Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-07-05)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jul 5, 2017Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Aug 3, 2017
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In this beta release, Canvas has new features for Assignments and Pages with a new sidebar feature in all course index pages. Updated features are also available in Assignments, the Calendar, Conferences, the Course Home Page, Rich Content Editor, and SIS Import page. Other updates have been made to content export pages and the entire Canvas user interface.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Flash Content Reminder: Canvas displays Flash content as supported within major browsers. Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox default to HTML5 as the preferred method for displaying website content, which promotes a faster, more secure browsing experience. These browsers will eventually block all Flash content. For best performance in Canvas, course content should be designed to support HTML5. Recorded media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers. Any recorded content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser. 

 

Advanced CSS and JavaScript users: Canvas releases may include undocumented changes that affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.

 

  New Features

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Courses

Assignment Duplication

Assignments can be duplicated in the Assignments index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every available assignment. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the assignment name.

 

Assignments Settings menu allows users to duplicate an assignment

 

Duplicating an assignment defaults the copied assignment to an unpublished status. All items in the assignment are duplicated including the name, description, point value, and options, except for the following situations:

  • Copied peer review assignments retain the peer review setting and Assign Review date, but the number of reviews per user will be set to zero.
  • Copied assignments are always assigned to everyone in the course; differentiated assignments are not retained for individual users, groups, or sections.
    • If a differentiated assignment includes an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment retains the Everyone Else due date, if any.
      If a differentiated assignment does not include an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment does not include a due date.
    • If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.
  • Copied external tool (LTI) assignments may need to be reconfigured.

 

If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.

 

Note: Assignments currently cannot be duplicated for discussions and quizzes. These assignment types do not include a Duplicate option in the Settings menu and will be added in a future release.

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Copy an Assignment 

 

Pages Duplication

Pages can be duplicated in the Pages index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every page. When a page is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the page name.

 

Pages Settings menu allows users to duplicate a page

 

Duplicating a page defaults the copied page to an unpublished status. All items in the page are duplicated including the page name, content, and options.

 

If a page is used in MasteryPaths, the MasteryPaths setting is also enabled in the copied page. Additionally, any MasteryPaths page also displays in the Assignments index page.

 

If a page is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the page after the page is refreshed.

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Create template pages 

 

Course Setup Tutorial

This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22) and is now being implemented for all Canvas accounts.

When viewing the main Canvas index pages, new instructors using Canvas for the first time can view a course setup tutorial, which shows the purpose of the page and what to do next. This feature helps new instructors become familiar with Canvas and replaces the existing course setup checklist.

 

Tutorial Users

The course setup tutorial displays to new Canvas instructors. New instructors are defined as users with instructor roles created in an account after the new tutorial feature has been enabled.

 

Tutorial Display
The tutorial can be collapsed from view and is persistent across Canvas pages, so if the tutorial is collapsed in one page, it will stay collapsed until expanded again.

 

Instructors can end the tutorial series in any page using the End Tutorial button.

 

Note: Ending the tutorial in one course applies to all other courses.

 

Example of the course setup tutorial in the Announcements page for instructors

 

The Course Setup Tutorial feature option displays in each instructor's User Settings page. New instructors can view the tutorial in new courses again by enabling this feature option.

 

Existing instructors can also use this feature option to view the course setup tutorial at any time. Otherwise, existing instructors do not view the tutorial. User feature options cannot be managed by admins.

 

Note: This user feature option only displays for users enrolled as instructors. For instance, a user enrolled as an admin wouldn’t see the feature option unless the user were enrolled in a course with an instructor enrollment.

 

User Feature Options page with the Course Setup Tutorial option for instructors

 

 

  Updated Features

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Disable Sync to SIS

This update applies to institutions using the new Canvas SIS integration settings for assignment-level grade passback in Canvas. For full details about SIS integration settings, please see Canvas Release: SIS Integration Settings.

For courses that sync data to a student information system (SIS), the Assignments page includes the option to disable sync for all assignments. Located in the Settings menu, the Disable Sync option allows a user to disable sync settings for all assignments without having to disable each assignment individually.

 

The Disable Sync option only displays if the page includes at least one assignment that is enabled to be synced with the SIS. Otherwise, the Disable Sync option does not display in the Settings menu.

 

Assignments Page Settings menu with the Disable Sync to SIS option

 

The Disable Sync option applies to all assignments in the page. If the course also uses Multiple Grading Periods, the Assignments page can be filtered by grading period.

 

Once selected and confirmed, the option immediately disables the assignments to be synced with the SIS. If an assignment needs to be enabled to be synced with the SIS, the assignment will need to be enabled manually.

 

Calendar

Assignments Sync to SIS

This update applies to institutions using the new Canvas SIS integration settings for assignment-level grade passback in Canvas. For full details about SIS integration settings, please see Canvas Release: SIS Integration Settings.

For courses that sync data to a student information system (SIS), course assignments created in the Calendar include a checkbox for SIS syncing. This change allows a user to enable the option to sync the assignment to the institution’s SIS. If the selected course does not sync assignments to the SIS, the checkbox does not display in the window.

 

Calendar Assignments window includes sync to SIS option

 

If an admin has enabled any SIS validations for assignment names and due dates, the assignment cannot be created if the assignment displays any validation errors.

 

The assignment does not need to be published to select the Sync to SIS checkbox. The setting will be retained in the assignment, but the sync icon will not display in the Assignment page until the assignment is published.

 

Conferences

Observer Invitations

Observers can be invited to participate in course conferences with all course members or individually. In the Conferences creation page, the Invite All Course Members default includes observer enrollments. Observers can be individually added or removed from a conference invitation by deselecting the checkbox.

 

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a user created a conference in a course and wanted to invite an observer individually, deselecting the Invite All Course Members checkbox did not display the names of observer enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to display observers in the course enrollments list.

 

Course Home Page

Modules Course Home Page Default

This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22) will be enabled for all Canvas accounts.

In new courses, Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. This change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. Instructors are not required to use Modules for the home page and can choose another home page layout.

 

The Modules page includes two links to help new instructors either create a new module or add existing content through a course import. If Modules is set to the Home page but no modules content exists, Canvas will prompt the instructor to either publish a module or choose a different home page layout.

 

Home page with Modules as course layout default

 

Rich Content Editor

Sidebar Enhancements

This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07) and made generally available in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-03). Sidebar enhancements is available in all beta environments. Beginning with Free-for-Teacher accounts on Wednesday, July 5, this feature will also be enabled across production environments by the Canvas engineering team on a per-account basis.

The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus display in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes. The sidebar enhancements include a visual style update and pagination support.

 

The sidebar has been updated with backend improvements and some small interface changes:

  • Each selector tab supports pagination, and content sections include scrollbars.
  • In the Links tab, Pages content is displayed alphabetically. The link to create a link to a new page has been removed, so new pages need to be created from the Pages index page.
  • The Files tab displays all files alphabetically.
  • When usage rights are enabled for files, the Files and Images tabs display usage rights options.

 

SIS Import

Last Batch Error CSV File

For the last imported SIS file, the SIS Import page allows admins to download all errors and warnings in a CSV file. The SIS Import page truncates after 50 errors and warnings in the Last Batch section.

 

The download icon only displays for new SIS imports and does not apply to any previous SIS imports.

 

SIS Import page with CSV export icon

 

  Other Updates

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Courses

Content Export Expiration Clarification

After an initial content export, the export expires after 30 days and can no longer be downloaded. The text noted in the export page has been clarified as not being able to be downloaded after 30 days.

Content exports are located in the content exports page in Course Settings, and the download assignment submissions page in User Settings.

 

Content Export Expiration Clarification

 

 

User Interface

Canvas Font Size Update

The base font size in Canvas has been increased from 14px to 16px. This change improves accessibility and text legibility, and all other font sizes have been increased accordingly. Please note that some Canvas areas with multiple text components may still display smaller font sizes. Instructure designers are still adjusting CSS for these areas and will update them in future releases.

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Increase default font size 

 

Canvas Icon Update

The icons throughout Canvas have been updated with a new Instructure-owned icon library. All new Instructure icons default as line vs solid icons.

 

Dashboard Course Card Width

When the Course Setup Tutorial feature is enabled in an account, all course cards are responsive to the full width of the browser. Depending on a user's browser's resolution, the Dashboard could display more than three course cards in a single row.

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: UI Enhancement: Course card spacing should be responsive to the width of the dashboard 

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