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Overview: Improved Outcomes Management Feature Preview

Overview: Improved Outcomes Management Feature Preview

This document provides a summary of the Improved Outcomes Management feature preview, introduced in the Canvas Release Notes (2021-09-18).

The Improved Outcomes Management feature provides admins and instructors with improved outcomes creation, navigation, search and import experiences. This change helps administrators and instructors make more meaningful decisions, clearly view the structure of outcome sets, and provide access to move, edit, or group outcomes as makes sense for relevant courses and subjects within their institutions. Additionally, instructors can make intentional decisions about which outcomes to import to a course.

 

Community Resources

Release Schedule

This feature was made available in the beta environment as of 2021-08-23. 

As of 2021-09-18, this feature will be available to be enabled in the production environment.

An enforcement date of this feature will be based on planned feature development and user feedback. Additional details will be announced in Upcoming Canvas Changes when available.

Future Releases

Additional enhancements may be added as announced in future releases. This document will receive updates when additional enhancements are released. All related releases for this feature are indicated in the release notes archive. Releases are subject to change.

Mobile Support

This feature is not yet available in the Canvas Mobile apps. Please see the Product Roadmap for upcoming updates when available. 

Customer Feedback

Community feedback for this feature is welcome in Releases Q&A: Improved Outcomes Management Feature Preview.

Feature Documentation

How-to documentation for this feature will be available as of 2021-09-18 in the Canvas Guides.

Affected user roles:

  • Admins
  • Instructors

 

Feature/Integration Setup

Feature Preview

This feature requires two feature previews that must be turned on by a Customer Success Manager:

  • Account and Course Level Outcome Mastery Scales
  • Improved Outcomes Management


Account and Course Level Outcome Mastery Scales was introduced in the 2020-12-19 Canvas release. This preview allows setting account- and course-level mastery scales and calculation methods, replacing per-outcome criterion ratings and calculation methods.

Improved Outcomes Management provides an updated interface for managing outcomes. By default, this feature is set to Off and can be turned on for the entire account.

In a future release, these feature previews will not be required to be enabled at the same time.

Permissions

The following permissions are related to this feature for Account roles:

  • Learning Outcomes - add / edit / delete
    • Determines visibility and management of the Outcomes link in Account Navigation. 
    • Allows user to create, find, edit, remove, and move outcomes and outcome groups at the account and course levels.
  • Learning Outcomes - import
    • Allows user to import learning outcomes into an account.

The following permissions are related to this feature for Course roles:

  • Learning Outcomes - add / edit / delete
    • Allows user to view Outcomes link in Course Navigation. 
    • Allows user to create, edit, find, remove, and move outcomes and outcome groups at the course level.
  • Learning Outcomes - import
    • Allows user to import learning outcomes into a course.

API

In lieu of the REST API, this feature uses GraphQL mutations. Queries include learningOutcomeGroup, outcomeCalculationMethod, and outcomeProficiency. 

The GraphiQL interface can be viewed by adding /graphiql to the end of your Canvas production URL (e.g. your-institution.instructure.com/graphiql).

The /graphiql access can also be added to a test or beta environment URL. Requests from the selected environment will always return that environment’s data.

For additional details, please see GraphQL API - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation.

 

Feature Summary 

Manage Tab

Improved Outcomes Management provides an improved user interface in the Manage Tab. Feature functionality at both the account and course levels is the same. The only differences lie in the level where outcomes are being managed.

Improved Outcomes Management provides an improved user interface in the Manage Tab. Feature functionality at both the account and course levels is the same. The only differences lie in the level where outcomes are being managed.

Current Outcomes vs Improved Outcomes ManagementCurrent Outcomes vs Improved Outcomes Management

Mastery and Calculation Tabs

This feature currently decouples mastery and calculation settings from individual outcomes in the Manage tab via the Mastery and Calculation Tabs. Adjustments to these options will be made in future releases. 

Learn more about these tabs in Canvas Feature Preview: Account and Course Level Outcome Mastery Scales.

Find Outcomes

In the Outcomes page, the Find button allows users to find previously created outcomes. 

Find Outcomes ButtonFind Outcomes Button

At the course level, users can find and add outcomes from the account level.

At the account level, admins can find and add state and core standards for the entire account.

Note: State and core standards must be requested from a Customer Success Manager before they will be available to be added.

Add Outcomes pages for account, course levelsAdd Outcomes pages for account, course levels

 

View Outcome Groups

Outcomes are displayed in nested outcome group folders. When a group is selected, all outcomes within the group display in the window. Additional groups, if available, can also be selected and expanded. As groups become more granular, the number of outcomes in each group is decreased and shown at the top of the group.

Expanded Outcome GroupsExpanded Outcome Groups

 

Expand Divider

The divider between the outcomes group sidebar and the outcomes window can be expanded or condensed by hovering over and dragging the divider. This functionality allows admins to view content on either side of the divider, such as the full name of a folder.

Expand Divider IconExpand Divider Icon

 

Expand Descriptions

Like outcome groups, individual outcome descriptions can be expanded to view all outcome information.

Outcomes with expanded descriptionsOutcomes with expanded descriptions

 

Search Outcomes

Each outcome group includes a search field, which can be used to filter outcomes within a group. Any results in the search are displayed in the window. 

Outcomes search fieldOutcomes search field

 

Add All Outcomes

All outcomes within a group can be added at one time. When a group is selected, Canvas will show the number of outcomes that will be added to the course. 

Add All Outcomes ButtonAdd All Outcomes Button

Note: At the course level, if more than 50 outcomes are being added to the course, a message displays in the page to confirm the outcomes import.

Warning for over 50 imported outcomesWarning for over 50 imported outcomes

Add Individual Outcomes

Individual outcomes can be added to the account by selecting the Add button next to the outcome name. 

Add Outcome ButtonAdd Outcome Button

The Done button closes the Outcomes window when outcomes have been added.

Create Outcomes

Outcomes that do not already exist can be created manually using the Create button. The Create page includes fields for the outcome name, a friendly display name, and a description of the outcome. An outcome group location must also be specified for the outcome.

Create Outcomes Button and WindowCreate Outcomes Button and Window

 

Import Outcomes

Outcomes may also be added to a course or account using the Import button. 

Import Outcomes Button and WindowImport Outcomes Button and Window

 

View Outcomes

The Manage tab shows all outcomes added to the course or account. When this tab is viewed, outcomes are displayed with the account-level group displayed first and expanded automatically. 

Outcomes Manage TabOutcomes Manage Tab

When viewing outcomes added to the account or course, each outcome group can be expanded by clicking the name of the group. When an outcome group is selected, the total number of outcomes in the group displays below the search field.

Number of outcomes displayed in the groupNumber of outcomes displayed in the group

 

Outcomes Management

Outcome Groups

Options for Outcome Groups can be managed in the group’s Settings icon. Access to each option is dependent on permissions.

The Edit link allows editing the outcome group name and description.

The Remove link allows the outcome group to be removed from the course or account. However, if an outcome within the group has been aligned to content in the course or account, the outcome cannot be removed.

The Move link allows the outcome group to be moved to another location in the outcomes structure. However, links that are tied to a course or account group cannot be moved.

The View Description link displays the description written for the outcome group.

Outcomes Group SettingsOutcomes Group Settings

Individual Outcomes

Each individual outcome includes a Settings link, which provides Edit, Remove, and Move options for the outcome. Access to each option is also dependent on permissions.

The Edit link allows the outcome name, friendly name, and description fields to be edited for content.

Note: Instructors cannot edit outcomes added from the account level. 

The Remove link allows an outcome to be removed from a group. However, if an outcome has been aligned to content in the account, the Remove link is grayed out.

The Move link allows the outcome to be moved to another outcome group as selected in the group structure. However, links that are tied to course or account group cannot be moved.

Individual Outcome Settings MenuIndividual Outcome Settings Menu

 

Bulk Outcomes

Outcomes can also be managed in bulk by selecting the checkbox next to the intended outcomes. The number of selected outcomes will be displayed at the bottom of the outcomes list.

Outcomes may be able to be removed or moved. However, if an outcome cannot be removed or moved, the page will display a message indicating the action is not permitted.

Outcomes Bulk Management CheckboxesOutcomes Bulk Management Checkboxes

 

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