What’s New in Canvas? (December 2018)

The new Canvas release for December has just been rolled out across the University, this will bring a few helpful changes to Canvas that will enhance your day to day experience. Two of the biggest changes are the ability to reorder the Card View and an update to the Media Recorder which will make it easier to use, please find information on both these changes below: 

Card View Module Ordering

On the Card View Dashboard, module cards can now be rearranged into any order, this means you can organise your display

To do this your dashboard must first be set to Card View.

Once you are in your dashboard there are two ways to move module cards. The first option is to select the vertical ellipses on the card you’d like to move.  

Image of a module card with the more options button being highlighted

A module card with the ‘more options’ icon indicated.

This will bring up the options menu, from here select the Move option, this will then give you the option to move the card Top, Ahead, Behind or Bottom of its current order.

An arrow highlights that the Move option can be found in the top right of the move menu

The ‘move’ menu for a module card.

The second option to change the order is to manually click and drag a card to a new position then drop it into the new position

An image showing the drag and drop functionality

Moving a card with drag and drop.

HTML5 Media Recorder

HTML5 is now used instead of Flash for recording within the Rich Content Editor in Firefox and Chrome browsers, this means recording media content directly into Canvas will be quicker and seamless. This recorder can be used anywhere the Rich Content Editor is enabled (Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, or Syllabus).

Please note that Internet Explorer and Safari browsers do not support this functionality.

To use the new Media recorder within the Rich Content Editor locate and click the Record/Upload Media button

Screenshot of Rich Content Editor showing the record media icon.

The record media icon can be found on the Rich Content Editor toolbar

This will open up the Record/upload media comment menu, (please note at this point you may be asked by your browser to allow access to your computer’s microphone and camera, you must allow this access in order to use the Media Recorder).

There are three main options to be aware of within the Media Recorder:

An image showing the Record/upload media menu highlighting the three key buttons, the Mic, the Start recording and Webcam button

The Record/upload media menu with the Mic, Start recording and Webcam buttons.

  1. Clicking the Mic option will allow you to choose which of your computers microphones you’d like to use.
  2. The red button labelled ‘Start recording’ will begin a 3 second countdown when pressed, after which the Media Recorder will start to record, pressing the same button whilst recording will finish the recording.
  3. The Webcam option will allow you to choose which of your computers microphones you’d like to use. It’s also possible to choose to have no webcam enabled in which case the Media Recorder will only record audio from your microphone, this is useful if you want to make a purely audio recording.

Once you recording is finished you’ll be presented with the below screen: 

Image showing the Record/Upload media menu after media has been recorded, highlighting where key areas can be found.

Record/Upload media menu after media has been recorded.

  1. You’ll find a preview of your recording here, click the play icon to watch through the preview recording.
  2. You can give your recording a name in order to identify it later.
  3. Clicking the save button will save and insert the recording into the Rich Content Editor.
  4. Clicking the Start over button will delete your recording and let you start a new media recording.

Please note you can also upload captions onto media recordings, please see the Canvas help page for more information https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13043-4152719744

To see a full list of all changes made in the update please see the Canvas Release notes here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15947-canvas-release-notes-2018-12-08

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We are the Educational Enhancement team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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