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Allow Annotation of PDF Documents Directly In The Canvas App

Allow Annotation of PDF Documents Directly In The Canvas App

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

 

  Idea will be open for vote Wed. October 7, 2015 - Wed. January 6, 2016  Learn more about voting...

 

I recently saw an archived idea (listed at the end of this listing). I am sad to see that it was archived with only 42 votes (I just leaned about voting today...brand new here). I would like to reemphasize a use case.

 

In today's paperless classroom it is useful to gather information from students through writing. Specifically in the K-12 arena, where we still sometimes ask students to fill out worksheets to show certain level of mastery of fact based work such as mathematics and grammar. While K-12 education should be striving to change from multiple choice tests and simple drill and kill to cognitive mastery, there are still cases where this type of assignment can be useful at reemphasizing skills. Furthermore, while speed grader does give the ability to the teacher to quickly click through rubrics or embed notes there are times teachers would like to "write" directly on student submissions. Adding in an annotation feature helps in both of these situations. Annotation features could also be used for signatures of documents passed back and forth for things such as field trips and other permission based files teachers may wish to send home with students.

 

For younger children especially, it is hard to advocate for using separate apps. Having one application that does viewing of pdf files and annotation would cut down tremendously on downtime used to submit and view documents. It would also tie well with the offline files feature that Canvas has already implemented for uses where internet is not reliable or homes which have no internet.

 

I would like to see the archived idea reopened for a vote. There are many competing products out that already do this sort of annotation. Our school is actually moving from a different product to Canvas because we want a more full blown LMS for online courses in the future. My teachers are all still under beginning phases of training and would all vote for the feature if it were opened up again. That would be 80+ more votes for implementation.

 

Student assignment annotation on mobile by Hilary Scharton

 

 

 

  Comments from Instructure

 

For more information, take a look at the release notes:

Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (iOS 3.15)

Canvas by Instructure Release Notes (Android 5.5) 

69 Comments
hilary
Instructure
Instructure

Hear, hear!  When this idea opens for voting, I'm in.

Smiley Happy

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

I teach at a school with 1:1 iPads. I can rally many of our teachers for this feature too. The timing on the last voting just missed us as well. Thank you for reviving ​!

 @michael_berg , add some more tags to your feature request so more people can find it. The more (relevant) tags, the better!

biray
Community Member

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Thank you for your Feature Idea submission,  @michael_berg . (And welcome to the Canvas Community).

You're right, there already was a similar idea called , which was submitted in a different voting period. It may contain valuable discussion and insight as this discussion moves through the voting process.

At this time, we don't re-open archived feature requests that have been archived due to lack of votes. However, we do accept duplicate ideas for a re-vote -- sometimes the timing of an idea just wasn't right.

We also encourage you to check out this article that can help you maximize the exposure and support of your Feature Idea: How do I write a good feature idea submission.

This idea will be open for vote in the next voting period. Smiley Happy

michael_berg
Community Member

Thank you all for the feedback. My teachers are doing training periods starting this Friday. I will make sure they are all aware of the community and the voting process!

biray
Community Member

This idea is now open for voting. Smiley Happy

kristy
Instructure
Instructure

Vote, Vote, Vote! Don't forget to tell your friends. Smiley Happy

amber_depetro
Community Member

Oh my goodness, yes! Sharing this with the whole school. Right now our Middle School student shave to get a PDF in Canvas, send it to Notability, then once they complete the task, open it into Canvas again and then submit it. Writing on PDF's is a common feature in other learning tools. I feel like this is something a powerful LMS should be able to accomplish as well!

pwalsh
Community Member

YES! We are currently looking at teaching students how to coordinate between Canvas and Notability. It's not horrible, but it seems like this is something we should be able to do all within Canvas. I teach math, and allowing students and teachers to write on files would be incredibly beneficial. I don't give a lot of multiple-choice tests because I want to look at the process as much as the product.

clong
Learner II

Many of you might already know about this, but have a look at Kami​!  Using Kami, students can easily annotate on top of PDFs (even do so collaboratively) it save to Google Drive, Dropbox and Box and the link can be turned in via a URL submission in Canvas. It also has a browser extensions that support offline use.

Maybe if there was an integration with Kami that would meet the needs of this idea, but even without an integration you can accomplish almost everything described.

michael_berg
Community Member

Chris,

Thanks for the suggestion but it looks like that is still using a third party app. The integration idea would have to be involved with Canvas directly since they would have to put it into their app to meet the expectations of the original post. The idea is to take the whole "open in" step out of the document flow within the canvas app so that students could just open the file, tap a tool and annotate, and immediately save or turn the file into an assignment. With all ages, the fewer steps to do something the better.

nicole_berg
Community Member

If any of you are checking this there is another feature idea that was submitted that I would cross promote if that is okay here....if not someone let me know.

The idea is to basically streamline the submission of materials on an iPad so that when something is "opened in" to canvas instead of it going to temporary storage the user would be prompted to save the document to their files or to pick an open assignment and turn the document in...

mikescheid
Surveyor

I would love to see speedgrader app to have this capability even if the canvas app does not! Our teachers, especially, our english teachers say there main reason for not using Canvas to have students turn in papers is the ease of annotation not being great on a computer in speedgrader.

Please, Please, make it so annotations can be done on the iPad that has a touch screen!

swhite4
Surveyor II

Is there a way to send a PDF Kami link through Canvas, so each student can open it, but have their own copy to annotate, vs collaborating?

roy_kamada
Community Member

Chris, this looks like a cool tool--I was looking for a way to have students collaboratively annotate PDFs--sort of what happens in litgenius.com. Do you have a recommended workflow that you give to students?

csiwinski
Community Member

I'd vote yes also

roy_kamada
Community Member

I'd vote yes as well. Alternately, I would be happy with integration with a PDF annotation app such as PDF Expert or iannotate. If we could "open in" another app and then synch the annotated PDF back to the class folder as we can with a PDF in dropbox, that would be just as helpful I think.

csiwinski
Community Member

We do all our annotation with Notability. You can "open in " in the canvas

app take it into notability . Do annotating and then bring it back into

canvas if they need to submit it.

Carol

Sent from my iPad

***********************************

carol siwinski

Instructional technology coordinator

Mount saint Joseph academy

120 w. Wisshickon avenue

Flourtown, pa. 19031

michael_berg
Community Member

Thank you for the suggestion. We already know how to do that. The idea is to streamline things and make them as easy as possible for young students.

Michael K. Berg

henrcy
Community Member

I'm new to Canvas and I am a math teacher.  I struggle with utilizing Canvas for assignments because of the value in seeing where students make their mistakes.  I see now that there are options rather than multiple choice or single answer questions.  Thanks!!

marthazumack
Learner II

As we are preparing to launch courses for younger students (ages 8-11), this would be even more beneficial to us. Even some of our students aged 11+ struggle with having to use PDF files. In the meantime, I'll definitely recommend Kami!