What’s New in Canvas Spring 2022?

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The following information will introduce you to notable changes in Canvas for Spring 2022. If you haven’t used Canvas in the past year, we recommend reviewing What’s New in Canvas Fall 2021? 

Assignments & Grading

Submission Feedback Indicator

Students can see when new comments have been added to a submission from the Assignment Details page. When new comments have been added as an annotation or in a rubric, links for Show Rubric and View Feedback are displayed.

Submission Status Label Edits (SpeedGrader)

Submission status labels can be edited directly in SpeedGrader, the same way as in the Gradebook. Adjusting a status in SpeedGrader also applies to the Gradebook.

Assignment Search (Gradebook) 

The Gradebook includes two search fields: one for student names, and one for assignment names. Using the Assignment search field displays any search results that match an assignment in the course.

Assignment Text Entry Word Count 

The word count for a text entry assignment submission is displayed in the sidebar while grading in SpeedGrader. Current functionality is only for text entry assignment submissions and does not apply to any other submission type, such as graded discussions.

New Quizzes Updates

  • New Quizzes Migration: As part of the migration from Classic Quizzes, New Quizzes was enabled for all Penn users on October 1, 2021. Instructors and TAs now have the option to select either Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes for their assessments. New Quizzes will eventually replace Classic Quizzes as the default quiz engine. Classic Quizzes can be used in Canvas courses until June 2024 when New Quizzes will be the only assessment option. Additional details on Penn’s rollout of New Quizzes will be released later this Spring.
  • Assignments and Quizzes Build Link: Instructors can access the New Quizzes Build page from the Assignments and Quizzes pages, bypassing the assignment details page. From the Build page, instructors can immediately change quiz questions, general settings, or quiz moderation options.
  • Stimulus Orientation: The Stimulus question type in New Quizzes includes the ability to choose if the related questions appear to the right or below of the stimulus. Changing the presentation of stimulus content is useful when printing quizzes or when adding narrative stimulus content.

New Tools & Features

Piazza License Ending

The University’s agreement with Piazza ends June 30, 2022, and it may not be available after that date. The University is running a one-year pilot to evaluate Ed Discussion as a replacement for Piazza. If approved, Ed Discussion will be adopted as the sole University-supported Q&A tool beginning July 1, 2022.

Canvas Toolbox

As part of the Courseware Team’s effort to provide more relevant and meaningful content on the Canvas at Penn blog, we are introducing a new blog series, Canvas Toolbox. The Canvas Toolbox series will highlight various LTI tools available in Canvas. LTIs are recommended for increased learner engagement and improved learning outcomes.

Course Request Form Enhancements

The Course Request Form has received several updates to improve the user experience and back-end functionality. Notable enhancements include: 

  • The ability to select previous courses from a drop-down list in the “Copy from existing site” field rather than entering an 8-digit Canvas ID.
  • Displayed courses are now limited to current and upcoming terms (i.e., only courses that are currently requestable), both in the “browse” course list and a user’s home view to avoid accidentally requesting old courses.
  • The ability to select “LPS Online” in the request form and the “Exclude announcements” option when copying a previous course.
  • The Multi-Section section of the form is not displayed if no additional sections are available.
  • The title override limit has been increased from 45 to 255 characters.

Course Development, Design, & Management

Accessibility Checker Indicator 

The Rich Content Editor indicates when accessibility issues are detected in the Accessibility Checker. The indicator helps content creators know about these issues without having to open the Accessibility Checker.

Account Settings & Preferences

Course Notification Customization 

The Notifications page includes account and course-level notification preferences. If a user has any active course enrollments, the menu displays the name of each course. Users can navigate between their courses and set specific notification options for each course.

In the List View of the Dashboard, calendar events that include a Zoom or BigBlueButton link in the description or location field display a “Join Conference” button. If the Join icon is solid and green, the event is currently active. If the button is lined and gray, the event is not currently active.

Embedded Release Notes

Know when a new feature is available in Canvas by viewing the Embedded Release Notes. The Canvas Help Menu displays an indicator when a release note has been published. 


For additional help and support, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Last Updated: 20 Jan 2022

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