Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, amazing Community members!
We've been hard at work behind the scenes of the Community to improve the user experience. We know the transition to a new platform was not exactly easy, especially during an already difficult year. We learned a lot along the way and we're working on even more exciting things for you next year (no spoilers)!
For this holiday season our team has put together a few nice Community gifts that we hope you'll like and that will improve your time spent in our corner of the Internet.
But first, a cheesy poem to introduce these new features:
A few days are left of this horrible year
So we offer these gifts and some holiday cheer
To make this Community a better place
If you're reading a blog, you can now see a face!
And if you're scrolling a really long thread,
The author tag appears there in red.
And last but not least, this one's really cool,
We made a browser version checking tool.
In case that eloquent poetry didn't do it for you, we've released 3 new features in our Community this week: enhanced author biographies on blog posts, author tags in threads, and a browser version checker tool.
If you publish a blog post (kind of like this one) anywhere in the Canvas Community, your biography (which you can and should add to your user profile) displays in the sidebar. Previously, this functionality was... less than desirable and very bland. We spruced things up and made author biographies look nice. The biography now displays your profile picture, first and last name (or username if you haven't added your first and last name to your profile), a link to your profile, and your biography. See for yourself:
I, for one, have scrolled through far too many long threads (looking at you, Idea Conversations) and forgot who the original author of the post or idea was. Back to the top I go to see who started off this conversation. No more scrolling required, since we've added an AUTHOR tag on thread replies. The bright red author tag displays next to the original author's name on all of our thread replies, allowing anyone reading the thread to easily identify the author.
Browser Version Checker
Many users have been asking for something like this for years and this year we delivered. Currently, the browser version checker tool only applies to the Canvas browser requirements and lives in the Canvas browser requirements guide. We have plans to expand functionality of this tool and make it available in more places in the Community. The tool checks the user's browser and version against our list of supported browser and versions and displays a green checkmark if the browser is up to date or a red X if the browser is not supported or is out of date. If the browser is out of date, a link displays to the latest version of the browser. On mobile devices, the tool provides links to the Canvas mobile apps.
A small caveat: this tool isn't perfect and is provided for information only. Some functionality is limited, so please don't use this tool as the ultimate source of truth.
We hope this tool can provide better troubleshooting for all Canvas users. Feel free to link to this tool to provide students, teachers, and parents an easy way to check browser compatibility.
We are continuously looking for ways to improve the Canvas Community and make it a better place for Canvas users everywhere. Thanks for being here and contributing to this amazing, collaborative community. We couldn't do it without you!
I have worked at Instructure since September 2017. I work on Canvas documentation, Canvas video guides, the Canvas new feature screencasts, and I help make the Canvas Community an awesome place to learn about Canvas and connect with educators around the world.