Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-04-21)
In this production release (April 21), admins can set a default Dashboard view for new Canvas users and allow graders to add excess points to outcome criteria in SpeedGrader. Additionally, the account-level SIS Import process supports a feature option refactor that provides improved performance and stability.
In Conferences, individual recordings can be individually deleted. The Rich Content Editor expands auto-open inline files to display the full file preview and includes a word counter within each editor window. And the Announcements page includes an updated icon for the Reply icon. For institutions using the New Gradebook, Gradebook exports respect grading period filters.
Other updates are also available in various APIs and documentation.
Production release notes also include fixed bugs.
Features are subject to change based on user feedback and testing. Please follow the release notes for the latest information.
Next release schedule
- Beta release and notes: April 30
- Production release notes: May 7
- Production release and documentation: May 12
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.
- Not all features will apply to mobile apps, and some functionality may be implemented in mobile apps at a later date.
- Mobile features are updated and announced separately according to app and device in the Mobile release notes.
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.
- Account Settings
- Dashboard Default View
- Individual Recording Deletion
- New Gradebook
- Grading Period Filter Exports
- Rich Content Editor
- Inline Preview Document Height
- Word Counter
- Outcomes Extra Credit
- Reply Icon Update
- SIS Import
- SIS File Refactor
- Accounts API
- Permissions Endpoint
- Courses API
- Permissions Endpoint
- Discussion Topics API
- Get a Single Topic Endpoint
- List Discussion Topics Endpoint
- Modules API
- Module Object
- ModuleItem Object
- ModuleItemSequenceNode Object
- ModuleItemSequence Object
- Sections API
- Create Course Section Endpoint
- SIS Import Errors API
- Get SIS Import Error List Endpoint
- SIS Import Format Documentation
- SIS Imports API
- SisImport Object
- Import SIS Data Endpoint
- Users API
- Get a Pandata JWT Token and its Expiration Date Endpoint
- Fixed Bugs
- New Gradebook
- Posted Date Display
- Student Rubric Range Results
- Blueprint Courses
- File Replacement
- MasteryPath Assignments
- Module Prerequisites
- Renamed Folders
- New Courses Page and Instructor Show More Link
- SpeedGrader Link and Trust Accounts
- Weighted Assignment Groups and CSV Exports
- Act as User and Custom Admin Roles
- See the List of Usersand Admin Roles
- Rich Content Editor
- Embedded Video Files in Firefox
- Video Links
- SIS Import
- SIS Import Error
- User Settings
- Language Notifications
Dashboard Default View
Admins can select the Dashboard default view for new users in the account. This setting defaults to the Card View unless otherwise changed to the Recent Activity View. New users can change their Dashboard view at any time in the Dashboard Options menu. Once a user has selected a different view, the default no longer applies.
Individual Recording Deletion
Conference recordings can be individually deleted. Previously, only the entire conference could be deleted, which would also remove all conference recordings. This change helps instructors who manage long-running conferences and create multiple recordings.
Additionally, concluded conferences display the date and time the conference was concluded.
Canvas open source contributions: BigBlueButton feature: Delete recordings individually
Grading Period Filter Exports
Exports in the New Gradebook respect grading periods. When a grading period filter is applied in the New Gradebook, Gradebook exports display the filtered grading period results with the correct scores for that grading period.
Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/11001-gradebook-export-by-grading-period
Rich Content Editor
Inline Preview Document Height
When an auto-open inline preview file link is displayed in a Rich Content Editor browser window, the preview expands to a default height of 800px and displays the full file preview. Previously the preview only expanded to a default height of 400px.
The Rich Content Editor displays a word counter within the editor browser window. This change can help users know how many words they have typed in a discussion, page, assignment text entry, or other content location where the Rich Content Editor is supported.
The word counter calculates the number of words entered into the editor. A word is considered to be a single string of characters typed together without using the spacebar.
The word counter only displays for the user creating content in the Rich Content Editor. After the content is saved, the word counter is no longer visible unless the content is edited. Additionally, the total word count is not visible to any other user.
Note: The Rich Content Editor does not have a word count limit. However, word count is not the same as a total character count, which does affect the Rich Content Editor and can vary based on HTML content and use of special characters.
Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1341-word-count
Outcomes Extra Credit
This feature requires the Allow Outcome Extra Credit feature option, which can be enabled for an entire account or on a course-by-course basis. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.
When an instructor grades a submission in SpeedGrader and uses a rubric for grading that includes outcomes, outcomes support excess points above the maximum point value. This change allows instructors to provide extra credit and award more points than allowed by the outcome.
Turning off this feature option does not affect excess outcome point values that have already been assessed in a rubric in SpeedGrader. When the feature option is not enabled, each outcome only supports the maximum criterion value. Any entries higher than the maximum value are not retained when the rubric is saved.
Note: Excess points for a rubric criterion can be awarded at any time and are not managed by the Allow Extra Credit Outcomes feature option.
Reply Icon Update
In Announcements, the Reply icon has been updated to a Lock or Unlock icon, which displays according to the state of the announcement.
SIS File Refactor
This feature requires the SIS Import Refactor feature option, which can be enabled for an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings.
The SIS Import system has been refactored for improved stability in SIS processing. These changes benefit accounts importing large files with more than 1000 lines, provides more detailed error and troubleshooting information, and allows for future SIS Import engineering improvements.
SIS Imports are added to a queue that processes each imported CSV separately (whether uploaded individually or within a ZIP file). The SIS refactor prepares an entire CSV file and processes 1000 lines at a time for better efficiency within the queue. Previously the SIS import system had to break up each CSV file into smaller chunks, and process each one individually. No changes to the import process are visible to admins.
SIS Import errors continue to display in the SIS Import page. However, the SIS Import Errors API provides additional troubleshooting details in error lists and returns the CSV line number where an error occurred if the SIS Refactor is enabled. This API can also be used in accounts that have not enabled the SIS Import Refactor feature option, but they will not include the line number where the error occurred.
- New endpoint that returns permission information for the calling user and the given account. The caller must have an account role or admin enrollment in a course in the account. Also relates to the Courses API Permissions endpoint.
- Permissions parameter: returns the list of permissions to check against the authenticated user. Permission names are documented in the Create a Role endpoint.
This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:
When a user with a custom admin role tried to act as another user, Canvas returned an unauthorized error. Canvas code has been updated to include a new Accounts API endpoint to verify permissions for custom admin roles.
- Includes link to new Accounts API Permissions endpoint.
- Permissions parameter: clarifies that permission names are documented in the Create a Role endpoint.
Discussion Topics API
Get a Single Topic Endpoint
- Include parameter: new parameter in endpoint. Allowed values include all_dates, sections, sections_user_count, and overrides.
List Discussion Topics Endpoint
- Include parameter: includes overrides as an allowed value
- Returns the published parameter
- Returns the published parameter
- Returns the mastery_path parameter
- Includes examples for the current and next items in the course sequence
- Includes full examples for items and modules arrays
Create Course Section Endpoint
- Course_section[sis_section_id] parameter: notes the user must have the manage_sis permissions to set.
- Course_section[integration_id] parameter: new parameter that sets the integration_id of the section. Must have the manage_sis permission to set.
SIS Import Errors API
Get SIS Import Error List Endpoint
- Returns a list of SIS import errors for an account or SIS import. Import errors are only stored for 30 days.
SIS Import Format Documentation
- Old_integration_id field: clarified in description that this field does not support group categories
- New_integration_id field: clarified in description that this field does not support group categories
- Type field: added group_category to the description
SIS Imports API
- Workflow_state parameter: returns whether the SIS import was aborted
- Skip_deletes parameter: returns whether the import skipped any deleted objects
Import SIS Data Endpoint
- Skip_deletes parameter: new parameter that can be used on any type of SIS import. When set, the import will skip any deletes. This parameter does not account for objects that are deleted during the batch mode cleanup process.
Get a Pandata JWT Token and its Expiration Date Endpoint
- New endpoint that returns a jwt token, which can be used to send events to Canvas Data
The account-level Courses page include H1 headings at the start of the page content.
The Grade Detail Tray supports the up and down arrow keys. These keys allow users to navigate each Gradebook status.
When an outcome value is deleted from the Decaying Average field, the cursor is retained in the same field.
In new pages, focus is retained in the title field.
When a keyboard user tabs to the Act As or Send Message buttons, the Enter key opens the appropriate window.
The account-level People page include H1 headings at the start of the page content. Additionally, the search results table includes row headings.
Posted Date Display
New announcements created without a Delay Until date display their posted date correctly.
Explanation: When an announcement created without a Delay Date was posted for a course, the Posted date would not display in the Announcements page. Canvas code has been updated to display the Posted date for new announcements. This change does not affect copied announcements, which never display a Posted date.
Student Rubric Range Results
In rubrics, students can view highlighted criterion range results in the grades page and the submission details page.
Explanation: When a student viewed an assignment with a rubric in both the grades page and submission details page, the rubric scores were displayed but the criterion range was not highlighted as shown in SpeedGrader to instructors. Canvas code has been updated to highlight rubric results for students.
Replacing files in Blueprint course do not affect module items linked to the files in associated courses.
Explanation: When a file was replaced in a Blueprint course, any module that linked to the file in an associated course was deleted. Canvas code has been updated to retain all module file links in associated courses when files are replaced in Blueprint courses.
Quizzes and graded discussion set as MasteryPath items are updated in associated courses.
Explanation: When a quiz or graded discussion was set as a MasteryPath item in a Blueprint course, the conditional item was not added to the same assignments in associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to update assignments in associated courses as MasteryPath items.
Modified module prerequisites in Blueprint courses are also modified in associated courses.
Explanation: When a module prerequisite was removed or deleted in a Blueprint course, the prerequisite was not updated in the associated course. Canvas code has been updated to reflect modified changes to module prerequisites in associated courses.
Folders that are renamed in Blueprint courses generate an unsynced change for associated courses.
Explanation: When a folder was renamed in a Blueprint course, the Blueprint course did not trigger an unsynced change. This behavior did not affect renaming files, which does trigger a change in the Blueprint course. Canvas code has been updated to
generate unsynced changes when a folder is renamed in a Blueprint course.
New Courses Page and Instructor Show More Link
In the new account-level Courses page, the Show More link only displays when more than two instructors are enrolled in the course.
Explanation: When a course included only two instructors, but one of the instructors was enrolled in multiple sections, the Show More link displayed in the Courses page. Canvas code has been updated to only display the Show More link if more than two unique instructors are enrolled in a course.
SpeedGrader Link and Trust Accounts
For users in a trust account, the More Details in the SpeedGrader link displays the intended student’s submission in SpeedGrader.
Explanation: When an instructor selected the More Details in the SpeedGrader link in the Gradebook for a student submission, and the student was part of a trust account, the link redirected to the first student listed in SpeedGrader instead of the intended student. This behavior affected both the current and New Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to align the SpeedGrader link in the Gradebook with the intended student’s submission.
Weighted Assignment Groups and CSV Exports
When weighted assignment groups are enabled, exported CSV Gradebook files display the correct number of columns.
Explanation: When weighted assignment groups were enabled in the Gradebook, the exported Gradebook CSV included missing commas and affected the column display. This behavior affected both the current and New Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to display the correct number of CSV columns with weighted assignment groups.
Act as User and Custom Admin Roles
Custom admin roles can act as users in the account.
Explanation: When a user with a custom admin role tried to act as another user, Canvas returned an unauthorized error. Canvas code has been updated to include a new Accounts API endpoint to support custom admin roles.
See the List of Users and Admin Roles
Admins with the See the List of Users permission can view another admin in the account.
Explanation: When a user with an admin role tried to act as another admin, Canvas generated an unauthorized error if the admin being viewed had at least one permission that the viewing admin did not. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to view another admin if the viewing admin is granted the View the List of Users permission. This permissions change does not affect the Act as Users permission.
Rich Content Editor
Embedded Video Files in Firefox
Embedded video files in Firefox display above the video controls as shown in other browsers.
Explanation: When a user played an embedded video file in a course using Firefox, the video displayed below the video controls in a narrow iFrame. Canvas code has been updated to display embedded video files correctly in the Rich Content Editor.
Text added before a video link does not affect the formatting of the video.
Explanation: When a video link was added to the Rich Content Editor, and text was placed before the video link, viewing the video broke the formatting and displayed the video under the video controls. Canvas code has been updated to correct media elements in the Rich Content Editor and prevent text from affecting video formatting.
SIS Import Error
Users do not view an unintended import error noting a field is over 255 characters.
Explanation: When an SIS file was imported for an account, Canvas occasionally displayed an error message stating that a field was over 255 characters. Canvas code has been updated to remove this error unless specific to the SIS import.
Notifications are sent in the language specified by the user.
Explanation: When a user’s settings page defaulted to English, users occasionally received notifications in other languages as detected by the user’s browser. Canvas code has been updated to use the Canvas language setting in the user settings page instead of a language detected by the browser.