Building on Success: More Enhancements for Workflows in Canvas LMS



In our continuous effort to enhance the Canvas experience, we're excited to share the latest updates and improvements we've made based on your feedback. Over the past few months, our dedicated team has been hard at work addressing key user pain points and implementing enhancements to enrich communication and collaboration for educators and learners alike. Building on the progress we've made so far, we've focused on refining features and incorporating valuable insights from our community. From streamlining navigation to introducing new collaboration tools, these advancements are designed to make your daily interactions with Canvas even more seamless and productive. In this post, we’ll highlight the latest developments and feature enhancements that reflect our commitment to making Canvas the best it can be. 

Clarify user experience on the Select profile picture popup box

This update makes it easier for users to choose different options for their profile picture, offering a more streamlined and user-friendly experience. Users can upload an existing photo, take one, or use one from Gravatar.

Select Profile Picture ModalSelect Profile Picture Modal

New Sorting Option in Speedgrader

In response to a study from the University of Michigan, we’ve added a new sorting option in SpeedGrader. Instructors can now select a randomized student sorting option, which randomizes students within each status category.

Speedgrader Option Modal Drop DownSpeedgrader Option Modal Drop Down

Improvements to Section Status Visibility

Our team has improved the visibility of status and dates on the sections tab and the people page. On the people page, inactive sections are now clearly indicated. We’ve also updated the sections tab under course settings: course and term dates are now displayed at the top of the page, along with section dates for each section. Additionally, newly added sections will appear at the top of the list until the page is refreshed, making it easier to edit newly created sections.

Inactive Label on the People PageInactive Label on the People Page


Sticky footers

A long standing pain point has been that the save button on the account and course setting pages is at the bottom of the page and often missed. We’ve added sticky footers to these pages making the save button always visible. 

SIS ID Visibility

Often courses will share the same or similar name making them difficult to differentiate in the Global Navigation Courses tray. To help with this SIS IDs will now be displayed if available.

Course SIS ID Display in Course TrayCourse SIS ID Display in Course Tray

API documentation updates

Based on some community ideas we took a look at our API documentation and made some updates. One request was to include course "status" in the output of the "courses" API endpoint. We've updated the documentation to provide you with clearer, more comprehensive guidance on how to include course status.

We made additional documentation updates showing users how to Enable and Disable the “Allow final grade override” option via API.

Details about these changes can be found in the change log.

Course Announcement Improvements 

We’ve made three improvements to course announcements as part of this effort. The first is adding a button to the course announcement overview page that allows users to mark all announcements as read. 

Instructure View Announcements Mark All as ReadInstructure View Announcements Mark All as Read

We also updated the delayed posting field so users can set an Available from date and can add an Until date. This update helps enable instructors to specify when course announcements should be viewable by students.  

Announcement Available From and Until FieldsAnnouncement Available From and Until Fields

Users can now also choose to resend notifications after editing a course announcement.

Announcement Changes Notify Users ModalAnnouncement Changes Notify Users Modal

These improvements are available in the Announcement and Discussion Redesign.

Duplicate Global Announcements

In the Global Announcements tab, users with access to global announcements can duplicate an existing announcement using the Duplicate icon.

Global Announcements duplicate iconGlobal Announcements duplicate icon

Studio/Mobile Picture-in-Picture Improvement 

Our Studio and Mobile teams have also worked together to resolve a longstanding issue. Historically, when you embedded a Studio video into Canvas, users would see a button “Launch External LTI” that opened a browser page with the video. This meant that users would need to keep the page open to watch the video. Since we know many of our users watch or listen to these videos on the go we wanted to provide a better solution. Now, when accessing a Studio video on mobile, users can enjoy a picture-in-picture experience, allowing them to listen to the video on the go without keeping the app open. 

Some of these improvements are still in beta or have not yet been released, so be sure to keep an eye on the release and deploy notes for the latest updates.

Have a suggestion for enhancing an everyday task? Let us know in the comments!