From January 14th, we’re going live with Canvas’s hotly anticipated new Rich Content Editor. If you’ve already used Canvas, you’ll be familiar with the current Rich Content Editor (RCE), as it’s omnipresent across the LMS. You use it to create and edit content in all areas of Canvas, including Pages, Announcements, Discussions, Quizzes, and Assignments.  

I’ve always thought the RCE was great – it’s one of my favourite Canvas features – but after playing around with its latest version, I can tell you that it’s about to become so much better.  

Let’s have a quick look at some of the exciting new changes. 

A cleaner, more condensed interface  

Here’s what the previous RCE looked like: 

And (drumroll please) here’s what the new RCE looks like:  

A quick glance at the new RCE is enough to see that it’s been streamlined and cleaned up for a better user experience. Canvas has consolidated all the functionality of the old RCE and added new features, condensing 2 rows of buttons and a right-hand side menu into a single row of buttons. They did this by grouping similar functions that used to be scattered in different places, increasing the space you have for content creation.     

At last, an auto-save function 

Canvas already had a cool page history record, but if for any reason your browser closed without saving, your progress would be lost. Now, Canvas will automatically save a copy for you – and the next time you open that page, it will ask you if you want to recover the content.

An easier way to attach and embed content

I like this change for two main reasons. Number one is that the old right-hand panel for selecting content took up too much precious space. Now you have more screen space to do what you’re there for: creating and designing content.

The second reason I like this change is that it brings consistency and simplicity to the process. Previously, if I wanted to add a hyperlink to my page, I had to use different menus depending on whether that hyperlink was an external webpage or an internal course link. Now all the options for adding links are in the one spot, and the same intuitive logic applies for adding images and documents.

Convenient access to external tools 

We all love how easily we can use external tools in Canvas. From media content such as Youtube videos, H5P, and Kaltura, to other interactive tools like comment boxes or social polls. But if we’re being honest, they were slightly hidden in the old toolbar.  

Now you have quick access to the most relevant tools (Kaltura and H5P), as well as a dropdown list (displayed via the plug icon) that will display your most frequently used tools.

Fullscreen baby! 

It’s pretty clear that the new RCE makes better use of screen real estate, but one can never have too much space when building content. 

On the bottom right of the screen, you’ll find this nifty new button. Once you click on it, the whole screen will become a content creation space, removing all the distracting features you don’t need to see. Enjoy! 

This blog is far from being a comprehensive review of the New Rich Content Editor, so please check the new Rich Content Editor guide we’ve put together for you. You can also have a look at this video that Canvas has created:

Main image by Andy Roberts

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