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julie_magadan
Community Member

Your ideas of Canvas' best kept secrets

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Hi,

I am curious if you would please share your ideas for Canvas' best kept secrets. If you have a workshop coming up for faculty and you want them to say, "Wow, I didn't know you could do that," what would you share with them?  We are past the basics (e.g. embedding audio/video with the media comment tool).

Thanks in advance.

Julie

1 Solution
c_swartz
New Member

I found a few things I really like.

First, the course names the system uses are long.  I can Nickname my courses and see only the short, recognizable version. 

Second, online chat with tech support is a killer.  Those folks know their stuff.

Finally, the flexibility of Pages is great.

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140 Replies

Note that this is COMMAND+K on a MAC.  Smiley Happy

Not Canvas related, but in MS Office the equivalent shortcut is Ctrl + j to bring up the hyperlink options.

leward
Community Contributor

I just learned about this terrific hidden feature.  We just received a local feature request for this, which led me to search the community for a feature request.  Now for an obvious question.  Why isn't this the default behavior when inserting a link?   Our users have been editing the HTML when they need to open a link in a new window.  Surely, the default link dialog could include these extra options.

Did you find one,  @leward ? This is the most recent feature idea for this I was able to find () , but it didn't receive nearly enough Community support to move forward to the next stage, so it's now archived. If you'd like to resubmit it, I'd certainly vote for it (again)!

Thank you so much for the Command K tip! I have been so frustrated with my Canvas links opening in the same window and bumping my kids (and me) out of the course...

jbuchholz
Community Contributor

Rob,

These are terrific! Is there a section of code that you use to create these items?

Jesse

For the tabs, check out some of the comments in this thread: Tabs.

ccalderon
Community Champion

Thanks so much to  @julie_magadan ​ for starting this thread! I now have several weeks' worth of material for #TweetaTipTuesday!

mjennings
Advocate

One of the things we make sure to let our faculty know is that they can restore Pages to previous versions. This is very useful when a lot of edits are taking place and for courses with multiple instructors, can show who has made the most recent revisions.

SNAG_Program-0000.png

Sylvia_Ami
Community Contributor

Thank you  @mjennings ​.  I got a call from  @cchapman ​ last night who was trying to help a frantic teacher who imported content over her course. The page history from you and the undelete link from snugent were very helpful. Don't you just love the Canvas Community ! Heart

Happy to help! It's all better when we stick together. Smiley Wink

julie_magadan
Community Member

I am so thrilled to see all of these wonderful ideas from so many folks.  You are all awesome!

Thanks!

Julie

jared
Instructure
Instructure

How about SpeedGrader keyboard shortcuts?

j : Next student

k : Previous student

c : Leave comment

g : Change grade

r : Use rubric

In case you forget these, pressing comma in SpeedGrader will show the shortcuts:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.54.27 AM.png

jen
Community Contributor

Nice, I've never seen those before.

cms_hickss
Community Contributor

I never knew about this, thank you! I have shared it with the team that supports faculty.

At some point between the time  @jared ​ took his screenshot and this morning, this little (unheralded?) gem has appeared in the SpeedGrader:

SpeedGrader_keyboard-shortcut-info-button.png

ilovell
Community Contributor

Importing multiple files through course settings "Unzip .zip file into folder"  I got the most wows for for this at my tips and trick workshop beginning of this semester. They didn't know it was there and it would copy folder structure inside the .zip.

importZip.jpg

How to Import through Course Settings is about half way down this doc How do I upload ZIP files as an instructor?

kedgecomb
Community Champion

Whoa - great idea!

G_Petruzella
Community Champion

The Redirect Tool in the External Apps. Make any arbitrary URL an item in the Course Navigation, as my "Bulletin Board" item which points at a padlet.com interactive media space:

redirect-bulletin.png

One word of caution on the Redirect Tool:   It should redirect from a secure website (https) otherwise you will run into security issues, especially with Chrome and Firefox.  A blank page will load in Canvas and students will need to be instructed on how to disable the security settings within Chrome and Firefox in order to enable the page to load correctly in Canvas.

jen
Community Contributor

Another warning with the Redirect Tool: We use it to make additional navigation menus within a course. However, if you use it to redirect to another page inside of Canvas, and then copy that course, realize that those are ABSOLUTE links and will always point back to where they pointed when they were first set up. So you may find yourself editing the ORIGINAL materials when you thought you were editing the copy of the course. Learned that the hard way.

DrNufer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Ouch!

I am in love with this.  This could be a quick discussion post or something like that.  I LOVE THIS!

Yes, for the undelete feature. It's saved our faculty many tears. :smileylaugh:

rsheahan
New Member

The ability to copy files quickly between courses is an under-appreciated one. An instructor can go to their Files tab in their personal Settings, and have access to all their files in all their courses in one spot. It is an easy task to locate and drag and drop files from one course to another. Granted, it is limited to files and images but it is so much quicker than importing selected content, one course at a time.

marthazumack
Community Contributor

I never realised I could do that! Thanks for this tip!

tobe_baeyens
Community Contributor

I still haven't figured out how I can copy a file from one course to another. It looks like I'm only capable of moving them to another course.

 @tobe_baeyens ‌, if you follow the directions on this guide (just select specific content) you can copy a file from one course to another course - https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10288-415257077 

jared
Instructure
Instructure

I love well-placed hyperlinks; they can help students get where they need to go next, and can put the current activity in context.

This "secret" is probably well-known, but just in case: You can drag and drop other hyperlinks from anywhere on the web into the Canvas rich editor. This is especially handy if you want to quickly link to part of your course, like the People area, as seen in this Jing screen capture.

DrNufer
Community Coach
Community Coach

I never considered dragging and dropping from the left nav menu.  I always dig through the right column of stuff.  This will save a few seconds (which compound into something significant). 

KristinL
Community Team
Community Team

I highlighted some "hidden" settings this school year during a professional development session - Canvas Settings That Make Teachers' Lives Easier​. This was a great thread to find!!

clong
Community Champion

Here's one I just discovered. You can create one event that spans several days on the Canvas Calendar.

This only works for Calendar events (not assignments or quizzes) but if you add an event to your course calendar you can move your cursor over the right edge of the event and you will notice it turns into a black arrow. Simply drag to the right and it will expand the dates for the event out to as many days as you drag it.

BEFORE:

174820_pastedImage_1.png174822_pastedImage_1.png

AFTER:

174821_pastedImage_2.png174823_pastedImage_2.png

tdelillo
Community Champion

This only works for me in beta, not production...

Nope, I'm just an idiot. But I did learn that the trick will not work if you add any times to it, even if just a start time.

clong
Community Champion

Correct! As soon as you add a time to it you are locked into that day.

gouldt
Community Contributor

We are continually finding new or forgotten features in Canvas. We are new Canvas users, and after the fall semester we realized that students were accessing assignments from the to do list rather than the modules. Because of this, many students were unaware of supporting documents in those modules. That's when we remembered the feature on the modules that allows you to set requirements in the modules (go to edit on the module). We  quickly began setting all of the Spring semester online courses so that students were "required" to view the course schedule, and participate in the Introduce yourself discussion before they could access any of the other modules. We've received feedback from quite a few Instructors that doing this had even better results than we had planned. Viewing the course schedule provided students with a plainly written outline of what was required in the online course. Some Instructors reported that students were more timely in turning in assignments throughout the course. So far, we haven't had any negative feedback. So I think it was a success!

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

Did you know that the Rich Content Editor has a hidden menu? When you first launch it, it looks like this:

RCE-before-alt-F9.png

But: If you click anywhere within the RCE, and then press Alt-F9, a hidden menu with additional commands pops up:

RCE-after-alt-F9-spotlight.png

Check out all the additional commands in the dropdowns!

And, if you're like me and you never noticed the little i (info button) next to the HTML toggle, click on it to reveal the keyboard shortcuts for the RCE:

RCE-after-alt-F9-keyboard-shortcuts.png

rce-info-button-2.png

I was not the first person to discover this, but it's been mentioned now by so many members of the Community I'm not sure to whom I should give thanks--so thanks to everyone who pointed it out.

buellj
Community Contributor

Wow - there are several useful things in the hidden menu. Does anyone know what the Mac equivalents to Alt-F9?

ilovell
Community Contributor

Have to do 3 keys unless you change your systems prefs

fn alt F9

fn function key is bottom left macbook and in between keyboard and numpad on imac

buellj
Community Contributor

Awesome - thanks! (PC person using a Mac at work)

Perhaps I am not doing it right, but when I click FN + ALT + F9 on my mac (Macbook Air) nothing happens.  I would really love to see the items in these menus! Do I need to have my cursor somewhere first before using this keyboard combo?  I can't seem to get this to work. Smiley Sad