Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-09-26)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Sep 26, 2016Last modified by on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has updated features in Assignments, Authentication, the Dashboard, Grades, Quizzes, the Theme Editor, and User Settings.


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.


  Updated Features




Concluded Course SpeedGrader Link

In concluded course assignments, instructors can view the SpeedGrader link in the sidebar. This change allows instructors easier access to view previous student work and comments in an assignment. This change also improves consistency with the SpeedGrader link throughout Canvas assessment feature areas and matches the link already found in graded discussions and quizzes.




release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: allow SpeedGrader access for teachers in concluded courses




Facebook and LinkedIn Federated Attributes

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


Facebook and LinkedIn authentication supports federated attributes, which complements JIT provisioning. When users log into Canvas, more information beyond just ID is passed to Canvas, and that information is associated with their existing user accounts. Additional information includes display name, email, given name, integration ID, locale, name, sis user ID, sortable name, surname, and time zone. More information can also be found in the Authentication Providers API.




Sidebar Course Names

The To Do, Coming Up, and other sections in the Dashboard sidebar display the course code (or short name) instead of the full name. However, if a user has set a nickname for the course, the sidebar defaults to the course nickname.




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

When a course had a long course name, the To Do section in the Dashboard sidebar was not truncating the full course name. This behavior caused the entire To Do section to span the width of the page and overlap the Dashboard cards. Canvas code has been updated to display course short names in the sidebar.




LTI Submission Icon

When a student submits an LTI assignment, the Gradebook displays the submission document icon instead of displaying a blank entry.



  • This change does not affect the Turnitin LTI, which already includes document icons with submissions.
  • Icons do not currently display in the student Grades page, which displays the assignment submission as a dash. The icon will be added to the Grades page in a future release.





Multiple Grading Period Close Dates

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

For institutions that use grading periods, admins can add a close date to their grading periods. This feature allows admins to extend the time that instructors can edit grades after the grading period has ended.


Account-Level Close Dates

At the account level, each grading period includes a close date. By default, the close date is the same as the end date. However, the close date can be edited to any date after the end date. If the close date is after the end date, the instructors can edit grades between the end date and the close date. For instance, if the end date for a grading period is November 11, and the close date is changed from November 11 to November 20, instructors would have between November 11 and November 20 to make any edits to grades in the prior grading period.




Course-Level Verification

At the course level, Canvas validates assignments against closed grading periods in Canvas.


Close date verification for closed grading periods is being released in two phases:

  • In this first phase, Canvas validates assignments against closed grading periods in the Gradebook and SpeedGrader. For each grading period, the close date is the same as the end date, unless the close date is changed by an admin. Instructors cannot edit any assignments with due dates in a closed grading period.
  • The second phase will be completed in upcoming releases and validates the close date across all other Canvas feature areas.

Please be aware of all current limitations associated with the close dates feature. Complete information can be found in Close Dates for Grading Periods.


All additional questions about this feature can also be addressed in the Grading Period details document.

Additionally, assignment groups cannot be set as weighted or unweighted from Gradebook settings. Assignment group weights can only be managed in the Assignments page.


release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: Allow admins to control when grades lock in concluded grading periods




Question Bank Question Detail Answers

In question banks, users can click the Show Question Details link and view the correct answer indicator for each quiz question. Question details can be viewed in account- and course-level question banks.




Source Code-16.png  Canvas open source contributions: enable correct answer indicator in question banks

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: show question details in quiz and question bank



Theme Editor

Main Text Color Option

The Theme Editor allows admins to change the main text color in Canvas templates. This addition does not affect the text color displayed when users select the high contrast style option in User Settings.


Additionally, the Link option has been renamed to Link Color and moved up below the main text color.




User Settings

Navigation Underline Links

This feature is used with the Underline Links feature option, which can be enabled by any user in User Settings.

The Underline Links feature option underlines hyperlinks in the Course Navigation and User Navigation Menus.



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