New tools in Canvas coming this Summer!

Rich Content Editor – Find and Replace

A longtime requested tool from the Canvas community is nearly here! If you’re a Canvas user and you’ve created a quiz, discussion, or assignment, you’re probably familiar with the Canvas Rich Content Editor tool. Coming next month as a Canvas update, the RCE tool will have a new plugin tool Find and Replace which will work throughout Canvas wherever the RCE can be utilized. It will be similar in functionality to Find and Replace in other applications. When it’s available, choose Tools from any RCE toolbar and enter the text you’d like to find and replace; it’s quick and simple! 

Find and Replace tool in Canvas's Rich Content Editor toolbar.
Find and Replace interface.

Discussion Redesign

This video from Instructure will share with you the updated features to include Full and Partial Anonymity for Graded Discussions, Improved Accessibility, Split View, Reply Reporting, and Quoting and @ Mentions along with all the existing functions! Additional information is available from Canvas here! Whatever your role, this information will ensure you make the best use of the Discussion redesign; stay tuned for more information!

CTL Technical Workshop: Panopto

Are you looking for a way to incorporate video recordings to increase student engagement or provide course materials to be viewed in preparation for class? Perhaps you’re seeking a tool to capture lectures or meetings where multiple video sources can be captured at the same time which can be easily edited and shared? Compatible with multiple operating systems and file formats, Panopto is a robust and straight-forward tool to fit those needs and many more.

Join the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning for an Introduction to Panopto workshop on March 28, 2024 at 11am at the Van Pelt and Opie Library Room 242. Workstations (Windows operating system based) will be available if you would like to follow along or feel free to bring your own device! 
To register, please visit this link:

For questions or accommodation requests, please contact Jess with the Center for Teaching and learning at or (906) 487-2275.

Organizing the Canvas Gradebook

The Canvas Gradebook helps instructors easily view and enter grades for students. Depending on the Grade display type, grades for each assignment can be viewed as points, percentage, complete or incomplete, GPA scale, or letter grade. Only graded assignments, graded discussions, graded quizzes, and graded surveys that have been published display in the Gradebook. Not Graded assignments are not included. (Source: more Gradebook information from Canvas)

Did you know there were several options within the Canvas Gradebook to make the grading process easier and the instructor’s gradebook more organized? Utilizing the Canvas Gradebook keeps your students apprised of their academic standing in the class and keeps the course grades organized and in one place.

Organizing Gradebook columns:

From the Canvas navigation menu, choose the Gradebook. Columns can be arranged to suit instructional needs. Place the mouse cursor over a column, press the left mouse button and hold it, and move the column to the desired location.

There are additional options under the three stacked dots (More Options) on the right hand side of the column header for coursework. Using the Sort by you are able to sort scores in ascending or descending order or by submission status.

From the More Options, instructors can adjust the Grade Posting Policy for that particular assignment or quiz.

Gradebook View Options:

From the Canvas navigation menu, choose Grades and then from the upper right hand choose the Gear\View Options.

The View Options tab allows filtering and sorting of the Gradebook according to viewing options:

  • Arrange By: arrange columns by default, assignment name, due date, points, or module.
  • Show: show or hide the notes column, the unpublished assignments column, the split student names column, hide assignment group totals, and hide total and override columns.
  • Status Color: view and change the color for a grading status (late, missing, resubmitted, dropped, and excused).

New column available in the Canvas Gradebook:

If you’ve looked at your Canvas Gradebook recently, you may have seen a new column just to the right of the student names; the new column is Major and lists the student fields of study.  Please note: the column is not able to be moved or hidden and will be available for Michigan Tech courses starting Spring 2024.

If you have further questions about utilizing the Canvas Gradebook, feel free to reach out to the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at 487-3000 or email us at

Early Term Surveys

Is your Early Term Survey ready for your students? The fourth and fifth week of the term is right around the corner and it’s your opportunity to gather valuable and constructive anonymous feedback from your students about your instructional processes; the survey results provide a roadmap for pedagogical adjustments early in the term. Both the Provost and the University Senate (Policy 505.1) advocate for distributing an Early Term Survey.

In each Canvas course shell, an Early Term Survey resides within the Quizzes section. Three default questions are provided; however, instructors have the ability to add, delete, or modify the survey questions based upon the type of feedback they are seeking. Creating a survey question is the same as creating a Quiz or Assignment.

Once an instructor is satisfied with their questions, the quiz can be published and accessed by the students during the allotted time frame. 

After the surveys are complete, instructors are able to see the results through Moderate This Survey.

For more information and general guidelines about the Early Term Survey, please refer to the Faculty Handbook.

If you have further questions about administering the Early Term Survey or would like to discuss ways that you can successfully apply the feedback to your course, feel free to reach out to the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at 487-3000 or email us at

Interpreting Course evaluations

Even as a new semester is starting, we should not lose sight of all the effort that went into teaching last semester.  The start of a new semester is a perfect time to reflect on your course evaluation results and the student feedback received.  

Previous course evaluations can provide valuable information and insight as you begin to take the time to reflect on where you would like to refine your courses in the new semester. But where do you begin to make sense of all the data and feedback that is provided on course evaluations? 

Starting Point

Select a recent course evaluation and run the report with comments.  At the top left corner of the report will be your response rates.  Do you have a good response rate to justify the value of the data?  If you have a very low response rate, you may want to be careful in making generalizations of the course overall. Be sure to use course evaluations that have at least a 50% response rate. For this reason, it is important to encourage students to complete the evaluations so that it will generate sufficient usable data later on. High response rates along with high scores also leads to teaching award nominations!!

Review the overall average of the 7 dimensions.  

The average of the 7 dimensions will be found towards the bottom of the report just under the likert scale questions.  Typically questions 5-11 are the seven dimension questions determined by the university.  Your average score on the 7 dimensions will depend on many variables such as class size, experience teaching this particular course, etc. If you would like to improve your overall average of the 7 dimensions, it is important that you look at each individual dimension and find the one with the lowest score.  This dimension would be your best indicator of a starting point in refining your course.  Going forward, you will want to select and  incorporate some different approaches or strategies that would hopefully strengthen this dimension from the student perspective.  

Student Feedback

Are you overwhelmed by reading through all the student comments at the bottom of your course evaluation reports?  Wondering where to start to incorporate this feedback into your future course offerings?  Begin by trying to categorize each comment into broader topics.  You will begin to see that most of the comments correlate with one of the 7 dimensions.  The category with the most comments will be an indicator of where to refine your approach moving into future offerings of this course.  

Feel free to reach out to the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning – we have a wealth of strategies and approaches that you can try based on your course structure and comfort level.

Creating Accessible Equations in Canvas

Canvas provides multiple ways to add equations to pages. In this blog post, you will learn a method that will create accessible equations in Canvas, which means that these equations will be automatically accessible by a Screen Reader and no additional effort is required. 

Now you can add LaTex code directly into the Rich Content editor. For those who do not know, LaTeX code is a powerful markup language for mathematical typesetting. If you are familiar with LaTex or you just need to create simple equations, please follow the instructions in Displaying equations in Canvas to create accessible equations in Canvas; if you do not know LaTex, please check out Tools to create equations in Latex format and then follow the instructions in Displaying equations in Canvas to create accessible equations in Canvas. 

Displaying Equations in Canvas

So now how to display equations in Canvas? First, please login your canvas course and located a Canvas page you want the equations to display, and then follow these steps: 

  1. Click Edit button and Locate Text Field where you would like to put an equation.
  2. Type the appropriate Delimiter to signal that the equation should be rendered in LaTeX.
    • \( and \) should be used for equations that are meant to be displayed inline with text.
    • $$ should be used for equations that are meant to be displayed in separate blocks.
  3. Type the Equation between the delimiters.
    • Ex: \(x^2+3x+4=7\) for inline text or $$ x^3+2x+4=9$$ for block text
  4. Click Save for whatever text field you are working in.
  5. Check that the Equation is being displayed correctly. It should look similar to the screenshot below.

You can create more complicated equations, like the one displayed below using $$\frac{\sigma_y}{\partial{y}}+\frac{\tau_{xy}}{\partial{x}}+Y_b=0$$.

Tools to Create Equations in LaTex format

If you do not know LaTeX code, don’t worry. You can write equations in MS Word or EquatIO and covert equations easily as LaTex.  

Please check the Write an equation or formula in MS Word page for how to convert an equation to the Linear (LaTex) formats. 

For EquatIO, after you finish creating the equation, you can click the LaTex editor (see screenshot below) to find the LaTex format. 

If you have any questions or need any assistance in creating accessible equations in Canvas, please contact  

Canvas update: New Analytics replacing Course Analytics

Canvas update: New Analytics replacing Course Analytics

New Analytics, the updated version of Course Analytics, will be available in this month’s Canvas release on December 16th! Are you curious about your student course engagement, coursework status, or keeping track of students who may need extra assistance (low scores or missing/late coursework) and desire the ability to reach out to them directly? New Analytics fulfills those instructional requirements by updating the New Analytics dashboard every 24 hours in published courses with Course Activity Reports taking approximately 40 hours. Special note: only active and completed student enrollments are included in data for New Analytics; deleted or inactive user enrollments do not generate data. 

Use New Analytics to:

  • View average course grade analytics as an interactive chart graph or a data table
  • Compare the course average with an individual assignment, course section, or student filter using the chart graph comparison or data table comparison
  • View average weekly online participation analytics as an interactive chart graph or a data table
  • Compare the course average weekly online participation analytics with an individual student or section using the chart graph comparison or data table comparison
  • Send a message to all students based on specific course grade or participation criteria
  • Send a message to an individual student based on specific course grade or participation criteria
  • View course grade and participation analytics for an individual student
  • View and download reports on missing, late, or excused assignments, class roster, and course activity.
  • View a report that displays if students have met online attendance criteria that has been selected by an admin.

Additional notes from Canvas:

  • In order for New Analytics to display in Canvas, third-party cookies may need to be enabled in your browser settings.
  • New Analytics data does not display for unpublished courses.
  • Because mobile page view data is based on device settings and network connection, it may vary from the time the page views actually occurred. Page view data should not be used to assess academic integrity.
  • Unposted assignments are not included in the New Analytics course grade tab.

If you wish to see what New Analytics will look like in a current course:

  • From your left hand navigation menu choose Settings
  • From the top menu choose Feature Options
  • Under Features, find New Course and User Analytics and from that option on the right hand side enable the feature by selecting the red circle/x and choose Enable

A Canvas designed How-To and what it can do for instructors can be found here. The Canvas Community has a FAQ on New Analytics here and if you’re curious what other New Analytic users are saying in the Canvas Community, direct your browser to this link!

Otherwise after December 16th, choose New Analytics located in the upper righthand corner from within your course shell. If you are currently using Course Analytics and wish to preserve course data, Canvas recommends taking screenshots of the course data prior to December 16th. (It should still be there, just in a different format.)