Canvas X: Aug 2019 - Update

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Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hello all! My name’s Daniel Nehring and I’m on the data science research team here at Instructure.  We’ve been busy behind the scenes working on improving our Nudge project that was implemented last year as a part of Canvas X.  


We are not currently seeking any more volunteers for Canvas X for the Fall Aug-Dec 2019 semester, however, I just wanted to create a quick update for the community/interested parties. 


Nudge is a prototype service that helps students effectively manage their time and coursework. Nudge currently messages students via canvas conversation messages. In this pilot students have the ability to opt-out of receiving nudges and provide feedback whether the nudge was or wasn't helpful. 


When enabled, Nudge sends the following messages to students through Canvas:

  • Upcoming Assignments: An assignment is due soon and the student hasn’t turned it in yet. Prompt them to turn it in / finish.
  • Late Assignments: An assignment due date has passed and the student has not turned it in. If the assignment has an applicable “until date”, we prompt them to submit late.
  • Positive/Generalized Nudges*: This category is more  broad, at the moment we will be sending general study habits, encouragement, and praise.   

Nudge leverages machine learning to determine if/when to send a Nudge.  This is a departure from a threshold/rules based approach. So instead of setting a rule “send message x hours before an assignment is due," our new model takes in a series of inputs and outputs either an optimal date/time or a “no nudge”.  This is significant because we do not to send too many Nudges to students, which could lead to students ignoring Nudge altogether. Conversely, we do not want the students to become reliant on the Nudging system and use it as another assignment reminder system. 


We're pretty excited about Nudge and If we have any further updates we'll posting them here in the Community page.


Privacy Notice: Canvas is committed to keeping you and your student’s personal information private. All participants will be able to opt out at any time. Any and all use of the data from this experiment will be used to make Canvas a better product and not shared publicly without express prior consent.

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The content in this blog is over six months old, and the comments are closed. For the most recent product updates and discussions, you're encouraged to explore newer posts from Instructure's Product Managers.


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Community Champion

Maybe we could have a nudge possible for calendar events that are not assignment? And the ability to choose whether or not to send a nudge?  We have teachers who would like to send a 30 minute reminder before a Conferzoom session.

I agree it's a problem if students get too many notifications.  Would they be able to turn off nudges in their Notification preferences? Or is this separate from notification settings?

Community Member

Sorry but is Nudge continuing? Some of the links here are dead and there hasn't been many recent posts. 

I ask as Nudge would be terrific for managing graduate student requirements where deadlines are somewhat flexible and not tied to marks (e.g., submitting Literature Review, annual Progress report, Thesis draft to Advisory Committee). Automated "nudging" would be very helpful and would free up the time of Graduate Assistants and Graduate Chairs continually reminding students to submit these materials. (It would also be helpful if Nudge could remind the Advisory Committee and supervisors to review the submitted materials.) 

If Nudge has been paused for a bit, perhaps it could be re-introduced and targeted for graduate students. 

Community Participant

What did happen to the nudge project? Just wondering. Was this integrated into the student notifications and thus disappeared? Or simply dropped for other reasons?

Community Participant

Any news on Nudge? We really need it for two-stage discussion assignments (student post by Friday, responses to classmates by Sunday). 

Got NudgeNews?

Community Member

Any news on Nudge?

Community Participant

Hi, are there any updates to Nudge? It sounds excellent.

Community Novice

yes, any news on Nudge?

Community Explorer

@dnehring, any update on this project. This sounds very interesting and sounds like the kind of feature we are looking for. 

Community Member

Is this still a project which is ongoing? This would be great for my students on the Community College level.