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bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

Student Annotations!

Hey all, iOS and Android released the new student annotations feature yesterday (9/27/16), and I'd love to hear everyone's feedback!

On a related note:

I'll be doing a Canvas Live presentation (Mobile Annotations: Quick Demo ) on it next week, hope to see ya'll there!

45 Replies
Shar
Community Champion

Pleased as punch! Smiley Happy

I'm in higher ed and we have courses that use PDF readings. The ability to annotate this documents on-the-go is wonderful! I tried it out on my Android phone yesterday and though the text was really tiny, I could pinch-and-zoom on the document to get it to a readable state and then use the highlighter to mark up the document. I then emailed a copy to myself and uploaded it to my google drive. Later on, I was showing a colleague the feature (after I had closed my app) and wunderbar! the annotations I had made were still there.

This cached copy of the document on my device saving the annotations is grrrrreat! Many of our working students only get a few minutes here and there and using the mobile annotations feature is a wonderful way for them to mark up a reading bit by bit and keep those annotations between sessions. I've already passed on this great news to a few instructors that I know rely heavily on their PDFs.

We have not experimented with turning in these PDFs, but I did notice some folks mentioning issues. If at all possible, can we keep the feature where the cached copy of the document stays on the device. Does closing the app mean the same thing as logging out? Gee I hope not. I reeeeealllly like having the document persist with my annotations and then the ability to share it in lots of ways (upload to Canvas, email, print, Google Drive.):smileycool:

Now the only challenge is making sure the PDFs start off as accessible documents. Does opening the PDF in Canvas (to make annotations) do anything to the accessibility like remove tags, or flatten the recognized text layer?

Thanks much - Shar

We will keep the feature of saving the students work until they submit. There are issues though with multiple users sharing a device, so we will need to scope that work to the current user.

To answer your accessibility question - no, it should not do that.

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

Deactivated user​, this might be the feature that gets us to really start promoting the App to our faculty and students - Thank you!

I will submit a ticket for this issue, but I'm having an issue submitting the PDF to the same assignment I got it from. We tested the assignment via the web, and it worked fine. Am I missing something obvious here, or is it something else?

File_000.png

h_mukaddam
Community Contributor

Hi All

Brilliant feature introduced. However, we are having some issues. After finally submitting one student's edited pdf as an assignment, it became view-able with all the annotations on another students account. In addition, currently we cannot submit any annotated pdfs, the submit button is grey! There is no restriction on file upload type, not sure why we cant submit.IMG_0122.PNGIMG_0120.PNG

Have submitted tickets, still awaiting a response. Need help! Teachers are freaking out!

The submit button is grey because the assignment to submit to needs to be selected. The assignment you came from probably doesn't support file uploads as a submission type. There is a bug where the assignment line shows "Detail" where it should show nothing. Tap the assignment line there, then select an assignment that supports the file upload type. Hope this helps. Smiley Happy

h_mukaddam
Community Contributor

Hi there,


Any idea if there is going to be an update to auto-generate assignments when submitting pdfs. For example, when students enter a course and annotate a pdf before submitting, they have to scroll through all the assignments in the course before submitting. With our younger students, they end up submitting to the wrong assignment. Is there a way whereby whenever they open a pdf within an assignment, the submission feature automatically generates the right assignment for submission.

Which assignment there did you get it from, Christopher? If assignments are greyed out, it means that that assignment isn't submittable, whether it's because it's locked, or the submission type doesn't support file uploads.

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

The PDF came from the Test Annotation assignment, which is the third assignment in the screenshot. As I mentioned, it flummoxed us because my team was able to submit via the web to this assignment no problem.

I'll keep messing around with it...

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

Strange...ok...now it's working. I hadn't changed any settings since my original post to you.

:smileyplain:

Yeah, I've spent all day trying to fix this, and we had a case where it wasn't working, and just when I was able to get in and debug it, it started working. I'm not sure what actually caused it to start working.

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

Thanks for (almost) looking in to it!

bshoemaker
New Member

Is this an option on the desktop version of Canvas? If so, how do my students access it?

0 Kudos

Hi Brandon -- Right now, annotations are a mobile feature and not are available through the browser.

Is this something that could be added as a feature in the browser version? In our district, who has contracted with Canvas, students are all given laptops, and currently, they have to download a PDF to their device and download Acrobat Reader just to be able to annotate a text. If this is a priority within the mobile app, it seems that it should also be a priority for the more accessible browser version.

sara_chai
Community Contributor

This is great!  We are trying it out on iOS.  The only caveat is there needs to be continual internet access to use it, right?

Only bummer is - the default now for downloading documents is "current page" and not entire document.  Can we change the default?

sara_chai
Community Contributor

Also, if students annotate, when they export it to another app- will the annotations be on the doc?  Or, do they have to screenshot?

No need to screenshot, when they submit through the built in submission flow, it flattens the annotations into the document and saves it!

Deactivated user​ shared that the team is aware of the issue, and that a fix should be released with Canvas Mobile for iOS 3.15.1

sara_chai
Community Contributor

Thanks Kristin.  Sorry, just getting in to the discussion.

The update was new to me yesterday. I had the same question/concern. Smiley Happy

I'm glad that you are able to join the conversation! The more, the merrier!!

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

Deactivated user, today, an ID on my team showed me how he was able to annotate a PDF via Files in a similar fashion to Assignments. As it doesn't flatten the annotations after we send it to Google Drive, for example, I began to think: Is this expected behavior (finding it the File section) or did we stumble upon something I hadn't heard of before?

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

Canvas Mobile Users​ or  @peytoncraighill ​, has anyone else stumbled upon the above issue before?

TL;DR Should you be able to annotate PDFs via Files as well as Assignments, or did we stumble on a feature not yet fully built?

applem
Community Contributor

3.15 update: Does this update also fix the broken PDF link issue?

echamber
New Member

I am very excited about this new addition. I have a Sandbox class where I added an assignment. I added a PDF and published it. I then took an ipad that I am logged into as a student, opened it, and tried all the annotation tools.

I clicked Submit, chose the class and assignment and got the Submitted Assignment message. The issue is when I go back into the teacher Sandbox page, there isnt any evidence that the student submitted anything. I have done it twice, no work shows up to grade/review.

Eric

Now that we are clear of the long weekend, just wanted to see if anyone had a similar issue to the issue I posted late last week. FYI - I updated the canvas mobile app this morning, tried to workflow, same result.

Eric

I have tried yet another run thru...attached are my screenshots. Please let me know what is missing, as the assignment does not show up anywhere. Deactivated user​

IMG_0123.PNG

IMG_0122.PNGIt says Submitted, but that is it, it does not show up anywhere.

IMG_0121.PNG

IMG_0120.PNG

 @echamber ​ It looks like the app was updated yesterday to 3.15.1 and the release notes in the App Store say "Fixed: Several issues with Student Annotations", so make sure your app is updated and give it another shot.

Yes, everything is updated with latest versions.

Do you have tickets open with Canvas? In the original release notes (Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (iOS 3.15)​), Deactivated user​ requested tickets be opened for any issues so the Engineering and QA Teams can look at them. In my opinion, when something as impactful as this happens in terms of development, as many samples they have to work with the better.

cgaudreau
Community Contributor

 @echamber ​, just on the off-chance that it may be there, does the PDF show via SpeedGrader?

No, it does not show up anywhere on the teacher side of Canvas.

bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

PSA: for any of you that had issues with assignments not actually submitting, we found the issue and have it fixed. We will be pushing a build to Apple with that fix as soon as we can. Sorry about that ya'll!

Look for it in 3.15.2

Thanks to you and your team for knockin' this out, Deactivated user​!

panda_table.gif

Haha. It was actually kind of a difficult one to solve. It was very difficult to reproduce, and once you got into that state, it would start working! But, we squashed it. Hurray!

3.15.2 was just released to the App Store. Should be available any time now!

kornowsa
New Member

Is there conversation about this being available on the web version and not just on the app?  We are struggling to find an annotating tool to use on our Chromebooks and have students submit.  Any suggestions?  Thanks!

dhulsey
Community Champion

Hey, Andrea! Depending on what sort of annotation you are looking for, you might consider Perusall. I have a blog post here: Canvas and Perusall​. it is a social annotation tool, but it does allow you to set group size.

Although, if Canvas builds their annotation tool into the desktop version of Canvas, I would be pretty happy as well, and I am curious about what the plans are for that because not all of my students own tablets or phablets. Smiley Happy

cjohansson
New Member

The update has been working splendidly for submissions! One feature that would be nice would be if they could go back in to their submitted document and continue to make annotations on it. Mine are shared over multiple classes so once they submit their assignment it wipes it clean (which is good). It would be nice, and super efficient, if they could just go back to their submission and continue to work on it the way they do with a new document. Aside from that, the new feature is great!