Canvas Product Updates – A Year in Review

Over the past year, Canvas has been busy making updates. What is awesome is that these changes happened seamlessly with the intent to make the product even easier for both educators and students to use.

As a reminder, Canvas is upgraded and updated every three weeks so that institutions and students benefit from continuous, incremental product improvement, new features, and extended functionality. Significant product updates are announced on the CTL website, so please visit it often!  Also, follow us on Twitter @MoraineCTL  to stay up-to-date on everything CTL-related.

In case you missed them, here is a list highlighting some of the cool changes that have happened in Canvas over the past year:

Ease of Use

  • A student view button has been added to the course home page. Please, take a look at your course from the student perspective!
  • The course home page now defaults to the modules page, putting your content at the forefront of the class. You can still change the course home page to display the Recent Activity Dashboard, Pages Front Page, the Course Modules, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus.
  • Faculty members can now copy materials within a course using the module duplication, assignment duplicationpage duplication, and discussion duplication options in the item settings.

Content Editor

  • Checking for accessibility issues within Canvas can be done using either the Accessibility Checker in the content editor or by using the UDOIT tool on the course menu.
  • When adding images, it is now easier to add alternative text or indicate an image as decorative.
  • A word count displays in the bottom corner of the content editor.



  • Users can now embed media from the content editor toolbar.
  • Panopto is fully integrated in Canvas.




  • The Canvas Teacher App was released for Android and iOS.
  • Mobile analytics are now tracked.

If you have questions or want to learn more about any of the updates, follow the corresponding links to the Canvas Community or contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Coming Soon!

Canvas has been actively working on and testing a new gradebook and a new quiz tool called Quizzes.Next. Stay tuned to the CTL website for updates on these changes!