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Community Member

Stylus and Feedback in Speedgrader

I use a microsoft surface book (PC) with a stylus to annotate .pdf essays downloaded from Canvas.  I have a couple of questions:

1.  Is it possible to use the stylus directly in speedgrader.  I know that there is a button, but the stylus doesn't write well while in the speedgrader app.  Considering that the stylus writes well in other apps, I suspect the problem is speedgrader.  Am I doing something wrong or overlooking something?  This seems like it should be a fundamental part of online grading.  It's disappointing to say the least.

2.  Since I can find no way to use the stylus in a decent manner in speedgrader, I typically download all of the .pdf files and open them with a stylus friendly app on my PC to annotate them.  I then save them all and reupload them to the student accounts.  However, the file appears in an inconspicuous spot under the comments section on the right margin.  It simply appears as a link and the students have to download the file.  Since it's so unobvious where the feedback is, many students can't find it and I need to waste valuable classroom time to show them how to do it.  Basically, is there a way to upload the file so the annotations show in the main assignment window for the students so the students don't have to search for the file with the feedback?  BTW, the program I use to annotate is called drawboard.

21 Replies
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Even though this discuss has slanted towards mobile devices, particularly with iPads, I think it's a web enhancement since Windows doesn't have an app, and if you ask Microsoft, the Surface isn't a tablet, but in the laptop family. With that, I'd suggest you consider creating a feature idea to help bring more awareness of this feature: How do I create a new feature idea? 

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Since the replies above seem to be about the use of the Stylus on a Surface Pro, there is already a feature idea which I mentioned above: Use of Stylus with DOCViewer  please vote for it if you haven't.

As I also mentioned above, the real unfortunate thing is that the Stylus worked superbly for commenting/annotating in Speedgrader in Spring of 2017.  Then, there was an "upgrade" which removed the feature.  In Fall of 2017 when I discovered that the support had been dropped, I of course thought it was a problem with my own Surface since it had previously worked.  But, no, it seems to be the case of switching the document viewer in SpeedGrader without making sure to retain existing features.  Or at least casting away existing features for new features.

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That's correct. Instructure moved from the 3rd party Crocodoc tool to their own tool called DocViewer. This did add some better functionality to the mobile apps because they didn't have to work around the constraints of Crocodoc. It got my vote, but we'll see where that leads us. 

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there, jamalone@cabrillo.edu...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I wanted to check in with you because I noticed that we have not heard back from you since you first posted this message on November 16, 2017.  It looks like you have received several different responses from various Community members since you first posted this question.  Have you had an opportunity to review all the feedback that you've received thus far?  Did any of the responses help to answer your question?  Do you have any outstanding questions as it relates to your original question?  If you feel that one of the above responses has helped to answer your question, please go ahead and mark that person's response as "Correct".  However, if you are still looking for some help with your question, please come back to this thread and post a message below so that someone from the Community might be able to assist you.  For now, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because we've not heard back from you and because there hasn't been any new activity in this topic Since May 10, 2018.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Jason.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

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Judging by the Google results, this is a very popular question. As I write this, there is no Canvas Instructor or Teacher app for the Windows Surface Pro. This means that using the stylus on that device for markup in Speedgrader is useless, since it would mean using the web version, which is clunky at best. 

I just don't understand why there is an Android app, which works gloriously for markup on my Samsung Note 9, and yet when I demoed the Windows Surface Pro at Best Buy there's no way to replicate the same experience. I'm not getting an iPad because I am not an Apple user, nor will I ever be one. 

Marking papers is a huge part of my job, and my workflow is almost as circuitous as the old Blackboard days, when I would just mark up on paper and upload PDFs. I'm not going back to that, brothers and sisters. 

Should I be shopping for the latest stylus Android tablets just so I can mark papers in Canvas, or will there come a day when there is an app for the Windows Pro, or Windows at all? 

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi jamalone@cabrillo.edu‌ .

Did you read the good news about the stylus in the latest updates https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16291-canvas-release-notes-2019-02-16#jive_content_id_DocVi... from February 16th.

Hoping it solves some issues?

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Here too. Fingers crossed. Let us know when it's released! 

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Surveyor

Hi. I am having trouble using a stylus on my Samsung Chromebook Pro to grade in Speedgrader. Were the updates for the stylus only for Windows products? This stylus is not an "active" stylus. Is that the issue? Thank you.

stylus‌ chromebook‌ #speedgrader™

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I wish I could test this out for you, but that would be my guess. Do you have a capacitive stylus you can use on your Chromebook? 

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Community Member

We have the same experience here. Annotating in Speedgrader on any other device than an i-pad pro with an Apple pencil is not working very well. We would like to equip our teachers with a hybrid laptop so they can annotate in Speedgrader but when it is functioning like this it's not very usefull. 
 
When we test it on a Lenovo Thinkpad I see it creates a square when you start to write with a pencil. Everytime you lift the pencil from the screen it seems to make a new square. When you leave the pencil on the screen it will work fine but when you start to write sentences it breaks up and misses parts.evices

I hope the Canvas development team picks this up cause teachers can win a lot of time when this functions well on all devices.