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Community Team
Community Team

Hack Night; What do you want to work on?

Hack Night is an event where programmers, engineers, LMS admins, instructional designers, teachers and anyone else interested in hacking Canvas and Canvas courses come together to hack the APIs, course design, apps, bugs and anything else they want to work on together.  Some conversations and questions are more technical in nature than others but everyone is welcome.  This year Hack Night will happen in the same place and time as last year - Shivano/Red Cloud on Wednesday, starting at 8 PM.  The format is that anyone can suggest a topic for any conversation/table. 

Last year we had table top mini posters with suggested topics designed to be people started.  They were:

course templates

writing good course objectives

writing good rubrics (alignment)

RCE; Beyond the Basics

Fun and effective embeddable tools

Tips for large classes

Teaching in the lab w/ Canvas

What is in your onboarding course?

CSS customization to add personal style to Canvas

JavaScript tricks super charge your course

API's to speed up your daily tasks

What can I do with CSS & JavaScipt?

How could I make Canvas do X?

It seems like many people are interested in learning more about what can be accomplished with APIs.  Other people come with specific javascript questions or 'In language X, how do I get Canvas to do Y'  Another idea would be to have a Getting Started with programming station.  Canvas engineers have historically just filtered out to various round tables.  One suggestion this year was to have some of them sit at square tables that people who have technical questions can queue up in front of.

 What do you think about all of this? Do do you want to work on this year?

54 Replies

I think for me this year is mostly about an effort to give back

Last year was my 4th and I definitely felt like I gave more than I got. It was a very good feeling to have.

I might have not gotten as much as I could out of it because I was freaking out over my presentation and didn't sit through many sessions as I stressed and prepared for it. It was going pretty well until the fire alarm went off and we had to end early. I presented on those Canvancements and kind of told the story of how I got to where I was. It was similar -- starting like I knew absolutely nothing and eventually getting to the point where I could contribute.

I also networked more last year than I had in previous years. April 2015 was when I joined the Community and so June 2015 was my first conference after that and I hadn't really established myself and was still in the doubting whether I was doing things right phase. We missed 2016 due to a pending childbirth and so 2017 was the first time in Keystone. Rooms were hard to get into unless you were there early, so I spent a lot of time hanging out around the Community tent.

Community Member

Okay, here goes.  

I am not going to be in Keystone this year.  Those darn pencil pushers axed it from my budget.  Smiley Sad

Here's what we - ALL of the faculty at Peirce College - would like.  We would like Canvas to automatically highlight, in some manner, a discussion post made by a professor.  Highlight the name, ideally, but highlight anything to draw attention to it.  I would suggest that this be across the board for all of Canvas with perhaps a switch in settings for anyone who doesn't want it. 

It's absence from Canvas is causing students to pay less attention to faculty posts asking students additional questions to keep the discussion going.

Someone already provided the answer to my request but it involves code and I don't know jack about code and our programmer (we have one at our school) is working on too many other institutional projects for this to make his to-do list.  Our previous LMS (Pearson) did this quite nicely.

Keep hydrated, everyone!


P.S.  Whoever pulls this off will get either a used Canvas pen or an unused Bb pen.  Why would I use a Bb pen?  Smiley Happy


Hi,, Hack Night is where people will gather to develop code solutions for features or enhancements to existing features, and from your comment it sounds like you already have one that you don't plan to use. We noticed that you created a feature idea for this a few months back, and that's where this would be potentially prioritized for development by Canvas:  Hope this closes the loop!


Sorry about that.  Can't blame me for trying, I hope.  That said, if anyone else likes the idea - to have it universally available without having to apply any local code - please vote it up!  Smiley Happy



...actually he looks a lot like his bitmoji. Smiley Happy


...but my bitmoji is better looking. :smileyshocked:

Community Coach
Community Coach, my no programming work around to this is that I make my posts a different color. For example I use a bright (easily visible) blue color when I post comments in the discussion. I let the students know this ahead of time and also remind them. After the first couple of discussions the students automatically know to look for the blue if they want to know what I had to say on a discussion. 

It’s not automatic, so I as the Instructor has to change the color, but honestly it’s not that big of a deal and easy to do. 

Do I win the covetted Bb pen??? 😉


Community Member

Darn!  I didn't I think of that!  Why, yes, yes, you do win the pen.  Please email me your address (  It will go out in today's mail.  There will be other prizes in the envelope.  Smiley Happy


Highlighted‌:  Are you saying I am shorter than I look in my picture? Hope I get a chance to talk to you more than just in passing this year.  Smiley Happy  

Community Team
Community Team

OK, folks...  We'll of course have pens and stands for people to create their own table top signs but we'll also print a batch of sample signs and put them off to the side so that people can choose them for their own tables.  So far here is what I have for suggestions:

How to make Canvas to X with Javascript
How to make Canvas to X with CSS
All Things API
Beginning LTI
All things LTI

Ruby Scripting

Canvas Data

Blueprint Courses
Beginning Course Building
Instructional Design Basics
Adoption Strategies

Any other ideas?