Canvas Updates for Spring 2021

Canvas Updates (Last Updated 01/22/2021)

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

FAS Expanded Course Description Template

To provide students additional information about your course during the open enrollment period, an Expanded Course Description template was created for Fall 2020 and will again be available in all Spring 2021 FAS courses (Yale College and GSAS courses in Canvas).

As part of the template, you also have the option to share a Course Welcome Video. In the absence of a traditional shopping period, a Course Welcome Video provides students an opportunity to hear from you about the class.

Law School Course Template

Yale Law School has created a custom template which will be added to all Spring 2021 Law School courses.  This template include custom tool sets as well as additional information to help faculty set up their course sites in Canvas.  For assistance with the Law School template, please contact law.canvas@yale.edu.

New and Updated External Applications & Integrations

The Poorvu Center is please to announce the following external applications and external application integrations are now available to all academic courses through Canvas. For a complete list of external applications, please see the following article.

External Application Name Description
REMOVED:  Faculty Enlight / Purchase Course Materials This tool has been deprecated by Barnes & Noble and will not be available in Canvas courses as of October 2020.  Until a replacement tool is available, instructors and students can manage and purchase text books directly through the Yale Bookstore Website:

Website: https://yale.bncollege.com/shop/yale/home
  • Faculty:   Go to the menu for Textbooks --> then select Faculty Resources
  • Students:  Go to the menu for Textbooks --> then select Find 
    Textbooks
REMOVED:  Piazza Q & A This tool will be replaced by Ed Discussions as the supported Q & A tool integrated with Canvas, and will be removed prior to the start of the Spring 21 term. User accounts and existing Piazza discussion boards will not be deleted or impacted with this change.
NEW: Ed Discussions Ed Discussion is a threaded discussion platform. It supports document and image upload, math equations, runnable code, embedded video, and image annotation. Posts can be private or anonymous, and student responses can be ‘endorsed’ by instructors.  Learn more about Ed Discussions and Canvas.
NEW:  Hypothesis Hypothesis is a collaborative annotation tool that allows students to comment on, discuss, and take notes on digital materials.  Hypothesis works on any online page, PDF or EPUB file - through the Canvas integration, Hypothesis can be incorporated in your course as a graded assignment or as an ungraded item in a Module.  Learn more about Hypothesis and Canvas.
NEW:  Lingco (for Language Exams) Lingco is an adaptive language learning and assessment tool.  Lingco provides assessment options for languages that includes powerful AI grading features which can use voice recognition for auto-scoring.  Lingco will be piloted with a small group of language placement exams and other specific language-based activities.  Language instructors can contact the Center for Language study for details.
CONTINUING:  Labster Lab simulations integrated as assignments into Canvas to engage students with science, covering topics within biology, chemistry and more.
CONTINUING:  LinkedIn Learning
Ability to bring in LinkedIn Learning content into Canvas as content in a module, or as an assignment.  With no gradebook integration or visibility into the students learning in LinkedIn Learning for the instructor, so this is better as supplemental or optional assignments, not as required.
CONTINUING:  Playposit
PlayPosit aims to increase learner engagement through interactive videos. You can integrate PlayPosit into your courses through the Assignments tool, or the Modules tool in Canvas. Playposit can leverage videos hosted in Panopto, YouTube, or other hosting platforms.
UPDATED:  Photo Roster - Learner Status With Yale's remote instruction model for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, students may opt to be on campus (in residence) or off campus (remote).  The Photo Roster tool's List View feature includes an extra column which indicates each student's status.

The following improvements have been in place for a while, but are worth mentioning as these tools have seen an increase in user adoption since their implementation.  Two of our existing external applications through integration with Panopto (Media Library) have lead to increase utility and function for those tools that utilize or produce video by providing a common repository for those assets when used in teaching.

External Application Integration Description
Playposit & Panopto (Media Library) Videos stored in a courses Media Library folder within Yale's instance of Panopto are available through Playposit.
Zoom & Panopto (Media Library) When scheduling meetings through the Canvas / Zoom integration, you can now automatically store the recording of that meeting to the Media Library folder for the course you are scheduling from. This is only available for the Zoom integration, and not the Zoom HIPPA integration as access to Zoom cloud recording is required.

Useful Dates and Information

Mid-Semester Feedback Dates:

Mid-Semester Feedback is a tool that is available for instructors to collect feedback in the middle of the term.  The tool is released for a pecific pre-defined time (see below) in all participating schools.  You can read more about the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in our help article for instructors and our help article for students.  

Instructor Open
(instructors can begin creating/editing questions)
October 21, 2020 12:00 AM (ET)
Question Deadline
(instructors must have survey finalized)
March 14, 2021 5:00 PM (ET)
Feedback Opens
(student may begin submitting feedback)
March 15, 2021 8:00 AM (ET)
Feedback Closed 
(students cannot submit after this date)
March 31, 2021 10:00 PM (ET)
Submissions Purged 
(all submissions for the semester will be deleted - instructors should download submissions they want to keep prior to this date)
August 31, 2021 12:00 AM (ET)