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Canvas Updates

Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-05-16)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

 

New Files (Better File Browsing): June 6

On June 6, 2015, the new Files interface (Better File Browsing) will no longer be a Feature 
Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. This change will enable New Files on the course and user levels. Learn more about New Files.

 

Etherpad Collaborations: June 6

On June 6, 2015, Canvas will no longer host new Etherpad collaborations because Etherpad cannot integrate with Canvas user authentication. Users that have links to existing collaborations will see a warning message notifying them to migrate any necessary content before August 8, when all Etherpad collaborations that are hosted by Canvas will be permanently deleted. Institutions who still want to use Etherpad as a collaboration tool can set up their own Etherpad server and integrate it with Canvas. Learn more about the open source Etherpad project at Etherpad.org. As a product alternative, users can also create Google Docs collaborations in Canvas.

 

Ticketing System Choice: June 27

On June 27, 2015, Canvas Support is moving from Zendesk to Salesforce Service Butt. Your institution can use Service Butt, or you can choose to send your tickets elsewhere with our Ticketing System Choice feature. Beta testing for this system is now available through your Customer Success Manager (CSM). If you aren’t already part of Canvas Labs, which is the space in the Canvas Community containing all the details about this transition, please contact your CSM.

 

In this Canvas release (May 16), instructors can create discussions and allow students to indicate “liked” discussion replies. Instructors can also save and publish new content in Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, and Pages at the same time. All users can benefit from small enhancements in Groups and Conferences. The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features, other Canvas updates, platform/integration updates, and fixed bugs.

 

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2015-05-16)

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: May 26 (in observance of Memorial Day in the United States)
  • Production release notes: June 1
  • Production release and documentation: June 6

 

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.

 

 

 

  New Features

Discussions

Like Icon

Instructors can create Discussions and allow students to indicate “liked” discussion replies.

 

The Canvas Like icon is only available in Discussions and is enabled on a per-discussion basis. To enable the liking feature as part of a discussion’s options, instructors can select the Allow liking checkbox.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Allow.png

 

If a discussion allows liking, users will see a Like icon within each discussion reply. For each individual user, a gray icon indicates the reply can be liked, while a blue icon indicates the reply has already been liked. Liked replies include the total number of likes next to the link.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon.png

 

Instructors can choose to limit the the liking functionality to only graders in the course. This option only allows users with the Edit Grades permission to see the Like link. However, all users will still see the total number of likes for each reply.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Only-Graders.png

Discussions-Like-Icon-Only-Graders-2.png

 

Instructors can also choose to sort discussion replies by the number of likes. This option sorts discussion replies within the discussion topic in descending order. Sorting cannot be changed by any users unless the instructor removes the sorting setting.

 

Note: This option may take at least 10 seconds to cache the page and view sorting appropriately.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Sorting.png

 

In threaded discussions, replies retain the associated parent. For example, a new discussion may receive two replies. Then Reply 1 gets individual replies a, b, and c, and Reply 2 gets individual reply d. If Reply 2 itself is liked, and reply b is liked, the discussion threads will be sorted first with Reply 2 (and reply d), then Reply 1 with reordered replies of b, a, and c.


This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

 

 

  Updated Features

Assignments

Save & Publish Button

When creating assignments, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save an assignment and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the assignment in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Assignments-Save--amp--Publish.png

 

Student Submission Detail Page

On the student Submission Detail page, the submission feedback/preview bar no longer includes a green background. This change also makes the View Feedback/Preview buttons more accessible to keyboard users and screen readers.

 

Assignment-Submission-Details-Page.png

 

Conferences

Big Blue Button Enhancements

Big Blue Button conferences in Canvas include several design and server enhancements.

 

All conferences now display the End button, which previously only appeared as part of long-running conferences. When a user with the appropriate permissions clicks the End button, the conference is immediately concluded on both the Conferences page and the server. In Groups, users who create a conference are also able to end a conference.

 

Deleting a past conference also immediately removes the conference from the server, in addition to all associated recordings.

 

Conferences-End-Button.png

 

Discussions

Save & Publish Button

When creating discussions, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a discussion and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the discussion in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Discussions-Save--amp--Publish.png

 

Free-for-Teacher Canvas Registration

Email Field

When users sign up for a Free-for-Teacher (FFT) Canvas account, users were unsure if they should sign up with a personal email address or their institution’s email address. For clarification, the Email field has been renamed as School Email (.edu).

 

Free-for-Teacher-Email.png

 

Gradebook

Assignment Columns and Return/Enter Key

The Gradebook supports the Return/Enter key in advancing through each cell in the Gradebook column. This feature benefits instructors who enter all student grades for an assignment at once. When an instructor reaches the end of the column, the Return/Enter key advances to the top of the next column.

 

Gradebook-Assignment-Column-Enter-Key.png

 

Groups

Rich Content Editor and LTI Tools

In Groups, the Rich Content Editor supports configured LTI tools. Students can use the same LTI tools that are available in their course.

 

Groups-LTI-RCE.png

 

Asynchronous Downloads

When a user exports the Gradebook, the export process is asynchronous, meaning that users no longer have to stay on the page until the export is completed. Users can leave the page at any time. When the export is completed, Canvas will download the CSV file automatically. If the user navigates away from the page during the export, the CSV file will appear as a previous download in the Gradebook export drop-down menu so it can be downloaded again.

 

Gradebook-Export.png

 

Pages

Save & Publish Button

When creating pages, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a page and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the page in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Pages-Save-Publish.png

 

Quizzes

Save & Publish Button

When creating quizzes, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a quiz and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the quiz in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Quizzes-Save--amp--Publish-.png

 

Quiz Question Answer Comments and Rich Content Editor

Quiz question answer comments include the Rich Content Editor. Instructors can post images, format text, and perform other Rich Content Editor functionality in correct answer comments, wrong answer comments, and general answer comments.

 

Quiz-Answer-Comments.png

 

 

  Other Updates

Conferences

Server Timeout Protection

Canvas’ timeout protection coding has been applied to Conferences. If a Canvas conference, such as Big Blue Button, generated five timeout requests in a row, Canvas will blacklist the generating server. This change helps prevent Conference outages on Canvas app servers.

 

 

  Platform/Integration Updates

APIs

Enrollments API

In the Enrollments API, users can use the grading_period_id parameter to return grades for a given grading period. If no period ID is given, the API will return grading information for the entire course.

 

Quiz Questions API

The Quiz Questions API includes the question_type parameter to identify question types in a quiz.

 

Canvas Substitution Variables

External Tools

The External Tools API includes a variable expansion for Canvas.externalTool.url. This expansion provides the API endpoint for the current external_tool, where the value of the ExternalToolURL is the URL to the tool.

 

OAuth

OAuth2 Tokens

The OAuth2 token POST includes a replace_tokens param that destroys a users tokens for the provider then generates a new one to return.

 

LTI Launch URLs and GET Params

LTI Tools that use the GET params in their LTI launch URLs have been changed to bring Canvas into better alignment the OAuth1 specification. Previously, Canvas was copying the GET params into the POST body prior to signing and sending the basic-lti-launch-request message, which allowed tool providers to see these params as either POST or GET params. The library Canvas uses to sign these params collapsed the two identical parameters (GET and POST) when signing, creating an invalid signature. The change removes the GET to POST copy of params, thus reducing the chance of parameter name collision when signing. The main change here is that GET params will no longer be sent as part of the POST body but instead must be accessed as GET params.

 

  Fixed Bugs

 

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Accessibility

Assignments

On the student Submission Details page, the Grade field is associated with the Grade label for screen readers. The Preview/View Feedback button can also be read by screen readers.

 

For institutions that enable Google Docs as a submission type, students who require keyboard navigation can access the Google Docs assignment submission tab and select an assignment in the Google Drive list.

 

Calendar

In the Calendar Event window, the Tab key directs keyboard users to all fields on the page.

 

Discussions

The Subscribe and Unsubscribe buttons are labeled for screen readers as buttons instead of links.

 

Global Dashboard

In the Recent Activity Stream, screen readers can read the names of courses with recent activity.

 

Gradebook

After importing a CSV file in the Gradebook or Individual View Gradebook, keyboard users can navigate back to the Gradebook.

 

In the Individual View Gradebook, screen readers can read the Curve Grade instructions. When keyboard users open the Set Default Grade button, focus is set to the top of the screen.

 

Quizzes

In Question Banks, screen readers can view question titles as headings.

 

Rich Content Editor

Keyboard users can access all areas of the Rich Content Editor in all browsers.

 

The menu bar displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

 

Web Services

When keyboard users click the button to open a web service, focus is set on the Close button for the selected service.

 

Analytics

Median Scores

Median scores for course analytics are displayed correctly.

 

Explanation: When users viewed course analytics, the median score for an assignment was being calculated incorrectly. This behavior occurred because of the method used to compile course data, which incorrectly adjusted the score between points (0.5 point adjustment). Canvas code has been updated to calculate median scores by individual points.

 

Announcements

RSS Feed

The Announcements RSS feed includes closed announcements for students and unauthenticated users.

 

Explanation: When an instructor closed an announcement for comments, the announcement was no longer shown on the course RSS feed for students and unauthenticated users. This behavior occurred because of inconsistency in the coding for locked announcements. Canvas code has been updated to confirm announcements are always shown, regardless of status.

 

Disable Announcements Setting

Announcements retains the Disable Comments setting when a course is published.

 

Explanation: When an instructor chose to disable comments in Announcements settings, publishing the course removed the setting. This behavior occurred because the disable comments setting was not defined as a publishing parameter. Canvas code has been updated to confirm announcements settings when publishing a course.

 

Assignments

External Tools

In Assignments, External Tool submission types require an External Tool URL.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment with an External Tool submission type but did not include an URL in the URL field, Canvas saved the assignment without generating an error. This behavior occurred because the assignment did not validate the external tool data. Canvas code has been updated to validate External Tool URL entries before saving an assignment.

 

Calendar

Create Button

On the calendar event page, the More Options link displays a Create Event button.

 

Explanation: When users created a calendar event and then clicked the More Options link, the event window displayed an Update Event button. This behavior occurred because the new event field wasn’t being recorded correctly. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the event status and display a Create Event button when the page is not being edited.

 

Conferences

Group Conferences

Students can end group conferences.

 

Explanation: When a student created a long-running conference in a group, the End button appeared on the Conferences page, but clicking the End button did not end the conference. This behavior occurred because of a redirected JavaScript action. Canvas code has been updated to direct the End button to properly end the conference.

 

Course Enrollments

Deleted SIS Imports

Canvas does not create new course enrollments for deleted users.

 

Explanation: When a user was marked as deleted in a SIS import but later imported as part of a new CSV file, the SIS import created the enrollment but without any SIS login information. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not verifying the enrollment status when creating enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to verify enrollment status with the associated user ID. If the user ID is marked as deleted, Canvas will generate a warning message and not create an active enrollment in the new course.

 

Multiple Sections in Course List

If a user is enrolled in more than one section in a course, only one enrollment appears in the course list.

 

Explanation: When a user was enrolled in more than one section in a course, such as an instructor being enrolled in all course sections, the Courses page displayed links for all section enrollments. This behavior occurred because the code was set to display all enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to combine multiple enrollments into one listing by course and user type.

 

Course Imports

Blackboard Quizzes

Blackboard quizzes do not import with negative point values.

 

Explanation: When a Blackboard quiz was imported into Canvas, some quiz questions were changed to negative point values. Additionally, questions with negative point values were not able to be deleted. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not defined with a minimum question point value. Canvas code has been updated to not support quiz values less than zero.

 

Matching Questions

Matching questions with HTML retain answer content when copied into another course.

 

Explanation: When a user copied a matching question that included HTML tags in the left column, Canvas tried to convert the text field to HTML, which broke the quiz question and generated a page error. This behavior occurred because Canvas could not differentiate between regular text and HTML text. Canvas code has been updated to detect all viewable text when importing quizzes.

 

Re-importing Quizzes

QTI file imports do not restore previously deleted quizzes.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz, exported the quiz, then deleted the quiz from the course, re-importing the QTI file restored the quiz, even when the Overwrite option was not selected. This behavior occurred because Canvas was only considering active quizzes for the import. Canvas code has been updated to view the status of all quizzes and not overwrite deleted quizzes unless the Overwrite option is selected.

 

Peer Review Assignments

Peer review assignments set to automatically assigned reviews are not affected by course imports.

 

Explanation: When a user copied a peer review into another course and adjusted the assignment dates, peer review assignments that were set to automatically assign reviews on a certain date no longer assigned the reviews. This behavior occurred because dates for peer reviews were being grouped with all other assignment dates, which were always earlier than the assigned review date. Canvas code has been updated to separately assign dates for scheduled peer reviews after the initial import.

 

Front Page Indicator

Courses that include a Front Page and are copied to another course retain the Front Page setting.

 

Explanation: When a Canvas course with a Front Page was copied to another course, the Front Page setting wasn’t retained in the new course. Additionally, if the original course also included a home page layout that used the front page, the new course defaulted to the activity stream. This behavior occurred because copy migrations was not looking to see if the course initially had a front page. Canvas code has been updated to confirm a course’s front page, and  if so, match the ID accordingly.

 

Deleted Assignments and Student Submissions

If assignments are re-copied into a course, deleted assignments that previously included student submissions will be restored to a published state.

 

Explanation: When a user imported content into a course via Course Copy or a Canvas Export package, Canvas was trying to resurrect previous, deleted versions of assignments with matching IDs and submissions. Assignments that had previously been published were restored with the submission, but unpublished assignments in the original course that were published at a later date generated an error message. This behavior occurred because the original unpublished assignment couldn’t be validated since it included student submissions in the copied course. Canvas code has been updated to restore re-copied items to a published state if they can no longer be unpublished.

 

Announcements List Order

In a course import with multiple announcements, the Announcements Index page displays announcements by post date.

 

Explanation: When an instructor imported announcements from another course, the Announcements Index page was listing announcements in non-chronological order. This behavior occurred because ordering by position is identical to ordering by posted date, but in announcements, positions are duplicated with course copies. Canvas code has been updated to order announcements by posted date.

 

Quiz Question HTML Comments

Quiz question comments that contain HTML can be edited after course import.

 

Explanation: When a user imported a quiz from another learning management system that contained question comments with HTML, the comments were not able to be edited in Canvas. This behavior occurred because the Canvas question comments fields did not support HTML. Canvas code has been updated to add the Rich Content Editor to all quiz question comment fields.

 

Disable Announcements Setting

Announcements retains the Disable Comments setting after course import.

 

Explanation: When an instructor chose to disable comments in Announcements settings, copying the course removed the setting. This behavior occurred because the disable comments setting was not defined as a course copy attribute. Canvas code has been updated to confirm announcements settings when copying a course.

 

Course Settings

Student View Time Zone

Student View course information matches the time zone of the instructor.

 

Explanation: When an instructor viewed a course in Student View, course information was always displaying in Mountain Time. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not properly defining the participating user in Student View. Canvas code has been updated to validate the logged in user’s relevant time zone and locale settings.

 

Discussions

Podcasts and RSS Feed

RSS Feeds open podcast media files from Discussions.

 

Explanation: When a user uploaded a media comment to a discussion as a podcast, RSS feeds were opening the RSS link and not the direct media link. This behavior occurred because the enclosure URL ampersands, which are part of the URL redirect, were being encoded as HTML code and disrupting the redirect to the media extension. Canvas code has been updated to add a media extension to the enclosure URL.

 

Files

Usage Rights and ZIP Files

When Usage Rights is enabled, files expanded from a ZIP file are unpublished until a usage right is assigned.

 

Explanation: When a user uploaded a ZIP file into course files with Usage Rights enabled, Files was publishing the files rather than keeping the files unpublished until rights were specified. This behavior occurred because unzipped files were being treated as imported files (as from a course copy), which were exempt from the Usage Rights requirement. Canvas code has been updated to import unzipped files as unpublished when Usage Rights is enabled, and to also ensure that any imported files from a course copy match the previously set Usage Right and file status.

 

Media Previews

Media uploads can be previewed in New Files.

 

Explanation: When a user uploaded video or audio files to a course, either in Files or from the Rich Content Editor in Pages, Canvas was inconsistently generating media previews. Most often Canvas generated an error message stating that the media file failed to load. This behavior occurred because not all attachment data was being uploaded at the same time the media was being saved. Canvas code has been updated to ensure media files are always uploaded for processing. If the media file has not yet been processed for the preview, Canvas will generate a message stating the file has been queued for processing and to try again in a few minutes.

 

Modules

Video Files

Users can view the title and download link for video files when they are added as module items.

 

Explanation: When an instructor added a video file as a module item, the playback window overlapped the download link for the file, and often also overlapped the video title. This behavior occurred because of incorrect JavaScript styling. Canvas code has been updated to properly display styles for video files.

 

File Uploads

To upload a file as a module item, the New File option must be selected in the file list.

 

Explanation: When a user selected File as a module item type, clicked the Choose File button, and tried to upload the file by clicking the Add Item button, Canvas did not begin the upload. This behavior occurred because the upload button is associated with the New File option, which had to be selected in the file list before Canvas would upload the file. Canvas code has been updated to hide the Choose File button until the New File option is selected.

 

Module Requirements and Manual Grades

If an instructor manually assigns a zero for a student assignment, the grade does not complete any assigned module requirements.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a module where students were required to submit an  assignment before progressing to the next module item, manually assigning a zero for the assignment grade completed the module requirement. This behavior occurred because the progression requirement was not restricted to a minimum grade. Canvas code has been updated to not complete an assignment module requirement if the grade is zero.

 

Pages

Page History

When imported pages are edited and re-imported into a course, the page history correctly identifies the user who made the previous edit.

 

Explanation: When a user imported and edited a page, and then the page was re-imported, the page history showed that the user who previously edited the page was the author of the latest revision (caused by the re-import). This behavior occurred because the page was not properly reset when the page was imported. Canvas code has been updated to reset the user information upon page import.

 

People

Total Activity

When a user is added to another section in the course, the Total Activity column shows total activity for both sections.

 

Explanation: When a user was added to another section in the course, the Total Activity column was resetting and did not include the time in the course for both sections. This behavior occurred because total activity time was defined by a single enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to consider all enrollments for the same user and update total activity accordingly.

 

Quizzes

Quiz Questions, Question Groups, and Question Banks

When an instructor edits a question group linked to a question bank, matching questions pulled from the question bank display all available answers to students. Additionally, formula and numerical quiz questions in question groups linked to question banks properly submit student answers.

 

Explanation: When a matching question in a question group was linked to a question bank and the group was edited, the question was not showing available answers when viewed as a submission. When a formula or numerical question in a question group was linked to a question bank, the answer was always submitting as zero, which resulted in incorrect grades. These behaviors occurred because of inconsistencies in quiz question attributes. Canvas code has been updated to correctly apply question data. This fix was deployed to the production environment on May 8.

 

Rich Content Editor

Span Tag

Canvas does not remove span tags from the HTML Editor.

 

Explanation: When user entered span tags in the HTML Editor, such as aria code, the Rich Content Editor was removing all content. This behavior occurred because the span tag was not configured as a valid element in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to include the span tag in the Canvas HTML Whitelist.

 

Rubrics

Criterion Edits

Course rubrics only display edit icons for criterion that can be edited.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment, added a rubric, found a course-level outcome to add to the rubric, the criterion fields were displaying edit icons even though the criterion could not be edited. This behavior occurred because rubrics were finding all values associated with an outcome. Canvas code has been updated to remove edit links when finding an outcome for a rubric.

 

Use-for-Grading Option

When an instructor chooses to use a rubric for assignment grading, the setting is applied to the rubric.

 

Explanation: When an instructor enabled a rubric for grading in an assignment, clicked the Create Rubric button, then edited the rubric, the grading option would immediately apply. However, the rubric did not visually reflect the option until the page was refreshed, causing instructors to believe grading had not been applied to the rubric. This behavior occurred because the option was not properly aligned with the rubric creation data. Canvas code has been updated to remember the rubric grading setting when the rubric is created for the assignment.

 

SpeedGrader

Anonymous Grading and Quizzes

When the anonymous grading setting is enabled in SpeedGrader, manually grading a quiz question does not show student names.


Explanation: When an instructor graded a quiz in SpeedGrader while the anonymous grading setting was enabled, altering the score for a question caused the name to become visible at the top of the page. However, the names displayed in the submission drop-down list were not affected. This behavior occurred because the quiz grading score override was also affecting the anonymous grading setting for the page. Canvas code has been updated to retain the anonymous grading setting during grading overrides.

 

 

 

Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-04-25)

Upcoming Canvas Changes: Google Drive API

As of today (April 20), Google has deprecated the Google Docs API used in Canvas features such as submitting a Google doc to an assignment and Google collaborations. Users who have previously connected their Canvas and Google accounts will be prompted to re-authorize their connection, either by accessing Collaborations or a Google Docs assignment submission, or by manually re-enabling Google as a web service in their personal settings.

 

On June 6, 2015, the following changes will be made in Canvas:

  • The new Files interface (Better File Browsing) will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. This change will enable New Files on the course and user levels. Learn more about New Files.


In this production release (April 25), instructors can enable the first iteration of anonymous peer reviews in assignments and upload SCORM content as an assignment, while also benefiting from other small updates to Assignments and Discussions. Accessibility users can access the menu bar in the Rich Content Editor, and students can manage their progress in the Learning Mastery Gradebook with a new graph display.

 

The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features, other Canvas updates, platform/integration updates, permission updates, and fixed bugs.

 

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2015-04-25)

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: May 4
  • Production release notes: May 11
  • Production release and documentation: May 16

 

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.

 

 

 

 

  New Features

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Anonymous Peer Reviews

This release is the first part of this feature. Hiding the submitting student’s name from the reviewer will be part of a future update.

Instructors can choose to create peer reviews with anonymous responses. Located in the Peer Review options for assignments and graded discussions, the Anonymity option allows instructors to hide the name of the student reviewer from the student with the submission.

 

Anonymous-Peer-Review-Assignment-Creation.png

 

The student whose work has been reviewed cannot see the name of the reviewer. However, instructors can always view the name of the student reviewer in SpeedGrader and on the student submission page.

 

Anonymous-Peer-Review-Student-View.png

 

SCORM LTI Uploads

The SCORM LTI tool must be configured with the support of your Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM) or an Implementation Consultant before it can be enabled for your institution. Please contact your CSM for assistance.

Institutions can import SCORM packages as assignments into Canvas using the SCORM LTI tool. This tool supports the many Canvas institutions who are currently using SCORM content.

 

Once enabled at the account level by a CSM, the SCORM Link will appear in the Course Navigation menu for instructors. This link is used to upload SCORM packages into Canvas assignments.

 

SCORM-Course-Navigation.png

 

SCORM packages are uploaded as ZIP files and imported as either a graded or ungraded assignment. Imported SCORM data is stored by Canvas and treated as any other assignment, such as being added to a module.

 

SCORM-Upload.png

 

On the SCORM page, users can preview the SCORM content to see how students will view the assignment. When the preview is finished, Canvas will update the score to display how the score appears to students. All package uploads default to 100 points.

 

SCORM-Preview.png

 

Users can view uploaded assignment directly in the SCORM page or by viewing the Assignments Index Page. When the assignment is edited, the Submission Type will be shown as an External Tool.


Note: External Tools configured at the account level cannot be modified in a course.

 

 

  Updated Features

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Assignment Shell Date Validation

In the January 31 release, Canvas introduced date validations for new and edited assignments. Now, due date validations also apply to Assignment shells, which act as a placeholder for an assignment until an instructor creates the assignment details.

 

After an instructor saves the information for an assignment shell, Canvas validates the due date against the course start and end dates and generates an error message for an invalid date entry.

  • If the assignment does not contain a due date, the assignment availability defaults to the course start and end dates.
  • If the course does not include specified course start and end dates, Canvas validates the due date against the term dates for the course.

 

This feature validates against the Users can only participate in the course between these dates checkbox for start and end dates in Course Settings.

 

Assignment-Date-Validation.png

 

Discussions

SpeedGrader Link

In Graded Discussions, when a user clicks the SpeedGrader link, SpeedGrader opens in a new tab. This change aligns SpeedGrader with the same behavior as in assignments and quizzes.

 

Notifications  New

Email Processor for Hard-Bounced Communication Warnings  Updated

Canvas includes an email processor that moderates the number of times communication channels bounce, which means the channel cannot generate or deliver a notification. Soft bounces are not affected in the count as they are temporary bounces that usually occur when the recipient's mailbox is full or if the server is not currently available. Canvas only keeps track of hard bounces, which are more permanent and are usually caused by invalid addresses (created by address typos, etc.).

 

Once Canvas sends a specific message notification, if the notification reaches a hard-bounced communication channel, that specific notification will never be sent again. Once a communication channel has bounced three times (with three distinct notification messages), the user’s account is flagged, and the user will receive a warning about the bounced channel. Until the channel is corrected, the email processor will no longer send any notifications to that channel.

 

When a user is in the User Settings page, Canvas displays a warning icon next to the bounced contact method.

 

comms-method1.png

 

When a user is viewing any Canvas page, Canvas displays a warning banner at the top of the user’s browser window.


Note: The banner warning is only displayed if the bounced email was added manually by the user. If a user’s email address was added by the institution via SIS import, Canvas only displays warning icons on the User Settings page.

 

comms-warning-banner.png

 

To correct the error, users should remove and re-add the method to their profile.

  • If a valid email address is flagged, reset the processor by changing the email address, then change it back to the original address.
  • If a default email address is flagged, add a new email address as a temporary default, then correct the error with the existing email.

 

Rich Content Editor

Menu Bar

In the Rich Content Editor, the Editor supports ALT+F9 (PC) or ALT+FN+F9 (MAC) as a keyboard shortcut for the menu bar. This shortcut provides better accessibility to menu commands for keyboard and screen reader users.

 

RCE-Menu-Bar.png

 

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook

Student Graph

This feature is used in conjunction with the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook course feature options.

When viewing Learning Mastery assessments, students can view a graph that shows their progress over time.  Students can view the mastery graph by expanding an outcome group and hovering over or clicking the more icon. The graph shows each outcome alignment using a black dot and also displays the date of the alignment’s assessment. The green dotted line represents the mastery level for the outcome. A solid gray line represents the student’s average trend for the outcome.

 

Student-Learning-Mastery-Gradebook-Graph.png

 

 

  Platform/Integration Updates

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Canvas Substitution Variables

Assignments

$Canvas.assignment.unlockAt, $Canvas.assignment.lockAt, $Canvas.assignment.dueAt: substitution variables for varied due dates

 

APIs  New

Roles API

When listing roles in the Roles API, users can return roles inherited from main Canvas accounts with the show_inherited parameter.

 

 

  Fixed Bugs

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Accessibility

General

Accessibility prompt message use the Canvas blue color scheme and standard CSS class. Accessibility messages are shown in Discussions (pinned list), Assignments, People (Groups list), Calendar, and Quizzes (question group reordering).

 

The Settings Menu (in any Canvas feature area) is keyboard accessible by clicking the Tab key.

 

Admin

The Find Course and Find User fields include labels for screen readers.

 

Assignments

The Assignments Move-To option returns focus to the Settings menu.

 

Due date and related fields each contain a label that is read by screen readers before each applicable field.

 

The Edit Assignment page and the Peer Review section includes format context for the date fields and screen-reader only labels.

 

Calendar

The Calendar Week and Month views include revised text directing keyboard users to the Agenda View.

 

The Scheduler includes format context for the date fields and a screen-reader only label.

 

The Calendar and Edit Calendar options includes format context for the date fields and screen-reader only labels.

 

Conversations

The Close buttons within conversation lists are more friendly to keyboard users and retain focus on the next element in the list.

 

Recipient fields are hidden in Conversations until a course has been selected. The course menu also indicates that a course selection is required before entering recipients.

 

Screen readers can read the name of the user who is being removed from a conversation.

 

Screen readers can read the All Courses and Inbox drop-down menus.

 

Deleted Selected and Archive Selected include header descriptions to indicate messages that are being deleted.

 

Discussions

Discussions Subscribe icons retain focus for keyboard users.

 

The Add Discussion button is labeled as a button for screen readers.

 

Files

The Select All checkbox is not marked as a column header.

 

Grades

The Student Grades page includes row and column scopes.

 

In the Individual View Gradebook, the Set Default Grade button includes a label for screen readers and retains focus on the next appropriate element.

 

In the Individual View Gradebook, the Download all Submissions button retains keyboard focus.

 

In the Individual View Gradebook, when viewing Submission Details, focus is retained on the close button. After updating the grade or adding a comment, the window will close.

 

Groups

After creating a new Group Set, the Save button retains focus for keyboard users.

 

After creating a new group within a Group Set, the Save button retains focus for keyboard users.

 

The Add Group Set button is focused after the Group tabs for keyboard users.

 

The Group self sign-up option is focused after the Add Group and Settings menu for keyboard users.

 

Media

Keyboard users can manage playback for embedded videos using keyboard commands.

 

Pages

Keyboard users create new pages with the Add Pages button.

 

The status icons (Publish or Unpublish) retain keyboard focus.

 

The Close Page icon and the Close Edit Page icon retain their respective keyboard focus.

 

In Settings, the Use as Front Page option retains keyboard focus.

 

Sorting the page list on the Pages Index Page retains keyboard focus.

 

Quizzes

Screen readers can read the correct order of matching question results.

 

Matching selection boxes include question labels for screen readers.

 

The Quiz Attempt History table includes labels for all columns, except for the first column, which includes a row header label.

 

The Flag Question option can be accessed by keyboard users.

 

Generate Possible Solution options include labels for screen readers.

 

Editing a quiz answer retains focus on the Edit icon.

 

The Correct Answer indicator arrow includes alt text for screen readers.

 

Screen readers and keyboard users can read all question text while taking a quiz.

 

Quiz Restrictions include textbox labels for screen readers.

 

Quiz radio buttons and checkboxes do not include aria-hidden attributes.

 

Quiz Groups are marked as headings by screen readers.

 

Question headers are not read twice by screen readers.

 

Multiple choice questions include aria labels to define question text and answers.

 

The Create/Edit Quiz pages include format context for the date fields and a screen-reader only label.

 

Rich Content Editor

The Rich Content Editor outlines menu bar items when enabled by keyboard commands.

 

Rubrics

The Show Rubric option includes a title label. Additionally, the description of a criterion can be read by screen readers.

 

APIs

Account Reports API

When calling the status of an account report, report_id is not a required parameter.

 

Explanation: When a user calls the status of the report, report_id is not a required parameter because route already includes the report_id. Canvas API documentation has been updated remove report_id as a required parameter.

 

Files API and Mobile Apps

Users can view Canvas files on the Canvas by Instructure apps.

 

Explanation: When a user tried to view a course file on the Canvas by Instructure app, the app displayed a 401 error page. This behavior occurred because of authentication errors caused by the file path name. Canvas code has been updated to add the context route for files in the Files API.

 

Announcements

Announcement RSS Feed

The Announcement RSS Feed shows the latest 15 items.

 

Explanation: When 16 or more announcements were in the announcement RSS feed, only the oldest 15 items were showing. This behavior occurred because of miscommunication in display logic. Canvas code has been updated to always display the RSS feed unless the user is unauthorized and to define the most recent announcements based on description.

 

Assignments

Text Entry Submissions

Text Entry Submissions do not allow blank text submissions.

 

Explanation: When a student submitted <p></p> for a text entry submission, Canvas accepted the submission. In SpeedGrader, instructors could see the submission time, but the submission still showed the message stating the student had not submitted the assignment. This behavior occurred because Canvas created a submission object with an unsubmitted workflow state. Canvas code has been updated to validate submission text entries.

 

Students: View Rubric

Students can view the longer description of a rubric in their assignments.

 

Explanation: In an assignment rubric, when students clicked the option to view the longer description, a popup window appeared with an option to update the description. If a student tried to update the description, the View Longer Description button disappeared from the criterion until the page was refreshed. This behavior occurred because the Update Description button was displaying regardless of permissions for any rubric. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions and hide the Update Description button when a rubric is not being edited.

 

Calendar

Graded Discussions

The Calendar displays due dates when editing a graded discussion

 

Explanation: When a user edited a graded discussion in the calendar and selected the More Options button, the due date did not appear. This behavior occurred because the due date was not retained between the discussion pages. Canvas code has been updated to find any previous forms with the due date when editing a graded discussion.

 

Course Imports

Desire2Learn Imports

In Desire2Learn (D2L) files, any content associated with Modules is linked correctly to the Module.

 

Explanation: When a D2L file was imported into Canvas, any content associated with Modules did not import as a page or a file. Discussions and Assignments did not appear in the correct location, and content associated with Assignments and Pages were being imported as separate HTML documents. These behaviors occurred because Canvas required more current code elements to support D2L files. Canvas code has been updated to include more recent page converter and link D2L dependencies. Additionally, improvements have been made to import Dropbox assignments as assignment groups (if available), convert HTML files and Modules/Module items with descriptions into Pages, and convert HTML content links.

 

Numerical Error Margin Decimals

Numerical Answer questions with an error margin with four or more decimal points import properly into a new course.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz with a Numerical Answer question error margin with four or more decimal points, then imported the quiz into another course, the question showed the error margin with additional decimal points. This behavior occurred because of the integration used for decimal rounding. Canvas code has been updated to support numeric error margins with arbitrary precision and size.

 

Direct Module Links

Module page links added with the Rich Content Editor display correctly after copying the course.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a Module page link through the Rich Content Editor and then exported the course, a course import would cause the Module link to break and display a page error. This behavior occurred because the direct link was not translating correctly to the new course URL. Canvas code has been updated to copy the module from the previous course and update the module item with the module ID and course copy ID.

 

Course Settings

Future Enrollments

When the student access setting for future courses is not restricted, students can view all future courses on the Courses pages.

 

Explanation: When an instructor or admin does not restrict students from viewing future courses, students were not able to view their future courses. This behavior coincided with the April 4 release and occurred because Canvas was coded to hide all inactive courses. Canvas code has been updated to only hide future courses if the student access setting for future courses is enabled.

 

Dashboard

Dashboard To-Do List Icons in Internet Explorer

In Internet Explorer, the Dashboard to-do list icons display the same size as in all other browsers.

 

Explanation: When users in Internet Explorer viewed their to-do list in the Dashboard, the check mark icons were displaying smaller than in other browsers. This behavior occurred because of the image encoding for the Dashboard page. Canvas code has been updated with new page encoding for the six icons.

 

Discussions

Embedded Images

Users at institutions that use vanity URLs can view images in discussion posts.

 

Explanation: When a user embedded an image in a discussion reply, the full URL to the image was being inserted after the page refresh instead of just referencing the relative URL for the image (i.e. /courses/123456/files/123). For institutions using vanity URLs, the image URL would break the link to the image, which created a 401 Unauthorized message. This behavior only occurred for institutions using vanity URLs, which is a URL that redirects to the institution’s Canvas URL as [institution].instructure.com. Canvas code has been updated to create a placeholder for the files location and replace the placeholder when calling the image content with the API.

 

Files

Files in Concluded Courses

Instructors can always view Files in a concluded course.

 

Explanation: Instructors were not able to view Files in a concluded course if the Files link in Course Navigation had been hidden from students. This behavior was caused by a change in the April 4 release, which allowed instructors in concluded courses to only view the same items available to students. Canvas code has been updated to confirm user role permissions and allow instructors to always view Files for a course.

 

Downloadable Locked Files

Users cannot view hidden files as part of a folder download ZIP file.

 

Explanation: When Better File Browsing is enabled and a subfolder contained content thatwas hidden from student view, downloading the subfolder within the main folder allowed students to access the hidden content. This behavior occurred because hidden files (available with link) were included as part of the download process. Canvas code has been updated to exclude hidden files from student downloads.

 

Public Syllabus Files

Authenticated users can download files from a public syllabus.

 

Explanation: If the syllabus for a course was made public, unauthenticated users were able to download files linked to the page, but authenticated students not enrolled in the course were not able to download files. This behavior occurred because of incorrect verifiers for user permissions. Canvas code has been updated to add verifiers to public syllabus content for authenticated users.

 

Usage Rights for Course Files in Personal Files

In an instructor’s personal files, setting a usage right for a course file applies to the file.

 

Explanation: When instructors viewed their course files from their personal files, setting a usage right for a course file was not applying to the actual file. Although the banner on the browser page stated the file had been changed, the change had no effect on the file. This behavior occurred because usage rights was not coded to apply to course files. Canvas code has been updated to reflect usage rights changes to Course Files in the Personal Files view.

 

Files in Beta and Test Environments

Files attached to discussions in beta and test reference the correct environment.

 

Explanation: When a file was attached to a discussion in the beta or test environments, the file was referencing the production environment domain. This behavior occurred because the file ID in the URL referred to the actual file in production; if the file ID did not exist in production, the file created a page error. Canvas code has been updated to create a placeholder for the environment location and replace the placeholder when calling the discussion content with the API.

 

Locked Media File Previews

Students cannot view previews for locked media files.

 

Explanation: When an instructor locked a media file, such as an .mp4 or .mov, and students tried to access the file, students were able to view the file. This behavior occurred because previews were not limited by media type. Canvas code has been updated to restrict locked media file previews to students.

 

Gradebook

Email Notifications

Gradebook uploads do not generate notifications for students whose grades were not modified.

 

Explanation: After an instructor uploaded changes to the Gradebook via CSV, all students received a gradebook notification, even students who had no changes to their grade. This behavior occurred because Canvas was notifying students unless the file contained unrecognized or ignored assignments. Canvas code has been updated to only update students whose submissions changed in the CSV file.

 

Comments in Muted Assignments

If an assignment is muted, students cannot view any comments or attachments by their instructor.

 

Explanation: When an instructor left a comment or an attachment on a muted assignment, students were able to open the Submission Details page and view the comment or attachment. This behavior occurred because Canvas didn’t consider if the assignment was muted. Canvas code has been updated to hide comments from the submission details page if the assignment is muted.

 

Groups

Locked Group Discussions

If a user tries to access a locked group discussion, the URL redirects back to the course.

 

Explanation: When a group discussion was part of a module requirement but was locked by the instructor, students who clicked the link to the discussion were being redirected to the group instead of back to the course Modules page. This behavior occurred because the group discussion was associated by group ID, not the course ID. Canvas code has been updated to redirect students back to the course Module.

 

Group Assignment Edits

Instructors can edit group assignments that have submissions and are associated with a deleted group set.

 

Explanation: When an instructor tried to edit an assignment that contained student submissions and was associated with a deleted group set, Canvas displayed a message explaining the assignment could not be edited. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not validating the state of the group set. Canvas code has been updated to disregard submissions associated with a deleted group set.

 

Group Discussion RSS Feed

In Group Discussions, replies are included in the RSS podcast feed.

 

Explanation: In Group Discussions, users were not able to view replies in the RSS feed unless the Include Replies in Podcast Feed option was checked as part of the main course discussion. This behavior occurred because the group discussion RSS feed was not associated correctly with the course discussion. Canvas code has been updated to remove the option to include replies in Group Discussions; student replies will always be included in group discussion podcasts.

 

Media

Media Players

Users can view multiple media comments in Canvas.

 

Explanation: When a user tried to view multiple media comments on one page, only the first media comment would load. All additional media files would not play until they had been fully downloaded. This behavior occurred because of a conflict with multiple media players in the browser. Canvas code has been updated to remove preloading requirements and allow multiple media players on the page.

 

Modules

Unpublished Modules in Pages

Students cannot access modules that are unpublished.

 

Explanation: When a student clicks on a Module that was linked in the Rich Content Editor, if the module was later unpublished, the students viewed a page error. This behavior occurred because the link reference was not coded to verify whether the user was authorized to view the file, so it created a general page error. Canvas code has been updated to verify authorization for viewing modules.

 

Modules with Greater than 100 Module Items

Modules containing more than 100 items display all status icons.

 

Explanation: When modules contained more than 100 items, the status icons for each item (publish, unpublish, restricted) were not visible or did not work correctly. This behavior occurred because Canvas was trying to preload content details for all module item types, even if they were not being used. Canvas code has been updated to refine files preloading on the Modules page.

 

Modules and External Tools

External Tools can be added as module requirements.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a module, added an external tool as an assignment, and then tried to add the external tool as a module requirement, the external tool did not appear in the External Tool list. Additionally, if an instructor created a module and only added an external tool without refreshing the page, the instructor could not access the Add Requirement feature. These behaviors occurred because the tool was not properly tagged as an External Tool in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the context and tagging of external module items.

 

Locked Modules and View Page Requirements

Module items with the Must View the Page requirement cannot be fulfilled if the page is locked.

 

Explanation: When a user viewed a module item with a Must View the Page requirement, the module would show when the item was scheduled to be unlocked but would also give credit for the module item’s completion. This behavior occurred because the progress requirement was not restricted to locked items. Canvas code has been updated to verify pages have not been locked before updating module progressions.

 

Notifications

Concluded Sections

Users in concluded sections do not receive course dashboard notifications.

 

Explanation: When a user was enrolled in a concluded section, they were still receiving course notifications on their dashboard if the course itself had not concluded. This behavior occurred because notifications did not confirm the state of any created sections. Canvas code has been updated to hide course stream items from non-participating users.

 

Unpublished Graded Discussions

Canvas does not send notifications for unpublished Graded Discussions.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded discussion, all students received an Assignment Created notification. This behavior occurred because Canvas did not confirm whether the discussion topic had been published. Canvas code has been updated to verify confirm the publish status of graded discussions.

 

Pages

HTML Anchors in Chrome/Safari

Canvas Pages linked directly to HTML Anchors functions correctly in Chrome/Safari.

 

Explanation: When a user linked to a page anchor in Canvas, links did not jump directly to the anchor in webkit-based browsers (Chrome and Safari). This behavior occurred because of an error with the hash mark in the URL. Canvas code has been updated to direct users to anchor links in Chrome and Safari by replacing the hash symbol if necessary.

 

Pages and Capital Letters

Users can create Pages with more than one capital letter in a row.

 

Explanation: When a user created a page with more than one capital letter in a row, the page name caused formatting issues when linking the page. This behavior occurred because capital letters were being treated as new words, which often adds additional spaces. Canvas code has been updated to match the formatting as created in the page title.

 

Permissions

Group Pages

If a user is granted permission to view the group pages for all student groups, the user can view the group discussions.

 

Explanation: The View the Group Pages for All Student Groups permission was not working as described in the Canvas Permissions document for Discussions. This behavior occurred because the permission was lacking the ability for users to view discussions for other groups. Canvas code has been updated with read_forum access when viewing group pages.

 

Group Pages and Course Discussion

If a user is granted permission to view the group pages of all student groups, the user is redirected to each individual discussion group for posting.

 

Explanation: If a student was granted permission to view the group pages of all student groups, the main discussion was not showing students the discussion for their group. All students—regardless of whether or not they were assigned to a group—could post to the main course discussion. This behavior occurred because Canvas did not automatically redirect students to their group’s copy of the discussion. Canvas code has been updated to redirect students to the specific discussion for the group they are viewing.

 

Quizzes

Manually Concluded Courses and Quiz Submissions

Manually concluded courses do not let students view quiz submissions.

 

Explanation: When an admin restricts students from viewing quiz questions after the course end date, students in manually concluded courses can still view quiz submissions (both questions and answers). However, once the course or term dates have passed (soft conclude), the restriction is applied and students can no longer view the submissions. This behavior occurred because Canvas was only coded to confirm soft-concluded courses. Canvas code has been updated to include manually concluded courses in the quiz restrict setting.

 

Equation Edits and the Rich Content Editor

Users can edit existing LaTeX equations in the Rich Content Editor.

 

Explanation: When an instructor edited an existing LaTeX equation in the Rich Content Editor, the equation no longer rendered correctly. This behavior occurred because the entire HTML img tag was being pulled into the editor as text to extract an equation. Canvas code has been updated to only pull the equation into the editor and allow for editing in basic view.

 

Quiz Moderation and Students in Multiple Sections

Students enrolled in multiple sections of a course only appear once when moderating a quiz.

 

Explanation: When a student was enrolled in multiple sections of a course, they appeared twice in Quiz Moderation. However, the student only appeared once in People, the Gradebook, and the Manage User section. This behavior occurred because the submission logic was not clear for each user and section privilege limitations were not respected. Canvas code has been updated to define submissions by student and user ID.

 

Rich Content Editor

Menu Options

Copy and paste options display in the Rich Content Editor context menu.

 

Explanation: When users opened the Rich Content Editor, users could not right click and view the copy and paste menu option unless the user clicked within the height of the body element. This behavior occurred because the text field defaults to 20 px, which is not a large space for content. Canvas code has been updated to make the internal body element to 100 px.

 

At (@) Symbol and Link to URL

URLs with an at (@) symbol do not include a mailto: preceding the link.

 

Explanation: When a user accessed the Link to URL option in the Rich Content Editor, of the URL had an at (@) symbol, such as in a Google maps address, the link changed to a mailto link. This behavior occurred because of a discrepancy in symbol functionality. Canvas code has been updated to include a function that clarifies URLs from email addresses.

 

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook

Multiple Sections

Students assigned to multiple sections can view the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook.

 

 

Explanation: When a student was assigned to multiple sections and tried to view the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, the Gradebook generated an error message. This behavior occurred because student enrollments were not filtered correctly by section. Canvas code has been updated to filter students by section and enrollment user ID. 

Canvas by Instructure (Android) 4.3 Release Notes Featuring Internal Calendar

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Apr 6, 18:26

In this update, the app includes an internal calendar that displays assignments and events for up to 10 courses and groups. Settings allows users to set their own notification preferences, and Discussions can support video attachments. The update also changes the way users switch to other profiles and view shortened date formats.

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the Play Store. Version 4.3 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

 

 

New Features

Internal Calendar

Users can view course assignments and dates within the Canvas app. Like the browser version of Canvas, users can select and view up to 10 calendars from their courses and groups. Courses and groups are displayed according to their assigned color. The calendar can be collapsed and expanded in the menu bar, and users can view calendar listings by day, week, or month.

 

 

Notification Preferences

Users can select the notifications they want to receive in the app. Like in the browser version of Canvas, although all preferences are listed as options, not all notifications are available to all users.

Selecting a preference means the notification will be sent ASAP; not selecting a preference means a notification will never be sent.

 



Because mobile notifications are currently limited, mobile preferences override preferences in the browser version of Canvas. Therefore, all notification channels configured in the browser version of Canvas will receive the notification, and daily and weekly notifications are not supported in the app.

NoteAlerts (Administrative Notifications) are currently supported as a notification preference and cannot be sent to the app as a notification.

 

Updated Features

Discussions Attachments

Users can add video comments to discussion replies. Use the attachment icon to make a video comment, or choose an existing video file.

 

 

Switch Users

Users can quickly switch to another profile in the User Navigation Menu. Previously this feature was at the bottom of the menu, but now it has been moved within the profile area for easier access. Tap the current user information to add a new account. If any accounts have previously been added, they will automatically appear in the list.

 

 

 

Other Updates

Date Formatting

Several areas of the app, such as the instructor edit assignment menu, include shortened calendar dates (e.g. 1/5/2015). These dates are designed to display according to the date format specified for the Android device. To change the date format, open the device’s Settings menu and select the System Date & time option.

April 4, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Student Access Account Setting

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Mar 30, 21:04

Updated Canvas Changes

On April 4, 2015, Facebook will no longer be supported as a Canvas integration. For more details please see the Web Services heading in the Updated Features section below.  

On April 15, 2015, we’re migrating the existing Canvas community to a new-and-improved community platform. If you are a Canvas admin, please be prepared to address the changes outlined in the Canvas Community 2.0 FAQs, especially if your institution has embedded any Canvas Guides content.

On June 6, 2015, the following changes will be made in Canvas:

  • Differentiated Assignments (by section) will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. Learn more about Differentiated Assignments an admin or instructor.

  • The new Files interface (Better File Browsing) will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. This change will enable New Files on the course and user levels. Learn more about New Files as an admin or instructor.


In this production release (April 4), admins can set restrictions to student access before or after the start and end dates for a course, and instructors can better assess their students with various Outcome calculation methods. Additional Canvas features have been updated with small changes for better organization and overall happiness.

The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features, other Canvas updates, platform/integration updates, permission updates, and fixed bugs.

Note: Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. Features may differ from those listed in the beta release notes.

2015-04-04 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the Screencast Transcript

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details.

We welcome video feedback at instructure.com/videosurvey. If the embedded video does not appear, reload your browser window.

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: April 13

  • Production release notes: April 20

  • Production release and documentation: April 25

Follow the release schedule on our public Canvas Updates calendar


 

New Features

Account & Course Settings

Student Access Settings

Admins can choose to set default restrictions for student access in their institutions. These restrictions include access to courses before or after the start and end date. The restrictions apply according the override start and end dates for the course. If no override dates are specified, the start and end dates apply to the term dates.

Student access can be managed at the account level for each course. The checkboxes at the main level creates a default for the institution—the checkboxes at the course level will reflect any restricted settings, but instructors have the option to edit the access as necessary.

  • To restrict students from one or both of the student access settings, select one or both checkboxes at the main level.

  • To allow student access, do not select the main checkboxes.

 

To lock the student access settings from being changed at the sub-account and course levels, select one or both indented checkboxes.

 

 

Sub-account and Course Views

If the sub-account and courses checkbox is not locked, the setting can be edited at both the sub-account and course levels.

 


 

If the sub-account and course checkbox is locked, the setting cannot be changed and appears grayed out at the subaccount and course levels.

 

Outcomes

Calculation Methods

This feature is used in conjunction with the Learning Mastery Gradebook course feature option.

Outcomes allows instructors and admins to specify one of four calculation methods used for student mastery in the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook. Previously the only calculation method available in Canvas was calculating by highest score.

When viewing Outcomes at the Account, Subaccount, and Course levels, the current calculation method displays as part of the outcome data.

 

 

Decaying Average: Calculate the average of all aligned items while weighing the most recent item at a higher percentage. Traditional averaging weighs all assessments equally and does not consider the student’s current understanding, but this calculation assesses the current attempt while still recognizing prior attempts, which helps display trends in student learning. Ultimately, the overall score reflects the current level of understanding instead of the average of learning over time.

By default, the decaying average is set at 65/35, meaning the current item is weighted at 65%, and the average of all other user scores is weighted at 35%. However, users can specify between 1% and 99% for the current percentage, and prior scores are weighted against the percentage difference. Note that the average is rounded to the next two decimals.

For example, a student has four aligned items with scores of 4, 3, 2, and 5. If the current item is set to be weighted at 75% of mastery, prior scores are weighted at 25%:

  • Current item score: 5

  • Average of prior item scores: (4 + 3 + 2) / 3 = 3

  • Calculated score: 5 (.75) + 3 (.25) = 3.75 + .75 = 4.5

n Number of Times: Require a specific number of times mastery must be met or exceeded and the number of aligned items that must be completed for calculation eligibility. Any scores that do not meet mastery are not part of the calculation.

By default, the item requirement is set at 2. However, users can specify between 2 and 5 items required for mastery.

For example, a student is required to achieve mastery 2 times with a mastery score of 5. If the student has scores of 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 3, and 6, only the scores of 5 and 6 would be part of the calculation.

  • Average score of eligible items: 5 + 6 = 11

  • Calculated score: 11 / 2 = 5.5

Most Recent Score: Always use the score in the most recent item.

Highest Score: Always use the highest score in all attempts.

 

Notes—

For all existing Outcomes in Canvas, the default calculation is the highest score. Unless an outcome has not yet been used to assess a student, existing outcomes cannot be edited and must be re-created to apply another calculation method.

For new Outcomes created in the Canvas interface, the default calculation is Decaying Average.

For new Outcomes created using the Outcomes API, the default calculation is set as highest score but can be modified with the appropriate parameters.

 

Gradebook Display

Assessment scores display in the Learning Mastery Gradebook for each outcome according to the calculation method. Additionally, instructors can view the current calculation method as part of the Outcomes overview window.

 


 

 

Updated Features

Gradebook

Unpublished Courses and Grades

Instructors can edit the Gradebook while a course is unpublished. This feature reverts behavior that was previously adjusted in the March 14 release.

Learning Mastery Gradebook

Mastery Levels

This feature is used in conjunction with the Learning Mastery Gradebook course feature option.

In the Learning Mastery Gradebook, the Gradebook includes an Exceeds Mastery level, which is a score earned above the mastery threshold. Additionally, the Remedial level has been renamed to Well Below Mastery.

 

 

Rich Content Editor

Interface Update

The Rich Content Editor has been updated with the most recent interface design and ultimately update provides more backend functionality to support future upgrades to the Rich Content Editor.

The main feature of this upgrade includes better support for creating and deleting tables. Users can easily add, merge, and split table cells without having to switch to the HTML Editor. Rows can be added, copied, and pasted anywhere in the table.

 

 

The editor also supports directional text so users can insert content right to left. This feature can be added using the Right to Left button within the editor.

 

 

Beneath the Rich Content Editor window, users can view HTML elements for any selected content. This feature is beneficial for users who work with HTML and want to view or confirm placement of content.

 

 

Web Services

Facebook Integration

Facebook will no longer be supported as a web service in Canvas. Any users who currently have an enabled Facebook integration can continue to use the channel until the production release on April 4.

The Facebook integration allowed users to access Facebook and receive notifications about Canvas. Recently Facebook announced that they would no longer support the current API, meaning that Canvas code and engineering resources would have to be allocated to support the new API. Additionally, our engineers measured the current usage of the Facebook tool and learned that the data showed little to no recent interaction, suggesting that updating the tool was not a significant priority.

For users who are interested in bringing back the Facebook integration, our product team welcomes feedback in the Canvas Feature Discussion forums, specifically related to what the ideal integration should look like and what students need from a Facebook integration.

 

 

Other Updates

Analytics

Student Submissions

For student analytics, the Assignments analytics section has been renamed to Submissions. Additionally, no icons are displayed for assignments that do not include a submission (i.e. not graded, on paper) or for assignments that do not apply to a student because of differentiated assignments. These changes were made because assignments that did not require a submission were always being shown as missing, and Canvas could not calculate whether or not a non-submission assignment was submitted on time.

Conferences

Enable Recording Button

When users create a conference, the checkbox to record a conference has been renamed to Enable recording for this conference. Some users were unaware that the actual recording button is within the Conferences interface and that marking the checkbox did not automatically record the conference. This change helps clarify the purpose of the checkbox, which simply enables the recording tools within the Conferences interface. Functionality for this feature is not affected.

 

Discussions

Discussion Creation Dates

Discussion creation dates have been modified as an instructor permission, meaning the student and observer views do not display the creation date for a discussion.

This change helps instructors copy course content without having to modify any Discussions content; only instructors can view the creation date for a discussion.

 

 

Additionally, when Discussions are copied in a course, the last post date will not display on the Discussions index page; the last post date was displaying as the creation date of the discussion. This feature is not currently in available for testing in beta but will be part of Saturday’s release.

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook

Mastery Count Indicator

Mastery Count Indicators are used in conjunction with the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook course feature option.

When viewing the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, students see the outcome group and the number of associated outcomes. On the right side, the total number of outcomes are shown in gray; the left side shows the number of outcomes the student has mastered. The mastery count for the student now does not turn green until the student has started mastering outcomes in the group.

 

 

 

Platform/Integration Updates

Canvas Substitution Variables

Assignments

$Canvas.assignment.pointsPossible: returns points possible for an assignment

APIs

Accounts API

The Accounts API returns the account LTI guid for LTI launches with the lti_guid parameter.

Assignments API

The Assignments API supports five parameters for returning certain assignments depending on due date and submission status: upgraded, upcoming, future, past, and overdue.

Course Settings

The Courses API restricts students from viewing courses before the start or end date with the restrict_student_past_view and restrict_student_future_view course settings parameters.

Quizzes API

The Quizzes API shows the current version number of a quiz with the version_number parameter.

Users API

The Users API shows details for a user, including a permissions attribute as to whether the user can update names and profile pictures.

 

 

Permissions Updates

Discussions

Unpublished Discussions Permission

Users can only view unpublished discussions if they are given the read course content permission. This permission was previously included in the manage courses permission. This change corrects a bug where users were not able to view unpublished discussions when they had permission to manage courses.

Groups

Conferences Permission

The Manage Groups permission has been modified and no longer includes default permissions to create a conference. Now, instructors can only create conferences for courses and groups if they are granted the Create web conferences permission. This change corrects a bug where users were able to create and join a conference even when the Create web conferences permission was disabled.

Observers

Add Observers Permission

Users can add observers if they have permission to manage students or manage admin users; either permission allows for adding observer roles. This change corrects a bug with inconsistency with people permissions.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

General

Focus styles are now included in button states, buttons, tabs, and item groups in both the high contrast mode and default Canvas interface.

Announcements

The Announcements Settings Menu is labeled as a button for screen readers.

Keyboard users can collapse an individual reply to an announcement.

When a keyboard user tries to attach a file to an announcement, focus remains on the Choose File button.

The reply field for announcements displays the info icon next to the Rich Content Editor.

All Announcements elements on the index page are highlighted from left to right.

All announcement reply element buttons are highlighted from left to right.

When a keyboard user accesses the Settings menu and chooses a command, focus returns to the Settings menu.

Course Settings

In Course Details, the Description label includes a for attribute to indicate a course public description.

Course Setup Checklist

The Course Setup Checklist includes a screen reader message indicating when the checklist items are complete or incomplete.

Conversations

The People selection menu in Conversations displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Discussions

The Discussions Settings Menu is labeled as a button for screen readers.

Keyboard users can collapse an individual reply to a discussion.

Keyboard users can add and show rubrics for discussions.

When a keyboard user tries to attach a file to a discussion, focus remains on the Choose File button.

Each reply field for discussions display an info icon next to the Rich Content Editor.

All Discussions elements are highlighted from left to right.

External Apps

The View App Center and View App Configurations buttons are highlighted from left to right. 

Files

In New Files, users can identify and modify the current access restriction.

The Settings label has been changed to actions.

When closing a file preview, Files retains focus on the name of the file that was being previewed.

When a keyboard user attempts to rename a file but cancels the action, focus returns to the file’s name.

Keyboard users can view the file’s information in the preview window.

Modules

All items in the Modules Setting menu retain focus on the menu. When a module item is deleted, focus returns to the previous item; if the previous item was the last item in the module, focus moves to the Module’s settings menu.  

When closing the Modules edit window, Modules retains focus on the Settings menu.

When keyboard users view the Add Module button, focus is set to the first drag handle in the Module.

Outcomes

Keyboard users can access the Outcomes Edit menu to open and edit criterion.

Rich Content Editor

All shortcuts are correct in the keyboard dialog; users can open the dialog by clicking alt-F8. The information icon also includes hover text to open the help menu.

Rubrics

Keyboard users can delete a rubric. Focus is set to the view longer description link of the previous row. If there is no previous row, focus moves to the title input field.

Account Settings

Subaccount Course Copy and Course Creation Users

An account does not have to enable the users with no enrollments setting for subaccount admins to copy courses.

Explanation: In Account Settings, when an admin disabled the option for users with no enrollments to create courses, subaccount admins were not able to copy courses. This behavior occurred because subaccount admins usually were not enrolled in any courses and therefore had no enrollments for the institution. Canvas code has been updated to disassociate this account setting from subaccount admins and always allow them to copy courses.

Subaccount Course Copy and Manually Created Courses

Subaccount admin permissions are not associated with courses in the manually created courses subaccount.

Explanation: Subaccount admins could only use the Copy this Course option if they had course management permissions in the manually created courses subaccount. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in permissions. Canvas code has been updated to not rely on course permissions in the manually created courses subaccount.

Account-level ZIP Files

Account-level reports create a ZIP extension in Firefox and Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

Explanation: When running reports from the account level, reports that generate multiple files were not creating a link with the ZIP extension in Firefox and IE 10 and 11. Files were not affected when generated in Safari or Chrome. This behavior occurred from a change to the temporary filename path. Canvas code has been updated to add .zip as a type for files.

Test Student Course Count

On the Account Courses Page, the Test Student does not count toward the number of students in the course.

Explanation: When a user viewed the Test Student (Student View) as part of a course, the Test Student appeared as part of the course summary on the Account Courses Page (beneath the name of the course). This behavior occurred because Test Student enrollments were being treated as actual student enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to not include enrollments from the Test Student in the course count.

Analytics

Course Analytics for Missing Assignments

Student analytics are not displayed for assignments that do not include a submission (i.e. not graded, on paper).

Explanation: Assignment types set to Not Graded were displayed as missing in Course Analytics. This behavior occurred because analytics was not coded to support Not Graded assignments and was also affected by differentiated assignments. Canvas code has been updated to remove submission icons for any assignments that do not include a submission or assignments that do not apply to a student because of differentiated assignments.

Announcements

Podcast Link

Users can access announcement podcasts if an announcement includes a video file.

Explanation: The Announcements podcast link broke when instructors added a video file to an announcement from the content selector. This behavior occurred because of a conflict in media definitions for each media type. Canvas code has been updated to leave out media objects if a media attachment is included as a reply.

Announcements and Course Activity

Disabling comments in Announcements does not affect course settings and activity logs.

Explanation: When an instructor disabled comments in Announcements, either through the Announcements Settings menu or the Course Settings page, the course activity log generated a report that the comments setting had been turned off. This behavior occurred because of changes to course public visibility settings. Canvas code has been updated confirm changes to course settings before updating activity logs.

Assignments

Differentiated Assignments and Gradebook Uploads

When Differentiated Assignments is enabled, Gradebook CSV uploads update new assignments and scores.

Explanation: The Differentiated Assignments feature option was conflicting with Gradebook CSV uploads; the upload recognized the assignment but would not update any student scores. Two uploads were required for the same CSV file before the grades would appear. This behavior occurred because the Gradebook was verifying scores for visible assignments, but with Differentiated Assignments, but some students were not required to complete the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to have CSV files verify if the assignment is visible to the student and ignore any student submissions that are not visible.

Authenticated User Unauthorized Errors

Authenticated users can view the Assignments page of a public course.

Explanation: Authenticated users who tried to view the Assignments page of a public course were being redirected to an error page. This behavior occurred because Canvas was trying to load the assignment index page without verifying the permission of the user. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions before loading the Assignments page.

Authenticated Users and Differentiated Assignments

When Differentiated Assignments is enabled, authenticated users can view course Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes assigned to Everyone.

Explanation: When Differentiated Assignments was enabled in a course, and authenticated users tried to access Assignments, Discussions, or Quizzes, users were not able to view assignments that were assigned to Everyone. This behavior occurred because authenticated users were not being treated as users enrolled in the course. Canvas code has been updated to verify authenticated users as enrolled students.

Assignments and External Tools

Clicking the Enter key in an assignment field does not launch the configure external tool window.

Explanation: When a user clicked the Enter (or Return) key in an assignments field, such as points, name, or automatic peer reviews, the assignment launched the configure external tool window. This behavior occurred because the class for the assignment fields was not defined as being for screen readers only. Canvas code has been updated with a clarified button class for screen readers.  

Assignment Groups

When adding a new assignment to an assignment group, the group retains any assignments added via drag-and-drop functionality.

Explanation: The drag-and-drop functionality in Assignments was causing existing assignments to disappear from the group until the page was refreshed. When an instructor created a new assignment group and then dragged an existing assignment to the group, adding a new assignment directly in the group caused the existing assignment to disappear. This behavior occurred because of an empty attribute value in the page display for drag-and-drop functionality. Canvas code has been updated to render a refresh to properly recognize drag-and-drop assignments.

Calendar

Undated Events

Canvas users can create undated events in the Calendar.

Explanation: Canvas users were not able to create an undated event in the Calendar. If a user removed the date, upon saving, the event auto-populated with the current date. This behavior occurred because the Calendar was not supporting undated fields. Canvas code has been updated to allow blank date fields and place the undated event in the Undated items list in the sidebar.

Syllabus and Media Comments

Users can load the course syllabus and calendar if a media comment exists in a Calendar event with varied due dates.

Explanation: Course users were unable to load the course syllabus and calendar when a calendar event with varied due dates included a media comment. This behavior occurred because event descriptions were not defined for the course. Canvas code has been updated to verify course context and allow media comments in varied due date event descriptions.

Calendar Assignment View

Users can view all content for an assignment in the Calendar.

Explanation: Assignments with very long descriptions were not scrollable in the calendar event window. The window pane continued beyond the dimensions of the window instead of stopping at a maximum height. This behavior occurred because the calendar was not defined with a maximum height. Canvas code has been updated to specify the maximum height and width on Calendar event windows as 160 px and 495 px.

Assignments and Saturday Due Date

In the Calendar, Assignments dragged to Saturday that are due on or after 11:31 pm post as a Saturday assignment.

Explanation: Assignments that were due on or after 11:31pm were not posting correctly when a user dragged and dropped the assignment to a Saturday. The assignment became grayed out and posted on Sunday. This behavior occurred because Canvas was enforcing a 30-minute window for calendar events, which adjusted assignments created after 11:31 pm to midnight (and wrapped the assignment to Sunday). Canvas code has been updated to only enforce the minimum 30-minute duration if the assignment is not due between 11:31 pm and 12:00 am.

Section Limits and Scheduler

Section-limited instructors can see course sections in Scheduler.

Explanation: Instructors who could only view specific sections of a course were not able to view the course in Scheduler. This behavior occurred because the Calendar was confirming the appointment group permission as all-or-nothing course functionality. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the appointment group permission while distinguishing between sections in the course.

Collaborations

Group Collaborations

Instructors can create group collaborations without being a member of the group.

Explanation: Instructors were not able to create a group collaboration without being a member of the group. Additionally, all user groups were being shown to the collaboration creator, even if the group was not part of the course. This behavior occurred because the groups permission was not verifying the user, both for creating collaborations and listing groups. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the manage groups permission for instructors and only show relevant groups for the course.

Conferences

Long-Running Conferences and End Now Dashboard Button

Users can end a long-running conference from the Course Dashboard.

Explanation: When a user had access to create a long-running (no time limit) conference, the activity stream on the course dashboard included a button to join or end the conference. Clicking the End Now button displayed a page of code content. This behavior occurred because the End Now button was not properly configured to close the conference. Canvas code has been updated to confirm closing the conference and includes a confirmation message.  

Conversations

Conversation Filters

Conversations can be filtered by course if a student and instructor share more than one course.

Explanation: When filtering Conversations by course, when a student and instructor had more shared more than one course, the messages were all filtered into the course with the lower ID number and were not visible as part of the other course. This behavior occurred because the updated time was not preloaded as part of the filter context, pulling older conversations that were no longer relevant. Canvas code has been updated to include updated tags as part of conversations context.  

Group Conversations

Group lists load quickly in the Conversation drop-down menu.

Explanation: When a user tried to view a group list in Conversations, the list of users was delayed in loading. This behavior occurred because all contexts were being loaded for the group recipients. Canvas code has been updated to refactor group user lists and load only relevant context.  

Course Imports

Essay and File Upload Duplication

Essay questions and File Upload questions are not duplicated as part of a course copy.

Explanation: When a quiz is copied into a course twice, and select content is selected in one of the copy types, Essay and File Upload questions were duplicating in the course. This behavior occurred because of an error with quiz question migration IDs. Canvas code has been updated to retain and verify quiz question IDs for course imports.

Syllabus Public Setting

Syllabi that are public on course copy are retained as public.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled the Make the syllabus for this course publicly visible option and copied the course, the syllabus option was not applied as part of the import. This behavior occurred because the public syllabus was not defined as a clonable attribute for course copies. Canvas code has been updated to preserve the public syllabus attribute and compare the settings when copying a course.

Moodle and Graded Discussions

Point values and graded options in Moodle advanced forums are imported to Graded Discussions.

Explanation: When a Moodle file was imported that contained advanced forums (graded discussions), the point value and graded options were not retained. This behavior occurred because Canvas required a more current code element to support Moodle files. Canvas code has been updated to include a more recent Moodle dependency.

Ungraded Discussions and Until Date

Ungraded Discussions retain the Until Date as part of course copies.

Explanation: Course copies were not retaining Until Dates in ungraded discussions, and users were required to adjust the dates manually when the copy had concluded. This behavior occurred because the Until (lock) date was not included as a migration element. Canvas code has been updated to add the lock date as part of course copies.  

Blackboard Matching Questions

Matching questions in Blackboard are imported into Canvas quizzes.

Explanation: When a Blackboard file was imported that contained matching questions in a quiz, the quiz displayed an error for the quiz. This behavior occurred because of an error when referencing quiz answer IDs. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the question IDs reference the correct quiz response.

Assignment Group Settings

When copying individual assignments, course copies do not associate updated information from the source course’s assignment group.

Explanation: When copying an individual assignment from a course that is part of an assignment group, instructors encountered a variety of error types. The new course applied rules to drop the lowest grade, even when no rule was set previously, and if the course copy included an assignment group with a changed name, the name would also update in the former course. This behavior occurred because of a change in course copy procedure in a previous release. Canvas code has been updated to copy individual assignments if the group where they were originally copied does not already exist in the destination course.

Course Settings

Instructors and Concluded Enrollments

When a course is concluded, instructors can still view all Course Navigation links.

Explanation: When a course was concluded by Term Dates, instructors could only view navigation items and files/folders available to students. If the instructor hid any Course Navigation links from students, those links were also not able to be viewed after their Term access ended unless the dates were overridden by course dates. This behavior occurred because the course was not verifying enrollment types for instructors. Canvas code has been updated to confirm enrollments within the course and not hide Course Navigation tabs for instructors.

External Apps

Users can view the External Apps tab and add new apps in Course Settings.

Explanation: The External Apps tab generated multiple behaviors within Course Settings. If a user opened Course Settings and the last open tab was External Apps, the apps tab would not load. When viewing an app, if a user repeatedly clicked the Save button when adding an app, multiple app entries were created. Leaving a secret field blank overwrote the external tool with a blank secret. And the external tool configuration screen domain would not display in the Canvas interface. These behaviors occurred because of recent changes made to the External Tools App. Canvas code has been updated to correct necessary configurations and app values

Dashboard

Coming Up Section

The Coming Up section of the Course or User Dashboard indicates the correct time.

Explanation: When they are more available items in the Coming Up section of the Course or User Dashboard sidebar, the link to display more items showed as more in the past week instead of more in the next week. This behavior occurred because the logic was being copied from the Recent Feedback section, which showed the past 2 weeks. Canvas code has been updated to display the correct time adjective.

Discussions

No Title Discussions and TurnitIn IDs

Discussions are not created for a course except through direct activity from a user.

Explanation: Some courses were generating discussions with no titles and no attached users. This behavior occurred in courses with enabled TurnitIn accounts, whose IDs were generating discussions for the course. Canvas code has been updated to only generate assignments via TurnItIn when applicable to the course.

LTI Tools in Firefox

Users can reply to Discussions using an LTI tool.

Explanation: When a user tried to reply to a discussion using an LTI tool, the tool would become responsive in the Rich Content Editor. This behavior occurred because LTI tools created an iFrame in the discussion, and clicking the reply button incorrectly passed content through the iFrame causing security issues in Firefox. All LTI tools seemed to be affected, but most prominently the Chat LTI and the Math Equation Editor. Canvas code has been updated to only pass through proper parameters as part of the discussion reply.

Disappearing Discussion Comments

Editing a discussion reply retains all associated discussion comments.

Explanation: When a discussion reply was edited, all associated comments as part of the thread would disappear in the discussion topic. This behavior affected both threaded and unthreaded discussions and occurred because of a reply capture error. The reply held an instance of the parent attribute, as opposed to just referencing the parent, so the replies were removed when the associated reply was edited. Canvas code has been updated to track and retain replies after the API edit request is complete.

Group Discussion Attachments

Attachments in group discussions are viewable to all group members.

Explanation: When a user attached a file to a discussion topic as part of a group discussion, the attachment was not viewable to the rest of the group. This behavior occurred because the group attachment ID was not a proper group attribute. Canvas code has been updated to mirror behavior in course groups by defining the group attachment ID and copying all appropriate attributes from the parent discussion.

Podcast Link

Users can access discussion podcasts if a discussion includes a video file.

Explanation: The Discussions podcast link broke when instructors added a video file to a discussion from the content selector. This behavior occurred because of a conflict in media definitions for each media type. Canvas code has been updated to leave out media objects if a media attachment is included as a reply.

Enrollments

Restore Enrollments

Users who are restored to a course can view the course.

Explanation: When an admin restored a student’s enrollment in a course, the user was unable to view the course and received an unauthorized message. This behavior occurred because of a caching issue when restoring a user’s enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to refresh caching when restoring enrollments.

Concluded Enrollments List

Users can view more than 10 enrollments in a section for a concluded course.

Explanation: In concluded courses, when a user viewed a section from the Course Settings page and clicked the View More link, the API call was not completed and never updated in the interface. This behavior occurred because of an error with pagination in the enrollments page. Canvas code has been updated to paginate 25 enrollments per page.  

ePortfolios

Last Updated Timestamp

ePortfolios display the time of the last update.

Explanation: When a user updates an ePortfolio, the last updated field (as seen on the ePortfolios dashboard) was not being updated to reflect the most recent time. This behavior occurred because changes were not set to trigger an update. Canvas code has been updated to touch the last updated field when a change is made to an ePortfolio.

Files

Drag and Drop Files List

When Better File Browsing is enabled, drag-and-drop functionality is enabled for the entire folder window.

Explanation: When an instructor uses drag and drop to add a file to a course with Better File Browsing enabled, the droppable area was sized only as large as the list of files; empty areas were inactive. This behavior was especially noticeable for mostly empty folders and occurred because the drop space wasn’t expanding to the entire area. Canvas code has been updated with CSS to expand the files upload area.

Fullscreen Video Previews

When Better File Browsing is enabled, videos can be previewed in full screen.

Explanation: When a user attempted to preview a video file in full screen, the file disappeared completely but continued playing. This behavior occurred because of a height calculation error in the preview window. Canvas code has been updated to correct the container elements for the preview display.

File Upload Previews

When Better File Browsing is enabled, users can preview a file upload directly after uploading the file.

Explanation: When a user uploaded a file, relevant previews (such as images) did not appear until the page was refreshed. This behavior occurred because of an outdated file in React, a the JavaScript library for building user interfaces in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated with a newer version of React.

Slash in Files URLs

When Better File Browsing is enabled, users can load files with a slash in the URL.

Explanation: When a files URL included a slash, such as canvas.com/files/, the file would not load. This behavior occurred because of an outdated file in React, a the JavaScript library for building user interfaces in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated with a newer version of React.

Moving Files and Duplicate Names

When Better File Browsing is enabled, users are prompted to replace/change the name of a file if it is moved to a location with the same file name.

Explanation: When a user moved a file to a folder that had a file with the same name, Files did not create a prompt to  change the name or replace the current file. This behavior occurred because prompts were only coded as part of uploading files. Canvas code has been updated to view duplicate file names for moving files.

Usage Rights and Locked Files

When Better File Browsing is turned off but Usage Rights is enabled, adding a file to the course does not lock the file upcon uploading.

Explanation: When Usage Rights is enabled for a course, but Better File Browsing is not enabled, adding a file to a course automatically locked the file upon uploading. However, the file did not lock if it was dragged and dropped into the course. This behavior occurred because Canvas was enforcing Usage Rights without Better File Browsing. Canvas code has been updated to support Usage Rights without the Better File Browsing feature option.

Authenticated Users and File Downloads

When Better File Browsing is enabled, authenticated Users in a course can download course Files.

Explanation: When an authenticated user tried to download a file in a course, the file could not be downloaded. This behavior did not affect file previews, however, and occurred because file access not specifically set for authenticated users. Canvas code has been updated to allow file access if the course is public to authenticated users and confirm the user’s ID for the course.

Gradebook

Grading Schemes

New grading schemes save with the included data.

Explanation: When a user created a grading scheme and saved the data, the grading scheme was being overwritten with the default scheme data but only affect the first save of the grading scheme; editing and re-saving the scheme retained all data changes. This behavior occurred because of a misalignment with grading standard IDs. Canvas code has been updated to clarify default data and grading standard IDs. Additionally, users cannot delete a grading scheme row if it is the last remaining row in the grading scheme, and when users save or delete a grading scheme, a confirmation message appears at the top of the window.

Modules

Module Menu Files Limit

When adding a file to a Module, users can choose from all files in the Files list.

Explanation: When a user added a file to a Module, some files in root folders were not appearing in the Files list. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in the API. Canvas code has been updated to support files as a React component, which is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces in Canvas. This change creates a folder and file store for interacting with the API and ensures that folders that do not contain any files are not shown in the Modules file list.

Group Discussions and Page Completion Requirement

Group discussion module items with the users must contribute to the page requirement show the module progression checkmark when the requirement is complete.

Explanation: When a Group Discussion assignment type was included in a module, and users were required to contribute to the group discussion before the assignment could be completed, the module item was not displaying the completed check mark and did not allow the student to progress to the next module item. Users were required to change the assignment type to submit the assignment in order for the permission to apply correctly. This behavior occurred because Modules were not coded to accept completions for course assessments in a group context. Canvas code has been updated to forward group actions to the main course discussion.

Manual Quiz Grades

When an instructor manually grades a quiz that is part of a module progress, students can advance to the next module requirement.

Explanation: When an instructor manually awarded points to a student for a quiz in the Gradebook, and the quiz was part of a module requirement, the Module did not allow the student to progress to the next module. This behavior occurred from an inconsistency in manual grading; in assignments, students could be rewarded a grade for a non-submitted assignment and accept the grade as a submission. Canvas code has been updated to evaluate quiz module tags and allow for manual grading to unlock quiz module requirements.

Module Pages and State Changes

Modifying the name of a page as well as the state of a page in Modules does not create duplicate pages.

Explanation: When an instructor added a new page to a module, published the page, changed the name of the page, and unpublished the page, the page was created as a duplicate in the Pages Index page. This behavior occurred because of a misalignment in page IDs. Canvas code has been updated to confirm all page IDs when modifying a page.

Notifications

Designer Role and Grading Assignments

Designers do not receive notifications to grade assignments unless they have permission to edit or view grades.

Explanation: In the To Do sidebar of the Course Dashboard, Course Designers were viewing notifications to grade assignments. This behavior occurred because enrollments were only coded as admin and student enrollment types, where Designer was grouped in the admin type. Canvas code has been updated to refactor grading notifications; grading is also specified by instructor and student course IDs to show graded assignments only to instructors.

Groups and Unpublished Courses

Students do not receive notifications for group membership unless the course is published.

Explanation: If a student was enrolled in an unpublished course and the instructor assigned the user to a group, the student was receiving a notification about the group membership, allowing the student to access the group before the course was published. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not confirming if the course was available (active) before sending notifications. Canvas code has been updated to not send group membership notifications for unpublished courses.

Outcomes

Prior Outcome Creation Warning

Users cannot edit outcomes that have been used to assess a student.

Explanation: When users tried to edit an outcome that had already been used to assess a student, such as modifying the title, description, or point scale, Canvas generated an error message. This behavior occurred because of a change made to the Outcomes API on January 31, 2015, which set the assessment type default value as highest score, and some users wanted to adjust existing outcomes. Canvas does not allow outcomes to be modified if they have already been used to assess a student. Canvas code has been updated to disable the edit button for outcomes that cannot be modified within a course or account.

Account-level Outcomes

Users can view account-level outcomes if they have permission to view the page.

Explanation: When a user with permission to view account-level outcomes tried to view an outcome, Canvas generated a page error. This behavior occurred because the outcome was not properly aligning with the account. Canvas code has been updated to update the outcome alignment URL to allow context showing it is an account outcome. This fix was deployed to production on March 26.

Pages

Content Selector and Student Pages

Students can edit course pages if they are given permission in the course.

Explanation: When a course allowed students to create pages, students were able to insert a new page from the content selector, but the page could not be saved. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency with the permission to edit course pages and the account-level permission to manage pages. Canvas code has been updated to confirm permissions to manage pages as part of course page edits.

Pages and Periods in Titles

Pages supports pages with periods in the title.

Explanation: When an instructor used the content selector to create a new link to a new page, putting a period in the page title caused a page error. This behavior occurred because periods were not a supported symbol in page titles. Canvas code has been updated to support periods in page titles.

Permissions

Discussions

Users can only view unpublished discussions if they are given the read course content permission.

Explanation: When granted the manage courses permission, users could view unpublished assignments and quizzes, but they were not able to view unpublished discussions on the Discussions Index Page. However, if unpublished discussions were posted in Modules, users were able to view them. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in permissions. Canvas code has been updated to allow users with the read course content permission to view unpublished discussions.

Groups

Users cannot create and join a conference at the course or group level unless they have permission to create web conferences.

Explanation: Even when the create web conferences permission was disabled, users were able to create and join a conference at the course level. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in permissions. Canvas code has been updated to refactor the conferences permission and separate it from the manage groups permission, which automatically allowed instructors to create conferences. With this change, users can only create a conference (in both the course and group levels) if they have permission to create web conferences.

Observers and Add/Remove Students

Users can add observers if they have permission to manage students.

Explanation: Users who had permission to manage admin users but did not have the permission to manage students were not able to add observers to courses. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in permissions. Canvas code has been updated to modify permissions with user enrollments; both permission types (manage students and manage admin users) can add observers in a course.

Profiles

Report Inappropriate Picture Link in Profiles

The Report Inappropriate Picture link always appears next to a profile picture.

Explanation: When profiles were enabled at the account level, the Report Inappropriate Picture link did not appear. However, when Profiles were disabled, the link returned by the listing. This behavior occurred because of an error in the reporting links. Canvas code has been updated to include the Report Inappropriate Picture link for all profile picture listings, no matter if Profiles is enabled for the account.

Report Inappropriate Picture Link

Then Report Inappropriate Picture button reports a profile image as reported.

Explanation: When a user clicked the Report Inappropriate Pictures button on a user’s profile, the button displayed an error message stating the image was not reported. This behavior occurred because of an error in the action response for the button. Canvas code has been updated to correct the click action and add a confirmation message that the reporting was successful.

Rich Content Editor

Whitelist Language Tag

The language tag is retained as a whitelist element in the Rich Content Editor.

Explanation: When a user attempted to add an HTML comment, the language tag was being filtered about by the HTML editor. This behavior occurred because of an error in the Canvas whitelist sanitization dependency. Canvas code has been updated to support the language tag in the Canvas whitelist and all HTML elements.  

Terms

SIS ID and Term Creation

Users can create a new term and add an SIS ID on the same page.

Explanation: When a user created a new term, the SIS ID field was not viewable until the page was refreshed. This behavior occurred because the manage SIS permission was not immediately verified. Canvas code has been updated to verify the SIS permission and show the SIS ID field for new enrollment terms.

SpeedGrader (iOS) 2.0 Release Notes Featuring Updated App Design

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Mar 30, 11:22

In this release, the SpeedGrader app unveils a completely redesigned experience for iPad devices, including new user and course navigation, assignment muting, and Crocodoc support. 

Download the SpeedGrader app in the Apple Store. Version 2.0 requires iOS 8.0 or later.

  

Main Features

Dashboard

SpeedGrader includes a completely redesigned dashboard modeled after the Canvas by Instructure app. By default, the dashboard displays favorite courses as selected either in the Canvas browser or in the Canvas by Instructure app (favorites cannot be modified in SpeedGrader). Toggle the button at the top of the window to view all courses.

Course colors can be changed by tapping the course arrow. Within the course assignment page, assignments are displayed by course color.

Submissions are indicated by a circle with the total number of submissions in the course that need to be graded.

 

 

User Navigation

The user navigation menu provides simplified access to instructor account information, help with the app, and all SpeedGrader settings.

 

 

Assignment List

Tapping the name of a course displays the list of all assignments, quizzes, and discussions in each course. Assignment submissions are indicated by a circle with the number of submissions. For courses with sections, assignments can be filtered by section in the menu bar. Tap an assignment to view the submissions.

 

 


The menu bar displays the name of the first student in the course. Swipe the screen to advance forward or backward through the list of students. To view all students for the assignment, tap the name of the current student to display the entire student list. By default, student names are shown as last name, first name. You can also toggle between sorting by name and sorting by grade.

 

 

When viewing an assignment, you can use the assignment menu (or sidebar) for grading, which includes all options available in the browser version of SpeedGrader. Grades supports all grade format types.

Use the mute icon in the menu bar to mute the assignment for grading so students can’t see their scores.  

Crocodoc is also supported in SpeedGrader; use point comments to create annotations within a submission.

 

SpeedGrader (Android) 1.1 Release Notes Featuring Video Comments

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Mar 12, 15:35

In this release, SpeedGrader users can add video comments to assignment submissions. The app also includes several optimization updates for phone devices and includes user tutorials.

Download the SpeedGrader app in the Play Store. Version 1.0 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

 

New Features

Video Comments

Users can add video comments to assignment submissions. Located in the Comment section, use the attachment icon to make a video comment, or choose an existing video file.

 

comments.jpg

 

 

Other Updates

Phone Optimization

The SpeedGrader app has been better optimized for phone devices, including better support for landscape mode with smaller padding margins and font sizes. Rubric content also scales better in the grading section. Additionally, if the menu tab is open and a user advances through student submissions, the grading header information updates according to the submission being viewed.

Screen Tutorials

Users can learn how to use SpeedGrader pages and icons with new tutorials throughout the app. Tutorials show details such as how to view all courses or favorite courses, sort student submissions, and view student submissions.

 

March 14, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Modules Files Management

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Mar 9, 19:00

Upcoming Canvas Changes: Facebook Integration

On April 4, Facebook will no longer be supported as a Canvas integration. More information will be included in the March 23 Canvas Beta Release Notes. 


In this production release (March 14), instructors can manage the state of Files in Modules, enable an average scoring policy for quizzes, and more quickly manage announcements. Students also benefit from enhancements to the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook. Canvas Commons users can share video and audio files and view all their shared resources.

The production notes also include other Canvas updates, platform integrations, and fixed bugs.

Note: Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment.

2014-03-14 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the Screencast Transcript

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details.

We welcome video feedback at instructure.com/videosurvey. If the embedded video does not appear, reload your browser window.

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: March 23

  • Production release notes: March 30

  • Production release and documentation: April 4

 

New Features

Commons

Canvas Commons is currently a beta feature. If you are interested in using Commons for your institution, please fill out the Commons beta signup form.

Video and Audio Sharing

As part of file sharing, Commons users can share and import video and audio files into their courses. Sharing these files to Commons works in conjunction with the Better File Browsing course opt-in feature. On the search page, users can preview the files (up to 10 seconds); on the resource page, users have the option to download the files.

 

 

Shared Resources

Users can also view all their shared resources in Commons. Located in Commons Navigation, the Shared link allows you to see all the resources you've shared in Commons.

 

 

Modules

Manage Files

Instructors can manage files directly from the Modules page. This feature aligns publishing functionality of all items within Modules and allows an instructor to publish, unpublish, or restrict a file.

 

-p-Modules-1--p-.png

 

-p-Modules-2--p-.png

 

The state of the file is aligned with the Files Index page. If a file is unpublished within Files, the file will also be shown as unpublished on the Modules page.  

 

-p-Modules-4--p-.png

 

Quizzes

Average Scoring Policy

When allowing multiple attempts in a quiz, instructors can choose to score a quiz by the average score. This feature generates an average score for all attempts in a quiz. 
 

 

 

Updated Features

Announcements

Settings Menu

The Announcements Index page includes a settings menu for each posted announcement. In addition to improving accessibility, this feature aligns Announcements with all other areas within Canvas and allows quick access to closing an Announcement for comments or deleting an announcement.

 

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook

Functionality Enhancements

The Student Learning Mastery Gradebook includes a revised display for better readability and student mastery understanding. When viewing the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, students see the outcome group and the number of associated outcomes. The total number of outcomes are shown in gray, while the number of outcomes that the student has mastered are shown in green.

 


When an outcome group expands, hover over the more icon to view details for that outcome. The hover window text shows the last assessment used for the outcome and the date of the submission. If a score has been awarded, the score appears next to the outcome assessment name (if no score has been awarded, the submission displays as N/A). Scores also include the appropriate icon and color to represent the level of mastery.  

Students can also view the current mastery evaluation method in the hover window. Currently mastery is calculated as the highest score. In a future release instructors will be able to choose a specific mastery method.

 

 

 

Other Updates

Quizzes (Students)

Help Icon for Essay Questions

When viewing an essay question in a quiz, students can view the help icon showing the keyboard shortcut menu. Keyboard shortcuts are enabled when a student is working inside the Rich Content Editor.

 

Essay-Question-Help---Student-Quizzes.png

 

 

Platform/Integration Updates

Integrations

Common Cartridge

The Common Cartridge exporter token now uses the token referenced in the official IMS Common Cartridge standard. Instead of $IMS_CC_FILEBASE$, the correct token is $IMS-CC-FILEBASE$.

New APIs

Files

Users can list all folders, copy a folder, and copy a file in the Files API.

Updated APIs

Content Migrations API

The Content Migrations API no longer includes a beta status.

Courses API

In the Courses API, the include[]=term attribute has been changed to include[]=terms. Additionally, the update a course parameter has been changed from account_id to course[account_id].

Discussions API

In the Discussion Topics API, locked is clarified as being closed for comments.

Files API

The Files API supports an on_duplicate parameter when updating, copying, or uploading files.

Submissions API

The Submissions API supports pagination. Learn more about Canvas API Pagination.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Announcements

Screen readers can read the Add Announcement button.

Assignments

Assignment Groups are identified as headings for screen readers on the Assignments Index page.

Screen readers can read Available From and Until date fields in Assignments.

On the Student Assignment page, the Show By radio buttons include labels that specify show by date and show by type options.

Calendar

Screen readers can read date fields in the Calendar.

Discussions

Screen readers can read Available From and Until date fields in Discussions.

Screen readers can identify if discussion replies are to be posted to the discussion thread or a threaded comment.

Files

Screen readers can read Available From and Until date fields in Files.

The Select All files option includes a label for screen readers.

Groups

Group heading buttons can be read by screen readers and accessed by keyboard users. Users can also identify the current status of the group.

People

The Add People dialog window maintains focus for keyboard users.

Quizzes

Screen readers can read Available From and Until date fields in Quizzes.

When users have multiple quiz attempts, screen readers can identify the current attempt within a student quiz log.

As part of creating a quiz, answer options include labels to identify correct answers and possible (incorrect) answers.

Announcements

Replies in Disabled Announcement Comments

Students cannot reply to an announcement if comments are disabled in a course.

Explanation: When comments on announcements were disabled, students were still able to see the option to reply to an announcement but received a 401 page error after attempting to post a reply. Canvas code has been updated to remove the reply text field for announcements if the comment option is disabled. 

RSS Feeds

When an instructor creates an RSS Feed for Announcements, only one announcement is created per feed item.

Explanation: When an RSS Feed was created for an announcement, the RSS feed was creating duplicate announcements. Canvas code has been updated to generate one announcement per feed item. 

Delayed Announcements and Attachments

Adding an attachment to a delayed announcement does not affect the date of the announcement post. 

Explanation: When creating an announcement with the delayed posting option and adding an attachment, the announcement posted immediately because the attachment encoding ignored any associated date objects. Canvas code has been updated to  confirm the delayed post option for announcements regardless of attachments. 

Announcement Content

Instructors cannot create an announcement without content.

Explanation: If an instructor created an announcement but did not include any content (i.e. if the announcement only included an attachment), Canvas created a page error when the page was saved. Canvas code has been updated to generate a message if content is not included in the announcement.

APIs

Files API

The Files API does not duplicate files when they are renamed or moved. 

Explanation: When using the API to rename or move files, the files were being duplicated. Canvas code in the Files API has been updated with an on_duplicate parameter when updating, copying, or uploading files.

Assignments

Unpublished Course Assignment Notifications

Students do not receive notifications for Assignments in unpublished courses. 

Explanation: In an unpublished course, when an instructor made a comment to an assignment or unmuted an assignment, students were receiving assignment notifications. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the state of the course before sending course notifications. 

Multiple Sections and Due Dates

Assignments save correctly for assignments set for multiple sections that can be accessed in the same date range. 

Explanation: When due dates in an assignment, discussion, or quiz were set for more than one date-limited section—even when the due dates were appropriate for each section—the Save button would not update the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to save assignments appropriately regardless of section or overlap dates.

TurnItIn User IDs

Institutions that use TurnItIn have a unique IDs for submissions.

Explanation: TurnItIn emails were being generated from a local database ID rather than the global database ID, which could allow two different courses from two different institutions to share the same email address. Canvas code has been updated with a unique course TurnItIn ID for each institution using TurnItIn. 

Test Student Reset

Resetting the test student removes all associated submissions for an assignment and allows the assignment to be unpublished. 

Explanation: When submitting an assignment as a test student and then resetting the test students, instructors were not able to unpublish the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to remove all associated assignment submissions when the test student is reset.

New Google Docs Spreadsheets

Users can upload a new Google Docs spreadsheet (XLSX file) as an assignment submission.

Explanation: When a student tried to upload a new Google Docs spreadsheet as an assignment, the submission was failing in Canvas because of an error with the file extension in the Google Docs API. Canvas code has been updated to try submitting the file as an XLS extension, with the secondary option as the XLSX file.   

Assignment Groups and Internet Explorer 10

In Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), instructors can add an assignment to an assignment group using the Add Assignment icon.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to add an assignment to an assignment group using the Add Assignment icon, the page created a page error because the submission did not contain a specific value as per browser specifications. Canvas code has been updated with an specific submission value to define the submission type for quick-add assignments in IE10.  

Conversations

Multiple Conversations

When selecting multiple messages, Conversations highlights all selected messages.

Explanation: When a user uses the command or control key to select multiple messages in Conversations, the messages were not being highlighted, and the multiple message indicator was not appearing in the right panel. Canvas code has been updated to reapply these multiple message indicators. This fix was deployed to production on March 2.

Course Imports

Assignments Default Grading Scheme

When copying a course with an account-level grading scheme attached to an assignment, the assignment retains association with the grading scheme. 

Explanation: When a course was copied with an account-level grading scheme attached to an assignment, the assignment was reverting to the default grading scheme, not the account-level scheme. Canvas code has been updated to export and import external grading scheme IDs for assignments.

Duplicate Courses

Users cannot copy a course into itself as part of the course copy process.

Explanation: In the Copy a Canvas Course drop-down menu, users are able to select the course where you are currently accessing Course Settings. Selecting this option created duplicate assignments, discussions, pages, and quizzes in the existing course. Canvas code has been updated to not allow the current course as an import option.

Course Settings

Course Roles

Canvas roles are associated by ID instead of names. 

Explanation: When a user created multiple Canvas roles with the same name, deleting a role caused inadvertent behaviors throughout Canvas such as in the course roster and Course Settings. Canvas code has been updated to use IDs instead of names for course roles.

Courses

Coming Up List

The Coming Up list appears for students on the Course Home Page. 

Explanation: When a course home page was set to a Page, the Coming Up list in the sidebar did not appear until the user selected to View Course Stream. Canvas code has been updated to always show the Coming Up list. 

Self Enrollment and Custom Login Label

An institution’s custom login label appears on the self-enrollment login page.

Explanation: As specified in Account Settings, custom login labels were not appearing on  self-enrollment login pages. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the login label is applied for self-enrollments. 

Self Enrollment Links

Self Enrollment links do not produce an error if they are accessed multiple times.

Explanation: Users with self-enrollment links could only access the link one time. If the link was accessed again, the browser generated a page error. Canvas code has been updated to redirect the link to Canvas with a message that the user is already enrolled in the course. 

Concluded Courses and Dashboard Lists

The Home Page To-Do and Coming Up lists only display assignments for current courses.

Explanation: Assignments with due dates set after a course was concluded were appearing in student To-Do and Coming Up lists. Canvas code has been updated to confirm course dates and not display assignments for concluded courses. 

Section Enrollments in Concluded Courses

Instructors can add students in concluded courses to unconcluded sections.

Explanation: When a course that had been concluded by term or course end dates contained active sections (with dates that are still open), instructors were not able to add students to the available sections. Canvas code has been updated to allow adding users to sections that are open within a concluded course.

Discussions

Group Discussions without Group Sets

Instructors cannot create a group discussion without specifying a group set. 

Explanation: When an instructor tried to create a group discussion without choosing or creating a group category, Canvas did not save the discussion. Canvas code has been updated to display an error if a group category is not selected for a group discussion. 

Group Discussion Redirects

Students will always be directed to their assigned group within a group discussion.

Explanation: If an instructor created a group discussion and created a new group category, the new category contained no groups. After the instructor created groups within the set and added students to each group, the student viewing the group discussion would not be redirected to their assigned group’s discussion. Canvas code has been updated to redirect students to their assigned group’s discussion topic instead of the course discussion topic. 

Delete Post Permission in Graded Group Discussions

Students cannot delete posts in graded group discussions if the Delete permission is not set for the course.

Explanation: In graded group discussions, when an instructor disabled the option to allow students to edit or delete their own discussion posts, students were still able to delete their posts. Canvas code has been updated to confirm permissions for group discussions.   

Group Discussion Availability Dates

Students cannot reply to group discussions that have a future availability date.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group discussion with a future availability date, students were able to click on the link and reply in their group’s discussion. Canvas code has been updated to remove the reply option if a discussion’s availability date is in the future. 

Attachments in Future Discussions

Adding an attachment to a discussion with a future availability date does not affect the date of the discussion post.

Explanation: When creating a discussion with an availability date in the future, and then adding an attachment, the discussion posted immediately because the attachment encoding ignored any associated date objects. Canvas code has been updated to improve attachment encoding within discussions.

ePortfolios

LTI Tools

Users can access LTI tools in the ePortfolios Rich Content Editor. 

Explanation: When a user tried to access LTI tools in the Rich Content Editor, the page never loaded as expected because the editor buttons were being inherited as account resources and not user resources. Canvas code has been updated to inherit LTI tool buttons in ePortfolio in the user context.

Files

Files Sorting

New Files sorts files naturally by number and file name.

Explanation: When the Better File Browsing feature option was enabled in a course, course files were not sorting naturally. Canvas code has been updated to sort files as expected by number and alphabetically by name.

Embedded Personal Files

Embedded images from a user’s personal files can be viewed and downloaded.

Explanation: When a user embedded an image from their personal files, the download link to that file displayed as unauthorised, causing the image to display as a broken link. Canvas code has been updated to apply an image verifier to confirm the image source and user. This fix was deployed to production on March 2.

Gradebook

Gradebook Drop-down Menu (Chrome)

In Chrome, users can view the Gradebook drop-down menu. 

Explanation: When Chrome users tried to access the Gradebook section and settings drop-down menus, users could not access the menus or select items after they had initially been viewed. Canvas code has been updated to to support a rendering issue in Chrome 40 and 41. 

Multiple Grading Schemes

Users can create multiple Grading Schemes without refreshing the page.

Explanation: When users created a grading scheme and then immediately created another scheme without refreshing the page, the first scheme name was changed to New Title and the scheme changed to the default grading scheme. Refreshing the page displayed no errors. Canvas code has been updated to show correct information when adding multiple grading schemes. 

Unpublished Courses and Grades

Instructors cannot edit the Gradebook when a course is unpublished.

Explanation: When an instructor opened an unpublished course and entered grades into the Gradebook, the course was not able to be published. Canvas code has been updated to not allow users to enter grades prior to when the course begins, either through manual publishing or through course availability dates.

Groups

ZIP Files in Group Files

When Better File Browsing is enabled, users can upload ZIP files in Group Files. 

Explanation: When users tried to upload ZIP files in Group Files (with the Better File Browsing feature option), the loading bar would not continue past 50% and never completed the upload. Canvas code has been updated to correctly upload and expand ZIP files for groups. 

Student By-Invitation Groups

When students create a group where membership is by invitation only, the invited students are notified that they can join the group.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled the permission for students to create their own groups, and a student created a group where membership is by invitation, the invited students were not receiving any notifications about being invited to the group. Canvas code has been updated to notify students about group invitations.

Modules

Quizzes

Students do not receive recent activity notifications when a quiz is added to a module. 

Explanation: When a quiz was added to a module, students were receiving recent activity notifications for the quiz, even though the quiz was added in an unpublished state. This behavior occurred whether or not the entire module was already published. Canvas code has been updated to adjust the time the quiz is synced with updated assignments and avoid activity notifications. 

Read-Only Access and Assignments

Instructors who have read-only access to a course can view assignments on the Modules page.

Explanation: When instructors accessed the modules page in a course where they have read-only access (such as viewing a course from a prior term), they were not able to view assignments. This behavior only affected courses where the Differentiated Assignments feature option was enabled. Canvas code has been updated to display assignments to instructors. 

Module Progression Changes

If an instructor changes the progression of a module after a student has completed the requirement, the student can still progress through the module.

Explanation: If a student progressed through a module requirement (such as must submit the assignment) and the instructor changed the requirement (such as must score at least X points), the student’s progress still displayed the check mark in the modules page against against the new requirement but they weren’t able to access the next module because the new requirement hadn’t been completed. Canvas code has been updated to retain completion requirements for students unless the instructor specifically relocks the module.

Notifications

Conversations Attachment Download Notification

Users can view the email link to download an attachment in Conversations without extra characters in the text. 

Explanation: When users viewed the download link as part of a conversations notification, the download contained an extra % character in the URL. Canvas code has been updated to remove the extraneous character. 

Recent Canvas Notifications Quiz URLs

In recent Canvas notifications, users can link to a quiz that needs manual grading.

Explanation: When a user receives a Recent Canvas Notification (the daily summary notifications), links to quiz submissions that require manual grading were missing the Canvas account domain in the URL. Canvas code has been updated to include the full URL path to the quiz submission.

Outcomes

Alignments in MagicMarker

Outcome alignments created in the MagicMarker app can be removed. 

Explanation: When a user created an outcome alignment in MagicMarker and later tried to remove the alignment in Canvas, the alignment created an error message saying the item type could not be identified. Canvas code has been updated to allow alignments to be deleted. 

Outcome Comments

Instructors can comment on outcomes when grading an assignment.

Explanation: When a rubric is not selected for grading, instructors were not able to leave a comment on the outcome as part of a student’s assignment submission in SpeedGrader. Canvas code has been updated to allow comments on outcomes regardless of rubric grading status.

Quizzes

Quiz Previews

Admins can preview quizzes in a course. 

Explanation: A recent Canvas permission modified the preview quizzes function, and admins could only preview them by masquerading as the instructor. Canvas code has been updated to allow for admins to preview quizzes in a course. 

Graded Survey Comments

Graded surveys always receive full points even after leaving a comment.

Explanation: When an instructor provided feedback to a specific answer in a graded survey, the instructor had to save the comment by clicking the Update Score button. That button regraded the graded survey as if it were a normal quiz, overriding the value of the survey and granting per-question points. Canvas code has been updated to retain the full point value after leaving a comment and saving the survey.

Correct Answers and Last Attempts

When instructors allow students to view correct quiz answers after their last attempt, students cannot view correct answers until the last submission is complete.

Explanation: When an instructor set the answers to be visible for a quiz after the student's last attempt, the student was still able to view the answer prior to submitting the last attempt. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the last submission is complete before showing correct answers. This fix was deployed to production on March 2.

Canvas by Instructure (Android) 4.2 Release Notes Featuring Global Announcements and SpeedGrader Link in Assignments

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Feb 28, 15:24

In this update, all users can view global announcements from their institution. Instructors can link to the SpeedGrader app via Assignments and grant permission for students to create discussion topics. Users can also choose to disable Panda features within the app.

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the Play Store. Version 4.2 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

 

New Features 

Global Announcements

Android users can now view Global Announcements in the app. Global Announcements are created by admins to be seen by all users in the institution, unless otherwise specified. Global Announcements can only be viewed in the app; if you are an admin, Global Announcements can only be created in the Canvas browser interface.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 11.19.43 PM.png

 

Note: Global Announcements will not appear in the navigation if there are no announcements.


SpeedGrader Link in Assignments

Users who are enrolled as an instructor in at least one course in their account can access the Canvas SpeedGrader app from an Assignment. If SpeedGrader is not already installed on the device, instructors can click the SpeedGrader link to access the Play Store and download SpeedGrader.

Logins to SpeedGrader are separate from the Canvas app, so if instructors are not yet logged in to SpeedGrader, they must do so before they can use SpeedGrader.   

 

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Other Updates

Disable Panda Option

Users now have the option to disable all Panda-related features in their user settings.  When checked, Unsupported Panda, New Feature Panda, Panda Facts, Flying Panda, and Panda Avatar will be removed or changed to non-panda images.  

 

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Discussion Settings

If instructors allow students to create discussion topics in the browser version of Canvas, students can also create discussion topics within the app. The Discussions Add icon will appear in the action bar when the permission is enabled for a course.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 5.19.40 PM.png


 

Improved Support for Embedded Videos

Embedded video performance has been significantly improved within the Canvas app.

February 21, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Files Usage Rights

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Feb 17, 18:57

In this production release (February 21), institutions can choose to require copyright information as part of all course files. Outcomes and outcome groups can be rearranged using a Move-To option, and Canvas Commons users can share and import images.

The production notes also include other Canvas updates, platform integrations, and fixed bugs.

Note: Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment.

New Feature Screencast (2014-02-21) from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the Screencast Transcript

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details.

We welcome video feedback at instructure.com/videosurvey. If the embedded video does not appear, reload your browser window.

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: March 2

  • Production release notes: March 9

  • Production release and documentation: March 14

Follow the release schedule on our public Canvas Updates calendar

 

 

New Features

Files

Usage Rights

As part of the new Files design, institutions can require their instructors to indicate usage rights for all course files before publishing the file to a course. (Currently, Usage Rights does not apply to files within Canvas Commons.)

Feature Option Notice

Usage Rights is a course-level feature option called Require Usage Rights for Uploaded Files. A course-level feature option means that once the feature is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. 

If you are an institutional admin, please contact your Customer Success Manager to enable this feature.

If you are an instructor and do not see Usage Rights available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.

 

When usage rights is enabled, Files includes copyright information in a new column. Files can be sorted to view files that include or don’t include usage rights. Each icon shows the type of usage right assigned to the file. Files with a warning icon mean the files cannot be published until usage rights have been set.

Note: Only individual files display usage rights icons. File folders cannot hold an individual usage attribute, but folders can be used to specify rights for files within the entire folder.

 

 

Viewing Usage Rights for Existing Files

When the Usage Rights feature is enabled, files that were previously added to a course will display a warning icon but are not affected by the publishing limitation. Files that are already published remain published; to remove the warning icon, users can set usage rights at any time. However, if the state of the file (published, unpublished, restricted) needs to be changed, a usage right is required before the state can be changed. 

Setting Usage Rights for New Files

Usage rights can be set directly by clicking the file’s warning icon. Users can also click the file and open the settings menu, or click the file and open the usage rights window in the files toolbar.

 

 

When setting a usage right, users can set the file with one of five usage rights. If you are an instructor and are not sure which usage right applies to your file, please consult your institutional admin for guidance:

  • I hold the copyright (original content created by you)

  • I have obtained permission to use the file (authorized permission by the author)

  • The material is in the public domain (explicitly assigned to public domain, cannot be copyrighted, or is no longer protected by copyright)

  • The material is subject to fair use exception (excerpt or summary used for commentary, news reporting, research, or analysis in education)

  • The material is licensed under Creative Commons; this option also requires setting a specific Creative Commons license

 

Users can also enter the copyright holder information in the Copyright Holder field.

 


 

On the Files page, usage rights can also be set for individual folders. Access the usage rights for a folder the same way you would open an individual file.

In the Manage Usage Rights window, users can set usage rights for all files that currently exist within the folder. Folders themselves cannot hold a usage right attribute, so the folder passes the usage right to the existing files in the folder at the time the usage right was defined. Therefore, users can create a folder, add all files to the folder, and then define the usage right for the folder and apply the right to all files at once.

This action does not apply to any files added to the folder after the usage right is set. If additional files are added at a later time, users will have to reset the usage right for the folder or set file usage rights individually.

 


 

Setting Usage Rights and Publishing New Files

Users can set a usage right and publish the file at the same time by clicking the file’s unpublished icon. The file window displays both the usage right options as well as the file state options. Files will not allow the file to be published until it has been assigned a usage right.

 

 

Viewing Usage Rights in Files

All copyright information is included as part of the file’s information. If allowed to view course Files, students can view the copyright icon on the Files page and view any additional usage rights information in the file preview window.

 


 

Usage Rights in the Content Selector

When Usage Rights is enabled, instructors can upload files and assign usage rights when uploading and adding files directly to an assignment or page in the Rich Content Editor. If a usage right is not selected as part of the upload process, the file will upload as an unpublished file. The file cannot be published until a usage right has been set.

If instructors choose to keep the file unpublished, the instructor may also want to keep the assignment or page unpublished as well so that students are not affected by files that they cannot access.

 

 

 

 

Updated Features

Commons

Image Sharing

As part of file sharing, Commons users can share and import images into their courses. Sharing images to Commons works in conjunction with the Better File Browsing course opt-in feature.

Note: Commons is currently a beta feature. If you are interested in using Commons for your institution, please fill out the Commons beta signup form.

 

 

Outcomes

Move-To Option

Outcomes and outcome groups can be rearranged using a Move option. Designed for keyboard navigation, each outcome displays a Move Outcome button, which can be used to move the outcome to another Outcomes group.

 

 


 

Outcome groups also display a Move Outcome Group button to allow groups to be arranged as well. These Outcome options are located at both the Outcomes account and course levels.

 

 

 

Other Updates 

Gradebook Toolbar

The Gradebook toolbar includes a revised design to help instructors manage their Gradebook data more easily. No functionality has been affected by this change, but this is the first of several small upgrades to create a more intuitive interface in the Gradebook.

The Settings menu and sections sorting menu are located on the right side of the Gradebook, and the import and export features have been removed from the Settings menu and replaced as standalone buttons.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 6.14.20 PM.png

 

The Gradebook toolbar also adjusts when viewing the Learning Mastery Gradebook.


Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 6.15.51 PM.png

 

Publish Button

As part of our interface redesign, Canvas publish buttons include a flatter design with no shading. More information can found in our Styleguide at canvas.beta.instructure.com/styleguide.

No functionality has been affected by this change. However, if you have changed the appearance of your publish button via custom CSS, please check to ensure your style works with the new design.

 

 

 

 

Platform Integrations

External Tools

Grades

Canvas sends an extension parameter for assignment launches that allows the tool provider to pass back a raw score value instead of a percentage. Learn more about Grading External Tools.

New APIs

Files

Users can set and remove usage rights and list licenses in the Files API. The List Files and Get File endpoints also include a usage rights parameter.

Updated APIs

Enrollments

In the Enrollments API, users who are using the ID parameter and are not logged in to Canvas (authenticated with a valid token) will receive an unauthorized error. Previously the error message was an internal server error. 

Outcomes

In the Outcomes API, the API displays more specific error messages when users specify invalid variables for the calculation_method and calculation_int parameters.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Assignments

An assignment’s published status is not shown as a heading to screen readers.

Calendar

Screen readers and keyboard users can view undated items in the sidebar undated items list.

After a user opens the detail view of an undated item, screen reader focus returns to the undated item.

Keyboard users can collapse and expand the undated items list. They can also edit undated items within the edit window.

Conversations

Screen readers can navigate Conversations filters (Inbox, Unread, etc.). They can also identify the menus behind each button and read the number of items in each filter.

Screen readers can navigate the Groups search field. They can also view instructions for the search field and read the field filtering by user.

Files

All accessibility updates relate to the Better Files Browsing (New Files) feature. 

In the Files Move-To option, screen readers can read all folder names.

When a user clicks the publish icon, keyboard focus returns to the close icon. This change retains standard consistency for screen readers and keyboard users when closing a window anywhere in Canvas.

Files item names, settings menu, published icon, and restricted access icon—both in selected and hovered states—display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

After a user opens a file folder in the left side of the files page, screen readers can navigate the files list that appears for the folder.

The Files accessibility banner does not appear unless a user navigates Files via keyboard.

Groups

Users can add students to groups using keyboard navigation. The use of the Move-To option is not required.

Screen readers can read a warning if there are no groups in the course.

Screen readers can read a warning if a group is full and students cannot be added.

Media Comments

Screen readers and keyboard users can select and play audio and video comments throughout Canvas.

Modules

When a user adds a new content page through Modules, the page name text field includes a label.

People

The Groups tab is labeled as a tab.

Quizzes

In Quiz Log Auditing, when a user clicks the Skip to Content link, screen readers and keyboard users are redirected to the the content.

The Quiz Log Auditing attempt count buttons display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Settings

Screen readers can read the Make this course publicly visible checkbox and associated text, which appears as part of the label data.

Analytics

Teacher Activity Reports

When an instructor adds a comment to a student’s assignment submission, the Teacher Activity Reports shows a student interaction.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the Teacher Activity Report after adding a comment on a student’s assignment submission, the report was not showing any student interaction. Canvas code has been updated to include submission comments as part of the interaction report. 

Course Analytics

Course Analytics load more quickly for larger courses.

Explanation: Users were reporting that Course Analytics were loading slowly for large courses and were not usable in the course. Canvas code has been optimized to improve loading times.

Announcements

External Feeds

External Feeds can contain secure URLs (HTTPS://). 

Explanation: If an instructor added an external feed that was a secure URL, Announcements did not create a new announcement. Canvas code has been updated to support secure URLs in Announcements.

Delayed Announcements

When an announcement is scheduled to be delayed, users can view the availability date of the announcement.

Explanation: When an instructor posted a delayed announcement, users were not able to view the message that showed when the announcement would be available for viewing. Canvas code has been updated to restore the delayed announcement notification for users.

APIs

Account Reports API

When running a report within a beta or test environment, the Account Reports API file_url points to the appropriate environment.

Explanation: When a user ran the Account Reports API within the test or beta environments, any links to the downloaded reports were directing to the production environment for file_url, but they would direct correctly for the URL parameter. The Account Reports API has been updated to direct the file_url to the appropriate environment. 

Assignments API

When a user creates an assignment using the Assignments API, users can only specify the grading types outlined in the API.

Explanation: When a user created an assignment using the API, any grading type was allowed as part of the API call. However, in the Gradebook, some assignments were not able to be rendered correctly. The Assignments API has been updated to validate grading_type as an accepted value and reject any values not defined per the API. 

Courses API

In the Courses API, users cannot delete default terms or terms that contain active courses.

Explanation: When a user marked a term a deleted in a CSV file through the Courses API, the term was deleted but all associated courses remained and were applied to the Default Term. If the user tried to delete the Default Term within Account Settings, Canvas was not allowing the term to be deleted because of the associated active courses. The Courses API has been updated to not delete default terms or allow terms with active courses to be deleted. 

Files API

The Files API endpoint supports individual folder names higher than two digits.

Explanation: When a user accessed the Files API endpoint to create folders within a course, Files created new folders up to 10 increments. Once the folder reached "New Folder 10", Files no longer incremented the folder count and repeated the last folder name, which broke the folder routing. Canvas code has been updated to support folder names in two-digit increments.  

Assignments

Observer Notifications

Observers who are linked to a student receive notifications about new assignments.

Explanation: When an instructor created a new assignment in a course, any observers in the course were not receiving the notification about the new assignment, even when they were linked to a student who did receive the notice. Canvas code has been updated to include observers in assignment notifications. 

Unauthenticated Users and Unpublished Assignments

Unauthenticated users in a public course cannot view unpublished assignments.

Explanation: In public courses, users who are not authenticated (not logged in and enrolled in the course) were able to view unpublished assignments on the Assignments page. The content itself was inaccessible, but all titles, due dates, and points possible were able to be viewed. Unpublished content was not affected in any other Canvas page. Canvas code has been updated to hide unpublished assignments for unauthenticated users in public courses.

Calendar

New Event Window

Users can view all options when creating a new event in the Calendar.

Explanation: When a user created a new event in the Calendar, the height of the New Event window was too short, restricting the course options at the bottom of the window. Canvas code has been updated to correct the height of the window.

Canvas Commons

Subaccount Search Results

When searching for a resource in Commons, resources within subaccounts appear in the search list. 

Explanation: When a user tried to search for a resource that existed within a subaccount, the resource would not appear in the search results unless the user specifically filtered the search parameters by subaccount. Canvas code has been updated to include subaccount IDs in search queries.

Courses

Course Home Page and Course Names in Firefox 34

In Firefox 34, when a page is set as the Home Page for the course, long course names do not hide the edit button. 

Explanation: When an instructor set a page as the Course Home Page for a course with a long name (over 100 characters), the edit button for the Course Home Page was not appearing if the instructor viewed Canvas in Firefox 34. Canvas code has been updated to allow access to the edit button for the Course Home Page in Firefox 34.

Course Imports

Examview Export Images

Examview exports with links to images render correctly after course import. 

Explanation: When a user imported an Examview file that contained links to images within a quiz, the links were not retained in the import and displayed missing link warnings. Canvas code has been updated to improve file searching for imported content and retain all image links. 

Quiz Settings

Course imports retain quiz settings for Only Once After Each Attempt and Show Response After Last Attempt.

Explanation: When the Only Once After Each Attempt setting or Show Response After Last Attempt setting was selected in a quiz, the settings were not being applied when copying the quiz to another course. Canvas code has been updated to retain all quiz viewing attributes when exporting and importing the quiz.  

Discussions

Discussion Pages in Unpublished Courses

Students in unpublished courses cannot view course Discussions. 

Explanation: Students in unpublished courses were able to participate in discussions for the course by adding /discussion_topics to the course url. Canvas code has been updated to confirm read (published) access to discussion topics through direct URLs and display an unauthorized error. 

Hidden Discussion Entries

Users in a course can view all discussion posts within a discussion topic.

Explanation: Users who participated in multiple discussion topics were not able to view all associated discussion posts within unthreaded discussions. Canvas code has been updated to correct the ordering of each post ID within the database.

Files

Better File Browsing and Student View

When an instructor enables Better File Browsing (New Files) then removes the Files Course Navigation link, students cannot view Course Files. 

Explanation: When an instructor enabled Better File Browsing for the course and later removed the Files Course Navigation link, students were able to view course files from their personal files until they logged out of Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to improve caching for Files permissions.

Grades (Student)

Show All Details

When a student selects the Show all Details link on the Grades page, all details will be shown for all assignments, including any assignment scores that are already opened. 

Explanation: When a student opened the Grades page and viewed scoring details for an assignment, and then selected the Show all Details link, all the assignments on the Grades page would show details except for the assignment details that were already viewed. Canvas code has been updated to show and hide assignment details based on the state of the option being accessed rather than any prior view of the assignment. 

CSV Assignment Sorting

In the Gradebook, sorting an assignment by due date does not affect the CSV download file.

Explanation: When an instructor requests to download the Gradebook as a CSV (comma separated value) file, Assignments in the Gradebook are sorted before the actual CSV export. When two assignments had the same Assignment Group ID and position, and one of them did not contain a due date, the CSV export failed. Canvas code has been updated to support assignments without due dates in CSV sorting.

Groups

Unassigned Students Section Hover

Hover text with all student section enrollments does not appear for unassigned students in course groups. 

Explanation: For students who had not been assigned a course group, instructors were able to hover over the student’s name and view hover text that showed all active section enrollments for the student instead of enrollments specific to the course. Canvas code has been updated to remove the hover text for unassigned students.

Self Sign-Up Student Groups

On the Student Groups page, when a student joins a group, the links for all other groups in the group set update appropriately as Join, Switch To, or Leave. 

Explanation: When a student joins a self sign-up group, the links for the other groups in the group set were not updating properly. For instance, when a student left a group, the group links were showing as Leave instead of Join. Canvas code has been updated to reflect the proper status for each group depending on the student’s involvement in the group.

Modules

Prerequisites Student View

If an unpublished module is a prerequisite to a second module, students have access to the second module until the first module is published. 

Explanation: When an instructor created two modules, where the first module is a prerequisite to the second but is unpublished, students in the course were able to view all items in the second module. However, once the first module was published, students could still access the items in the second module even though the first module was listed as a prerequisite. Canvas code has been updated to invalidate module progressions with prerequisite changes.

Notifications

Unconfirmed Channels

Users only receive Canvas notifications through confirmed channels. 

Explanation: When a user added a communication channel but the channel was never confirmed, the user was still receiving notifications through the unconfirmed channel. Canvas code has been updated to verify the confirmation of the channel before sending notifications.

Outcomes

Rubrics and Outcome Criteria

When searching for an Outcome criterion in a rubric, courses without Outcome criteria display a link to the Outcomes page. 

Explanation: When a user tried to search for an Outcome criterion to add to a rubric, courses that contained no Outcomes displayed a blank page. Canvas code has been updated to direct users to the Outcomes page. 

Browser Zooming

In Chrome and Firefox, users can view all Outcomes when zoomed out of the Outcomes Index Page.

Explanation: When a user in Chrome or Firefox opened the Outcomes page and tried to zoom out of the browser, the Outcomes Group sidebar navigation was not displaying properly in the browser view. Canvas code has been updated to render Outcomes when users zoom out of the browser window.

People

Existing User Course Invitations

Inviting users to a course does not affect existing users with active enrollments. 

Explanation: When a user with an active enrollment was manually re-invited to a course section, the user’s status changed to the pending/invited status. This behavior seemed to only affect the newest users in the course. Canvas code has been updated to retain the state of existing active user enrollments. 

Concluded Course Invitations

Course invitations are displayed on a student’s Courses page until the course has concluded.

Explanation: If an instructor sent a course invitation, but the user did not accept before the course or term end date, the invitation was still showing on the user's Courses list under past enrollments. However, if the user tried to accept or reject the invitation, the page displayed an error message. Canvas code has been updated to hide course invitations for concluded courses. 

Enrollment Section Options

Canvas does not display an error for enrollment privileges unless there is an actual error.

Explanation: When an instructor added a user and selected the let this user see all course users option or limit this user to only see fellow section users option, Canvas was displaying an "Enrollment privilege change failed" message, even though the enrollment option was applied. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of the enrollment option before displaying the warning message.

Permissions

Add/Remove Other Teachers/Designers/TAs

When adding users to a course, users can only view the designer role if they are granted the Add/Remove Other Teachers/Designers/TAs permission. 

Explanation: When the Add/remove other teachers, course designers or TAs to the course permission is disabled, instructors were able to view the designer role when adding users to a course. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions before displaying the designer role.   

Faculty Journal

Users can only view and access the Faculty Journal if granted the "Manage faculty journal entries" permission.

Explanation: When the “Manage faculty journal entries” permission was disabled, TAs and Instructors were still able to access the Faculty Journal and make entries from various locations. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions before displaying access to the Faculty Journal.

Quizzes

Extra Time Per Quiz Attempt

When multiple students are granted extra time in an additional quiz attempt, all students are able to complete the additional quiz attempt.

Explanation: When an instructor moderated a quiz and granted several students additional time in an attempt, only the last student updated was able to complete the attempt; all extra time and attempts given to the other students would disappear. Canvas code has been updated to include a small time delay in the timestamp when refreshing the moderate page so that all recent edits are displayed accurately.

Save it Now Quiz Button

When an instructor edits a quiz question or adds a new question to a quiz without saving, clicking the Save It Now button saves all changes to the quiz.

Explanation: When an instructor edited an existing question or added a

new question to a quiz without saving, clicking the Save It Now button was not saving the changes made to the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to save the quiz context with the quiz URL and quiz ID.

Deleted Questions in Quiz Statistics Question Limit

Quizzes does not count deleted questions when generating quiz statistics.

Explanation: When Quizzes generated quiz statistics for a quiz, deleted quiz questions were being incorporated into the default maximum question limit, which could stop quiz statistics from being generated. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the size of active quiz questions before turning off quiz stats in large courses. This fix was deployed to production on February 6.

SpeedGrader

Multiple Submissions

When multiple students submit assignments multiple times, SpeedGrader shows the most recent submission for each student.

Explanation: When multiple students submitted an assignment multiple times, an instructor who wanted to view the submission for the next student was being shown the same submission as the first student, whether that submission was the most recent or not. Canvas code has been updated to display the most recent submission when viewing the next student’s submission, unless an older submission is specifically selected in the sidebar by the grader. 

Quiz Submissions with Incorrect Students

SpeedGrader shows the correct quiz data for each student submission.

Explanation: When an instructor updated a quiz score for a student and quickly clicked the Next Student arrow, the next student’s submission was displaying quiz data belonging to the previous student. Canvas code has been updated to confirm that the data and the student are aligned before displaying in SpeedGrader.  

Syllabus

User and Browser Time Zones

User time zones are reflected in the course syllabus for each user, even if the user time zone is different from the browser time zone. 

Explanation: When users changed their user time zones to something other than their browser time zones, the Syllabus was not able to render local dates and event times correctly. Canvas code has been updated to default to the user time zone if varied from the browser. 

Public Syllabus File Previews

Users can preview files linked to a public syllabus.

Explanation: When a public syllabus contained links to files, users were able to download the files but were not able to preview the files. Canvas code has been updated to support previews for public users.

User Profiles

Space Exceeded Error Message

When users cannot upload a profile picture because they do not have room in their personal files, Canvas generates an error message telling the users they’ve exceeded the available space.

Explanation: When users tried to upload a profile picture but the upload failed, the Canvas error message did not help the users understand why the upload failed, which was usually because the users were out of space in their personal files. Canvas code has been updated to improve the error message regarding files storage space.

Canvas by Instructure (Android) 4.1 Release Notes Featuring Discussion Drafts and Group Favorites

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Feb 10, 17:36

In this update, instructors can link to the SpeedGrader app in assignments and create drafts of their discussions before publishing. All Android users can manage groups in their favorites list, and for users with hardware menu buttons, the Canvas action bar displays continuously to simplify user navigation throughout the app.

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the Play Store. Version 4.1 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

 

New Features

SpeedGrader Link

Users who are enrolled as an instructor in at least one course in their account can access the Canvas SpeedGrader app from the Navigation Menu. If SpeedGrader is not already installed on the device, instructors can click the SpeedGrader link to access the Play Store and download SpeedGrader.

Logins to SpeedGrader are separate from the Canvas app, so if instructors are not yet logged in to SpeedGrader, they must log in before they can use SpeedGrader.

 

 

Discussion Drafts

The Android app supports draft state within Discussions. Within the app, instructors can view new discussion topics that have been saved as a draft in the web version of Canvas. Instructors can also create new discussions in the app and save the discussion without publishing.

Discussion topics can be published at any time, but the Canvas app does not currently support unpublishing or deleting discussions.

 

 

Group Favorites

In addition to setting favorite courses, users can set and remove favorite groups in the app. 

Changing a group favorite does not apply to the browser version of Canvas.

 

 

Panda Avatars

Instead of uploading a new or existing photo, users whose institutions allow profile pictures can create a panda avatar, complete with various head, accessories, and clothing styles. Users can share their avatars with others or set them as their profile pictures.

As with other profile pictures, changing a profile picture within the Canvas app also applies to the browser version of Canvas. Profile pictures are also subject to any profile picture settings for the institution.

 

 

 

Other Updates 

Action Bar Icons

For users with hardware devices that contain menu buttons, the Canvas action bar displays continuously. Since the various areas of Canvas are accessed through the action bar, this change helps simplify user navigation throughout the app and display options within the app that may have previously been hidden.

January 31, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Assignment Date Validations and Quiz Log Auditing

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Jan 26, 17:34

Upcoming Canvas Change: Quiz Statistics Feature Option

On January 31, New Quiz Statistics will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and the feature will apply to all users with an instructor role. (Learn more about the new Quiz Statistics.)


 

In this production release (January 31), instructors can manage their course assignments by keeping assignment availability dates within the course or term and can view student quiz logs to verify quiz actions and resolve any concerns. Students can also view quiz logs, view assignment availability dates as part of the assignment, and more easily access the link to their private ePortfolios. Institutions using Commons can also share and import documents.

The production notes also include other Canvas updates, platform integrations, and fixed bugs.

Note: Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. 

New Feature Screencast (2015-01-31) from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the January 31 Screencast Transcript

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details.

We welcome video feedback at instructure.com/videosurvey. If the embedded video does not appear, reload your browser window.

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: February 9

  • Production release notes: February 17 (in observance of Presidents’ Day)

  • Production release and documentation: February 21 

Follow the release schedule on our public Canvas Updates calendar

 

New Features

Assignments

Course and Term Date Validation

Instructors cannot create assignments, graded discussions, or quizzes with due dates and/or availability dates outside the start and end dates for the course or term. This feature helps instructors better manage all student coursework within the course schedule.

Notes:

  • This feature does not apply to areas outside assignments, such as in the Calendar.

  • This feature currently only applies when editing an assignment. Our engineers are adjusting the behavior to apply to new assignments and should be available in beta before the January 31 production release.

 

 

When an instructor edits an assignment and clicks the Update Assignment button, Canvas validates any entered dates—assignment due date, available from date, and until date—against the course start and end dates and generates an error message for invalid date entries. This validation takes place for all dates, including varied due dates.

  • If an assignment does not contain any dates, the assignment availability defaults to the course start and end dates.

  • If the course does not include specified course start and end dates, Canvas validates the assignment against the term dates for the course.

  • This feature validates against the Users can only participate in the course between these dates checkbox for start and end dates in Course Settings.

Quizzes

Quiz Log Auditing

Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Students can also view the log for their own quizzes.

Notes:

  • Quiz Log Auditing is a course-level feature option, which means that once it is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If you are an instructor and do not see Quiz Log Auditing available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.

  • Quizzes will automatically create data for any quizzes taken on or after January 31, regardless of whether the feature is enabled. Enabling Quiz Log Auditing just displays the View Log link so that the logs can be viewed by all users.

When Quiz Log Auditing is enabled, instructors can view the quiz log by selecting the Show student quiz results option and clicking the name of a student. The student quiz results page will show the status of the quiz and the View Log link. Canvas generates content for the log beginning when the student clicks the Take This Quiz button.

 

 


 

Students can also access the quiz log by clicking the link for the quiz attempt they want to view.

 

 

Each log shows a timestamp of the quiz action, including reading a quiz question, selecting a quiz answer, changing a quiz answer, and submitting the quiz. The log also shows if the student left the quiz (either by navigating away from the page or viewing another window in the browser) and resumed the quiz. To refresh log data, click the refresh button at the top of the browser window.

Each attempt shows the start date and time for the attempt. If the student has more than one quiz attempt, the log shows the last attempt. Users can always view prior attempts by clicking the number of the attempt.

 

 

Please note that quiz answers can be accessed by clicking the question number. If you do not want your students to be able to view their quiz answers, you may not want to enable the log until after the quiz has closed and/or all students have completed any additional attempts.

 

 

Updated Features

Assignments

Assignment Point Value

When an existing assignment contains graded submissions and an instructor changes the points possible, Canvas displays a warning that changing the point value requires regrading the assignment. This warning message applies to any grading type with assignment submissions, including changing points from or to zero.

 

 

Note: If an assignment with graded submissions is changed to zero points, such as for extra credit, this feature does not change the way that zero-point assignments work with assignment groups. Please see the lesson about extra credit for more details. 

Availability Dates View for Students

Students can view any assignment availability dates on the assignments detail page, not just the Assignments Index Page. This feature also applies to discussions and quizzes.

 

Commons

Document Sharing

As part of file sharing, Commons users can share and import documents into their courses. Sharing files to Commons works in conjunction with the Better File Browsing course opt-in feature. Users can also preview any file that is supported by the document previewer. 

Note: Commons is currently a beta feature. If you are interested in using Commons for your institution, please fill out the Commons beta signup form.

 

share_documents.png

Course Settings

Viewing for Authenticated Users

Instructors can allow authenticated users in their institution to view a course. Located in Course Settings, this visibility option allows users who are authenticated (logged in) in the Canvas account to view the course before they enroll in the course. The course content shown to authenticated users is the same content shown to the public for publicly visible courses.

 

Note: The Make this course publicly visible option and Make this course visible to authenticated users option cannot be used together. The first option will override the second so the course will always remain public, even when the user is not logged in.

ePortfolios

Private ePortfolio Link

When a student wants to share a private ePortfolio, the ePortfolio displays the entire link. This change clarifies confusion about how to access the ePortfolio link.
 

 

 

Other Updates

Canvas Menus

As part of our interface redesign, Canvas drop-down menus, calendar menus, and menu windows include a slightly modified interface. More information can found in our Styleguide atcanvas.beta.instructure.com/styleguide.

No actual functionality is affected by this work—these are purely visual changes. However, if you have changed the appearance of these components via custom CSS, please check to ensure your style work with the new designs.

 

New Drop-down Menu

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.43.53 AM.png

 

New Calendar Menu

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.45.15 AM.png

 

New Window Menu

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.44.20 AM.png


External Apps

External App Design Adjustments

On the External Apps page, either at the account or course level, the Add New App button has been renamed to the Add App button.

 

Add-External-App.png

 

The Add App window also includes small design adjustments at both the account and course level. Functionality and configurations for External Tools are not affected.

 

External-Apps.png

Permissions

Question Bank Link Visibility

On the account level, the Question Bank Account Navigation link can only be viewed if an admin is granted the manage assignments permission. This permission was previously set to the edit grades permission.

 

 

Note: Changing a permission may take some time to apply throughout Canvas.

User Settings

Access Token Field

When a user adds an Access Token in their user settings, the entire token can be viewed in the dialog window. Previously the remainder of the token could only be viewed by scrolling horizontally.

 

 

Platform Integrations

New APIs

Courses API

Users can reset course content in the Courses API

When creating a new course, users can set whether the course is public to authenticated users with the is_public_to_auth_users parameter.

Enrollment Terms API

Users can create, update, and delete enrollment terms in the Enrollment Terms API. When creating an enrollment term, users can also view the SIS ID using the sis_term_id parameter.  

Grade Multiple Submissions

Users can grade multiple submissions and add comments in the Submissions API

Updated APIs

Analytics API

Department Statistics no longer supports the submissions and discussion replies objects in the Analytics API.

Assignments API

Users can view whether an assignment has override dates (varied due dates) in the Assignments API. Users can also view the long description for a RubricCriteria with the long_descriptionparameter.

Conferences API

Users can view conference keys with the conference_key parameter in the Conferences API.

Courses API

Users can view the total number of active and invited students in the course with the total_students endpoint in the Courses API.

Users can view the storage quota for a course with the storage_quota_used_mb parameter. 

When getting course settings or updating course settings, users can view and update four additional settings options: allow student organized groups, hide final grades, hide distribution graphs, and lock all announcements.

Outcomes API

Users can view the method used to calculate a student’s score in the Learning Mastery Gradebook, as well as the variable value used by the calculation method, with the calculation_methodand calculation_int parameters in the Outcomes API

Sections API

Users can view the total number of active and invited students in the section with the total_students parameter in the Sections API.

SIS Imports API

Users can view a specific date of an SIS import with the created_since parameter in the SIS Imports API.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Calendar

The Calendar date arrows displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

When a user closes event dialogs in Agenda View, keyboard focus returns to the event that originated the dialog.

Agenda View headings are labeled as headings. Additionally, keyboard users can view any headings that expand and collapse.

After deleting a current event, the focus changes to the next event; after deleting the last event, the focus changes to the Add Event button.

Course Navigation

Screen readers can read disabled or empty Course Navigation elements in Course Settings and see that no content has been added.

Course Setup Checklist

For reading navigation, the close button follows the content so that users can close the Course Setup Checklist with the Esc key.

Screen readers can read the Next Steps checklist and all content. Links are also searchable.

Keyboard users can access all links within the Next Steps checklist content.

Discussions

When a user creates a group discussion, screen readers can read the options for the group sets.

Files

When a user opens a new folder in the files list, screen readers can read the name of the folder. Screen readers can also tell that the file list has been updated.

Outcomes

When a user inserts a new outcome on the Outcomes page, screen readers can read the Insert button.

Screen readers can read all information for an outcome, including the title and outcome description.

Admin Tools

Logging Errors

Admin tools shows an error for failed log types.

Explanation: When an admin generated a log report for a Canvas activity, searches that contained invalid IDs failed to generate but showed the user that the report was being generated. Canvas code has been updated to show an error if the log entry contains invalid IDs.

APIs

Edit Display Name

Instructors cannot edit their display name through the API unless all users in the institution are granted the Users Can Edit Display Name permission at the account level.

Explanation: When an instructor attempted to modify their own display name, the name could be changed even if they did not have the permission to do so in the Canvas interface. Canvas code has been updated to separate permissions for reading a profile and renaming a profile, which ensures the admin role is the only one that can edit display names unless others are granted permission via Course Settings. Instructors can continue to view user profiles via the API endpoint without the permission.

Assignments

Observer Role

Users with an observer role view the Assignments Index Page the same way as users with a student role.

Explanation: When an observer viewed the Assignment Index Page, all assignments with a due date in the past were marked as overdue. However, from the student role, only the assignments that had a due date in the past and had not been submitted were identified as overdue, while those with a date in the past that had been submitted were identified as a past assignment. Canvas code has been updated so that observer users view the Assignments Index Page as student users.

Assignment Titles in Internet Explorer 10

Instructors using Internet Explorer 10 can view the full name of an assignment.

Explanation: When an instructor edits an assignment in Internet Explorer 10, the assignment name was being cut off in the field. Canvas code has been updated with increased padding for the assignment name field.

Courses

Course List

The first item in the Courses drop-down menu matches the width of all other drop-down cours names.

Explanation: The first course listed in the Courses drop-down menu contained a width that was not consistent with the other course names, truncating text for long course names. Canvas code has been updated with a revised style layout.

Home Page

Setting the Course Home Page to Assignments does not cause an error, and resizing the browser window does not obstruct the assignment links.

Explanation: When an instructor changed the Course Home Page to display Assignments, the Home Page was displaying an undefined value error. When the browser window was resized, the assignment links were not accessible because of a hidden element. Canvas code has been updated to confirm permissions through the Courses API to properly display course Assignments and support browser resizing.

Course Status

If an instructors deletes an assignment with associated grades, the instructor can unpublish the course.

Explanation: Courses can only be unpublished if there are no student submissions. When an instructor tried to delete an assignment that included student submissions, the course was not able to be deleted as Canvas was retaining the student grades.  

Course Imports

Terms

When copying a course, the term list in Course Settings displays all active enrollment terms.

Explanation: When a user copies a course in Course Settings, the term drop-down menu displayed all terms that had been created, even if the terms had previously been deleted. Canvas code has been updated to only show active enrollment terms when copying a course.  

Course Settings

Course End Date

The Course End date warning does not display HTML formatting.

Explanation: When a user set a start and end date for a course where the end date is set to midnight, hovering over the warning icon showed the Course Ending at Midnight warning in HTML. Canvas code has been updated to contain HTML data within the application.

Section Dates

When choosing dates for a section, manually entered dates are formatted correctly.

Explanation: When a user entered a date that varied from the international date format of YYYY-MM-DD, the section translated the date incorrectly. Canvas code has been updated to analyze and support all manually entered date formats.

Discussions

Discussion Due Dates

Discussion due date times set from the assignments page apply when viewing more discussions options.

Explanation: When an instructor added a graded discussion to an assignment group and set a due date time to anything other than 12:00 AM, clicking the More Options button reverted the time back to 12:00 AM on the discussion page. Canvas code has been updated to maintain the selected date and time.

Files

Zip Files

Canvas uploads ZIP files correctly.

Explanation: When a user uploaded a ZIP file along with additional files, the zip file was not uploading because the file was trying to be unzipped before the user was asked for their preference on how to upload the file. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the ZIP upload type (zip intact or unzip all files) before uploading.

Folder List

When a user moves a folder using the Move To settings option, the folder moves to the new location.

Explanation: When a user moved a folder using the Move To settings option, the folder appeared in both its old and new locations within the folder list. Reloading the page showed the folder only in the new location. Canvas code has been updated to refresh the folder list after the folder has been moved. This fix was deployed to production on January 23.

File Access Restriction Date

Files accepts and saves any manually entered date for file date restrictions.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a date to restrict student access to files, the date was not saving in the correct date format after the file was saved. Canvas code has been updated to accept any date format as part of file date restrictions.

Folder Names

Folder names containing a number symbol (#) do not display a page error.

Explanation: When Better File Browsing is enabled as a course feature option, and a folder is created with a number symbol in the name, Files displayed a page error. Canvas code has been updated to no longer truncate all content after the # character to retain the entire link for the folder. This behavior was deployed to production on January 23.

Hidden Links

Folders (and files in the folders) that are restricted as hidden but available with a link can be viewed by students with the link.

Explanation: When a file restriction was set to hidden but students could access the file with a link, students were not able to access the file. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the file permission and allow access as per the restriction.

Groups

Group Limits

Groups cannot contain fewer than two members in the group.

Explanation: When setting a limit on a group size, instructors could set the group to one or a negative number of members. Canvas code has been updated to not allow fewer than two members in a group.  

Unpublished Courses and Groups

Students cannot view their groups for a course if the course is unpublished.

Explanation: When students were added to a group before the course had been published, students were able to view the group in the Courses menu. Canvas code has been updated to hide groups from students until the course has been published.

Group Leaders

Student leaders who leave a group are no longer able to manage the group.

Explanation: When a student leader left a group, the student was still able to view the link to manage the group. When the group page was refreshed, the manage link disappeared. Canvas code has been updated to remove the leader attribute from the user when the user leaves a group.

Self Sign-Up Group Limits in Firefox

In Firefox, users can use the up arrow to limit group members when self sign-up is enabled.

Explanation: When a user created a new group set, selecting the option to allow self sign-up and then attempting to use the arrow keys in the Limit group to x members field would not move unless the number was manually typed into the box. Canvas code has been updated to confirm numeric values when inputting number types in Firefox.

Modules

Module Dates

Module dates entered as MM-DD-YYYY are supported as a date format.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a module unlock date in the MM-DD-YYYY format, Canvas was saving the date in the reverse format. Canvas code has been updated to analyze and support the manually entered date.

Module Requirements

Instructors and TAs without the Manage All Other Course Content permission are not restricted by module requirements.

Explanation: When instructors and TAs did not have the Manage All Other Course Content permission (the permission to edit modules), they were restricted by module requirements. When they tried to navigate into an assignment directly, they were not able to view the assignment as there were unfulfilled requirements. Canvas code has been updated to confirm role permission and support viewing of the Modules Index Page for users who are not students but who do not have editing rights.

Pages

Content Selector Page Links

Page links created through the Content Select with a capitalized page title can be viewed within Canvas.

Explanation: When a page was created by inserting a link to the page in the Content Selector, and the page name contains a capital letter, the link's URL matched the case of the page's title and created an error message. Additionally, when a user on a mobile app attempted to click a link to the same type of page, the page would not load. Canvas code has been updated to remove query parameters when generating the API endpoint for pages and support mixed-case page names.

People

Total Activity Time

Total Activity time on the People page keeps counting after reaching 99 hours.

Explanation: When a student reached 99:59:59 hours of activity time, the time rolled over to to 00:00:00 on the Users index in a course. However, the API call to enrollments showed the correct amount of time in seconds on total_activity_time property. Canvas code has been updated to show the correct activity time instead of restarting at zero.

Instructor Enrollments in Sections

An admin or instructor can add another instructor to more than one section in a course.

Explanation: When an instructor or other user with appropriate permissions added an instructor to a course section, the instructor was not able to be added to any additional sections in the course. However, the enrollments API supported adding users to the same sections. Canvas code has been updated to allow enrollments in multiple sections using the People page.

Student Access Report

Student Access Report displays data for accessing HTML files.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed a student access report, the report was not generating any access data for viewing HTML files. Canvas code has been updated to log access for files within the inline page view and within the new files preview.

Syllabus

Syllabus Assignment Times

Syllabus date column shows the time for each assignment.  

Explanation: In the Date column, when a user hovers over the date of an assignment in the Syllabus, the assignment tooltip was displaying an inaccurate time of 12:00 AM for all assignments. Canvas code has been updated to remove the time tooltip in the Date column.

User Settings

Personal Files

When Better File Browsing is enabled, users can preview course files from their personal files.

Explanation: When Better File Browsing was turned on at the account level (enabled for all users in the account), users received a page error when they tried to preview course files from their personal files. However, the preview still worked if they viewed the file in Course Files directly. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the preview URL to display course file previews in the user personal files.

Canvas by Instructure (Android) 4.0.2 Production Release Notes Featuring Sent Messages and User Bios

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Jan 17, 07:42

In this update, Android users are able to view the Sent messages folder within Conversations, and if profiles are allowed by their institution, users can add a biography to their profiles. The release also includes a tutorial about how to use the lock icon that appears throughout various pages in the app.

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the Play Store. Version 4.0.2 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

 

New Features

Sent Messages Folder

Navigating to Messages will bring users to the Conversations Inbox. Tapping the Sent option in the filter drop-down menu shows all previously sent Conversation messages.  

 

sent.png

 

User Biography

When profiles are enabled for an institution, biography information displays for users on the profile page as well as the People page within a specific course.  

 

 

Lock Screen Tutorial

Users can learn how to use the lock screen feature thoughout the Canvas app. The lock screen allows a user to scroll on a page, such as in Quizzes, without opening the sliding menu for that page (like the Course Navigation Menu). If locking is available on a Canvas page, the Lock icon will display in the top right corner. Tap the icon to lock and unlock the page.


 

 

 

SpeedGrader (Android) 1.0 Release Notes

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Jan 13, 19:16

SpeedGrader is now available for Android devices. This app is designed in conjunction with the Canvas by Instructure app and helps instructors grade assignments, quizzes, and discussions at any time on their mobile devices.

Download the SpeedGrader app in the Play Store. Version 1.0 requires Android 4.0.3 or later.

Main Features

App Design

SpeedGrader for Android features a unified design for tablets and phones and supports both portrait and landscape viewing.

SpeedGrader’s navigation is modeled after the new Canvas by Instructure Android app and allows you to view both favorite and all courses, and change colors for your courses. The user navigation menu provides quick access to instructor account information, Canvas Guides, help with the app, and all SpeedGrader settings.

 

 

Dashboard

The dashboard of the app displays your favorite courses as selected either in the Canvas browser or in the Canvas by Instructure app (favorites cannot be modified in SpeedGrader). Toggle the slider in the top right corner to view all courses. Submissions are indicated by a circle with the total number of submissions in the course that need to be graded.

 

 

You can also change the color of the course by tapping the name of the course. Within the course assignment page, assignments are displayed by course color.

 

 

Assignment List

Tapping the name of a course displays the list of all assignments, quizzes, and discussions in your course. Assignment submissions are indicated by a circle with the number of submissions. If your course has sections, you can filter assignments by section in the menu bar. Tap an assignment to view the submissions.

 


 

The menu bar displays the name of the first student in the course. You can use the arrow buttons to advance forward or backward through the list of students. To view all students for the assignment, tap the name of the current student to display the entire student list. By default, student names are shown as last name, first name. You can also toggle between sorting by name and sorting by grade.

 

 

When viewing an assignment, you can use the assignment menu (or sidebar) for grading. To open the menu, tap the assignment tab. The assignment tab bounces when you first enter an assignment to help you locate the menu. Within the menu you can view the options available in the browser version of SpeedGrader. Grades supports all grade format types.

Note: Currently, some SpeedGrader features are limited within the app:

  • Comments can only be made via text (audio and video are not yet supported).
  • When grading assignments, instructors can only use the point comment annotation in Crocodoc.
  • Assignments cannot be downloaded to Android mobile devices or viewed in other Android apps.

Enhancements to these features will be available in a future release.

 

 

You can also edit assignment settings in the assignment menu, such as the number of points, due date, and whether or not to use an attached rubric for grading. You can also mute and unmute assignments.

 

 

January 10, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring PowerSchool Integration and Quiz Logs

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Jan 05 18:21

New Canvas Notification IP Addresses

On January 10, we're adding two new Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to our notifications IP list. If your institution adds Canvas notification IPs to whitelists for your network firewall or email management system, please whitelist the following IP addresses by January 10 to ensure your users continue to receive Canvas notifications:

54.240.14.1 (existing, already in use)

54.240.14.2 (existing, already in use)

54.240.14.198 (new)

54.240.14.199 (new)

Please contact your Customer Success Manager if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Upcoming Canvas Change: Quiz Statistics Feature Option

On January 31, New Quiz Statistics will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and the feature will apply to all users with an instructor role. (Learn more about the new Quiz Statistics.)


 

In this production release (January 10), Instructors can pass back grades from the Gradebook to PowerSchool, and set up log auditing to monitor activity in student quizzes. Assignments have an increased number of Turnitin status attempts, and several areas in Canvas include some small design updates.

The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features and fixed bugs.

Note: Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment.

New Feature Screencast (2015-01-10) from Instructure on Vimeo.

View the Screencast Transcript

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details. Release dates are based on Mountain Standard Time (USA).

We welcome video feedback at instructure.com/videosurvey. If the embedded video does not appear, reload your browser window.

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: January 19

  • Production release notes: January 26

  • Production release and documentation: January 31

 

New Features

Assignments

Post Grades to SIS: PowerSchool

Canvas now supports full SIS integration for PowerSchool. This integration allows instructors using PowerSchool as their institution’s SIS to pass Gradebook information back to PowerSchool and can be enabled on both account and subaccount levels. 

Note: The Canvas PowerSchool integration is used in conjunction with a course-level feature option called Post Grades to SIS. Once enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. However, this feature must first be configured with the support of your Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM) and an Implementation Consultant before it can be enabled for the institution. If you are an admin, please contact your CSM for assistance.

Setting Up Assignments

Instructors can choose to pass back grades on a per-assignment basis. To select an assignment to send to PowerSchool, click the SIS checkbox as part of the assignment, quiz, or graded discussion. Note that in Quizzes, the SIS checkbox is grouped under Quiz Options.

 

Assignments & Graded Discussions

 

Quizzes

 

Additional Notes:

  • When creating assignments, assignment names (up to 30 characters) must be unique or they cannot be identified by PowerSchool. If a Canvas assignment has the same name as already exists in PowerSchool, Canvas will not push data for that assignment to PowerSchool.

  • Due dates are required to send an assignment to PowerSchool.

Transferring Grades from the Gradebook

The Gradebook integration is a one-way transfer from Canvas to PowerSchool. Only assignments that appear in the default Gradebook can be sent to PowerSchool.

  • Changes in Canvas will always overwrite changes in PowerSchool. If a change is made in PowerSchool, the change will not be reflected in Canvas.

  • This feature does not apply to the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

Grades can be sent to PowerSchool by clicking the Post Grades button in the Gradebook. Canvas will immediately initiate the grades transfer, but users may need to wait a few minutes before data appears in PowerSchool.

 

 

Note: PowerTeacher does not interact with Canvas the same way that PowerSchool does. When an instructor clicks the Post Grades button in the Gradebook, Canvas creates the assignments in PowerTeacher; however, Canvas assignments that are pushed to PowerSchool but are later removed from Canvas are not removed from PowerTeacher. For more questions about PowerTeacher, please contact your CSM.

Transferring Previous Grades

In order to pass back grades for previous terms, instructors need to retroactively update any previous term assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions with the Post Grades to SIS option, then proceed to post grades from the Gradebook.

Quizzes

Quiz Log Auditing

Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Students can also view the log for their own quizzes.

Note: Quiz Log Auditing is a course-level feature option, which means that once it is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If you are an instructor and do not see Quiz Log Auditing available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.

Instructors can view the quiz log by showing student quiz results and clicking the name of a student. The student quiz results page will show the status of the quiz and the View Log link. Canvas generates the quiz log when the student clicks the Take This Quiz button.

 

 



Students can also access the quiz log by clicking the link for the quiz attempt they want to view.



 Each log shows a timestamp of the quiz action, including reading a quiz question, selecting a quiz answer, changing a quiz answer, and submitting the quiz. The log also shows if the student left the quiz (either by navigating away from the page or viewing another window in the browser) and resumed the quiz. To refresh log data, click the refresh button at the top of the browser window.

Each attempt shows the start date and time for the attempt. If the student has more than one quiz attempt, the log shows the last attempt. Users can always view prior attempts by clicking the number of the attempt.

 

 

 

Other Updates

Assignments

Turnitin Status Attempts

Canvas has increased the number of status attempts made for a Turnitin assignment. Instead of doubling beginning at 5 minutes, attempts will double beginning at 2 minutes: 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 16 minutes, etc. This change helps instructors view Turnitin reports more quickly.

Course Setup Checklist

Checklist Redesign

The Course Setup Checklist has been redesigned for a better user experience and displays as a full window. Each sidebar item shows the status of your course and provides quick links to each Canvas area. To close the window and return to Canvas, click the close icon in the upper right of the window, or press the Escape button on your keyboard.

No functionality has been changed in this feature. As a reminder, checklist items are moderated by user permissions and display appropriately. For instance, if an institution does not allow instructors to add students to the course, the Add Students checklist item will not appear. Options are also responsive for the add TAs and Publish course checklist items.  

NoteThis redesign does not apply to any other checklist, such as for ePortfolios.

 

coursesetupchecklist.png

Footer

User Research

The Canvas UX Research and Design team is looking for design feedback from Canvas users, including interaction with new design ideas and concepts. If you are interested in participating, please sign up using the link in the Canvas footer (located at the bottom of most Canvas pages).

 

Languages

Date and Time Display

Date and time stamps in Canvas have been updated to reflect 24-hour time formats for applicable languages.

Canvas Interface

Navigation Menu

As part of our interface redesign, the left navigation menu (User, Course, and Account Navigation) include a slightly modified interface. We’ve also touched up a few other icons in Canvas to meet better color contrast ratios. More information can found in our Styleguide at canvas.beta.instructure.com/styleguide.

  • The border on the left side of the content area has been removed so the course navigation is aligned with the window.

  • The gradient at the top of all navigation areas (user, course, and account) has been replaced with the background color. This change is most noticeable with course names and term dates in Course Navigation. 

These changes can be seen more clearly in the comparison images below (current production version and beta version, respectively):

 

 

No actual functionality will be affected by this work—this is a purely visual change. However, if you have changed the appearance of the left navigation menu via custom CSS, please check to ensure your styles work with the new design, especially if you have changed the background color for your navigation menus. More details about the navigation changes can be found with the original changes found in the September 27, 2014 Canvas release notes. 

Activity Stream Notification Indicators

In the User Dashboard activity stream we’ve removed the indicators that show the number of notifications. However, new activity is still shown by a blue dot next to the activity type. Users can still expand the activity to view all notifications for that activity type. The indicator also appears next to the specific notification item. This change also applies to the activity stream on the Course Dashboard. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.22.20 PM.png

 

 

Platform Integrations

New APIs

Account Notifications

Users can view an index of global account notifications and close global notifications via the Account Notifications API.

Updated APIs

Course Users API

The Users API can now return user bios by adding ?include[]=bio in the parameter.

Account API

The Courses API returns the property is_public for each course.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

The following accessibility issues have been corrected within Canvas:

General Updates

  • Dialog window design continues to be improved for screen readers and keyboard users. Role=”dialog” has been removed from remaining dialog boxes unless the dialog contains only navigable elements (i.e. links and form controls).

Assignments

  • When the External Tool option is selected as a submission type, screen readers can read the text in the Open External Tool URL Options window.

  • The Assignments create and edit pages displays a color contrast of 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Calendar

  • Agenda View events can be accessed with both the space bar and the Enter/Return key 

Conversations

  • Conversation filters (All Courses and Inbox) can be read by screen readers.

Course Navigation

  • In Course Navigation, notification indicators display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Dashboards

  • In the course and user dashboards, notification indicators display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Discussions