Canvas Release Notes (2018-12-08)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Nov 26, 2018Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Dec 13, 2018
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In this Canvas release (December 8), course cards can be reordered in the Card View Dashboard. In the Rich Content Editor, HTML5 is used instead of flash when used in Firefox and Chrome browsers.

 

In courses, conferences include an option to remove observer roles from conference invitations. In Course Settings, the Home link in the Navigation page cannot be disabled.

 

The Blueprint Courses feature option has been enabled for all institutions.

 

Feature Options

  • For institutions using Moderated Grading, admins can enable the Anonymous Moderated Marking Audit Trail feature option to view assessment auditing records for an assignment.

 

Release notes also include API updates and fixed bugs.

 

Release notes describe upcoming Canvas functionality and are subject to change.

 

Feature Options

The following feature options are addressed in this release:

  • Account: Anonymous Moderated Marking Audit Trail (added), Blueprint Courses (removed)
  • Course: Moderated Grading

 

Canvas release summary by user roleCanvas New Release ScreencastCanvas Release Collaborative ChatCanvas API Change Log


Release Notes Change Log

 

Updated Features

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Account Settings

Blueprint Course Feature Option Enforcement

 

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings

Configuration Details

N/A; Blueprint Course Feature Option enabled for all accounts

Affected Canvas Areas

Account Settings, Course Settings; Course areas contingent on Canvas permissions

Permissions

Account: Blueprint Courses - add / edit / associate / delete

Course: Access to specific Canvas content areas may not be allowed; may not be able to manage all content types

Related APIs

Blueprint Courses API

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

 

Summary

The Blueprint Course Feature Option has been enabled for all Canvas institutions and applies to Canvas admins and instructors who have access to manage Blueprint courses. This feature allows admins or designers to deploy, update, and maintain course design templates or components across any number of courses or instructors.

 

Change Benefit

For an individual institution, Blueprint Courses allows Canvas admins to create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

This feature option is enabled but still visible in Account Settings. However, it will be removed as a feature option in the 2019-01-05 release.

 

The Permissions page displays the Blueprint Courses (create / edit / associate / delete) permission, which allows users at the account level to manage any courses set as a blueprint course. Users with the Blueprint Courses permission can manage a course as a blueprint course in the Course Details page in Course Settings. However, a blueprint course cannot include any enrollments. Blueprint course admin users can create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.

 

Instructors

At the course level, any user with an instructor role can be added to a blueprint course. Instructors can lock and unlock blueprint course objects and sync updates, but they cannot perform any tasks required by the Blueprint Course permission. The majority of instructors will not be added to a blueprint course and will be enrolled in an associated course.

 

Blueprint Course information is only available in Course Settings.

  • The Course Details tab indicates whether the course has been enabled as a blueprint course and displayed as Yes or No.
  • If the course is not a blueprint course but is associated with a blueprint course, the Course Details tab indicates the name of the blueprint course. The course name also includes the course ID as a reference (e.g. courses/XXX). When an instructor or TA is enrolled in a blueprint course, the name of the blueprint course contains a link to access the blueprint course. For details, please see the lesson How do I set details for a course? in the Instructor Guide.

 

Full functionality for this feature is noted in the Canvas Release: Blueprint Courses, officially released in the 2017-06-24 Canvas release.

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

Conferences

Observer Removal Checkbox

 

Location to Enable Feature

Conferences

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Conferences

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Web Conferences - create

Related APIs

Conferences API

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

 

Summary

Instructors can remove all observer roles from conference invitations.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to directly manage observer roles when inviting course members.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

By default, when an instructor creates a conference, the conference automatically invites all course members to the conference. However, instructors can also select the option to remove all course observer members so they are not invited to the conference.

 

Conferences Observer Checkbox

 

When the Observer member checkbox is selected, the check mark is removed from the first checkbox. However, all course members are still invited except the observer members. Deselecting the Observer member checkbox still allows the instructor to select specific course users, if needed.

 

Conferences Observer Checkbox Options

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

Course Settings

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Navigation Tab

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Related APIs

External Tools - Navigation

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

 

Summary

In the Navigation page, the Home link does not include a Settings menu.

 

Change Benefit

This change aligns consistency with intended functionality of keeping the Home link at the top of the Course Navigation Menu.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

When instructors open the Navigation page in Course Settings, the Home link does not include a Settings menu. Drag-and-drop functionality was previously disabled, so being able to move the Home link via the Settings menu countered the link’s intended behavior. Any page that is disabled is redirected to the Home page, which cannot be disabled because the URL access is required to access the Home page from other Canvas areas.

 

Any courses that currently have the home page disabled will not be able to re-enable the link, though course navigation functionality should not be affected since content is already redirected to the Home page.

 

Course Settings Navigation Link Home Menu

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

Dashboard

Card View Course Ordering 

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Card View Dashboard

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

 

Summary

Course cards can be manually ordered in the Card View Dashboard.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to place course cards in a specific order.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

In the Card View Dashboard, users can select the Options menu for a course and move the card to another location in the Dashboard. Depending on the placement of the existing card, cards may be moved to the top of the Dashboard, ahead or behind a specific card, or to the bottom of the Dashboard.

 

Cards can also be manually dragged and dropped to another location in the Dashboard.

 

Once a dashboard card has been reordered, new courses added to the dashboard always display at the end of all existing courses.

 

Dashboard Card View Move Option

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Drag Courses on DashboardReorder Dashboard Boxes  

 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

Rich Content Editor

HTML5 Media Recorder

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Rich Content Editor, SpeedGrader, Submission Details

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

 

Summary

HTML5 is used instead of flash within the Rich Content Editor in Firefox and Chrome browsers. This feature is also supported for students in the Submission Details page and for instructors in SpeedGrader.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows recorded media without requiring flash within the Firefox and Chrome browsers. Internet Explorer and Safari browsers do not support this functionality. Users will not notice any change and still require the use of Flash.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

Users can click the Media button in the Rich Content Editor and view an improved interface when recording media. Users can confirm their microphone and webcam, and if more than one device is supported, select which device should be used.

 

If a user does not have a webcam, the audio option will be selected automatically.

 

Note: The browser may briefly display a flash message, even though flash is not required. Additionally, the browser may ask to allow access to the computer’s microphone and webcam before initial use.

 

Rich Content Editor HTML5 Media Recording

 

Video Transcription Transition

As part of the HTML5 media change, the backend Flash media server that transcribes videos will also be transitioned to an HTML5 video transcription service over the next two weeks in the beta environments. Recorded videos should not be visibly affected by this transition; videos should render as expected in the Rich Content Editor. In the production environment, all accounts will be updated on Monday, December 10.

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Replace Flash with HTML 5 

 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

SpeedGrader

Anonymous Moderated Marking Audit Trail

This feature is used in conjunction with an existing feature option in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about feature options, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

          

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings - Feature Options

Configuration Details

Anonymous Moderated Marking Audit Trail

Affected Canvas Areas

SpeedGrader

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

 

Summary

SpeedGrader can display an audit log that records all changes that affect an assignment submission.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors with the auditing permission to verify how grades were awarded and how changes were made.

 

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

Instructors with the Grades - view audit trail permission can act as an auditor for a course. By default, this permission can only be enabled for instructor roles but is disabled by default.


After an assignment has been unmuted, an instructor with permission can access the assessment audit link in SpeedGrader. The link displays the student’s grade and when it was graded.

 

For moderated grading, the window displays when the grade was posted to the student. For non-moderated assignments, the grade represents the last time a grade was applied.

 

The window also shows if anonymity was turned on and the effective date and time.

  • If the entire assignment is Anonymous, then the window displays the Anonymous On status.
  • If the assignment is only moderated and not anonymous, the window displays the Anonymous Off status.

 

The remainder of the sidebar displays graders and final graders as well as any admins that interacted with the assignment or a submission. Users are ordered by role: student, grader, final grader, admin. Expanding the name of the user displays the auditing trail for the assignment and submission.

 

The start date and time of the audit trail displays at the top of the event list, which may include the following events: assignment created, submission created, assignment settings, anonymity status, grade postings, and muted status. Icons display next to each event to represent each action. Submission comment events and DocViewer comment events also display, with comment text truncated at 2 lines.

 

Moderated Marking Audit Trail Link

 

If anonymity was turned off during the grading, the anonymity status displays as partially anonymous, and the audit trail displays the modified actions. Partially anonymous means that anonymity has been turned off and back on for any of the three levels of anonymity during the grading process—student anonymity, grader-to-grader anonymity, and grader-to-final grader anonymity—meaning that the assignment settings were edited in some capacity after submissions had been received.

 

Additionally, if the assignment was updated at any time, the name of the grader displays an alert icon, and the audit trail displays the modified actions.

 

Partially Anonymous Status and Error Results

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

 

 

Platform/Integration

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API

API Change Log

Adjustments have been made to the following APIs as noted in the API Documentation change log:

 

  • Courses API
  • SIS Import Errors API
  • SIS Imports API

 

File Hosting

This change will be deployed to the production environment on December 20.

Domain Update

Canvas file uploads are uploaded to a new hosted domain. To improve security, and to clarify that uploaded files are not provided by Canvas when they're downloaded, the file hosting URL has changed from clusterX-files.instructure.com to aX-clusterX.canvas-user-content.com, where cluster represents the server for an institution’s account.

 

Any institutions that operate a firewall where URLs are whitelisted based on domain should add *.canvas-user-content.com as a whitelisted URL so users can continue to view all content uploaded to Canvas—including course content and student submissions.

 

 

Fixed Bugs

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Accessibility

Announcements

The Options text is now identified as a legend under the fieldset item.

 

The Reply button includes the title of the announcement for screen readers.

 

In the Announcements menu, the label for Disallow/Allow Comments is read correctly to screen readers.

 

The External Feeds H2 has been changed to an H3.

 

Assignments

In the Move Assignment sidebar, the H4 has been changed to an H2.

 

In the Grade Details page, the Grader and Accept Grades table headers are not identified as headings. Additionally, the H2 reads as Grader Details to screen readers.

 

When an option is not available for an assignment, a message displays below the option to help keyboard users know why it cannot be selected.

 

Calendar

In the right sidebar, the Skip to Calendar link is visible on focus.

 

In the Create New Event window, label elements are assigned to checkboxes for screen readers.

 

The event name H3 has been changed to an H2.

 

Conversations

The checkbox has been replaced with a standard checkbox for spacebar support.

 

Course Settings

In the Move Navigation Item sidebar, the H4 has been changed to an H2.

 

Dashboard 

Recent Activity dates do not retain focus as they do not contain actionable links.

 

Files

The aria label for items in the left sidebar have been updated to a descriptive label called Folder Browsing Tree.

 

Permissions

Roles that are added or removed are read to screen readers.

 

The Permissions table header includes scope=""col"" to identify the column header.

 

Rich Content Editor

Focus ordering within a discussion reply has been corrected for keyboard users.

 

Rubrics

Focus is only placed on actionable items.

 

Settings

Focus is retained correctly among elements in the Apps list page.

 

Feature option descriptions do not support focus for keyboard users.

 

SpeedGrader

Focus is only placed on actionable items.

 

Media comment thumbnails include alternative text for screen readers.

 

API

Courses API

This change will be deployed to the production environment on December 17.

If a user has the Users - view primary email address permission, the Courses API List Users in Course endpoint always includes the email address.

 

Explanation: When a user with the Users - view primary email address permission tried to view the List Users in Course endpoint without using the include[email] parameter, the email address was not displayed. Canvas code has been updated to remove email from the include parameter and always include the email addresses as long as the user has appropriate permission.

 

Assignments

Google Drive LTI Group Submissions

Students can submit to a group assignment using the Google Drive LTI.

 

Explanation: When a student tried to submit a group assignment using the Google Drive LTI, the assignment failed to upload. Canvas code has been updated to submit files for group assignments uploaded with the Google Drive LTI.

 

Course Import

File Upload Questions

File Upload questions save comments correctly in course copies.

 

Explanation: When a File Upload question type included an answer comment, and the quiz was copied into another course, the comment was removed from the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to retain comments in File Upload questions within course copies.

 

Dashboard

List View Dashboard and Trust Accounts

For users in a trust account, List View Dashboard course to-do items display regardless of the course’s originating account.

 

Explanation: When an item was created as a To-Do List item in a course, and the course was part of a trust account, users in the course could only view the To-Do item if the user logged in directly to the account where the course was created. Canvas code has been updated to display To Do List items in a user’s List View Dashboard regardless of the course’s originating account.

 

Midnight Due Dates

In the List View Dashboard, Items due at midnight are not adjusted to 11:59 pm.

 

Explanation: When an assignment was due at 12 am (00:00:00) in the user’s local time zone, the List View Dashboard showed that the item was due at 11:59pm (23:59:59) the same day instead, which affected students as they thought they had an additional day to complete their coursework. Canvas code has been updated to display due dates at the same time they are created and not adjust the time for one minute earlier.

 

Gradebook

CSV Upload and Custom Gradebook Columns

Gradebook CSV files can be uploaded without requiring changes to custom columns.

 

Explanation: When a CSV file was uploaded to the Gradebook without any changes to custom columns, the upload generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to only update custom columns in a CSV upload if custom columns have changed.

 

Modules

Module Progression and Section Specific Discussions

Students cannot view a section-specific discussion in a module sequence unless they are part of the specified section.

 

Explanation: When a discussion that was assigned to a specific section was added to a module, any student who was not in the specific section could still view the discussion topic page when clicking the Next or Previous module progression buttons. However, the discussion generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to not allow students to view a section-specific discussion in a module sequence unless they are part of the specified section.

 

Notifications

Inactive Enrollments

Inactive student enrollments do not receive notifications for grade changes.

 

Explanation: When a quiz was graded in a course, inactive students were receiving notifications about grade changes to their quiz submission. This behavior also occurred for students who started a quiz while in an active state and never submitted the quiz before the enrollment was changed to inactive. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications to inactive student enrollments.

 

Outcomes

Learning Mastery Gradebook Unscored Outcomes Error

The Learning Mastery Gradebook does not include outcome scores with no aggregate results.

 

Explanation: When an outcome included the n Number of times outcome in the Learning Mastery Gradebook, and no scores had been saved because students hadn’t achieved the required number of mastery attempts, the Learning Mastery Gradebook displayed an error message. Canvas code has been updated to exclude outcome scores with no aggregate results.

 

Quizzes

Numerical Answers and Formula Item Decimal Places

Numerical Answers and Formula Item quiz questions do not automatically include additional decimals.

 

Explanation: When a Numerical Answer or Formula Item question was created in a quiz, and the answer included a whole number, the answer automatically included additional decimals. Canvas code has been updated to not include additional decimals and retain whole numbers.

 

Settings

Flickr Course Card Image Search Warning

The Flickr search menu includes a warning about course card search results.

 

Explanation: When a user searched in Flickr for a course card image in Course Settings, Flickr results did not always return safe results even though the search is designed to only return safe images. This behavior occurred when Flickr image owners did not include a safety setting within the image when it was uploaded. Canvas code has been updated include a warning about search results when searching for a course card image.

 

SpeedGrader

Rubric Ratings Alignment

Rubric point totals with decimals align with the edge of the rubric when viewed in SpeedGrader.

 

Explanation: When a user viewed a rubric in SpeedGrader, the point total didn’t align with the ratings column when the rubric was viewed in SpeedGrader and the rubric included decimals. Canvas code has been updated to correct the alignment of the points column when a rubric is viewed in SpeedGrader.

 

 

Release Notes Change Log

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Date
2018-12-13

Added—Platform Integration

  • File Hosting: Domain Update
2018-12-11

Added—Fixed Bugs

  • Courses API 
2018-11-27

Changed—Updated Features

  • Blueprint Courses—added additional clarification about account- and course-level functionality
2018-11-26Release Notes Published
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