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Learning Activities - Spring 2020 Update

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It's been several weeks since my last update, and wow - things have changed a little bit. I wanted to share an update on the latest developments in the Learning Activities realm, as we're refocusing and getting back to a normal-ish routine. 


Lots of you are asking about the RCE enforcement date, and we're discussing new dates internally. We haven't been able to spend enough time polishing things up so we won't force that on in July as previously planned. More info to come. LTI favorites, access to external media tools, and accessibility features remain at the top of the list for RCE development.


I am most excited about our new feature to edit Assignment dates in bulk! This project has been on the team's plan for awhile now, and we've been able to accelerate the timeline. The first phase of the feature is released in production, with additional capabilities in development. Phase one includes editing all assignment, discussion, and quiz dates in a single page in a table view. We've been mindful about how to display assignments with multiple due dates, adding date validation as things shift around, and how to indicate assignments when the user may not have permission to make edits (like those in closed grading periods or with moderated grading). We really wanted to build a foundation with flexibility to add more options down the road. A few things in the immediate pipeline include:

  • selecting multiple assignments and shifting dates by a number of days
  • removing due dates and/or availability dates
  • filtering assignment items by date range
  • publish/unpublish multiple items
  • deleting multiple items


Other items for consideration are editing assignment time, handling peer review dates, filtering by assignment type, and whatever else you can think of! 


As part of the COVID-19 response, we know that many instructors may be creating new courses and/or need to quickly share information and course materials with their students. One way that happens might be through Files. So we did two things:

  • We made improvements to the Files section of Canvas so that it's clear that you can drag and drop multiple files into that area. And the previous drag/drop area was a bit finicky, so now you have a much bigger target on the page. This change was highlighted in the Ready Release Notes (2020-04-18) 


canvas files drag and drop area


  • We made some small changes to the new Course creation workflow. This is still in development, but very close to release. In today's new course workflow, you have an option to create Modules. With the new feature, you'll be able to quickly add files and create new module items, either by dragging and dropping files onto the Modules shell, or by hitting +Add Item to Module dialog. This will be a quicker way to share course content if you already have files ready to go on your computer. 


All the best to each of you in these wild times, and let us know what you think!