Canvas - Beta Tools

Last Updated: 04/26/2019


Canvas makes regularly scheduled updates. There are two categories of updates:

  • New Features: New features are released every three weeks. Descriptions of these features are listed on the Canvas - New Features page. Note that some of these features may only be relevant to instructors, and others only to students. Only significant changes that impact CU Boulder are listed; to see the complete release notes from the vendor, visit Canvas: Release Notes.
  • Beta Tools: Beta tools are new tools released in Canvas available for instructors to use. “Beta” means that these tools are not yet fully developed and Canvas is working on improving their functionality. Descriptions of the beta tools are listed below.

What are Canvas Beta Tools?

Canvas Beta Tools are new tools released in Canvas that are available for instructors to use. “Beta” means that they are not yet fully developed and Canvas is working on improving their functionality. Consequently, there may be some limitations to these beta tools and you may experience changes in functionality while using them.

Benefit of Using Canvas Beta Tools

Because the tool is still in beta, instructors have the opportunity to try it out and share feedback with Canvas, toward informing its final design.

How Can I Use Canvas Beta Tools?

Once a beta tool is activated in Canvas for our campus, it is available to all instructors within their course.

To enable a tool from your course home page:

  1. Click on Settings.
  2. Click the Feature Options tab.
  3. Find the tool you would like to enable.
  4. Click the switch to the right of the tool.  

For more detailed instructions on enabling new features in Canvas, see How do I manage new features for a course? tutorial.

Please Note: If a tool is set as “On,” it is already available in your course. If a tool is set to “Off,” it hasn’t been enabled for CU Boulder yet. If you would like to explore a tool that hasn’t been enabled, contact the IT Service Center at or (303)735-5419.  

Current Canvas Beta Tools

Grade Override

  • Grade Override Beta allows any user in a role with grade access (e.g., Teacher, TA) to manually change a student’s total grade in Canvas. This functionality integrates with Web Grading Sync. Any grade entered using Grade Override will appear in the Canvas Web Grading Sync grades preview with the text “(from Override column)” next to it.
  • *Please Note: Grade Override feature is only available in the New Gradebook. To use this feature, user must have the New Gradebook enabled. Learn how to enable the New Gradebook in the How Can I use Canvas Beta Tools section.
  • Grade Override is a beta feature and needs to be enabled in your course. Learn how to enable it in the How Can I use Canvas Beta Tools section.
  • Learn more: How do I override a student's final grade in the New Gradebook?

Analytics Beta (released October 29, 2018)

  • Use Analytics Beta to view the average course grade for all course data using an interactive chart or table
  • Filter analytics results to compare the average course grade with a specific section, student, or assignment
  • Send a message to all students who are within a specific score range or who have missing or late assignments
    Please note: Analytics Beta must be enabled in your course navigation.
    • In your Canvas course, go to Settings > Navigation.
    • Drag and drop Analytics Beta to your course navigation and click Save.
  • Learn more: Canvas Release: Analytics Beta

Moderated Grading Beta (released July 2, 2018)

  • Moderated Grading allows anyone with assignment creation permissions to assign one or multiple specific graders to an assignment submission, review the assignment grades before they are released to students, and select which grade should be set as the final grade for each student.
  • Learn more: What feature options are currently available for Canvas courses?

Duplicating Calendar Events Beta (released June 11, 2018)

  • This feature allows users to duplicate events in the Calendar. Previously enabled through the Recurring Calendar Events feature option, this feature has been renamed to better represent the intended functionality and align with other feature elements that can be duplicated in Canvas.
  • Learn more: Canvas Beta Release Notes: Event Duplication

New Gradebook Beta (released November 18, 2017)

  • The New Gradebook is a beta feature that allows instructors to view an improved version of the Gradebook. This feature makes grading more flexible and intuitive. Attend our Grading in Canvas training to learn more about this tool.
  • Learn more: Canvas Release: New Gradebook

Mastery Paths Beta (released November 7, 2017)

  • The Canvas MasteryPaths feature allows instructors to customize learning experiences for students based on their performance on assignments and quizzes in the Canvas course. Instructors and course designers can identify activities for each learning path and decide whether an assignment should be required or optional. They can also allow students to choose their preferred content and assignments within a specific path.
  • Learn more: Canvas Beta Release Notes: Mastery Paths

Anonymous Grading Beta (released November 30, 2015)

  • Anonymous Grading requires all course assignments to be graded anonymously in SpeedGrader. Students can view whether or not an assignment was graded anonymously on both the student Grades page and the sidebar of the assignment submission page.
  • Learn more: What feature options are currently available for Canvas courses?

ePub Exporting Beta (released November 30, 2015)

Quiz Log Auditing Beta (released December 29, 2014)


You may experience issues with beta tools. If you do, contact the IT Service Center at or (303) 735-4357 to let us know. For consultation on these tools, contact OIT’s Learning Technology Consultants.