Optimal Canvas Setup: Where’s the Feedback?

If you teach writing or assign essays, you will likely be using Canvas’ annotation features in SpeedGrader. I know I do! However, the vast majority of students have no idea how to find these marginal notes. Most of my colleagues didn’t know students couldn’t see it!

When students go to view their feedback through Grades, this is what they see:

What students see in Grades

A couple things to note here–the grades are automatically listed by assignment by due date. Students can toggle the view in various ways. How do you see feedback? Canvas clearly emphasizes the final score, rather than the feedback process. Students can see their score out of total points, and then there is an unlabled column on the right with some icons.

Canvas emphasizes scores at the expense of feedback

In fact, it is quite challenging to find marginal feedback in a submitted project in Canvas. Students must click the assignment link itself–that will open up a bigger and slightly more informative page, where the Submission Details can be accessed:

The Submission Details page

This will show the rubric, rubric comments, and the broad general comment as well as any media comments or attachments. But where are the marginal notes I worked so hard on when I graded this student’s paper? Click in to “View Feedback.” Yes, that’s right, folks–the tiny blue link beside the comments pane:

Where’s the feedback?

Once the dilligent student clicks all the way in to View Feedback, they will be rewarded with all your labor. Behold, those comments you spent an hour making!

Behold!

And from here, it’s not easy to see the feedback, either. Students still need to click to expand the window–most students are on laptops with small screens or mobile devices, and find it very difficult to read on Canvas. The other option is to download the annotated document so it can be viewed as a PDF.

Enjoy this video I made to show my students how to find valuable feedback!

Suggestion 1

Learn how to show your students where their feedback is, if you want students to see it. Feel free to use the video above!

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