Canvas,  Educational Tools

Canvas Feature: Microsoft Immersive Reader

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve talked a lot about the Canvas/Microsoft partnership and how more Microsoft products and features are being incorporated into Canvas. Today, we’re revisiting one of those features – the Microsoft Immersive Reader.  

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is now available through more of Canvas. Initially only released on Canvas pages, it’s now also available on the syllabus, assignments, and a course’s home page. This reader presents the page text in a more accessible format where the user can choose the text preferences, grammar options, reading preferences, and to have the page content read to them. 

To launch the reader, click the “Microsoft Immersive Reader” button at the top right of a Canvas page. The settings pane is auto displayed, but you can minimize it by clicking on the main page text.  

Text Preferences 

This area of the settings pane allows the user to adjust the size and type of font as well as change spacing or color themes.  

Screenshot of the text preferences pane displaying the described settings.
Screenshot of the text preferences pane displaying the described settings.

Grammar Options 

These settings break down and label grammatical details. Users can choose to have the words broken down into syllables, and they can also opt to have parts of speech identified by color highlighting or even a label. 

Screenshot of the grammar options pane displaying the described settings.
Screenshot of the grammar options pane displaying the described settings.

Reading Preferences 

This is one of the coolest parts of the Immersive Reader. Here, the user can turn on “line focus,” which fades out all the text except for a select number of lines that are highlighted. You can choose to have one, three, or five lines highlighted.  

Screenshot of the reading preferences pane displaying the described settings.
Screenshot of the reading preferences pane displaying the described settings.

Having the Page Content Read to You 

Yes, the Immersive Reader can read the text to you! On the bottom of the page, there’s a play button as well as a voice settings button. Click the play button to have the reader start reading with the default voice and speed. Click the settings button to adjust the speed and voice type. You can adjust the settings as the voice is reading to set it to where it’s best for you. At any point, click the pause button to stop the reading.  

Screenshot of the voice settings pop-up displaying the described settings.
Screenshot of the voice settings pop-up displaying the described settings.

If you’re curious about the research behind this project, check out Microsoft’s Immersive Reader Resources (specific studies and articles linked at the bottom of the page). If you have questions, please ask them below in a comment or email them to us at ctl@cedarville.edu.  

Editor’s note: This post was updated and republished to reflect the Immersive Reader being available throughout more of Canvas and to update the link to Microsoft’s information related to the Immersive Reader.

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