Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-11-06)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Nov 6, 2017Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Nov 16, 2017
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In this beta release, Canvas has updated features in Account Settings, Course Settings, the Gradebook, Modules, Pages, People, Rubrics, and Users. The release also includes additional updates for Notifications and changes to API and external tool documentation.

The Users API involves an attribute that has been deprecated and requires user attention.

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

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Account Settings

Help Menu Observer and Unenrolled User Availability

This change was deployed to the production environment on November 6.

In the Help Menu, links can be made available to users with Observer roles and unenrolled users who do not yet have any Canvas enrollments.

 

For clarification, the Everyone option has replaced the option previously labeled as Users. TA and Designer roles are still included in the Teachers option.

 

Account Settings Help Menu Availability for Observers and Unenrolled Users

 

Course Settings

Move-To Menu Sidebar

The Move-To Menu within the Course Settings Navigation page has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas.

 

When a user clicks the Settings menu for a course navigation link and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu first asks the user to select the placement of the navigation link. If the Before or After option is selected, the user can select the order of the navigation link compared to other links. The selected menu change is applied immediately in the Navigation page.

 

Previously the Move-To Menu included both the navigation item and placement fields in the same window.

 

course Settings Move To Navigation Option

 

Gradebook

New Gradebook

This feature requires the New Gradebook feature option, which can be enabled on a course-by-course basis. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.

Admins can allow the New Gradebook for their institution on a course-by-course basis. The New Gradebook is a beta feature that allows instructors to view an improved version of the Gradebook. This feature makes grading more flexible and intuitive and elevates the Gradebook user experience.

 

When the feature option is enabled at the course level in Course Settings, New Gradebook replaces the current Gradebook functionality. However, New Gradebook can be disabled at any time without affecting Gradebook data.

 

New Gradebook with Grade Detail Tray

 

When New Gradebook is enabled, the student Grades page includes the status column, which displays late and missing labels to students.

 

The New Gradebook currently offers the following enhancements:

  • Additional views to sort and filter assignments
  • Custom color status options
  • improved keyboard accessibility on grade entry

 

For more information about the New Gradebook, please visit New Gradebook Users Group and the Canvas Release: New Gradebook document.

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: New Gradebook feature ideas list

 

Modules

Module Items Duplication

Assignments, graded discussions, and pages can be duplicated within a module. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every supported module item. When a module item is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the item name.

 

Duplicating a module item defaults the copied item to an unpublished status. The item’s name and other supported options are duplicated except in situations as indicated by the item type. For details about specific item duplication limitations, please see Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-07-15) (assignments and pages), and Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-10-28) (graded discussions).

 

Items duplicated in the Modules page follow the same behavior as a new item created in a module. The item displays in the Modules page but is also visible in the item’s respective index page.

 

Note: If applicable, the Modules page displays any Blueprint Course icons after the page is refreshed.

 

Modules Page Module Items Duplication Menu

 

Move-To Menu Sidebar

The Move-To Menu within the Modules page has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas.

 

When a user clicks the Settings menu for a module and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu first asks the user to select the placement of the module. If the Before or After option is selected, the user can select the order of the module compared to other modules. The selected menu change is applied immediately in the Modules page.

 

Previously the Move-To Menu for modules only moved a module before or after an existing module and did not provide any other location options.

 

Modules Move To Modules Option

 

When a user clicks the Settings menu for a module item and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu first asks the user to select the new module, then select the placement of the module item. The selected menu change is applied immediately in the Modules page.

 

Previously the Move-To Menu included both the module and the placement fields in the same window.

 

Module Item Move To Option

 

MasteryPaths Refresh Page Message

When a course has enabled MasteryPaths and an assignment is processing, the Next button in the modules progression bar displays to refresh the page. This change helps notify students about progressing to the next module item.

 

Pages

Front Page Removal Option

Users can remove a page as the Front Page in a course. This feature allows instructors to remove the Front Page designation and allow the Pages Course Navigation link to direct to the Pages Index Page.

 

Note: If a Course Home Page is set to the Front Page, removing the Front Page will automatically change the Course Home Page to the Recent Activity Stream.

 

Pages Remove as Front Page Option in Settings

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Remove Front Page tag from Pages 

 

People

Move-To Menu Sidebar

The Move-To Menu for users within a group has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas.

 

When an instructor clicks the Settings menu for a user in a group and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu asks the instructor to select the new group for the user. The selected menu change is applied immediately to the group.

 

Previously the Move-To Menu displayed the list of available groups as a window in the middle of the groups page.

 

People Page Groups Move To Option

 

Rubrics

Criterion Duplication

Criteria can be duplicated within a rubric. This feature allows instructors and course designers to easily copy and modify existing criteria.

 

The duplication option is displayed as part of the link to add a new criterion. When a criterion is copied, the criterion is duplicated exactly as the original criterion, including the criterion title, ratings, and point value, and placed at the bottom of the rubric. Outcomes added to a rubric can also be duplicated in the rubric. 

 

Rubrics Criterion Duplication Option

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Duplicating Rating Scales in the Same Rubric 

 

Users

Act as User Audit Log Message

In the Act as User page, the page description includes clarification that audit logs record information about any user who acts as another user: However, audit logs record that you were the one who performed the actions on behalf of this user.

 

This clarification was previously omitted as part of the new Act as User page.

 

Act as User Message with Audit Log

 

 

  Other Updates

  BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Notifications

Responsive Email Design

Emails for Canvas notifications include responsive HTML and CSS for mobile devices. Previously emails were set with a fixed width and did not scale for devices with smaller screens.

 

Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Responsive Email Messages

 

 

  Platform/Integration

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

 

API

Accounts API

The Accounts API allows subaccounts to be deleted. Accounts cannot be deleted if they contain active courses or active subaccounts.

 

Assignments API

The Assignments API returns the long_description in the RubricRating object and the criterion_use_rating in the RubricCriteria object.

 

Courses API

The Courses API displays whether a course is a Blueprint course and the restrictions associated with the course.

 

Users API

This API involves an attribute that has been deprecated and requires user attention.

The Users API has removed the sis_login_id attribute. This attribute was previously deprecated in 2013. Any applications using the sis_login_id attribute should replace the deprecated attribute with the login_id attribute.

 

External Tools

LTI Variable Substitutions

LTI Variable Substitutions includes the following three substitution variables:

  • com.instructure.brandConfigJSON returns the brand config JSON for the launching context.
  • com.instructure.Editor.contents returns the contents of the Rich Content Editor associated with the content item launch.
  • com.instructure.Editor.selection returns the contents the user has selected in the Rich Content Editor associated with the content item launch.
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