Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-04-11)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Apr 11, 2016Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Apr 18, 2016
Version 7Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

In this beta release, Canvas has new features for Authentication, the Calendar, External Apps, Global Announcements, and Grades. Updates are also available in multiple Canvas areas and APIs.

 

Beta features are subject to change based on user feedback and testing.

 

Unless otherwise mentioned, features apply to both the current and new Canvas user interface. On July 9, 2016, the new Canvas user interface will no longer be a feature option in Canvas and will be enabled for all institutions.

 

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

 

Authentication

Microsoft and Clever

Canvas supports authentication with Microsoft and Clever as third-party identity providers. Once the provider has been added to Canvas, the provider’s authentication login credentials must be added to each Canvas user’s account through API or SIS import. (Currently there is no support for adding user credentials through the Canvas interface.)

 

Add Identity Provider

Admins can use the Authentication Settings page to configure an identity provider to their account. Each provider requires the admin to set an attribute to be associated with the account. Admins can also enable Just in Time Provisioning, which automatically creates user accounts if one does not already exist.

  • Microsoft authentication supports sub, email, old, and preferred username login attributes. Tenants can be used to restrict use to users in a specific Azure Active Directory.
  • Clever authentication supports ID, SIS ID, email, student number, or teacher number as login attributes. Clever IDs can be used to restrict use to users in a specific Clever district.

 

Authentication-Microsoft-and-Clever.png

 

Add User Credentials

Once the provider has been saved in Canvas, admins must add the provider’s authentication login credentials must be added to each Canvas user’s account through API or SIS import. (Currently there is no support for adding user credentials through the Canvas interface.)


Documentation for creating and adding authentication providers is available in the Authentication Providers API. Each authentication provider supports specifically recognized parameters; some providers may recognize additional parameters. Unrecognized parameters are not supported.

 

Calendar

Wrapped Assignments and Events Titles is used in conjunction with the Wrap Event Titles in Calendar Month View account-level feature option, which must be enabled by an institutional admin in Account Settings.

Wrapped Assignments and Event Titles

The Calendar Month view supports text wrapping for events and assignment titles with long names. When a calendar item name is longer than the width of the date, the content wraps to the next line. Some events may create additional white space between shorter events on the same week as days with longer events because the Calendar infrastructure enforces a table grid for the entire row.

 

Calendar-Wrap-View.png

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When an instructor created a calendar event or assignment with a long name, the text was truncated and could not be viewed without hovering over the name or opening the calendar item. Canvas code has been updated to include a feature option that allows admins to set the preferred calendar viewing preference for their institutions.

 

 

External Apps

Manage Edu App Center List

Institutions who use the Edu App Center can manage their whitelisted apps directly in Canvas. If an institution is actively using a whitelist, they can enter their Edu App Center API Access token into Canvas. Applied through the Manage App List button, the access token syncs the External Apps list at both the account and course levels to only show apps from the Edu App Center whitelist set up for the organization. An organization may have multiple tokens, but each token directs back to the whitelist created in that organization.


An access token applied at the account level also applies to all subaccounts. However, if an admin only wants to sync the whitelisted apps for a few subaccounts (and not apply to the entire account), the access token must be entered into each subaccount individually.

 

External-Apps-Manage-App-List.png

 

At the course level, courses within the applied account or subaccount only display whitelisted apps and does not display the Manage App List button. Access tokens can only be managed at the account and subaccount levels.

 

External-Apps-.png

 

Admins can manage the app list at any time to remove or replace an access token. When an account or subaccount does not include an access token, the External Apps list displays the default app list provided by Canvas.


Note: Managing External Apps requires the Manage account-level settings account permission.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

 

Global Announcements

Subaccount Global Announcements

Admins and subaccount admins can create global announcements at the subaccount level. This feature allows subaccount global announcements to be shown to all subaccount admins and users enrolled in courses within the subaccount.

 

Global-Announcements-Subaccount.png

 

To help differentiate announcements at the account and subaccount levels, the message also indicates which account or subaccount sent the global announcement.

 

Global-Announcements-Dashboard-Account-Names.png

 

Note: Managing Global Announcements requires the Global Announcements account permission.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

 

 

Grades

Inactive Enrollments Setting

When a student is deactivated in a course, instructors can view inactive enrollments through the Gradebook Settings menu. Similar to the behavior of concluded enrollments, this feature allows instructors to filter inactive students from the Gradebook. When enabled, the Settings menu displays a checkmark next to the option to show inactive enrollments.

 

Gradebook-Inactive-Setting.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

 

Enrollment Labels

When displaying inactive or concluded students, Gradebook includes a label next to the name of the student indicating the student’s enrollment status. Grade fields for both enrollments types are grayed out, but inactive enrollment grades can still be edited.

 

Gradebook-Inactive-Enrollments.png

 

 

  Updated Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Courses

Courses Page Updates

The Courses page design has been redesigned to incorporate the styles used in the Dashboard. The page displays all course details in a column format for easier readability. This change mostly affects the new Canvas UI; the legacy UI design only adds page headings to show each column type. Contrast ratios for the favorites star icon have also been increased for accessibility.

 

In the new Canvas UI, the Courses page also displays any color that has been associated with a published course. Color associations can be made in the Calendar or in the Dashboard; any change from either feature syncs the course color across all associated areas.


Additionally, the Courses page displays any nicknames that have been created for the course. If no nickname has been created, the column appears blank. (Nicknames only appear for the user who created the nickname.)

 

Courses-Page-Design.png

 

Global Navigation

User Account Menu Updates (New UI)

The User Account menu includes the user’s display name. If there is no display name, the name first defaults to the user’s full name, then to the user’s email address. Long names or email addresses are truncated with ellipses.

 

If the user’s institution supports profile pictures, the user’s profile picture is also included in the menu. If a user does not have a profile picture, the default profile picture will be used.


The Logout button has also been moved to the top of the menu.

 

User-Account-Menu-New-UI.png

 

Grades

Course Navigation Menu (New UI)

The Course Navigation Menu has been added to the Gradebook page but always defaults to a collapsed view. The icon is included as part of the page breadcrumbs for easy access.  Gradebook users can click the icon to expand the menu and easily access any other course area.

 

Grades-Course-Navigation-Menu.png

 

People

User Details Inactive Status

Users who have permission to view the user details page in a course can view an inactive label for inactive enrollments. This change helps clarify a user’s enrollment status when the user has multiple enrollments within a course.

 

People-User-Details-Inactive-Status.png

 

User Details Observer Links

The user details page no longer includes an option to link students to an observer. Users who have permission to view the user details page can view the student who is linked to the observer, but modifying linked students can only be done in the People page as part of the user settings menu options. This change was made to simplify the workflow location for linking students to observers.

 

Observer-Student-Linking.png

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When an observer was associated with a student in the People page and later removed from the course, the observer was removed but the student association was retained. If the observer was added back to the course and relinked to the student through the user details page, the student link would fail. Canvas code has been updated to only allow one location for linking students to observers.

 

 

  Other Updates

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Turnitin Icon Contrast

Turnitin icon colors in the assignment submission details page, Gradebook, and SpeedGrader display with higher contrast ratios.

 

Authentication

Self Registration Page Styling

Self Registration enrollment pages have been updated with improved page styling.

 

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a user tried to enroll in a course using a self registration page link and typed an incorrect username and/or password, the error box was hidden behind the email input text because of incorrect CSS styling. Other self registration pages were also affected. Canvas code has been updated to improve CSS styles as well as update page content to align with the new Canvas user interface.

 

Course Settings

Subaccount List Sorting

When admins view the settings for a course and change the associated subaccount, the subaccounts list is displayed in alphabetical order.

 

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When an admin selected a subaccount in course settings, the subaccounts list sorted subaccounts by the last edited subaccount in descending order. Canvas code has been updated to sort subaccounts via name in alphabetical order.

 

Dashboard

Dashboard Course Icon Update (New UI)

Dashboard course cards include the edit icon instead of the settings icon. The icon controls course options to set a nickname and change the associated course color in the Courses page and Calendar.

 

Gradebook

Performance Updates

Gradebook content is loaded incrementally for improved performance. Some Gradebook features such as column sorting may not be available in larger courses until all students have been loaded on the page.

 

Notifications

Observer Role Updates

Observer roles are supported in Grading, Grading Policies, Calendar, and Submission Comment notifications. Observers can receive notifications on behalf of their linked students (students they are observing).

 

When the Grading notification is enabled, observers receive notifications without grades for linked students. This notification is created when an assignment grade is entered or changed, an assignment is unmuted, or an assignment is excused. Selecting the Include Scores checkbox includes the grades for the linked students.

 

When the Grading Policies notification is enabled, observers receive notifications with course grading policy information for linked students. This notification is created when a change is made to a weighted assignment group or the total calculation in the Gradebook (percentage or point calculation).

 

When the Calendar notification is enabled, observers receive notifications regarding course calendar items for linked students. This notification is created when a calendar event is created or changed.

 

When the Submission Comment notification is enabled, observers receive notifications with comments submitted to submissions created by linked students. This notification is created when a comment is added to an assignment submission. Notifications include the text of the submission comment, the creator of the comment, the course, and assignment name.

 

Communication Channel Update

If a user tries to reply to a message in an unconfirmed communication channel, the error delivery message includes information about how to confirm the communication channel so replies can be sent back through Canvas. Previously the message only mentioned that the reply could not be delivered, and the majority of users were unsure how to update or confirm a communication channel.

 

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a user’s communication channel is an alias of their address on their mail server, and the user replies to a message, the user receives a delivery notification that the message cannot be delivered. Replies cannot be made through external notifications if the sending address cannot be identified with a confirmed communication channel in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to include information about how users can update their communication channels.

 

People

Open Registration Observer Invitations

When an institution enables Open Registration and an instructor adds a user to a course as an observer, the user receives an enrollment invitation if the user does not already have an account.

 

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When an institution enabled Open Registration, Observer roles were not sending invitations even if the user did not exist in the account. If an instructor added an observer to a course using an email address not associated with a Canvas account, the observer enrollment showed as active but the actual observer was not able to create any login information for the course. This behavior occurred because of a previous change to Canvas where observer roles were automatically changed to an active state after being added to a course. Canvas code has been updated to not automatically activate Observer enrollments for unregistered users.

 

 

  Platform/Integration

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

APIs

For details about using Canvas APIs, please see https://www.canvaslms.com/policies/api-policy

 

Courses API

In the Courses API, users can filter by student view in the enrollment_type parameter.

 

For creating a new course, documentation about public courses has been clarified from is_public to is_public_to_auth_users.

 

Sections API

In the Sections API, documentation includes parameters for editing a section.

Attachments

    Outcomes