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Canvas Insider is a regular blog series from FCLT News Bytes that highlights changes coming to Canvas and Canvas tools at Mt. SAC.

Many of the technology tools you use at Mt. SAC offer software updates and releases. These updates can serve multiple purposes, but the two primary purposes of these updates are to fix bugs and improve functionality (AKA: add new features). The maiden Canvas Insider post covered Canvas itself, which you can go back to and read if you missed it. Today we will be talking about another popular technology tool used at Mt. SAC and that’s Design Tools by Cidi Labs. This one will be short and sweet.

Design Tools by Cidi Labs

Design Tools by Cidi Labs has been by far one of the most popular technology tools at Mt. SAC since we (the FCLT and IT) rolled it out to Mt. SAC faculty back at the beginning of 2020. This tool allows instructors to easily create content inside of their Canvas courses that is both beautiful and accessible. Like many of the other technology tools offered at Mt. SAC, Cidi Labs provides public release notes for Design Tools. It’s very useful to refer to these release notes every once in a while because Cidi Labs will post bug fixes in addition to any fun and exciting new features coming to Design Tools. Who knows, you may discover that they’ve fixed a bug that YOU may have encountered before.

You can always find the and access links to the most recent release notes right from within the jump menu inside of Design Tools from any of your courses in Canvas. All you need to do is open up the Design Tools jump menu (remember the little rocket icon when making edits to a page or assignment?), and click on “Release Notes” which is located within the “Get Help” menu item. Displayed will be a list of the last several release notes published by Cidi Labs for Design Tools, which clicking on any of them will take you to the respective page with all of the release notes details.

Design Tools Jump Menu

Release Notes are split up into 3 different types of updates: New Features, Updated or Modified Features, and Bug Fixes. Please note that not every release will contain every type of update. Sometimes a release is simply only bug fixes, whereas other times it can be all 3 types of updates. Below is an example of what you can expect, taken directly from the May 3, 2021 release notes.

Cidi Labs Update Types

New Updates for 6/1/2021: Available Now

  • New Features
  • N/A
  • Updated or Modified Features
  • Policies Block Update on Any Page
  • Popup Triggers Remain Links
  • Bug Fixes
  • Syllabus Navigation without Content Blocks

You can view the full breakdown on the above updates by visiting the Design Tools Release Notes for June 1st, 2021.

Editorial note: Cidi Labs mentions that they are nearing Alpha Testing for a next-gen jump menu for Design Tools. This is very exciting because it could mean a big re-design, along with major improvements to the Design Tools jump menu inside of Canvas! We don’t have any additional information from Cidi Labs about this update, but this is something fun to keep an eye out for in the near future. Stay tuned for more!

FCLT Faculty Survey

Did you use our services and/or attend trainings this past year? Want to learn more about Canvas or other tools in the next academic year? Take our survey by Sunday June 20, 2021 to give your input! Our team greatly appreciates your feedback!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Canvas Insider! Any update in particular you’re most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

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