Canvas Beta Release Notes (2015-05-04)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on May 4, 2015Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jul 13, 2015
Version 3Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

Upcoming Canvas Feature: Ticketing System Choice

In the next few months, we’ll be changing the Canvas ticketing system. We’ve built a special space in the new Canvas Community called Canvas Labs, which is where we’ll share all the information you need to know about this transition. Information will be coming as soon as next week, so make sure you’re a member of the new Community! If you’ve already joined but don’t yet have access to Canvas Labs, contact your Customer Success Manager.

 

In this beta release, Canvas has new features for Discussions and the Gradebook. We also have updates for multiple areas in Canvas.  View the beta release notes and let us know your thoughts!

 

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

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Discussions

Like Icon

Instructors can create Discussions and allow students to indicate “liked” discussion replies.

 

The Canvas Like icon is only available in Discussions and is enabled on a per-discussion basis. To enable the liking feature as part of a discussion’s options, instructors can select the Allow liking checkbox.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Allow.png

 

If a discussion allows liking, users will see a Like icon within each discussion reply. For each individual user, a gray icon indicates the reply can be liked, while a blue icon indicates the reply has already been liked. Liked replies include the total number of likes next to the link.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon.png

 

Instructors can choose to limit the the liking functionality to only graders in the course. This option only allows users with the Edit Grades permission to see the Like link. However, all users will still see the total number of likes for each reply.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Only-Graders.png

Discussions-Like-Icon-Only-Graders-2.png

 

Instructors can also choose to sort discussion replies by the number of likes. This option sorts discussion replies within the discussion topic in descending order. Sorting cannot be changed by any users unless the instructor removes the sorting setting.

 

Discussions-Like-Icon-Sorting.png

 

 

Gradebook

Multiple Grading Periods

This feature is used in conjunction with the Multiple Grading Periods course feature option. This feature does not apply to the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

Multiple Grading Periods allows instructors to create separate grading periods within a specific course. This feature was specifically designed for K12 institutions where a course can exist during multiple terms and allows instructors to specify course work within a specific term.

 

At the account level, admins can view the Grading link in Account Navigation to create grading period templates, which appear at the course level for instructors. Each Grading Period includes a name, start date, and end date. Admins can create as many grading periods as necessary.

 

Grading-Periods-Admin.png

 

At the course level, instructors can manage the course grading scheme to view the Grading Periods page. If grading periods have been created at the account level, the account grading periods also appear and apply at the course level.


Note: When at least one new grading period is added to the course, account-level grading periods will no longer appear in the course.

 

Grading-Periods-Course.png

 

Account-level grading periods are created as a resource for each instructor. Therefore, instructors can retain, modify, or remove account-level Grading Periods for their courses. They can also create their own grading periods.

 

Add/Modify Grading Periods

New grading periods are created by clicking the Add Grading Period link, entering the grading period details, and clicking the Save button. When an existing grading period is modified, changes will not be saved until the user clicks the Update button. Canvas will then generate a confirmation for the saved changes, and the grading period will be copied to the course level.

 

Notes:

  • Modifying a grading period at the course level does not affect the account level unless the user also has account-level permissions.
  • Once an account-level grading period template is removed from or modified in the course, the original grading period information can no longer be viewed unless all existing grading periods are removed from the course.

 

Grading-Periods-Course-Change.png

 

Gradebook View

The Gradebook lists grading periods for the course in a drop-down menu and displays all assignments that appear during the specified period. Grading periods are arranged by date, with the newest grading period listed first.


Assignments are grouped in the term according to the published assignment due date (unpublished assignments never appear in the Gradebook). If there is no due date for the published assignment, the assignment defaults to the latest grading period. Grading periods cannot be selected within an individual assignment.

 

Notes:

  • Currently, if one or more grading periods overlap in dates, an assignment appears in both grading periods. This behavior will be resolved in a future release.
  • Multiple Grading Periods supports weighted assignment groups and weights any graded assignments within the current grading period. For instance, if an assignment group is worth 20% of the total grade, and there are four grading periods, the 20% will be divided across each period according to the assignment grading period distribution (e.g. 5%, 5%, 7%, 3%).

 

Grading-Periods-Course-Filter.png

 

 

 

Student Grades View

Students can also filter their Grades page by grading period and view all applicable assignments.

 

Grading-Periods-Student-View.png

 

 

  Updated Features

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Save & Publish Button

When creating assignments, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save an assignment and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the assignment in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Assignments-Save--amp--Publish.png

 

Student Submission Detail Page

On the student Submission Detail page, the submission feedback/preview bar no longer includes a green background. This change also makes the View Feedback/Preview buttons more accessible to keyboard users and screen readers.

 

Assignment-Submission-Details-Page.png

 

Conferences

Big Blue Button Enhancements

Big Blue Button conferences in Canvas include several design and server enhancements.

 

All conferences now display the End button, which previously only appeared as part of long-running conferences. When a user with the appropriate permissions clicks the End button, the conference is immediately concluded on both the Conferences page and the server. In Groups, users who create a conference are also able to end a conference.

 

Deleting a past conference also immediately removes the conference from the server, in addition to all associated recordings.

 

Conferences-End-Button.png

 

Discussions

Save & Publish Button

When creating discussions, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a discussion and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the discussion in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Discussions-Save--amp--Publish.png

 

Free-for-Teacher Canvas Registration

Email Field

When users sign up for a Free-for-Teacher (FFT) Canvas account, users were unsure if they should sign up with a personal email address or their institution’s email address. For clarification, the Email field has been renamed as School Email (.edu).

 

Free-for-Teacher-Email.png

 

Gradebook

Assignment Columns and Return/Enter Key

The Gradebook supports the Return/Enter key in advancing through each cell in the Gradebook column. This feature benefits instructors who enter all student grades for an assignment at once. When an instructor reaches the end of the column, the Return/Enter key advances to the top of the next column.

 

Gradebook-Assignment-Column-Enter-Key.png

 

Groups

Rich Content Editor and LTI Tools

In Groups, the Rich Content Editor supports configured LTI tools. Students can use the same LTI tools that are available in their course.

 

Groups-LTI-RCE.png

 

Pages

Save & Publish Button

When creating pages, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a page and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the page in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Pages-Save-Publish.png

 

Quizzes

Save & Publish Button

When creating quizzes, instructors can use draft state functionality, which allows content to be placed in a draft state before publishing to students. Now instructors have the option to save a quiz and publish it at the same time by clicking the Save & Publish button. However, instructors can still save the quiz in a draft state by clicking the Save button, then publishing at any time as a separate step.

 

Quizzes-Save--amp--Publish-.png

 

Quiz Question Answer Comments and Rich Content Editor

Quiz question answer comments include the Rich Content Editor. Instructors can post images, format text, and perform other Rich Content Editor functionality in correct answer comments, wrong answer comments, and general answer comments.

 

Quiz-Answer-Comments.png

 

 

  Other Updates

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Conferences

Server Timeout Protection

Canvas’ timeout protection coding has been applied to Conferences. If a Canvas conference, such as Big Blue Button, generated five timeout requests in a row, Canvas will blacklist the generating server. This change helps prevent Conference outages on Canvas app servers.

 

 

  Platform/Integration Updates

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

APIs

Enrollments API

In the Enrollments API, users can use the grading_period_id parameter to return grades for a given grading period. If no period ID is given, the API will return grading information for the entire course.

 

Quiz Questions API

The Quiz Questions API includes the question_type parameter to identify question types in a quiz.

 

Canvas Substitution Variables

External Tools

The External Tools API includes a variable expansion for Canvas.externalTool.url. This expansion provides the API endpoint for the current external_tool, where the value of the ExternalToolURL is the URL to the tool.

 

OAuth

OAuth2 Tokens

The OAuth2 token POST includes a replace_tokens param that destroys a users tokens for the provider then generates a new one to return.

 

LTI Launch URLs and GET Params

LTI Tools that use the GET params in their LTI launch URLs have been changed to bring Canvas into better alignment the OAuth1 specification. Previously, Canvas was copying the GET params into the POST body prior to signing and sending the basic-lti-launch-request message, which allowed tool providers to see these params as either POST or GET params. The library Canvas uses to sign these params collapsed the two identical parameters (GET and POST) when signing, creating an invalid signature. The change removes the GET to POST copy of params, thus reducing the chance of parameter name collision when signing. The main change here is that GET params will no longer be sent as part of the POST body but instead must be accessed as GET params.

Attachments

    Outcomes