Canvas,  Educational Tools,  Teaching & Learning

Canvas Update: Assignments Enhancements 

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Canvas has been working on modifications to both assignments and discussions – and the changes are now ready to be live! In these two weeks leading up to the release of the updated assignments and discussions, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about the changes.  

This week, we’re looking at the assignment enhancements. These are primarily student-facing interface adjustments to track the “life cycle” of an assignment more easily. Let’s take a look! 

Here’s a screenshot of an updated assignment page.  

Screenshot of the new assignments page calling special attention to the updated sections of a drop-down to see different attempts, a tracker to show what stage of the assignment a student is at, a button for students to add comments to the assignment, and a label showing more prominently how many points the assignment is worth.
The top section of the updated assignment page with important updates highlighted.

With the update, Canvas has moved or added a few things: 

  1. The possible number of points is now at the top right of the page and in a larger font size so it’s easier to find that info 
  2. They’ve added a drop-down for students to view different attempts they’ve uploaded (if the assignment is set to allow multiple or unlimited attempts) 
  3. Canvas has added a visual depiction of what stage the student is in with this assignment – here, the student has not submitted, so the circle is partially outlined and labeled with “In Progress.” They’ve also added what the next steps are – submitting the assignment.  
  4. Canvas added an “Add comment” button so students can add comments or questions to be answered to the assignment sidebar before submission 

The next chunk of the page is very much the same as a current assignment page with the same RCE box for the assignment description as well as the rubric – but the section for actually submitting files does also look different.  

The updated file upload section of the assignments page. It now presents the option to upload a file more clearly and contains other options under a "more" button.
The updated submissions options section of the assignment page.

In this section, Canvas has made submission options instantly visible when scrolling down the page instead of requiring students to click the “new attempt” button to view them. They’ve also greatly simplified things – presenting the option for submitting a file and having all other options under the “more” button. Students can quickly drag and drop a file onto the page, then click the “Submit assignment” button on the bottom toolbar  

Once a student has uploaded, the top section of info is updated to reflect their current progress.  

The top of the assignments page after a student has submitted the assignment. The tracker now shows the date and time of submission as well as the new next stage of reviewing feedback. It also shows the score given to the assignment near the "add comment" button.
The top section of the assignment page with updated information after a student has submitted their work

The “In Progress” is replaced with the submission date and time, and the “Next Up” shows that the next phase for the assignment is to receive feedback. The right side now also has a place for a score for the first attempt to be displayed.  

As you can see, the changes to assignments are primarily small interface changes to put the most important information front and center. Next week, we’ll be looking at the changes to discussions and what you can expect there.  

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