Upcoming Canvas Changes Feature Clarifications

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Sep 13, 2019Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Dec 9, 2019
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Canvas periodically includes new functionality designed as opt-in features called feature options. These feature options, along with other Canvas functionality, may be enabled for all Canvas institutions at any time. This document details any feature option changes mentioned in the Upcoming Canvas Changes document that requires further explanation or clarification.


The changes included in this page will be effective on the noted Canvas release date. Follow this document to get the latest updates.


Archived announcements can be referenced in Canvas Changes Feature Clarification [Archive].


Current Announcements

Document Change Log


18 January 2020

Account Settings Feature Options

Release Notes Announcement Date: Canvas Release Notes (2019-09-21) 



Initially introduced in 2015, feature options are features that may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during an institution's current term and allows Canvas admins to enable the feature based on their preferred timeline. However, after a specified period of time, feature options may become standard features in Canvas.


Upcoming Change

On January 18, 2020, the following feature options will be enabled for all institutions:

  • Enable Dashboard Images for Courses
  • Rubric Criterion Range
  • Student Context Card


These features are being enabled to manage customer expectations with features that will not remain optional.


Customer Action & Resources

If one or all feature options have never been enabled in an account, the following information outlines the behavior that takes place with the feature, as organized by introduction date:


Enable Dashboard Images for Courses


Rubric Criterion Range

  • Introduced in the 2017-10-07 release
  • Affects the entire account
  • Displays a Range checkbox in the rubric window and allow users to assign a rating for a range of point options instead of an individual point value
  • How-to lesson: How do I add a rubric in a course?


Student Context Card

  • Introduced in the 2017-02-18 release
  • Affects the entire account
  • Displays a window that provides insights and context about a student when a student’s name is clicked anywhere in a Canvas course, such as announcement replies, discussion replies, the Gradebook, and the Moderate page for moderated assignments.
  • Course exceptions include links in groups, and student links in the Course Analytics page, which link to the student’s individual analytics page.
  • Does not apply to context outside of courses, such as the Inbox
  • How-to Lesson: How do I view a context card for a student in a course?




New Gradebook

Release Notes Announcement Date: Canvas Release Notes (2019-05-11)


New Gradebook improves foundational items for Canvas grading and includes enhanced functionality for organization, flexibility, and communication. This feature was initially released in November 2017.



Exploration for Gradebook was conducted through interviews, surveys, feature ideas, and internal channels. New Gradebook was first introduced as a beta feature; feedback was received in a user group within the Canvas community. Community feedback contributed to additional enhancements. The beta label was removed 30 March 2019.


Upcoming Change

On 18 January 2020, the existing Canvas Gradebook will be replaced with the New Gradebook. No data loss will result in this transition and all features align with previous functionality included in the existing Gradebook as indicated:


Treat Ungraded as 0

The Treat Ungraded as 0 option changes the view of how grades are displayed in the Gradebook and does not directly affect student grades. This feature is not available in the Grid View Gradebook to minimize confusion about student’s actual grades. If instructors want to view grades as zeros, they should apply grades as zeros using the global Missing Policy option or use the Default Grade option for individual assignments.


Assignment Details

The Assignment Details link in the current Gradebook will be replaced by New Analytics functionality, which provides improved analytics capabilities.


Hide Student Names

The Hide Student Names feature in the existing Gradebook has been resolved in the New Gradebook by the Anonymous Grading and Moderated Grading features already implemented in Canvas.


Customer Action

The New Gradebook can be enabled at any time. No existing grades will be affected when initially transitioning to the New Gradebook. However, some LTI or SIS workflows may need to be adjusted by the developer as follows:

  • Any LTIs that support muting will need to be updated to fully support the New Gradebook Post Policies feature, which will be available by July 2019.
  • Late and missing policies do not apply to LTI assignments and missing policies and must be updated manually.
  • Some SIS provider pass back the final grade, which calculates grades based on the Treat Ungraded as 0 option. The SIS will need to be adjusted to pass back the current grade instead of the final grade.





Document Change Log




In Account Settings Feature Options, removed Anonymous Grading as an enforced feature option


In Account Settings Feature Options, removed MasteryPaths as an enforced feature option


Separated this document from Upcoming Canvas Changes


Announced 18 January 2020: Account Settings Feature Options


Created Updates Archive—archived announcements from July and August 2019

Updated New Gradebook resources list

2019-06-10Announced 15 July 2019: Canvas Release Schedule Adjustments
2019-05-23Changed date of New Gradebook to 18 January 2020

Published document

  • Announced 3 August 2019: Internet Explorer 11 Browser Support
  • Announced 4 January 2020: New Gradebook
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