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Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-03-10)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-03-10)

Release Notes Additions

Fixed Bugs

  • Announcements: Add Announcement Sections View
  • Dashboard: Recent Activity and Card View Option
  • DocViewer: PDF Download Comment Replies
  • Notifications: Section-Specific Announcements
  • Quizzes: Edited Quizzes and Until Date Seconds

Upcoming Canvas Changes

IE11 Functional Support: March 31
On March 31, Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) will transition from a fully supported browser to a functionally supported browser. As future Canvas releases take place, Internet Explorer may begin to exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences will not restrict product functionality or accessibility.

LDAP No TLS Support: March 31

On March 31, Canvas will no longer support the No TLS option for LDAP authentication. In the Canvas authentication page, the TLS preference should be updated to either Simple TLS or Start TLS. Institutions should work with their LDAP vendor to encrypt traffic and verify their TLS port.

In this production release (March 10), admins can enable updated account-level Course and People pages, and if profile pictures are enabled, manage whether or not users can add Gravatars. Admins managing SAML authentication can also set the message signing algorithm.

In courses, the Announcements page includes an updated design and several feature enhancements, including announcements by section, that will be distributed for all institutions across a tiered release schedule directly after the release. Additionally, the Outcomes page includes a minor directional change to the Options icon.

Various APIs and LTI Variable Substitutions include new elements and clarifications.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

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


Canvas New Feature Screencast (2018-03-10)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: March 19
  • Production release notes: March 26
  • Production release and documentation: March 31

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 Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines. Release notes comments are subject to release notes comment policies.

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

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. Any affected content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser. Using the camera and microphone to record media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers.

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.


  Updated Features


Account Settings

Course and User Search

This feature requires the Account Course and User Search feature option, which can be enabled for the entire account or allowed for individual subaccounts. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.

Enhancement ideas for this feature can be viewed in Canvas studio and created using the account_search tag. For more details about idea feedback, please see the Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines.

The account-level Course and People pages have been redesigned to help admins more easily navigate courses and users in their account.


The Courses page is the default page for accounts and displays courses for all terms in the account.

account-level courses page

The Terms menu can be used to filter terms and are grouped by active, future, and past terms. The Default term is included in the active terms list. Depending on the number of terms in an account, the Terms menu may display a loading message until all terms are visible

By default, the search field looks up courses by name, though admins can change the menu to search by teacher name. Filters and Search fields are updated dynamically.

Courses can also be hidden from filtered results if they have no students or only display Blueprint Courses (if enabled for the account). Blueprint courses include the Blueprint icon.

courses page menu and search fields

The Courses page paginates results in sets of 15 courses. Each course result shows the name of the course, SIS ID (if applicable), term, teachers (instructors), subaccount, and number of active students. Each paginated page displays in a table format but columns are responsive according to the widest column for that page.

If a course includes more than two instructors, the instructor column displays a Show More link that can be clicked to expand the full list of instructors.

Links are also included for manually adding a user to a course, viewing course statistics, and viewing course settings. When users are added to a course, the Add People window displays the name of the course.

By default, courses are ordered by SIS ID, if available. Each column heading can be sorted in ascending or descending order (alphabetically or numerically). The student column is the only column that cannot be sorted.

courses page sorting by term


The People page displays users for all user roles in an account.

account-level people page

The Roles menu can be used to filter users by all roles or individual course-level roles. Admins can also search for a user’s name and add a new user. For admins with appropriate permissions, the options menu displays links to manage profile pictures and view user groups.


  • The Roles menu does not include admin roles.
  • The Manage Profile Pictures option is always available regardless if profile pictures are enabled for the account.

people page menus and search field

The People page paginates results in sets of 15 users. Each user result shows the name of the user, email address, SIS ID (if applicable), and last login date and time. The full date and time for a user’s login can be viewed by hovering over the date. A login on the current date displays the time only. Each paginated page displays in a table format but columns are responsive according to the widest column for that page.

User details can be viewed by clicking the name of a user. Links are also included to act as the user, send a message from the Conversations Inbox, and edit user details.

By default, user names are displayed as first name, last name, and are ordered by last name. Each column heading can be sorted in ascending or descending order (alphabetically or numerically).

people page sorting by email

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

Profile Picture Gravatar Setting

When profile pictures (user avatars) are allowed for an institution, admins can also allow or disallow Gravatars as a profile image option. A Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar associated for a user in any website that supports Gravatars.

Admins can manage Gravatars in Account Settings. When the User Avatars checkbox is selected, the Enable Gravatar checkbox is also selected by default.

gravatars can be enabled or disabled in account settings

When Gravatars are enabled in an account, users can import their Gravatar when selecting a profile picture in their user settings page. Gravatars are associated with the user’s Gravatar email address. When Gravatars are disabled, the From Gravatar tab is not included as an option in the Select Profile Picture window.

enabling gravatars in account settings shows the gravatar option in profile pictures


Updated Announcements features will be released on the following tiered distribution schedule:

  • Monday, March 12 (9am MT): Free-for-Teacher accounts
  • Monday, March 12 (2pm MT) through Wednesday, March 14 (9 am MT): All customer accounts

Individual customer accounts will be enabled by engineering teams on an ongoing basis according to account size and Canvas performance. Institutions should prepare for this feature to be enabled for their course Announcements page at any time during the scheduling window.

Please note that the course home page will not be affected; any courses that display announcements in the home page will immediately display the new announcements interface as of Saturday's release.

Courses Page Design Updates

The Announcements page includes an updated design to improve accessibility for all users. Most functionality has not been affected.

The following changes have been made to course announcements:

  • The Unread button has been changed to a menu, where users can filter between all announcements and unread announcements.
  • External feeds are viewed and managed within a separate sidebar similar to other Canvas features.
  • The RSS feed button has been changed to a link within the External Feeds sidebar.
  • Announcements are locked by default and no longer display a lock icon. Announcements that allow comments include a Reply link under the announcement. Users can view and reply to the announcement by clicking the announcement title or the Reply link.
  • Announcements can be specified for a specific section or all sections. The number of sections is visible to all users who are able to view the announcement.
  • Profile pictures display next to each announcement for the user who posted the announcement. If profile pictures are not enabled for an account, the announcement displays a placeholder profile picture.

student view of new announcements page

For instructors, the following changes apply:

  • The Add External Feed link has been moved to a link within the External Feeds sidebar.
  • The Announcements page no longer includes excess whitespace.
  • Delayed announcements are identified in the Announcements page and include the upcoming post date and time.
  • The lock and unlock icon for allowing or disallowing comments has been changed to a Reply arrow icon.

instructor view new announcements page

Note: Currently announcements shown in the home page must be viewed individually and cannot be expanded directly in the page. This functionality will be updated in a future release.

Section-Specific Announcements

When creating an announcement, instructors can create section-specific announcements in their courses. When creating an announcement, instructors can select to send the announcement to all sections, one section, or multiple sections.

announcements can be sent to all sections, one section, or multiple sections

Both the individual announcement and the Announcements page displays the section(s) that can view the announcement.

Users will view announcements for the sections where they are enrolled. Note that they can also view the specific sections where the announcement was posted.

Both the individual announcement and the Announcements Index Page displays the section(s) that can view the announcement

Note: Section-specific announcements are not available in groups.

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

Allow Comments Option

In announcements, comments are disabled by default. This change helps manage expectations for announcements while still allowing users to participate.

Instructors can allow users to comment in announcements by selecting the Allow users to Comment checkbox. When selected, instructors can also select the option to allow users to post before seeing other replies.

comments can be allowed in announcements using a checkbox

In the Announcements page, comments can be allowed or disallowed at any time in the Settings menu for the announcement.

if allowed, comments can be managed from the announcements index page

Please note that commenting can be disabled completely in Account Settings or Course Settings. If commenting is disabled, the Allow Users to Comment checkbox is not included as an announcement option. Additionally, comments cannot be managed in the Announcements page.

Note: Comments cannot be disabled for announcements within groups.

announcements do not display the option to allow comments if restricted at the course or account level

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


SAML Message Signing Algorithm

SAML authentication supports configuration for SAML message signing algorithms. In the Message Signing section, admins can choose whether or not to set an authentication request message. Algorithm options include Not Signed, RSA-SHA256, and RSA-SHA1. The default for this setting is Not Signed, which is no change from the current behavior.

authentication option for SAML for message signing

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

When a SAML algorithm tried to confirm a message signature using RSA-SHA256, the ADFS presented an error notifying that the message was not signed with the expected signature algorithm. Canvas code has been updated to support RSA-SHA256 and RSA-SHA1 message algorithms.

  Other Updates



Menu Icon Update

The Outcomes menu icon has been changed from a horizontal options icon to a vertical options icon. This change applies to both account and course levels and helps align consistency throughout all Canvas areas and mobile apps.

outcomes menu icon rotation



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

Account Notifications API

User Endpoint Clarifications

In the Account Notifications API, endpoints have been updated for the following endpoints:

  • Index of Active Global Notification for the User
  • Show a Global Notification
  • Close Notification for User

These endpoints clarify use for the current user only. Additionally, the example request URL for each endpoint has also been updated to show the intended response.

Account Reports API

Report Parameters Object True and False Values

The Account Reports API returns true and false values for a Report Parameter object. All values have been clarified to note that if true, deleted objects will be included. If false, deleted objects will be omitted.

The Start a Report endpoint supports the parameters[course_id] parameter, which returns the course ID, and the parameters[users] parameter, which includes user data. Both of these parameters have been listed as examples and may not be valid for every report.

Custom Gradebook Columns API

Custom Column Object Column ID and Visibility

The Custom Gradebook Columns API returns the custom gradebook column ID and column visibility for a Custom Column object.

Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Added ID into CustomColumn model

External Tools API

User Navigation Documentation Clarification

In the External Tools API, the Create an External Tool parameter includes the user_navigation[visibility] endpoint, which notes which user roles will see the navigation tab.

The Get a Single External Tool endpoint includes an example response of the user_navigation parameter.

LTI Variable Substitutions

Group Variables

LTI Variable Substitutions includes the following substitution variables:

  • returns the Canvas id of the group the current user is in if launching from a group assignment.
  • returns the name of the group the current user is in if launching from a group assignment.

Membership and Roles Clarifications

LTI Variable Substitutions includes the following substitution variable updates:

  • Canvas.membership.roles indicates the launch parameter is canvas_membership_roles.
  • Canvas.xuser.allRoles clarifies that this substitution variable will include all roles the user has across the entire root account. Roles will not be scoped to the context of the LTI launch.

Submissions API

Submitted_Since Parameter

In the Submissions API, the List Submissions for Multiple Assignments endpoint supports the submitted_since parameter, which includes submissions submitted after a specified date time.

  Fixed Bugs




The number of announcements for an individual search result is read to screen readers once per search.

New Gradebook

To improve accessibility practices, tab navigation does not move between cells. Tab and Shift+Tab will tab into and out of the grid and between items within the active cell or active column header.

The New Gradebook includes an alert recommending that users reference Individual View for improved accessibility.


Add Announcement Sections View

This change was deployed to the production environment on March 20.

Users with the Moderate Discussions permission can select sections within an announcement.

Explanation: When a user tried to create an announcement and select a specific section, the sections menu did not display any sections for the course. Canvas code has been updated to confirm permissions for users and allow sections to be displayed if the user has the Moderate Discussions permission.


Due Date Validation and Availability Dates

Due dates are validated against current availability dates.

Explanation: If an assignment included varied due dates, and the due date was changed beyond the previous until date and then also updated the until date, the due date still validated against the original until date and generated an error, saying the date was outside the valid range. Canvas code has been updated to validate due dates against existing availability dates.


SAML Message Signing Algorithm

SAML authentication supports configuration for SAML message signing algorithms.

Explanation: When a SAML algorithm tried to confirm a message signature using RSA-SHA256, the ADFS presented an error notifying that the message was not signed with the expected signature algorithm. Canvas code has been updated to support RSA-SHA256 and RSA-SHA1 message algorithms.

Blueprint Courses

Account-level Outcome Associated Course Sync

Account-level outcomes are included in a Blueprint sync.

Explanation: When an account-level outcome was added to a Blueprint Course after the initial sync, the outcome was not added to the associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to include account-level outcomes as part of a Blueprint sync.


Google Docs Course User List

For Google Docs collaborations, the Collaborate With section displays all users within a course.

Explanation: When a user created a Google Docs collaboration and tried to invite users, the Collaborate With section only displayed the first 50 users in the course instead of all users. Canvas code has been updated to display all users within a course so users can select up to 50 from the entire list.

Course Import

Course Copies and External URL Modifications

External URLs that include the words users or files are not affected in a course copy.

Explanation: If an external URL included the word users or files, the URL changed to the local Canvas domain, and the course context was added to the URL during a course copy. This behavior could also occur during a Blueprint Course sync. Canvas code has been updated to not modify external URLs in course copies.


Recent Activity and Card View Option

This change was deployed to the production environment on March 20.

Users with their Dashboards set to Recent Activity before March 10 can switch to the Card view.

Explanation: When Dashboards were set to Recent Activity, users were unable to switch their Dashboard to the Card view. This behavior only affected customers viewing Recent Activity before the March 10 release. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to switch to the Card view in the Dashboard.


PDF Download Comment Replies

This change was deployed to the production environment on March 19.

Comment replies are included in annotated PDF downloads.

Explanation: When a user downloaded an annotated PDF, the PDF included comments but did not include any replies. Canvas code has been updated to include comment replies in PDF downloads.


Multi-Extension Duplicate File Identifiers

Multi-extension duplicate files include the unique identifier at the end of the file name.

Explanation: When duplicate multi-extension files were uploaded as submissions, Canvas automatically added a unique identifier to the duplicate file between the extensions instead of at the end of the full file name (e.g. file.tar-1.gz instead of file-1.tar.gz). Canvas code has been updated to add the identifier to the end of the file name.


Gradebook CSV Exports and Trust Accounts

For courses associated with trust accounts, Gradebook CSV exports align muted values with their appropriate assignments in both the current Gradebook and the New Gradebook.

Explanation: When a course is associated with a trust account, Gradebook CSV exports include the Root Account column. When a Gradebook CSV file was exported, the Root Account column was not being accounted correctly with muted assignments and caused the muted values to shift to the left for all assignments. Canvas code has been updated to correct muted values and align them with their appropriate assignments in both the current Gradebook and the New Gradebook.

New Gradebook Excused Assignments

This change was deployed to the production environment on February 26.

The New Gradebook does not remove Excused labels from an assignment submission.

Explanation: When an assignment submission received an Excused label from a user, and the user accessed the same submission cell again, the Excused label was removed from the New Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to retain Excused labels once assigned to a submission.

New Gradebook Late Policy and External Tool Submissions

Late Policies apply to Late External Tool submissions.

Explanation: When the New Gradebook enabled a late policy, and the Gradebook included an External Tool submission, the late policy was not deducting points from the External Tool submissions. Canvas code has been updated to apply late policies to all External Tool submissions in the New Gradebook.


Global Navigation Groups Link

Global Navigation only displays the Groups link if users are enrolled in active groups.

Explanation: When a user enrolled in no active groups viewed the Global Navigation Menu, the menu still displayed the Groups link. This behavior occurred when users were restricted from viewing courses after the end date. Canvas code has been updated confirm course access to groups when displaying the Groups link.


Next and Previous Buttons for Instructor and Admin Roles

Instructors and admins can use the Next and Previous buttons in MasteryPaths.

Explanation: When an instructor or admin tried to click the Next button in a MasteryPath assignment, the Next button showed that the next item was locked. Canvas code has been updated to disregard module progression for instructors and admins. However, the progression is still upheld for students and when accessed in Student View.


Graded Quizzes and Observer Roles

Observers receive notifications when a quiz is graded for a student they are observing.

Explanation: When observers set notification preferences to receive Grading notifications, observers did not receive notifications about quizzes their observees have taken. Canvas code has been updated to notify observers when a quiz is graded for a student they are observing.

Section-Specific Announcements

This change was deployed to the production environment on March 20.

Notifications for section-specific announcements are sent to users within the specified sections.

Explanation: When a section-specific announcement was created for a course, the notification about the announcement was sent to all sections instead of only the specified sections. Canvas code has been updated to send section-specific announcement notifications to users within the specified sections.


Admin Role External Tool Launch Parameters

External Tool launch parameters do not include deleted roles in launch parameters.

Explanation: When a user was assigned an admin role and launched an external tool, and the admin role was later removed from the user, the external tool retained the user’s previous admin role as part of the launch parameter. Canvas code has been updated to not include deleted roles in launch parameters for external tools.

Manage SIS Data and Subaccount Admins

For courses in a subaccount, subaccount admins with the Manage SIS Data permission cannot manage SIS IDs.

Explanation: When a custom role with the Manage SIS Data permission at the root account level was given to a user in a subaccount, the subaccount admin was able to view a text field to enter SIS IDs in course settings. When the subaccount admin attempted to save the course settings with the SIS ID, the course did not display the SIS ID and did not display an error message. Canvas code has been updated to not allow subaccount admins to manage the SIS ID field in course settings, as SIS IDs can only be managed at the root account.


Edited Quizzes and Until Date Seconds

This change was deployed to the production environment on March 20.

Edited quizzes with updated Until date and times retain seconds correctly.

Explanation: When a quiz is edited and updated with a Until date and time to match the Due date, the seconds in the quiz time were not retained and affected the Until date by 59 seconds. Canvas code has been updated to validate seconds in Until dates.


MGP Report Export Failure

The MGP Report can be exported if a student has no scores in the grading period.

Explanation: When the MGP report was exported from an account, the report failed to export if a student existed in the account with no scores in a grading period. Canvas code has been updated to return empty values for students with no scores in the grading period and not affect the report export.

Rich Content Editor

Equation Images and Microsoft Edge

Equation images display correctly in Microsoft Edge.

Explanation: When a user created an equation through the Rich Content Editor equation tool, the image for the equation did not render until the changes were saved and the image placeholder showed the alt text for the image instead. Canvas code has been updated to display equation images in Microsoft Edge.


Hide Scoring Totals and Submission Details page

When a rubric is set to hide the score total for assessment results, students cannot view the total score in the Submission Details page.

Explanation: When a rubric was set to hide the score total for assessment results, the total points value was not visible in the Grades page but was visible in the Submission Details page. Canvas code has been updated to hide the score total from students when viewing the rubric in the Submission Details page.

Theme Editor

Main Text Color and Unpublished Course Titles

Unpublish course titles do not disappear when the main text color is changed to a name in the Theme Editor.

Explanation: When the main text color was changed in the Theme Editor using a name and not a hex value (e.g. red), the unpublished course titles disappeared from the Courses page. This behavior only applied to the current Courses page and not the new Courses page through the Course and User Search feature option. Canvas code has been updated to support text colors with name entries and not affect unpublished course titles.


DocViewer Annotations and Graded Discussion Attachments

DocViewer annotations are disabled for graded discussion attachments.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed multiple graded discussion attachment in SpeedGrader, some attachments included Docviewer annotations options while other attachments did not. Canvas code has been updated to disable DocViewer annotations in graded discussion attachments.

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Really like the sections feature 

Does this indicate a wider consideration of sections within Canvas, or just a response from users? Meaning will we see more aspects of content being able to be assigned to sections.

Worried about the explorer 'downgrade'. It is still about 12% of the market. And I'm guessing, but I bet it is the less tech-savvy students and staff who will be using it. Do you have a plan for how to help these staff make the move over as you move away, or is it something we have to pass on?


PSU received the info that we are in the top 15 institutions in regards to IE 11 page views.  It will be interesting to see support metrics as people start to notice things down the road.  To get everybody on the same page it will also be good to see what the default Instructure party line is in regards to a replacement browser, which I would assume will end up being Chrome.  

Firefox is currently compatible with JAWS in their ESR releases but not all the way there in their production releases yet.  So in the future institutions may also start to see a migration to Firefox for accessibility purposes.  I would say it is definitely a good idea to give any accessibility departments at institutions a heads up about this so that planning can get started for JAWS and general screen reader testing if IE11 was the recommended browser.

Hi, James,

Customer Success Managers should be working with each of their institutions to discuss this change. Our teams review browser usage among all Canvas users, and the use of IE11 is lower than other browsers. With this change, IE11 may start to look slightly visually different over time (for instance, a button may be slightly misaligned), but the functionality and accessibility support will still be supported. No need to completely move off the browser if you still prefer to use it.

Hope that helps,


With the new course/people search going into production, which is a great update to the previous search, some of us have found a few small helpful things that are missing and and have opened Ideas to resolve the following items:

Thanks, cms_hickss! Based on the beta release notes discussion, I just opened this idea:

I found a new Authentication setting in this release, Message Signing for SAML providers, which doesn't seem to be in the originally-issued 2018-03-10 release notes:

New Message Signing choices in 3-10-18 for Account Admin > Authentication > SAML Provider

For our institution and a few others my colleague  @mollyk ‌ corresponded with, this feature affected access to our beta instances -- even though the feature option didn't actually appear for us. 

 @CanvasDocTeam , if SAML Message Signing will indeed be part of the 2018-03-10 release, can these release notes be updated accordingly?

Hi, everyone,

The following additions have been made to the release:

Updated Features

  • Authentication: SAML Message Signing Algorithm

Fixed Bugs

  • Authentication: SAML Message Signing Algorithm
  • Permissions: Admin Role External Tool Launch Parameters
  • Reports: MGP Report Export Failure



Why is the update to Announcements being performed outside of the normal release window, on a working day no less?

The production update resulted in the Canvas interface appearing justified to the left of the screen. On 15" screens, the page appears correctly; however, on larger monitors the content is relegated to only one side of the page as shown in the screenshot below. Is there a way to correct this so that Canvas displays across the entire monitor again?


Thanks so much, erinhallmark‌. 

erinhallmark‌ When will the new information about the Announcement features be in the Teacher guides? I'm assuming March 10? I know you're always a step ahead of us all.

Hi, please submit a support case so our support team can look into this for you.

Thank you!


cms_hickss‌ thanks for pushing these forward. I'm SUPER HAPPY that we're getting these tools, but there are some improvements we would all like to see! I voted them up!


Delbert Clarke


Athletic Coordinator

OCPS Academic Center For Excellence K-8


One fix that needs to be added is the course/people search at account level needs a show less to collapse the show more. Other than that the new search function is a good logical step.

Thanks‌ Also related to the release of the Announcement features: since these are happening outside the usual update window, does that mean there is a potential for performance impact while the changes are applied? Or are there any other risks not normally associated with these updates?

Hi  @delbert_clarke ‌ - I've noticed your "unsubscribe" message a couple of times when reading this thread. Did you get this taken care of (which, if you did, you won't see this message). If you'll click on your profile in the upper right corner and choose Your Places, you can click the gear to the right of any group you belong to. One of the options is to "Leave Group."

Hope this helps.


Hi, James,

Our team is fully confident in this feature, but they do want to confirm performance. If the rollout ends up being a distraction we'd like to know that for future projects (just let your CSM know your feedback).



Hi, Sylvia,

All documentation will still be updated per the regular release schedule.



Maybe I misunderstood the new announcement "delayed until" change. However, I went into the Announcements screen and it is not showing there.

However, it is showing on the front/home page (I have the course set to 1 announcement on homepage). Just for a lark I went into "student view" and I can see that the post was "delayed until." As an instructor, I do not want students to see that I pre-schedule announcements. Anyone else seeing the same?

Yup. If students can see that the announcement was pre-scheduled, that information is better left as instructor and admin only. Smiley Happy 

We just tested this with a student account and they do see the "delayed until" on the homepage when the announcement has been posted as a delayed announcement.

Hi, Sky,

I clarified that the home page functionality is separate from the Announcements page update, so the new announcements UI still displays in the home page if you have announcements showing. However, I am not able to replicate the behavior of seeing delayed announcements in the home page as any user. So if you are seeing that behavior I'll have to ask you to submit a support case so our team can investigate for you.

Thank you,


Course and User Search is one of the best updates to Canvas in a while. We have been using a js version for awhile, and not to have one built into Canvas makes everything faster.

Nice Job!

Thanks erinhallmark‌. I did end up opening a case; it has been escalated. 🙂

Hi  @jrboek ‌ have you used the new Course and User Search tool in your production environment already? If so, how are your experiences with it so far?

I love it,  @cwhermsen ‌!

Chores that used to take hours, now take minutes. It R.O.C.K.s in the USA!


Has anyone else noticed that announcements within a course no longer work unless you are an account admin or #teacher of the course?

We have a role called manager and that role has the ability to post global announcements and could do so within Courses up until this update.  After this update they are unable to do so because they get a message saying they must pick a section, but are not given the option to do so. As you can see in the screen show below.


But if you have account admin rights you see the Post to option shows up and you can choose which section or sections of the course you want to post to. We contacted support and they said the only work around would be for us to give the manager System Admin access and well that's just not going to happen or have them act as the instructor, which defeats the purpose 


Has anyone else seen this or found a better work around?

Hi learn...

When you go to your account level pages for your Canvas instance (or speak to someone who has Canvas admin access at your school), go to the account "Settings" screen.  Then, click on the "Feature Options" tab.  Is "New User Tutorial" turned on?  I believe this is what expands the Canvas UI to utilize the full width of your matter what size monitor you are using.

FYI- with the announcements update, all imported and blueprint announcements show "U" in place for the user, instead of the teacher/admin who originally created the announcement. This shows up on the course activity feed on home page as well. 

U for user instead of teacher or admin

 @aolsonpacheco  We escalated a case on that issue to Instructure on Monday and it's now at their product team, but they are still looking into it.  We reached out to our CSM since we weren't sure if this was just us and she said at this point she hadn't heard that issue from other schools and that it could have been related to the course copy/changing dates or our custom templates.

It's nice to see that at least another institution is experiencing that issue since it's something that our faculty are certainly concerned about.  All of their announcements showing a U suddenly prompted a good deal of responses from them....

Especially when it's not even the right U...

UofU Logo

Ha! Thanks for the update on what is being done about it  @ken_cooper . I assumed it had been reported, but since I didn't see anyone commenting about it I wanted to bring it up. We have had some upset faculty, especially since it happened on a Monday smack in the middle of the semester... Do you recommend we bring it to our CSM as well so that there are more reports?

Thank you for bringing it up, it's the same in our courses as well.


 @aolsonpacheco ‌,  @victoria-maloy ‌, stefaniesanders I think that the more institutions that bring it to their CSMs and escalate it to Instructure the better.  If this issue is widespread enough then hopefully the Canvas Product team will be motivated to get a fix in place sooner.

Telling faculty members to create new announcements and copy the text over so that they will be displayed correctly is not a workaround that I am a huge fan of doing.  Leaving it with a U and either not informing students or posting another announcement or email just makes the teacher look non-attentive to detail.

If I get a response I'll be sure to pass it along.  Would like to know if any other institutions get responses as well.

Hi, Ali,

Yes, our product team does have a ticket in to review the behavior. I don't have an update as to when they'll be able to look into it further, but they're aware that the new interface has made the design more apparent for copied announcements and they'd like to make that experience better.



Thanks erinhallmark‌.  Very good to at know they are at least aware of the issue.

"Section-Specific Announcements

When creating an announcement, instructors can create section-specific announcements in their courses. When creating an announcement, instructors can select to send the announcement to all sections, one section, or multiple sections."

I like the feature, but puzzled why it defaults to ALL sections, so that I have to change it every time I want to send the announcement to only the section I am in?  I don't teach multiples of the very same course.  This is very cumbersome to change every time, and at some point I know I will accidentally send it out to the wrong sections. 

This feature needs to neutral default -- i.e.have nothing selected, so that you are forced to pick what you want.  But not default to "all courses".  Can this be changed?

This already burned our instructors.  We had several complaints yesterday about how they were able to send announcements to sections in which they were not the teacher.  Their colleagues in those sections were equally puzzled as to how a teacher not listed in their section was making Announcement.   Ideally it would know what section(s) I was in and show those but a neutral/empty default state would be fine as well.  Right now, users are used to creating and sending Announcements without needing to check for a section detail.  Section-specific announcements is a welcome addition but it behaves now in a way that invites a mistake by the instructors.

Hi kburkes‌ - can you please briefly explain how you use Canvas?  Do you have multiple instructors assigned to a common course site where they share the common content however have separate groups of students (i.e. sections), different gradebooks, etc.?

Hi, Kate,

Generally information like this is best submitted as a support case to our Canvas support teams. We took a look at this behavior and noted that if you're restricted to a specific section you shouldn't be able to create announcements for other sections. Our support team is working on a ticket for our engineers to correct this behavior.



Yes, please do not keep it a U - all the importing we do on courses we work on, things will just look ridiculous! 

In the previous version, you could edit the Announcement, and the profile picture would update. That does not seem to work under this new code. Are there other options/thoughts for this issue?

One more quick question. Is this update now sending Announcements to all enrolled students or only active students? We use inactive status to denote students who are withdrawn, and some of our instructors are seeing that the announcement is being sent to all students and not just active ones. Thoughts on this?

We also use the inactive status for students who drop/withdraw, so I'd be very interested to know if this is the case or not. I have not heard any reports from local students, but it's Finals Week here so they're probably busy.

We are also seeing this behavior. It is working for Teachers, Admins and T.A.'s but we have a customized role called Student mentor that used to be able to make announcements but now can't.  They see the behavior in your first screenshot.

Giselle Guillory

Learning Systems Support

University of South Florida


I have a ticket in to #canvas support‌ and they are investigating this issue. As soon as I hear back from them with any updates I'll post the update.

Hi, Alan,

We are fixing the behavior for notifications and will have it deployed shortly. 



Hi, everyone,

Beta release notes are now available: Canvas Beta Release Notes (2018-03-19) 

Any comments that were not yet resolved in these notes are being reviewed by our teams. As always if you would like to get more info about a fix, please file a support case and you'll be able to get updates as soon as they are available.



Hi, all,

Our engineers have recently deployed some fixes to your production environment to improve your Canvas experience!

Fixed Bugs

  • Announcements: Add Announcement Sections View
  • Dashboard: Recent Activity and Card View Option
  • DocViewer: PDF Download Comment Replies
  • Notifications: Section-Specific Announcements
  • Quizzes: Edited Quizzes and Until Date Seconds

Thank you,