Come to the Digital Research Fair at Penn Libraries!

Fireworks in Cluj Napoca

Friday, September 23
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Weigle Information Commons, First Floor
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Refreshments will be served!

The Digital Research Fair offers a hands-on showcase of the vibrant digital research community at the Penn Libraries. Visit our booths to learn more about new methods in digital research, applications and software supported by the Libraries, and year-round events on digital research and pedagogy.

Explore past projects as students, faculty, and staff share their work on a variety of platforms, applications, and teaching methods including: Scalar, Scholarly Commons, Map Warper, Omeka, TEI, 3D Modelling, Carto, Neatline, and Blended Learning. Participants will be able to discuss their own research and teaching needs and goals one on one with library experts.

Canvas Production Release: September 17, 2016

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

9/17/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Student Attendance View: For courses using the Attendance tool, students can view their attendance as part of the Attendance assignment submission details page. Students can also access Attendance submission details from the Grades page. The first time students access the submission details, they are asked to authorize the app for their account. Submission details display attendance statistics in the course. In the attendance graph, students can view the total number of days they were graded on attendance; within the total, they can view the specific number of days they have been late, absent, and on time. Below the graph, students can view the date and day of the week they were marked late or absent.
  •  Custom Course & Syllabus Visibility: In Course Settings, the visibility options have been changed to allow more customization for courses and the Syllabus. The visibility setting offers three choices for a course: Course (those enrolled in the site), Institution (logged in users with the URL) or Public (anyone with the URL). Syllabus visibility can also be set to one of the same visibility options.
  •  Gradebook and SpeedGrader Excessive Points Alert: If an instructor adds an excessive amount of extra points to a student’s grade, Canvas generates an alert notifying that the student was awarded an unusually high grade. This update helps instructors be aware when excessive points are entered in the Gradebook or SpeedGrader. Excessive points can occur when the amount entered is 50% above the total possible points or when an extra digit is entered (e.g. 500 instead of 50). The alert is also generated if an assignment is given negative points. Alerts only apply to assignments with total points; they do not apply to assignments with no points possible or excused assignments.
  • Notifications UI Update: The Notifications page includes updated icons and background color contrast. Additionally, the notification descriptions have been removed from the icon tooltips and displayed directly below the notification preferences page heading. The Notifications page allows users to set preferences for any contact method specified in the User Settings page.
  • Twitter and SMS Notification Preferences: Twitter and SMS notifications can only be set to be received immediately or never. Daily and weekly digest options are no longer available. Any users with existing Twitter and SMS notifications set to daily or weekly have had their notifications set to never.
  • Moderate Quiz Student Search Filter: The Moderate Quiz page includes a search filter, which allows instructors to search for students by name. This change helps instructors more easily locate students in a course.
  • Rich Text Editor MathMan Integration: Canvas has integrated a new backend service called MathMan, which is designed to improve LaTeX images generated by the Rich Content Editor equation editor. With the MathMan integration, a LaTeX image is rendered as an SVG image instead of a GIF or PNG, which allows images to render more consistently and improves image accessibility for all users. No functionality has been affected by this change.
  • Help Menu External Links: Help Menu external links open in a new window.
  • SpeedGrader Group Submissions and Group Comments: In a group submission, when an instructor added both private comments to a specific student and comments for the entire group, the group comments were being hidden in the submission until another comment was posted. Group submission comments from an instructor now display to the entire group.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: September 17, 2016

2016-09-17 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.

Canvas Help Is Back!

Woman writing chemistry formula on chalkboard.

Canvas Help is available now for Fall 2016!

Are you an instructor, TA, or staff member at the University of Pennsylvania who needs assistance with Canvas? Register now for a Canvas Help appointment!

You can receive help with any of the following Canvas topics:

  • Building and organizing a Canvas site
  • Creating assignments, quizzes, and exams in Canvas
  • Using communication and collaboration tools in Canvas
  • Joining a Fall 2016 pilot
  • And more!

Questions? Email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu. We look forward to meeting with you!

What’s New in Canvas for Fall 2016?

Image showing the process of a butterfly emerging from a cacoon.

Canvas has transformed over the summer!

There have been a few changes in Canvas since Spring 2016–some improvements to existing features and tools, others completely new additions. The following information will introduce you to what’s new in Canvas for Fall 2016.

New User Interface

The Canvas user interface (UI) changed on May 16, 2016, and it includes an updated Global Navigation menu for your Canvas user account, course cards (button-like links to current courses) on your Dashboard, and more!

SpeedGrader Re-Design

SpeedGrader has undergone a substantial re-design to improve usability. The new SpeedGrader layout has changed in these ways:

  • The primary navigation buttons have been moved to the right side of the menu bar to be more closely associated with the most frequently used features in SpeedGrader. Navigating from student to student is now located directly above the sidebar.

New student-name drop-down menu in SpeedGrader, which is now on in the upper-right side of the display.

  • The less frequently used navigation buttons have been moved to the left side of the menu bar: return to the Gradebook, mute the assignment, view keyboard shortcuts, view the help menu, and change Gradebook settings.

"Gradebook," "Mute," "Keyboard Shortcuts," "Help," and "Settings" options are now in the upper-left side of the SpeedGrader display.

  • Assignment details (assignment name, due date, and course name) and grading statistics are in the middle of the menu bar.

An example of assignment details and grading statistics in the new SpeedGarder display.

  • If an instructor creates a comment in SpeedGrader and navigates to another submission without submitting the comment, or refreshes the page, SpeedGrader auto-saves the comment and notifies the instructor it has been saved as a draft. The instructor can go back to the student’s submission and submit the comment at a later time. Comments cannot be viewed by students when in draft.An example of the comment-drafts display.Please note: Currently, draft comments cannot be edited, but they can be deleted or submitted at any time.

New Turnitin

A new version of Turnitin was introduced to Canvas on May 17, 2016. To learn more about how to use the new Turnitin, please consult Turnitin Instructions.

LibGuides in Canvas

LibGuides,which are research guides provides by the Penn Libraries, can be added to Canvas sites. More information on LibGuides in Canvas.

Stay Informed!

Want to be notified whenever changes are coming to Canvas? Follow Canvas at Penn! Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle, and all upcoming release information is  posted to Canvas at Penn several days before these changes will take place.

If you ever have any questions about what’s new in Canvas, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

 

Canvas Production Release: August 27, 2016

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

8/27/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Calendar Event Edits: After an event has been created, instructors can move the event from one calendar to another. To move an event, open the event in the calendar, click the Edit button, and select the new calendar in the “Calendar” drop-down menu. In the “Edit” menu, calendar changes cannot be made for section-specific events, assignments, and Scheduler appointments.
  • “Help” Menu Placement: The “Help” icon displays as the last item in the Global Navigation menu instead of being placed at the bottom of the page. This update helps users be able to view the “Help” icon as part of the entire Global Navigation Menu and be accessed more easily. Additionally, to align with other Global Navigation features, the “Help” icon displays a navigation menu instead of a modal window. “Help” links are not affected and display according to the links set for the Canvas account.
  • Index Page Style Update for Assignments, Conferences, Modules, and Quizzes: Instead of all items being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected. Individual items include a larger icon and additional whitespace. All page content is responsive within a browser window. Names are no longer truncated; long titles wrap to the next line. Item content, such as availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the item title. For instructors, published assignments/quizzes/modules also include a green bar for easier recognition.
  • Sidebar Updates: In the Rich Content Editor sidebar “Links” tab, the Wiki Pages link has been renamed to Pages. This update helps align terminology throughout Canvas. Additionally, pagination in each content section has been increased from 10 to 50 content items.
  • Rubrics Button Placement: The Cancel and Create/Update Rubric buttons have been moved to the left side of the Rubrics page.
  • Download Submissions and Anonymous Grading: The Download Submissions button in the Assignments page does not include student names if “Anonymous Grading” is turned on.
  • Grading Scores Checkbox: If the scores opt-in checkbox is disabled at the account level, students cannot view the option in “Notifications” to opt-in to grading scores.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: August 27, 2016

2016-08-27 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.

LibGuides Available in Canvas!

Two smiling people sitting at table, looking down at a pile of books.

Help your students with their research by adding a LibGuide to your Canvas site!

What are LibGuides?

LibGuides are guides provided by the Penn Libraries that cover specific resources for a subject or class. You can browse guides by subject to learn more about currently available LibGuides.

How can I have a LibGuide added to my Canvas site?

Contact your liaison librarian for assistance. Please see the subject directory of  liaisons in the Penn Libraries to find your liaison librarian.

Can I have a new/custom guide created for my course?

Yes! Please contact your liaison librarian for assistance.

What are the benefits of adding a LibGuide to Canvas?

  • Direct students to librarian-vetted resources for their research.
  • If requesting a custom guide, you will work personally with a liaison librarian who will create a LibGuide designed specifically for your students.
  • You can also ask the liaison to help you develop research assignments and to teach library-research sessions in your course.
  • A LibGuide is a great way to introduce academic research conventions to students, as well as the research conventions of your field.
  • If you do not know your subject’s liaison librarian, adding a LibGuide to Canvas is a great way to meet them! Not only will this introduction help your students, but it could also lead them to help with your research, since you can ask them for research assistance, too.

What will it look like when I add a LibGuide to my Canvas site?

Please see the example of how a LibGuide looks in a Canvas site.

How do I get started?

Contact your liaison librarian, and they will be happy to help you add a LibGuide to your Canvas site!

New Semester Checklist: Fall 2016

Here are a few tips to help you get started with Canvas for the Fall 2016 term.

1. Create a Course Site. If you haven’t requested your site yet, now’s the time. It’s easy! Use these instructions to request your Canvas site.

2. Get Help. Register for Canvas Office Hours & Workshops at the Weigle Information Commons to meet with experts who want to help you.

Want a workshop for a small group, team, or department in the Fall 2016 term? Request one through this form.

3. Learn about What’s New in Canvas and Other Tools. If you used Canvas at Penn last year, you might recall there were a few changes that happened just after the end of the Spring 2016 term. If you need a refresher on these changes, or if you are new to using Canvas at Penn, please see:

4. Request Your Course Reserves. Planning to have the Penn Libraries’ Course Reserves Service add content to your Canvas site? Please review the Course Reserves Information.

5. Publish Your Site. Students are added to Canvas course sites automatically, but they can’t access course content until the site is published. Just click the Publish button when you are ready!pblsh_cnvs_st

Questions? Email us at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu, or contact your local support provider.

Here’s to a great semester!

Student Enrollments Outage: August 13th-14th

Stop sign

Due to scheduled maintenance by ISC, student enrollments will not be updating in Canvas on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th. Any enrollment changes made during this period will not be reflected in Canvas until Monday, August 16th when enrollments begin running again.

Canvas and all integrated tools will remain accessible for the duration of this outage and will be unaffected by this maintenance.

Please note: the Course Request Form will be available during this time, but the data may not be completely up to date until the maintenance ends.

Please email canvas@poxbox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Canvas Production Release: August 6, 2016

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

8/6/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Final Grade Exclusion: As part of creating or editing an assignment, instructors can choose whether or not assignments count toward the final grade. This feature allows instructors to provide feedback without an assignment counting toward Gradebook calculations. The option to remove assignments from the final grade can be changed at any time on a per-assignment basis. This feature is only available in assignments; it does not apply to graded discussions or quizzes. When an assignment is removed from total grade calculations, the assignment displays a banner in the assignments page and assignment details page indicating that the assignment does not apply to the final grade. The Gradebook and the student “Grades” page also display a warning icon for assignments that do not apply to the final grade.
  • Remote Version of Rich Content Editor and Sidebar: The Rich Content Editor sidebar has been updated with backend improvements, resulting in small interface changes. The sidebar includes a visual style update, and each content section supports pagination. Currently, the Rich Content Editor sidebar update only affects Pages and the Syllabus. Additional feature area updates will be available in a future release.
  • SpeedGrader UI Updates: The primary navigation buttons have been moved to the right side of the menu bar to be more closely associated with the most frequently used features in SpeedGrader. Navigating from student to student is now located directly above the sidebar. The less frequently used navigation buttons have been moved to the left side of the menu bar: return to the Gradebook, mute the assignment, view keyboard shortcuts, view the help menu, and change Gradebook settings. Assignment details (assignment name, due date, and course name) and grading statistics are in the middle of the menu bar).
  • Comment Drafts in SpeedGrader: If an instructor creates a comment in SpeedGrader and navigates to another submission without submitting the comment, or refreshes the page, SpeedGrader auto-saves the comment and notifies the instructor it has been saved as a draft. The instructor can go back to the student’s submission and submit the comment at a later time. Comments cannot be viewed by students when in draft. Currently, draft comments cannot be edited, but they can be deleted or submitted at any time.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: August 6, 2016

2016-08-06 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.