Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-04-10)

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Apr 10, 2017Last modified by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Jul 15, 2018
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In this beta release, Canvas has new features for new courses. Other updates are also available in the Dashboard, People, Reports, and in the Canvas API documentation.


Beta features are subject to change based on user feedback and testing. Please follow the release notes for the latest information.


The beta environment is for testing new and updated features, which are subject to change at any time. Learn how to access the beta environment.


Beta features will be available in production environments according to the Canvas release schedule.


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



  New Features




New Instructor Tutorials

Instructors using Canvas for the first time can use two new tutorial features to become familiar with Canvas and create a module-based course. When enabled for an account, these features apply to newly created courses.

This feature requires the Modules Home Page and New User Tutorial feature options, which apply to an entire account. Canvas admins can enable these feature options in Account Settings.

New Modules Home Page Default
In new courses, the Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. Instructors can still choose any home page for the course, but this change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. The Modules page includes two links to help new instructors either create a new module or add existing content through a course import.


If Modules is set to the Home page but no modules content exists, Canvas will prompt the instructor to either publish a module or choose a different home page layout.



Course Setup Tutorial

When viewing the main Canvas index pages, instructors can view a course setup tutorial, which shows the purpose of the page and what to do next. This course setup tutorial replaces the existing Course Setup Checklist.


The course setup tutorial is shown to new Canvas instructors in new courses. New instructors are defined as users with instructor roles created in an account after the new tutorial feature has been enabled. The course setup tutorial can be collapsed from view and is persistent across Canvas pages, so if the tutorial is collapsed in one page, it will stay collapsed until expanded again.



Instructors can end the tutorial series in any page using the End Tutorial button. However, ending the tutorial in one course applies to all other courses. Instructors can view the tutorial in new courses again at any time by accessing their User Settings page and enabling the Course Setup Tutorial user feature option.



Note: This user feature option only displays for users enrolled as instructors. For instance, a user enrolled as an admin wouldn’t see the feature option unless the user were enrolled in a course with an instructor enrollment.


Admin Feature Option Details
The New Instructor Tutorials features are managed by two separate feature options: Modules Home Page enables Modules as the Home page default, and New User Tutorial enables the course setup tutorial series. Both feature options are intended to be enabled together. Although the Modules Home Page feature option can be enabled on its own, if an admin only wants to enable the New User Tutorial feature option, the Home page tutorial mentions Modules as the default Home page. Therefore, the Modules Home Page feature option should also be enabled to avoid confusion.


User Feature Option & Existing Instructor Access
Once the New User Tutorial feature option is enabled for an account, the Course Setup Tutorial feature option displays in each instructor's User Settings page. Existing instructors can view the tutorials in new courses by enabling this user feature option at any time. User feature options cannot be managed by admins.



  Updated Features




Dashboard View Menu

To switch between Recent Activity and Course Cards, the Dashboard toggle has been updated to a settings drop-down menu. This change helps clarify Dashboard customization and aligns design consistency throughout Canvas.




Pending Enrollments View

When a user is manually added to a course, the pending enrollment only shows the name of the user, the user’s section, and role. Once the user accepts the enrollment, the enrollment displays the enrollment information for the user (email address, login ID, or SIS ID). Previously the enrollment information was also displayed in the pending state.




SIS Export Enrollments Section Limitation Column

In the SIS Export report, the enrollments.csv file includes the limit_section_privileges column, which shows whether or not the user can only interact with users in the same section.






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



Accounts API

The Accounts API includes the account[sis_account_id] parameter, which allows a user with the Manage SIS permission to set an SIS account ID for a subaccount.


LTI Variable Substitutions


In the Supported Substitutions section, the ToolProxyBinding.memberships.url variable adds clarification about being for future use only, as complete support for the IMS membership service has not been added to Canvas.

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