Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-06-12)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jun 12, 2017Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has new features for course management and document previewing and annotations. Updated features are also available in People and the Rich Content Editor, and non-functionality changes have been made in Course Settings and Grades. For integration users, changes have been made to APIs and JavaScript functionality.


Features are subject to change based on user feedback and testing. Please follow the release notes for the latest information.


The beta environment is for testing new and updated features, which are subject to change at any time. Beta features will be available in production environments as noted in the Canvas release schedule.


Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts unless otherwise indicated.


The Canvas product team welcomes feedback according to Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines.


For advanced JavaScript users: This release includes changes to Canvas that may affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.


  New Features



Blueprint Courses

Blueprint Courses are managed by the Blueprint Course feature option, which applies to the entire account. Admins can enable Blueprint Courses in Account Settings.

Blueprint Courses makes it easy for administrators or designers to deploy, update, and maintain course design templates or components across any number of courses or instructors. For an individual institution, Blueprint Courses allows Canvas admins to create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.


Any items that are not locked can be managed individually by a course instructor. Content that can be managed by an instructor is not overwritten when the Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected.

For more information about Blueprint Courses, please see the Canvas Release: Blueprint Courses document.



release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Bulk Copy Shell Course to All CoursesEasier Importing/Exporting Content from One Course to Another 



Canvas DocViewer

In the Beta environment, DocViewer must be re-enabled each week by our engineering team. Tools may not be available immediately on Monday mornings.

DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences. This feature replaces the current Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance.


For more information about Canvas DocViewer, please see the Canvas Release: Canvas DocViewer document.





  Updated Features




Group Leader Context Card

This feature requires the Student Context Card feature option, which applies to an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature in Account Settings.

Group leader links support student context cards. When an instructor opens a group set in a course and clicks the name of a group leader, the student’s context card displays in the sidebar. If the Student Context Card feature is not enabled for an institution, clicking the group leader’s name links to the student’s user details page.



Rich Content Editor

This update applies to institutions using the Remote Version of the Rich Content Editor and Sidebar account-level feature option, which is already enabled in Pages and the Syllabus but is currently optional in all other Canvas areas. Canvas admins can enable full Canvas availability for the Rich Content Editor Sidebar in their account by contacting their Canvas Customer Success Manager.

In the Content Selector Links tab, the Link to New Page link only displays to users who can edit pages. The Content Selector displays in any area of Canvas with the Rich Content Editor, such as course discussions. When a student views a discussion and creates a reply, the student cannot view the Link to New Page link unless the student can edit a course page. This change does not apply to groups, where students are always given access to edit pages.



  Other Updates



Course Settings

The buttons in the sidebar have been changed for consistency with other sidebars and lists throughout Canvas. This change also improves accessibility in the Course Settings page.




Assignment Groups and Total Points

In the Student Grades page, the Out of Column displays assignment group point values in courses where students are allowed to view total grades.



If a student is not allowed to view total grades, the assignment group displays the total percentage for the assignment group only. Total grades can be restricted by an instructor in Course Settings by hiding the totals in the student grades summary. For courses involved in Multiple Grading Periods, admins can choose to not display totals when students view the All Grading Periods option.







For details about using Canvas API documentation, please see the Canvas API Policy page.



Account Reports API

In the Account Reports API, the report object includes the current line count being written to the report and updates every 1000 records.


Files API

In the Files API, the Delete File endpoint provides clarification about deleting a file and how the call is irreversible. Moreover, content can only be deleted from the production environment.


Outcomes API

In the Outcomes API, the Update an Outcome endpoint allows users with the Manage Learning Outcomes permission to update text fields via the API, even if the Outcome has already been assessed. Previously, any Outcome with an associated student assessment could not be updated or edited. Supported fields include title, display_name, description, and ratings[][description]. Any other changes generate an error message.



Accordion jQueryUI Component

As announced in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-02-18)JavaScript modules are loaded into Canvas using Webpack instead of RequireJS. As of this release, accordion widgets are no longer supported as a jQueryUI component.


Admins who are not able to make any JavaScript adjustments can maintain any existing accordion styles by adding widgetize-canvas-lms-user-content code to their Theme Editor JavaScript file. This code does not turn content into a widget but simply maintains accordion styling.




JavaScript files that still rely on Canvas jQueryUI will still view a deprecation warning when using .dialogue, .draggable, .resizable, .sortable, or .tabs widget class names, all of which will eventually no longer be supported in future releases.


Ultimately, institutions who rely on custom code should add their own UI library to the custom JavaScript file uploaded to the Theme Editor.


LTI Variable Substitutions

Launch Parameter Privacy Configurations

Updated content item launch lis_launch parameters are now sent depending on the configured tool’s privacy level. Prior to this update, privacy information had to be added using variable expansions in the tool configuration.

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