Upcoming Canvas Changes
Turnitin LTI (External Apps)
Turnitin has created an LTI tool to use for Turnitin assignments in Canvas. The Turnitin LTI will replace the Turnitin Canvas plugin (API), which will be deprecated at a later date. If you are a Canvas admin whose institution is using Turnitin and want to switch to the LTI, please contact your Turnitin account representative for your external app credentials. The Turnitin LTI can be configured for your account as shown in the External App URL lesson. All Canvas Guides Turnitin documentation will be updated as part of the November 21 release for institutions who have already enabled the LTI or want to learn more about the LTI.
In this production release (November 21), instructors have more options when using Multiple Grading Periods in the Gradebook. Students using the new Canvas User Interface (UI) can create course nicknames, and all students can view whether or not an assignment has been graded anonymously. All users will also see small design changes throughout several Canvas features. The production release notes also include fixed bugs.
Next release schedule:
- Beta release and notes: November 30
- Production release notes: December 7
- Production release and documentation: December 12
Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.
Grading Period Totals
When using Multiple Grading Periods and viewing the All Grading Periods option, instructors can choose whether or not they want Canvas to display total grades, including assignment group totals.
Note: Support for weighted assignment groups in grading periods will be included in a future release.
When Display Totals is enabled, the Gradebook and student Grades page displays all grade totals, as well as any assignment groups created for the course.
Grading Period CSV Exports
When Grading Periods are enabled for a course, instructors can choose to export a specific grading period from the Gradebook. The Export button is linked to the grading period displayed in the Gradebook and the CSV file will include all associated assignments.
When an instructor exports a specific grading period, the CSV displays a total for that grading period. However, if the instructor exports All Grading Periods, the CSV displays only displays current and total columns if the Display Total feature option is enabled.
Note: This feature is not currently available for reports at the account level.
Grading Period View
When Grading Periods are enabled for a course, the global Grades page allows students to view the total grade for a course according to a specific grading period. The menu display defaults to the current grading period.
In the current UI, the Grades page is located in Global Navigation. In the new UI, the Grades button is located in the Dashboard sidebar.
In this page, the Display Totals feature option affects viewing the All Grading Periods option. When the Display Totals feature is disabled (default setting), the Grades global view does not include the All Grading Periods option in the drop-down menu. Students can only view the grade from the selected grading period.
If Display Totals is enabled, students can view the All Grading Periods option and view the total grade.
Note: For instructor views, courses that an instructor is taking are displayed by grading period. However, courses being taught continue to show the total average grade for all students. This view will be updated in a future release.
New Canvas UI
Dashboard Course Nickname
The New Canvas User Interface (UI) is an account-level feature option, which can be enabled by any Canvas admin in Account Settings. Enabling the New UI affects the user interface for the entire Canvas account. Adjustments to the New UI will be made throughout the upcoming year.
The New Canvas UI will be an account opt-in feature until approximately mid-2016. Watch the release notes for more details and updates on this feature.
In the new Canvas UI, users can create nicknames for their courses. This feature helps users organize their courses on the Dashboard according to a specified nickname. Most courses are created using Student Information Systems (SIS) that generate course names based on terms, departments, and section numbers, and users enrolled in similar courses have a hard time distinguishing each course.
To set a nickname, click the Settings icon for the course. Enter the nickname in the text field and click the Apply button. Course nicknames appear in the Dashboard, course navigation menus and breadcrumbs, and notification emails. However, this feature does not currently apply to the global Grades page and Dashboard sidebar elements such as the To Do list. Nickname functionality is being reviewed in these areas for a future release.
A course nickname does not affect the course name at the account or course level; it only changes the name of the course for the individual user who created the nickname. If users needs to know the original name of the course, they can hover over the nickname and the original name will appear. Users can also restore the original name completely by deleting the nickname. Additionally, the course code is not affected and always displays on the dashcard for course reference.
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Anonymous Grading Student View
Students can view whether or not an assignment was graded anonymously in SpeedGrader. Anonymous grading is set by opening SpeedGrader options and selecting the Hide Student Names in SpeedGrader checkbox.
Notifications of the anonymous status are shown in both the student Grades page and the sidebar of the assignment submission page.
In the Assignments submission sidebar, the download link for the assignment is shown below the submission details link.
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Submission Attachments and User Quotas
Student submission attachments are not counted against a user’s quota limit.
This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.
Assignment Publish Toggle
When creating an assignment in the Calendar, the publish button has been changed to a toggle, where the toggle on the left (default) means the toggle is not enabled. In the calendar, a toggle on the left means the assignment is not published. This change helps align toggle functionality throughout Canvas.
Sidebar Performance Improvements
Canvas has implemented performance improvements to the Dashboard sidebar to improve speed and content data.
Feature Option Toggle
The Feature Options buttons have been changed to a toggle, where the toggle on the left (default) means the toggle is not enabled. In Feature Options, a toggle on the left means the feature option is not enabled. This change helps align toggle functionality throughout Canvas.
At the account level, updated toggles only apply to account-level options. If a feature has been enabled for all users by Canvas, the feature option displays the feature as On or Off. Course options enabled at the account level are not affected by the design change.
At the course level, if a feature is allowed to be enabled, the feature option includes a toggle. However, if a feature has been enforced at the account level by an admin, the course feature options displays the feature as On or Off.
In the Course Details tab, Settings includes a setting for ePub exports. This setting modifies the organization of an ePub document in a course, but it is not available as a standalone checkbox. Watch for more details in an upcoming release about the full functionality of this feature.
The Theme Editor is used in conjunction with the new Canvas User Interface (UI) feature option. Enabling the New UI affects the user interface for the entire Canvas account.
Login Page Logo
The login page logo size has been changed to support a maximum width of 190 pixels. This change helps accommodate space for links that may appear on the opposite site of the logo, such as the Public Course Index browse catalog link and account self-registration options. Additionally, this change also resolves some existing conflicts with logo sizes in Firefox, ensures consistency across all browsers, and enhances the overall user experience. Logos should be designed and uploaded according to the recommendations in the Canvas Theme Editor Image Template PDF located in the Theme Editor admin lesson.
After November 21, newly created developer keys will need to use refresh tokens during the OAuth2 process. Future communication will be provided advising when we will be enforcing the use of refresh tokens for all developer keys. For more information about refresh tokens please view the Oauth API documentation.
As part of creating assignment due dates, focus is retained in the input field of each due date set.
When an assignment group is created, Canvas generates a message to show the group creation was successful.
Conversations retains focus indicators on the Reply and More Options buttons.
For each dashcard, the container is labeled as a <div> instead of a <header>. Additionally, terms are not labeled as links.
In the Settings menu for a course, each option includes appropriate aria values to indicate its functionality.
ePortfolio buttons and links include labels to define editing, managing, removing, and renaming sections.
Screen readers can read the Add Module button.
As part of editing a quiz, the Cancel button is read as a button instead of a link.
When updating a profile picture, keyboard users can upload a file and navigate back to the profile page.
Subaccount User Listings
Users are only listed as part of a subaccount if they have an active subaccount course enrollment.
Explanation: When a user was added to a course listed within a subaccount and the course was deleted, the user was still being listed under the subaccount users. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not verifying the user with the course state. Canvas code has been updated to remove users that are not associated with active subaccount courses.
When excused assignments exist in the Gradebook, the Analytics API returns student analytics.
Explanation: When an instructor marked an assignment as excused for a student, the Analytics API returned an error message. This behavior occurred because the analytics was looking for missing submissions, the behavior of which does not apply to excused assignments. Canvas code has been updated to correct behavior of excused assignments when interacting with the Analytics API.
In the Enrollments API, users can view a list of deleted enrollments.
Explanation: When a user deleted an enrollment from a course and then tried to view a list of deleted enrollments, the list was not generating any results. This behavior occurred because of an error with considering the viewing permissions for the current user. Canvas code has been updated to return deleted enrollments.
File Uploads and Users in Additional Accounts
Students can upload file uploads for an assignment submission even if the course they are enrolled in originates in a different account.
Explanation: When a student tried to upload a file upload as an assignment submission, they were not able to submit the assignment. This behavior affected students who were enrolled in a course located in another account (through a trust setup) and occurred because of an error with the file redirect to confirm the submission ID. Canvas code has been updated to correct file redirects for user data originating in another account.
Save and Publish Button and Notifications
When an instructor creates an assignment but leaves the content unpublished, users receive a notification once the instructor publishes the assignment.
Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment but did not publish the assignment, editing the assignment at a later date then clicking the Save and Publish button was not generating a notification. This behavior occurred because notifications was not verifying the prior workflow state for the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to send out notifications for an assignment once it is published.
Automatic Peer Review Distribution
When an instructor assigns automatic peer reviews, peer reviews are distributed evenly across all students.
Explanation: When an instructor set an assignment with a peer review and chose the option to assign peer reviews automatically, peer reviews were being distributed inconsistently, where students were being reviewed more times and fewer times than other students. This behavior occurred because peer reviews were not being distributed according to a specific factor. Canvas code has been updated to use the peer review ID when automatically assigning peer reviews. The peer review ID is factored with the peer review count, so if a peer review is set to receive three reviews per student, the peer review ID will be used to count accurate distribution.
Submission Attachments and User Quotas
Student submission attachments are not counted against a user’s quota limit.
Explanation: When a student submitted a file attachment as part of an assignment submission, the file size was applied to the user’s quota, causing users with limited file space to exceed their quota. Additionally, any users who tried to delete a profile picture were unable to update their profile pictures. This behavior occurred because of a code change in the October 31 release that disallowed students from deleting any files submitted as an assignment, which also included profile picture uploads. Canvas code has been updated to not count submission attachments toward a user’s file quota.
Scheduler Appointment Time Slots
When editing an appointment group, an instructor cannot edit the dates with the calendar icon.
Explanation: When an instructor created an appointment group and then edited the group, changing the time slots with the calendar icon appeared to change the dates but were not saved. This behavior occurred because time slots in the calendar cannot be edited once they are created. Canvas code has been updated to remove the calendar icon from time slots when editing an appointment group.
Changes to group memberships are shown in previously created scheduler appointments.
Explanation: When a student is in a group and signed up for an appointment in the scheduler, the Scheduler was not updating the appointment if the student moved to another group. This behavior occurred because the scheduler was not verifying the user’s current group. Canvas code has been updated to use active group memberships in scheduler reservations.
Send Message in People Page
Users can send a message from a course’s people page regardless of the course’s favorite status.
Explanation: When a user opened a course, viewed the People page, viewed a user, and clicked the Send Message button, the message was never sent. This behavior occurred because the message component was associated with the courses list and wouldn’t send if the course being messaged from was not a favorite course in the courses list. Canvas code has been updated to disassociate course favorite status with sending messages and launch messages from their associated context.
Moodle and Duplicate Page Titles
Canvas imports Moodle content with duplicate page titles.
Explanation: When a user imported a Moodle course where multiple pages included the same page title, only one page item was imported. This behavior occurred because Canvas required a more current code element to support Moodle pages. Canvas code has been updated to include a more recent Moodle dependency.
Discussion and Quiz Assignment Groups
Canvas retains assignment groups for courses importing select assignment and discussion content.
Explanation: When a user imported a Canvas course that contained an assignment group with no assignments (discussions and quizzes only), the course imported the content into a new assignment group called Imported Assignments. This behavior affected assignment groups that only contained quizzes and discussions, and where the import selected specific content as part of the import and did not affect course copy; the behavior occurred because quizzes and discussions were not properly considered to be assignments when imported as select content. Canvas code has been updated to treat all assignment types as assignments for group validation.
Coming Up Sidebar List
Coming Up events do not visibly conflict in the Dashboard and Course Home Page sidebar.
Explanation: When an instructor created events or assignments for a course, the Coming Up list in the Dashboard sidebar was not always matching with the sidebar in the Course Home Page. This behavior occurred because any hidden events or assignments (events that are in the future) were reloading in the other location, causing the sidebar to display more items than should be displayed. Canvas code has been updated to not cache hidden items in Coming Up events.
Deleted Graded Discussions and Discussion State
Graded discussions that have been restored to a course are restored to their original state.
Explanation: When a graded discussion was deleted from a course in a published state, and the discussion was restored to the course, the graded discussion was displaying as unpublished on the Assignments page. This behavior occurred because Canvas assumed the discussion topics were already active and were updated to be unpublished. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the date of the discussion before restoring a discussion.
Group Discussions in Unpublished Courses
Group discussions do not send notifications if the course is unpublished.
Explanation: When a discussion was published in a group, but the group was in an unpublished course, group members were being sent ASAP notifications about the group discussion. This behavior occurred because the group was not verifying the status of the course. Canvas code has been updated to not send group discussion notifications in unpublished courses.
If institutions allow students to view future enrollments, students can view the future course.
Explanation: When an institution allows students to view future enrollments, clicking the invitation to view the future course was not allowing the student to view the course. This behavior occurred because of misaligned permissions with invited enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to retain read-only access for students with future enrollments.
XML SIS Imports and Time Zones
SIS Imports with XML files retain the assigned time zone.
Explanation: When a user imported an XML file in the SIS Import page, the import was ignoring the time zone shifts and imported the file as UTC. This behavior occurred because the time wasn’t set according to ISO format. Canvas code has been updated to convert time zones for XML imported courses.
SIS Imports and User Count
When an admin imports a Users SIS file, the import reports the count of all imported users.
Explanation: When an admin imported a Users SIS file, the reported number of users that were imported was not including users who were newly created by the import and who did not have an email address specified in the CSV file. This behavior occurred because the import counted users only if they contained email addresses. Canvas code has been updated to retain import count as long as the user pseudonym has not changed (such as a user ID).
Masquerading and Time Zone Display
When an admin masquerades as a student, the admin sees Canvas according to the user’s time zone.
Explanation: When an admin masqueraded as a user with a different time zone setting, the admin viewed the course in the admin’s time zone instead of the user’s time zone. This behavior occurred because masquerading is related to Student View, where the Test Student assumes the same time zone as the person in Student View. Test Students in Canvas are considered fake enrollments and do not contain unique settings in the database. Canvas code has been updated to retain time zone settings for any masqueraded user with an account enrollment.
SIS Enrollments and Section Edits
When an instructor edits a section for a user in a course, any sections created with student information system (SIS) enrollments are grayed out and cannot be edited.
Explanation: When an instructor opened the People page, opened the settings for a user, and clicked the Edit Sections button, the sections dialog window appeared. When the instructor tried to remove the user from the section, Canvas generated an error message. This behavior occurred because the enrollments were added through a student information system (SIS) and could not be edited without proper user permissions. Canvas code has been updated to gray out any sections that cannot be manually removed in a course.
External Tool Submissions and Student Analytics
Course Analytics graphs display data for all courses regardless of whether an assignment contains an external tool submission.
Explanation: When a course assignment included an external tool, viewing course analytics broke the ability to view submissions or grades for that assignment. This behavior occurred because data from external tools do not properly transfer into course analytics. Canvas code has been updated to convert submission columns from enrollment information to apply as assignment submission data.
Folder with Multiple Files
When a folder contains over 100 files, the Files page loads more efficiently.
Explanation: When a user opened a Files folder containing over 100 files, the files took a long time to load and even locked up the browser. This behavior occurred because of an issue with rendering file image thumbnails instead of the entire file. Canvas code has been updated to improve page functionality when view multiple files.
Student Grades Counter and Deleted Assignments
When a graded quiz or assignment is deleted from a course, Course Navigation refreshes the Grades indicator for associated assignments.
Explanation: If a student took a quiz or submitted an assignment, and the quiz or assignment was deleted, the Grades counter in Course Navigation did not decrease the grade count accordingly. This behavior occurred of a caching error in the Canvas server. Canvas code has been updated to refresh grade indicators for any deleted assignments.
Safari Browser and Student Grades
In Safari, users can view grades when hovering over assignment scores.
Explanation: When a student used the Safari browser and viewed Grades for a course, hovering over the score caused the grades to disappear. This behavior occurred because the hover font weight was set to bold, which affected the grades view. Canvas code has been updated to always show grades when hovering over grades.
Total Column Options
When an instructor hovers over the Total Column, the options appear in the drop-down menu.
Explanation: When an instructor hovered over the Gradebook Totals Column, the drop-down menu was not appearing. This behavior occurred because hovering over the column re-rendered the options attached to the menu, which removed them from view. Canvas code has been updated to reattach Total Column options to the menu.
Concluded Courses and Download All Submissions Button
Instructors can download submissions from concluded courses.
Explanation: When an instructor viewed a concluded course and clicked the Download All Submissions button, the download failed. This behavior occurred because Canvas wasn’t verifying the current user course permissions. Canvas code has been updated to allow user to download submissions if they have the View All Grades permission.
Post Grades to SIS and Quiz Totals
When an instructor updates the point value of a quiz that is set to be sent to a student information system (SIS), the Gradebook updates the quiz with the correct point value.
Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz with the Post Grades to SIS option enabled, updated the point value of the quiz, and saved the quiz, the Gradebook would not update the point value until the quiz was saved again. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not verifying if the quiz already existed. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the total point values update after the first save.
Modules displays the overdue icon only if a student does not have a submission for the assignment.
Explanation: When a student viewed the Modules page, the page displayed the overdue icon for all assignments with due dates in the past. This behavior occurred because Modules was not verifying assignment submissions. Canvas code has been updated to not show the overdue icon if a submission exists for an assignment.
Modules and Visible Completion Requirements
Modules only display completion requirement types relating to the items added to the module.
Explanation: When an instructor created a module and included a module item, Modules was displaying every completion requirement type even if the requirement wasn’t related to that item. This behavior allowed instructors to set incompatible requirements with module items, which weren’t saved and were set with no requirements. This behavior occurred because modules weren’t verifying Must Contribute options within the module. Canvas code has been updated to filter module requirement types when adding module items.
New Canvas UI
Theme Editor and Internet Explorer 11
In the Internet Explorer 11 browser, admins can select a color in the Theme Editor.
Explanation: When an admin opened the Theme Editor in Internet Explorer 11 and selected a new color, the hex code would not update to display the color value for the selected color. This behavior occurred because of an incorrect value to trigger the output. Canvas code has been updated to change the hex code to match the chosen color.
Account-Level Outcomes and Course Permissions
Instructors can delete imported account-level outcomes if they have not yet been used in the course.
Explanation: When an account-level outcome was imported into a course, instructors could not delete an outcome that was not being used in the course. This behavior occurred because account-level outcomes are set as read-only, causing the Delete button to be hidden by default. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to delete imported outcomes if unused in the course.
Outcomes and Rubrics
Account-level outcomes can be deleted from a course as long as the outcome does not have any course associations.
Explanation: When an account-level outcome was imported into a course, and an instructor created an assignment, added a rubric, added the outcome to the rubric, then deleted the assignment, the instructor was not able to remove the outcome from the course even though it wasn’t used to assess an assignment. This behavior occurred because the rubric was still considered to be associated with the outcome. Canvas code has been updated to destroy all associations for a rubric if its associated assignment is deleted.
Deleted Outcomes and Learning Mastery Gradebook
The Learning Mastery Gradebook does not display outcome results for deleted outcomes.
Explanation: When an instructor graded a student with an outcome, the outcome appeared in the Learning Mastery Gradebook. However, if the outcome was removed from the rubric, if the assignment was deleted, or if the rubric was deleted, the outcome grade was still appearing in the Learning Mastery Gradebook. This behavior occurred because the Gradebook was not confirming the state of the outcome. Canvas code has been updated to not show outcomes from deleted rubrics.
Student Login IDs
Instructors can view SIS IDs in a course.
Explanation: When an instructor viewed the People page and viewed information for a student, the instructor wasn’t able to view the student’s SIS ID. This behavior occurred because the page required the instructor to have the Add/Remove Students course permission. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to view SIS ID information inherently as part of their user role.
View User Grades
Account-level roles can view grades for a student if they have the View All Grades permission.
Explanation: When an account-level user tried to view grades for a student, the admin wasn’t able to view the grades. This behavior occurred because Grades required the admin to have the Add/Remove Students course permission. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to view student grades if they have the View All Grades permission.
Profile Pictures and 250 Users
Admins can view and manage all profile pictures for an account.
Explanation: When an admin tried to view profile pictures for an account, the page only allowed the admin to view up to 250 profile pictures. This behavior occurred because of a pagination error. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to view all profile pictures in an account.
Ungraded Surveys and Point Values
Ungraded surveys do not display point values.
Explanation: When an instructor created an ungraded survey with questions that were assigned point values, the point values in the quiz summary page and quiz index page reflected as the point total for the quiz. This behavior occurred because surveys were being treated as other quiz types where point values are displayed. However, this change does not hide the point values for each question while taking the survey. Canvas code has been updated to hide points possible for ungraded surveys.
Ungraded Quiz UI Mismatch
Ungraded quizzes don’t refer to correct answer choices.
Explanation: When an instructor created a multiple choice question in an ungraded survey, the quiz question referred to correct answers, which was confusing as ungraded surveys do not have correct answers. This behavior occurred because the quiz inherited the settings from the question type. Canvas code has been updated to recognize ungraded quizzes as a survey and not refer to correct answers when applicable.
Embedded Media and Updated Quizzes
Instructors can update a quiz question containing uploaded/recorded media.
Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz that included uploaded/recorded media, clicking Update Question (without saving the quiz) and editing the question again would not allow the media to be played. This behavior occurred because of an error with the quiz question API and properly translating the quiz question content. Canvas code has been updated to retain media HTML for question entries.
Symbols and Quiz Answers
Quizzes display <, >, and & in quiz questions.
Explanation: When a user entered a lesson than, greater than, or ampersand into a quiz question answer, the characters displayed in an encoded version causing the symbols to disappear. This behavior occurred because of an error with the quiz question API and properly translating HTML content. Canvas code has been updated to include symbol characters in question answers.
Instructor Grade Notifications
In Course Navigation, instructors do not see grade notifications after taking a quiz.
Explanation: When an instructor took a quiz in Canvas, a grade indicator appeared in Course Navigation but it could not be removed. This behavior occurred because Canvas is designed to generate grade indicators with automatically scored quizzes. Canvas code has been updated to not generate grade indicators for users with an instructor role.
Rich Content Editor
When editing a page, preformatted text appears in the Rich Content Editor.
Explanation: When a user created or edited a page and tried to use the pre-formatted text option, the paragraph text wasn’t changing to the pre-formatted format. This behavior occurred because of an error with the preformatted font family. Canvas code has been updated to support preformatted text in the Rich Content Editor.
File Attachments and Comment Submissions
The attachment icon does not autosubmit comments in SpeedGrader.
The rubric window in SpeedGrader scrolls independently of the student submission.
Explanation: When an instructor used a rubric in SpeedGrader and tried to scroll to view the contents of the rubric, the rubric was scrolling the entire page instead of the rubric window content. This behavior occurred because the rubric window did not contain a height specification. Canvas code has been updated to adjust the height of the window to 100% and allow overflow content to scroll.
SpeedGrader Auto Downloads
SpeedGrader does not automatically download Photoshop files.
Explanation: When students submitted large Photoshop files that couldn’t be previewed, SpeedGrader automatically downloaded the file. This behavior occurred because image types that couldn’t be previewed were tagged with the download parameter, including Photoshop images. Canvas code has been updated to exclude PSD files from automatic downloads.
Document Previewer and Peer-Reviewed Assignments
The Canvas document previewer generates file previews for peer-review assignments.
Explanation: When a student submitted a file as part of a peer-reviewed file upload assignment, if the file attempted to render in the document previewer, such as with a Rich Text Format document, the previewer generated an error message. This behavior occurred because of a typo in the previewer file method confirming whether or not peer reviews were present. Canvas code has been updated to preview files used with peer review assignments.
Student Graded Status for Manually Graded Quiz Questions
When an instructor enters a score for a manually graded quiz question and updates the quiz, SpeedGrader updates the student’s assignment status with a green check mark.
Explanation: When an instructor graded a manual quiz question, such as an essay, and then clicked the Update Scores button, SpeedGrader still showed the submission as Needs Grading with an orange dot. However, once the page was refreshed, the green check mark icon displayed correctly. This behavior occurred because of a regression caused by an upcoming Canvas feature. Canvas code has been updated to update the status icon when scores are applied in a manually graded quiz.