Canvas @ Yale

Canvas Updates for Summer 2024

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Notable changes to Canvas @ Yale environment, last updated 05/15/2024.

Canvas Updates

Canvas's core functionality is continuously updated throughout the year. Here are some of the more notable changes you should be aware of.

Canvas Discussion/Announcement Redesign

The interface for Canvas Discussions and Canvas Announcements is updating with their Discussion/Announcements Redesign. Learn more about this redesign from Instructure's community page for the updateWe will be enabling this update on May 22, ahead of Instructure’s planned release for early July, 2024. 

The redesign has feature parity with the "classic" Discussions and Announcements, though there is additional functionality being added: 

  • Discussion and announcement threads display a label for users with TA roles and Teacher (Instructor) roles. This feature helps students more quickly identify users with instructor-based roles in the course. 
  • When a reply includes additional replies, the number of replies is displayed, as well as the number of unread replies (specific to the user viewing the reply). Users can choose to view these replies inline or in a split view. 
  • Users can mention other users in discussion replies by using the "@" symbol. 
  • Users can quote other replies as part of their discussion reply. 
  • Within individual discussions, replies can be reported by students and teachers. Teachers can choose to enable reporting in the Discussions Settings menu. 
  • Discussions allow teachers to create anonymous discussions. 

Canvas External Application Updates

Canvas @ Yale has some changes to our external applications available for faculty and student use.

PlayPosit End of Life

After careful consideration and evaluation of our educational technology tools, we have decided not to renew our PlayPosit license.

Users will have access and can continue using PlayPosit through the end of the Spring 2024 term (May 31st), but PlayPosit will no longer be available for access or use starting Summer 2024.

The decision to not renew the PlayPosit license was made after a thorough assessment of our current and future educational technology needs. We understand that this tool has been valuable in various aspects of teaching. We recommend exploring alternative solutions to fill the gap left by PlayPosit including VoiceThreadPanopto, and Perusall.

Blackboard Ally End of Life - Panorama Replacement

Blackboard Ally, the accessibility checker and tool for document remediation in Canvas, is being depreciated on May 20, 2024. Blackboard Ally will be replaced with Panorama, which has analogous functionality with Ally in terms of identifying and reporting accessibility issues, tools to facilitate document remediation, and access to generate alternative formats for students and faculty. Additional documentation and resources regarding Panorama will be made available closer to the date of tool installation / switching. Any questions regarding Blackboard Ally’s depreciation and Panorama’s replacement can be sent to [email protected].

Pilot Conclusion: FeedbackFruits

FeedbackFruits will conclude its year-long pilot at the end of the Spring 2024 semester, at which point access to the entire FeedbackFruits tool suite will end.

Yale has currently licensed the Peer Review and Group Member Evaluation tools in the FeedbackFruits tool suite, which will be available to all official academic course sites in Canvas. Additional FeedbackFruits tools may be added to Yale's license at the conclusion of the Spring 2024 pilot.

Thank you to all of our faculty, students, and staff who have participated in the FeedbackFruits pilot and provided invaluable feedback in the tools functionality.

“New VoiceThread” Interface

VoiceThread is updating to their "New VoiceThread" interface, which includes many improvements and expansion of functionality. We will be enabling this new interface on May 22 (ahead of VoiceThread’s planned enforcement of this change on June 30, 2024). Expanded functionality includes: 

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