Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-11-27)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Nov 27, 2017Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has updated features in Account Navigation, Assignments, Groups, and the New Gradebook. Small design updates have been made in the Canvas interface for Collaborations, the Dashboard, and the Rich Content Editor, and other updates have been made to Canvas languages, APIs, and other integration documentation.

The Login path for non-Canvas authentication involves a deprecation that 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



Account Navigation

At the account level, the Analytics link has been moved from the Course and People page sidebars to the Account Navigation Menu. This link is only viewable to admins who have permission to view account analytics.


Analytics link moved to Account Navigation



Assignment Group Contents Move Menu

The Assignment Group Settings menu includes a Move Content option, which moves all assignment content items in an assignment group to another group. This functionality is designed for consistency with other Move-To menus in Canvas.


Note: Move-To option for assignment groups has been renamed to the Move Group option. This change helps clarify functionality between moving an assignment and moving an assignment group.


New Move Contents option for the assignment group Settings menu


When a user selects the Move Content option, the sidebar menu asks the user to select the new assignment group, then select the placement of all assignment group contents. If the Before or After option is selected, the user can select the placement of the assignments collectively within the assignment group. 


Any individual assignments that need to be moved within the new assignment group can be moved using drag and drop or using the Move-To option in the assignment's Settings menu.


Move Content option with drop-down placement menus



Student Inactive Status

Instructors can view the inactive label for students within a group. This change helps instructors identify inactive students in a group and move group memberships, if necessary.


Instructor view of groups and inactive status for students


In the student Groups page, students can view the names of other students in their same group, even if a student is inactive. However, the inactive status is not identified to students.


Student view of groups not showing inactive status for inactive students


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Add 'Inactive' label on the Groups page 


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

When a student tried to join a self-signup group with a group limit, and the group included an inactive student, the group displayed one fewer member than was actually in the group. If the group was full, the group did not display a lock icon to students indicating the group was full, and attempting to join the group did not retain membership after the page was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to display all user names in the student signup group and display the full group count to students. For users with instructor roles, the inactive label displays for inactive students.


New Gradebook

Grade Detail Tray Concluded Enrollment Notice

This update applies to institutions using the New Gradebook. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings and enable the New Gradebook on a course-by-course basis. For questions about the New Gradebook, please reference New Gradebook Users Group.

When the New Gradebook displays concluded enrollments, all grades for those enrollments are read only. The Grade Detail Tray cannot be opened for a concluded student. However, if the Grade Detail Tray is open for an assignment and an instructor switches to the concluded student, the Grade Detail Tray displays a message that the student’s enrollment has been concluded.


New Gradebook showing grade detail tray notice for concluded enrollment



  Other Updates



Canvas Interface

Design Updates

Small design changes have been made to the following Canvas feature areas:

  • Collaborations: The default Collaborations page does not include any background images, and the text has been aligned to the left. This change does not affect institutions using the Google Apps or Office 365 LTI.
  • Dashboard: In the To Do List, divider lines are only placed below each section heading and not between each individual item.
  • Rich Content Editor: The Rich Content Editor menu includes an updated Accessibility Checker icon.




Italian (Italiano) has been added as an available language in Canvas.






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


Assignments API


In the Assignments API, the List Assignments endpoint includes the order_by parameter, which determines the order of assignments. Assignments can be ordered by position or alphabetically by name.


Courses API


The Courses API returns the sis_import_id for a course object. This field is only included if the user has permission to manage SIS information.


Discussion Topics API

Title value in order_by

In the Discussion Topics API, the List Discussion Topics endpoint supports the title value in the order_by=title parameter, which allows discussions to be ordered alphabetically by title.


Enrollment Terms API


The Enrollment Terms API returns the sis_import_id for a term. This field is only included if the user has permission to manage SIS information.


Sections API


In the Sections API, the Edit Course Section endpoint supports the course_section[integration_id] parameter, which returns the integration ID for a section. This parameter can only be used by users with permission to manage SIS information.



Canvas Login Path POST Requests

This change involves a deprecation that requires user attention.

The /login path will stop accepting direct POST requests in the 2018-01-06 release. Any custom LDAP forms should be updated to avoid using this path. This completes the restructuring of login paths as noted in the 2015-06-06 release. This behavior only affects institutions with a login form on a non-Canvas page making a POST request to Canvas with a username and password.


For institutions not using Canvas authentication, posting to /login/canvas will not be valid if Canvas authentication is disabled. The URL endpoint must be updated for the authentication type:

  • LDAP: POST to /login/ldap
  • SAML: POST to /login/saml




In the OAuth2 Documentation, the OAuth2 flow supports the replace_tokens parameter. This value is optional. When enabled, existing access tokens issued for a developer key/secret will be destroyed and replaced with the new token that is returned from the request.


SIS Import Format Documentation

Integration_id and user_integration_id

In the SIS Import Format Documentation, the Accounts, Terms, Courses, and Sections CSV files support the integration_id field. This field was previously only documented in the Users CSV file.


The Enrollments CSV supports the user_integration_id field.


In the Courses CSV, the account_id field is sticky.

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