#TechTipThursday: Comments in Canvas

If you follow us on Twitter you may be aware that we recently re-tweeted an article which offered “5 Research-based Tips for Providing Students With Meaningful Feedback“. We certainly believe in the value of timely and specific feedback, as many of you to as well. Our learning management system, Canvas, has a built-in system whereby instructors can provide comments on assignments. Similarly, for assignments submitted via file upload (directly to Canvas), instructors have the ability to annotate directly on the assignments themselves. All of these features are well in good, but do your students know how to access your valuable feedback? This week’s #TechTipThursday blog post will review the steps a student can take to view comments on assignments, including annotations on assignments submitted via Canvas’ file upload tool.

For students to access comments an instructor has left on an assignment submission:

  1. First want to navigate to “Grades” on the horizontal global navigation menu in Canvas.Figure 1
  2. Select the desired course from the list of current classes to view graded work for that specific class. Figure 2
  3. Notice that any assignment with comments will have a dialogue bubble icon on the far right-hand side of the assignment’s row. Figure 3
  4. To view the comment(s), click on the dialogue bubble icon; the comment, and author’s name, will appear. Figure 4
  5. If you click on the assignment’s name, instead of the dialogue bubble icon, comments will appear on the right-hand side of the page. Notice the “Add a Comment” dialogue box; it is here that students can add comments specific to the assignment. Figure 5
  6. To view annotations left directly on the submitted assignment, click the “View Feedback” button. Figure 6
  7. This will open a student’s submitted assignment, complete with annotations left by instructors. If the student wants to add comments, or otherwise annotate the previously submitted assignment, click “Comment”. Figure 7
  8. A small toolbar will open immediately below; this is where the student can select the desired annotation tool. To make a comment you will select the yellow dialogue bubble icon. Figure 9

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this blog post, or have questions that weren’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.


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