Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Team
Community Team

Releases Q&A: 2021-06-19 SpeedGrader Comment Library

Looking to discuss this feature from the 2021-06-19 Release Notes? Post a reply and start a conversation!

  • This topic is for feature discussion only—please share use cases, best practices, etc. regarding this feature
  • Please thread replies as much as possible to keep posts organized
  • Feedback to product managers about idea enhancements should be submitted in (though linking to the idea here so others can find it is welcome)
  • Bug reports for this feature should be submitted to Canvas Support—bugs will not be triaged in this thread


Labels (1)
Tags (1)
29 Replies
Surveyor II

Great to see this feature implemented in the Speedgrader! Are there any plans to make the comments available inside the docviewer anotation tools? This would allow the teachers to place the comments where they are applicable.

The scope of this project is for SpeedGrader only, but this is an interesting idea that we could look into further. In full transparency, this would not be something that would be added in the near future due to other projects and enhancements on our current roadmap. 

Hi @jsailor ,


thanks for explaining this further. I saw the annotation options in docviewer as an integral part of the Speedgrader, so at first I didnt understand your remark about focusing on Speedgrader. But thinking about it more it occurred to me that docviewer also has a function outside the Speedgrader so I understand why this would probably be harder to implement. 


It would never the less be a great addition and one that is sorely missed in Canvas at the moment.

0 Kudos
Learner II

It's a good start. Some of our staff will find it really useful. Two obvious improvements. Module (course) feedback banks so that the teaching team can provide consistent feedback and filtering options so staff can filter their personal comments by the module they are used on.  I'd also echo what @A_K_Dekker suggested. Comment banks that could be added as annotations would be brilliant

Thanks for the feedback. We can absolutely see the value in having these comment banks available to all graders in the same course. We opted to move forward with scoping to user at the current time so that instructors can use their bank across courses, rather than needing to recreate/add them in each course individually. We do plan to do further discovery around how we can expand this to fit the needs for large courses with multiple graders.


I don't think I have a way to test this because of how our account is set up: if Instructor A saves comments, then the course is copied for Instructor B, does instructor B see A's comments saved in the library? 

The comment library is currently scoped to user, so each individual user will have their own comment library that is available to them across their courses. Given this, no, instructor B would not see instructor A's comments in the library. 

Explorer III

Great feature, but I don't know how intuitive it is. I would think most faculty would instinctually type the comment then want to add it to the library verses creating it in the library. We also just guessed that it had to be clicked to be added as feedback. A plus sign or similar icon would be helpful. 


Hi @lezonl2, both of these are actually items that we had in our initial designs, but posed accessibility challenges as originally envisioned. When adjusting designs to alleviate those concerns, we then ran into the problem of overcrowding the space at the bottom of the SpeedGrader, which would compromise the user experience for all. I will keep this on my list of future enhancements to be made when we are able to make updates in other areas to improve the overall experience.  

0 Kudos

Out of my own curiosity, how is the click of an object without any change in hover state better for accessibility than offering a tool that is more obvious and consistent with what we see in other tools (like the three vertical dot menus, +, etc.),  I don't ask to criticize, I ask to understand. 



0 Kudos
Explorer III

I feel this is a step in the right direction.
I wonder if there could be an easy way of grouping such comments, as if you mark on several assignments / courses you might want to organise your responses.


I foresee a request for a search box in the library in the future.

I agree, I think there will be a need as it expands in use

0 Kudos
Surveyor II

At Haileybury, we have some specific requirements for how teachers should deliver feedback.  We feel that feedback should be tailored and high impact - we specifically require teachers not to use comment banks for this reason.

We would like to, on an institution or sub-account level, have the ability to turn this feedback off.  We feel that it will pull away from the high expectations in terms of kind of feedback we have been expecting teachers to deliver.

Related to this. While you do not provide the granularity of configuration we would like to see. The custom CSS and JavaScript options have allowed us to hide functionality that wasn't suitable for our institution. (For example, you idea of moderation, isn't the UK's idea of moderation). Up until recently, the CSS was usually marked up in a fashion that was easily identifiable. With recent releases, I've started to see unintelligible CSS. For example the class for the the new comment library is

fOyUs_bGBk fOyUs_desw bDzpk_bGBk bDzpk_busO bDzpk_fZWR bDzpk_sGoV

With no ID, there's pretty much no way of knowing if I can target any of these classes to hide that block without potentially causing issues elsewhere (and I'm assuming these classes are dynamic?). Yes, there are other ways to target that block. But it's better if it is easy so all can do it.

Can we please go back to targetable classes and IDs? Otherwise as @michelledennis highlights, we need fine grained configuration facilities to switch off features that are inappropriate for our institution.

Explorer III

So following some more testing I'd like to offer these thoughts.

So, whilst this initially looks like a great step forward, it is somewhat limited.

  • Firstly, you can’t type a comment and then add it to the library, instead you have to enter it in library initially.
  • It’s not possible to edit the text of a comment in the library.
  • There appears to be now way to share these comments across markers. please correct if I am wrong.
  • Is there a way of ordering the comments in the library, as they simply appear in creation order and not alphabetic?
  • On the topic of ordering, since these are shared across all courses / assignments a teacher is enrolled on it would be good to have some form of filter so markers can group comments together.

It would be good to be able to offer formatting in the comments or ability to paste hyperlinks etc

@lezonl2 said I think a search facility would be useful.

Positive is any comment you use from the library can be edited when pasted into the comments for the student.

Explorer III

I know that some of our educators keep comments handy on a document outside of Canvas and copy/paste them across as required so I can see this addition being well received. I agree with nearly all of the comments posted above. It is a good start and I look forward to seeing the 'refinements' as they are released or deployed. I quite like that the comments are linked to a user and not a course but can also see use-cases for sharing comments between educators for consistency and potentially institutional compliance as well. I noted that the icon is very small and potentially easy to miss so we'll probably have to find a way to make our educators notice it (perhaps that new release notes interface will do that job for us though). I also understand that over-crowding may be an issue. Potential silly question to follow: how does it work on the mobile apps?

Surveyor II

SpeedGrader Comment Library is an excellent feature, fabulous to see it coming through next release!  I also love that the comment is then editable once inserted, so it can be personalised. 

I agree with the comments above... Being able to add comments direct in-text (Docviewer) from the comment library would be the ideal - we often have 15-20 short comments per document, and an overall comment in the main comment pane. Would love the flyout to be static while marking in-text, and able to insert into active comment, adding a student's name and additional detail for personalisation.  

And perhaps one day in the future, folders to enable filing and filtering abilities to show relevant groups of comments only (e.g. relevant to a course or assignment only).  #WishList!

Learner II

I'll echo what others have said - first, that this is a very exciting feature to see!

But also that there are a few things that our staff would really need to make this actually usable:

  • a way to organise comments
  • rich text so that links can be clickable once pasted in
  • the ability to edit comments

Having this tool available for docview is definitely a #wishlist item too, but this is a great start!

Surveyor II

Hi, I love this. Will it work on the Teacher App too? ie will comments be available there for the teachers?

Surveyor II

This is a great addition for us, but we'd also like to be able to add comments from the comment library directly as in-text annotations via Docviewer.

I also see many of our teachers wanting to share (say via an export/import tool) or the 'Copy to' feature a particular comment library. To that end, a way to categorise a series of comments either for one course or another would be useful.

Community Team
Community Team

Hi, all,

Just a reminder: official feedback to product managers about idea enhancements should be submitted in (though linking to the idea here so others can find it is welcome).




Hello! This is a great feature, will be very appreciated by faculty. 

It would be amazing if you can add text to speech button to leave comments on library and use files and media comments too as you do it in Speedgrader. 

0 Kudos
Learner II

I just want to add that I'm very happy to see this feature in Canvas LMS. I think you will see big demand for these future improvements:

  • the ability to organize or group the comments (as several others have mentioned)
  • a way to import a comment bank - so many people have already put together their own documents full of reusable comments. It's a shame the only way to bring them into Canvas is one at a time.
  • sharable comment banks - having every user need to make their own seems really inefficient when we could share with one another
  • adding individual comments or a user's whole comment library to the Send to feature to enable sharing
Explorer III

I have faculty ready to buy Annotate Pro, but they are really interested in where Canvas hopes to go with this.  Their biggest issues would be in this order:

  1. Ability to share comments and also have other instructors/TAs in the course USE their comments for consistency.
  2. Use in doc viewer/Rubrics.
  3. Better Organization.
  4. Ability to Export.

I put these in order of interest because if they were to see progress coming they would forgo their Annotate Pro purchases.

Hi all!

This comments library is great but it would be more helpful if it could be shared across all graders in the course. Here is a link to my suggestion for this feature: 

Thank you - that is what I was trying to figure out!

0 Kudos

How do I get rid of it?

When I grade I paste comments in the comment box, delete as needed, then 'shift-tab' up to the grade box and type in a grade.  This new feature is now an extra 'shift-tab' keypress for every student, for every assignment, and I don't want it.

If it doesn't exist already, please add a way to disable this if users won't take advantage of it.  Thanks!

0 Kudos
Learner II

Thanks for a great feature!

In addition to the above recommendations, I wonder if the speed to text function can be turned on inside the comment library so teachers can quickly update the comments.

0 Kudos