Maximizing Instructor Efficiency

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With every new term, there is always an excitement that comes with incoming students, a fresh Canvas course, and obviously, a new set of pens. While there is a lot of excitement, there is also this hidden dread of the To Do list starting back up and juggling everything it takes to be an instructor in 2023. As a former teacher, I wanted to highlight today some ways Canvas can make teaching more efficient so you can spend more time focusing on your students and those you love.


  • Automated Assignments- inside of New Quizzes, there are even more ways to streamline your grading processes. Besides the File Upload and Essay question types, every other question type in New Quizzes is auto-graded, meaning you have more ways for students to interact with course content and you spend less time grading. 
  • Bulk Updates
  • Calendar- an incredible area to help keep you and your students in the know of all things like assignments, events, office hours, and To Do Lists. Instructors have the ability in this space to view and bookmark different calendars on the Account and Course Level, as well as their own calendar so they can add items only viewable to them like department meetings, IEP tasks, and more.  Additionally, if you are looking for ways to streamline processes like Office Hours, auditions, oral exams, and more, be sure to utilize the Scheduler/Appointment space inside the Course Calendar. 
  • Drag & Drop in the Rich Content Editor- one of the most requested ways to be efficient inside of Canvas is now available, so be sure to check it out! 
  • Gradebook Hacks- there are so many tools inside of the Gradebook that can save you time like the new Gradebook filters, curving grades, automated missing grades, Message Students Who, set default grades, set posting policies, and more. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these tools to make grading easier and more efficient. 
  • New Analytics- I often consider this the hidden gem inside of Canvas for teachers and students alike. This space provides the ultimate form of transparency by providing reports, communication outreach ideas via Message Students Who and Inbox communication tracking, online activity data, individual student activity and reporting, and helps to streamline attendance via the new Online Attendance functionality. 
  • Scheduling Announcements- an efficient way to take a look at your syllabus and create scheduled announcements to correlate with important dates and reminders on a time schedule that works best for you. 
  • Schedule Page Publications- this is a time-saving tip to keep in mind as you are building content during the beginning/in-between terms or during your prep time, so you as the instructor can control when students see the content versus when you create it. 
  • SpeedGrader- with the ability to utilize rubrics and the comment library, along with the other tools inside this powerful feature, SpeedGrader helps cut down on the grading process in so many ways. Many instructors also love using SpeedGrader on their iPads to increase efficiency and provide a pen to paper experience inside of Canvas.


What else would helps you be efficient and get time back inside of Canvas? Share your thoughts and resources below!