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Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-07-18)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-07-18)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

Differentiated Assignments: July 18

On July 18, 2015, Differentiated Assignments will no longer be a Feature option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. Learn more about Differentiated Assignments.

EtherPad Collaborations: August 8

On August 8, 2015, all existing Etherpad collaborations that are hosted by Canvas will be permanently deleted. Institutions who still want to use Etherpad as a collaboration tool can set up their own Etherpad server and integrate it with Canvas. Learn more about the open source Etherpad project at Etherpad.org. As a product alternative, users can also create Google Docs collaborations in Canvas.

In this production release, instructors can better manage student assignments on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, institutions benefit from stronger authentication and login changes. The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features, other Canvas updates, and fixed bugs.

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2015-07-18​)

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: July 27
  • Production release notes: August 3
  • Production release and documentation: August 8

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

  Updated Features

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Assignments

Differentiated Assignment Section and Student List

When assigning an assignment, discussion, or quiz to a section or student, Canvas displays a maximum of ten items, defaulting to three sections and seven students (actual list display may vary based on course configuration). Additional list items are not shown in order to maximize performance, especially for large courses.

If a course includes more sections or students than the display limit, Canvas will display a prompt notifying the user to type and search for the section or student.


Additionally, instructors can search for students by either first or last name.

Assignments-DA-Items.png

Part of this feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Anonymous Peer Review Student Names

The anonymity option now hides student names to avoid biased peer reviews. The submitting student’s name is hidden from the reviewer and any linked observers on the reviewer’s dashboard and the assignment submission page.

Note: In peer review notifications, student names are not yet hidden. This feature will be added in a future release.

APR-1-Dashboard.png

APR-6-View-Assigned-Review.png

In the comments sidebar, the student assessing the submission cannot view any comments made by other users in the course, including comments from other reviewers or from the instructor.

Note: In anonymous peer reviews, users cannot create annotations in Crocodoc (including instructors).


Instructors can always view the name of the student reviewer in SpeedGrader and the student submission page.

APR-7-View-Submission.png

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Assignment Details and Locked Assignments

Students are no longer restricted from viewing assignment details in locked assignments. Details can still be seen after an assignment is locked by a due date or an Until date.

Assignments-Closed-Student-View.png

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Assignment Submissions Button

The student Submit Assignment link has been moved out of the sidebar and placed more prominently as a button by the assignment details.

Assignments-Student-Submit-Button.png

The Re-submit Assignment link has also been repurposed as a button.

Assignments-Re-Submit-Button.png

Files

Files Navigation Link and Content Selector Files Tab

If the Files Navigation link is hidden in the course, students cannot view the Files Tab in the Content Selector (such as when a student is given permission to edit a course page). Hiding the Files Navigation link also hides all folders or files in the course, so removing the tab helps minimize confusion for students when trying to upload course files.

Gradebook

Grades and Concluded Grading Periods

When the multiple grading periods feature is enabled, instructors cannot assign or edit grades for an assignment within a concluded grading period. Additionally, assignment drop-down menus are also not available in prior grading periods.

Grading periods are defined by a specific date range as created by the institutional admin; at the course level, grading periods can be viewed on the Manage Grading Schemes page.


Note: Grades in prior grading periods can be edited by users with admin-level permissions.

Incomplete Quiz Score Icon

When students complete a quiz that includes a manually graded question, the Grades page displays a Quiz icon instead of the current score, indicating that the quiz score is not yet complete. When students hover over the icon, students can view a message indicating that grading is in progress.

Quiz-Icon-Student.png

The Quiz icon displays in the Gradebook for instructors as well, indicating that some questions in the quiz need to be graded manually. When the instructor assigns a score for the manually graded question, the icon for both the instructor and the student will be replaced with the complete quiz grade.


Note: For instructors, the Quiz icon in the Gradebook can also mean that a Quiz score has been deleted and a new score needs to be assigned.

Quiz-Icon-Instructor.png

Notifications

Excused Assignment Notifications

Excused assignments are part of the Grading notification (under Course Activities). If users enable this notification, they will receive a notification when an assignment has been excused.

Notifications-DA.png

Outcomes

Imported Account-Level Outcomes

When an account-level outcome is imported into a course, the outcome can be removed from the course as long as it does not contain any alignments or artifacts. Previously if the account-level outcome was imported into multiple courses, but only one course used the outcome to assess a student, the outcome could not be removed from the other courses.

SpeedGrader

Online Submission URLs

Online submission URLs display as external links. This change allows instructors to open SpeedGrader and view the original URL submissions from students in an external window. A new window will also be opened for internal links as well.

SpeedGrader-URL-Submissions.png

Autosave SpeedGrader Comments

If an instructor adds comments to a student submission and then navigates away from the page, Canvas will generate a message warning that there are unsaved comments on the page.


Note: Firefox will always display a generic message that cannot be changed in Canvas. The text says: “This page is asking you to confirm that you want to leave—data you have entered may not be saved.”

SpeedGrader-Comments-Warning.png

This feature only applies to leaving the SpeedGrader page; it does not apply to the comment field for each student submission. If an instructor creates a comment for a student but does not submit it before viewing another student submission, SpeedGrader retains the comment in the comment field for the second student—and any student—until the Submit Comment button is clicked and the comment is officially submitted as part of a student’s submission.

Users

Manage Profile Pictures

When profile pictures are enabled for an account, admins can manage all profile pictures at the account level. Located on the Admin Users page, admins can click the Manage Profile Pictures button to view all profile pictures.

Admin-Profile-Pictures-1.png

Profile pictures can be viewed together or individually by status: submitted, reported, and approved and re-reported. When a user reports a profile picture as inappropriate, the reported user’s information is added to the reported area.

Admins can choose to approve or delete the profile picture. They can also lock the profile picture, which approves the image but does not allow the user to change the profile picture. Locked profile pictures can be unlocked at any time.

Admin-Profile-Pictures-2.png

  Permissions Updates

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Account

Changing User Passwords

The See the List of Users and Modify Login Details for Users account permissions are required for a user to change another user’s password. Previously the Manage SIS Data permission was also required but is no longer associated with this functionality.

Course

Viewing Grader Comments in Rubrics

The View All Grades permission allows user to view grader comments on a rubric in SpeedGrader. Previously the Manage Courses permission was also required but is no longer associated with this functionality.

  Other Canvas Updates

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Account Settings

Edit Name

The Users can edit display name account setting allowed users to edit their Display Name in addition to their Full Name and Sortable Name. For clarification, the setting has been renamed as “Users can edit their name”.

Account-Settings-User-Names.png

Authentication

SAML

For institutions using SAML authentication, an Entity ID is now required. Admins are encouraged to add the entity ID to their account authentication settings before the upcoming release.

Feature Options

Canvas Catalog

The Canvas Catalog account-level feature option has been renamed to Public Course Index. This change eases confusion between the Public Course Index, which lists all public courses within an institution’s Canvas account, and Canvas Catalog, which is a separate all-in-one learning solution that integrates with the Canvas LMS as a course registration system, payment gateway, and learning platform. Functionality of the Catalog feature is not affected.

Feature-Options-Canvas-Catalog.png

Languages

Swedish and Danish

Swedish (svenska) and Danish (dansk) have been added as available languages for all users in Canvas.

  Platform/Integration Updates

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APIs

Courses

In the Courses API, users can request the grading standard ID when creating a new course with the grading_standard_id parameter.

Peer Reviews

In the Peer Reviews API, users can get all peer reviews, create peer reviews, and delete peer reviews.

Quiz Questions

In the Quiz Questions API, the question_type parameter includes true and false questions as a question type.

  Fixed Bugs

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Accessibility

Announcements

Screen readers can identify when an external feed has been added or deleted.

Assignments

Screen readers can identify when an assignment is deleted.

Conferences

Screen readers can identify when a conference has been deleted.

Course Settings

On the profile settings page, the name fields include labels for screen readers.

Date Fields

All date calendar fields in Canvas provide date format context to screen readers. Keyboard users can view a tooltip that shows the date format information.

Gradebook Individual View

Excusing a student from a group assignment does not affect the other students in the group.

After selecting or deselecting the Show Concluded Enrollments checkbox, focus is retained on the checkbox for screen readers.

Media recordings cannot be downloaded in Individual View. The Download Submissions button has been removed as an option in media comment submissions.

Modules

Screen readers can identify when a module is deleted. A banner also appears at the top of the page for keyboard users.

People

When a user creates a group name for a group in a group set, screen readers can see that the group name is a required field.

Quizzes

Screen readers can identify when a quiz has been deleted.

Rich Content Editor

Users can save an equation image in the Rich Content Editor and get MATHML for screen readers in Canvas Announcement reply, Discussion reply, Canvas page body, Outcome description, Quiz essay answer text, and ePortfolio page edit output.

People

When adding people to a course, focus is retained on the Done button in the Add People window.

Accounts

Sub-Account Deletion

Admins cannot delete a sub-account that contains any courses.

Explanation: When an admin tried to delete a sub-account that had another sub-account containing courses, Canvas allowed the sub-account to be deleted. This behavior occurred because the sub-account was not confirming courses. Canvas code has been updated to prevent deletion of sub-accounts with any courses.

APIs

Users API

When creating a user in the Users API, the skip_confirmation parameter verifies the communication channel for the user.

Explanation: When creating a new user via the skip_confirmation parameter, the API was not verifying the communication channel when the parameter was set to true. The user message was not affected. This behavior occurred because the API was not considering the pseudonym parameter for the user and effectively considering the user as pre-registered instead of verified. Canvas API documentation has been updated to include the details of the pseudonym parameter. If communication_channel[skip_confirmation] is true, the pseudonym[send_confirmation] parameter is recommended to be set to true as well. Otherwise, the user will not correctly receive any messages about their account creation.

Submissions API

In the Submissions API, when a user lists submissions for multiple assignments, the API does not load submissions for users who are unauthenticated.

Explanation: When a user makes an API call for multiple assignment submissions, Canvas was generating an error message. This behavior occurred because the API call did not require the user information. Canvas code has been updated to confirm user authentication for submissions.

Assignments

Differentiated Assignment Section and Student List

When assigning an assignment, discussion, or quiz to a section or student, and a course includes more than five sections or seven students, Canvas will display a prompt notifying the user to type and search for the section or student.

Explanation: When assigning an assignment, discussion, or quiz to a section or student, Canvas only displayed a maximum of five sections and seven students. This behavior confused users in thinking that not all items were being listed and occurred because of performance concerns, especially in large courses. Canvas code has been updated to display a prompt indicating the dynamic search capabilities.

Deleted Files and Submission Downloads

When an instructor downloads all submissions for an assignment, Canvas does not include submissions that have been deleted by students in their user files.

Explanation: When an instructor opened an assignment and downloaded all submissions, any assignments that had been deleted by students were still retained as part of the download. However, they were not able to download the assignment in SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because of differences in file IDs. Canvas code has been updated to remove assignment files that have been deleted by students. When an instructor downloads all submissions for an assignment, the deleted assignment will not be included in the downloaded ZIP file.

Assignment Groups and Grading Rules

When a user edits an Assignment Group, pressing the Enter key saves the Assignment Group entries.

Explanation: When a user edited an Assignment Group and pressed the Enter key in any field of the window, the Assignment Group added a new grading rule (or removed any existing rules) instead of saving changes. This behavior occurred because the save action was not specified for the Save button. Canvas code has been updated to associate the Enter key with the Save button.

LTI Tool Submissions

When creating an External Tool as an assignment submission, instructors must include a URL for the External Tool.

Explanation: When an instructor added an External Tool as an assignment submission but did not include a URL, Canvas saved the assignment. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not confirming an entry for External Tool fields. Canvas code has been updated to not allow blank URLs for External Tools.

Google Drive Submissions and File Extensions

When students submit a file upload assignment using Google Drive, the submission includes the extension of the file.

Explanation: When students submitted to a file upload assignment using Google Drive, the submission receives the name of the Google Doc but not the extension. If the Google Doc does not explicitly include the file extension before it was submitted, the extension was also missing from the download. This behavior occurred because the connection to Google Drive did not supply the file extension. Canvas code has been updated to include the file extension if it is not already included in the file.

Assignment Dropping Across Browsers

When an instructor includes more than 10 assignments in an assignment group set to drop the lowest score, the assignment that is dropped is consistent across all browsers.

Explanation: When an instructor included more than 10 assignments in an assignment group set to drop the lowest score, the assignment that was dropped was consistent in different browsers, even though the assignments have the same score. This behavior occurred because the display was dependent on the sort value, which was only defined by assignment ID. Canvas code has been updated to sort submissions by assignment score and assignment ID.

Calendar

Scheduler and Appointment Dates

Instructors must include at least one time slot when creating an appointment group in Scheduler.

Explanation: Instructors were able to create appointment groups in Scheduler without a date, which did not make the group appear for students. This behavior occurred because a due date was not required as part of creating an appointment group. Canvas code has been updated to require at least one date (time slot) when creating an appointment group.

Conferences

Concluded Conferences and Recordings

When a previously recorded conference is deleted, the conference status shows as No Recordings.

Explanation: When a concluded conference was deleted after 14 days, the conference status changed to Preparing Video. This behavior occurred when a conference was enabled for a recording, regardless of whether the recording took place. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Preparing Video status.

Course Imports

Respondus 4.0 Quizzes

Quizzes imported into a course retain their original point value.

Explanation: When a user created a quiz with specific point values in Respondus, exported the quiz, and imported the quiz into a new Canvas course, all quiz questions defaulted to one point each. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not correctly identifying the variables for the point values. Canvas code has been updated to import the correct question point values.

Quiz Question Group Names

Quiz question group names are retained in course copies.

Explanation: When a user imported a quiz with question groups, the titles of the question groups were not being copied from the original content package. This behavior occurred because the group title was not part of the import selection variables. Canvas code has been updated to import quiz question group names.

Quiz Question Links

Linked URLs in a quiz question or question bank are retained in course imports.

Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz, created a question bank, and added a link to the newly created quiz, copying the course created a missing link error. This behavior occurred because links were not being copied on course content. Canvas code has been updated to retain imported links in quizzes.

Dashboard

Dashboard Links and Shared Accounts

Users with trust accounts can link to correct course content from their Dashboard.

Explanation: When a user in a trust account tried to access a link on their Dashboard, the link directed to canvas.instructure.com instead of the actual course on their dashboard. A trust account means that a user can access one Canvas URL to access another Canvas URL. This behavior occurred because the links were being generated based on the user’s main account (local ID) instead of the main institution’s account (global ID). Canvas code has been updated to create course links based on global IDs.

Username Breadcrumb on Grades Page

On the Grades page, the username breadcrumb no longer links to the user’s page.

Explanation: When a student clicked the Grades link in Global Navigation and then clicked their username in the breadcrumb links, Canvas generated an authorized error. This behavior occurred because the URL in the breadcrumb did not contain user permissions. Canvas code has been updated to remove the username link.

Recent Activity Stream and Graded Discussions

In the Recent Activity Stream, notifications appear for Graded Discussions regardless of point value.

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded discussion with no point value, the Recent Activity Stream did not display the name of the Graded Discussion. This behavior occurred because the assignment name wasn’t included as a required item in the stream. Canvas code has been updated to always display the name of a graded discussion in stream notifications.

Discussions

HTML Help Option

The HTML editor and help icon are visible when editing discussion replies.

Explanation: When a user edited a discussion post, the HTML editor and help icon were being hidden from the page view. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in the keyboard shortcuts and HTML view settings. Canvas code has been updated to keep the HTML editor and help icon visible when editing discussion posts.

Enrollments

Special Characters and SIS CSV Files

Special characters do not cause error messages in student information system (SIS) comma separated value (CSV) import files.

Explanation: When a user imported a CSV file with special characters, the CSV caused an Invalid UTF-8 error. This behavior occurred because of a data transfer split that broke after the first chunk of UTF-8 code (approximately 4096 bytes or 4 kilobytes). Any additional text was recognized as unicode. Removing a single UTF-8 character (which is anywhere from 1 to 4 bytes) could adjust the file size and correct the import. Canvas code has been updated to properly validate UTF-8 character paths.

Files

Last Modified Column

The Files page shows the last modified date in the Modified At column.

Explanation: When a user with appropriate permissions modified a file, the Modified At column displayed inaccurate information. This behavior occurred because the column was using information for when the file was last updated. Canvas code has been updated to match modification information with the Modified At column. For instance, when a user edits the attachment/file, the modified information is affected. However, when a user edits the name of the file, the updated information is affected and modified information remains unchanged.

Files Navigation Link and Content Selector Files Tab

If the Files Navigation link is hidden in the course, students cannot view the Files Tab in the Content Selector.

Explanation: When the Files Navigation link was hidden in a course, students who tried to upload a file using the Content Selector in either a discussion or in a page that they could edit could not view any file options in the Files Tab. This behavior occurred because students cannot view course files when the tab is hidden in the course. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Files Tab when the navigation link is hidden.

Restricted Files and Unpublished Folders in Concluded Courses

Instructors can view restricted files and unpublished folders in courses that have concluded.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to view restricted files or unpublished folders in a concluded course, the instructor was not able to view the files or folders. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency with permissions. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to view all files and folders in concluded courses.

Zip Files and non-UTF8 Characters

Foreign characters in ZIP file uploads are defined as UTF-8.

Explanation: When a compressed file containing files with foreign characters was uploaded to a course, the upload stalled. This behavior occurred because ZIP file names were not being defined as UTF-8. Canvas code has been updated to upload files with foreign characters.

Gradebook

Secondary ID and SIS User/Login ID for Users with Multiple Logins

In a Gradebook common separated values (CSV) file, user ID and login data is consistent for users with multiple logins.

Explanation: As part of a downloaded Gradebook CSV file, data in ID columns varied for users with multiple logins. Most commonly, the SIS User ID and SIS Login ID columns displayed different data than the Secondary ID column, and differing data also appeared for the Login/SIS ID column in the People page. This behavior occurred because no specific pseudonym collection order was set for data display in CSV download files. Canvas code has been updated to order pseudonym data by unique ID and display consistent data in all locations.

Concluded Enrollments

When the Show Concluded Enrollments setting is enabled in the Gradebook, the exported comma separated values (CSV) file includes concluded student enrollments.

Explanation: When an instructor selected the Show Concluded Enrollments option in the Gradebook and then exported the CSV file, concluded enrollments were not included as part of the file. This behavior occurred because the CSV file wasn’t set to generate prior enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to include prior (concluded) enrollments when the setting is enabled.

Imported File Confirmation Banner

When an instructor imports a comma separated values (CSV) file, the Gradebook indicates a successful upload by displaying a green banner.

Explanation: When an instructor modified a score in the Gradebook CSV file and imported the file, Canvas did not display the successful import banner. This behavior occurred because the user was immediately redirected back to the Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to confirm upload behavior and display the green banner when successful.

Gradebook CSV Uploads and Grading Scheme

Read-only columns as part of a Gradebook comma separated values (CSV) file are not considered new assignments.

Explanation: When a grading scheme was enabled and the Gradebook exported for a course, the Gradebook created extra read-only columns. When the Gradebook CSV file was imported with no changes, Canvas considered the extra columns to be new assignments. This behavior occurred because the importer was not checking the status of the columns and did not see that they hadn’t changed. Canvas code has been updated to disregard any columns or assignments that do not include any changes from the original file. This read-only column change also applies to assignments that do not include a grading scheme.

Grade Changes in Grading Window

Grade changes made in the comments window are applied to the Gradebook column.

Explanation: When an instructor assigned a grade in a Gradebook assignment column, and then opened the assignment comment window and updated the grade, the grade given in the window was not updating in the assignment column. This behavior occurred because of a caching issue in the Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to remove caching and keep all submission details updated in the Gradebook.

Gradebook CSV and Long Course Names

When exporting a Gradebook comma separated values (CSV) file, Canvas saves the file with the course code name.

Explanation: When a user exported the Gradebook for a course with a long course name, any name that was longer than 255 characters caused an error. This behavior occurred because the name exceeded the character limit. Canvas code has been updated to use the course code as the file name for Gradebook exports.

Gradebook History

Grading history is retained for all grades changes to nil.

Explanation: When a user made changes to an assignment grade at least twice and removed one of the grades, the grade history disregarded any changes before the nil score. This behavior occurred because Canvas only updated prior grades if there was a grade to record, and blank scores disregarded the before and after grade. Canvas code has been updated to remember the most recent grade change and retain all previous grades.

Gradebook and CSV File Display Names

User names are consistently displayed in the Gradebook and the CSV file.

Explanation: The Gradebook CSV file was showing and sorting students by sortable name, but the Gradebook itself sorted by sortable name but displayed the full name. This behavior lead to confusion for instructors when they downloaded the CSV file and could not locate a student by name. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in the sorting order of the export file. Canvas code has been updated to make the CSV file match the Gradebook view.

Message Students Who Filter

Users cannot access the Message Students Who feature when the Gradebook is still loading.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to select the Message Students Who feature before the Gradebook had fully loaded, all students were included in the filter list. This behavior occurred because the Gradebook could not yet filter which students should receive the message. Canvas code has been updated to disable the Message Students Who feature until the Gradebook has loaded.

Course-Level Grading Schemes and Letter Grade Assignments

New assignments default to the course-level grading scheme.

Explanation: When an instructor set a course-level grading scheme and then created a new assignment with a letter grade, the assignment automatically used default grading scheme created for the course. This behavior occurred because the assignment was specified to use the course scheme. Canvas code has been updated to only use the default course grading scheme if a specific scheme is not defined for the assignment.

Weighted Assignment Group Rounding

When the final grade is weighted based on assignment groups, the Gradebook summary column is rounded to two decimal places.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled weighted assignment groups, the total column rounded to only one decimal place. This behavior occurred because the column was not coded to round with the weighted setting enabled. Canvas code has been updated to round to two decimal places regardless of the weighted assignment group setting.

Grades

Observers and Course Menu

Observers can view the course drop-down menu for the student they are observing.

Explanation: When an observer viewed a student’s grades page, the course drop-down menu was not appearing. This behavior occurred because the page was not coded to show the menu to observers. Canvas code has been updated to show the course drop-down menu if a student is enrolled in more than one course.

Groups

Unpublished Courses

Students cannot view groups in unpublished courses.

Explanation: When an instructor added students to a group in an unpublished course, students were able to view the group. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in group permissions. Canvas code has been updated to only grant access to groups for published courses.

Modules

Files Navigation LInk, Modules, and Public Courses

The Files Navigation link does not affect the Modules page in public courses.

Explanation: When an instructor added a module to a public course and hid the Files Navigation Link, unauthenticated users were not able to view the module. This behavior occurred because a user has to be logged in for course files to display correctly. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the user ID as part of files.

Module Lock Instructor Notification

If an instructor edits a module to lock until a later date, modules will prompt the instructor to relock the modules.

Explanation: When an instructor created and published a module, but later edited the module to lock until a later date, the instructor did not receive a prompt if students had already accessed the module. This behavior occurred because the module was not coded to prompt with an unlock change. Canvas code has been updated to prompt the instructor to relock the module.

Media Files and Must View Page Requirements

If a media file is added to a module where the file must be viewed, viewing the page allows the user to advance to the next module item.

Explanation: When an instructor added a media file to a module that required the user to view the item, the module would not unlock unless the media file was downloaded. This behavior occurred because modules only unlocked viewable document files. Canvas code has been updated to mark media files as viewed if they can be rendered in the browser window.

Module Progressions and Manual Grades

Manual grades do not fulfill modules with a Must Submit requirement.

Explanation: When an instructor assigned a manual grade for an assignment or a quiz, Canvas unlocked the Must Submit module requirement. This behavior occurred because grades was associated with the module requirements. Canvas code has been updated to not allow manual grades to unlock module requirements.

Notifications

Graded Discussion Replies and Notifications

Replying to a graded discussion does not trigger submission and resubmission notifications.

Explanation: Replies to a graded discussion were triggering both submission and resubmission notifications. This behavior occurred because the reply is saved against two separate API calls and triggering a submission date. Canvas code has been updated to disregard any submission date created by the save activity.

Outcomes

Removing Account-level Outcomes

When an account-level outcome is imported into a course, the outcome can be removed from the course as long as it does not contain any alignments or artifacts.

Explanation: When an instructor imported an account-level outcome into a course, the outcome could not be removed from the course. This behavior occurred because of an association with alignments and artifacts outside the current course. Previously if the account-level outcome was imported into multiple courses, but only one course used the outcome to assess a student, the outcome could not be removed from the other courses. Canvas code has been updated to only restrict removing an outcome in courses where the outcome has been used to assess the student.

Account-level Outcome Edits

When importing an account-level outcome into a course, users cannot edit the outcome.

Explanation: When an instructor imported an account-level outcome into a course, the outcome could be edited using the edit button. When the page was refreshed, the edit button disappeared. This behavior occurred because the account-level outcome was linked to each course where it has been imported but was only allowed when the account-level outcome had no assessments in any course. Canvas code has been updated to prevent editing of account-level outcomes upon import.

Display Name Validation

Learning outcome display names can be no longer than 255 characters.

Explanation: When a user tried to create an outcome with a friendly name longer than 255 characters, Canvas generated an error message. This behavior occurred because the display name was not defined as a validation entry against the other outcomes database limitations. Canvas code has been updated to only allow display names up to 255 characters.

Permissions

Changing User Passwords

Users do not need the account-level Manage SIS Data permission to change user passwords.

Explanation: Users with the See the List of Users and Modify Login Details for Users account permissions were not able to change user passwords. This behavior occurred because passwords were also associated with the Manage SIS Data permission. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Manage SIS Data permission.

Gradebook CSV File Downloads

Users with the course-level View Grades permission can export the Gradebook to a comma separated values (CSV) file.

Explanation: When a user with the View Grades permissions tried to export the Gradebook to a CSV file, the Gradebook generated an error if the user did not also have Edit Grades permissions. This behavior occurred because the CSV export function was associated with the Edit Grades permission. Canvas code has been updated to allow users with only viewing permissions to download the Gradebook.

Viewing Grader Comments in Rubrics

Users do not need the course-level Manage Courses permission to view grader comments on a rubric.

Explanation: Users with the View All Grades permission were not able to view grader comments on a rubric. This behavior occurred because rubrics were also associated with the Manage Courses permission. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Manage Courses permission.

Quizzes

Surveys and Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

In surveys, instructors can see answers to Fill-in-the-Blank questions.

Explanation: When an instructor created a fill-in-the-blank question in a survey and added possible answers, editing the question was not showing the previously saved possible answers. However, the answers still displayed in the API. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in viewing permissions. Canvas code has been updated to always show possible answers to instructors.

Quiz Details Point Value and Question Groups

When a question group is configured to answer more questions than are available in a question bank, the quiz reflects the point value for the number of available questions.

Explanation: When a question group was configured to pull more questions than were available in a question group, the question group displayed some questions more than once. The quiz details page claimed the total point value was lower than what would actually be earned by the student. This behavior affected the overall point value, causing students to earn an incorrect number of points in the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to reflect quiz points according to the number of questions available in the group.

Showing Correct Answers after Last Attempt and Manual Grades

When an instructor allows students to view correct answers after their last attempt, students can view correct answers after the last specified attempt is submitted.

Explanation: When an instructor set the option to let students view correct answers after their last attempt, some students were not able to view the correct answers. This behavior occurred because manually graded questions were considered to not render the quiz as being completely submitted. Canvas code has been updated to allow students to view correct answers on their last attempt.

Matching Question Updates and Left-column Answers

Editing a matching question does not affect the answer options.

Explanation: When an instructor edited a matching question, the left-column answers displayed their respective answer comments. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in identifying comments from answers. Canvas code has been updated to better identify question fields in matching questions.

Quiz Previews and Until Dates

The quiz preview page does not time out for instructors if the quiz includes an Until date.

Explanation: When an instructor locked a quiz with an Until date, previewing the quiz caused the page to display the time’s up message. This behavior occurred because the message was not excluded from previews. Canvas code has been updated to display quiz previews without applying the Until date.

Rich Content Editor

Image Links in Firefox

In Firefox, users can modify or add links to images in the Rich Content Editor.

Explanation: In Firefox, when a user tried to modify or add a link to an image in the Rich Content Editor, the image disappeared. This behavior occurred because Firefox changed the image alt text into a link instead of wrapping the image tag in a link tag. Adding a link to an image using the Content Selector was not affected. Canvas code has been updated to confirm images with alt text in the Rich Content Editor.

Equation Editor Page Position

When a user inserts a symbol in the equation editor, the page retains its original position.

Explanation: When a user opened the equation editor, scrolled down the page, and inserted a symbol, the page jumped to the top of the screen. This behavior occurred because of a JavaScript trigger conflict. Canvas code has been updated to retain the page position after inserting a symbol in the equation editor.

SpeedGrader

Online Submission URLs

Online submission URLs in SpeedGrader always open as an external link.

Explanation: When a student submitted a URL as an online assignment submission, some submission types were not able to be viewed in SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because the JavaScript that scans the URL content could only open the page if the JS included an external class. Many of the bug reports related to media submissions, such as MP3 files or YouTube videos. Canvas code has been updated to include an external class to all URL submission links.

Deleted Files and Submission Downloads

When an instructor tries to download an assignment in SpeedGrader, Canvas does not download submissions that have been deleted by students in their user files.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to view an assignment file submission from a student who had deleted the file, the instructor was unable to download the file in SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because of file identification differences after the file had been deleted. Canvas code has been updated to restrict downloads for deleted files. When an instructor tries to download the submission in SpeedGrader, they will see a message notifying them the file cannot be found.

Users

Profile Pictures

Admins can view all user profile pictures for an account.


Explanation: When an admin managed profile pictures for the account, the account only showed three pages of profile pictures, which included the last 250 users. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency with pagination. Canvas code has been updated to format pagination for profile pictures and display all images regardless of number.

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Comments

The recurring calendar event feature, really makes my day! I have been so exited since hearing about it coming up!!

Thanks,

Amy

Graded Discussion Replies and Notifications

Replying to a graded discussion does not trigger submission and resubmission notifications.

I have been waiting for this for a looooooong time as all of our discussions are graded!   Thank you so much Canvas!

Can't wait to start using the Recurring Events feature! Yes! Finally!  🙂

The change to Grade Book History is potentially a very important one. Last year we needed to investigate some grades and ran into trouble because of the systematic way changes were being recorded.

How can we test out the MathML?  We have looked in our test and beta instances and cannot see it.  Does something need to be turned on by the admins?

Very happy to see the long list of bug fixes - saw a few issues affecting us including something we reported three years ago. Thanks for knocking these off the list!

I have a definition question about: Course-Level Grading Schemes and Letter Grade Assignments  and the word "default".   It says Canvas will use the default system grading scheme if the assignment doesn't have a specified grading scheme. 

By default do they mean:

  • The custom course scheme that has been added to a course as the course grading scheme - which I think of as the new default for the course

or

  • The Canvas installed grading scheme present prior to customization ?

Really like the reoccurring option for events in the calendar but love the placement of the Submit Assignment button for students! This will help out so much for the students! Thanks

I ❤️ the Fixed Bugs section; not because those bugs were causing particular grief, but because having Canvas be stable and performant is every bit as important as adding new features.

Awesome work as always!

Totally agree - and so glad these have been added to the Release Notes, along with the Explanations. Makes it so much easier to understand - thank you Canvas!!

So happy Smiley Happy to see progress on the Peer Reviews, but unfortunately, we still will not be able to use this feature until the Notifications have been fixed. Any timeline/word on that...?? 

Crista,

Feel free to follow the feature idea here:

Thanks,

Erin

Cindy,

It's the first one. I'll clarify that in the notes.

Thanks!

Erin

According to our accessibility friends, both LaTeX and MathML are presented to screen readers. LaTex is in the alt attribute, and MathML is right below the rendered image.

Hope that helps,

Erin

We have a question about the module progression with pre-requisites or completion requirements. Regarding the updated way that Canvas will be handling this, what is the workaround when a student has trouble (can't submit, misses the deadline, etc.)? Does the instructor have to re-open the assignment or remove the requirements for the student to then progress??? That doesn't seem practical. We have people who have issues all the time (for various reasons, some beyond their control, some not) but who then need to be able to be forced, by the instructor, to the next module. What is the solution?

-Audra

Why was the concluded term feature added to the multi-term gradebook? The new features do not allow student to submit late nor allow a teacher to edit grades.

Hi Audra,

With some of the newer assignment features, you can get around this quite easily. You can use the differentiated assignments feature to extend the assignment so the student can submit it later on, or you can also excuse the assignment for the student in the Gradebook, which will bypass the module item completely.

Hope that helps!

Erin

Hi Mary Ann,

The main reasoning was because of SIS imports to avoid conflicting data. If grades can be changed after a grading period has closed, the institution's imported grades may no longer match what is in the Canvas course.

Thanks,

Erin

Thank you for the explanation.

Module Progressions and Manual Grades

Manual grades do not fulfill modules with a Must Submit requirement.

Explanation: When an instructor assigned a manual grade for an assignment or a quiz, Canvas unlocked the Must Submit module requirement. This behavior occurred because grades were associated with the module requirements. Canvas code has been updated to not allow manual grades to unlock module requirements.

erinhallmark​ -- do you know if this fix will apply retroactively? Or will this only be applied to assignments that are given a zero after the fix is released to production on Saturday?

Thanks!  I thought so, but it is good to know for sure!  Thank you!!

I sure hope it's dealt with by fall.  It's great that it's finally included, but I think our faculty would view it as a bit of a non-starter until the Notifications have been dealt with.

I think this came up last time the Incomplete Quiz Score icon was introduced, but I'm not sure I understand why a manual overwrite of a student's grade for a quiz via the Grades area does't remove the incomplete quiz icon and show that score. It seems to me that this action demonstrates grading of the holistic quiz item and shows that each individual item doesn't need grading.

There are situations where an instructor might not need or want to grade each individual item in a quiz and being able to just give a holistic scores saves a lot of grading time. Exit tickets or quick end-of-class check-ins don't necessarily need to be graded item by item. I like the idea of showing students that open-ended questions are in the process of being graded so they don't get upset about their scores, but it seems to me that the instructor should also have some tool for overwriting this. I'm happy to add this as a feature request of course, but I thought this critique was one reason this feature was delayed.

Hi Mark,

Yes this change will only affect any module adjustments made after Saturday's release.

Thanks,

Erin

Kinda hoping this gets attention at some point (maybe Canvas Studio: Speedgrader 2.0​?). The "roaming" comment from student to student causes quite a bit of confusion for instructors.

This feature only applies to leaving the SpeedGrader page; it does not apply to the comment field for each student submission. If an instructor creates a comment for a student but does not submit it before viewing another student submission, SpeedGrader retains the comment in the comment field for the second student—and any student—until the Submit Comment button is clicked and the comment is officially submitted as part of a student’s submission.

That's a bummer for our faculty teaching this summer. But I appreciate your timely response!

Hello Jessica,

Thank you for the comment.  We can understand the frustration in that older behavior. In this implementation, when the grade is overridden in the gradebook, the icon will disappear.  Please let me know if you see otherwise for some reason.  I am happy to help as I can.

Kind regards,

Jason

Hi Deactivated user

Thank you for the reply! I'm not seeing that behavior in beta.

I overwrote this Test Student's quiz score with 25 points and I'm still seeing the icon: 2015-07-16_0913 - jem259's library.

Here is the SpeedGrader view of that same attempt: 2015-07-16_0918 - jem259's library.

Am I missing a step?

Thank you!

Erin,

By excusing the student, their zero won't count, when it needs to. If we allow them extra time, then again, they get considerations that others won't. Instructors need a way to force the student through without giving them the points.

Audra

In my testing (on beta since these features won't be on production until 7/18) I was able to get the score to appear in place of the icon without grading the open-ended question by entering the final grade in and pressing "Update Grade" (as shown in the screenshot below.)

Screenshot 2015-07-16 08.34.07.png

I'm going to confirm that each piece of this is functioning as expected, but for the moment this will let you have the workflow you described.

Another option, depending on your needs, would be to use a Graded Survey ( How do I create a Survey?)​ if you're awarding points for completion and not for specific answers.

Thank you, dlyons@instructure.com! It did work when I went through the dialog icon for the cell in Grades and clicked Update Grade! I'm very happy it works this way. It did not work when I just went into the cell in Grades view, updated the score, and pressed enter. This workflow takes a few additional steps but that is nothing compared to grading each question when it's not necessary.

Thanks again!

Overall another solid release list.  So many updates i had to cut down my triweekly update email to my IT pros and said they really need to go to the full release to see everything that is coming.  But highlighted as much as i could.

Looking forward to possibly seeing the new UI be ready for production for the next release in 3 weeks.  I like what I have been seeing and i really want to get my hands on the brand editor.

Hi everyone,

We've received an update from our engineering team that recurring events will no longer be available in Saturday's production release; they're still working on a few adjustments. More information will be available in a future release.

By the way, we really appreciate those of you who are using direct links to the release notes on your institution Canvas pages. Providing links (instead of directly copying all the text) will save you a lot of time and ensure the information you are providing is current, since we often make updates to the release notes.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi John,

There are always lots of good ideas to add to Canvas. I don't see an existing idea about this in Canvas Feature Ideas​, so feel free to submit that idea and let our product team know it is something you'd like to see changed!

Thanks,

Erin

Agreed - I foresee comments getting submitted to the wrong students and instructors reporting the behavior as a bug.

Is it possible to subscribe to the release notes, without subscribing to the whole comment thread? I need to know each release, and tried following the release page. But now I'm getting an email for every comment on this page. All I want are the beta and production notes.

thanks!

AnnMarie

Definitely emihunt@iu.edu, this has always been an issue on occasion, nothing new but a great feature request idea!

Bookmark it and vote Smiley Happy 

- Melanie

Awesome, will do! (I suppose I should've said more comments getting submitted/instructors reporting. Smiley Wink)

I agree with aleverton - using the "excused" feature is a good workaround for some scenarios, but in most cases, and for the grades to be accurate, the teacher will want to manually assign a grade. Whether it's a 0 for not completing it, or another manually-entered score (let's say the student submits the assignment some alternate way, like via email, due to technical difficulties). I guess I will need to advise our faculty to use "EX" in the gradebook for now, if this arises, but I can't wrap my head around how they will correct the student's grade later...

Hi Jessica,

Our assessments team addressed that bug and all should be well in your production environment now. Please let us know if you still see anything out of the ordinary.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi AnnMarie,

In your community user settings, you can create a custom stream with specific tags and categories. Then you can specify whether you want to receive emails for that stream. Learn more here: How do I manage my Activity stream in the community?

Thanks,

Erin

I'm disappointed that the external link change was pushed into production, in spite of the strong and common-sense input in the beta release notes that this change compromises the work-flow in Speedgrader.  I have professional learning courses going on right now and I just graded assignments with a URL submission type.  Instead of what I used to do (one click on the link - link opens for viewing in Speedgrader), I now have to click the link which opens a new browser tab.  I toggle between tabs.  I grade the assignment.  I have to close the new tab, otherwise I'll have dozens of tabs open after grading numerous submissions . . .

As suggested in beta notes, there should at least be two links: one for those that prefer to open a new tab and a second that will allow the link to be viewed in Speedgrader itself.

Thanks for the anticipated consideration.

Hi Stephen,

As mentioned in the beta notes, the Gradebook team is going to do some more research for the long-term result of this feature behavior. Unfortunately that research will take more time, but the change went into production ultimately to fix a long-running bug for those who were using file types that weren't able to be viewed in SpeedGrader at all.

Thanks,

Erin

Thank you, Erin.  I love the fact that Instructure is so responsive to user input and appreciate all the quality fixes and features that have been released this summer!

I am noticing a slight change in formatting on the student assignment page. Previously the screen displayed the download [assignment name] link on a separate line. Now the two links Submission details and download [assignment name] run together. Can we get it to display as before? I fear this will cause confusion for students.

view-download-issue.png

Instructure support suggested I create a feature idea for this so here it is.

jivedocs@instructure.com​  Calendar recurring events  disappeared from our production and beta instances.  I actually never saw that feature in production, but comments in this discussion indicate that it was there.  The most parsimonious explanation I can think of is that there was a bug found in the feature and it was withdrawn, which is good practice, but if that was the case, why has no note been made of it, and why hasn't anyone else commented on it?  Seems unlikely it would have disappeared from our instances only.  Wondering...

hesspe@bc.edu​, I'm not sure where I saw it (am currently looking around in the community), but I'm pretty sure erinhallmark​ posted an announcement about it. I *know* I saw it somewhere, just can't remember where!!

Ok, I feel silly! The announcement from Erin was in THIS thread! Hope this helps!

UpdateCalendar.png

kona@richland.edu

>> Ok, I feel silly!...

I feel silly too.  I thought I had thoroughly searched both these notes and the site as a whole for any mention.

>>We've received an update from our engineering team that recurring events will no longer be available in Saturday's production release; they're still working on a few adjustments. More information will be available in a future release.

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