Canvas Guides (en)Recent Updates

Recent Updates

  • Canvas is continually creating new features to improve your experience. The majority of improvements will be made available as part of our regular release cycle. However, some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term. Because we want you to be able to learn about these features at your own pace, they’ll be placed in your Course Settings as a Feature Option. Feature Options allow you to choose when you want to enable the new feature for your course.

    This lesson gives an overview of how to manage feature options at the course level. On the course level, you may have the option to implement features on a course-by-course basis. Instructors have no control over user-level features. To view the specific course-level feature options available in Canvas, visit the current course features lesson.

    In order for a feature to appear for a course, the feature must be enabled for your institution by a Canvas admin.

    Please note that most Feature Options will only be optional for a short period of time. Once a Feature Option is officially released to your production environment, you'll have a few releases (depending on the feature) before the option will be enabled for all Canvas users. Therefore we encourage you to use your beta environment to learn about new Feature Options for your course.

    Tags Canvas, Course Settings, Feature Options, Instructor, Instructor Guide, manage features
  • The Canvas MasteryPaths feature allows you or a course designer to customize learning experiences to students based on student performance. With MasteryPaths, you identify activities for each student’s learning path and differentiate assignments for required learning, optional learning, or choosing their own content and assignments within a specific path, which helps them achieve course mastery.

    MasteryPaths is based on differentiated assignments, which allows assignments to be assigned to different users and sections. With MasteryPaths, assignments are differentiated to individual students automatically and no additional work is required aside from grading student assignments as usual. After the initial assignment has been graded (either manually or automatically), the student’s score designates which conditional items(s) will be assigned as a learning path.

    If you use weighted grading in your course, additional course work may affect student's total grades. However, grade calculations are based on the assignments assigned and completed by the student; students are not penalized for any assignments that are not assigned to them. If you are concerned about grade variances with point values, you may want to review the conditional assignments assigned to each MasteryPath and try to balance out grading totals in each path. Additionally you could evaluate student progress and add individual students to assignments as necessary that they can complete to improve their grade.

    When creating MasteryPaths, all assignments and pages should be created and added as conditional items before publishing the course to students.


    • MasteryPaths is currently a course opt-in feature. To enable this feature, learn how to manage feature options in the course features lesson.
    • MasteryPaths cannot currently be used with assignments being passed back to a student information system (SIS) such as PowerSchool or Skyward.
    • Currently MasteryPaths does not support association with outcomes.
    Tags Canvas, Instructor, Instructor Guide, mastery paths, MasteryPaths, Modules, SIS
  • By default, assignments in Canvas are assigned to Everyone, which means all students will be able to view the item in their Modules page. Once you have added conditional assignments to a MasteryPath, you must differentiate the assignment to MasteryPaths. The Mastery Paths assignment designates the assignment for conditional release only, and the assignment will only display to students whose scores fall in a range that releases the assignment to them.

    To confirm that all conditional content items have been assigned to MasteryPaths correctly, you can use the Test Student to view the students' Modules page by enabling Student View. The only course items that should be visible to the Test Student are items assigned to Everyone. Therefore, if the Test Student can view a conditional item without having completed any coursework, the assignment may not have been edited and assigned to MasteryPaths.


    • MasteryPaths is currently a course opt-in feature. To enable this feature, learn how to manage feature options in the course features lesson.
    • For quick reference, assignment and quiz pages display user assignments. User assignments cannot be viewed from the modules page until the assignment has been assigned to multiple students.
    Tags Canvas, conditional assignments, Instructor, Instructor Guide, mastery paths, MasteryPaths, Modules
  • MasteryPath assignments release conditional content to students based on a set of rules in three scoring ranges. After the initial assignment has been graded by the instructor, the student’s score designates which conditional items(s) will be assigned as a learning path. For instance, a student who scores above 90% on an assignment could be assigned more advanced work, while a student who scores below 60% could view assignments designed for content clarification and improvement. Please note that resubmitted assignments may affect conditional paths, as updated grades may change the associated assignments released to the student.

    Any graded assignments, graded discussions, and quizzes in a module can be the source for a MasteryPaths item. However, ungraded assignments, ungraded discussions, practice quizzes, and surveys (both graded and ungraded) cannot be used in MasteryPaths.

    MasteryPaths items should be created from assignment assigned to everyone, such as a pre-test or an introductory assignment.

    Once you have added conditional content to a MasteryPath assignment, you must differentiate each conditional assignment for MasteryPaths.


    • Because content pages do not require grading, content pages cannot be the source of a MasteryPath and can only be added to an assignment as conditional content. However, a page must be allowed for MasteryPaths before it can be added to a conditional path.
    • ‪If conditional items are added to a path and later changed (such as separating conditional items in the same range or adding another item), the change will not apply to any students who have already been graded based on the original conditional path. Conditional items should be final when course content is published.‬
    • ‪Added items can include due dates, but due dates are controlled by each individual item, not by the conditional path. Instructors may want to confirm any assigned due dates for conditional items are aligned with the rest of the coursework appropriately in the module page structure.‬
    • Conditional content items can be set up with their own conditional items.
    • All module items should be published before the course is available to students. If an unpublished item is added as a conditional content item, the student will not be able to view the content until the item is published. Any publishing delays may have unintended consequences for the student's conditional path.


    Note: MasteryPaths is currently a course opt-in feature. To enable this feature, learn how to manage feature options in the course features lesson.

    Tags Canvas, conditional assignments, Instructor, Instructor Guide, mastery paths, MasteryPaths, Modules
  • If your institution allows, you can upload an image to display behind the course card in the Canvas Dashboard. Accepted images include JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG files. For best practice, images should be approximately 262 pixels wide by 146 pixels high.

    Images can also be added from Flickr; the search results display images with a Creative Commons public domain license.

    When added to a course, images display behind a color overlay in the course card. The overlay color is a user setting defined individually by each user in the Dashboard. For best practice, use an image that can display well behind a variety of colors.

    Note: Adding an image to a course card is currently a course opt-in feature. To enable this feature, learn how to manage feature options in the course features lesson.

    Tags Canvas, course cards, Course Settings, dashboard image, Instructor, Instructor Guide, Settings
  • If your institution has enabled student context cards, you can click a student's name anywhere in Canvas and view a summary of the student's progress in the course. Context cards do not apply outside a course, such as in the Conversations Inbox.

    Student context cards provide insights and context about the student. Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser.

    Context Card Users

    Context cards only apply to users with student roles; they are not supported for user names where the user is not a student (e.g. observer, TA, or other instructor). Clicking links for non-student roles will always direct to the user’s details page or profile page (if your institution has enabled the Profiles feature).

    Currently, student context cards do not display for inactive students or students with pending course invitations. The pending status displays in the People page, while the inactive status can be displayed in Discussions, Announcements, the Gradebook, and SpeedGrader.

    Context Card Link Locations

    This lesson shows how to view a context card for a student from the People page. Other areas where student names display in courses include announcement and discussion replies, the Gradebook, and the Moderate page for moderated assignments. Current exceptions include links that direct to group context (such as clicking the name of a group leader) and student links in the Course Analytics page, which link to the student’s individual analytics page.

    Note: The Student Context Card is currently an account opt-in feature. If a context card does not display for a student's name, your institution has not enabled this feature.

    Tags Canvas, context card, Instructor, Instructor Guide, People
  • Updated on: Jun 24, 2017

    What options can I set in a quiz?

    When you create a quiz, you have a variety of options to choose from within a quiz.

    Tags Canvas, Differentiated Assignments, Instructor, Instructor Guide, quiz, quiz options, quiz preview, quiz settings, Quizzes, test, tests
  • You can create a graded discussion for a course group by using the Group Discussion checkbox. Canvas uses group sets to assign group discussions, and each group within the group set that is assigned to the discussion is required to complete the discussion.

    You will need to assign a group set as part of the discussion. You can add an existing group set, or you can create a new group set as part of the assignment and add students to groups later. However, if you create a group set with self sign-up or manual group assignments, you will not be able to use the group set until users have been added to the subgroups.

    When differentiating groups in graded discussions, students can only view the discussion if they are a member of an assigned group. Otherwise the discussion does not appear in the group's discussions page. Grades cannot be assigned for students who have not been included in the graded discussion, and graded discussions that are not assigned to a student are not factored into overall grades. 

    You can still view the links to all groups that are in the group set (as with any other group discussion). However, if you do not select a group in the differentiated assignments list, the group does not show a differentiated due date.

    When Multiple Grading Periods are enabled in a course, graded discussions are also respected against closed grading periods.

    Tags Canvas, Discussions, Groups, Instructor, Instructor Guide
  • Groups are a subset of a course with a course-like environment including their own Calendar, Discussion board, and Collaboration tools. Only students added to a group have permission to see and use the respective tools within the group.

    A group discussion assignment creates an identical discussion topic in each group category. When students reply to the discussion topic they do so within their group environment, which is linked to the course from which the assignment was created.

    If you prefer to create a group discussion for grading, learn how to create graded group discussions.

    Note: You will need to create group sets and groups before setting up a group discussion assignment.

    Tags Canvas, Discussions, Groups, Instructor, Instructor Guide
  • As an instructor, you can access the Grades page for a student in your course. This Grades page shows you how a student views his or her grades in the course and also allows you to add individual comments to group submission assignments. You can choose to restrict options in the grades page to students, such as hiding grade summary totals and grade distribution graphs.

    You can also view the grades page for a generic student in Student View.


    • The student's grades shown in the Grades page may vary from the grades shown in the Gradebook. The student's Grades page is affected by muted assignments, outstanding manually graded quiz questions, and weighted assignment groups. The Gradebook always contains the most current and accurate information about a student's current grade.
    • Student Grades can also be viewed from a student's user details page.
    Tags Canvas, Gradebook, Grades, Instructor, Instructor Guide, Student View, Submission Details