Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-07-16)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jul 8, 2016Last modified by jivedocs@instructure.com on Jul 15, 2018
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In this production release (July 16), admins can customize the Help link text and icon for their institution, manage the Theme Editor for sub-accounts, associate grading periods with terms, and view the total size of all source files in a course. Admins can also choose to enable a new feature option for the Rich Content Editor sidebar. Instructors can use MathML tags in the Rich Content Editor and view other small changes to better manage their courses. Additionally, international users in 13 countries can enable SMS messages for Canvas notifications.

 

The production release notes also include fixed bugs.

 

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Canvas New Feature Screencast (2016-07-16)

 

 

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: July 25
  • Production release notes: August 1
  • Production release and documentation: August 6

 

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.

 

  New Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Account Settings

Customized Help Link Text and Icons

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

 

In Account Settings, admins can change the Help icon and text that displays throughout Canvas.

 

Account-Settings-Help-Menu-in-Global-Nav.png

 

Help link text displays in the Global Navigation Menu, the footer of the login page, and the top menu bar in SpeedGrader. Link text should be no more than 30 characters.

 

The navigation icon currently only displays in the Global Navigation Menu. Navigation icons can be chosen from the included icon set, with the question mark icon as the default.

 

Account-Settings-Help-Menu.png

 

 

  Updated Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Account Settings

Sub-account Theme Editor Management

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

 

In Account Settings, admins can enable and disable the Theme Editor for all sub-accounts in their account. When enabled, sub-account admins can view the Themes link in Account Navigation and manage Theme Editor branding for the sub-account.


Note: The sub-account checkbox only affects access to the Theme Editor in sub-accounts; it is not associated with custom CSS/JS files. In the Theme Editor, the Upload tab only displays if CSS/JS files have been enabled for the entire account. For assistance enabling CSS/JS files, admins must contact their Customer Success Manager.

 

Account-Settings-Features.png

 

Grades

Grading Period Terms

This feature is no longer available for Free-for-Teacher accounts.

 

Grading periods have been reorganized to be associated by term and only managed at the account level. Each term can only be associated with one grading period set, but multiple terms can be in the same grading period set. This functionality is the first of several upcoming improvements to grading periods and provides more versatility across institutions.

 

Grading Period Sets

The Grading Periods account-level tab displays all grading period sets and their grading periods. Grading periods can be filtered by viewing a term in the Terms drop-down menu or by searching for the name of a term or grading period in the search field.

 

Terms are added to a grading set if the courses in the term use the same grading periods. Courses associated with a term automatically inherit the grading periods created specifically for the term.

 

Grading periods can be added to the grading period set in any order and are organized by start date. However, start and end dates cannot overlap in a grading period. As grading periods do not directly affect any course assignments, grading periods can be deleted or their start and end dates can be changed. However, changes should generally be made before a term begins. Changing grading period dates during a term will affect grade totals.


Note: Terms should be created in the account before being added to a grading period.

 

MGP-Grading-Periods-Semester.png

 

Once a term is associated with a grading period, the name of the grading period displays with the term in the Terms page.

 

MGP-Term-Details-GPs--p.png

 

Multiple Terms and Grading Periods

Each term can only be associated with one grading period set, but multiple terms can share the same grading period set. If an institution requires different grading periods to be active at the same time, admins can create additional terms and add them to a new or current grading period set. For instance, if various schools in a district need grading periods for semesters and quarters, admins can create a new term for each school and place the terms within different grading period sets—one created for semesters and one created for quarters. In the Terms page, each term will display its associated grading period.

 

MGP-Multiple-Terms-and-Grading-Period-Sets.png

 

Sub-Account & Courses View

As sub-accounts and courses associated with a term automatically inherit the grading periods created specifically for the term, grading periods are displayed in a read-only state.

  • Sub-accounts display all grading period sets for the account and associated grading periods.
  • Grading periods are enabled on a course-by-course basis. When enabled, courses only display grading periods associated with the course term.


Grading periods for the term can be viewed within the course, but grading period start and end dates do not display in the Gradebook.

 

MGP-Gradebook-Filter-View.png

 

To view the dates associated with each grading period, instructors can view the grading periods tab in the grading schemes page (located at your-institution.instructure.com/courses/XXX/grading_standards).

 

MGP-Grading-Periods-Quarters.png

 

Current Grading Periods

Any existing grading periods for an account have been retained at the group level as one grading period set. The name of the grading period set is the date a grading period was first created. Admins may prefer to separate the terms into individual grading period sets (reflecting the grading periods for each term). Terms can be moved to another grading period set as long as it is removed from its existing set first.


Retaining existing and concluded terms with their associated grading periods aligns accuracy with grading reports. Reporting functionality will be added to grading periods in a future release.

 

MGP-Current-Grading-Periods-with-Creation-Date.png

 

Existing Course-level Grading Period Changes

Instructor Modifications: Currently at the course level, instructors can modify grading periods inherited from an account for their individual courses. After these grading period code changes are made on July 16, grading periods cannot be edited at the course level by any user. Any current and active courses with instructor-modified grading periods will not be affected; this behavior is to retain the existing grading periods of the course and not disrupt grades and assignment due dates. Once the course has concluded, prior grading period data will be retained with the course for reporting purposes, but any course copies will be subject to the grading periods in the new term.

 

Future Grading Periods

Once a grading period has concluded, existing grading period sets should never be edited and reused for future terms. Future terms should be added to a new grading period set, with dates defined specifically for the future term. As term dates most commonly last an entire year, new grading period sets should only have to be created annually.


Retaining concluded terms and their associated grading periods ensures accuracy in grading reports. Reporting functionality will be added to grading periods in a future release.

 

Reports

Course Storage Report Total File Size

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

 

The Course Storage report shows the total of all files in a course. Previously the report only showed the storage used for each course, which did not account for any files that had been copied or referenced from previous courses. The report shows the amount of storage actually used in the course as well as the total of all files.

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

 

 

Rich Content Editor

Sidebar Assignment Links

When an instructor created a new discussion or quiz, the page sidebar included links to create a new assignment, discussion, or quiz, respectively. These links have been removed from Discussions and Quizzes creation pages.

 

Discussions-and-Quizzes-Sidebar-Links.png

 

MathML Whitelist

In HTML View, the Rich Content Editor supports MathML tags, including presentation and content tags.

 

User Account

Profiles User Account Menu

The Profiles feature allows users to populate a profile page and includes their name, contact methods, and biography information. This feature applies to an entire account and must be enabled by a Canvas Customer Success Manager.

When the Profiles feature is enabled, the User Account Menu does not include the Home or Logout links. This change removes redundancy and improves coding consistency between the non-Profiles user navigational menu.

 

User-Account-Menu-Profiles.png

 

 

  Other Updates

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Assignments

Turnitin Submissions

When a student submits an assignment through Turnitin, Canvas waits five minutes to request the submission and originality report.

 

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

When a student submitted a Turnitin assignment to Canvas, Canvas immediately sent a request to Turnitin to receive the submission and originality report information. This behavior sometimes resulted in the request being sent before the submission was ready for processing, and either the submission or originality report would not appear in the SpeedGrader. This behavior only affected institutions using the Turnitin LTI. Canvas code has been updated to wait five minutes (previously 60 seconds) to request the submission and originality report from Turnitin.

 

Conversations

Send Individual Messages Checkbox

In the message composition page, the Send Individual Messages checkbox option no longer includes an information icon. This icon previously explained the purpose of the checkbox, which has now been added to the checkbox description. This change improves accessibility for keyboard users.

 

Conversations-Send-Individual-Message-Checkbox.png

 

Course Settings

Add Section Button

In the Course Sections tab, the Add Section button match similar button styles throughout Canvas.

 

Course-Settings-Add-Section-Button.png

 

Grades

Performance Update

For improved performance, the Gradebook only queries active enrollments for users directly related to the course. Previously the Gradebook would query all enrollments for all users.

 

Outcomes

Outcomes Buttons

At both the account and course levels, the buttons for adding an outcome and an outcome group match similar button styles throughout Canvas. Additionally, the buttons to move, edit, and delete an outcome and outcome group have been reordered for consistency and include shortened text.

 

Outcomes-Add-Button-.png

 

User Settings

International SMS Country Additions

International SMS functionality is used in conjunction with the International SMS account-level feature option, which must be enabled by a Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM).

Canvas offers SMS notification support to additional users outside the United States. Unlike in the United States, international carrier details are not required as part of the communication setup.

 

The following countries have been added to SMS notifications: Austria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Poland, South Korea, and Uruguay.

 

Note: Notifications cannot be sent from the Canvas beta environment.

 

 

  Platform/Integration

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

API

For details about using Canvas APIs, please see the Canvas API Policy page.

 

Calendar Events API

The Calendar Events API includes documentation of the assignment_overrides return value in the AssignmentEvent object.

 

Conversations API

In the Conversations API, the List Conversations API endpoint includes an optional request to include an avatar URL key for each user participating in the conversation.

 

Enrollments API

In the Enrollments API, the Enroll a User API endpoint includes the enrollment[associated_user_id] parameter. For an observer enrollment, this parameter returns the ID of a student to observe. Users can make this call if they have permission to add/remove students for the course.

 

The Conclude or Deactivate an Enrollment API endpoint has been renamed to Conclude, Deactivate, or Delete an Enrollment. The description has also been updated to clarify that if the task argument isn't given, the enrollment will be concluded.

 

Grading Periods API

In the Grading Periods API, the Create a Single Grading Period API endpoint has been deprecated. Grading periods can no longer be made at the course level.

 

 

  Fixed Bugs

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Accessibility

Analytics

The analytics toggle is read by screen readers as a check box. In graph view, the graphs are viewed as images and include descriptive text.

 

Assignments

The search field includes a label that can be read by screen readers.

 

Calendar

If a user tries to change the color for a calendar, the screen readers can identify the calendar name. Additionally, the mini calendar in the sidebar remains hidden from screen readers.

 

In the assignment or event creation window, the layout is not presented as a table.

 

Conversations

In the message composition page, the Send Individual Messages checkbox option no longer includes an information icon. The purpose of the checkbox has been added to the checkbox description.

 

Email actions include table headings for screen readers.

 

Discussions

When a user expands or collapses a discussion with a reply, screen readers receive a notification.

 

ePortfolios

Keyboard users can view the Show Me links in the ePortfolio Getting Started Wizard.

 

For keyboard users, ePorfolio pages do not display extra links to the welcome page.

 

Grades

The CSV upload page includes label context for screen readers, such as in the Choose Assignment and Points Possible fields.

 

Login

For keyboard users, all footer links are underlined when focused.

 

Outcomes

The Outcomes buttons at the top of the page can be read by screen readers.

 

Outcomes includes aria labels to identify first and second levels in the Outcomes and Outcome Groups lists.

 

People

After a user opens the window to add a user to a course, the close icon is focused each time the page is refreshed.

 

When a user is removed from a course, screen readers can read the browser’s flash message that the user was removed. Additionally, focus is placed on the Add User button.

 

Quizzes

When tabbing to the Move icon in a quiz question, keyboard users can view how to reorder questions by clicking the Enter key.

 

Rich Content Editor

The resize window handle is hidden from screen readers.

 

For keyboard users, the toolbar buttons include improved focus indicators.

 

Rubrics

The Add Criterion button includes a label for screen readers.

 

The Add Rubric button is read completely by screen readers.

 

When a rubric criterion is deleted, focus is placed on the link in the first column of the previous row.

 

In the rubrics edit criteria name, edit rating, and view longer description fields, the cancel button is listed before the OK or Update Description buttons, respectively. This change achieves button placement parity throughout Canvas.

 

Outcomes

The buttons to move, edit, and delete an outcome have been reordered for consistency and include shortened text.

 

UI

The menu role has been removed from Canvas headings.

 

User Settings

The user settings page displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

 

When Profiles are enabled and a user clicks the Edit Profile page, screen readers can identify that the page has changed, and focus is retained in the first editable field.

 

Assignments

Availability Dates and Sections

Students can only submit an assignment during dates specified for their assignment.

 

Explanation: When a student was part of a section that was assigned an assignment, but that individual student was assigned a specific due date, the student was able to submit the assignment if there was a gap between the student’s due date and the section due date. Canvas code has been updated to make assignments unavailable during availability dates.

 

Moderated Assignments and Second Reviewers

If a moderated assignment is assigned to a second reviewer, but the second review is never made, SpeedGrader posts the provisional grade from the first reviewer.

 

Explanation: When an assignment was set up to be moderated by multiple users, but the second review was not completed, the moderated grading page showed the first reviewer’s score and posted to the assignment, but the score, comments, and annotations were not saved. Canvas code has been updated to default to the first provisional grade when posting moderated grades.

 

Submission Comments

In the submission details page, submission comments do not affect the assignment grade.

 

Explanation: When an instructor entered a submission comment in the submission details page for a letter grade assignment, the comment changed any saved grades and defaulted the grade to the highest possible score in the letter grade range. Canvas code has been updated to disassociate comments from grades in the Gradebook API.

 

Authentication

User ID Updates

In non-Canvas authentication methods, current users whose accounts are deleted and added with the same user ID redirect them back to the Canvas login page.

 

Explanation: When a Canvas user’s session was active, deleting and adding a new user with the same login ID caused the user to view an error page indicating their account could not be found. Clicking the Log in Again link looped them back to the same error page and they could not log in without clearing their Canvas session. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the appropriate login page to reauthenticate their session.

 

Calendar

Multiple Calendar Items

Course calendars with more than 100 items display more quickly in the Calendar page.

 

Explanation: When a calendar contained a large amount of events/assignments (over 100), the calendar took a very long time to load and occasionally became unresponsive. Canvas code has been updated to minimize calendar rendering and improve performance.

 

Courses

Course Name Tooltips

In the Courses page, truncated course names over 70 characters can be viewed in the tooltip.

 

Explanation: When a user viewed the Courses page and a course name was truncated, hovering over the course name did not display the entire name. This behavior occurred in all browsers except Safari. Canvas code has been updated to view full course names in the tooltip.

 

Discussions

Graded Discussion Edits

Changing a graded discussion to ungraded does not affect availability dates.

 

Explanation: When an instructor changed a graded discussion to ungraded, the availability dates were removed from the discussion. Canvas code has been updated to retain availability dates when a graded discussion is no longer graded.

 

Graded Group Discussions and Individual Sections

When a group discussion is assigned to one section in the course, students in the section can post replies in their group.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded group discussion and only assigned it to one section, the discussion did not direct students to their group, which caused students to post in the main discussion page. This behavior did not post replies to SpeedGrader for grading. Canvas code has been updated to always direct group discussions to their accompanying group pages.

 

Files

Drag-and-Drop Course Files Area

Files creates consistent sizing for drag-and-drop files.

 

Explanation: When an instructor tried to drag and drop files into course files, the droppable area size was only as long as the list of files. If the course contained no folders or files, the area was long enough for one line of text. Canvas code has been updated to make the drag-and-drop context area consistently sized.

 

Internet Explorer 11 Auto-scrolling

In Internet Explorer 11, pages do not auto-scroll to the top of the page.

 

Explanation: When a user viewed files using Internet Explorer 11 and scrolled down the page, the page would automatically auto-scroll to the top after 30 to 60 seconds. Canvas code has been updated to retain positioning on the page.

 

Login

Custom Logo and Observer Self-Registration in Internet Explorer 11 and Safari

Observer-only Self-Registration text wraps around custom logos in the login page.

 

Explanation: When Self-Registration was set to Observers Only, and a custom logo had been added to the login screen, the link text to create a new account didn’t wrap in IE and Safari and overlapped the logo. Canvas code has been updated to wrap text around the custom logo.

 

Mobile Browser Login Label

Mobile browser login pages retain the size for custom login usernames.

 

Explanation: When an institution created a custom login username, the mobile browser altered the size of the username width and height. Canvas code has been updated to adjust size for a custom login username field.

 

Modules

Mark as Done Requirement

Any module items that require a page to be marked as done display the Mark as Done button.

 

Explanation: When an instructor created and published a page as part of a module with the requirement to mark the page as done, if a student viewed the page through Pages, the Mark as Done button would not appear though the module progression arrows were not affected. Canvas code has been updated to retain the page module item ID parameter and always retain the Mark as Done button.

 

Outcomes

Aligned Question Banks

Users can view aligned question banks in Outcomes.

 

Explanation: When a user opened Outcomes and tried to view the aligned items for a question bank, clicking the name of a question bank created an error message because it didn’t recognize the alignment item. Canvas code has been updated to redirect the link to the question bank page.

 

Pages

Unpublished Courses and Public Viewing

Pages cannot be viewed in unpublished public courses.

 

Explanation: When a user created a course with public visibility, unpublished pages were able to be viewed if accessed directly through the page URL. Canvas code has been updated to restrict access to pages in public courses if the course is still unpublished.

 

Permissions

Create Web Conferences

User roles that have the Create Web Conferences permission can create conferences in Canvas.

 

Explanation: When a user with the Create Web Conferences permission tried to create a conference, the conference could not be created if the user did not also have the Manage All Other Course Content permission. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Other Course Content permission for creating a conference.

 

Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Assignments and Quizzes

Users with the Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Assignments and Quizzes permission can view unpublished quizzes.

 

Explanation: When a user had the Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Assignments and Quizzes permission, the user could view unpublished assignments but not quizzes. Canvas code has been updated to display unpublished quizzes to users with this permission.

 

Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Groups

Users without the Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Groups permission can view the list of groups in graded group discussions.

 

Explanation: When a user without the Manage (Add / Edit / Delete) Groups permission tried to view the list of groups in a graded group discussion, the list of groups was not visible. Canvas code has been updated to display links to group discussions.

 

Read SIS Data

Users with the Read SIS Data permission are able to view SIS info from groups. Additionally, users with this permission can view SIS information if the user is associated with a trust account.

 

Explanation: When a user with the Read SIS Data permission viewed a group and viewed the group’s list of users, the user could not view the SIS information. Additionally, if a user tried to view a user in a trust account, the course only displayed SIS ID information for the first user in the list. Canvas code has been updated to display SIS ID information for group contexts and trust accounts.

 

Edit Grades

Users with the Edit Grades permission can view quiz access codes through the Quizzes API.

 

Explanation: When a user without the Edit Grades permission tried to view the access code for a quiz, they were able to view the code in the quiz but not through the API. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to view quiz access codes in the API if they have the Edit Grades permission.

 

Public Course Index

Self-Enrollment and Join This Course Button

In the Public Course Index, the Join this Course link does not display for courses if Self-Enrollment is not enabled in the account.

 

Explanation: When an admin enabled the Public Course Index feature option and also enabled the Allow Self-Enrollment account settings option, any instructor that enabled the option to let students self-enroll also had the option to add a Join This Course link in the course home page. However, if the admin disabled self-enrollment for the institution, the Join this Course button remained on the course when viewed in the Public Course Index. Canvas code has been updated to remove the link if self-enrollment is disabled in the account.

 

Quizzes

Formula Questions and Zero Decimals

In formula questions, whole numbers do not display decimal values.

 

Explanation: When a formula question included a whole number, the number displayed as one decimal set to zero. Canvas code has been updated to display numbers with respect to the scale value used to configure the variable, instead of always displaying at least one decimal value; in terms of scale, whole numbers no longer display decimal values. Please note that this change only applies to new or updated content; it does not apply to any previous data. To apply this change to an existing quiz, edit and resave the quiz.

 

Quiz Result Restrictions and Course/Section End Dates

If the Restrict Students from Viewing Quiz Question after Course End Date checkbox is selected for an account, students can view quiz results if they are in a section with active dates.

 

Explanation: When a quiz was available for a student because of a section override date, but the Restrict Students from Viewing Quiz Question after Course End Date checkbox was selected in the account, students were unable to view their quiz results. Canvas code has been updated to allow students to view quiz results if they are enrolled in an extended section.

 

SpeedGrader

Grade by Question

When grading by question, SpeedGrader keeps the current question number in scrolling view.

 

Explanation: When an instructor tried to view a quiz in SpeedGrader and graded by individual question, scrolling down the page caused the list of question numbers to jump to the end. Canvas code has been updated to keep the current question number in scrolling view.

 

Percentage Assignments and Use Same Grade for Resubmission

The Use Same Grade for Resubmission link in SpeedGrader calculates a student’s original score as a point value.

 

Explanation: When an instructor changed the original point value on a percentage-graded assignment, a student resubmitted the assignment, and the instructor used the Use Same Grade for Resubmission link in SpeedGrader, the score would change to a percentage each time the instructor clicked the link instead of retaining the point value. Canvas code has been updated to submit the original grade.

 

Syllabus

Edit Button

The Edit button does not display in the Syllabus when the Syllabus is being edited.

 

Explanation: When an instructor edited the Syllabus, the Edit button remained visible in the page. Clicking the Edit button again cleared any changes that had been made by the instructor. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Edit button when the Syllabus is being edited.

 

Themes

Branding Algorithm

The Dashboard displays branding according to the branding set in the root account or highest sub-account with user enrollments.

 

Explanation: When an institution created branding in a root account and also created branding in additional sub-accounts, Dashboard branding was determined by the location of the user’s course, not by the order of a user’s enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to improve how the Theme Editor chooses branding outside the account context.

 

User enrollments are associated at the root account level and course enrollments are associated at the sub-account level. An enrollment is created when a user and a course are joined together. If a user is not enrolled in any courses, the Dashboard displays branding for the root account. This algorithm also relates to pages not associated with a course including user account and settings, Calendar, and Conversations; for admins, the Admin page is associated with the root account and displays the root account branding. Courses display the branding associated with their associated sub-accounts.

 

If a user is enrolled in a course in the root account, the Dashboard displays the branding for the root account. If a user is enrolled in a course within a sub-account, the Dashboard displays the branding for the sub-account. If a user is enrolled in courses within multiple sub-accounts, or if one of the courses is in the root account, the Dashboard displays the branding for the root account.

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