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.