Canvas Beta Release Notes (2015-07-06)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jul 6, 2015Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has new features for the Account Users page and the Calendar. We also have updates for Assignments, the Gradebook, Notifications, Outcomes, and SpeedGrader, in addition to Canvas permissions, several account options, and languages. 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




Recurring Events

When creating a new calendar event, users can choose to create multiple copies of the event every day, week, or month.


Note: Once a recurring event has been created, each recurring event becomes an independent copy and is not linked to any other events. Any changes to the event must be managed manually. Additionally, users cannot edit existing events and apply the recurring feature.


When creating a recurring (repeating) event, weekly events are replicated on the day of the week of the first event. For instance, if an event is created on a Monday repeats weekly, the next instance of the event will appear on the following Monday, regardless of the actual date.


Monthly events are replicated on the day of the month of the first event. For instance, if an event is created on July 6 and repeats monthly, the next instance of the event will appear on August 6.


Users can also choose to select the Count option, which adds a number to the end of each event title (e.g. Event 1, Event 2, etc.)




This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.



  Updated Features




Differentiated Assignment Section and Student List

When assigning an assignment, discussion, or quiz to a section or student, Canvas displays a maximum of five sections and seven students. Additional list items are not shown in order to maximize performance, especially for large courses.


If a course includes more sections or students than the display limit, Canvas will display a prompt notifying the user to type and search for the section or student.

Additionally, instructors can search for students by either first or last name.




Part of this feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.


Assignment Details and Locked Assignments

Students are no longer restricted from viewing assignment details in locked assignments. Details can still be seen after an assignment is locked by a due date or an Until date.




This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.


Assignment Submissions Button

The student Submit Assignment link has been moved out of the sidebar and placed more prominently as a button by the assignment details.




The Re-submit Assignment link has also been repurposed as a button.





Grades and Concluded Grading Periods

When the multiple grading periods feature is enabled, instructors cannot assign or edit grades for an assignment within a concluded grading period. Additionally, assignment drop-down menus are also not available in prior grading periods.


Grading periods are defined by a specific date range as created by the institutional admin; at the course level, grading periods can be viewed on the Manage Grading Schemes page.

Note: Grades in prior grading periods can be edited by users with admin-level permissions.


Incomplete Quiz Score Icon

When students complete a quiz that includes a manually graded question, the Grades page displays a Quiz icon instead of the current score, indicating that the quiz score is not yet complete. When students hover over the icon, students can view a message indicating that grading is in progress.




The Quiz icon displays in the Gradebook for instructors as well, indicating that some questions in the quiz need to be graded manually. When the instructor assigns a score for the manually graded question, the icon for both the instructor and the student will be replaced with the complete quiz grade.

Note: For instructors, the Quiz icon in the Gradebook can also mean that a Quiz score has been deleted and a new score needs to be assigned.





Excused Assignment Notifications

Excused assignments are part of the Grading notification (under Course Activities). If users enable this notification, they will receive a notification when an assignment has been excused.





Imported Account-Level Outcomes

When an account-level outcome is imported into a course, the outcome can be removed from the course as long as it does not contain any alignments or artifacts. Previously if the account-level outcome was imported into multiple courses, but only one course used the outcome to assess a student, the outcome could not be removed from the other courses.



Online Submission URLs

Online submission URLs display as external links. This change allows instructors to open SpeedGrader and view the original URL submissions from students in an external window. A new window will also be opened for internal links as well.




Autosave SpeedGrader Comments

If an instructor adds comments to a student submission and then navigates away from the page, Canvas will generate a message warning that there are unsaved comments on the page.

Note: Firefox will always display a generic message that cannot be changed in Canvas. The text says: “This page is asking you to confirm that you want to leave—data you have entered may not be saved.”




This feature only applies to leaving the SpeedGrader page; it does not apply to the comment field for each student submission. If an instructor creates a comment for a student but does not submit it before viewing another student submission, SpeedGrader retains the comment in the comment field for the second student—and any student—until the Submit Comment button is clicked and the comment is officially submitted as part of a student’s submission.



Manage Profile Pictures

When profile pictures are enabled for an account, admins can manage all profile pictures at the account level. Located on the Admin Users page, admins can click the Manage Profile Pictures button to view all profile pictures.




Profile pictures can be viewed together or individually by status: submitted, reported, and approved and re-reported. When a user reports a profile picture as inappropriate, the reported user’s information is added to the reported area.


Admins can choose to approve or delete the profile picture. They can also lock the profile picture, which approves the image but does not allow the user to change the profile picture. Locked profile pictures can be unlocked at any time.






  Permissions Updates




Changing User Passwords

The See the List of Users and Modify Login Details for Users account permissions are required for a user to change another user’s password. Previously the Manage SIS Data permission was also required but is no longer associated with this functionality.



Viewing Grader Comments in Rubrics

The View all Grades permission allows user to view grader comments on a rubric in SpeedGrader. Previously the Manage Courses permission was also required but is no longer associated with this functionality.



  Other Canvas Updates



Account Settings

Edit Name

The Users can edit display name account setting allowed users to edit their Display Name in addition to their Full Name and Sortable Name. For clarification, the setting has been renamed as “Users can edit their name”.






For institutions using SAML authentication, an Entity ID is now required. Admins are encouraged to add the entity ID to their account authentication settings before the upcoming release.


Feature Options

Canvas Catalog

The Canvas Catalog account-level feature option has been renamed to Public Course Index. This change eases confusion between the Public Course Index, which lists all public courses within an institution’s Canvas account, and Canvas Catalog, which is a separate all-in-one learning solution that integrates with the Canvas LMS as a course registration system, payment gateway, and learning platform. Functionality of the Catalog feature is not affected.





Swedish and Danish

Swedish (svenska) and Danish (dansk) have been added as available languages for all users in Canvas.