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Community Team
Community Team

Canvas Beta Release Notes (2015-08-17)

In this beta release, Canvas has updates for the Course Home Page and Groups. We also have updates for platform/integrations and other Canvas features. View the beta release notes and let us know your thoughts!

The beta environment is for testing new and updated features, which are subject to change based on user feedback and testing. Learn more about Canvas Beta.

  Updated Features


Course Home Page

Published Link

In new Canvas courses, the top of the Course Home Page no longer includes a link to publish the course. The message about publishing the course is the same, but it no longer includes a direct link to publish the course. If users have permission to publish their courses, users can publish via the Course Home Page sidebar or open the Course Setup Checklist.


This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

Explanation: When a user with permission to publish a course viewed a new course, the top of the Course Home Page included a message explaining that only instructors could see the course until it was published. The word published included a link that was supposed to publish the course but did not generate any result when clicked. This behavior occurred because the link was not properly routed to publish the page. Additionally, instructors were confused about the purpose of the link and some tried to publish the course inadvertently. Canvas code has been updated to remove the publish link at the top of the Course Home Page.


Clone Group Set

After assigning a group to an assignment, instructors will receive a warning message if they try to modify a group set that has student submissions. Instructors can choose to modify the group, or they can clone the existing group set.


Cloning a group set will copy the entire group set, including all groups, group leaders, and memberships; instructors only have to make changes to the affected users. Instructors can also create a new name to differentiate the cloned group set.

Group sets can be cloned at any time in the Settings menu for the group set.


This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

Explanation: When an instructor created a group assignment and then tried to change the group membership after receiving student submissions, Canvas was not able to accurately assign grades to each student group. This behavior occurred because group sets are how Canvas manages all grades for a group, and moving a student causes grading confusion between groups. Canvas code has been updated to warn instructors when changing group membership after a group set has received assignment submissions and allow the instructor to clone a group set.

  Platform/Integration Updates



Accounts API

When creating a new sub-account in the Accounts API, users can set the SIS account ID.

Discussion Topics API

When creating or updating discussions in the Discussion Topics API, pinned discussions are included as a parameter.

Notifications API

In the Notifications API, users can get a list of preference categories and update preferences by category.

Quiz Question Group API

In the Quiz Question Group API, users can get the properties of a single Quiz Question Group.

External Tools (LTI)

Account-Level App Placement

In Course Settings, instructors can view the placement of LTI tools installed at the account level. In the Apps tab, viewing app configurations displays an information button next to locked tools, which shows the placement of each tool.


Grade Passback

LTI tools that support grade passback correctly handle complete/incomplete assignment types. A score of 1.0 will be marked as complete and anything less than 1.0 will be marked incomplete.

  Other Canvas Updates


Course Imports

User Roles

When users copy or export a Canvas course, the course retains the user role of the user and any custom permissions. This change helps the user see only relevant course content according to role and helps set a foundation for future improvements to the Course Import Tool.

Rich Content Editor

Element Path

Beneath the Rich Content Editor window, the view of the HTML element path has been removed. This change was made to ease confusion as to the path's meaning for the majority of Canvas users and clean up the page design.


User Settings

Time Zones

Canvas has made improvements for more accurate time display in varied browser and profile time zones. Even if a user's computer browser and Canvas profile are set in different time zones, Canvas will honor the profile time zone in a user’s account settings.

Labels (1)
48 Replies
Community Champion

Can you please explain more about the Time Zone changes?

E.g. lets say one of our teachers is living in an area with time zone UTC -5 so he sets his profile time zone to UTC -5. His course will physically take place in an area with time zone UTC +1 (6 hours difference), to which is the default time zone in the Canvas instance has been set.

The teacher starts to prepare his course from home and creates a calendar item for 2 PM on certain day. Will the student (all in UTC +1) see this event on 2PM or on 8AM?

Community Contributor

I'd like to know the reasoning behind removing the html element path.

It's not really a big deal, but for those of us who know some html, seeing the path can be valuable, plus, it is really convenient to be able to select an element in the path, and have that entire segment of the code light up for easy deletion or just to see where it is. The HTML editor is a primitive thing compared to something like Dreamweaver, but with the element path, at least there is one tool to help users navigate the DOM. Why take that away? For that matter, why is it not active in code view?

Community Champion

Me too! I actually used the element path for troubleshooting pages.

Community Contributor

Agree!  Why remove it?  For the coders among us it was useful!  For the non-coders I think it was pretty easy to ignore.

Community Champion

I 4th that as well.  I found the element path useful and don't really understand taking it away.  It's small and doesn't seem really to interfere with anything else so it can be simply ignored by those who don't use it.

Community Champion

I am echoing Becky here as well. I love being able to see the path.

Community Champion

Our understanding is the students in UTC +1 will see the event at 2:00 PM. We have classes completely web-facilitated, so the instructors and students are likely all in different time zones. As long as they set their individual zones, this should work.

I would like to see a Canvas answer or confirmation for Jaap's question.

Community Champion

I am adding my voice as well. I use that path for the tools I create so that users can select a parent element to change padding/margins/colors/etc.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Adding my vote! I don't use it a lot, but as a non-programmer it has helped in the past when I was trying to find something to tweak/edit it.