Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-08-14)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Aug 14, 2017Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
Version 5Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

In this beta release, Canvas has new features in Authentication, DocViewer, Reports, the Rich Content Editor, and the Mobile User Interface. Updated features are also available in SpeedGrader and the Canvas APIs.


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.



  Updated Features




Admin Role Federated Attribute

All authentication methods that support federated attributes include a Canvas attribute for admin roles. This attribute only applies to admins at the root account level and not sub-accounts. More information can be found in the Authentication Providers API.


Logout Page

When a user logs out of Canvas, the user is redirected to the login page for the last authenticated account. This change helps users log back in to Canvas using the same authentication provider.


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: CAS Protocol Support for Logout URLs 


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

When a user logged out of Canvas and the user’s institution included several authentication methods, the logout page always redirected users to the Canvas authentication login page even if Canvas authentication was not the primary method. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the login page for the last authenticated account.




Canvas DocViewer can be used in the student submission details page and SpeedGrader.


Point and Area Annotation Comments

This change was deployed to the production environment on August 9.

To save an annotation, Point and Area annotations do not require comments. Comments can be added to the annotation like all other annotation types.


Session Expiration Warning

When a user creates annotations in DocViewer, Canvas will display a session expiration warning at 9 hours 50 minutes, followed by a 5-minute and 1-minute warnings until the 10 hour limit has been reached. This change helps users be able to save their work before the session automatically refreshes at 10 hours. A session can be restarted at any time by refreshing the submission page.



SIS Export Course Format

In the SIS Export report, the courses.csv file includes a column for course format. For each course, the report displays if a course format has been specified.


Course format can be set in the Canvas interface in Course Settings and through the Courses API.


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Include Course Format in SIS Export Report 



Rich Content Editor

Insert/Edit Media

The Rich Content Menu toolbar includes an option to insert or edit media. This change allows users to easily add online media content to a course without having to use the HTML Editor.


  • The General tab includes fields for the media source location and dimensions. The media can be resized and set to constrain size proportions.

  • The Embed tab includes an HTML field for embed code.

  • The Advanced tab includes fields for providing alternative source URL(s) and poster image information. Alternative sources pointing to different video encodings can be specified to be used as a fallback if the browser doesn’t support the initial encoding offered. The poster URL source indicates the image that displays until the user clicks the play button. If the poster option is blank, the first frame of the source video will be used as the poster image.


Links from common providers (like YouTube and Vimeo) often link to custom media players, rather than directly to video files, and will not recognize any content added to the alternative source and posted image options.


Rich Content Editor insert and edit media window with options


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Embed Object button in Rich Content Editor 



User Interface

Mobile Login Page

The mobile login page in Canvas apps has been updated for design consistency with the desktop login page.


The mobile page displays the main text color (Login In button) and link color (Forgot Password link) as set in the Theme Editor Global Branding. All other changes must be managed through a custom CSS desktop file.


Canvas mobile login page



  Other Updates




Performance Updates

SpeedGrader has been optimized for performance in large courses and includes an increased submission threshold per student submission. Previously averaging at 800 submissions, the current minimum threshold has improved to 1500 submissions. Assignments with more than 1500 submissions may result in delayed SpeedGrader loading times.






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



Submissions API

In the Submissions API, the List Submissions for Multiple Assignments endpoint supports the workflow_state parameter, which shows the current state of the submission.


SIS Import Format Documentation

Blueprint Course ID

In the SIS Import Format Documentation, the courses.csv includes the option to add a blueprint course SIS ID and create a course association. This option is only supported for institutions that have enabled Blueprint Courses.


Diffing Mode Deletion

Admins can use the diffing threshold for their SIS import file to manage deleted objects. During a term, batch mode may be used often, and if a partial file is sent, many objects can become deleted. Using change_threshold to equal a specific number will only delete objects if the number of objects to delete is less than the percentage of the number of the objects for the term. For example: If change_threshold set to 5 and the term has 100 courses, and batch_mode would delete more than 5 of the courses, the batch will abort before the courses are deleted. The change_threshold can be set to any integer between 1 and 100 and also impacts diffing mode.

13 people found this helpful