What’s New in Canvas: November 2021

There are some great new features in the Canvas releases for October and November. We’ve highlighted a few, but here are the full release notes for each month:

The Account, Course, and User Navigation Menus now remain sticky and are always visible on their respective pages. This means that if there’s content on a page that requires scrolling, the navigation menu on the left will scroll with it and be visible no matter how far down you have to go.

SpeedGrader Submission Status

The SpeedGrader sidebar now includes an Edit icon to be used for submission statuses, so you can set the status in either place – Gradebook or SpeedGrader. Statuses can be edited the same way as in the Gradebook. Additionally, adjusting a status in SpeedGrader also applies to the Gradebook.

  • Setting the status to Missing displays the Missing label.
  • If a late policy is enabled, setting the status to late displays the late label. Additionally, a text field allows the grader to enter a value for the days/hours late.
  • Setting the status to excused displays the Excused status, and the grade field displays as EX and is grayed out.
  • Setting the status to None removes any labels that were previously displayed for the assignment.
Screenshot of the SpeedGrader Submission Status menu showing the options for Late, Missing, Excused, and None for each student.

The Gradebook now includes two search fields: one for student names, and one for assignment names. This makes it easier to find student submissions or assignment names without having to scroll across or down through the Gradebook. Using the Assignment search field displays any search results that match an assignment in the course.

Screenshot of Gradebook search boxes for Student Names and Assignment Names.

Course Notifications in the User Preferences Page Now

The Notifications page in the Canvas Menu now displays both general User Notifications preferences as well as Course Notifications preferences. You no longer have to set Course Notifications within the individual Canvas source sites. If you have any active course enrollments, the menu displays the name of each course. You can navigate between courses and set specific notification options for each course, if preferred.

Screenshot showing the course notifications settings available in the user notification page.

Assignment Text Entry Word Count

For Text Entry assignment submission types, instructors can now display the word count while grading in SpeedGrader. When a text entry is displayed in SpeedGrader, the word count of the assignment entry displays in the sidebar.

Screenshot showing the Word Count displayed in SpeedGrader for a text entry assignment submission.

Note: Current functionality is only for text entry assignment submissions and does not apply to any other submission type, such as graded discussions.

The Options menu (kebab) for New Quizzes on both Assignments and Quizzes pages now includes a link to the quiz Build page.

This new item in the Options menu allows instructors to bypass having to open the assignment details page to get to the Build button for editing the assignment.

Previous Way – Selecting the Assignment First:

Screenshot of the original way to access the New Quizzes tool's Build page.

New Way – Selecting from the Options kebab without having to open the assignment:

Screenshot showing the Build page for New Quizzes in the options menu of the Quizzes or Assignments list.
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