Monthly platform updates
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In productionCanvas logo


Scheduled to be released last month but has been delayed: Users that have both instructor and student roles will have distinct and separate to-do lists displayed in their sidebars so that they can differentiate between their lists.

To be released December 7

  • In the RCE, the status bar Word Counter displays a detailed view of words and characters, providing fast access to a detailed view of the word count.
  • The RCE supports the pasting and drag and drop of content. Pasting content requires the Command+V, Control+V or Paste from the browser’s context menu.

To be released December 17

  • On the Permissions page, Manage Course Content- add / edit / delete group permission has been added to Course and Account Roles. Each individual permission can also be managed separately within the group, providing more granularity for managing course content.
  • The RCE is available in New Quizzes.
  • In the Inbox, coding has been updated to improve accessibility and functionality.
  • Feature options for New Quizzes:
    • Blueprint Course Quiz Locking disables editing of New Quizzes in associated courses.This update provides consistent quiz content across blueprint associated courses.
    • In the New Quizzes settings, instructors can enable Allow Clearing Selection (Multiple Choice) allowing students to clear multiple choice answers.
    • This update improves the Fill in the Blank multiple word bank answer option experience for students and instructors.

Virtual Assistant rollout

Instructure is introducing a Virtual Assistant in mid-spring. Users will be able to chat into the Virtual Assistant, receive Canvas Guide and Knowledge Base Article Recommendations, and have the ability to speak to a live support agent available at each step. The goal for this tool is to enhance the user’s Customer Support experience by guiding them to the right information. Specifically, they are targeting the 30% of non-Canvas questions that L1 Support receives, like registration or school-specific questions. The Assistant works by providing the user information from Harvard-specific information we have previously given to Instructure. We will update you as we hear more information about the release date.

Roadmap and Idea Conversations

In the Canvas Community, users have been asking for more transparency into Instructure’s future product strategy. Instructure announced they will be making improvements in this regard starting with regular updates. This post describes some of the changes they will focus on in the coming months from the Roadmap. There is also a follow up post about their work regarding Idea Conversations and how they plan to move forward.

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere logoPoll Everywhere is rolling out changes to visual settings beginning in 2023. These changes will offer presenters a simplified experience with all activity types. Some visual settings and poll types will be deprecated.



  • Slack logoThe new Channel Manager role allows non-admins to manage channels they create or are assigned.
  • Copy and share links to huddles. Start or join a huddle directly from a link shared in calendar invites, another channel, or wherever you are collaborating.
  • Improved keyboard navigation for better accessibility.
  • For Slack Connect, member profile enhancements include more fields and additional external profile options. Members are able to customize which profile fields are visible for partners in their profile or preferences, and are able to preview what their profile looks like to partners.

Upcoming Events

Calendar icon HUIT AT office hours

Drop in for advice on software development or to ask questions about any of Academic Technology's services.

Calendar icon HUIT AT Panopto office hours

Join us for the last couple of HUIT-hosted office hours of the semester!

Calendar iconHarvardWIT+ event: Career Story with HUIT’s Patricia Boyle-McKenna

Join Harvard Women In Tech + Allies (HarvardWIT+) as they highlight IT staff and a variety of career paths at Harvard. Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Senior Director of Network and Operational Technology in HUIT, will share her career story, including challenges that she overcame. There will be time for Q&A.

Calendar iconQualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit

Attend Qualtrics’ annual conference to get the latest regarding improving the student experience, increasing enrollment, and preventing employee attrition. There will be over 80 breakout sessions with academic institutions and brands that focus on experience management. Receive training on XM best practices and Platform features.

Calendar iconSave the date for InstructureCon 2023

This conference, all about Canvas, will include over 100 sessions and keynote speakers, an exhibitors hall, and the Future of Learning Exhibit. New tracks and more details will be announced.
—The HUIT Academic Technology Team
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