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IMPORTANT: Canvas Users, Please Read

November 10, 2021
Categories: Canvas, quizzes

Important: If you use quizzes in Canvas, please read this entire message because big changes are coming.

Winter and Spring Course Shells

ITS plans to create the Winter and Spring semester course shells in Canvas on November 18th. By November 19th at the latest, you should see your course shells on your Canvas Dashboard. If you don’t see your courses there, try clicking the main Canvas COURSES button in the blue left-hand nav (the icon looks like a book). Scroll to the bottom of the list that pops up and choose to view “All courses.” Find your new courses in the list and click the star in front of the course name. The star will turn orange, which means it will show on the Canvas Dashboard.

Student Annotation Assignment Tool

The Canvas Assignment tool has been updated to allow instructors to choose “Student Annotation” as a  Submission Type. This lets instructors choose a document to attach to the assignment. Students will then, as their assignment, see this document and must annotate it using tools like those instructors use in SpeedGrader. The student’s annotated file is considered the assignment submission to be graded.

Here is a quick one-minute video overview:


Detailed Instructor Guide:

How to Create an Assignment

Instructions to share with your students:

How Do Students Submit an Annotation Assignment



Do you use Canvas quizzes? Instructure has created a new quiz engine in Canvas called “New Quizzes” and so the quiz tool we’ve been using in Canvas (now called “Classic Quizzes”) will begin to be phased out. New Quizzes comes with some exciting new features, such as additional question types and the long-awaited ability to give a student additional time for all quizzes in one spot. However, there will be a significant learning curve because this is a whole new quiz engine rather than just an update to the existing tool.

DON’T PANIC. You have a reasonable amount of time to make the transition to New Quizzes in your courses. Instructure’s current timeline is:

  • July 2022: at this point, instructors will still be able to use existing Classic Quizzes but will NOT be able to create new Classic Quizzes.
  • June 2023: Classic Quizzes will be turned off and all existing quizzes must be migrated to New Quizzes.

IMPORTANT: It is a pretty seamless process to migrate simple quizzes, however if you use question banks and/or Respondus, please know that Instructure is still working on these features in New Quizzes. If you use question banks and/or Respondus, then you may want to go ahead and learn how to use New Quizzes, but consider waiting to migrate your existing quizzes- Instructure has said to expect these two features to be addressed in New Quizzes by the end of this calendar year.

New Quizzes is available now in your Canvas course and it is a great time to start learning how to use it. The video below explains what’s happening with quizzes in Canvas (including the timeline), demonstrates how to enable New Quizzes, how to migrate existing (basic) quizzes to New Quizzes, how to create a quiz with New Quizzes (including three new question types!), and how to use its exciting new accommodations feature:


Additionally, here is the Complete Canvas Guides for New Quizzes

Workshops and Training:

I have partnered with ITS to offer both virtual and face-to-face training opportunities during the Spring semester. You can see the list of dates and sign up HERE. If the link doesn’t work for you, go to and search for New Quizzes.

Finally, if you would like to meet individually, either in person or via Zoom, you can contact me directly at