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samantha
Instructure
Instructure

Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (iOS 3.15)

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In this Canvas by Instructure update, students can add annotations in PDF files for assignment submissions.

 

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the iTunes Store. Version 3.15 requires iOS 8.0 or later.

 

  New Features

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Student Annotations

Students can annotate PDF files for assignment submissions within the Canvas app. This feature allows students to create annotations in files such as in-class worksheets before submitting the assignment. Students can open the file either from a link in assignment details or within course files, leave annotations, and submit the annotated file.

 

 

Available annotations include highlight, underline, strikeout, squiggly, drawing, free text, and image.

 

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1 Solution
cjohansson
New Member

1. It appears that the saved work is showing up again on previous students whose assignments did not submit. So it saved their work, apparently, because it didn't submit. (Even after having gone through the submission process.) The work from the one student whose assignment actually submitted had been cleared from the original document when she opened it again, so I think it clears it after they submit but only if the submission goes through.

2. Yes, on iPads. They are opening an attachment in an assignment from the assignments list. The document is in PDF format and when they go to submit it, there is no way to change it so I assume the file submission type is also PDF. I do not have a file type constraint on the assignment.

3. Here is my guess as to what's happening: The documents are taking a while to submit, but since there is no submission status bar, students log out before the assignment is submitted and then for some it's gone when they come back and for others the cache isn't cleared when the next student logs in. If there were a submission status bar, like when submitting any other type of assignment, or if it showed up in the list of assignments to submit, perhaps this might solve it?

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24 Replies
luy3001
New Member

Any plans to extend this functionality to students' personal (non-assignment) files so they can take notes directly on slides/handouts?

bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

This is actually a bug that will be getting fixed. It shows the annotation icon on phones allowing the doc to be annotated on, but on tablets that annotation icon is not appearing. When that gets fixed, you'll see the annotation icon in files too, on an iPad.

As for the use case of taking notes, that wasn't the intended use case here, but could very much be a next step! The file and annotations are stored in a caches directory on the device, so it's meant to be a short term thing, definitely not long term. So I currently wouldn't recommend it for anything besides annotating things such as worksheets, and submitting as an assignment submission.

That's a great idea though! I totally see that as a way to extend this further to be even more helpful to users!

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Live Demo of Student Annotations scheduled for Thursday, October 6th.

RSVP now!  Mobile Annotations: Quick Demo

cjohansson
New Member

I had my students use the new annotation feature today and submit through their iPads. After they submitted, however, no assignment showed up for me or for them as submitted. I had a few students in the next class who, when they logged in, got the annotations from the student in the previous class, as well. How do I see the assignments they've submitted? And can I not use the same document for more than one class (if the other students work shows up on the document still)? (Students were logged into their own account when the other student's work showed up. A few submitted the assignment as a picture because I told them to take a screenshot once I realized they weren't submitting. Only one student's assignment submitted and I tried to find out what she did differently but it sounded like the same process as everyone else.) Any idea what might be going on?

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sdjohnson
New Member

I also had the same experience today. The submission didn't time stamp for the student and didn't show they had submitted the assignment. I also wasn't able to find the submission in Speedgrader.

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samantha
Instructure
Instructure

Hi  @cjohansson ​ and  @shara 

Thank you both for sharing this information with us. Have either of you filed a case with support? This will help us resolve the issues you are experiencing. Once you file a case, you will receive updates from our support team as they become available. Thanks again!

shara
Community Member

I did chat with support earlier. They mentioned that this was brand new and they didn't have all of the information yet and that's when I turned to the community (they referenced this post). I suppose I should report a problem.

Thank you!

bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

Alright - so seems there are two issues at play here.

1. The work being saved to come back to finish filling out a form isn't being cleared on logout. This should be removed when you submit, but if you do any more annotating after submission, that will get cached again. Is that what is happening there  @cjohansson ​? We should clear the cache on logout just to be safe, and I'll make sure that gets done. I just want to make sure that the document's annotations are getting cleared after submission, but just that the problem here is that there are annotations being created after submission, and those are what persists.

2. The whole submission not showing up is a deal breaker! Ouch, sorry! We can't reproduce this in our testing, can I ask some questions that will help us figure this out? I'm assuming this is on iPad? Where is the document being opened from - is the student working from modules, the assignments list, etc? The submission type for the assignment, that includes a file upload submission type, correct? Is there a file type constraint on the assignment?

Thanks  @cjohansson ​ and  @shara ​!

cjohansson
New Member

1. It appears that the saved work is showing up again on previous students whose assignments did not submit. So it saved their work, apparently, because it didn't submit. (Even after having gone through the submission process.) The work from the one student whose assignment actually submitted had been cleared from the original document when she opened it again, so I think it clears it after they submit but only if the submission goes through.

2. Yes, on iPads. They are opening an attachment in an assignment from the assignments list. The document is in PDF format and when they go to submit it, there is no way to change it so I assume the file submission type is also PDF. I do not have a file type constraint on the assignment.

3. Here is my guess as to what's happening: The documents are taking a while to submit, but since there is no submission status bar, students log out before the assignment is submitted and then for some it's gone when they come back and for others the cache isn't cleared when the next student logs in. If there were a submission status bar, like when submitting any other type of assignment, or if it showed up in the list of assignments to submit, perhaps this might solve it?

shara
Community Member

Hi Ben

I'm not sure about your first point as I haven't played with that. However, I did create the assignment within a module. I set it up as a file upload and the doc was a pdf. There weren't any constraints on the assignment.. Here is a link to a quick video ( I apologize for the poor quality) hope it helps.. App Annotation - YouTube Deactivated user​

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bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

Ok! Thanks guys! I'll have the qa team take a look! Please be sure to file issues with support so they can help out as well. Any other feedback is welcome, but maybe let's take it to his discussion I created yesterday in the CMUG group (which you all should join if you aren't in it!): Student Annotations!

Thanks!

cjohansson
New Member

I also sent the issue to support but it was just the tech person from my district who replied and had no idea what I was even talking about so I thought I'd try it here.

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samantha
Instructure
Instructure

Thank you for your help Ben!

samantha
Instructure
Instructure

 @cjohansson ​ since the Engineering and Support teams are now aware of these issues, please keep your eye out for an update to the app that resolves these behaviors. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

rsprik
New Member

Feedback from one of our teachers:

The new PDF editing feature would be GREATLY improved if it had an "eraser".  It only has an "undo" feature, so if a student wants to make a correction, they can only undo a series of steps, which is not practical at all.


Also, students complained that the edits they made on a PDF in Canvas did not save.  I experienced the same issue.


Finally, the ability to reflect and translate (a.k.a "Rotate and Flip") an object would make it comparable to Notability. 

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sadenniston
Community Contributor

Pretty unusable at this stage. I added myself as a student to a course (no way I am going to test it on a real assignment!), created an assignment with a pdf attachment, opened the pdf in the Canvas iPad app, added some text, then hit Submit Assignment. Said it was successful, but no submission in grade book or speed grader.

Also, no ability to move an image around once it has been embedded into the document. I added one in and it layered over the document text; however, i had no way of moving it away from the text to the blank portion of the document.

Ticket submitted.

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cheryl_colan
Community Contributor

I have a big problem with this feature. I've tried for about an hour to figure out how a student NOT using the Canvas Mobile app would annotate and submit the PDF. Right now that doesn't seem possible. And I guess this feature isn't available on Android? So unless I can want to use the assignment in class only, where I can provide iPads, how do students who need to use a desktop computer or the Canvas App on Android submit the assignment? This would be a nice feature if not dependent on a single platform, but I see it as useless without multi-platform ubiquity.

I tested it on my iPhone and did not experience any of the issues mentioned above, but I didn't test it with multiple people in a course. I very nearly missed the Canvas Submit button. You have to exit the editing mode and then use the Share icon to activate the Canvas Submit icon. This isn't pictured above, and would have been really helpful for early adopters.

bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

Actually, this feature is available on Android too! On web, yes, the process admittedly isn't as cool as it is on mobile. This was built mainly to help those out who do use mobile. You can still submit as you normally would on the desktop web experience.

bkraus
Instructure
Instructure

I hear ya about an eraser. It's coming!

As for the students reporting edits not being saved, we are trying to fix it at the moment!

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cheryl_colan
Community Contributor

So, how would you do it, then? In the desktop web experience? Download the PDF, print it, write on it and scan it in? Is there an easier way to do it? Can you do it and stay in Canvas (web)? Any instructor is going to need to provide instructions for both Canvas App and Canvas Web. Having to research and write up how to do it for web will be a deal-breaker for a lot of the faculty I work with.

Glad to hear it also works in Android. I found this article via search, and the headline implies it's only for iOS. I didn't see an Android result when I searched.

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kenneth_rogers
Instructure
Instructure

Hi,  @cheryl_colan ​!

I can't speak for specifics in terms of how Canvas would accomplish a web experience, but there are programs out there that would allow students to do simple or more complex annotations. I will let some of the faculty and/or instructional designers tackle the question as to the best way to accomplish this.

As for the iOS/Android issue, these are the iOS release notes (which is why Android isn't mentioned on this page). Here are the Android release notes: Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (Android 5.5)

don_bryn
Community Champion

this feature sounds like a step in the right direction and I can't wait until it's completely usable and useful. Great idea.

Unfortunately I can't use any features with students unless the are available across all devices, including desktops.

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erinhmcmillan
Instructure
Instructure

All,

If you still have questions or feedback, jump into the mobile annotations Mobile Annotations: Quick Demo starting in about 30 minutes. If you aren't able to attend, you're welcome to add additional feedback in the discussion Student Annotations!

Thank you,

Erin

kblack
Community Champion

I'm wondering if you have had more success with this, sjohnson+sales​ or  @cjohansson ​.  I just now tried this out on a sample course with two different student accounts and have been experiencing the same issue with not receiving the student submissions.  I was going to publicize this to our faculty along with this past weekend's updates, but I'm reluctant to push this if these submission issues have not been resolved.

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