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Canvas Updates

09/06/14 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Discussions Peer Review Indicators

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Sep 02 19:04

In this production release (09/06), admins and instructors benefit from small changes that make a big impact on account and course management. Students can more easily identify peer reviews for graded discussions, and all users can more easily review the status of their courses.

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. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. 

09.06.2014 New Feature Screencast from Instructure on Vimeo.

View the 09/06/14 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: 09/15/14
  • Production release notes: 09/22/14
  • Production release and documentation: 09/27/14

Follow the release schedule on the Canvas Updates calendar



New Features

Discussions

Peer Review Indicators

In Discussions, users can identify graded discussions that have been assigned peer reviews.

When an instructor assigns a peer review to a graded discussion, the Discussions Index Page displays the peer review icon next to the name of the graded discussion. This icon appears in both instructor and student views.

Note: The peer review icon is only part of the Discussions Index Page; it does not appear if the discussion is viewed on the Assignments Index Page.

 

Discussions-Index.png

 

When a user has been assigned a peer review, peer review details appear within the graded discussion. The peer review assignment is highlighted at the top and includes a direct link to the peer review. Please note that the Review Now link is for reference purposes only and does not indicate the status of the discussion; some students may not yet have completed the discussion.

If a specific due date is assigned to the peer review, the date also appears as part of the message. Otherwise, it displays the due date for the graded discussion, if any.

 

Discussions-View.png

 

The Global Dashboard and Course Dashboard sidebars also indicate when a user has been assigned a peer review. However, this notification only appears when the assigned student has posted a discussion, indicating that the discussion is ready for peer review. The name of the graded discussion appears in the To Do column along with the due date.

 

Discussions-Home-Page.png

Course Imports

Remove Dates

In the Course Import Tool, users can remove all dates from an imported course. Located as part of the Adjust Events and Due Dates option, this feature removes the date fields and allows you to import a course without any associated dates.

 

Gradebook

Total Column to Front

Instructors can move the Total column to the front of the Gradebook to quickly see an overview of student progress in the course. This option is located in the Total Column drop-down menu and is persistent according to browser. The Total Column can be moved back to the end of the Gradebook at any time.

 

 

Concluded Enrollments in CSV File

Users can choose to display concluded enrollments in a Gradebook CSV file. This option is available as part of the CSV download if users have selected the Show Concluded Enrollments option in the Gradebook Settings menu.

 

 

Account Settings

Custom Login Field

Institutions that use Canvas authentication can set a custom login label. Located in Account Settings, this feature allows account admins to customize their institution’s Canvas login page without requiring custom CSS or Javascript.

 

 

When a custom login label is set, users see the login label as part of the Canvas login page. If no custom label is set, Canvas displays the login field as Email.

 

 

Updated Features

Assignments

Turnitin Repository Option

When creating a new Turnitin assignment, instructors can choose whether or not to include the assignment in the Turnitin repository. By default, this option is selected automatically. To keep an assignment out of the repository, deselect the Include in Repository checkbox. This feature option is beneficial for instructors who allow students to resubmit assignments but who do not want Turnintin to compare the resubmission against prior versions.

 

Set-Turnitin-Settings.png

Dashboard

Course List Update

Users can more easily manage their Canvas courses with updates in the Courses & Groups drop-down menu and the My Courses page.

In the Courses & Groups drop-down menu, the customize option has been combined with the My Courses page. Now users can customize and view all courses in the same location.

 

 

The My Courses page has been updated to more easily identify the state of each course. Unpublished courses are listed in gray and include an unpublished tag, which is visible to all user roles. Unpublished courses can appear in current courses, past enrollments, and future enrollments sections (if allowed by the institution). Students can hover over any course with an unpublished tag and view a message about accessing unpublished courses.

NoteIn student view, courses listed in gray that do not include an unpublished tag are concluded.

 

 

On the My Courses page, current courses for the term are listed under the My Courses section. Courses with yellow stars indicate a favorite course and are included in the Courses and Groups drop-down menu. Current courses are starred by default. Users can toggle the stars to favorite or unfavorite a course. 

 

Only instructors can favorite unpublished courses. Students can hover over a star icon for an unpublished or concluded course and view a message indicating that the course cannot be added as a favorite.

 

Rich Content Editor

Visual Editor Link

The HTML Editor and Visual Editor links, which allow users to switch between the default design view and the HTML view, have been renamed to HTML Editor and Rich Content Editor for better consistency in Canvas terminology.

HTMLEditor.png

Syllabus

Day Column

To minimize redundancy, the Day column has been removed from the Syllabus, and the year has been added to the date display format.

 

 

Updated APIs

Content Exports

Users can export content as a zip file in the Content Exports API.

Content Migrations

Users can remove dates from a content migration in the Content Migrations API.



Other Updates

Content Exports

Multiple content exports for a course are displayed by date in descending order. This change helps users locate the most recent export.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.02.51 PM.png

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

The following accessibility issues have been corrected within Canvas:

Account Settings

  • Sub-account option links contain descriptive text for keyboard users.
  • On the Courses page, the hover text for Settings/Statistics/Home Page links are accessible to screen readers.

Announcements

  • The Announcements Edit button is identified as a button for screen readers.
  • The Remove/Delete icon for external feed items is identified correctly for screen readers.

Assignments

  • Group Assignment Options are accessible to keyboard users.

Calendar

  • In the new calendar event window, the Cancel button is labeled as a button for screen readers.

Conversations

  • The unread messages icon meets a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.
  • In the compose/reply window, the Close button is read properly for screen readers.

Course Settings

  • The Cross-listing window creates a warning for screen readers if a user enters an invalid or nonexistent course ID.
  • The Edit Section Name field in accessible to screen readers.

Outcomes

  • The Course Outcomes page contains headings for screen readers.

Pages

  • Names of external links are accessible to screen readers.

People

  • The Search People box is labeled for screen readers.

Quizzes

  • In the help icon next to the Rich Content Editor, users can access keyboard shortcuts available for keyboard users.

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook

  • Outcomes are labeled for screen readers and contain descriptive text for expanding and collapsing content. This fix was released to production on 08/25/14.

Account Settings

Quiz Question Restriction

The account option to restrict students from viewing quiz questions after course end date applies when the course ends regardless of term dates.

ExplanationWhen an admin selected the option to restrict students from viewing quiz questions after the course end date, students could still view quiz questions for courses that concluded before the term end date. Canvas code has been updated to verify if the course has concluded regardless of the term end date.

Announcement Notification Icons

Announcement Notification icons do not display broken images.

ExplanationWhen an admin created a global announcement for a notification other than the default icon, the icon would break and not display correctly. Canvas code has been updated to link notification icons with the icons displayed on the dashboard and assure proper image paths.

Custom Admin Role Tooltips

When a user hovers over a custom admin role, Canvas does not display any additional text.

ExplanationWhen an admin created a custom admin role in Permissions, hovering over the name of the role would display an error message instead of the associated role type. Custom admin roles are not based on any specific role such as when creating course roles, which are associated with a base role type and include the associated type in the tooltip. Canvas code has been updated to specify custom admin roles as a base role type and not display a tooltip.

User Enrollment Permissions

Account admins who have permission to see the list of users can view user enrollments.

Explanation: When an admin with permissions to see the list of users tried to view the user account details page, the enrollments would not appear unless the user with the account role was added to the sub-account for the course. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for the admin role. 

Sub-account Notifications Tab

In sub-accounts, the Notifications tab does not appear unless there is a notification.

Explanation: When a sub-account admin clicked the Notifications tab, Canvas would create a page error if there were no notifications. Canvas code has been updated to only display the Notifications tab if notifications are available for the subaccount.

APIs

Submissions API

The rubric_assessment request parameter does not include nonexistent links.

Explanation: The rubric_assessment request parameter included references to points and comments, and because the display was nested within a specific arrangement of code, the references generated as links. Canvas code has been updated to correct the references so they appear correctly.  

Assignments

Assignment Groups in Safari

When specifying the number of scores to ignore for each student in an assignment group, users can only enter numbers for the highest and lowest score fields. 

Explanation: When instructors created an assignment group within the Safari browser and specified a highest and/or lowest score, Safari allowed text entries in place of numbers. Canvas code has been updated to generate a warning message for text entries and only accept numbers.

Content Imports

QTI Image Matching Questions

Canvas addresses QTI files containing images on both sides of matching questions.

Explanation: Some imported QTI files contained matching questions with images on both sides. However, Canvas only supports images on the left side of matching questions. Canvas code has been updated to provide better support for imported matching questions. If imported questions have images on the right, Canvas reorders the answers so the images are on the left. If both the right and the left sides contain images, Canvas generates a warning message stating images on both sides are unsupported.

QTI Quizzes

QTI quizzes import according to quiz type.

Explanation: When users imported Moodle 1.9 QTI files, quizzes were importing as practice quizzes. Canvas code has been updated to import quizzes according to its quiz type.

Conversations

Empty Course Sections

Users cannot send a message to all members of an empty course section. 

Explanation: When users composed a new conversation and selected a course section, selecting the option to message all members of an empty section never generated a list result. Canvas code has been updated to not create an all members option for empty course sections.

Course Settings

LTI Names

LTI names are truncated if they are longer than 160 characters.

Explanation: When a user enabled an LTI app with a long name, the name covered the edit button within the Apps tab. Canvas code has been updated to truncate long names; the full name can be viewed by hovering over the name of the LTI app.

Dashboard

Dashboard Need Grading Numbers

For instructors, the dashboard accurately shows the number of assignments that need grading.

Explanation: When an instructor graded an assignment, the “need grading” numbers on the dashboard to-do list were not updating correctly. Numbers on the course home page, however, were unaffected. Canvas code has been updated to update the cached count on the to-do list after an assignment has been graded.  

Discussions

Peer Review Indicators

Students can access peer reviews for graded discussions.

Explanation: When an instructor assigned a student peer review, students could not tell which graded discussion contained the peer review. Additionally, when a reminder appeared on the dashboard, the link generated an error notification. Canvas code has been updated to provide more indicators for peer reviews on the dashboard and on the Discussions Index Page.

ePortfolio

Pages

Canvas creates a new ePortfolio page if pages no longer exist.

Explanation: When a user deleted the last page of an ePortfolio, Canvas generated a page error. Canvas code has been updated to ensure there is always a default ePortfolio page.

Gradebook

Test Student Submissions

Users can publish courses even if test student submissions have been graded.

Explanation: In a published course, when an instructor created an assignment, viewed the assignment as the test student, and graded the assignment, the instructor was not able to unpublish the course. Canvas does not allow a course to be unpublished after student submissions have been graded. Canvas code has been updated to disregard test student submissions for unpublishing a course.

Modules

Modules Progress List

Instructors can view modules progress for all users in a course.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to view the module progress in a browser window without a scrollbar, the page would not display more than 50 students. Canvas code has been updated to support pagination on the modules progress list. 

Modules List

Users can view all modules in a course.

ExplanationWhen a user tried to view modules in a browser window without a scrollbar, the page would not display more than 10 modules. Canvas code has been updated to support pagination on the Modules page.

Quizzes

Quiz Previews

When a user previews a quiz, the quiz displays the correct points possible.

Explanation: When a user previewed a quiz, the points possible were not calculating correctly for quiz questions worth less than one point. Canvas code has been updated to address varying point values when previewing a quiz. 

Additional Time

Adding time to a quiz displays the number of additional minutes.

Explanation: When an instructor added time to a quiz for a student, the quiz displayed an empty space value instead of the number of minutes added to the quiz. This empty value disappeared when the page was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to display the added number of minutes.  

User Profile

Profile Pictures

Profile pictures added to a user’s account remain with the user’s account.

Explanation: When a user uploaded a new profile picture, the picture was displaying properly, but in Files, the profile picture jpg had not been updated with the correct image. Additionally, in some cases, profile pictures were affected in other accounts. Canvas code has been updated to include a namespace column for profile pictures, which indicates a specific name for the profile picture attachment in the account. This fix was released to production on 8/25/14.

Profile Edits

The Cancel button reverts any changes made to a user’s profile.

Explanation: When a user edited a user’s name or other information, clicking the Cancel button saved any changes made to the profile. Canvas code has been updated to prevent any undesired updates.

Syllabus

Responsive Design

Columns do not overlap when a browser window size is minimized.

Explanation: When a user minimizes the size of the browser window, the Syllabus columns overlapped. Canvas code has been updated to maintain appropriate padding between columns.

 

 

 

08/16/14 Canvas Production Release Notes Featuring Limited Quiz Result Views for Students

Erin Hallmark
posted this on Aug 11 16:35

In this production release (08/16), Quizzes makes it easier for instructors to control how many times a student can view quiz results, and the Rich Content Editor supports closed captions for full-screen videos.  

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. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. 

08.16.2014 New Feature Screencast from Instructure on Vimeo.

View the 08/16/14 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: 08/25/14
  • Production release notes: 09/02/14 (in observance of Labor Day)
  • Production release and documentation: 09/06/14

Follow the release schedule on the Canvas Updates calendar

 

Updated Features

Quizzes

Quiz Results Restriction

Instructors can select a new quiz option that lets students view the quiz results only once after each attempt. This option is also designed for instructors who require students to complete quizzes within proctored environments and want to limit quiz result views within that location.

 

Quiz.png
 

To enable this option for a quiz, select the Only Once After Each Attempt checkbox. Students will only be able to view the results immediately after they have completed the quiz. Once they navigate away from the quiz or refresh the page, students will see a message explaining that quiz results are protected and can no longer be viewed.

This option has no effect on instructors, who can always view student results. Additionally, this option may not be appropriate for quizzes that require manual grading, such as essay questions, where students would require additional views to see the updated results.

Notes:

  • The Only Once After Each Attempt option is independent of the Let Students See The Correct Answers option. If both checkboxes are selected, students can only view both their own responses and the correct answers one time. If the Let Students See The Correct Answers option is deselected, students will only be able to view their own responses one time.

  • As the Only Once option shows quiz results immediately after a student submits the quiz, the Only Once option will override any show or hide dates or times, so those fields are grayed out and are not available as part of that option. If an instructor wants to show or hide correct answers on any specific date or time, the Only Once option should not be selected.

Moderate Quiz Results

When a quiz is saved with the Only Once After Each Attempt option, instructors can use the Moderate Quiz feature to give students additional views to their quiz results. Moderate the quiz and select a student, then select the first checkbox to let a student see the quiz results one more time. Once the student has viewed the quiz results, the result extension will be reset and the results will be hidden again.

 

Quiz-Moderate.png
 

This moderate option is independent of any additional quiz attempts. If a student has been granted an extra attempt on a quiz, the student will be able to see the results of their quiz one more time as part of taking the quiz. The moderate quiz checkbox is only for seeing the results again; if this option is selected and students have also been granted an extra attempt on the quiz, students will be able to view the results before they take the quiz, as well as after they complete the quiz.

NoteIf students are allowed multiple attempts on a quiz, instructors may want to edit the quiz and select the Allow Multiple Attempts setting, which gives an option to let students see their quiz responses only after the last attempt.  

Rich Content Editor

Full-screen Closed Captions

Canvas supports closed captions for full-screen videos. When in full-screen mode, caption text is enlarged in proportion to the larger viewing area.

 

Other Updates

Account Settings

HTML5 Video Playback Feature Option  

Instead of using Flash, admins can prefer to use HTML5 for browser videos across their institution. This feature can be enabled in the Account Settings Feature Options tab. Browsers will display videos as HTML5 by default; however, if a browser does not support HTML5, it will use Flash as a backup.

Note: HTML5 Video Playback is a beta-quality feature option, meaning that it is available in your production environment but may continue to receive adjustments by our engineering team.

Assignments

Course Assignments Pagination

The Course Assignments API endpoint supports pagination. Any additional allowed parameters in the API call are also maintained in pagination links.  

User Settings

High Contrast User Theme Text Color

When users enable the high contrast theme in their user settings, all text color throughout Canvas defaults to a 4.5:1 contrast ratio, including text within search fields.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

Account Settings

Remove Icon Accessibility

The remove icon for Quiz IP address filters is labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: The icon to remove quiz IP address filters did not contain a description for screen readers and only referenced it as a link. Canvas code has been updated with a description label for this icon.

Reports Accessibility

Description links within the Reports tab are labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: The small question mark icons next to report names did not contain descriptions for screen readers and only referenced them as links. Canvas code has been updated with descriptive text for each icon.

Assignments

Expand and Collapse Accessibility (Student View)

Students can expand and collapse Assignment sections on the Assignments Index page using keyboard navigation.

Explanation: Students who use keyboard navigation were not able to navigate the Assignments Index page and expand and collapse Assignment sections. Canvas code has been updated to properly focus on expand and collapse controls.    

Course Imports

Discussions State

When copied or imported into a course, Discussions retain their previous published state.

Explanation: Discussions were always published on course copy even if the discussion was previously unpublished. Canvas code has been updated to respect the state of a discussion topic upon course copy.

Assignment Due Dates Adjustments

Assignments and Graded Discussions adjust due dates for all items regardless of how many times they have been imported into the course.

Explanation: When importing Assignments or Graded Discussions into a course where items had been deleted before (usually as a result of a user error on import), their due dates were not adjusted as part of the course import because they were not recognized as a new import. Canvas code has been updated to disregard prior import status and import all items consistently.

Dashboard

Recent Feedback

The Student sidebar Recent Feedback heading shows activity within the past two weeks.

Explanation: The link at the bottom of the Recent Feedback sidebar was set to show assignments taking place in the next two weeks instead of prior assignments that had already taken place. Canvas code has been updated to change the recent feedback text link to mention past activity instead of upcoming activity.

Prior Instructor Roles

Users with deleted instructor enrollments do not receive any student information for the course.

Explanation: Users who were previously enrolled in a course and assigned an instructor role were still receiving notifications for user submissions in the Recent Feedback sidebar, even when their instructor enrollment had been deleted. Canvas code has been updated to always remove the submission comment permission from deleted instructor enrollments.

Discussions

Available From and Until Fields Accessibility

The Available From and Until fields are labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: When a user created a new Discussion, the Available From or Until fields did not contain any descriptions for screen readers. Canvas code has been updated with labels for each field.

Peer Reviews

Students receive notifications when a peer reviewer is attached to a discussion. Notifications are sent regardless of whether the discussion contains a rubric.

Explanation: When an instructor required peer reviews for a graded discussion, Canvas was not sending notifications to students once a peer reviewer was assigned. Notifications were also not being sent if an instructor did not add a rubric to a graded discussion. Canvas code has been updated to always distribute notifications regarding peer reviews.

Gradebook

Message Students Null Text

When using the Message Students Who feature in the Gradebook, Null does not appear next to student names.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Message Students Who feature, Null was appearing next to the names of each student. Canvas code has been updated to adjust the javascript global command used for student name values.

Message Students Individual View Accessibility

In the Gradebook Individual View, the Message Students Who feature is labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: The Message Students Who button did not contain a label for screen readers and only referenced it as a text. Canvas code has been updated with descriptive text for the feature button.

Global Navigation

Grades

If an instructor is enrolled in more than one section within a course, the Global Navigation Grades link displays only one link to the course.

Explanation: When opening the Grades link within Global Navigation, instructors who are teaching more than one section within a course were seeing multiple course links. Canvas code has been updated to display one course link regardless of multiple section enrollments.

Groups

Groups Page Accessibility

Users can access all Group information using keyboard navigation.

Explanation: Students who use keyboard navigation were not able to completely navigate the Groups Page. Specifically, after joining, leaving, or switching groups, users did not receive a change confirmation, could not view all group details, and were not able to view the group member list. Canvas code has been updated to correct these accessibility concerns.

People

Email Address Error Message Accessibility

The error message regarding invalid email addresses is visible to screen readers.

Explanation: After entering an invalid email address when adding a user, the error message did not allow access to the Start Over button. Canvas code has been updated to properly read the error message.

Remove Enrollment Icon Accessibility

The Remove Enrollment link is labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: On a user’s profile page, the icon to remove enrollments as an admin did not contain a description for screen readers and only referenced it as a link. Canvas code has been updated with descriptive text for the icon.

Quizzes

Graded Date

Grades for student submissions do not post on future dates.

Explanation: After a student score was posted in the Gradebook, sometimes the grade would disappear; the Gradebook history would show that the grade had been posted on a future date. Canvas code has been updated to adjust the graded_at value according to current time zone for accurate date submissions.

Delete Uploaded File Accessibility

The button to delete an uploaded file is labeled for screen readers.

Explanation: In File Upload question types, the button to delete an uploaded file did not contain a description for screen readers and only referenced it as a link. Canvas code has been updated with descriptive text for the icon and to refer to the link as a button.

Quiz Previews

Quiz preview statistics do not appear in quiz results.

Explanation: When an instructor previewed and then submitted a quiz, the quiz results included the instructor preview as being from a logged out user. Canvas code has been updated to exclude instructor quiz previews when displaying quiz submissions.

Rubrics

Add Rubric Button

The Add Rubric button is always available in Outcomes. 

Explanation: When a user opened Outcomes and added a new rubric, the Add Rubric button would disappear until the browser window was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to always display the Add Rubric button in Outcomes.   

SpeedGrader

Chrome File Icon Tooltip

In Chrome, after viewing the tooltip for the File icon in SpeedGrader, the tooltip disappears.

Explanation: When using SpeedGrader in a Chrome browser window, users who hovered over the File icon generated the icon tooltip, but the tooltip would not disappear until the window was refreshed. Upon further investigation Canvas engineers discovered this behavior occurred because of a tooltip display bug within Chrome. Canvas code has been updated to close Chrome tooltips after their initial view.

iOS Browsers

Users who use Safari to view SpeedGrader on their mobile devices can scroll through all student submissions.

Explanation: iOS mobile users who viewed SpeedGrader using the Safari browser were not able to scroll vertically through student submissions. This behavior only occurred within Safari and did not affect the Canvas SpeedGrader app. Canvas code has been updated with an adjustment to the cascading style sheet.

Syllabus

Public User Views

Users who are not logged in to Canvas can view a syllabus if it i