DocViewer: Add voice/audio comments to a document


speedgrader feedback‌, voice recordings #audionotes #workload #engagement

Verbal feedback on uploaded documents. Please.




We are all familiar with those caffeine-fuelled marking/grading marathons. Whilst Canvas has moved the pile of papers on the dining table to nothing other than a device, there is still room for greater efficiency here. The Education Endowment Foundation published in 2016 a major report, ‘A Marked Improvement?‘, reviewing the evidence on written marking. It found that the typical teacher spends nine hours marking students’ work each week. Metadata has shown us that feedback has a very positive effect size.


In many cases voice comments are much faster. To learners they are much more engaging and personal. These might be heard several times over and follow the pattern of how young (and some old) people use social messaging. Knowing whether the messages have been heard (even how many times they been heard) would give teachers a fantastic indication of student engagement.


I know that that the assignment comments allow a media comment but it would useful to be able to efficiently record voice notes throughout a document in a way that allows for personalised comments. Perhaps the balloon comment feature could be used for this.


Read more about Katie Kerr’s research in ‘Exploring student perceptions of verbal feedback‘. Her findings show that, “students perceived verbal feedback as a form of focused conversation, different to normal classroom dialogue, identifiable by signals such as personal and task goals.” (see Kerr, Katie. (2017). Exploring student perceptions of verbal feedback. Research Papers in Education. 1-19).


Please vote.

Shoaib Ali

DLD College London

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hello,  @shoaib_ali  Welcome to the Canvas Community! We've modified the idea title slightly to reflect that the request is for a new annotation feature in DocViewer, and have opened it for voting. You and your colleagues might also be interested in supporting .

Community Novice

Thanks Stefanie. That makes sense.

Community Novice

Great idea  @shoaib_ali ‌ !!

Community Novice

Great idea Shoaib, a voice note would be a lot more personal and would be more effective (in my opinion) than writing.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.