Canvas Features

Common Core and State Standards

Teachers can easily align their instruction and lessons to the Common Core and/or state standards and measure student outcomes using assessments. Through ongoing exposure to formative assessments, students gain confidence with high-stakes testing formats. And schools can better predict performance on high-stakes tests.

Learning Mastery for Students

Empower students to take control of their learning.

Empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning is one of the most important ways to eliminate loss from the learning process. With Learning Mastery for Students in Canvas, students can quickly see and understand their own progress toward mastering key outcomes. This gives them the information they need to focus their time and efforts and helps ensure they don’t lose sight of academic goals.

Quiz Stats

Analyze and improve individual assessments and quiz questions.

Quizzes provide a quick, interactive way to gather feedback about student learning. But if you’re asking the wrong questions in the wrong ways, you’re losing valuable insights about what’s really getting through to students. Using student performance data, Canvas’ Quiz Stats feature allows you to assess the effectiveness of your quiz questions, so you can identify and address knowledge gaps resulting from “lossy” learning.

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Track in real-time how students are performing and demonstrating their learning.

For F2F assessments that require a visual inspection or evaluation of individual performance (like research posters and class presentations), teachers lose time—and more importantly, they lose the context of the live presentation—when they assess work in class and transfer assessments to the gradebook later. With MagicMarker, you can assess student competency and understanding related to specific learning objectives or outcomes on-the-spot using your mobile device. Your assessments are instantly transferred to your Canvas Gradebook, ensuring that nothing is lost in translation.

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Canvas Polls

Gauge comprehension and incorporate formative assessment without the need for “clicker” devices.

If your instructional pace is too fast or too slow, you’ll lose students to confusion, boredom, or both. The solution is Canvas Polls, which allows you to instantly assess student comprehension with live, in-class polling. Canvas Polls is free, easy-to-use, and leverages students’ own smartphones or tablets, making it more accessible than off-the-shelf devices. It provides the core features needed for active teaching models like peer instruction. And because Canvas Polls integrates with Canvas courses, participation and performance data is saved for every student, so you’ll never lose touch with student understanding.

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User-Customizable Navigation

Canvas intelligently adds course navigation links as teachers create courses.

One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for course navigation. When you create a new course, Canvas automatically hides links to empty course elements—then turns them on once you add content. You can reorder navigation links or decide yourself which ones to hide by simply dragging and dropping links from the course settings page. It’s that simple.

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IOS and Android

Engage students in learning anytime, anywhere from any computer or mobile device with a Web-standard browser.

Learning happens everywhere. That’s why Canvas mobile apps for iOS and Android give students and teachers the tools they need to make it happen whenever and wherever they are. From SpeedGrader for iPad to multimedia discussions that allow you to upload videos recorded on your phone or tablet, Canvas takes learning way beyond the classroom.

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Ease of Use

A familiar, intuitive interface means most users already have the skills they need to navigate, learn, and use Canvas.

Canvas is all about usability. From the very beginning, it was designed with end-users in mind, so its real power comes from its simplicity. In study after study, users of all abilities say Canvas’ interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate. This minimizes user frustration, reduces support costs, and ultimately, lets Canvas users focus on what’s truly important—whether that’s calculus, English lit, finance or medicine.

Notification Preferences

Receive course updates when and where you want - by email, text message, even Twitter or LinkedIn.

For each type of course notification—announcements, due date changes, discussion replies, and more—you decide how and when you’re alerted. You can choose from email and text message or stay connected via Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Web services. You can also control how often you receive notifications, so important messages never fall through the cracks.

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Automated Tasks

Course management is fast and easy with automated tasks.

Repetition has its place in the learning process, but who needs practice rescheduling due dates? When you create or update an assignment in Canvas, it automatically populates the syllabus, gradebook, and calendar, so you can maximize your time by minimizing repetitive tasks. And with the Canvas files repository, you’ll save even more time by easily sharing documents between courses.

Mobile Annotation

Open, annotate, and submit an assignments directly within the Canvas mobile app.

The annotation feature within the Canvas mobile app allows instructors and students to annotate documents directly inside Canvas, eliminating the need for a separate digital annotation tool. This functionality allows instructors to spend less time demonstrating procedures for moving and transitioning digital assignments and more time teaching lessons and describing the expectations of assignments.

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Connect each learning outcome to a specific goal, so results are demonstrated in clearly measurable ways.

Integrated learning outcomes reduce the effort and expense of accreditation. Outcomes connect coursework with competencies defined at any level of the institution, so assessing student learning has never been easier. And when aligned with rubrics, outcomes help improve teacher feedback—and may even inspire better student performance.

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Integrated Media Recorder

Record audio and video messages within Canvas.

What if you could easily include audio or video comments as part of a course discussion or when grading student work? With Canvas, you can. All you need is a computer or mobile device with a microphone and camera—and Canvas does the rest. Multimedia messages can be attached to personal messages, assignments, discussions and even graded work.

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Graphic Analytics Reporting Engine

Canvas Analytics help you turn rich learner data into meaningful insights to improve teaching and learning.

With dashboard views customized for students, teachers, and administrators, Canvas Analytics take course data to a whole new level. Analytics give students continuous feedback and allow teachers to measure effectiveness of content, view learning outcomes, and intervene when students need extra help. And with side-by-side comparisons of courses and departments, administrators have a bird’s eye view of the whole institution.

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SpeedGrader Annotations

Preview student submissions and provide feedback all in one frame.

Canvas’ SpeedGrader converts documents automatically, so teachers can preview and annotate student submissions—all without having to download or upload files. Beyond standard text-based feedback, the inline annotation tool enables highlighting, strikeout, and freehand drawing. With so many tools to simplify grading, teachers may decide to assign an extra essay or two.

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Canvas Commons

Canvas Commons makes sharing a whole lot easier.

Canvas Commons is the learning object repository (LOR) that will actually get used. Why? Because it makes sharing unbelievably easy. Searching for content is more intuitive and more rewarding. Importing and exporting content is super easy too. Create your own personal LOR. Share widely or specifically. Canvas Commons will change the way you think about LORs.

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Canvas Data

Canvas Data parses and aggregates more than 280 million rows of Canvas usage data generated daily.

Canvas Data parses and aggregates more than 280 million rows of Canvas usage data generated daily. Once extracted from Canvas, your data is purposefully optimized for easy integration with any ODBC-compliant analytics tool. So, you can use tools you know and prefer to easily generate custom queries and reports that allow you to access, analyze, and understand complex learning data. Basic access to Canvas Data is available to all Canvas institutions at no additional cost. Premium services are available for an additional fee.

RSS Support

Pull feeds from external sites into courses and push out secure feeds for all course activities.

Teachers can create announcements that feed directly from external Web sites, allowing the flow of new course information to run on autopilot. Announcement feeds can even be limited to select keywords, so students only receive the most relevant updates. Teachers can also turn on an RSS podcast feed, allowing media posts to be picked up by programs like iTunes.

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Download and Upload Files

Work in Canvas or work offline—it’s up to you.

If you prefer to use external tools or need to work offline, Canvas gives you the flexibility to download a zipped collection of files from your course. Then, when you’re ready, you can easily upload the revised or graded files back to Canvas. Your LMS should accommodate your workflow—not the other way around.

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Grade assignments in half the time.

Once you use SpeedGrader, you won’t know how you ever survived without it. Within one frame, you can view, score and provide audio, video or written feedback on submissions. Not only does it cut down unnecessary steps and make grading faster, it provides built-in rubrics and learning outcomes, so you can focus on what really counts. And because grades are transferred automatically from SpeedGrader to the gradebook, you can use the time you save on data entry to provide even more student feedback.

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Modern Web Standards

Canvas is built using the same Web technologies that power sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Canvas is built with modern technologies, including Ruby on Rails, AJAX, HTML5, jQuery, and OAuth. Canvas also supports external service integrations, like Facebook, Google Docs, and Kaltura. All of these high-performing best-of-the-web solutions help teachers and students collaborate more effectively—with better usability and no hassles.

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LTI Integrations

Use the tools you want with LTI integrations.

Canvas lets teachers “plug out” to a variety of external services and tools through LTI integrations, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to building a better learning experience. Extend Canvas with online textbooks, instructional videos, blogging tools or just about anything you can think of to make your course more functional and engaging.

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Browser Support

Connect to Canvas from any Web-standard browser.

Canvas is accessible from any computer or mobile device with a Web-standard browser. Canvas supports the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. This means no end-user software—and no installation or compatibility headaches. Just open your browser, log in, and Canvas is ready to go.

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Open API

With its open API, Canvas easily integrates with your IT ecosystem.

In the same way that Canvas makes it easier for students and teachers to interact, its open API facilitates “talking” with other software programs. Institutions use Canvas’ open API for a wide range of custom integrations and information sharing, like SIS integrations or exchanging information via a campus portal. It’s even possible to create custom tools for assignment processing, course copying or whatever you need to make life easier at your institution.

Web Conferencing

Engage in synchronous online communication.

With real-time audio, video, and whiteboard capabilities, Canvas’ Web conferencing tools help students and teachers stay connected. For fully online and blended courses alike, Web conferencing enables group collaboration, office hours, and real-time presentations—so distance students feel a lot less distant.

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Turn Students into Creators

Students can create and share audio, video, and more within assignments, discussions, and collaborative workspaces.

Why should teachers have all the fun? Canvas gives students the same powerful authoring toolset, so in addition to contributing files, images, equations, and written responses, students can record or upload audio and video at every learning contact point. And Canvas’ content editor makes it easy to share resources from the world’s largest content repository—the Internet.

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Engage students in learning anytime, anywhere from iOS or Android, or any mobile device with a Web-standard browser.

Learning happens everywhere. That’s why Canvas mobile apps for iOS and Android give students and teachers the tools they need to make it happen whenever and wherever they are. From SpeedGrader for iPad to multimedia discussions that allow you to upload videos recorded on your phone or tablet, Canvas takes learning way beyond the classroom.

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Empower Groups with Collaborative Workspaces

By using the right technologies in the right ways, Canvas makes working together easier than ever.

Two heads are better than one, right? When student groups come together in Canvas, they share a toolset for collaborating on assignments, completing peer reviews, uploading files, creating Wiki pages, starting threaded discussions, and “gathering” for real-time chats and Web conferencing. Integrated tools like Google Docs and Etherpad make group learning more productive and help minimize the obstacles of distance and time.

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Multimedia Integrations

Insert audio, video, text, images, and more at every learning contact point.

If you know how to cut and paste links from a Web browser, you’re ready to create a rich media experience in Canvas. Videos from YouTube, images from Flickr, and more can be embedded easily into announcements, assignments, discussions—or just about anywhere. Integrated multimedia makes the difference between a boring course Web site and an engaging learning environment, so go ahead—engage!

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Audio and Video Messages

Give better feedback and help students feel more connected with audio and video messages.

With audio and video messages in Canvas, students and teachers get more from their interactions. Not only does talking instead of typing save time and effort, it also adds a human element to online courses. Believe it or not, many Canvas students say online video messaging makes them feel more connected than in-person courses.

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Introduce yourself to classmates with a Canvas profile.

Canvas users can create customizable profiles to share a little about themselves—and to get a head start building meaningful connections with peers and colleagues. Profiles can include a short bio, favorite links, preferred contact methods, and a photo. Anywhere a user’s name appears in Canvas—in collaborative workspaces, discussions, and more—other users can click to access their public profile. It’s way more interactive than nametags.

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Robust Course Notifications

Receive course updates when and where you want—by email, text message, and even Facebook.

For each type of course notification—announcements, calendar updates, due date changes, discussion replies, and more—you decide how and when you’re alerted. You can choose from email and text message or stay connected via Facebook, Twitter, and other Web services. You can also control how often you receive notifications, so you stay aware of course activities and important messages never fall through the cracks.

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