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choms001
Community Member

Is there a way to format comments in speed grader?

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I'd like to create bullet paragraphs (or bold or italicize or tab, etc.) when adding a comment on an assignment in SpeedGrader.  I don't see any menu of formatting options and wonder whether any keyboard shortcuts for formatting exist.

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @choms001 , greetings! No, unfortunately, there isn't. What I end up doing is space down a line and then put the number in parentheses like this (1) blah, blah (2) blah, blah... etc... This seems to draw there eye to my main points.

Kona

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SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

@danaleeling  I'm with you on this one. I really wish the Speedgrader Comments would keep the spacing. It would really help my students clearly understand the main points of my feedback. Right now, all they get is a WALL OF TEXT. That cannot be considered "best practices."

 

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @choms001 , greetings! No, unfortunately, there isn't. What I end up doing is space down a line and then put the number in parentheses like this (1) blah, blah (2) blah, blah... etc... This seems to draw there eye to my main points.

Kona

danaleeling
Community Participant

I have learned that the comments dialog box strips out return characters, so "spacing down a line" doesn't generate the paragraph breaks that would help with long comments.  This stripping out is true for both a line feed and for line feed with a carriage return (shift-return and return). Anyone know a way to force line feed that does not get stripped out?

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SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

@danaleeling  I'm with you on this one. I really wish the Speedgrader Comments would keep the spacing. It would really help my students clearly understand the main points of my feedback. Right now, all they get is a WALL OF TEXT. That cannot be considered "best practices."

 

danaleeling
Community Participant

While not a solution per se, curiously enough there is a Submission Details screen students can access that does show the line breaks entered by the faculty member. Navigation to the Submission Details screen is not obvious, a student stumbled into this and showed me. The key is for the student to access their assignment from the List View of their Dashboard, a view not available to faculty. Accessing prior submissions from the List View takes the students to a different place than the Recent Feedback links seen in the default Card View. I know this sounds confusing so I put screenshots from a student's screen into an article at:

http://danaleeling.blogspot.com/2022/02/canvas-submission-details-screen.html

I later discovered that faculty can also navigate to the Submission Details screen. Getting to that screen involves a different circuitous path that starts from the desktop interface Inbox set to view Submission Comments. Because this is also not an obvious or typical path by which to navigate to a submission (most faculty work from SpeedGrader which has no link that I know of to this other view), I wrote another article on the faculty path to the Submission Details screen.

http://danaleeling.blogspot.com/2022/03/instructor-access-to-canvas-submission.html

That Submission Details screen does display the line breaks.

There is open idea conversation one can "star" for the addition of a rich text editor to the SpeedGrader Comments.

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/Rich-Text-Editor-in-Speedgrader-Comments/idi-p...

This feature request dates back to at least 2015. I suspect that adding a full RCE to the comments presents coding and storage challenges for the engineering teams. I believe there are, however, code plug-ins that might allow the display of markdown text with formatting in Speedgrader comments. This would avoid having to change the storage format for the SpeedGrader comments to accommodate full rich text capabilities. Markdown uses pairs of symbols such as pairs of asterisks to mark **bold** text while retaining plain text storage. This might be a "lower hanging fruit" for the engineering teams.

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