Canvas Beta Release Notes (2014-12-29)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Apr 2, 2015Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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New Canvas Notification IP Addresses

On January 10, 2015, we're adding two new Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to our notifications IP list. If your institution adds Canvas notification IPs to whitelists for your network firewall or email management system, please whitelist the following IP addresses by January 10 to ensure your users continue to receive Canvas notifications:

  • (existing, already in use)
  • (existing, already in use)
  • (new)
  • (new)

Please contact your Customer Success Manager if you have any questions or concerns.


In this beta release, Canvas has new features for Assignments and Quizzes. We also have several other status and design updates. View the beta release notes and let us know your thoughts! Beta notes also include platform/integration updates for third-party developers.


The beta environment is for testing new and updated features, which are subject to change based on user feedback. Learn more about Canvas Beta.


  New Features




Post Grades to SIS: PowerSchool

Canvas now supports full SIS integration for PowerSchool. This integration allows instructors using PowerSchool as their institution’s SIS to pass Gradebook information back to PowerSchool and can be enabled on both account and subaccount levels.


The Canvas PowerSchool integration is used in conjunction with a course-level feature option called Post Grades to SIS. Once enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. However, this feature must first be configured with the support of your Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM) and an Implementation Consultant before it can be enabled for the institution. If you are an admin, please contact your CSM for assistance.


Setting Up Assignments

Instructors can choose to pass back grades on a per-assignment basis. To select an assignment to send to PowerSchool, click the SIS checkbox as part of the assignment, quiz, or graded discussion. Note that in Quizzes, the SIS checkbox is grouped under Quiz Options.




When creating assignments, assignment names (up to 30 characters) must be unique or they cannot be identified by PowerSchool. If an assignment has the same name in Canvas as in PowerSchool, Canvas will not push the data to PowerSchool.


Due dates are required to send an assignment to PowerSchool.


Transferring Grades from the Gradebook

The Gradebook integration is a one-way transfer from Canvas to PowerSchool. Only assignments that appear in the default Gradebook can be sent to PowerSchool.

  • Changes in Canvas will always overwrite changes in PowerSchool. If a change is made in PowerSchool, the change will not be reflected in Canvas.
  • This feature does not apply to the Learning Mastery Gradebook.


Grades can be sent to PowerSchool by clicking the Post Grades button in the Gradebook. Canvas will immediately initiate the grades transfer, but users may need to wait a few minutes before data appears in PowerSchool.

  • Due dates are required to send an assignment to PowerSchool.




PowerTeacher does not interact with Canvas the same way that PowerSchool does. When an instructor clicks the Post Grades button in the Gradebook, Canvas creates the assignments in PowerTeacher; however, Canvas assignments that are pushed to PowerSchool but are later removed from Canvas are not removed from PowerTeacher. For more questions about PowerTeacher, please contact your CSM.


Transferring Previous Grades

In order to pass back grades for previous terms, instructors need to retroactively update any previous term assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions with the Post Grades to SIS option, then proceed to post grades from the Gradebook.


For more information about PowerSchool and Canvas, please contact your CSM.




Quiz Log Auditing

Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Students can also view the log for their own quizzes.


Quiz Log Auditing is a course-level feature option, which means that once it is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If you are an instructor and do not see Quiz Log Auditing available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.


Instructors can view the quiz log by showing student quiz results and clicking the name of a student. The student quiz results page will show the status of the quiz and the View Log link. Canvas generates the quiz log when the student clicks the Take This Quiz button.




Students can also access the quiz log by clicking the link for the quiz attempt they want to view.




Each log shows a timestamp of the quiz action, including reading a quiz question, selecting a quiz answer, changing a quiz answer, and submitting the quiz. The log also shows if the student left the quiz (either by navigating away from the page or viewing another window in the browser) and resumed the quiz. To refresh log data, click the refresh button at the top of the browser window.


Each attempt shows the start date and time for the attempt. If the student has more than one quiz attempt, the log shows the last attempt. Users can view prior attempts by clicking the number of the attempt.





  Other Updates




Turnitin Status Attempts

Canvas has increased the number of status attempts made for a Turnitin assignment. Instead of doubling beginning at 5 minutes, attempts will double beginning at 2 minutes: 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 16 minutes, etc. This change helps instructors view Turnitin reports more quickly.


Course Setup Checklist

Checklist Redesign

The Course Setup Checklist has been redesigned for a better user experience and displays as a full window. Each sidebar item shows the status of your course and provides quick links to each Canvas area. To close the window and return to Canvas, click the close icon in the upper right of the window, or click the Escape button on your keyboard.


Note: This redesign does not apply to any other checklist, such as for ePortfolios.




User Research

The Canvas UX Research and Design team is looking for design feedback from Canvas users, including interaction with new design ideas and concepts. If you are interested in participating, please sign up using the link in the Canvas footer.





Date and Time Display

Date and time stamps in Canvas have been updated to reflect 24-hour time formats for applicable languages.


Canvas Interface

Content Border and Navigation Menu Gradient

As part of our interface redesign, the left navigation menu (User, Course, and Account Navigation) include a slightly modified interface. More information can found in our styleguide at


Here is a breakdown of the design changes:

  • The border on the left side of the content area has been removed so the course navigation is aligned with the window.
  • The gradient at the top of all navigation areas (user, course, and account) has been replaced with the background color. This change is most noticeable with course names and term dates in Course Navigation.


These changes can be seen more clearly in the comparison images below (current production version and beta version, respectively):




No actual functionality will be affected by this work—this is a purely visual change. However, if you have changed the appearance of the left navigation menu via custom CSS, please check to ensure your styles work with the new design, especially if you have changed the background color for your navigation menus.



  Platform/Integration Updates




Account Notifications

Users can view an index of global account notifications and close global notifications via the Account Notifications API.


Course Users API

The Users API can now return user bios by adding ?include[]=bio in the parameter.


Account API

The Courses API returns the property is_public for each course.