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Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-01-09)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-01-09)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

New Canvas User Interface (UI): July 9

On July 9, 2016, the New Canvas Interface will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. Enabling the New UI affects the user interface for the entire Canvas account.

In this production release (January 9), admins can enable additional authentication methods through third-party providers. Instructors benefit from improved processes in moderated grading and student information system (SIS) assignments. And all users outside the United States can enable SMS notifications. Additionally, this release also brings the first round of Community Holiday features to benefit multiple user roles in several Canvas areas.

Note: As part of Saturday's release, all Canvas documentation lessons will be changed so all images display functionality in new Canvas User Interface. However, to assist institutions that have not switched to the new Canvas UI, all lessons displaying contrasting navigation will still include a step showing functionality for the legacy interface.

watch-screencast-red.png

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2016-01-09)

The next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: January 18
  • Production release notes: January 25
  • Production release and documentation: January 30

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.

  New Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Assignments

SIS Sync Icon

Instructors using a supported and enabled SIS integration, such as PowerSchool or Skyward, can tell if an assignment, graded discussion, or quiz is set up to be sent to their institution’s student information system. Assignments can be enabled or disabled by clicking the sync icon in the index page.

The sync icon only appears for institutions using an SIS integration and is currently available in the Assignments Index Page and the Quizzes Index Page.

Assignments-SIS-Enable-Icon.png

See a related update for this feature in the Community Holiday section.

Authentication

Authentication Providers

Canvas supports authentication with a variety of third-party identity providers, such as Google Apps and Twitter. However, once the provider has been saved in Canvas, the provider’s authentication login credentials must be added to each Canvas user’s account through API or SIS import. (Currently there is no support for adding user credentials through the Canvas interface.)

Add Identity Provider

Admins can use the Authentication Settings page to configure an identity provider to their account. Each provider requires the admin to set an attribute to be associated with the account, such as a user ID, email, or login. Attribute-only services include Facebook, Github, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Google, CAS, LDAP, OpenID, and SAML require additional custom components for configuration.

Authentication providers can be removed from an account with the Remove All Authentication button. However, removing an authentication service restricts students from using the provider to log in to Canvas.


Note: The sidebar Remove All Authentication button only removes any previously configured authentication services. It does not affect single sign-on (SSO) settings or Canvas authentication.

Authentication-Providers.png

Add User Credentials

Once the credentials for the provider has been saved in the Canvas interface, admins can add the authentication login credential attributes as parameters to each Canvas user’s account through API or SIS. Documentation for creating and adding authentication providers is available in the Authentication Providers API. Each authentication provider supports specifically recognized parameters; some providers may recognize additional parameters. Unrecognized parameters are not supported.

Just In Time Provisioning

As part of setting up a third-party authentication provider, admins can select the Just in Time Provisioning checkbox, which automatically creates user accounts if one does not already exist.

Currently when a user logs in to Canvas using a third-party authentication system, Canvas searches users in the account looking for a matching user parameter for that service. If a matching parameter is not found, Canvas returns the user to the authentication provider portal with a message the user could not be found. When Just in Time Provisioning (JIT) is enabled, Canvas automatically creates the user using an ID that matches the username used with the authentication provider.


JIT provisioning must be configured via API for the specific authentication provider (see the Authentication Providers API). It does not need to be configured for individual users via API or SIS.

Note: JIT Provisioning is available for all authentication providers except for Canvas, which already provides a similar concept through Self Registration. See a related update for Self Registration in the Other Updates section.

Authentication-Just-In-Time-Provisioning.png

Notifications

International SMS

International SMS is a two-part feature option. The first component, International SMS - Send from Recipient's Country, is a feature option that has been enabled for all institutions and is viewable in the account-level feature options list. However, international SMS will not work without the second component, which is called International SMS and must configured with the support of your Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM). Please contact your CSM for assistance.

Canvas offers SMS notification support to users outside the United States. Cellular numbers for can be added in a user’s profile. Unlike in the United States, international carrier details are not required as part of the communication setup.

Currently SMS notifications are available for cellular numbers registered in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Note: Notifications cannot be sent from the Canvas beta environment.

International-SMS.png

  Updated Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Account Settings

Student Term Dates and Content Access Restrictions

Student term dates and the Restrict students from viewing course before start date checkbox setting have been redefined to resolve several conflicting behaviors in Canvas.

When setting term dates, student dates control when students have access to view published courses in the term. Some institutions automatically publish their courses at the term start date, which avoids any issue of students viewing content until the start date of the term—students cannot access any course content until courses are published. However, other institutions allow instructors to publish courses before the term begins.

When students are enrolled in future courses, students can now always view the name of their future enrollment in the Courses list. If a course is published before the term start date, students can access course content but cannot participate (such as submitting an assignment or contributing to a discussion topic). On the term start date, students can fully participate in the course. This behavior also applies to any courses with course date or section date overrides.

future-enrollments-student.png

For institutions that allow courses to be published before the term start date, admins or instructors can use the Restrict students from viewing course before start date checkbox, which will remove links to the course before the term or course start date. With this setting, students can still view their future enrollment in the Courses list but cannot click any published courses to view course content (unpublished courses are not affected). On the term start date, students can view the course link and participate in the course.

course-setting-not-locked.png

future-enrollment-restricted.png

Current Courses

Institutions with current courses that have been affected by this workflow change and want to restrict access can quickly apply the setting to the entire account and all sub-accounts. In Account Settings, click the Restrict students from viewing course before start date checkbox AND the Lock this setting for sub-accounts and courses checkbox. The first checkbox only applies the default setting to any new courses created in the account, but locking the setting automatically applies to all existing courses in all sub-accounts.

account-settings.png

Note: The Restrict students from viewing course after END date checkbox has not been affected; when enabled, it hides concluded enrollments from a student's Courses list.

Assignments

Moderated Grading

When creating Moderated Grading assignments and assigning students to a moderation set, the Moderation page only adds a second reviewer column when it is needed. Although the Moderation page supports provisional grades for two reviewers and one moderator, not all provisional grades may be needed in the course.

Additionally, if a student who was not previously in the moderation set is added to the set at a later date, the Moderation page adds a SpeedGrader link to the 1st Reviewer column. If the student received a grade before being added to the set, the SpeedGrader link is added to the 2nd Reviewer column and opens directly in the 2nd Reviewer tab.

Moderated-Grading-Moderation-Set-Column.png

Moderated grading supports provisional grades for up to two reviewers and one moderator. As clarification, if a moderator does not want to use the score from the 1st Reviewer, the moderator can add a second review or a moderator review in SpeedGrader to use for grading.

Moderated-Grading-SpeedGrader.png

New Canvas UI

The New Canvas User Interface (UI) is an account-level feature option, which can be enabled by any Canvas admin in Account Settings. Enabling the New UI affects the user interface for the entire Canvas account. The New Canvas UI will be an account opt-in feature until July 9, 2016.

Global Navigation

The Global Navigation links have been rearranged, with the User Account link at the top. Other links include Admin, Dashboard, Groups, Calendar, Inbox, and LTI Tools. Links are hidden unless the user has the proper permissions or the link includes content (such as being in a group to view the Groups link).

Dashboard Cards

The course cards on the dashboard have also been updated with a slightly refined look.

Global-Navigation-and-Dashboard-Card-Update.png

Course Navigation Menu

The Course Navigation Menu no longer collapses unless it is minimized manually by a Canvas user. Regardless of screen size, browsers no longer include a breakpoint that force the menu to collapse automatically.

Course-Navigation-Menu-Expansion.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Theme Editor Templates

The Theme Editor includes two additional templates: Minimalist Theme and State U. Theme. Both of these themes are intended as a foundation for admins to easily modify. Minimalist is for admins who prefer a more low-key look and feel, while State U. is intended for schools with a more vibrant brand palette.

Theme-Editor-Templates.png

People

Login ID/SIS ID Columns

The Login ID/SIS ID column has been separated into two columns. Only users with permissions to Read SIS Data can view the SIS column.

People-Separate-Login-ID-and-SIS-Columns.png

  Community Holiday

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Community Holiday is a collection of popular feature ideas specifically developed to say thank you to the Canvas Community.

Account Settings

Post to SIS Assignment Default

Institutions using a supported SIS integration, such as PowerSchool or Skyward, can choose to automatically enable the Post Grades to SIS checkbox for all assignments, graded discussions, and quizzes. Currently the Post Grades checkbox is only automatically applied to assignments.

Admins can enable this option in Account Settings. The Post Grades to SIS checkbox is located in the Settings tab under the SIS Grade Export Settings heading.


When SIS assignments are enabled as default, instructors can still manage individual assignments in their courses manually remove any assignments that should not be sent to the student information system.

SIS-Grade-Export-Default-Account-Setting.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Assignments

Filter by Grading Period

If a course is using the Multiple Grading Periods feature option, Canvas users can sort and filter the Assignments page by grading period. This feature allows user to view assignments that are relevant within a specific grading period.


Note: This filter only appears in the Assignments Page.

Assignments-Sort-by-Grading-Period.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Grades

Hide Assignment Group Totals with Final Grade

When an instructor chooses to hide the final grade from students in Course Settings, assignment group totals are also hidden from students.


Note: This setting does not affect courses using Multiple Grading Periods. To hide total grades from students when using Multiple Grading Periods, instructors can choose to disable the Display Total Grade feature option.

Hide-Grade-Totals-Assignment-Groups.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Gradebook

Remove Student Names from Message Students Who

When using the Message Students Who feature in the Gradebook, instructors can remove student names that are shown in the student list. If a student is removed from the message list, the student will not receive the message.

Gradebook-Message-Students-Who.png

Percent Symbol in Percentage-based Assignments

When an instructor displays an assignment grade as a percentage, the percent sign appears in the Gradebook column. The percent sign is already included in the Student Grades page.

Gradebook-Percentage-Sign.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

People

Inactive Enrollment Type

Admins and instructors can specify users as an inactive enrollment. Inactive enrollments allow admins and instructors to view prior activity in a course but does not allow the student to access course content. This status can be used for students who do not pay tuition or drop the course at a future date. Students cannot view inactive users.

An inactive enrollment:

  • Can be deleted like other enrollments
  • Does not appear in any messaging list
  • Cannot participate in the course
  • Can’t be assigned to groups
  • Includes no grading or moderation restrictions—grades still display and can be edited in the Gradebook

Note: Managing inactive enrollments is associated with the Add/remove students and Add/remove others teachers account- and course-level permissions.

People-Inactive-Enrollment.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Edit Enrollment Type

Admins and instructors can edit the enrollment type for a user in the course through the People page. Unlike section edits, role edits do not require the user to accept a new course invitation. This feature allows instructors to make modifications to course enrollment types without having to delete the existing enrollment.

Notes:

  • Currently editing a role can only be done through the Canvas interface; it is not available in the Enrollments API.
  • Existing users cannot be edited to have an observer role. Additionally, existing observers cannot have their roles change to any other role type. Observers can only be added by adding a new user to the course.
  • Editing enrollment types is associated with the Add/remove students and Add/remove others teachers account- and course-level permissions. Users without the Add/remove other teachers permission cannot select teacher, TA, or any other custom role as an enrollment type. Users without the Add/remove students permission cannot select the student role as an enrollment type.

People-Edit-Course-Role.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

  Other Updates

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Authentication

Canvas Self Registration

The Self Registration option for Canvas authentication is now part of the Authentication Provider page. All accounts can view the Self Registration options at the end of the page and the current setting for that option has been retained. Canvas Self Registration cannot be deleted as an authentication option, but it can be disabled at any time.

Authentication-Self-Registration-Option.png

Discussions

Discussion Reply Performance Enhancements

The database query for loading discussion replies has been optimized for performance.

Course Settings

Link Validator

The Link Validator find links to deleted and unpublished content. Instructors can choose to hide unpublished links. Additionally, the Link Validator provides a warning when links direct to different courses.

Grades

Graded Anonymously Column

The Student Grades page no longer includes the Graded Anonymously column. Previously used for Anonymous Grading, the Graded Anonymously column showed students if an assignment was graded anonymously in SpeedGrader by hiding student names.

Student-Grades-Anonymous-Column-Removal.png

Gradebook

Individual View Download Submissions Button

In the Gradebook Individual View, quiz submissions do not display the Download Submissions button. Previously the button was only grayed out as quiz submissions cannot be downloaded.

Differentiated Assignments and Arranging Columns by Due Date

When arranged in the Gradebook by due date in the Gradebook Settings, assignments with differentiated due dates are ordered according to the latest due date. For instance, if an assignment with three sections includes a different due date for each section, the assignment will be arranged in the Gradebook according to the latest due date in the assignment.

Gradebook-Arrange-Columns-by-Due-Date.png

Notifications

Bounced Channels

If a user’s communication channel bounces once, Canvas displays a warning icon in User Settings. Bounces can occur from invalid addresses (caused by address typos, changed addresses, etc.) or blocked servers and does not allow the channel to attempt to generate or send a notification. Previously the channel had to bounce several times before the warning would appear.

Custom Role Names

When admins create custom user roles, users receive course notifications with the name of the custom role. For instance, if a custom role called Student TA is created based on the TA role, the user invitation will show that the user has been invited to participate in the course as a Student TA.

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

When an admin created a custom account role, the notification showed the base role name rather than the custom role name. This behavior occurred because notifications only generated the base role name. Canvas code has been updated to display the names of custom roles in Canvas notifications.

Reports

Last User Access Report

The Last User Access Report includes a deleted enrollments checkbox. This checkbox is part of the report configuration menu and allows admins to include deleted enrollments as part of the report. By default, deleted enrollments are not included in the report.

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

When an admin configured the Last User Access Report, any student enrollments that were deleted display in the report. This behavior occurred because deleted enrollments were not specifically coded to be removed from the report. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to choose whether or not they want to include deleted enrollments in the report.

Rich Content Editor

Text Line Height

The line-height CSS property has been changed to a unitless height, which calculates line heights based on the font size shown in a user’s computer. The height value is set to 1.5, which the browser multiplies by the font size to determine the line height.

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

When users set a large font size in the Rich Content Editor, the text was overlapping in the page. This behavior occurred because the CSS line height was set at a fixed height. Canvas code has been updated to set the line height as a limitless height, which allows users to enlarge a page in a native browser and not view any overlapped font lines. This change affects both the new and legacy Canvas interface.

  Platform/Integration

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

APIs

Assignment Group API

In the Assignment Group API, users can include submissions as a parameter when listing assignment groups or getting assignment groups.

Enrollments API

In the Enrollments API, users can inactivate an enrollment, or re-active an enrollment.

SIS CSV Format

In the SIS CSV Format page, users can set an inactive status in the enrollments.csv. When placed in an inactive state, the student is listed in the course roster for instructors but cannot view or participate in the course unless the enrollment is changed to an active status.

External Apps (LTI)

Media Full-screen Viewing

LTI tools that support media viewing can display embedded videos in full screen.

  Fixed Bugs

   < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Accessibility

Calendar

Calendar events retain focus for keyboard navigation. Focused events display a blue outline.

Courses

After viewing a search element in the Account Courses page, such as Find a Course or Find a User, the page returns focus to the original search location.

Dashboard

The Enter and Escape keys function as shortcuts for the course nickname feature. Pressing the Enter key saves a course nickname, and pressing the Escape key closes the Nickname window.

The Course Activity toggle can be read as a button by screen readers. When the toggle is changed on or off, the button label is also updated.

Files

The files quota information does not include any ARIA attributes related to progress bars, as the files quota is a usage indicator. Screen readers can read the amount of space used in the files quota.

After selecting a file, keyboard users can navigation through the option buttons in order. Keyboard focus is retained on each option.

File previews can be read by screen readers.

Modal Windows

Canvas modal windows do not attach an aria-hidden element in the body property.

Modules

In the Add Module and Edit Module Settings windows, the prerequisite and requirement options display focus indicators for keyboard users.

After an item is added to a module, keyboard focus returns to the the Add Item button.

In the Add Modules window, keyboard users do not see a second set of Cancel and Add Module buttons.

Rich Content Editor

The line-height CSS property has been changed to a unitless height, which calculates line heights based on the font size shown on their computer. The height value is set to 1.5, which the browser multiplies by the font size to determine the line height. Users can enlarge a page in a native browser and not view any overlapped font lines in both the new and legacy Canvas interface.

Dashboard

Screen readers can identify items in each sidebar section, which no longer include conflicting gray check marks. Items in the To Do list are indicated by their respective assignment icon. Coming Up items include calendar icons for upcoming events. Green check marks only display in the Recent Feedback section to indicate completed assignment feedback.

Announcements

Global Announcements and Languages

Users can create global announcements in any language.

Explanation: When an account-level default language was set to a language other than English or Maori, users were unable to assign start and end dates to global announcements using the Calendar icon. This behavior occurred because of an inconsistency in the date and time variables. Canvas code has been updated to add calendar dates for any non-English language.

Disable Comments on Announcement and Marked As Read

When users read an announcement, the announcement is marked read even if commenting is disabled.

Explanation: When an instructor set the course option to disable comments for announcements, reading an announcement did not mark the announcement as read and retained the bold text. This behavior occurred because Canvas wasn’t coded to mark a post as read if it was locked. Canvas code has been updated to change locked announcements as read if the topic is visible for the current user.

Assignments

Assignment Groups

When creating an assignment, instructors can always view the assignment group drop-down list.

Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment, selected the assignment group drop-down menu, and selected the [New group] option, the assignment group modal window wasn’t able to be reopened if the instructor used the close icon instead of the Cancel button. This behavior occurred because of a Javascript rendering error. Canvas code has been update to reset the assignment group modal window regardless of how it was closed.

Grading Schemes

Instructors can edit the default grading scheme when editing an assignment.

Explanation: When an instructor edited an assignment with a Letter Grade or GPA scale grade display, any changes made to the default grading scheme weren’t being saved. This behavior occurred because the assignment was not associating the ID of the grading scheme. Canvas code has been updated to save edits made to the default grading scheme in the assignments page.

Muted Assignments and Assignment Group Totals

Muting an assignment does not factor the score into an assignment group.

Explanation: When an instructor muted an assignment in a course with assignment groups, the score of the assignment was appearing as part of the associated assignment group. This behavior occurred because the page cache was overriding the muted assignment status and refreshing the grades. Canvas code has been updated to hide muted scores in assignment groups.

Calendar

Calendar Event Times

Calendar events after 11:30 pm retain their correct times.

Explanation: When an instructor used the calendar to move an assignment to another date, any default time of 11:59 pm was being changed to 11:30 pm. This behavior occurred because of a date formatting error. Canvas code has been updated to retain correct times for calendar events after 11:30 pm.

Conversations

Non-favorite Courses and Concluded Status

When a user has set up favorite courses, non-favorite courses only display in the concluded menu if they are concluded.

Explanation: When a user set up favorite courses, non-favorite courses displayed in the Concluded courses menu. This behavior occurred because of misclarification in the code regarding the definition of complete courses. Canvas code has been updated to clarify code regarding term dates and end at dates and only display truly concluded courses in the Concluded menu.

Course Settings

Grading Schemes

Canvas retains edits made to a grading scheme in the Course Settings page.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled a course grading scheme and then clicked the Get Grading Scheme link, any edits made to the grading scheme failed up to two times. This behavior occurred because of inconsistencies in the grading standards APIs. Canvas code has been updated to retain any edits to grading schemes in the Course Settings page.

Courses

Course Home Page and Assignment List

When a Course Home Page is set to the Assignment List, instructors do not view an overdue section.

Explanation: When an instructor set the Assignments List as the Course Home Page, instructors and admins were viewing the assignments list with past due dates as overdue. This behavior occurred because the display was not confirming the user’s permissions and viewing rights. Canvas code has been updated to not display the student view of the Assignment List for admins and instructors.

Course End Date Setting and Concluded Enrollments

Instructors can view quiz results in concluded courses.

Explanation: When an account enabled the Restrict Students from Viewing Quiz Questions after Course End Date option, instructors and TAs with concluded enrollments were also restricted from viewing quiz results in both the quiz and SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because the restriction was not verifying multiple permissions to review grades. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to view quiz questions if they have grading permissions.

Sub-account Admins and SIS IDs

Sub-account admins can view the SIS IDs for courses and sections in the sub-account.

Explanation: When a sub-account admin tried to courses and sections in the sub-account, they were not able to view SIS IDs. This behavior occurred because Canvas was checking SIS permissions for the root account instead of the sub-account. Canvas code has been updated to allow sub-admins to view SIS information for sub-account courses, sections, and groups.

Discussions

Close for Comments and Marked As Read

When users read a discussion, the discussion is marked read even if the discussion is closed to comments.

Explanation: When an instructor set the course option to close a discussion to comments, reading a discussion did not mark the discussion as read and retained the bold text. This behavior occurred because Canvas wasn’t coded to mark a post as read if it was locked. Canvas code has been updated to change locked discussions as read if the topic is visible for the current user.

Enrollments

Multiple Enrollments

Canvas doesn’t show future enrollment messages when a user also has an active enrollment.

Explanation: When a student has both an active enrollment and an enrollment for a future date, Canvas displayed a message that said the course hadn’t started yet. However, the student was still able to submit assignments to the course. This behavior occurred because the enrollment was only verified based on the context of the URL, so URLs pointing to future enrollments displayed the future message. Canvas code has been updated to sort enrollments by state and not display future access messages when active enrollments exist.

Self Registration

Users can log in to Canvas using an institution’s self registration page.

Explanation: When a user tried to log in to Canvas using an institution’s self registration page, the user was being redirected to the Canvas login page and then viewed an error message. This behavior occurred because the authenticity token was not being applied to the login page correctly. Canvas code has been updated to authenticate user logins.

Non-email Contact Methods

Non-email primary communication channels can be removed as a contact method.

Explanation: When a user was added to Canvas via SIS, but no email was specified, their SMS contact was made to be the primary contact method and was not able to be deleted. This behavior occurred because the first contact method listed was assumed to be the primary, which cannot be removed unless another contact method is specified. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to delete non-email communication methods that are set as the primary contact method.

Last User Access Report

The Last User Access Report can include deleted enrollments.

Explanation: When an admin configured the Last User Access Report, any student enrollments that were deleted display in the report. This behavior occurred because deleted enrollments were not specifically coded to be removed from the report. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to choose whether or not they want to include deleted enrollments in the report.

ePortfolios

ePortfolio Downloads

ePortfolios can be downloaded even if the pages contain no content.

Explanation: When a user created an ePortfolio and tried to download the ePortfolio, the download never completed. This behavior occurred because ePortfolio pages required content to be downloaded. Canvas code has been updated to always download ePortfolio pages regardless of content.

Files

Maximum File Size

Media files larger than 500 MB display an error message.

Explanation: When a user uploaded a media file that was larger than 500 MB, the user viewed a message the video file was not acceptable. This behavior occurred because the correct error message relating to maximum file size was not configured correctly. Canvas code has been updated to display the maximum file size error message for file larger than 500 MB.

Locked Media Files in IE 11 and Edge

Students cannot preview locked media files in any browser.

Explanation: When students used Internet Explorer 11 or Edge, they were able to view locked or unpublished media file previews throughout Canvas. This behavior occurred because of an error in media comment thumbnail URLs. Canvas code has been updated to disallow previews for locked or unpublished media files.

Pages and Deleted Files

Canvas does not display media previews for deleted file attachments.

Explanation: When a media file was uploaded to Course Files and then added to a page, the file generated an embedded media and a download link. However, when the file was deleted from the course, the embedded media was still able to be played but the download link generated an error message. This behavior occurred because the download file was not specified to be disregarded for deleted objects. Canvas code has been updated to remove page content for deleted files.

Grades

Grading Scheme Percentages

Percentages in grading schemes round to the nearest tenth.

Explanation: When an admin or instructor created a grading scheme, any percentages that had decimals between one and nine were not rounded consistently. This behavior occurred because the grading standards included no limits for rounding. Canvas code has been updated to round percentages to the nearest tenth.

Message Students Who and Admin Roles

Admins can send messages to students from the Gradebook’s Message Students Who feature.

Explanation: When an admin tried to use the Message Students Who feature from the Gradebook, the feature returned an error about invalid recipients. This behavior occurred because the admin’s ID wasn’t part of the courses’s enrollment and recipient list wasn’t able to be populated. Canvas code has been updated to allow admins to send messages through the Gradebook.

Gradebook CSV and SIS Login ID

When the Read SIS Data permission is disabled for a course-level role, instructors can still view the SIS Login ID in a Gradebook CSV file.

Explanation: When the Read SIS Data permission is disabled for a course-level role, instructors without the permission were not able to view the SIS Login ID column. This behavior occurred because the SIS Login ID column was associated with the Read SIS Data permission. The CSV file was not able to tell that the SIS Login ID is not the same as the SIS ID. Canvas code has been updated to always include the SIS Login ID in the CSV file regardless of SIS permissions.

Late Quiz Submissions

The Gradebook shows if a quiz submission was late.

Explanation: If a student started a quiz but the quiz auto-submitted on the Until date, SpeedGrader showed the submission as late but the Gradebook did not. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not correctly checking the submission time for both the finished at time and the due date. Canvas code has been updated to determine when a quiz is late and display the status in the Gradebook.

Modules

Duplicate File Names

Duplicate files added through modules include a unique counter to differentiate file names.

Explanation: When adding files in the modules menu, users were able to add multiple files with the same file name. This behavior occurred because the code was not handling duplicate items. Canvas code has been updated to add a unique counter to differentiate duplicate file names.

Lock Dates and Must View Module Items

When a module item is locked by an Until date and marked with the Must View requirement, the item is marked as viewed when a student views the page.

Explanation: When a module item was locked by an Until date and marked with the Must View requirement to complete the module, the item was not being marked as viewed when a student viewed the page. This behavior occurred because modules were only confirming the locked date. Canvas code has been updated to allow visible but locked course content to count for the Must View requirement.

Multiple Date Anonymous Surveys

When added as a module item, anonymous surveys show multiple due dates.

Explanation: When an instructor created an anonymous survey, created multiple due dates, and added the survey as a module item, the module item wasn’t showing the survey as having multiple due dates and only showed the Everyone Else due date. This behavior occurred because surveys wasn’t retaining multiple due dates. Canvas code has been updated to return multiple due dates for surveys in modules.

Submission Grades and Must Submit Module Items

Module items marked with the Must Submit requirement can only be fulfilled if a student submits the assignment.

Explanation: When an item is marked with a Must Submit module requirement, students were able to fulfill the requirement if an instructor added and removed a store for the assignment. This behavior occurred because the module only verified the grade and not the workflow state. Canvas code has been updated to require students to submit an assignment to complete Must Submit module requirements.

New Canvas User Interface

Nav Background Color

In the Theme Editor, setting the Nav Background Color does not affect the overlay background color.

Explanation: When an admin opened the theme editor and set a color for the Nav Background Color, the color also affected the Global Navigation Links. This behavior occurred because the background color was coded to darken then color chosen by 10%. Canvas code has been updated to always display the overlay as black at 50% opacity.

Sub-Accounts

Custom CSS/JS is applied to sub-accounts within a sub-account, and the Theme Editor correctly previews sub-account themes.

Explanation: When an admin uploaded custom CSS/JS files for additional sub-accounts, sub-account branding wasn’t being applied to courses within the sub-account. In Theme Editor previews, sub-account previews were displaying the preview of the root account’s branding. These behaviors occurred because the Theme Editor only supported root account and secondary level sub-accounts. Canvas code has been updated to fully support branding throughout sub-accounts. Branding application still originates from the parent account and filters down to the sub-account and then any sub-accounts within the sub-account.

Notifications

Custom Role Names

When admins create custom user roles, users receive course notifications with the name of the custom role.

Explanation: When an admin created a custom account role, the notification showed the base role name rather than the custom role name. This behavior occurred because notifications only generated the base role name. Canvas code has been updated to display the names of custom roles in Canvas notifications.

Observer Enrollments

Observers do not receive enrollment notifications.

Explanation: When an observer was added to a course, the observer was receiving enrollment notifications even if the observer’s notification preferences were set to never receive notifications. This behavior occurred because observers were being treated as every other user role and being notified when they were enrolled in a course. Canvas code has been updated to disable enrollment notifications for observers.

Graded Discussions

When a graded discussion is assigned to a specific section, notifications should only be sent out to users in that section.

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded discussion for a specific section, users that were not part of the section still received notifications about the discussion. This behavior occurred because graded discussions were not honoring differentiated assignments. Canvas code has been updated to not distribute discussion notifications unless the discussion has been assigned to the student.

Outcomes

Outcome Groups

When the Manage Learning Outcomes permission is disabled, students cannot view options to edit, move, or delete outcome groups.

Explanation: When the Manage Learning Outcomes permission is disabled, students were able to see the option to edit, move, or delete outcome groups. This behavior occurred because of a code change in a previous release. Canvas code has been updated to allow student roles to manage outcome groups.

Quizzes

Quiz Formula Question Sorting

In Formula questions, single digit numbers sort by actual value.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Formula question and created more than one single digit variable, the sort() function sorted lexicographically instead of by actual value. This behavior occurred because of an error in the Javascript sorting. Canvas code has been updated to sort variables in order of value.

Anonymous Surveys and Student Names

Quiz statistics do not display student names in anonymous surveys.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the statistics for an anonymous survey, student names could be viewed as part of the number of respondents answer details. This behavior occurred because statistics didn’t account for anonymous survey submissions. Canvas code has been updated to ensure that anonymous surveys remain anonymous.

Essay Answers Symbols in Student Analysis Reports

Essay question responses that contain > or < symbols are included in the quiz Student Analysis Report.

Explanation: When a student submitted an essay question that included > or < (greater than or less than) symbols, the symbols were not appearing in the Student Analysis Report. This behavior occurred because essay question stripped any characters that resembled tags. Canvas code has been updated to retain essay answers in the Student Analysis Report.

Rich Content Editor

Link to URL Button

The Link to URL button creates a link for text that includes a parenthesis, brackets, or a plus symbol.

Explanation: When an instructor entered text in the Rich Content Editor that included a parenthesis, bracket, or ended in a plus symbol, highlighting the text to create a link to the URL did not generate a link. This behavior occurred because of how the Rich Content Editor plugin was extracting content for the link. Canvas code has been updated to support parenthesis, brackets, and plus symbols in links.

Text Links and Images

Adding or modifying a link with an image does not remove the image.

Explanation: When an instructor added or modified a link that was tied to an image and text at the same time, the image was removed. This behavior occurred because of how the Rich Content Editor plugin was extracting content for the link. Canvas code has been updated to retain images when adding or modifying links.

Locked Embedded Image Files

Instructors can embed hidden files in the Rich Content Editor.

Explanation: When an instructor uploaded and locked an image file, then selected the option to let students download the file if they have the link, the instructor wasn’t able to link to the file using the embed image tool. This behavior occurred because the Folders API doesn’t count hidden files, so the embed image window didn’t ask for any associated files to embed. Canvas code has been updated to allow hidden files to appear when embedding images.

SpeedGrader

Differentiated Quizzes and Late Status

When a quiz includes multiple due dates, late quiz submissions are marked as late in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz with multiple due dates, SpeedGrader did not indicate if a quiz submission was late. This behavior occurred because the logic for late quiz submissions did not account for multiple due dates (differentiated assignments). Canvas code has been updated to support multiple due dates in quizzes.

PCs and Content Expansion

Instructors using a PC can view the scroll bar after expanding the SpeedGrader window.

Explanation: When an instructor expanded the SpeedGrader window using a Windows computer, the scroll bar could become hidden if the submission included a rubric, and some browser windows were not able to be resized. These behaviors occurred because of a code change in a previous release. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to resize the SpeedGrader content window in Windows devices.

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Comments

Will we see the split SIS/Login ID displayed anywhere other than the People page?  Grades maybe?

Need to review the notes more, still getting caught up after winter break.  However i can say with certainty after seeing it on Beta the last few weeks i completely dislike the account button being first in the global navigation.  I am assuming this is your answer to putting the logout option more in peoples view.

However, I still believe that in order to completely logout of any system users should close their browser completely.  In our case even if users press the logout button they actually do not get logged out due to how our shibboleth integration is setup.

I much prefer the dashboard, courses, and the admin page being first in the global navigation.  The current setup is way better IMO.  I would also say if the reasoning for moving this was to help with finding the logout link it still actually does not put logout on the main page so I question if this rearrangement is really solving anything.

I love the enhancements to the Link Validator, but I'm wondering why the need to show deleted links? I can see a few faculty getting confused when they see something like this:

deleted items.jpg

for course files that have been overwritten. 

On a separate topic, were any thoughts given to having the much-maligned "graded anonymously" column as a feature option for faculty?  I know I'm in a minority here given the uproar when it was introduced, but I personally didn't see anything wrong with it for instructors who wanted to be completely transparent about when they graded something anonymously as opposed to when they didn't.

No offense intended, but that sounds like an issue with your setup. In most other account-based websites closing the browser does not log you out of those websites. Cookies are stored that retain your session information so when you open the browser again you are logged into those websites automatically.

Justin Zemlyak wrote:

However, I still believe that in order to completely logout of any system users should close their browser completely.  In our case even if users press the logout button they actually do not get logged out due to how our shibboleth integration is setup.

jazemlya@iu.edu​ you can put a "cookie killer" script on the logout button. This should kill a user's shibboleth session. [This is what we had to do.]

Thanks for all the updates!!   :smileycool:

The Course Navigation collapse button is great, but many of us are waiting to move to the new UI when you provide a Global Navigation collapse button. Hopefully, this is done before we are forced to move to the new UI in July.

Keep up the great work, Canvas Buddies!

Hi all -- we're excited to see the changes around display of Login and SIS IDs. Can you share with us the permission that controls the display of Login ID on the People Page? Our Account Admins see it on Beta, but none of the other roles do.

Also, in testing around we noticed that users who see the SIS ID in the People page see the Login ID displayed in the Gradebook, and both the SIS ID and the Login ID in the gradebook download. Per the notes above we would have expected to see the SIS ID in the People page, the SIS ID in the gradebook display, and both the Login ID and the SIS ID in the gradebook download.

Thanks in advance!

Kim

At the Course role level it is "Account permissions" --> "Read SIS data"

and at the Account role level  it is "Account permissions" --> "Read SIS data"

I have a question about the edit course role enhancement.  Are there any plans on adding this to the Enrollment APIs to change the role for a person in a course?

Thanks, Erik, but the Read SIS data permission is turned on for the roles that are not seeing the Login ID on the People page.

Also, do you have information on the second part of my post above? (why the SIS ID is displayed on the People page but the Login ID is displayed in the Gradebook).

Thanks!

Kim

Susan,

Thanks i actually already know about the cookie killer script.  But I have not gotten approval to add such a script to our instance and i am not sure if i will get such approval.  Even with the cookie killer script i still feel closing your browser is the best option for any user in any system.

Adam,

I appreciate your input and maybe i just should not have mentioned my setup at all in my post as it breaks away from the point i was trying to make that:

a: I don't think from a flow standpoint that the account being listed first is appropriate, i personally like the current setup better

b: It does not actually give users a logout button on the page and still requires and extra click so if moving the account section to the top was to help resolve this i don't think this actually solves the "logout" button issue.

I would love to hear the exact reason this was done from Canvas.

This is an odd question but do you have Profiles turned on? We had some odd issues to SIS id's being displayed when we had that activated. 

I am happy to see the option for "Inactive Enrollment Type". I am pleased at the quick response to our requests for this option. However, I am a little disappointed that it is only available per course registration. If I understand this correctly, it means that if a student is registered for multiple courses we will have to go into each course to inactivate their enrollment.

What I was hoping for was an option to inactivate the "account" or login. There are cases where we do not want the student to be able to login at all or to inactivate all of their courses at once, and then easily reactive them once they pay or meet whatever criteria is set to have them reinstated.

This is still helpful but not quite what I was asking for.

Thanks!

Hi Ken,

Deleted links are helpful if you have deleted a file that is linked to a page in your course. For example, your image shows that you have two files that were deleted that are linked in your Syllabus. You'll probably want to remove those so your students don't click them and get confused as to why they cannot be viewed.

The graded anonymously column may have been discussed as a feature option, but with a lot of Gradebook changes in development right now, that may be something they can incorporate later in a better way... though I'm not sure of their plans. However, depending on the severity of the feedback sometimes it's just best to pull something, which is what I think happened here.

Erin

Hi Lisa,

I don't believe there are any plans to collapse the Global Navigation Menu. However, our UI team always welcomes your feedback in the User Group: New UI!

Thanks,

Erin

Hi Shawn,

The team said currently it wasn't planned, but it's not impossible. If there is any update to this we'll mention it in a future release.

Thanks,

Erin

Is this status accessible by API? That might be a way to programmatically hit all the enrollments for a student.

Yep it is in the SIS api

SIS CSV Format

In the SIS CSV Format page, users can set an inactive status in the enrollments.csv. When placed in an inactive state, the student is listed in the course roster for instructors but cannot view or participate in the course unless the enrollment is changed to an active status

I also looked at the Live api (/doc/api/live#!/enrollments.json/enroll_user_courses_post_4) and it is setable there also.

Thank you (as always), Erin.  The files are actually still there, but here's what I think may be behind the link validator's "delete" message:  it's a course site used in a workshop where I demonstrate the ability to overwrite files when using the FILES area.  There were copies of the syllabus originally posted on rthe Syllabus page using the FILE tab, but then I go into the FILES area demonstrating that re-uploading the files with the exact same file name will overwrite the original files, thereby not requiring the instructor to re-establish the link on the original page.  It's demonstrating it as a feature of Canvas.  Long explanation to what I think may be causing the false negative, but nevertheless, thank you for the reply and for the improvement to the validation tool.

Depending on what type of computer and browser, closing the browser alone will not work. A user will actually need to quit the application for the cookie to "die" (especially in any type of open computer lab).

I'm in agreement with Scott Doxey's points above. I would love to see a "side by side" comparison of the differences between inactivating a student and concluding their enrollment in a course (not deleting them from the course). We've been managing so far by concluding enrollment, and we are unsure if we should change our process.

Thanks!

It's hard for me to tell which of these new release changes apply to the OLD interface as well as the new one.

Could you please make that more clear in the future?

Does the "inactivate student" feature apply to the old interface?

Thanks!

Anything under the 'New UI' section is new UI specific.  All other features should apply to both, unless otherwise noted in the descriptions.

I'm late to the game and the Beta comments were already closed so I will post here.

I'm excited about the Inactive Enrollment Type and the Edit Enrollment Type. The Edit Enrollment Type will make our job much easier for our distance courses.

Also, thank you for hiding the Graded Anonymously column on the student's grades page.

hambletonlj@montevallo.edu​, I was having issue with the theme editor resetting my branding on Monday as well. I got so frustrated after the 3rd time it did it in Safari that I tried switching to Firefox and I did not have any issue once using Firefox. That's not to say it wouldn't do the same thing, but it didn't seem to do it for me in Firefox while I was working in it.

I will also echo the comments in beta about moving the user account to the top. It does absolutely nothing and is useless in my opinion. I much prefer it at the bottom.

b: It does not actually give users a logout button on the page and still requires and extra click so if moving the account section to the top was to help resolve this i don't think this actually solves the "logout" button issue.

If you take a look at other popular websites such as Facebook or Twitter, you'll find that the "logout" button isn't visible on their pages unless you click on your own account profile image/link.  Maybe Instructure designed it this way based on how other websites are designed these days?  For me, I don't mind having to first click on my profile within a social network site to get to the "logout" button.

Hi Kimberly,

We've been looking into this a little more as well. We know that the add/remove other teachers, course designers or TA's to the course permission also plays a role and doesn't allow users to view the Login ID in beta. Do your users have that permission enabled or disabled?

At this point we may have to let things go to production and then reevaluate and fine-tune some things.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi Ken,

Good find! Sent this back to the engineer who built it and he said he'll work on getting it fixed.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi Erin,

The add/remove other teachers, course designers or TA's to the course permission is disabled for the roles that aren't seeing the Login ID on the People page in beta. Can you share the reasoning behind why this permission comes into play?  Thanks in advance for the info!

-Kim

Thank you for updating the Maximum File Size error message. This has been a source of great confusion for our users who frequently upload large video files and cannot figure out why their files are unacceptable.

Hi Kimberly,

The code says that users can view the SIS ID column if they have permission to read SIS data. But sometimes changes affect other changes inadvertently, so that's the fun of figuring it all out. Smiley Happy

Erin

I agree with Jennifer's request.  We conclude student enrollments at this time, but the students are able to view all published course content posted after they're concluded from the course. We'd like to prohibit that. However, we'd like the student to be able to get to their assignment submissions after being inactivated.  A side-by-side comparison of the two settings would help us make a decision on this.  It's fantastic to have this setting so we're not pushed into deleting enrollments after grades have been awarded.

Hi Scott,

The answer is, it depends. The Gradebook team would need to pick it up, as the People page is coded by a separate team. They would also have to know that having that feature is something that you guys want.

Erin

Hi everyone,

I've made an update in the release notes to reflect a change to the International SMS feature. We've changed International SMS from a regular feature option to a hidden feature option.

If you're an admin and you look at the list of account-level feature options, you'll see a feature called International SMS - Send from Recipient's Country. This feature option is intended to be viewed and is already enabled for everyone. However, International SMS will not function without an additional feature option enabled called International SMS, which can only be turned on by your Customer Success Manager. This change was made to better manage the roll-out of this feature and ensure correct functionality in every region. With further testing this feature status may be changed in a future release.

If you have any questions please contact your CSM. Thanks!

Erin

Hi Kimberly,

Just as a followup to this, we've gone ahead and added the Login ID and SIS ID clarifications in our permissions documents for the add/remove students and add/remove other teachers permissions (updates can be found in Canvas Permission Updates ). Support will do some more testing but for now we're going to acknowledge that these permissions affect a user's view of the Login ID column.

Thanks,

Erin

Hmmm, even bigger Dashboard Cards.  Exactly the opposite of the direction I think they should go.  They take up more space without actually adding any more functionality.  They should be about a third of that size so that more could fit on the screen at a time.  That way you wouldn't have to scroll down to find course 6 or more in your list of courses.  *But, I know few agreed, as shown by the recent voting.

Hi Erin -

Have you heard anything more on this? I'm still observing this behavior now that it's in production. (A future update, perhaps?)

Was the header 4 style changed as a result of Saturday's release and was this change intentional? It now just looks like the paragraph text. Thanks!

Ach! Grr! Grumble!

The headings already lacked adequate differentiation in alignment. Just adding a bit of space before and after doesn't give adequate visual distinction to make h4 work as a header. While it will still work just fine for applications that announce semantic tags, this is a real problem for sighted readers to be able to scan a document quickly for sections.

So, this has long been a complaint for me when I'm making content in Canvas.

I've created a feature request to ask for more visual differentiation in headings.

Hi Ken,

The change is still in QA. We'll see what we can do to get it into beta as soon as we can.

Thanks,

Erin

I am seeing this too - which of course makes sense! Hopefully, it will be fixed soon, since it leads to a trail where nothing really needs to be corrected in the course.

Good morning - I am using the Link Validator and have into unexpected behavior. I ran the validator yesterday and found 58 broken links in a course, a mixture of links pointing to a former course, 404 web pages, and deleted content. I repaired all of the links pointing to former courses, as well as the 404 page errors. I then ran the validator again, expecting to see fewer errors. Instead, I received the exact same results as before - the same set of 58 broken links.

I am hoping this is not how this tool is supposed to work. The tool should be used in an iterative manner - run the validator, clean up, then run again with the end goal being a "clean" report.

Are others seeing this same behavior? Thanks!!

Hi Jessica,

Our UI team created a ticket for this and will work on it as quickly as they can. Thanks for giving us the heads up!

Erin

Hi Crista,

There are a few behaviors with the link validator that are getting fixed right now, so what you're seeing may be related to one of those issues. We hope to have one of them out in beta shortly, but I am not sure of an ETA on the second one.

Thanks,

Erin

Adding to the Custom Roles conversation...

We are running into an issue now where a custom role that is based on the Teacher role is showing up in the Conversations system as a Teacher.

Will Instructure be working on making the custom roles show up everywhere?

We have students who are confused when they open up the Inbox, go to write an email, and see multiple people listed as a Teacher.

We are for this too.  It would be very nice to set a user account as "inactive" (disable the user account).  This would prevent login and could trigger a menu option for an enrollment change requesting us to choose: a) inactive, b) conclude, c) delete.  Like when selecting Submission type in an assignment, we choose Online, then get the option boxes.  Having this at the user level screen would be an excellent admin tool.

Hi ccalderon@ewu.edu and kblack@dom.edu

We've deployed a fix for the link validator that fixes any overwritten links. The fix is in your beta environment, and you're welcome to check it out there if you'd like.

Thank you,

Erin

Hi Jennifer,

There isn't much to those roles but we're happy to create a document like that for you this release. Thanks!

Erin

Hi Justin,

I asked for more clarification on this change from the UI team. The most significant reason was that the Account link, being at the bottom of Global Navigation, was getting lost when being viewed in smaller screen resolutions. But the move also does help users locate their account information, including the logout button, more easily.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi John,

The change in this release only related to notifications. However I know there are a few related outstanding feature ideas, and one of our community managers is trying to see if she can get more information as to future updates.

Thanks,

Erin

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Last update:
‎01-04-2016 05:57 PM
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