Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Champion

List of Possibilities/Limitations of Canvas Student?

Hi folks,

I'm wondering if there's a list anywhere of what is and isn't possible/recommended in the Canvas Student app. Some colleagues at Penn are working on enhancing our documentation on this, and I thought there might be something that exists already in the community that might give them a starting point, or a check against their own work.

My quick search didn't show anything current.  @rseilham ‌ or  @klundstrum ‌ or  @peytoncraighill ‌ -- do any of you know of such a resource?

Thanks in advance for anything you can suggest!



8 Replies
Community Champion

I totally agree with this  @lindalee , and thank you for bringing this issue up. While looking around myself, I think I found two PDFs that may help, but they were linked from a place that I, at least, would not have looked.  Have you seen Canvas Student Mobile Features and Canvas Teacher Mobile Features?  If not, I don't blame you, because the one for students, at least, is mentioned on the first page of the Canvas Student Guide - Table of Contents under the Introduction, but not in the Android or iOS mobile guides themselves, so far as I can tell. (I may be proven wrong on this!)  While I think that information is valuable in the regular online student guide, I would certainly add it to the OS-specific mobile guides, as well.  

I also wonder if something is not mentioned that just means it's not supported.  For example, I found out while going through the Q&A forums today that apparently recording video is not supported in the student app within discussions, whereas on the browser version the students would do this via the rich content editor.  But the rich content editor is not mentioned, specifically, in the student app guide. 

Bottom line: a comparison chart such as what Linda suggests would be extremely valuable.  Speaking for myself, I do not venture into the app world very much, but our students most certainly do.

Community Champion

Thanks, Ken Black!

Unless this is a recent change, you CAN record video in discussions using the Canvas Student for iOS, though not for Android. This seems to be a limitation of the OS. On Canvas Student for Android, you can upload an already created video, but not record one. We have a few courses that use this feature with graded discussions (most recently earlier this month).


Community Champion

Good to know,  @lindalee ‌...thanks!  (But yet another reason why your idea should be implemented and widely available!)


Hey  @lindalee ‌! What if we updated the doc that Ken linked to? I think that guide was intended to answer your question, but it's a little out of date.

Other things to consider for mobile-friendly course construction that wouldn't necessarily show up in a web/native mobile feature parity chart:

  • LTI tools. Whichever tool(s) you pick will most likely launch properly from our mobile apps, but if you expect a good chunk of students to interact with the course from a phone or tablet and you rely heavily on LTI, it's worth running through the student experience on one of those devices to see if it stinks.
  • RCE razzle-dazzle. It's totally possible to design fancy RCE content that looks good on a phone, but like all HTML content, it may not look good on a small screen unless you design it with small screens in mind. (Hint: Tables are both widely used and generally bad on small screens.)

  @rseilham ‌ has given well-attended InstructureCon talks on this type of stuff...He may have something else to offer off the top of his head.

Community Participant

Hello! I read another query about this same topic earlier this evening. It's a post from 2019.

I was grubbing around, hoping to find a side-by-side comparison, because I teach college English and my almost-constant refrain is "don't use your phone" because some desktop features don't work. But then I learned that whereas in the desktop app, students can see only their most recent paper draft, in the mobile app apparently they can see earlier drafts with annotations. (Hooray! I've never understood why students didn't have that same capability, since instructors have those "sedimentary layers" of drafts.)

I'm happy that students can access earlier drafts on their phones, but honestly, it would make much more sense to have access via a computer. But my point is simply that I obviously can't intuit which features have been made available in the mobile app. So... it would surely be helpful to have a side-by-side comparison sheet. In fact, it seems strange that such a list wouldn't be a readily available, standard issue guide.

Perhaps it is, and I just haven't found it? I'm a relative newcomer, so... ?

Community Member

Thanks, Ken Black! Unless this is a recent change, you CAN record video in discussions using the Canvas Student for iOS, though not for Android. This seems to be a limitation of the OS. On Canvas Student for Android, you can upload an already created video, but not record one.



Community Participant

For the Mobile Canvas Student Features document, it specifics "quizzes" and that students can take and view results.

Does this apply to both new quizzes and classic quizzes? Is there a documented difference in functionality on the mobile devices?

Community Member

My uni migrated to Canvas this term. I was optimistic given that I'd read a number of posts here singing the praises of Canvas. Canvas sucks. It isn't noticeably worse that Blackboard, but neither is it noticeably better. The grade book is better, but losing the ability to create top-level custom content areas just stinks. The automatic "to-do" and ability to customize your display name are great, inbox is a step backward.

Anyhoo - remember, all LMS's are horrible. Unless there's a big savings to be had by migrating, you're just changing one group of problems for another group of different problems. The best LMS is always going to be the one you're not forced to use.



greatpeople me kroger schedule

Tags (1)