvas Parent users and students, and 3) Reset Canvas Parent users' passwords.


In 2017, we plan to kick off development of the teacher app in a big way, with the goal of allowing teachers to Canvas more efficiently. We've been interviewing teachers around the country over the course of this year in preparation, but we're always looking for more feedback. If you wouldn't mind, indicate your interest in working with us on the teacher app in some capacity on this thread. Either by comment or by like. Volunteers may be subjected to: design validation, user testing and some other fun things. We'll probably also get a teacher app focus group going soon for more continuous feedback.