Mobile State of the Union - Recap

Community Team
Community Team
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In a jam-packed room, the mobile team revealed details about the Canvas Parent, Canvas Teacher and the current Canvas (Student) Mobile Apps. Role-based apps will help everyone access the Canvas functions they use/need most.


Currently, Instructure has five different apps, but when evaluating the core app (Canvas Mobile), the team asked "how do we make mobile apps tha tare more helpful to more people?" That's a huge question since the answer is complicated. As  @peytoncraighill ​ explained the reality is: "Canvas is big; screens are small; people are different." Because of this, the current, beloved Canvas app will be divided into three apps to accommodate three very different role-centric experiences.

Canvas Parent (blue)

  • Multiple students can be observed, and it is simple to toggle between them.
  • Grades are the first thing seen when opening the app.
  • Week tab houses information about a student's to-dos, week-by-week.
  • Alerts can be customized by students for grade thresholds (higher than x / lower than x), missing assignments, and upcoming assignment due dates.
  • Parents will not be able to send messages directly to teachers from the app.

Canvas Teacher (yellow)

  • Week View will show an overall timeline, upcoming assignments, pre-created announcements, discussions.
  • Assignments appear similarly as students' app experience. Teachers can publish/unpublish, edit dates and points, and see details, questions ,and submissions. It will be possible to "message students who..." based on submission status as well.
  • Inbox was simplified. It's possible to reply, star, delete, and forward messages. For each message, the icon displays two images - one for the person who originated the message and one for the person who last replied.
  • Someday, the Canvas Teacher app may merge with the SpeedGrader app.

Canvas Student (red)

  • This app is constantly in development.
  • As it nears 6-million downloads, it's clear that this app is the biggest presence in the mobile apps.
  • One current project is increasing the support for quiz question types and adding other features to meet the needs of 1:1 schools.


Role based apps will soon come to the app store. These variations will allow users to match an app with their needs in order to create an optimal Canvas Mobile experience.