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Canvas LMS

Posted on 0000-00-01



Canvas editing is buggy, pt 2

Any time I'm editing multiple Fill In The Blank question types in an item bank, the PREVIEW gets royally fucked up. The question APPEARS ok when I'm EDITING it, but when it isn't displayed right in the preview, how can I be confident that my students are seeing the correct stuff for the question??


Canvas editing is buggy

Here I've captured a clip of me editing a "fill in the blank" style question and the answer option text CHANGING on me when I edit the question formatting.


New Quizzes are sometimes under "Quizzes", sometimes under "Assignments"

With the original Classic Quizzes, they would show up on Canvas under the Quizzes section. However, with New Quizzes, this is inconsistent.

When adding a New Quiz link to an announcement, nothing shows up under the Quizzes dropdown box. You have to open up Assignments to find any New Quizzes.

However, when adding a New Quiz to the modules, it DOESN'T show up under Assignments, and you need to search under the Quiz section to find your New Quizzes.

Creating a new item bank goes into the "All Banks" category

Originally, there wasn't a way to edit Item Banks for New Quiz questions in Canvas. Since then, they've added an "Item Banks" link option into settings where you can go to edit them outside of a quiz. HOWEVER.

The interface makes it look like you can create a question group for a course-specific quiz bank. When you select "+ Bank" while under the "this course" view of question groups, you can add a name, but it WON'T get added into this course's question groups - it gets added into "all banks", which is CLUTTERED because, as I've mentioned before, to have randomized groups of questions in New Quizzes you HAVE TO CREATE A QUESTION BANK GROUP, so EVERY TEST and EVERY QUIZ where you want RANDOMIZED QUESTIONS must have a question group (unlike with classic quizzes). And now I can't even organize quiz questions specifically for my CS134 class INSIDE THE CS134 CLASS??

Inconsistent design around course navigation

Another thing that irks me is setting up the navigation in Canvas. There is a big list of options that you can drag up to top "show them in the course navigation", or you can drag them below to "hide them from students".

Items in the Below region sometimes won't show up on YOUR navigation, either. They're basically just disabled and - again - not in the navigation for either student OR teacher. But some items (like "Files") will still show up in your nav if they're in the Below region. But there are a TON of links down there, and I'm glad not all of them show up, but there's no way to tell which ones will not be on the nav bar at all, and which one will be, but "invisible".

However, there are certain nav links you CAN drag to the navigation view which will show up for you, the teacher, but not for the students. It is not clearly communicated, either. So if I drag up "Item Banks" so that I can view it in the navigation, I was wondering "will students see my item banks??" - No, they won't.

Of course you can confirm this by toggling between Teacher View and Student View:

But this is just bad design overall. There should be a place where you can set up the secondary nav bar on the right-hand side of the teacher view, where it says "Import Existing Content", "Import from Commons", etc. where I can edit links THERE that are CLEARLY JUST FOR THE INSTRUCTOR, and keep the left-hand nav consistent between all views.


CTRL+F doesn't work while editing HTML in Canvas

Oh yeah, I can't do a "CTRL+F" find while editing HTML in a Canvas assignment. Sure, it will search the page, but it won't scroll me to where the found text is, because the find happens from the browser and not in Canvas' text editor. -_-


Submit finishes but the page doesn't update

With whatever update was recently added to Canvas, the process of attaching a file and hitting "Submit" doesn't finish. I can, however, refresh the page and the attached file is there.

They f***ed up the Outcomes/Rubrics

With another recent update the Rubric/Mastery/Outcome system has been changed, with a bunch of really terrible default values (What is "Exceeds Mastery"????), and by default it's marked as the instructors cannot make modifications.

I was heavily utilizing this feature before the change, where I was using the criterias: Mastery, Satisfactory, Not Yet, and Unassessable (inspired by the CS-ED Podcast on alternative grading), and with this update all my outcomes have been replaced with this garbage.

As usual, I cannot rely on Canvas for anything, which is why most of my class content is hosted off-site on a webpage I built myself. Now instead of relying on the in-Canvas rubrics, I'm just going to have to keep track of it in a spreadsheet and give my students the spreadsheet as an attachment for their grade breakdown.


New Quizzes are New but they aren't Improved

As of the summer semester the "classic" style quizzes will not be supported anymore and we will need to utilize the "new quizzes" for all our content. Except there are a few problems.

Not ALL the features from CLASSIC quizzes survived. Somehow it seems like every time Canvas makes an update, their update removes features or breaks things. Here are some things that are no longer supported with new quizzes:

  • Can no longer create a group of randomized questions INSIDE the quiz; now this requires that you add all the questions to an ITEM BANK and then add the ITEM BANK to the quiz so you can have a random selection of those questions. This is an issue because it means YOUR ITEM BANK WILL BECOME VERY DISORGANIZED because you suddenly need a bank group for EVERY SET OF QUESTIONS YOU WANT RANDOMIZED.
  • Cannot add blocks of text within the new quizzes anymore. You will have to add a "stimulus" object and attach questions to it. You are unable to have independent text objects otherwise. The STIMULUS also sucks because if you attach too many questions it will not expand to fit the quiz page, it will become its own scrollable section, which means you have SCROLLBARS WITHIN SCROLLBARS, and questions will be hidden beneath the scroll... students may miss questions. I've had to begin changing my quizzes to "one question at a time" (but allowing backtracking) just to make my quizzes legible.
  • Cannot edit the HTML of question text anymore. This sucks because I often adjust the HTML of questions, especially when working with programming quizzes. This also means that I cannot FIX my IMPORTED/CONVERTED QUIZZES that were using HTML in there.
  • Can no longer set "feedback for incorrect answer" based on WHICH ANSWER THE STUDENT SELECTED, there's just one box for "incorrect answer" now so it's all put together and you can't clarify based on a single answer.
  • You cannot edit the ALT TEXT of an image already added on a Canvas assignment. And because you can't edit the HTML, you can't MANUALLY add it, either!

And there are more headaches with how New Quizzes is designed:

  • When creating a random question group, you basically need to do this bizarre set of steps:
    1. Create question in the quiz
    2. Click "Item Banking", add it to a new bank
    3. DELETE question you just made
    4. Click on the NEW QUESTION button, select the item bank icon
    5. Navigate to the item bank you just created, click the + icon
  • MIGRATING classic quizzes to new quizzes DOESN'T WORK because of features missing, so often it's better to just REWRITE A QUIZ FROM SCRATCH instead of relying on that migration. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY QUIZZES I HAVE ACROSS ALL MY CLASSES? HOW MUCH WORK THAT IS?? -- I might as well write my own quiz giver or find a third party that ISN'T GOING TO BREAK THINGS ALL THE TIME.

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