09.20.16 Open Discussion Notes

Community Coach
Community Coach
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On September 20th, Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu​ led Canvas Mobile Users​ through a great Open Discussion. We talked about many things MOBILE, and it was wonderful to see so many people in the meet-up! The notes below act as a digest of the conversation. Feel free to add comments to keep the dialog going.

Mobile Roadmap

  • With the roadmap, the Canvas Mobile Team shared that they will create differentiated apps. These will make sure that people can get tools that are the most relevant for their role.
  • Challenges
    • If you have a phone with limited storage, needing to download multiple apps may be a challenge.
  • Positives
    • The student app has matured, but there are a lot of things for 1:1 schools that need to be addressed. The mobile roadmap will allow these additions to be made.
    • Thes teacher app looks at publication, moderation, organization, etc. What are the pain points? Why do teachers need to keep running back to a computer?
    • QA process should be faster because the roles are differentiated. That means fixes and updates make it to the Canvas Mobile user more quickly.
    • These apps can still “talk” to each other through the API, but different roles allows them to be simplified and personalized.


Teacher App

  • Participants shared that it would be nice to have better awareness of communications within an app. This may include: responses to a comment, announcement, discussion, submission, etc.
  • It would be helpful to be able to publish/unpublish items and modules from all mobile devices without having to sign into a mobile browser.
  • It would be ideal if the app would also have some basic quiz moderation capabilities.
  • Mobile access to the gradebook would be a good tool. Even view-only initially would be significant.
    • How would this filter into Gradebook 2.0?


Parent App

  • Most of the participants were from Higher Ed.
  • K-12’ers reading this recap, join Canvas Parent Focus Group!


Offline Content

  • Offline content is necessary!
  • People may not have connections at home. Others may like to save data during a commute.
    • If there's an assignment the student wants access to that evening, they can download it into a backpack format for later reference. (Like Google Drive.)
  • Start with “read only” pieces. That would allow users to sync info, but not necessarily submit or work on quizzes, discussions, etc.


Student Annotations

  • Beta testing is now available for Student Annotations (Option to Use Stylus with Speedgrader on Ipad). Participants were generally very excited about this long-awaited feature.
  • After Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu​ gave a brief demo, we discussed the updates. Overall, people felt that  the interface is intuitive, and the tools have many options.
  • Questions...
    • Is there a magnifying glass, or will there be the ability to zoom in? Other apps (ie: Notability) has this functionality.
    • Will annotation eventually be available for quizzes?
    • How accessible are annotations?
  • It has been shared that Student Annotations works much better on the iPad than on the iPhone.
  • If anyone is interested in working with the Beta, join the conversation in  " modifiedtitle="true" title="Allow Annotation of PDF Documents Directly In The Canvas App​. Ryan and Kristin can also connect you with the testing group, if you'd prefer.

iOS and Android Default Landing Pages

  • iPad is brought to class homepage
  • iPhone sees a long list of menu items.
  • Android is brought to class homepage. When closing out, brought to list of pages.


Broken Pages in Mobile

  • This error is seen with PDF links. “This page is broken.” or “Something went wrong.”
  • One workaround is to unlink, reupload, and then create a new link. This is a lot of extra work for teachers.
  • This is occurring at multiple institutions.
    • Tickets haven’t been submitted yet.


Feature Ideas

  • Web notification settings and push notification settings need to be more granular. It would be amazing to be able to customize notifications on a per-course basis.
  • Students need to be able to add items to the to do list/calendar through the app. Then we found ​ which opens for voting on October 5th.
12 Comments
Community Member

Thank you for sharing. I recently received several tickets for broken links from students using the iPad (as referenced in your discussion).

Community Coach
Community Coach

As a follow-up to our discussion about features, I'd like to encourage everyone to share some comments on ​.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Excellent recap! I will investigate some of the questions in this session.

Instructure
Instructure

For the questions regarding student annotations:

  • There isn't a magnifying glass, but you should be able to use the pinch to zoom gesture to zoom in closer.
  • As for annotation ability inside quizzes: how would you want it to work? The annotation ability only works on PDF's at this point. We have plans to support the rest of the quiz question types natively on mobile, including the File Upload question type. We could add this functionality theoretically into that component of a quiz.
  • These annotations are actually fairly accessible. Try it out! Tell Siri to turn on VoiceOver, and tap around!

I did notice there was a conversation around broken pages in mobile. This issue has been fixed and already submitted to Apple for review, and will be released on September 27th in version 3.15.0. For some reason links got messed up, and I also noticed that styling disappeared in assignment details and such. That is no longer the case.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Deactivated user - Thanks for the reply! Your responses are awesome!

Community Member

I am testing 3.15 on my iPad. The annotation feature is nice but you cannot move or resize images.

Community Coach
Community Coach

There once was a thread about Annotation tools. That could be a helpful resource to keep the conversation alive about annotations in quizzes!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Based on what Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu​ and I have heard, student annotations on assignments could be released to iOS and Android as early as September 27th!

Community Member

I don't know how I forgot to bring this up, but in the Android app at least, the full help menu isn't present. So our Tier 1 support information and our manually added links are missing.

Community Member

Broken Pages in Mobile

  • This error is seen with PDF links. “This page is broken.” or “Something went wrong.”
  • One workaround is to unlink, reupload, and then create a new link. This is a lot of extra work for teachers.
  • This is occurring at multiple institutions.
    • Tickets haven’t been submitted yet.

any idea when this will be fixed?

Instructure
Instructure

This should have been fixed with the 3.15.0 release last week. Let us know if you still are having issues with it!

Community Coach
Community Coach

FYI - is open for voting!

About the Author
I hold an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. Teaching degree in Art Teaching from Winona State University. Currently, I have multiple roles at DeLasalle High School - Teacher & Canvas Engagement Specialist. I teach a variety of visual arts classes, and I prioritize problem-solving and reflection within my student-centered environments. It is my goal to blend traditional studio experiences with technology applications for communication, collaboration, and organization. In addition to teaching, I actively participate on the Technology Committee, am a Canvas Co-Admin, am the lead in-house Canvas trainer, and as the Canvas Engagement Specialist, I work with faculty to advance pedagogy and student engagement through thoughtful course design using visual design and Canvas's tools. Twitter: @kblundstrum