Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-09-06)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Sep 6, 2016Last modified by jivedocs@instructure.com on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has a new feature in Attendance. Updated features are available in Course Settings, the Gradebook, Notifications, Quizzes, and SpeedGrader. Other updates have been made in the Canvas Interface and the Rich Content Editor, as well as in Canvas APIs.

 

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

 

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

 

Attendance

Student Attendance View

For courses using the Attendance tool, students can view their attendance as part of the Attendance assignment submission details page. Students can also access Attendance submission details from the Grades page.

 

The first time students access the submission details, they are asked to authorize the app for their account.

 

Submission details display attendance statistics in the course. In the attendance graph, students can view the total number of days they were graded on attendance; within the total, they can view the specific number of days they have been late, absent, and on time. Below the graph, students can view the date and day of the week they were marked late or absent.


Notes:

  • This feature can only be tested in beta if the Roll Call Attendance LTI is directed to the beta LTI URL. Additionally, attendance data only displays to students after an instructor initially updates attendance in the course.
  • Unlike submission details in other assignments, instructors are not able to view specific attendance views for a student. Accessing the submission details page for a student’s attendance assignment always points back to the LTI tool, which for instructors only displays the list or class view showing all students for the current date.

 

Attendance-Student-View.png

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Make attendance visible to students

 

 

  Updated Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Course Settings

Custom Course Visibility

In Course Settings, the visibility options have been changed to allow more customization for courses and content. Previously, visibility could only be set at the course or public levels.

 

Course Visibility

The visibility setting offers three choices for a course:

  • Course: All users associated (enrolled) in the course. This is the default setting.

  • Institution: All users associated with this institution (previously selected with the make this course visible to authenticated users checkbox). For this option, users can only view the course if they are given the link to the URL or the course is included in the public course index and they authenticate through Canvas.

  • Public: Anyone with the URL (previously selected with the make this course publicly visible checkbox). For this option, users can view the course if they are given the link to the URL or the course is included in the public course index.

 

Visibility-Customization-Course.png

 

Course Content Visibility

The Customize checkbox allows admins or instructors to customize the visibility of the course content. This updated structure for content sets the framework for additional content items to be customized. However, currently only the Syllabus can be customized as a content item.

 

Syllabus visibility can be set to one of the same visibility options: Course, Institution, or Public. By default, the Syllabus is set to Course visibility. Content visibility is defined by the course visibility option, as content visibility can only be set to an equal or greater structure:

  • If course visibility is set to Course, content customization options include Course, Institution, or Public.

  • If course visibility is set to Institution, content customization options include Institution or Public.

  • If course visibility is set to Public, the only available content customization option is Public. Previously the Syllabus could only be made public with the make the syllabus for this course publicly visible checkbox.

 

Visibility-Customization-Content.png

 

The Courses API also supports the course[public_syllabus_to_auth] parameter, which sets whether the course syllabus can be viewed by users not enrolled in the course but authenticated through the institution. When the parameter is set to false, authenticated users not enrolled in the course can not see the syllabus contents; when the parameter is set to true, authenticated users not enrolled in the course have access to the syllabus as if the course[public_syllabus] parameter were set to true. If both course[public_syllabus_to_auth] and course[public_syllabus] are both set to false, only users enrolled in the course can view the syllabus.

 

Gradebook

Excessive Points Alert

If an instructor adds an excessive amount of extra points to a student’s grade, Canvas generates an alert notifying that the student was awarded an unusually high grade. This update helps instructors be aware when excessive points are entered in the Gradebook. Excessive points can occur when the amount entered is 50% above the total possible points or when an extra digit is entered (e.g. 500 instead of 50). The alert is also generated if an assignment is given negative points. Alerts only apply to assignments with total points; they do not apply to assignments with no points possible or excused assignments.

 

Gradebook-Points-Alert.png

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Visual Indicator when points are above maximum point value

 

Notifications

UI Update

The Notifications page includes updated icons and background color contrast. Additionally, the notification descriptions have been removed from the icon tooltips and displayed directly below the notification preferences page heading.

 

The Notifications page allows users to set preferences for any contact method specified in the User Settings page.

 

Notifications.png

 

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

When a user tried to view the notification descriptions with a screen reader, the notification setting showed both a toggle and radio button. Additionally, notification descriptions in the tooltips could not be read by screen readers. Canvas code has been updated to read notification settings as a radio button, as each option can only have one state. The buttons icons have been updated to match other icons throughout Canvas.

 

Twitter and SMS Notification Preferences

Twitter and SMS notifications can only be set to be received immediately or never. Daily and weekly digest options are no longer available. Any users with existing Twitter and SMS notifications set to daily or weekly have had their notifications set to never.

 

Quizzes

Moderate Quiz Student Search Filter

The Moderate Quiz page includes a search filter, which allows instructors to search for students by name. This change helps instructors more easily locate students in a course.

 

Moderate-Quiz-Filter.png

 

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Add A Filter To Moderate Quiz Screen

 

SpeedGrader

Excessive Points Alert

If an instructor adds an excessive amount of extra points to a student’s grade, Canvas generates an alert notifying that the student was awarded an unusually high grade. This update helps instructors be aware when excessive points are entered in SpeedGrader. Excessive points can occur when the amount entered is 50% above the total possible points or when an extra digit is entered (e.g. 500 instead of 50). The alert is also generated if an assignment is given negative points. Alerts only apply to assignments with total points; they do not apply to assignments with no points possible or excused assignments.

 

SpeedGrader-Alert.png

 

 

  Other Updates

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Canvas Interface

Canvas Colors

The Canvas color palette includes new brighter colors as well as grayscale colors, and colors automatically adjust when high contrast styles are enabled. The new colors affect the brand primary color set in the Theme Editor, in addition to the Dashboard course colors and alert colors throughout Canvas.

 

Alert colors are most often associated with Global Announcements, but they can also be seen throughout Canvas to indicate action (such as when an admin masquerades as a user, or when an instructor accesses Student View to see the course as the test student).

 

Course-Colors.png

 

Rich Content Editor

MathMan Integration

Canvas has integrated a new backend service called MathMan, which is designed to improve LaTeX images generated by the Rich Content Editor equation editor. With the MathMan integration, a LaTeX image is rendered as an SVG image instead of a GIF or PNG, which allows images to render more consistently and improves image accessibility for all users. No functionality has been affected by this change. This integration will automatically be enabled by Canvas engineers over time and may or may not already be available in your beta environment.

 

 

  Platform/Integration

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API

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

 

Enrollment API

In the Enrollment API, users can filter enrollments by SIS user ID, section SIS ID, account SIS ID, or course SIS ID.

 

Rubrics API

The Rubrics API allows users to access rubric information. Currently the API allows users to list rubrics and get a single rubric. Getting a single rubric also allows users to view the rubric assessment from a peer review.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Include rubrics assessments in Peer Reviews API

 

SIS Integration API

In the SIS Integration API, users can view if an SIS-enabled assignment is included in the final grade calculation. Note that include_in_final_grade will always be true for quizzes and discussions, since the option to exclude the grade from those assignment types is currently not supported.

 

SIS CSV Format

In the SIS Import Format Documentation, the Courses CSV file supports the course_format column. This column specifies the type of course format for a course, which can contain online, on_campus, or blended.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: course format in SIS import

 

Submissions API

In the Submissions API, the API response returns the current state of the submission. Possible values include submitted, unsubmitted, graded, and pending review.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: ungraded bucket in Submissions API

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