Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-09-25)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Sep 25, 2017Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has updated features in Assignments and Rubrics. Other updates are also available in Analytics, SpeedGrader, the User Interface, and the Assignments API.


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 Canvas release schedule.


The Canvas product team welcomes feedback according to Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines. Release notes comments are subject to release notes comment policies.


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. Any affected content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser. Using the camera and microphone to record media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers.


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




Student Late and Missing Status Labels

The submission details page and student Grades page do not display labels for missing or late submissions. This change reverts the labels for students introduced in the Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-08-05) and helps minimize confusion for students when their instructors create online assignments that can be submitted online or on paper in class. Canvas always marks online assignments as missing when no submission is made.


Student Grades Page with No Missing Label


For instructors, SpeedGrader has not been affected and continues to display missing and late labels for online assignments. If an assignment has not been submitted by the due date, the assignment is identified as missing. If the assignment is submitted after the due date, the assignment is identified as late.


Student Missing Late Label in SpeedGrader


Note: Institutions that are participating in the New Gradebook focus group are not affected by this change. Students in courses with the New Gradebook enabled will continue to view the missing and late labels. If necessary, instructors can turn off the New Gradebook and return to the standard Gradebook at any time. In a future release, New Gradebook will allow instructors to manually manage missing and late labels for student assignment submissions.


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Missing Label Placed Incorrectly/Submission on paper and online option 



Rubric Criterion Range

This feature requires the Rubric Criterion Range feature option, which applies to an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature in Account Settings.

Rubric criteria can include a point range instead of just an individual point value. This feature is available in both account- and course-level rubrics.


When the Range checkbox is allowed and selected, each rating displays a maximum and minimum point value. Ranges are managed the same way as non-range rubrics. Ratings can be divided, edited, and removed individually, and total point value changes automatically adjust for all rating values.


Rubric Range Checkbox


When a rubric is added to an assignment, range options are not displayed if the free-form comment option is selected.


Rubric Range Checkbox with Free-form Comments


In SpeedGrader, rubric values can be selected by entire range. Students can also view the ranges in the assignment details page and when viewing the rubric in the Grades page. The first value in the range is assigned for the point value.


Example of a rubric range in SpeedGrader


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Rubric with Point Ranges 



  Other Updates




Term List Order

In the Account Analytics page, the Terms menu is displayed in alphabetical order. This change helps align consistency with Term ordering across Canvas.



Performance Update

SpeedGrader has been optimized for performance in large courses and includes a JavaScript improvement for loading students in the student menu. Although all values for an assignment are loaded and saved in the browser to reduce load time, the browser JavaScript inefficiently managed values when switching students. Instead of updating for all students, the student menu is only updated where a student’s status could change and only updates affected students accordingly.


User Interface

Bootstrap Styling

To improve typography and consistent user interface patterns in Canvas, Canvas engineers are actively removing Bootstrap, a third-party framework, from various areas of Canvas. Institutions who rely on Bootstrap code or styling should add links to their custom CSS or JavaScript files in the Theme Editor following the documentation on Bootstrap's site.



Bootstrap Style Removal and UI Change in Quiz Moderate Page


Icon Updates 

Blueprint Lock Icon

In Blueprint Courses, the Locked icon in associated courses has been changed from blue to gray. The Unlocked icon is still gray in both courses.


Blueprint Course icon color in Blueprint Course and associated course


Publish & Unpublish Icons

The Publish and Unpublish icons in Canvas have been updated in the Instructure icon library. Based on additional user testing of icons, weights, and styles, these icon changes enhance visibility and status clarity.


Publish and Unpublish icons compared to production and beta environments


DocViewer Delete Icon

In DocViewer, when a user creates an annotation, the Delete icon displays above the annotation. Previously the icon displayed below the annotation, which obscured the annotation content. This change is currently available in the beta and production environments for all users.


DocViewer Delete Icon displays above annotation






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



Assignments API

In the Assignments API, the assignment[integration_data] endpoint clarifies that the endpoint is intended for use by SIS integrations.

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