Teaching with Canvas


  • The Discussions page includes an updated design to improve accessibility for all users. Most functionality has not been affected.
  • The following changes have been made to course discussions: 
    • The Unread button has been changed to a menu, where users can filter between all discussions and unread discussions.
    • The Last Posted date has been updated by an unread indicator that displays next to each discussion with recent activity.
    • Like with other assignment types, discussions can be dragged and dropped among the Pinned Discussions section, Discussions section, and Closed for Comments section. Discussions in the Pinned Discussions section can be placed in any order. Discussions and Closed for Comments sections are both automatically ordered by recent activity.
    • Discussions display the date a discussion was posted. Copied discussions do not display a date.
      The Discussion Subscription icon has been changed to a Bookmark icon.
      The Peer Review icon has been moved to the right side of the Discussions page next to the Publish or Unpublish icon.
    • Non-graded discussions can be posted for a specific section or all sections. The number of sections is visible to all users who are able to view the discussion. Only non-graded discussions display section visibility in the Discussions page.
    • The Post To field does not support graded discussions and group discussions. Group discussions should be assigned using a group set, and graded discussions should be assigned using the Assign To field to differentiate the discussion for individuals, sections, or groups.
    • If an individual section is selected in the Post To menu, graded and group discussions are unavailable. Graded and group discussions can be enabled by selecting All Sections option in the Post To menu.
      Discussions can be duplicated within both a course and group context. However, in groups, students can only duplicate discussions that they’ve created; they cannot duplicate a discussion by another student in the same group. Instructors can duplicate any student discussion.
Screenshot of the Discussion Tools
(Image: Canvas)

Student Experience

Rich Content Editor

Inline Preview Document Height

  • When an auto-open inline preview file link is displayed in a Rich Content Editor browser window, the preview expands to a default height of 800px and displays the full file preview.
  • Previously the preview only expanded to a default height of 400px.
Canvas Rich Text Editor (Image: Canvas)
Canvas Rich Text Editor (Image: Canvas)

Word Counter

  • The Rich Content Editor displays a word counter within the editor browser window. This change can help users know how many words they have typed in a discussion, page, assignment text entry, or other content location where the Rich Content Editor is supported.
  • The word counter calculates the number of words entered into the editor. A word is considered to be a single string of characters typed together without using the space bar.
  • The word counter only displays for the user creating content in the Rich Content Editor. After the content is saved, the word counter is no longer visible unless the content is edited. Additionally, the total word count is not visible to any other user.
Canvas Rich Text Editor (Image: Canvas)

 Admin Experience:

  • None this update.

For a complete production release update information: Canvas Release Notes.

Video note: all features shown may not be available. For example, the new grade book is not yet enabled for Worldwide courses.


The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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Assessing & Improving (3)
This section provides resources for assessing student learning, assessing your teaching, and improving your class(es).

Instructions (63)
These are how-to documents, guides, tip clips, and just-in-time resources. If it is step-by-step instructions on using a tool, place the item here instead of under Technology.

Planning (17)
Here you will find teaching information on pedagogy, policies, professionalism, principles, frameworks, and student populations. Topics include FAC-10, Bloom's Taxonomy, Preterm Setup, and Information for Instructors.

Teaching (35)
This section provides guidance on classroom management, issues, methods, assessment, improvement, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Topics include feedback, engagement, instructor presence, and active learning.