Canvas Beta Release Notes (2015-06-15)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jun 15, 2015Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has new features for the Gradebook. We also have an updated feature for the Canvas login page and a design change to Quizzes. 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




Excuse an Assignment

Instructors can use the Gradebook to excuse a student from an assignment in their course.


To excuse an assignment for a student, enter the value of EX in the corresponding Gradebook cell. The Gradebook will reflect that the assignment is excused for the student. Excused assignments are not included in the calculation for a student’s total grade.

Students can also be excused from a Group Assignment; the other members of the group will still be able to view and submit the assignment.


Note: Currently, the Gradebook only accepts a standard Canvas-wide value of EX for assignment exemptions. In phase two of this feature, instructors will be able to choose from a list of statuses for the excused assignment or for a graded assignment, such as late, missing, absent, etc.



When students have been excused from an assignment, they can view the excused status on the assignment submission page, or when they view the grades page. Students who are excused from an assignment will not be able to submit the assignment, though they can still view the assignment details.




In Modules, assignments are still shown as a module item. If submitting the assignment is a module requirements, students can progress through the Module as if he or she had submitted the assignment.



(1) Discussions and Quizzes can be excused for students in the Gradebook, but students cannot see that they have been excused from the discussion or quiz. This behavior will be addressed in a future release.

(2) Sending notifications to students about any excused assignments will be included in a future release.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.



  Updated Features




Observers and LDAP/SAML

Institutions using LDAP or SAML authentication can now use the same authentication to register observers in Canvas. For LDAP institutions, observers will enter the student’s LDAP credentials directly from the registration page. For SAML institutions, observers will be redirected to the authentication page and log in with the credentials of the student they are observing. This authentication process is also used when observers add additional observees to their accounts.


Canvas Login

Password Reset Verification

When users try to reset their password, the email field validates against conventional email addresses. Users will receive a notification if they try to submit an entry that is not a conventional email address.





  Other Canvas Updates




Quiz Question Background Color

The quiz question creation page background design has been changed from blue to white. This change is purely for aesthetics and has no effect on accessibility.