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Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-07-15)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-07-15)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

August 5: SAML Endpoint

On August 5, the /saml2 endpoint will officially replace the /saml_meta_data endpoint. Institutions that rely on this endpoint for authentication will need to transition to the /saml2 endpoint, which already includes all metadata associated with entity IDs. For questions about this change, please contact your Customer Success Manager.

In this production release (July 15), assignments and pages can be duplicated in Canvas courses, and new courses default to the Modules Course Home Page layout. Observers can be invited to participate in course conferences with all course members or individually. And the Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus display in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes.

For institutions using the new Canvas SIS integration settings, the Assignments page includes the option to disable sync for all assignments, the Calendar assignments window includes a checkbox for SIS syncing, and the SIS Import page includes an option to download the last batch of errors and warnings.

In the content export pages, all users will see text clarification about the download expiration. The base font size in Canvas has been increased, and the icons have been updated with a new Instructure-owned icon library.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.


Canvas New Feature Screencast (2017-07-15)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: July 24
  • Production release notes: July 31
  • Production release and documentation: August 5

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. However, some features may already be deployed to production as indicated in the release notes. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.

The Canvas product team welcomes feedback according to

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

Flash Content Reminder: Canvas displays Flash content as supported within major browsers. Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox default to HTML5 as the preferred method for displaying website content, which promotes a faster, more secure browsing experience. These browsers will eventually block all Flash content. For best performance in Canvas, course content should be designed to support HTML5. Recorded media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers. Any recorded content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser.

Advanced CSS and JavaScript users: Canvas releases may include undocumented changes that affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.

  New Features



Assignment Duplication

Assignments can be duplicated in the Assignments index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every available assignment. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the assignment name.

Assignments Settings menu allows users to duplicate an assignment

Duplicating an assignment defaults the copied assignment to an unpublished status. All items in the assignment are duplicated including the name, description, point value, and options, except for the following situations:

  • Copied peer review assignments retain the peer review setting and Assign Review date, but the number of reviews per user will be set to zero.
  • Copied assignments are always assigned to everyone in the course; differentiated assignments are not retained for individual users, groups, or sections.
    • If a differentiated assignment includes an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment retains the Everyone Else due date, if any.
      If a differentiated assignment does not include an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment does not include a due date.
  • Copied external tool (LTI) assignments may need to be reconfigured.

If applicable, the Assignment page displays any Blueprint Course or Sync to SIS icons after the page is refreshed.

Note: Assignments currently cannot be duplicated for discussions and quizzes. These assignment types do not include a Duplicate option in the Settings menu and will be added in a future release.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: 

Pages Duplication

Pages can be duplicated in the Pages index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every page. When a page is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the page name.

Pages Settings menu allows users to duplicate a page

Duplicating a page defaults the copied page to an unpublished status. All items in the page are duplicated including the page name, content, and options.

If a page is used in MasteryPaths, the MasteryPaths setting is also enabled in the copied page. Additionally, any MasteryPaths page also displays in the Assignments index page.

If applicable, Pages displays Blueprint Course icons after the page is refreshed.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: 

  Updated Features



Disable Sync to SIS

This update applies to institutions using the new Canvas SIS integration settings for assignment-level grade passback in Canvas. For full details about SIS integration settings, please see‌.

For courses that sync data to a student information system (SIS), the Assignments page includes the option to disable sync for all assignments. Located in the Settings menu, the Disable Sync option allows a user to disable sync settings for all assignments without having to disable each assignment individually.

The Disable Sync option only displays if the page includes at least one assignment that is enabled to be synced with the SIS. Otherwise, the Disable Sync option does not display in the Settings menu.

Assignments Page Settings menu with the Disable Sync to SIS option

The Disable Sync option applies to all assignments in the page. If the course also uses Multiple Grading Periods, the Assignments page can be filtered by grading period.

Once selected and confirmed, the option immediately disables the assignments to be synced with the SIS. If an assignment needs to be enabled to be synced with the SIS, the assignment will need to be enabled manually.


Assignments Sync to SIS

This update applies to institutions using the new Canvas SIS integration settings for assignment-level grade passback in Canvas. For full details about SIS integration settings, please see‌.

For courses that sync data to a student information system (SIS), course assignments created in the Calendar include a checkbox for SIS syncing. This change allows a user to enable the option to sync the assignment to the institution’s SIS. If the selected course does not sync assignments to the SIS, the checkbox does not display in the window.

Calendar Assignments window includes sync to SIS option

If an admin has enabled any SIS validations for assignment names and due dates, the assignment cannot be created if the assignment displays any validation errors.

The assignment does not need to be published to select the Sync to SIS checkbox. The setting will be retained in the assignment, but the sync icon will not display in the Assignment page until the assignment is published.


Observer Invitations

Observers can be invited to participate in course conferences with all course members or individually. In the Conferences creation page, the Invite All Course Members default includes observer enrollments. Observers can be individually added or removed from a conference invitation by deselecting the checkbox.

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

When a user created a conference in a course and wanted to invite an observer individually, deselecting the Invite All Course Members checkbox did not display the names of observer enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to display observers in the course enrollments list.

Course Home Page

Modules Course Home Page Default

This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in will be enabled for all Canvas accounts.

In new courses, Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. This change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. Instructors are not required to use Modules for the home page and can choose another home page layout.

Additionally, the Unpublished Course banner has been removed from the home page. Depending on whether an institution has enabled the New User Tutorial feature, instructors can access either the Course Setup Checklist or the Canvas Course Setup Tutorial from the Home Page sidebar.

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.

Image of modules as the course home page default

Rich Content Editor

Sidebar Enhancements

This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07) and made generally available in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-03). Sidebar enhancements is available in all beta environments. Beginning with Free-for-Teacher accounts on Wednesday, July 5, this feature will also be enabled across production environments by the Canvas engineering team on a per-account basis.

The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus displays in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes. The sidebar enhancements include a visual style update and pagination support.

The sidebar has been updated with backend improvements and some small interface changes:

  • Each selector tab supports pagination, and content sections include scrollbars.
  • In the Links tab, Pages content is displayed alphabetically. The link to create a link to a new page has been removed, so new pages need to be created from the Pages index page.
  • The Files tab displays all files alphabetically.
  • When usage rights are enabled for files, the Files and Images tabs display usage rights options.

SIS Import

Last Batch Error CSV File

For the last imported SIS file, the SIS Import page allows admins to download all errors and warnings in a CSV file. The SIS Import page truncates after 50 errors and warnings in the Last Batch section.

The download icon only displays for new SIS imports and does not apply to any previous SIS imports.

SIS Import page with CSV export icon

  Other Updates



Content Export Expiration Clarification

After an initial content export, the export expires after 30 days and can no longer be downloaded. The text noted in the export page has been clarified as not being able to be downloaded after 30 days.

Content exports are located in the content exports page in Course Settings, and the download assignment submissions page in User Settings.

Content Export Expiration Clarification

User Interface

Canvas Font Size Update

The base font size in Canvas has been increased from 14px to 16px. This change improves accessibility and text legibility, and all other font sizes have been increased accordingly. Please note that some Canvas areas with multiple text components may still display smaller font sizes. Instructure designers are still adjusting CSS for these areas and will update them in future releases.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: 

Canvas Icon Update

The icons throughout Canvas have been updated with a new Instructure-owned icon library. All new Instructure icons default as line vs solid icons to better support the context in Canvas.

As Canvas is open source, Canvas had to create icons for its own use and ownership. Individual Canvas icons have been designed with accessibility and translation considerations.

Canvas designers continue to fine-tune Canvas areas with formatting corrections. Some minor Canvas areas may display inconsistent icons, which are being updated as quickly as possible. Additionally, the design team continues to review icon feedback and will continue to consider additional adjustments based on Canvas use and interaction.

  Fixed Bugs


Account Settings

When an admin restores a deleted course in the Admin tab, the restored course is announced to screen readers. Focus is retained on the new content.

Blueprint Courses

When the sidebar is expanded, focus is retained on the Close icon. The number of Blueprint Course associations (for admins) and unsynced changes can be read by screen readers.

The Unsynced Changes page is designed as an HTML table with aria attributes for screen readers. Columns are associated with the table headings.


In high contrast mode, the current date displays in bold and underlined text.


In the Compose Message window, the heading announcement to screen readers does not include mention of an extra space.

When the Reply All, Forward, or Delete icon is selected for a message, and the message is closed, focus is retained in the icon used to display the message.

Course Home Page

The Published/Unpublished button displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Course Settings

In the Course Details tab, the More Options link is read as a button to screen readers.

In the Sections tab, the Edit and Delete icons are read as buttons to screen readers.

In the Navigation tab, when a keyboard user moves a navigation item using the Move button and then closes the navigation window, focus is retained in the Settings icon for the navigation item.


In the Gradebook, column headings background color and text display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Tooltips are not hidden when focus is in a Gradebook cell.


The Add Prerequisite link displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.


In the Assignments page, assignment names are read before the SIS sync status.

Account Settings

Student Start Date Restriction and Course Participation

The options to restrict students from viewing a course before the start date or after the end date can be used with the option to allow users to only participate in a course between specific dates.

Explanation: When the options to restrict students from viewing a course before the start date or after the end date were changed at the same time as the option to allow users to only participate in a course between specific dates, the student restriction options did not restrict or allow student access appropriately. Canvas code has been updated to clear course caching when enabling course restriction options.


Enrollments API

When a course is changed from an active to deleted status via SIS import, the Enrollments API also shows the deleted status.

Explanation: When a course was changed from an active to deleted status via SIS import, the Enrollments API showed the course as active. Canvas code has been updated to display the status of deleted courses via SIS import in the API.

External Tools API

When a user calls a paginated list of external tools associated with a group, the header points to the groups URL.

Explanation: When a user called a paginated list of external tools associated with a group, the header pointed to /accounts/ instead of /groups/. Canvas code has been updated to correct the URL for group pagination.


Observer Invitations

Observers can be invited to participate in course conferences with all course members or individually.

Explanation: When a user created a conference in a course and wanted to invite an observer individually, deselecting the Invite All Course Members checkbox did not display the names of observer enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to display observers in the course enrollments list.

Course Import


Announcements are displayed in order of announcement date.

Explanation: When a course was imported with existing announcements, and new announcements were created in the course, the new announcements displayed at the bottom of the announcement list. Canvas code has been updated to correct the order of displayed announcements.


Instructor To Do List and Excused Assignments

Instructors do not view excused assignment submissions in their To Do list.

Explanation: If a student submitted an assignment and was later excused from the assignment, the assignment still displayed in the instructor’s To Do list for grading. Canvas code has been updated to remove excused assignments from the To Do list.


Concluded Enrollments and Course Content Exports

Students with concluded enrollments cannot download course content from the Modules page.

Explanation: When a course has allowed students to download course content offline, and students with a concluded status tried to export course content in the Modules page, the Export Course Content button generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Export Course Content button for students with concluded enrollments. This change creates consistency among other export functionality and concluded enrollments in Canvas.


Export Course Content

When a course export is complete from the Modules page, Export Course Content notifications include the full link to the export page.

Explanation: When a course has allowed students to download course content offline, and students export the course in the Modules page, the export notification did not include a domain in the page link and did not direct back to the export page. Canvas code has been updated to include the student’s full URL for the export page in the notification link.

Membership Updates

Instructor-based enrollments who can only participate with users in the same section only receive enrollment notifications for users in their same section.

Explanation: When an instructor-based user was enrolled in a course and could only participate with other users in the same section, the user was receiving acceptance enrollment notification emails from users in other sections. Canvas code has been updated to only send acceptance notifications to instructor-based users in the same section.

User Settings

Email Confirmations

Users can resend confirmation emails to confirm their email addresses.

Explanation: When a user tried to resend the confirmation email to confirm his or her email address, the page generated an error message. This behavior affected users whose accounts were not using the Profiles feature. Canvas code has been updated to resend confirmation emails from the User Settings page.

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Pretty solid release overall. The ability to duplicate pages and assignments etc is a much-needed addition.

One question though - why does the SIS importer CSV report truncate at 50 errors? Why not just dump the entire error list?

They allow you to download the entire list if you like. Truncating it to 50 errors keeps the page from getting tremendously long, especially if you have a 5,000 enrollment upload and you have a mistake in the CSV file so none of them work. When my CSV uploads fail, I can usually figure out what's going wrong with a lot less than 50 errors -- it's usually one or two things and once I get that fixed, everything starts working again.

Re: Modules being the default homepage. If a teacher does not use Modules and does not select a different home page for the course, students will see "No modules have been defined for this course" on the home page. Not many of our teachers use Modules in their courses, and I can imagine many students seeing this message and thinking something is wrong.

Student view of course home page.

[UPDATED: This behavior has been resolved]

Hi, Todd,

In the beta notes we were alerted that the home page doesn't warn instructors anymore if there are no modules set up in the course. Our engineers are addressing that behavior right now, which should prevent instructors from publishing a course with no home page content.

Hope that helps!


So excited to see that pages and assignments can be duplicated!  Many of our teachers have been wanting this for quite some time.  I love that Canvas is constantly making changes for what users want.

Hi  @tchilt ‌

For me it is a case of "six of one, half-dozen of another". Recent Activity was always a very poor default choice for the home page, because it provided students with very little information about the course, and where/how to get started - both very important considerations in a fully online course. Our faculty have been taught to use Modules, because they really do form a structural backbone for an online course, and almost all of them add some form of "Start Here" documentation. However, not all of our faculty pay any attention to choosing a home page, so this default works for us.

Furthermore, in a Penn State Student Survey from Spring 2016, 43.48% of the students preferred Modules as the course Home page over all other Home page options in Canvas.

You stated,

Not many of our teachers use Modules in their courses.

I am curious as to why they don't?

Not only do Modules provide a very organized way to display content to students; they also provide a dynamic outline for planning course design, construction and revision for instructors.

Boise State University has some great information about the importance of using a module structure in online courses that I use in several of my professional development workshops.

Agent K

Modules are great for online courses. ~99% of our courses are taught face-to-face with the LMS as a support. While modules can be useful in that case too, many of our faculty prefer to create their own page or use the syllabus page.

Then in that case wouldn't the teacher go ahead and pick their home page to be what they want it to be? Otherwise they're just going to see the blank home (modules) page as well every time they click on their course.

Course Setup Tutorial - is this not happening? It was in the Beta Release but not the Prod Release notes, just curious. I thought it would be a great update!

I normally agree with almost everything Kona and Kelley have to say, but I have to admit that, like Todd, I will normally show people how to create a welcoming Home page in my beginning workshop since it's...well, a bit more welcoming. I realize the first page of a Module can be a nice "Welcome" page, but since it's the first thing a student sees going into a class, I believe a nice-looking page just looks better than Modules all stacked up.  I DO realize the organizational advantages of otherwise using modules throughout a course; I use them myself in a course and hide just about every other menu item when I teach.  But my other issue is training.  People still have to know how to use the rest of Canvas in order to use Modules, and I just don't have the time to cover the ins and outs of assignments, grading, discussions, groups, and (yes) pages to be able to squeeze in Modules in a beginning f2f workshop.  I have a handout on Modules, but I admit I don't cover them in my basic f2f training workshop.

Maybe this change will force me to rethink things, but it's too close to the beginning of the school year to do that now.  (The only thing I like about the new default being Modules is that anything....and I mean better that the recent activity stream!)

No,  @joshua-stuart --apparently not.  See Erin Hallmark's very last comment in the Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-07-05) 

 @kblack ‌

You misunderstood, Sir. I don't use Modules as my Home page, just reporting on its popularity and the value of using Modules in Canvas to organize content. I always use a page I design myself.

And yes, even slow death by dull spoon stabbing is preferable to Recent Activity!

Agent K

Apologies,  @kmeeusen !  I still need a good method for cramming in how to explain them to faculty along with everything else, though.

(And then there's the faculty who complain I don't do anything on online quizzing in my basic workshop...which is already 2-1/2 hours long!)

Innovation and learning happens the most when people don't think exactly the same way! 🙂

Personally if it's a well designed home page, then awesome, I love it. The problem is that in all honesty I see very few well designed home pages. In addition, once the student is "welcomed" into the course the first time (or second), what do they really want? Fast access to the course content. So unless the well designed home page gives them fast access to the stuff they actually want or changes during the semester, in my humble opinion, it's just an extra click and a page they stop paying attention to after the first few days of class.

All that being said, I'm super happy that the default isn't the activity stream. I'd prefer just about anything over the activity stream! 😉

I think I'm just envious that your faculty have to go through a course before even using Canvas, Kona! 🙂  No such luck here.....

As we begin to incorporate Canvas into our elementary buildings in our district, it is very nice to have a homepage.  Teachers post helful links, class information, newsletters, etc.  I completely agree that anything is better than the activity stream and that static web pages are not very helpful after a while (especially if they are not well designed).  Many of our uppergrade teachers use modules while many of our elementary teachers do not at this point.  With so many different options for what the home page could be set to, everyone is not going to agree.  And with the activity stream, we still showed people how to change the course homepage to something else.  With modules being the deafault, it is just as easy to show people how to change the homepage as it always was.  In my mind, I am still not sure what the best default would be.  I will work with what I've got.

Hey  @kblack ‌

I might have some help for that............... I have an installment of our Advanced Canvas Training series on Quizzes and Assignments. It's in a Canvas course, six hours total, and it is available in the Commons.

Search under my name, or title (#1 Quizzes and Assignments). You can always carve out the assignment junk, and personalize the quizzes junk. Save you a bit of time.

Agent K

Excellent points,  @kona ‌, and that is exactly why I create a Home page for each module, and rotate them out during the term.

The really sad thing was that it took me a few years (I ain't fessen up on how many) until I realized my students really only needed all that extra junk the first week or two. So now I have a "Welcome to Blah, Blah Course" for week one, then all subsequent weeks it is "Welcome to the Blah Blah Module" with only module-specific info.

Canvas really does make it easy to swap out custom Home pages.

Agent K

We require faculty training too,  @kblack  , but I have to tell you it was no easy battle. It took us five years to get approval for this requirement.

Agent K

Thanks,  @kmeeusen ‌.  I'll take a look for that!

We've noticed an issue with the ability to duplicate assignments and the edit menu when there are multiple assignments and assignment groups. The last assignment on the list when you click the gear icon to bring up the action menu you cannot click the items in the drop down list. It immediately disappears without the ability to interact.

We've replicated this problem on Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome (latest versions) but it's fine in Firefox.

Hi, Jason,

This information would be perfect to send to our Canvas support team so our engineers can review the behavior. If you haven't I'd encourage you to do so.



Thanks Erin, will do. I'm new to the support team at UC Davis so I'll work with my team to make sure it is filed appropriately.

Yeah I misread something - I thought it was the CSV export that truncated the errors and not the UI view after the import had taken place. Still, the extra step of having to download and open the errors if the errors are greater than 50 seems to be a backward step. I'd rather have the option of downloading all the errors as well as seeing all the errors in the UI. I can normally figure out the problem from a few errors as well but it's solving a problem that didn't exist.

We detected similar behavior. Feel free to reference out ticket number, # 02138644

I was lucky that we were able to start with a mandatory online student orientation. Once that showed a positive impact on student success and retention, it wasn't that hard as we were switching to Canvas to say hey, we're going to do it again but for faculty! 😉

In all honesty, it really does work well. In general faculty not only use it as a long term resource, but also seem to have a better overall sense of how to use Canvas. 

Love the idea of a different homepage for each week! I think if I did it I'd spice it up with information and a funny meme/video related to that week's material. 

Will this publishing restriction also affect the API?  We bulk publish all of our courses at the beginning of the semester, whether the instructors have done anything with the Canvas course or not in order to give students access to the Canvas sites (and then later on facilitate course evals).  If this change will break this process, I'd ask that you please reconsider.

While I appreciate the organization of modules, and encourage faculty to use them, I don't like additional restrictions being places on other processes (publishing) because of this change.  The one benefit of the activity stream is that it would give some kind of page content if anything was going on in the course, without the faculty needing to do anything.  If faculty wanted a different page, they could choose it, but there were no negative consequences if the home page was left at default.  Now effort is going to be needed in any situation (whether it's changing to activity stream, or setting something else up).

I'm not sure I see the huge need to change the default.  It seems like this could have stayed as an account-level option (and maybe let us pick from any of the available home page options to select as the default) without causing too much confusion.

I'm getting 5 course cards across in prod. I'm also getting weird rendering problems in the edit area if I scale a window down while I'm editing: the RCE toolbar doesn't shrink or reflow, it just truncates. Depending on the browser, you might get a visible scrollbar, but you might not. I filed a ticket about this, and the technician told me that it was because my page title was too long and I if I shortened the title of the page, that would fix it. Which is not really a thing. Hilarious in a sort of infuriating way, but not real. 

Long story short, the responsive seems sort of jacked at this point.

Also not sure why the central content pane in courses is now filling 100% of the available space--it creates significant readability issues to have to follow lines of text that are 3/4 of the width of a 24" monitor. Just gonna leave this right here: The influence of font type and line length on visual search and information retrieval in web pages -...  

In a perfect world, yes, teachers would pick a different homepage. That doesn't happen all the time. And when the new default is something that looks like an error message, I see that as a problem.

Are the new icons pretty set in stone at this point or is there still a possibility of changes? Specifically, the "Published" icon looks too much like what I'd expect an "Upload" button to look like. In fact, it looks way too much like the current Upload icon. Here's some screenshots from the Files tab to illustrate this.

The current icons:

Screenshot of the Upload icon and published icons in the current Canvas UI

The new icons:

Screenshot of the new Upload icon and published icons

The new "Unpublished" icon (or new new icon, since I see it's changed from the down arrow cloud it was originally) makes sense, but it doesn't read as a set with the new "Published" icon. Edited to clarify: I like the new Unpublished icon and would like to see the new Published icon be the one changed to match it as a set.

I know there was a lot of discussion about the icons being easily perceived and understood in the beta notes, and I want to bring that to these notes as well - I have a hard time visually distinguishing between the various icons, and I think the quick reference of published/unpublished as you scan down the modules is much less striking.


Screenshot of "old" icons in a module


screenshot of new icons in a module

Edited to add that I also agree with  @korina_figueroa ‌'s comments about unpublished vs upload!

Completely agree, "upload" is exactly what I think of when I see the new Publish icon. Also, without the visual difference between the filled in cloud vs the empty cloud, it makes it nearly impossible to do a quick scan of unpub/pub items. One of the things I love about Canvas are the little things that make it easy, and that was one of them - you can get so much information at a glance. Now the difference is too subtle for that. I'm not a fan of the new icons.

With respect to the icons, erinhallmark‌, in a comment to the beta release notes, stated that the "Unpublished" icon will change and that some other icons are under review as well. 

I've had some time to read through the conversations in the Beta Release Notes now regarding the icons, and I really wish I would have seen it all sooner. Frankly, I'm starting to think that these new icons need to be pulled from this update and re-worked all over again. If the plan is to roll out what's in Beta right now and make more changes later, well frankly, that's even worse. We cannot keep changing the icons over and over again, you don't do that to users. If there was enough concern about accessibility to increase the font size in the whole system, then surely those same reasons are valid to not implement these new icons. Unless there is a whole new fresh set of icons in the works that will be ready before Saturday, please don't let this go out!

Edit: Apologies to stefaniesanders, I didn't mean this to be a reply to you, thought I was posting a new comment Smiley Happy

That was my comment in the Beta Release Chat, they keep changing and changing the icons and I understand the accessibility concern but I would prefer that they wait until they get the icons right, tried and true so to speak, and then push them out, especially if when doing so they already know they have to change them again.

After looking at the icon set earlier this week, I like the direction this is headed as this is Instructure's own icon set that can be added to/edited as needed using a CSS pseudo element in certain areas in the UI using CSS instead of baking HTML <img>, or <svg> code in the UI in the end will allow developers/engineers to quickly swap out icons and add different ones and thus reduce coding/development time. 

In theory it will also allow CSS and JS overrides to access the font library if for some reason an institution thinks they need to use a different one or customize the UI to their needs. 

So if this is the last time the icon set changes for a long time, I'm happy. Instructure, please keep on listening to the community on potential UX snafus when it comes to representing actions with a better symbol if for some reason the community thinks you didn't quite get it right the first time around. Smiley Happy 

"Any recorded content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser."

On desktop computers on our campus, clicking the media record button just shows a spinning circle.

This is in Chrome, even though under chrome://settings/content/flash  'allows sites to run Flash' AND 'Ask first'

are both set.

The popup to ask to allow Flash to run never shows up.

The only workaround is to either turn off 'just ask', or add the canvas site to the 'Allow' section in the Flash settings,

or use another browser.

I mentioned this in the Beta Release Notes, as well, but I'll mention one more time (and then shut up about this) that for those of us who rely on the faculty to publish the courses themselves, the new course publish toggle switch needs something (and no, I'm not sure what....) to draw the instructor's attention over there as a more firm reminder to publish the course site.  Maybe a much bigger font over to the right where the very wimpy-looking "Unpublished" is now on Beta?!?  As one who has whined about the lighter colors on the new icons, I fully understand that the toggle is a nice relief from what could be (for some) a difficult-to-see red-colored button.  But the older PUBLISH button was a larger and more readily-apparent reminder for faculty to publish their courses.  There just needs to be something over there.  So, with a bit of Friday-inspired levity, I offer my own interpretation of the older course publish button compared to the newer one, and why I fear some instructors may not see it at all:

Old Course Status:

241754_army unpublished.jpg

New Course Status:

241755_panda unpublished.jpg

(Both images from Open Clip Art site.)

 @kblack ‌, you sir win the Internet for the day and I can't agree more with you! I run a report the weekend before classes to see who hasn't published their courses yet and I'm guessing that I'm going to have a lot more faculty on my list starting this fall. 😞

We have had students reporting this behavior on Canvas and non-Canvas sites, but inconsistently. We have asked students to try a different browser or given them instructions to change Chrome settings. Here is a Chrome Support thread about the inconsistency: Google Groups be sure to scroll to the "Best Answer", this is what helped us, but its a little more geeky than what I'd normally send to students: "I had to go into chrome://flags and manually change the Prefer HTML over Flash setting from Default to Enabled before I saw the new text and consistent Flash behavior between machines all running the same version of Chrome "

I've also seen success with just changing the setting to always run flash, but I prefer to avoid that.

JEFHQ12951‌ you bring up an interesting point.  I'm sure some of the icon code changes have been location/international related, as well as licensing. 

What would be a suitable call to action button? Perhaps adding color contrast?  Red may be too 'urgent' a color (?).

241864_7-15-2017 2-16-31 PM.jpg

Should anyone be interested, a relevant article on the use of colors for such buttons: Which Color Converts The Best?

 @kblack  your post helped me understand the difference between clicking the "Like" and "Helpful" links when reviewing contributions by community members. Sometimes I click one, sometimes I click the other, but for yours I selected both.  Thank You! 

In the spirit of the perfect not being the enemy of the good, I agree with your comment on the usefulness of dramatically distinguishing the publish button/link/toggle.

Hi, all,

Thanks for your comments; I've updated the release notes for some clarification. The Dashboard course card width was originally to apply to all accounts because of the New User Tutorial feature being default in Canvas. However, our product team has since delayed that change, and so only institutions that have the New User Tutorial enabled as a feature option will see the responsiveness in the Dashboard and elsewhere. Those of you who do not have it enabled saw the Dashboard return to the fixed width in beta when that change was reverted, and now there is no change in production as well.

The New User Tutorial will eventually have a new enable date, which will be included in future release notes. Additionally, our UI team continues to improve the responsiveness of Canvas, so eventually the responsive functionality will apply for all accounts in one way or another, if not in this release.

The icons may have a few adjustments but they are now available in your production environments. Additionally, our team is also reviewing the Course Status unpublished button in the Course Home Page. Just because a change isn't made immediately doesn't mean it won't be considered for future improvement, so even if you didn't see the change that you were hoping for right now, please know your comments are still being heard by our product and design teams. 

Thank you,


Hey, Tom,

Our UI team is working on the responsiveness in Canvas; it's not perfect, obviously, and there are still some areas of Canvas (and features) that may have coding overrides affecting that behavior. They're being reviewed and the team is trying to resolve those concerns as quickly as they can. If you don't see much improvement in the next release or two, please let us know!



Hi, Christopher,

This change does not affect the Update Courses API parameter. The warning was just a visual in the interface before the course is actually published to help instructors not publish courses with a blank home page (and avoid students seeing a blank Modules page). We're still working to fix that behavior if instructors do forget to change the page in any new courses created after this release; we'll get it released as quickly as possible!

 @kmeeusen  is right in that Modules are a popular choice for course instruction. Our product team changed the Course Home Page default to Modules based on research and because of the number of courses in Canvas that have consistently been set to the Modules layout. Our product team's goal is to make changes that positively benefit the greatest amount of Canvas users; they realize that there will be some users who would prefer an alternative option and sometimes accommodations are possible. In this case, the home page can still be changed to one of several other layout options for those who prefer not to use Modules.

Hope that helps!



Hi Jimmy,

A few years ago there was an issue that impacted how the errors were stored. If an upload had 200k errors in a single sis batch record it made the table fill up with space rather quickly. A change was made to truncate all errors and warnings to a total of 1000. This mostly solved the problem for the database, but now if an import that is adding 100k enrollments has 5,000 errors it would take several imports to address the issues. This change solves two problems, one it makes the database table grow much slower, and two all the errors are now available. It does make it a bit more annoying to have to download a file, but 50 errors typically will be enough to identify an issue. Hopefully it does not cause you too much pain and annoyance in practice.

A quick way to allow Flash it to press the 'secure' or 'info' button next to the URL in Chrome, and set Flash to allow, like in the picture on this page:

Enabling Flash Player in Google Chrome - Media Collections Online - Confluence 

But I'm still looking into what might be the 'right' fix for this (other than abandoning Flash which is the long term plan for Canvas apparently).

As it turns out, the problems I was having with the toolbar and the width of the center content pane were related to the New User Tutorial, which an L2 tech was able to tell me. 

So, we disabled the Tutorial, since we already have in-house support for getting started, but there was no way to mitigate the usability and readability problems being caused by having the Tutorial active. Now things are working just fine.