Canvas Beta Release Notes (2015-01-19)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Apr 2, 2015Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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Upcoming Canvas Change

On January 31, New Quiz Statistics will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and the feature will apply to all users with an instructor role.


In this beta release, Canvas has new features for Assignments. We also have several other updates for Assignments, Commons, Course Settings, and ePortfolios, as well as some interface design enhancements and a permissions change. 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




Course and Term Date Validation

Instructors cannot create assignments, graded discussions, or quizzes with due dates and/or availability dates outside the start and end dates for the course or term. This feature helps instructors better manage all student coursework within the course schedule.




When an instructor creates or edits an assignment and clicks the Update Assignment button, Canvas validates any entered dates—assignment due date, available from date, and until date—against the course start and end dates and generates an error message for invalid date entries. This validation takes place for all dates, including varied due dates.

  • If the course does not include specified course start and end dates, Canvas validates the assignment against the term dates for the course.
  • If an assignment does not contain any dates, the assignment availability defaults to the course start and end dates.
  • This feature validates against the Users can only participate in the course between these dates checkbox for start and end dates in Course Settings.



  Updated Features




Assignment Points

When an instructor edits an existing assignment and changes the points possible, Canvas displays a warning that changing the points possible requires regrading the assignment. This warning message applies to any grading type and changing any assignment score, including changing points from or to zero.



If an assignment is changed to zero points, such as for extra credit, the assignment points feature does not change the way that zero-point assignments work with assignment groups.


Availability Dates View for Students

Students can view any assignment availability dates on the assignments detail page, not just the Assignments Index Page. This feature also applies to discussions and quizzes.




Course Settings

Viewing for Authenticated Users

Instructors can allow authenticated users in their institution to view a course. Located in Course Settings, this visibility option allows users who are authenticated (logged in) in the Canvas account to view the course before they enroll in the course. The course content shown to authenticated users is the same content shown to the public for publicly visible courses.



The Make this course publicly visible option and Make this course visible to authenticated users option cannot be used together. The first option will override the second so the course will always remain public, even when the user is not logged in.



Private ePortfolio Link

When a student wants to share a private ePortfolio, the ePortfolio displays the entire link. This change clarifies confusion about how to access the ePortfolio link.





  Other Updates



Canvas Menus

As part of our interface redesign, Canvas drop-down menus, calendar menus, and menu windows include a slightly modified interface. More information can found in our Style guide at


No actual functionality is affected by this work—these are purely visual changes. However, if you have changed the appearance of these components via custom CSS, please check to ensure your style work with the new designs.




External Apps

External App Design Adjustments

On the External Apps page, either at the account or course level, the Add New App button has been renamed to the Add App button.




The Add App window also includes small design adjustments at both the account and course level. Functionality and configurations for External Tools are not affected.





Question Bank Link Visibility

The account-level Question Bank link can only be viewed if an admin is granted the manage assignments permission. This permission has been changed from the edit grades permission. Note: Changing a permission may take some time to apply throughout Canvas.




  Platform/Integration Updates




Courses API

Users can reset course content in the Courses API.


Enrollment Terms API

Users can create, update, and delete enrollment terms in the Enrollment Terms API. When creating an enrollment term, users can also view the SIS ID using the sis_term_id parameter.


Grade Multiple Submissions

Users can grade multiple submissions in the Submissions API.


Analytics API

Department Statistics no longer supports the submissions and discussion replies objects in the Analytics API.


Assignments API

Users can view whether an assignment has override dates (varied due dates) in the Assignments API. Users can also view the long description for a rubric with the long_description parameter.


Conferences API

Users can view conference keys with the conference_key parameter in the Conferences API.


Courses API

Users can view the total number of active and invited students in the course with the total_students endpoint in the Courses API.


Users can view the storage quota for a course with the storage_quota_used_mb parameter.


When getting course settings or updating course settings, users can view and update four additional settings options: allow student organized groups, hide final grades, hide distribution graphs, and lock all announcements.


Outcomes API

Users can view the method used to calculate a student’s score in the Learning Mastery Gradebook, as well as the variable value used by the calculation method, with the calculation_method and calculation_int parameters in the Outcomes API.


Sections API

Users can view the total number of active and invited students in the section with the total_students parameter in the Sections API.


SIS Imports API

Users can view a specific date of an SIS import with the created_since parameter in the SIS Imports API.