Canvas Newsletter - March 2017

Canvas Newsletter


Canvas Down Time - Canvas is hosted on Amazon servers and on Tuesday a set of those servers went down. Dave Gunn and Cynthia Alexander kept the campus apprised of the situation. They not only received updates from Instructure (about every 20 minutes), but they monitored both the Canvas and Amazon status sites so they would have the most recent information to share. We hope that was useful to you.


Canvas was fully restored and working fine after four hours. That four hours was not just painful to us, but to a number of companies using those servers at Amazon. Instructure indicated that they are looking into how to avoid or address similar situations in the future. For those of you who would like more information: Canvas Incident Report.



Light bulb Now on to updates and current features in Canvas:


Context Cards - Student context cards provide insights and context about the student. Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser. For more information, view How Do I View a Context Card for a Student in a Course?


Mastery Paths - The Canvas MasteryPaths feature allows you to customize learning experiences based on student performance. With MasteryPaths, you identify activities for each student’s learning path and differentiate assignments for required learning, optional learning, or choosing their own content and assignments within a specific path, which helps them achieve course mastery. With MasteryPaths, assignments are differentiated to individual students automatically and no additional work is required aside from grading student assignments as usual. After the initial assignment has been graded (either manually or automatically), the student’s score designates which conditional items(s) will be assigned as a learning path. For more information on MasteryPaths, view “How Do I Use MasteryPaths in Course Modules? “ or view this video tutorial, “Instructor-Mastery Paths”.


Adding Students – Faculty can now add students to their courses using student their registered email or student number.



Upcoming Canvas Workshops:

Using Rubrics & SpeedGrader – March 22 at 2:00

Accessibility in Canvas – March 28 at 10:00

Adding WOW to Your Canvas Course – April 27 at 2:00

Please register at


In addition, there are opportunities to ask Dave Gunn and/or Cynthia Alexander questions you may have about Canvas in our Q&A sessions. These are scheduled for:

March 7 at 5:00

April 4 at 10:00

Note that these Q&A sessions do not qualify for FLEX credit


Also, there are still some openings for Canvas Training through Instructure’s training site. Please contact Cynthia Alexander (calexander@cerritos.eduemail link) if you are interested in these live webinars which are conducted on several days at several times.