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Instructure Updates Canvas To Bring Analytics to In-Person Instruction

Instructure has updated its Canvas learning management system in an effort to add "digital efficiency" and real-time analytics to in-person teaching.

Focused on active learning to encourage a concept the company calls "'lossless learning,' the suite uses on-the-fly feedback to help educators make the most of every interaction with their students by recording comprehension and skills assessment in face-to-face educational settings," according to an Instructure news release.

The new tools include MagicMarker, Canvas Polls, Learning Mastery for Students and Quiz Stats.

"MagicMarker is an iPad application that allows teachers to track in real-time how students are performing and demonstrating their learning in group settings," according to an Instructure news release. "MagicMarker bases measurement on outcomes or standards by simply swiping a certain direction to indicate if a student answered correctly or incorrectly. Teachers who provide students with frequent opportunities to respond can log performance with simple gestures."

The app automatically transfers data to the Canvas gradebook, where instructors can see it broken down by student or outcome.

Canvas polls is an app designed to allow instructors to integrate formative assessments or gauge comprehension without the use of physical clickers. Available for both iOS and Android, the app allows teachers to look at outcomes for individual students, groups or a whole class.

Learning Mastery for Students is an upgrade to the Learning Mastery Gradebook that allows students or their parents to "follow their academic progress, providing greater visibility into their strengths and areas of improvement," according to a news release.

Quiz Stats has been updated to provide charts and graphs in an effort to help teachers improve the effectiveness of assessments. The tool aims to help instructors find trends in responses to determine if individual questions are ambiguous or otherwise misleading and identify which questions actually differentiate between high-performing and low-performing students.

"Online learning trends like massive open online courses (MOOCs) have dominated the public conversation around education in recent years, overshadowing the tremendous potential for technology in the physical classroom," said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure, in a prepared statement. "While face-to-face education is still the primary mode of teaching in our digital age, it has been difficult for educators to seamlessly assess and track learning when their attention should be on interacting with their students. These new tools change that."

The new tools will be publicly available to current Canvas users at no additional cost beginning June 25. More information about Canvas is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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