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Canvas Teacher Release Notes (iOS, Android 1.0)

Canvas Teacher Release Notes (iOS, Android 1.0)

Canvas introduces the Canvas Teacher app, available for iOS and Android phones and tablets. Canvas Teacher allows teachers to manage their courses and use Canvas more efficiently from a mobile device.

Canvas Teacher replaces the existing Android and iOS SpeedGrader apps. Existing users may continue to use the legacy SpeedGrader app though it will no longer be supported. Additionally, the Android Canvas Teacher Tools app has been discontinued.

iOS Devices: Download the Canvas Teacher app in the iTunes store. Version 1.0 requires iOS 10.0 or later.

Android Devices: Download the Canvas Teacher app in the Play store. Version 1.0 requires Android 5.0 or later.

  Main Features

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Canvas Teacher allows teachers to facilitate their courses on the go, both inside and outside the classroom. This app provides quick access to grading submissions, communicating with students, and updating course content—three of the most frequent course facilitation tasks for teachers—through Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes.

Grade Submissions

Teachers can browse submissions and provide feedback to their students with a new and improved mobile SpeedGrader embedded in the app.

View of DocViewer in student assignment submission for grading Grading in the Canvas Teacher app

Communicate with Students

Teachers can post announcements, send messages, and participate in course discussions. Canvas Teacher includes the Message Students Who feature from the web version of Canvas and allows teachers to easily send messages to students about specific course assignments.

Sending a message in the Canvas Teacher Inbox to all students A message from an instructor to a student in the Canvas Teacher app Inbox.

Update Course Content

Teachers can easily update course content such as due dates and spelling errors. They can also publish assignments, manage discussion settings, and adjust quiz options.

Assignment submission details page in the Canvas Teacher app Discussion options in the Canvas Teacher app

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Comments

Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu‌, I'm a little confused about this one... I thought that the beta testing was completed with the release of the APP? No?

I am sincerely missing the notifications I used to receive from the red app. With the release of the Teacher App (the yellow one), I deleted the first one (the red one). But I noticed right away that I was missing traction.... students were submitting assignment and I wasn't getting a notification. This is the biggest disappointment to me in the Teacher APP. I went ahead and re-downloaded the old red app just so I could still get my notifications.... any plans to fix this in the Teacher APP?

Are users with the role of TA able to use Canvas Teacher?

I am definitely using the Canvas Teacher app

Hi heather.stockford@coxcollege.edu‌, 

As you noticed, keeping the "red" app is going to be a good practice moving forward. Even when the teacher app is feature complete, it will still be good to have the app for a student view on mobile. 

As for notifications, the Teacher app will have them eventually. It didn't make the cut during the MVP release of the app, but talking to engineers at InstructureCon, it will be there. The timeline is unknown, which doesn't mean in the distant future, just not shared with me.

Hope this helps. 

Yes, the app is designed to support all roles that include teacher, TA, and designer. 

Interesting. The path to grading can be tricky. Check this out and let me know if this helps:

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11926-71156771599

Thanks Ryan,

I just upgraded my iOs to 10.3.3 and that seems to have cleared it up I can change grades, now, but I have to go to submission and then the grade and then I can edit it.  it would be nice if there was a faster route to students grades, if I could just click on a list of my students and then click the student I want and see all there grades and edit them from that screen, Is there a way that I'm just not seeing to do this?

Hi, Marc,

As you can tell, the app is pretty basic right now, and future enhancements will be coming soon. We're working with our product manager for how he'd like to receive feature ideas for the app, so we'll have more information about how to do that shortly.

Thanks,

Erin

The Teacher app is crashing when I try to access document upload submissions for grading. 

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app, and also tried uninstalling both the main red app and the teacher app at the same time, then reinstalling just the Teacher app. I've filed a ticket about this, but here's my real question:

When I uninstalled both apps, rebooted the phone, and then reinstalled Teacher, the Teacher app opened up with a list of my credentials. Sooo, there's clearly some caching going on somewhere that I can't clear just by reinstalling the app. Does anyone have any insight into where that stuff lives, in case I want to try dumping everything? Or is it just credentials strings hanging out somewhere in iOS, with no other app-specific caching? Maybe it's because I still had the Polls app installed (which I haven't opened in 8 months)?

Hi, Tom,

The iOS keychain stores the credentials, so most likely the Polls app was a contributing factor.

For Android, reinstalling the app clears any previous credentials.

Hope that helps!

Erin

This should not have been released until the ability for notifications were setup. I raved about this to instructors and now they are complaining they don't get notifications. 

So far, I'm loving the Canvas Teacher App! One thing, though, that does seem to be missing is an easy way to access a student roster. I know that Student Context Cards are coming -- and will be available any place where student names appear. But it would be really helpful to have immediate access to a roster, without having to into an assignment with submissions to see a list of students.

Hi lindalee@wharton.upenn.edu

Student Context Cards are here, and just need to be turned on by your admin. We have had them for at least a couple months on our campus.

Learn all about them at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-9923-4152698664 

I hope this helps, and doesn't make you mad at your admin!

Kelley

you should be able to click the stars and that will select the ones that you want on your dashboard. 

it should sync with what you have in your instance of canvas. I just tried it and it did sync. I unstarred some shells on the computer then logged into the teacher app. it was on the dashboard initially but i clicked on the inbox in the app then back to the dashboard in the app and it was synced at that point. maybe they can use the edit option on the cards to give them a nickname. 

HI kelley.meeusen@cptc.edu‌,

We have Student Context Cards turned on, but they aren't appearing in the Canvas Teacher app yet. My understanding from InstructureCon is that these should be coming soon. Am I missing something?

If I was unclear about that, my apologies!

-Linda

Hi lindalee@wharton.upenn.edu

Nope, I just missed the context. Many apologies!

Kelley

The app mirrors my Dashboard when I've Favorited courses, but by default, the browser version shows active courses for the term in the Dashboard when no courses are Favorited. In contrast, the app shows nothing if no courses are Favorited. That means that I have to search through each term and select all my active courses, and then change them over at the start of the new term. It seems like this actually works against the intended feature of allowing the Dashboard to show active courses by default.

You may want to check with your Canvas admin as see if they set term dates. if they do those old term shells should go to part enrollments. that or you can conclude courses no longer needed. 

Term dates are set (I am the admin). On the browser, if nothing is Favorited (Starred), then the Dashboard shows the courses based on Term Dates/Availability Dates. When the course is no longer active/available, then it is automatically removed from the Dashboard, and as a new term begins, courses are automatically added to the Dashboard - that all works great. As soon as you favorite a course, then the Dashboard displays only the Favorited course(s).

The problem is that the App does not mirror this function. Instead, if nothing in Favorited in the app, then it displays nothing (in contrast to the browser version). So, in order to display something in the App, you have to Favorite a course, which then is mirrored in the browser, and disrupts the automatic changeover of courses that happens when a new term starts/ends.  

Does that make sense?

yes that is what I had to do to make it sync with the app. I starred a few and left a couple unstarred. when I went into the app it did not sync but once I clicked away from the dashboard and went to the inbox then back it was synced. hopefully they will fix this. I was using it on my android phone and an ipad and it did the same on both. 

Hi, Brian,

Currently the dashboard web version does not sync with the app. If you are interested in this functionality, please submit a feature idea so that our product team knows that feature would be important to you.

Thank you!

Erin

Regrettably, this doesn't work with Turnitin... logging case now...

Do we have any ideas on why this was released rather than spending the time fixing the problems with the student iOS app?

ugh.

smiles,

Jamie

Hi, James,

The mobile team is looking into your first question and will resolve it as soon as they can. And your second question should be resolved already, so make sure you've updated to the latest version of the Teacher app.

Thanks!

Erin

Hey Tom,

Our mobile team is fixing the way the Teacher app reports problems through the ticketing system and not through email. I didn't get an ETA for that change, but they wanted you to know. They'll implement the same behavior that currently exists for the Canvas app reporting.

Thanks,

Erin

Hey, Kathy,

The mobile team is definitely working on making sure SpeedGrader integrates correctly with the mobile apps. They're aware of the anonymous grading functionality, but I'm not sure if they're aware of the muting one. So if you have a specific example you can send them of muting not coming through, please submit a support case (include the URL of your course in the email). Examples would definitely help them them out and also let them know that you're concerned about supporting that functionality.

Thanks!

Erin

Woo hoo!

Hi jpruden@siprep.org‌, 

That is correct, the app won't work with Turnitin. Even though the app looks like it's mobile DocViewer, it's simply using the APIs and a mobile editor, so 1:1 parity will take some time, but I have confidence it will be there eventually. I might suggest you create a new idea in Canvas Studio to bring even more awareness to this missing feature.

As for your second answer, the mobile team at Instructure is relatively small compared to the web, so they have to prioritize their projects. It appears there was a more pressing need to give teachers more mobile access (which wasn't much) before focusing on the student app. As mentioned at InstructureCon, the plan is focus on the student app in the near future, so hopefully we'll see something in the next year. 

Hi, Jamie,

Thanks for letting our team know that supporting Turnitin is important to you.

To address your question, we never stop fixing contrary behaviors in the student app. For instance, we've had seven iOS student app releases in 2017, all of which were published while the team was building the Canvas Teacher app. 

The Canvas by Instructure app works well for the majority of students. The current iOS app is rated a 4.7 out of 5 out of 900+ reviews, while the Android app is rated 4.4 out of 5 with over 30,000 reviews. Our mobile team takes those reviews seriously. They want to make sure they are providing students with a desirable product. But they're going to keep making improvements!

The Canvas Teacher app was developed as the functionality can also be repurposed in the Canvas by Instructure app. So basically the Teacher app is creating future improvements that can also benefit students as well. Look for more good things coming soon.

Hope that helps!

Erin

jpruden@siprep.org‌, what kind of Turnitin functionality are you looking for? Students can submit through their browser on a mobile device, and Turnitin has their own iPad app that works great for instructors to view originality reports and grade.

Hi Dallas,

Any.... many of our instructors use Turnitin in their Canvas courses. We're a 1:1 iPad school, so students deal with Canvas/Turnitin via an iPad app. Regrettably (and this is what I was alluding to above), Instructure chooses to overlook the student app and now has implemented an incomplete Teacher app that requires teachers to move between non-Canvas apps to get their grading done... and the Turnitin iPad app doesn't transfer grading back to the Canvas iPad app in any case (or am I missing something?) which means that the grading won't get back to our SIS.

In addition, Instructure Support has informed us that they do not support any *mobile* (read: Safari on an iPad) browsers, so functions that don't work in the iPad app aren't easily worked around through Safari. No need for a Canvas Teacher app if teachers have to use a plethora of apps to get their work done.

sigh.

smiles,

Jamie

Jamie. 

It is true that the grades do not transfer back from the iPad app. Everything else works: comments, rubrics. This is a known issue on Turnitin's website. They are looking for a solution with the LTI specification, but it has been a known issue for awhile now. For my part, I open up the Canvas app and the Turnitin app and swipe back and forth between the two apps to enter grades. Sometimes, I will also wait until I get to a laptop and enter the grades from Turnitin into Canvas. Again, it is only the connection between the app and the grade book that is an issue; everything else works fine. These are workarounds for sure, but they get the job done.

Using an iPad or phone makes it feel like many apps are involved, and I see your point, but is a laptop any different? Having a tab open for Canvas and a tab open for Turnitin is essentially using two services as well.

Anyway, while Instructure might not support mobile browsers, but submitting to Turnitin works fine in the mobile browser.

Now, Instructure is working on a new plagiarism framework inside of Canvas that services like Turnitin will  plug into, so this development might change the way Turnitin and similar services work with Canvas. Perhaps this might also alter the mobile experience. That should be coming soon and is in active development.

I just noticed that when using a rubric to grade in the Teacher App the scores are displayed smallest to largest, left to right.

But in the web interface the rubric values run largest to smallest. 

Is it a big deal to me?  No - but there is something to be said for consistency across the platforms.

246302_pastedImage_2.png246067_pastedImage_1.png

Nice find Victoria. I'm all for consistency, and if this post garners attention, maybe everything can be aligned as in the app. I'm all for smallest > biggest, left > right.

Wow, that's an eagle eye find. 

I have to agree Chris.  This replaced an existing App, and should at least have had the same functionality as its predecessor (it seems it had notifications).  MVP should have been what the old (red) App was capable of + more. Not an apparently retrograde step. It doesn't make sense? I am generally quite bemused that such an incomplete (underdeveloped?) App has been released - particularly as it seems the old Apps (e.g. Speedgrader) are now no longer available.  Why not release a Beta to continue development and continue supporting the existing App? 

We actually have some transposition problems when entering standardized institutional rubrics that were developed by our assessment committee because they build them smallest to largest and Canvas defaults to largest to smallest (left to right). Again, is it a huge deal? No. But it does slow down data entry. 

Hey, Victoria,

I let our product manager know so he's aware and can consider any adjustments.

Thanks!

Erin

I have concerns that this app has less features than the previous Speedgrader app yet Speedgrader has already been pulled from the app store. I happen to have the Speedgrader app from last semester when we were testing Canvas, but my colleagues do not. There are features they are looking for in the Canvas Teacher app that just aren't there, but were present in Speedgrader. Teachers really need to be able to sort by section. This is imperative when you teach multiple sections of a course. Also, there is no ability to give voice comments on assignments. This was my absolute favorite way to give oral feedback to students on their French pronunciation. We are missing these basic features in the Canvas Teacher app. 

No audio or video comments on this app, HUGE loss!
Does not record the grades more than half the time. You can grade 20 assignments and be lucky if 10 save the grade.
I like the ability to zoom but it opens the files small so you have to zoom them all. All of this wastes time.
cannot look by section and always lists all of you assignments, even ones not published.
Glad I still have SpeedGrader but others don't have access.
This app needs to be fixed and reliable and audio commentary returned! Until then, please return access to SpeedGrader.
Thank you

Are there plans to include Modules/Pages in the Teacher APP?

Will they be adding the "To Do" link on each dashboard so that a teacher knows what is waiting to be graded without entering each course to look for submissions?

Hi tcurrie@liberty.k12.ga.us

I can't speak to the grading issues you described, but I I suggest you vote and add include your concerns here as well: 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9253-filter-submissions-by-section" style="color: #2989c5; bac... 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9273-add-media-voice-comments-to-submissions-in-teacher-app" s... 

As for the grading issues, I suggest you submit a ticket with your Canvas support staff so this can be documented and research further. 

Is there a time-frame for when we will see this in the fall Erin?  Thank you!

hmrozarb@volusia.k12.fl.us‌: Still no timeframe, yet. 

hmrozarb@volusia.k12.fl.us‌, I have heard this a few times across the community, but haven't seen an idea yet. I would suggest you create and idea for this functionality in the app: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1330-how-do-i-create-a-new-feature-idea 

Thank you Ryan!  I have submitted the idea to add the to do list on the app:)

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9661-teacher-app-to-do-list 

I will create feature requests for these, but wanted to make others aware of some limitations with Teacher app, especially those who use rubrics for grading and annotate student work with a pen:

Rubrics: you cannot give written feedback on an individual rubric criterion like you can in the browser version of Speedgrader.

Annotation: if you decide you need to erase an annotation, you can’t - you have to undo all annotations that came after the one you want to erase first. Obvious issue if you decide you want to erase after annotating an entire document.

Hi, everyone,

Thanks for your feedback on the Canvas Teacher app. If you run into contrary behaviors please file a case with the Canvas support team.

 

Just as a kind reminder, release notes only indicate the current functionality available within the product. If you're interested in future functionality or what may be coming to the app, please view the feature ideas posted in Priority: Canvas Teacher Appwhich will walk you through the existing ideas and how to submit new ones. Although this app was not released with all the features you would have liked to see initially, our product team prefers to create minimally viable products that will support basic functionality, and then they continue to build on top of that functionality. This workflow allows the teams to release features faster. We appreciate your patience with bringing additional features to the app. The app will continue to evolve based on feedback from you and existing roadmap items from our mobile team.

Some of your ideas noted in these comments have been incorporated into Canvas Teacher app 1.1, which has been released today for iOS devices: Canvas Teacher Release Notes (iOS 1.1)  The Android version will be available shortly; please watch the release notes (and your Android devices) for updates.

I'll also be closing these release notes so all comments are retained in their threaded form, which will help others who read these notes in the future.

 

Thank you,

Erin

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