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Canvas Updates

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.

 

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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.  

 

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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

  • Unread and Assignments buttons are identified as filters by screen readers.

Faculty Journal

  • The Faculty Journal page displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Files

  • Files displays a warning message that informs keyboard and screen reader users about the Move To dialog for moving content within a list.

  • Selecting a file checkbox retains the state of the checkbox.

  • Files column headers align properly and table content can be read by screen readers.

  • Checkboxes appear in column headers so keyboard users can select multiple file items.

Gradebook

  • In Firefox, arrow keys do not change grades in the Gradebook.

Modules

  • Modules drag handles display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Pages

  • In Pages, notification indicators display a color contrast of 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Rubrics

  • On the Rubrics page, notification indicators display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

  • Outcome icons within a rubric display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

SpeedGrader

  • When comments are posted to an assignment in SpeedGrader, screen readers view a confirmation message.

  • SpeedGrader displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

User Profile

  • The profile picture close (x) icon displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Admin

User Account Details

Sub-Account admins can view User Account Details if they have the View Statistics permission.

ExplanationWhen sub-account admins viewed the details of a user in the course, sub-account admins were not able to view the user account details button. Canvas code has been updated to confirm permissions for the admin and display the User Account Details button as appropriate.

Analytics

Test Student Scores

Test Student scores are not included in analytics assignment data.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed analytics for a course, test student scores were appearing as part of the data. Canvas code has been updated to remove Test Student data from all assignment statistics.

APIs

Conversations API

Users can only send messages for courses and groups where they are enrolled.

Explanation: When a user sent a message to a course or group, sometimes the message would later appear as being for a course or group where the user has no affiliation. This behavior occurred because of association with a prior course or group that was deleted from Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to always verify context for courses and groups when sending messages.

Search API

The course roster page loads more quickly when users search for a large number of groups.

Explanation: When users searched within a large number of groups in a course, the course roster page loaded very slowly. Canvas code has been updated to improve the search query and improve API performance.

Groups API

The Groups API does not display deleted group sets.

Explanation: When a user created a group, the related group set did not have to be active. Therefore, some groups were created within deleted group sets. Canvas code has been updated not to show deleted group sets in the API.   

Quizzes API

Questions pulled from a question bank are consistent with other questions in the quiz.

Explanation: When a quiz question contained a question group that was linked to a question bank, questions pulled from the bank were created as an assessment question type instead of quiz question type. Canvas code has been updated to generate quiz questions from a question bank as a Quiz question object.  

Assignments

Course Notifications

Only active students receive course notifications.

Explanation: When a student completed an assignment in a course and were later removed from the course, the student was still receiving notifications if there was a grade change, such as when the Displayed Grade As option was changed for the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to only send notifications to active students in the course.  

Personal File Submissions

Students can submit assignments uploaded to their their personal files.

Explanation: When a student submitted an assignment from their personal files, Canvas was creating an error that said the file was not authorized for the submission. This behavior occurred when an assignment restricted the submission file type. Canvas code has been updated to accept file submissions from personal files as long as the file contains the correct file extension.

Assignment Shell Window and More Options

Assignments retains the due date when a user edits an assignment and selects the More Options button.

Explanation: When an instructor edited an assignment, deleted the due date, and then selected the More Options button, the previous due date transferred to the Assignment details page. Canvas code has been updated to retain all entries in the assignment shell window when viewing more options on the assignment details page.

Assignment Sections

When a section is deleted in a course, the section is also removed from any assigned assignments.

ExplanationWhen a section was deleted in a course, any assignments that were associated with the section did not remove the section from the assignment. This behavior caused confusion if another section was created with the same name. Canvas code has been updated to remove all association with sections that have been removed from a course. If an assignment is only assigned to the section that was deleted, the assignment will display a warning stating that no students are assigned to the assignment.

Course Imports

Course Copy

Admins can locate courses to copy in their account by typing in a course name and having Canvas auto-complete the entry, or they can use a course drop-down menu if there are fewer than 100 courses in the account.

Explanation: When an admin attempted to copy a course, the list of courses paginated at 500 courses and appeared as an unordered list. To be consistent with other course listing behavior throughout Canvas, Canvas code has been updated to display course listings alphabetically. Additionally, the course drop-down menu only appears if there are fewer than 100 courses. If an account contains over 100 courses, admins can type the name of a course and Canvas will auto-complete any applicable course names.

Files

Deleted Files Preview

Users are notified if they preview a file that has been deleted or doesn’t exist.

Explanation: If a user tried to preview a file for a URL that had been deleted, Canvas skipped the preview and showed any previews that were also part of the file link. Canvas code has been updated to show a message that the file cannot be found.

Content Sidebar

In the Content Selector, if an instructor or TA uploads a file that already exists in Canvas, files will add an iterator to the file to prevent duplicates (i.e. file.jpg, file-1.jpg). 

Explanation: When an instructor or TA uploaded a file using the Content Selector, the file could be uploaded multiple times without renaming the file. Canvas code has been updated to include an iterator to file names to prevent duplicates.

File Storage Statistics

File statistics show the correct number of files and storage space.

Explanation: Some courses were not displaying accurate statistics for files and storage space within the course. This behavior occurred because of attachment naming inconsistencies between local account IDs and the global account IDs. Canvas code has been updated to match files against either local or global account IDs for accurate statistics.

Gradebook

Multiple Assignments

When a student submits multiple assignments, instructors can leave comments for each submission in the Gradebook and select the submission in the drop-down menu.

Explanation: When a student submitted an assignment multiple times and the instructor wanted to leave a comment in the Gradebook, the drop-down list of submissions showed the same submission time for the first and last submission. Canvas code has been updated to display the original time of the first submission instead of copying the most recent submission’s date and time.

Gradebook Average

Students view the same scoring average on the Grades page that displays for instructors in the Gradebook.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the details of an assignment in the Gradebook, the average score differed from the average score shown to students. This behavior occurred because the average score calculated both active and deleted enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to remove deleted enrollments from grade calculations.

Groups

Courses & Groups Menu

Users can view all groups in the Courses & Groups menu.

Explanation: When a user was added to a group, the group did not always appear under the Courses & Groups drop-down menu. Canvas code has been updated to update a user’s cached groups list when a user is added to a group. The groups list is also updated when a user is removed from a group.

Instructor/TA Profiles

Users can view instructor and TA profiles from within a group.

Explanation: When a user tried to view an instructor or TA from the People section in a group, the group displayed an error message. This behavior occurred because instructors and TAs are not actually members of the group and the links were directing to the group page. Canvas code has been updated to link profile information to the course People page, not the Group People page.  

Group Conferences

Instructors can edit a conference within a group.

Explanation: When an instructor clicked the Edit button for a conference within a group, the button redirected to the course instead of displaying the edit window. Canvas code has been updated to not associate group conferences with course conferences.

Group Assignment Submission Comments

When an instructor deletes a comment from a group assignment, the comment is removed for all group members.

ExplanationWhen comments sent to all group members were deleted from the submission, the comments were only deleted for the group member whose ID was connected to the group submission. Other group members could still view the comments and instructors could not delete them. Canvas code has been updated to remove group assignment comments for all students associated with the group assignment ID.

Group Discussions

Group members cannot create a group discussion within Groups.

Explanation: When a user created a Discussion from the group home page, the page displayed an option to make the discussion as a group discussion. Users were not able to save the discussion if they checked the box. Canvas code has been updated to not display group discussion options for groups, as the discussion is already part of the group.

Randomly Assign Students and Group Limits

Canvas respects individual group member limits when randomly assigning students to groups.

Explanation: When an instructor created a limit of members within a group set, and then selected the Randomly Assign Students option, Canvas ignored the group limit and assigned all students to a particular group. Canvas code has been updated to respect individual group member limits when randomly assigning students.

Quizzes

QTI Imports

QTI imports do not overwrite answer text for True/False Quiz Questions.

Explanation: When a user imported a QTI file, True/False answer options were being overwritten by the import file so that the top answer was always true regardless of the correct answer.

Rich Content Editor

Embedding Images

Instructors can view more than 10 folders or files within the folders when embedding an image in the Rich Content Editor.

Explanation: When embedding an image with the Rich Content Editor, the Content Selector was not displaying more than 10 course folders, or files within the folders. Canvas code has been updated to display all files within the course. This fix was deployed to production on December 29, 2014.   

Document Previews

After uploading a file in the Content Selector, documents that are supported in the document previewer can be previewed in the Rich Content Editor. 

Explanation: When an instructor uploaded a file using the Content Selector, files that are supported in the document previewer did not include the preview icon. Canvas code has been updated to include the preview icon for all supported file types uploaded through the Content Selector. 

Nested Folder Titles

Nested folders in the Content Selector display the name of each folder.

Explanation: When Files contained a series of nested folders, the Content Selector sometimes displayed nested folder names as undefined. Canvas code has been updated to display the folder name in the Content Selector list.

SpeedGrader

Graded Group Discussions

Replies in graded group discussions appear in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When a student replied to a graded group discussion, the reply appeared in the discussion but was not appearing in SpeedGrader. Canvas code has been updated to populate missing submissions for graded group discussion replies in SpeedGrader. This fix was deployed to production on December 29, 2014.

User Profile

Time Zones

Users with set time zones can view the profile settings.

Explanation: Users who set a time zone for their account were not able to view their profile settings. This behavior occurred because the code linked to the time zone command froze and did not allow any other internal data to be modified. Canvas code has been updated to create a duplicate string of the data and view user profile settings.

 

Canvas by Instructure (Android) 4.0 Release Notes Featuring Redesigned Navigation

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Dec 17 15:03

In this update, Canvas by Instructure unveils a completely redesigned experience for the Android app, including new user and course navigation and better groups support.

Download the Canvas by Instructure app in the Play Store. Version 4.0 requires Android 4.0 or later.

Main Features

App Design

Canvas by Instructure for Android features a unified design for tablets and phones and supports both portrait and landscape viewing. The app also includes an updated logo and login screen. Users with Android 5.0 Lollipop will also benefit from material design, which supports responsive animations, transitions, and shadows to offer a better interactive experience. 

User Navigation

Canvas by Instructure 4.0 has a completely redesigned user navigation menu, which can be accessed from any page in the app. Swipe the navigation menu for quick access to Courses, Notifications, the To-Do List, Messages, or Grades. Grades is a highly requested feature that is new to the app navigation.

In Settings, users can select their own landing page for the app. The Profile page supports higher resolution profile images and users can choose a backdrop image.

 

1profile.jpg



Course Navigation

The Courses page includes simplified navigation with new color options. The action bar changes color depending on the course you are viewing.

 

 

When viewing course content, users can choose to view content full screen by tapping the expand icon in the action bar.

 

 

Groups Support

Canvas by Instructure supports group features in the app for all users. Users within a group can post discussions and announcements.

 

 

Canvas Support

For support needs, user support tickets are sent directly to Canvas Support via Zendesk instead of Helpshift. This association helps Canvas Support better identify Canvas users and their associated institutions.

 12/20/14 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Differentiated Assignments and New Files

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Dec 15 18:15

Upcoming Canvas Change: New Student Groups Page

As part of Saturday’s release, the New Student Groups Page will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and the feature will apply to all users with a student role. (Learn more about the Student Groups page redesign.)

New Canvas Notification IP Addresses

On January 10, 2015, 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.


In this production release (12/20), Assignments can be assigned to a specific course section, and the Gradebook can be viewed by last name. Conversations helps users access submissions more quickly, and Files has completely a new look with added functionality. On the student side of Canvas, group leaders in student groups have added options for group management. This release also brings an updated design to all buttons and tabs throughout Canvas.

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.

12.20.2014 New Feature Screencast from Instructure on Vimeo.

View the 12/20/14 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: 12/29/14

  • Production release notes: 01/05/15

  • Production release and documentation: 01/10/15

Follow the release schedule on our public Canvas Updates calendar

 

New Features

Assignments

Differentiated Assignments

In Assignments, instructors have the flexibility to differentiate assignments between sections and select which sections are required to complete specific tasks.

Note: Differentiated Assignments 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 Differentiated Assignments available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.

When enabled, this feature is available for all assignments: Assignments, Quizzes, and Graded Discussions.

When creating or editing an assignment, instructors can specify whether the assignment should be for everyone in the course or for specific sections only. Only the section(s) specified in the assignment details can view the assignment. Varied due date functionality remains available for each section.

Differentiated-Assignment.png

 

In the Gradebook, assignment grade cells are grayed out for students who are not part of the section. Grades cannot be assigned for students who are not part of the section. Assignments that are not part of a section are not factored into overall grades.

Note: On the student grades page, students can only view assignments that are part of their specific section.