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How do I manage new features for an account?

How do I manage new features for an account?

Canvas is continually creating new features to improve your experience. The majority of improvements will be made available as part of our regular release cycle. However, some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term. Because we want you to be able to learn about these features at your own pace, they’ll be placed in your Account Settings as a Feature Option. Feature Options allow you to choose when you want to enable the new feature for your institution. Most institutions will pilot the feature within their institution and then enable it for the entire institution between terms.

This lesson gives an overview of how to manage feature options for an entire account. Features may be able to be activated on account, sub-account, course, and user levels. On the course level, you can give instructors the option to implement features on a course-by-course basis. Admins and instructors have no control over user-level features.

The majority of features will be available for you to enable at any time. However, some features will only appear after they are enabled by your Customer Success Manager. To view specific feature options available in Canvas, visit the current account features lesson.

Please note that most Feature Options will only be optional for a short period of time. Once a Feature Option is officially released to your production environment, you'll have a few releases (depending on the feature) before the option will be enabled for all Canvas users. Therefore we encourage you to use your beta environment to learn about new Feature Options for your institution, and when the features are released to your production environment, allow them as quickly as appropriate for your institution.

Note: Account-level features cannot be managed in sub-accounts and Free-for-Teacher accounts.

Open Account

Open Account

In Global Navigation, click the Admin link [1], then click the name of the account [2].

Open Settings

Open Settings

In Account Navigation, click the Settings link.

Open Feature Options Tab

Click the Feature Options tab.

View Feature Options

View Feature Options

Available features will appear in the Feature Options tab. Some new features may need to be enabled by your Customer Success Manager.

Search Feature Options

Search Feature Options

To search for a feature option, type a keyword in the Search field.

View Types of Features

Once features are available, they will be listed by Account [1] or Course [2], depending on the feature's functionality level.

Each feature includes a feature description. To expand the feature box and display the description, click the arrow icon [3].

View Feature Tags

Feature tags help identify the state of each feature. A feature with no label [1] means the feature is stable and ready for use in your production environment.  Features may also include a beta tag [2], which means the feature is available for use in your production environment but is still being tested for usability and accessibility behavior. Enabling a beta feature may create unintended behavior within your Canvas account.

Note: Occasionally features may include a Development tag, which means the feature is only available for testing in your beta environment; it is not available in your production environment.

View Feature States

As an account level admin, you can choose to enable or disable features by default in the account and all subaccounts.

If a feature can be edited at the sub-account or course level, you can choose to lock or allow editing of the default feature state at the sub-account or course level.

Manage Default Feature State

As an account level admin, you can choose to enable or disable features by default for the account and all subaccounts.

To enable or disable a feature, click the feature's State icon [1].

To enable the feature by default for the account and all subaccounts, click the Enabled option [2].

To disable the feature by default for the account and all subaccounts, click the Disabled option [3].

Note: Depending on feature functionality, when you enable a feature, Canvas may display a warning message asking to confirm your option, as some account features cannot be turned off once they are enabled.

View Default Feature State

Features enabled by default display the Enabled icon [1].

Features disabled by default display the Disabled icon [2].

Allow and Lock Features

Some features can be managed at the sub-account or course levels. As an account admin, you can choose to lock or allow those features to be edited at the sub-account or course levels.  

To allow or disallow a feature's default state to be edited at the sub-account or course levels, click the feature's State icon [1].

To lock the default feature state so it cannot be edited at the sub-account or course level, select the Lock option [2].

To allow a feature's default state to be edited at the sub-account or course level, uncheck the Lock option.

Notes:  

  • Features that can only be managed at the account level will not display a locked or unlocked icon [3]. Those features' default states are set for the account and all subaccounts.
  • Depending on feature functionality, when you unlock a feature state, Canvas may display a warning message asking to confirm your option, as some account features cannot be turned off once they are enabled.

View Allowed and Locked Features

Locked features display the Locked icon [1].

Allowed featured display the Unlocked icon [2].

View Feature State Tooltips

View Feature State Tooltips

To view a more detailed description of the state of the feature option, hover over the feature option state icon. A tooltip explains the current state of the feature option. The tooltip will display the following descriptions based on the feature option state:

Account Feature Options:

  • State: Enabled and Unlocked | Tooltip: Allowed for subaccounts/courses, default on
  • State: Enabled and Locked | Tooltip: Enabled for all subaccounts/courses
  • State: Disabled and Unlocked | Tooltip: Allowed for subaccounts/courses, default off
  • State: Disabled and Locked | Tooltip: Disabled for all subaccounts/courses

Course Feature Options

  • State: Enabled and Unlocked | Tooltip: Optional in course, default on
  • State: Disabled and Unlocked | Tooltip: Optional in course, default off

View Course-Level Features

View Course-Level Features

Instructors can view features you've enabled in the Feature Options tab in Course Settings.

View User-Level Features

View User-Level Features

Users can enable User-Level Feature Options at the bottom of their Profile Settings.

Note: Admins have no control over user-level features.



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