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cph2
Learner II

Have you had any issues with assignment visibility in the mobile app?

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One of my colleagues sent along a mystery and I am hoping someone here might have an explanation. 

We had a ticket where a student could not see assignment 6 on his Canvas mobile app, but the assignment was clearly viewable to all students if they used a computer. This caused some confusion so the professor called about why some students did not see the assignment when others clearly could. Looking into it I found that I could reproduce the problem on my phone using the Canvas app for students. Closing the app and opening the app did not make new assignments that are verifiably visible to students on the computer appear on the app. However, logging out of the app and logging into the app did work and the new assignment would appear. 

Both folks were using the Android app. 

Is this a known issue? Has anyone seen this before? Why was a logout required to be able to view this content for the student?

Thanks for any information you can provide.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions

Ah, okay - I see what you're saying now. Indeed, that list is cached to reduce unnecessary network traffic and improve battery life, but it should refresh automatically on app launch or inactivity. Similar to the assignments list in Canvas web, if the student is looking at the page when an assignment becomes available, they have to refresh the webpage for it to show up -- in mobile, the student has to pull to refresh for the assignment to show up (i.e., refresh the cache on assignments list). Otherwise, the list will be refreshed automatically the next time they launch the app or after an extended period of inactivity.

The obvious alternative to caching that list using Canvas API is refreshing assignments every time a user hits that list, but fetching all assignments is relatively expensive and slow and unnecessary most of the time.

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8 Replies
9927744
Community Member

Good afternoon, Cheryl!  I do know that there is some concerns from other people about the student app.  Have you checked out this group to see if they can help?  https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/cmug 

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Cheryl - I haven't seen any reports about this at my institution, but it doesn't mean that others haven't. I'll keep my eye open for other discussions. Hopefully, other CMUG members or mobile enthusiasts will see your question and be able to chime in! Smiley Happy By chance, have you submitted a ticket to Canvas Support?

No, not yet. I started with this space to see if this was expected behavior. I will post now. 

rseilham
Community Coach
Community Coach

I haven't heard of this at our school or throughout the community, but as  @klundstrum ‌ said, that doesn't mean it's not an issue. I definitely agree that you should put in a ticket so it can be elevated to the mobile team. 

cph2
Learner II

Hi friends,

I submitted a ticket but Instructure has not been able to reproduce the issue.

Here are the steps that I am taking to recreate this reliably at my institution:

1. I am using an android device (phones and tablets have been tested). 

2. Login to the Canvas student mobile app.
3. View the assignment page for a course.
4. As an administrator or teacher, add a new assignment to the course. Be sure to change or note the time that the assignment will become available. 
5. Once the assignment is released, I can view it on my desktop and another Android device that had not previously viewed the page. However, on devices that have previously viewed the page, the new assignment will not display. I can navigate away from the page, and return or reload the content but the new assignment is not displayed on the device.
I can confirm that the new assignment is displayed if I sign out and sign back in. 
To me, this looks like an issue with caching. I have confirmed that the college is not using Cloudflare for LMS content. However, on Tuesday, we were experiencing 2-10 second delays in loading certain pages within Canvas and the url displayed at the bottom of the screen while loading indicated that the content might be being pulled from Cloudflare. I have been assuming this was on the Instructure side.
Do any of you see this behavior?
Thanks!
peytoncraighill
Instructure
Instructure

Hey Cheryl,

Weird. I haven't heard of this issue before, and I wasn't able to reproduce it in our Android app. I created an assignment with availability dates in the future, had student pull to refresh before available and got no assignment as expected, then had student pull to refresh once available and the assignment showed up as expected. Feel free to DM me with a course link and/or affected user IDs and I can dig a little deeper if you're still experiencing the issue or if I'm misunderstanding.

Thanks,

Peyton

Yes, if you "pull to refresh" this does seem to work without requiring an

new login. Several android users reporting this issue did not understand

that pull refreshed the list or that a refresh would be needed since other

elements, such as the todo list, refresh automatically.

Cheryl Handsaker

Academic Application Developer / Project Manager

Office of Information Technology, Williams College

On Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM pcraighill@instructure.com <

Ah, okay - I see what you're saying now. Indeed, that list is cached to reduce unnecessary network traffic and improve battery life, but it should refresh automatically on app launch or inactivity. Similar to the assignments list in Canvas web, if the student is looking at the page when an assignment becomes available, they have to refresh the webpage for it to show up -- in mobile, the student has to pull to refresh for the assignment to show up (i.e., refresh the cache on assignments list). Otherwise, the list will be refreshed automatically the next time they launch the app or after an extended period of inactivity.

The obvious alternative to caching that list using Canvas API is refreshing assignments every time a user hits that list, but fetching all assignments is relatively expensive and slow and unnecessary most of the time.

View solution in original post