How do I manage new features for a course?

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.

Open Course Settings

Open Course Settings

In Course Navigation, click the Settings link.

Open Feature Options Tab

Open Feature Options Tab

Click the Feature Options tab.

View Feature Options

Available features will appear in the Feature Options tab. New features are enabled by your institutional admin, and the Feature Options tab will not display any features until they are granted access to you.

Each course feature includes a feature description. Click the arrow icon next to the feature to expand the feature box and display the description.

View Feature Tags

View Feature Tags

Feature tags help identify the state of each feature. A feature with no label [1] means the feature is stable and ready for use in your production environment. Features may also include a beta tag [2], which means the feature is available for use in your production environment but is still being tested for usability and accessibility behavior. Enabling a beta feature may create unintended behavior within your Canvas account.

Note: Occasionally features may include a Development tag, which means the feature is only available for testing in your beta environment; it is not available in your production environment.

View Feature States

View Feature States

Each feature displays a feature state as set by your admin.

Enabled features display an Enabled icon [1].

Disabled features display a Disabled icon [2].

Notes:

  • Features states that have been locked by an admin will not display in the course Feature Options list.
  • Course features are activated on a course-by-course basis.

Manage Feature States

To enable or disable an unlocked feature, click the feature's State icon [1].

To enable the feature, click the Enabled option [2].

To disable the feature, click the Disabled option [3].

Notes:

  • Features states that have been locked by an admin will not display in the course Feature Options list.
  • Depending on feature functionality, when you enable a feature to On, Canvas may display a warning message asking to confirm your option, as some course features may have unintended consequences if turned Off.

View User-Level Features

View User-Level Features

Users can enable User-Level Feature Options at the bottom of their Profile Settings.

Note: Admins have no control over user-level features.