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Surveyor II

Improvement Needed for Annotation Tools in Speedgrader

We have switched to Canvas this semester, and I've found that the annotation tools on Google Assignments are considerably more user friendly than what I have at my disposal on Canvas. In Canvas's defense, I find that the formatting and organization of SpeedGrader is superior to Google Assignments, but when I actually start to highlight, strike-out, or just generally comment on individual words and sentences, it is frustrating. Usually, I have to click multiple times for a strike-out or highlighting annotation to begin. Area annotations seem to work fine, but that isn't always suited to the task. What if I want to highlight an individual word that is used repetitively? In a case like that, I'll be wishing I was on Google Assignments. 

Now, don't get me wrong, it is possible to use all of the tools, and I do. They are not "incompatible" with the browser, but they certainly are not crisp. I am not that technical of a person. But, it is hard sometimes to even get the strike-out tool to begin with the right letter. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it is hard to get it to start working at all without clicking over and over again. I have never had that problem on a Google Doc. 

Deleting annotations can be a chore as well. Here again, I often have to try to delete them multiple times, it's like it just doesn't register. And the annoyance is compounded by the fact that deleting an annotation is a several click process anyway. So when it doesn't work, I may end up clicking 4-6 buttons to delete one annotation. It's so clunky. 

So my question is what's causing this problem and is it being addressed?

I use Google Chrome and my browser is updated automatically. I have experience using SpeedGrader on several different desktops and laptops, and these problems are consistent. I am leaving this comment because it has gotten to the point where, if at all possible, I will be using an alternative to grading on Canvas if I can find a solution over winter break. Fortunately, our grades are officially reported on PowerSchool, not Canvas. Ideally, I will simply transfer the grades over and cut Canvas out entirely where I can (unless improvements are made). The assignment may be posted on Canvas, but it will not be graded on Canvas. The platform is just too annoying for an instructor who engages with written work the way that I do. 

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4 Replies
Surveyor II

I agree that Speed grader is nice, BUT it has a lot of kinks and troublesome areas.  It would be nice to decrease the font even more than the 'small ' size listed when putting in text comments within the document..  Some times we need to fit these into a very small area within the document.  Also I would like the option to be able to use my Bamboo pen in this correcting window but cannot.  There is the cursor writing option to circle something and add a comment, but this does not always have the functionality I would like if I could just use a Bamboo pen on the documen.    Also when I use a quote mark to write a comment, frequently my computer will send a message that it is deleting that last comment I made.  

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @CoreyL 

Personally, I love Speedgrader, but that is beside the point. You have posted your comments in this Community's question forum, and yet as far as I can see there is no question, simply recommendations from improvements. Canvas loves getting ideas for improving their product, and have provided a specific area in this Community for doing so. It is called Idea Conversations. The following guides can help you post your ideas for imp[roving Canvas.....

And while I love SpeedGrader, I also recognize that its functionality could be greatly improved, so good luck!



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My post did have a question and I also explained why I want to know the answer. I would like to know if the functionality is being worked on, or if, according to Canvas, things are working fine and I shouldn't expect improvements in the specific areas that I mentioned.

If you don't have the answers, that's fine, but do not patronize me with something about having posted in the wrong forum. That is not helpful. 


Many apologies, and that was not my intent.

Honestly, I don't know the answer, but the Idea Conversations area should have the Canvas work plan, and in that area I just found this, "In the Product Roadmap, any idea conversations relating to priorities being released in the next three months are included with the roadmap content." You should be able to find an answer for the near future there.

Good luck,


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