Release Notes Changes
- Added DocViewer: Single Page Comments
- Added Files: Microsoft Office 365 Files Access Update
In this beta release, Canvas has new features in Assignments, Grades, and Users. Updated features are also available in Commons, Developer Keys, DocViewer, Microsoft Office LTI Files, and Permissions. Other Updates have been made for Pages, Quizzes.Next, SpeedGrader, and User Settings (international users only). API changes are noted in the API Change Log.
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 as available in web browsers. Features are subject to change at any time. Beta features will be available in production environments as noted in Canvas release schedule.
- Not all features will apply to mobile apps, and some functionality may be implemented in mobile apps at a later date.
- Mobile features are updated and announced separately according to app and device in the Mobile release notes.
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.
- New Features
- Updated Features
- Other Updates
Anonymous Moderated Grading
This feature requires the Moderated Grading and Anonymous Grading feature options, which can be enabled for an entire account or on a course-by-course basis. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.
The current anonymous and moderated grading features have been updated to provide improved assignment flexibility with fully anonymized, multiple grader anonymity, and moderated options. Additionally, moderated grading has been simplified for a better user experience.
For more information about anonymous moderated grading, please see the Canvas Release: Anonymous Moderated Grading document.
Canvas Community contributions: multiple moderated grading feature ideas
This feature requires the Non-Scoring Rubrics feature option, which can be enabled for an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.
Rubrics can be created without point values to create a non-scoring rubric. This feature promotes learning engagement by helping students focus on assignment feedback instead of point values. Additionally, improvements have been made to the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook interfaces for a simplified user experience.
At the account level, the rubrics page allows admins to customize learning mastery ratings for their institution.
For more information about non-scoring rubrics, please see the Canvas Release: Non-Scoring Rubrics document.
Self-Registration Observer Pairing Codes
This update applies to institutions who have enabled self-registration with Canvas authentication.
Institutions that have enabled self-registration can use pairing codes to pair students with observers. This update replaces the current process for linking an observer to a student and does not require the observer to know a student’s username or password. Students can automatically generate pairing codes for themselves, and account admins can generate pairing codes for all students.
Other admins and instructors can generate pairing codes for students if the Generate Observer Pairing Codes for Students permission is enabled for their role. This permission is disabled by default and cannot be enabled for students.
Note: Currently pairing codes can only be used in the Canvas web browser. This feature will not be supported until the Parent app 2.0 update, which will be available in a future release.
Pair with Observer Button
Students can generate a pairing code by using the Pair with Observer button from their User Settings page. This button will generate a pairing code that the student can give to the observer.
Other user roles with the pairing code permission enabled can generate a pairing code using the Pair with Observer button in the User Details page of any student.
Observer Pairing Code
Pairing codes are six-digit alphanumeric codes that will expire after 24 hours. There is no limit to the amount of pairing codes that can be created by a user.
Observers can use a pairing code to pair with a student in the Observing page in their User Settings.
Canvas Commons updates will be included in the Canvas release notes. Commons-specific release notes have been discontinued.
Grade/Level Search Filter Design Update
In Canvas Commons, the Grade/Level search filter includes an updated design using checkboxes to filter search results. This change allows users to select specific grade levels when searching for resources in Commons and provides improved accessibility for all users.
API Key Management and Token Scoping
This feature requires the Developer Key Management and Scoping feature option, which can be enabled for an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.
Admins can manage the state and actions of API keys created for third-party tools. These changes allows admins to control direct access and specific API endpoints for a third-party tool associated with their institution. Previously, all API permissions were scoped to the role of the user, and the same permissions were always shared with the third party tool.
Developer Keys can only be managed by users with the Developer Keys permission. Additionally, developer Keys are only available at the root account level and are not currently available for sub accounts.
Developer Keys page includes two tabs: account and inherited. Account keys are keys created and managed at the account level by account admins. Inherited keys are keys created and managed at a global level by Instructure staff for all accounts.
To avoid breaking existing integrations, inherited keys issued prior to this release are opt-out only; newly generated inherited keys will be opt-in. However, if a key is grayed out, it has been enabled globally and cannot be modified on a specific account level.
Admins can control the state of each key type as being on or off, which enables or disables access for the third-party tool. Additional management benefits include visibility details for each account-specific key and an improved user interface.
The state of new developer keys, whether account-specific or inherited, defaults to off.
As part of creating a new developer key, scopes for all API endpoints are disabled, which allows tokens to access all endpoints available to the authorizing user.
To enforce scopes, click the Enforce Scopes button.
To scope all Read Only endpoints, select the Read Only checkbox, which will automatically select all GET endpoints for the developer token.
To customize API scopes, admins can search for specific endpoints or scroll down the list of endpoints. To select all endpoints in a scope, click the checkbox next to the scope name. All selected request types for an API endpoint—GET, PUT, POST, or DELETE—display to the right of the scope name. However, endpoints can be selected individually by selecting the associated checkbox. The scope name will display the selected request types.
Scopes can be edited for a developer key at any time and update access tokens for the authorizing user appropriately.
Existing Global Development Keys
Existing global development keys will remain global and provide access to all endpoints until Instructure is able to work with vendors to migrate them to a scoped developer key.
Admins should contact their vendors to ensure the vendors can support scoping for their developer key. Enforcing or restricting scopes will deactivate any previously issued API tokens, so the tool should request authorization using the newly scoped key. For more details about this change, see the notes in the API documentation.
Once a developer key has scope enforcement enabled, tools that rely on that developer key for API access will need to adjust their OAuth2 workflow to explicitly declare their scopes in the initial OAuth2 request.
Technical documentation for implementing scopes for OAuth2 are available in the Canvas API documentation OAuth2 section. These documents should be fully reviewed to understand Developer Key Scopes and their associated considerations.
Single Page Comments
DocViewer features are not available for testing in the beta environment.
DocViewer comments have been updated to improve comment usability and management. Comments remain on the same page as the annotation. If there are too many comments to display, comments near the top or bottom of the page are automatically hidden, and comments become scrollable within the page. An indicator shows how many comments are hidden on the page.
Microsoft Office 365 Files Access Update
These changes were deployed to production on July 3.
Microsoft has modified some functionality that affects the Microsoft Office 365 LTI integration in Canvas.
All users must re-login to Microsoft Office 365 to access their files. When accessed from the Office 365 link in Course Navigation, files display directly in the Microsoft Online editor, making it easier for users to edit and save files. PDF file types cannot be edited.
This update also improves file accessibility for users when a file is embedded in an assignment. When an instructor embeds a Microsoft file in an assignment using the External Tool submission type, the accessibility, edit, print, and share options display at the top of the frame.
The accessibility, edit, print, and share options also display for student users when they view an embedded Office file. Additionally, students can click the More Options icon for additional file options.
New User Interface
The Permissions page has been updated with a new interface for simplified permissions management. This change allows admins to learn about each permission directly in the interface and manage permissions by user role.
Admins can search for individual permissions by name, or they can use the user drop-down menu to display all permissions assigned to one or multiple roles. Additionally, the Permissions column is static while allowing the rest of the table to scroll appropriately. Role order is assigned by base role.
Permissions names have been adjusted and are grouped according to function. Some names may continue to be adjusted for consistency through the release or in future releases. No permissions functionality has been affected.
Note: The Roles API documentation will be updated with the revised permission names in the next release.
Permissions icons have been updated within the page. As part of managing permissions, the permissions menu also includes a simplified design that displays a checkmark next to the selected permission status.
Permissions links display a sidebar that includes the assigned and unassigned roles associated with a permission. Individual roles can be edited directly by clicking the status icon. Grayed out icons cannot be modified.
Role links display a sidebar that includes the assigned and unassigned permissions associated with a role. Role names can also be edited or deleted. Individual permissions can be edited directly by clicking the status icon. Grayed out icons cannot be modified. If any changes are made to the role, the date displays in the sidebar for reference. Permissions changes within the same day only display the time.
Canvas Community contributions: Permissions Page improvements
Wiki Terminology Update
To ensure additional consistency throughout Canvas, Pages terminology has been changed from wiki to page(s) in the following locations:
- Content menus (e.g. Modules)
- Page titles
- Email notifications
- Rich Content Editor sidebar
Canvas Community contributions: Remove "wiki" and "may make your life easier" from Page change notification
Course Home Page Quiz/Test Button
This update applies to institutions using the Quizzes.Next LTI. As of 29 June 2018, all Canvas admins can enable this feature by contacting their Customer Success Manager.
When a course home page is set to the Assignments List, the home page displays the +Quiz/Test button. This change helps content creators easily create a new Quiz from the home page instead of having to access the Assignments page.
Menu Icon Changes
In the SpeedGrader menu, the Keyboard shortcuts and Help links have been moved to the Settings menu. This change helps consolidate icons in the menu and provide more space for assignment information.
Delete My Account Button
This update only to users with accounts located outside the United States.
For accounts located outside the United States, the User Settings page no longer displays the option for users to request to delete their accounts. Users who want to delete their Canvas account should contact their institution. Users who created a free account and are not associated with an institution should contact Canvas support.
Please note that deleting a Canvas account cannot be undone and will delete all Canvas information including courses, assignments, grades, and participation.
API Change Log
Please see the API Change Log for details on the following modifications: