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Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-10-08)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-10-08)

In this production release (October 8), admins can set federated attributes for Facebook and LinkedIn authentication and set the main text color for a template in the Theme Editor. Instructors can access SpeedGrader in concluded assignments, view Gradebook submission icons for LTI assignments, and view correct answers for questions in question banks. All users can view clarifying course name changes in the Dashboard sidebar and additional underlined links in the Underline Links user feature option.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

watch-screencast-red.png

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2016-10-08)

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: October 17
  • Production release notes: October 24
  • Production release and documentation: October 29

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

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Assignments

Concluded Course SpeedGrader Link

In concluded course assignments, instructors can view the SpeedGrader link in the sidebar. This change allows instructors easier access to view previous student work and comments in an assignment. This change also improves consistency with the SpeedGrader link throughout Canvas assessment feature areas and matches the link already found in graded discussions and quizzes.

Assignments-Concluded-Course-SpeedGrader-Link.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: allow SpeedGrader access for teachers in concluded courses

Authentication

Facebook and LinkedIn Federated Attributes

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

Facebook and LinkedIn authentication supports federated attributes, which complements JIT provisioning. When users log into Canvas, more information beyond just ID is passed to Canvas, and that information is associated with their existing user accounts. Additional information includes display name, email, given name, integration ID, locale, name, sis user ID, sortable name, surname, and time zone. More information can also be found in the Authentication Providers API​.

Dashboard

Sidebar Course Names

The To Do, Coming Up, and other sections in the Dashboard sidebar display the course code (or short name) instead of the full name. However, if a user has set a nickname for the course, the sidebar defaults to the course nickname.

Dashboard-Sidebar.png

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

When a course had a long course name, the To Do section in the Dashboard sidebar was not truncating the full course name. This behavior caused the entire To Do section to span the width of the page and overlap the Dashboard cards. Canvas code has been updated to display course short names in the sidebar.

Grades

LTI Submission Icon

When a student submits an LTI assignment, the Gradebook displays the submission document icon instead of displaying a blank entry.

Notes:

  • This change does not affect the Turnitin LTI, which already includes document icons with submissions.
  • Icons do not currently display in the student Grades page, which displays the assignment submission as a dash. The icon will be added to the Grades page in a future release.

Gradebook-Document-Icon.png

Multiple Grading Period Close Dates

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


For institutions that use grading periods, admins can add a close date to their grading periods. This feature allows admins to extend the time that instructors can edit grades after the grading period has ended.

Account-Level Close Dates

At the account level, each grading period includes a close date. By default, the close date is the same as the end date. However, the close date can be edited to any date after the end date. If the close date is after the end date, the instructors can edit grades between the end date and the close date. For instance, if the end date for a grading period is November 11, and the close date is changed from November 11 to November 20, instructors would have between November 11 and November 20 to make any edits to grades in the prior grading period.

Grading-Periods-Close-Date.png

Course-Level Verification

At the course level, Canvas validates assignments against closed grading periods in Canvas.

Close date verification for closed grading periods is being released in two phases:

  • In this first phase, Canvas validates assignments against closed grading periods in the Gradebook and SpeedGrader. For each grading period, the close date is the same as the end date, unless the close date is changed by an admin. Instructors cannot edit any assignments with due dates in a closed grading period.
  • The second phase will be completed in upcoming releases and validates the close date across all other Canvas feature areas.

Please be aware of all current limitations associated with the close dates feature. Complete information can be found in Close Dates for Grading Periods.

All additional questions about this feature can also be addressed in the Grading Periods details document.

Additionally, assignment groups cannot be set as weighted or unweighted from Gradebook settings. Assignment group weights can only be managed in the Assignments page.

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

Quizzes

Question Bank Question Detail Answers

In question banks, users can click the Show Question Details link and view the correct answer indicator for each quiz question. Question details can be viewed in account- and course-level question banks.

Quizzes-Question-Bank-Correct-Answer.png

Source Code-16.png  Canvas open source contributions: enable correct answer indicator in question banks

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: show question details in quiz and question bank

Theme Editor

Main Text Color Option

The Theme Editor allows admins to change the main text color in Canvas templates. This addition does not affect the text color displayed when users select the high contrast style option in User Settings.

Additionally, the Link option has been renamed to Link Color and moved up below the main text color.

Theme-Editor-Main-Text-Color.png

User Settings

Navigation Underline Links

This feature is used with the Underline Links feature option, which can be enabled by any user in User Settings.

The Underline Links feature option underlines hyperlinks in the Course Navigation and User Navigation Menus.

User-Settings-Underline-Links.png

  Fixed Bugs

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Accessibility

Course Home Page

The Course Navigation Menu can be collapsed or expanded by keyboard users. Additionally, the position of the menu can be read by screen readers.

Course Import

When a user imports a QTI ZIP file, the placeholder text for a new question bank displays as Question Bank Name.

Source Code-16.png  Canvas open source contributions: Fix new QuestionBank form html

Course Settings

Course visibility options include labels for screen readers.

Dashboard

Course card text links can be read consistently among browsers.

Files

When files are selected by a user, the buttons in the page can be read by screen readers.

Grades

When an admin creates a grading period, the date fields can be read by screen readers. The Until date button has been renamed to the End date button.

For each grading set or grading period, the Edit and Delete buttons announce the title of the set or grading period.

Profiles

The Edit Profile links and profile page tables can be accessed by screen readers.

Rich Content Editor

In nested lists, the <ul> or <ol> tags are underneath <li> tags.

SpeedGrader

In SpeedGrader comments, keyboard navigation with a screen reader tabs from left to right.

Analytics

Course Analytics and Custom Subaccount CSS/JS

When users view analytics for a course in a subaccount, the course displays the subaccount’s custom CSS/JS.

Explanation: When a user viewed analytics for a course in a subaccount, the course was displaying the custom CSS/JS for the main account. Canvas code has been updated to retain CSS/JS display for the account where the course resides.

Course Analytics and Excused Assignments

Student analytics does not include excused assignments.

Explanation: When a student was excused from an assignment and the instructor looked at the student’s analytics, the excused assignment was still displaying in the analytics. Canvas code has been updated to not show excused assignments in the student analytics page.

Course Analytics Column Sort Order

Analytics data updates according to the selected sorting order.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed course analytics and reversed the sorting order in the participation or page views columns, the analytics data did not display the sorting preference. Canvas code has been updated to update course analytics sorting by participation or page view.

Announcements

Student Group RSS Feed

Announcement RSS feeds do not send notifications for deleted content.

Explanation: When a student group announcement page included an RSS feed and the student group is later deleted, users were still receiving notifications for announcements generated in the RSS feed but clicking the link created a page error. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications for deleted content.

API

Search API

In the Search API, the List All Courses endpoint returns absolute URLs.

Explanation: When users used the List All Courses endpoint, the link headers displayed as truncated URLs. Canvas code has been updated to display absolute URLs in API results.

Assignments

Observers and Graded Rubrics

Observers can view graded results of a student’s rubric.

Explanation: When an observer looked at a student submission that included a graded rubric, the observer was able to view the rubric but not the graded result of the rubric. Canvas code has been updated to view the graded results of a student’s rubric.

Attendance

CSV Files

Attendance reports are downloaded as a CSV file.

Explanation: When an instructor downloaded the attendance report, the report displayed the plain text in the browser window instead of downloading a CSV file. Canvas code has been updated to associate the content type with the download link and download the attendance report as a CSV file. This feature was deployed to production on October 3.

Calendar

Sections and Recurring Calendar Events

Students can only view recurring calendar events available in their individual section.

Explanation: When a course included a recurring event assigned to different sections, students were able to view the event for all other sections. Canvas code has been updated to verify the section for each student and only show recurring events for that section appropriately.

Conversations

Admin Masquerading

When masquerading as users, admins can view conversation messages sent before August 27.

Explanation: When an admin masqueraded as a user, the admin wasn’t able to view conversations sent before August 27. This behavior occurred because of a change to account IDs in the August 27 release. Canvas code has been updated to display conversations to admins when masquerading.

Course Import

Assignment Rubrics

If a rubric is used for grading but the assignment total varies from the rubric total, the course import retains both individual totals.

Explanation: When a rubric was used for grading but the assignment total varied from the rubric total, after the assignment was imported into a new course, the assignment’s point total was updated to match the rubric point total. Canvas code has been updated to retain the total for both the rubric and the assignment in a course import.

Excluded Assignments

Course imports retain the exclude assignment option for an assignment.

Explanation: When an assignment was excluded from the final grade calculation and copied into a course, the exclude assignment option was not retained. Canvas code has been updated to add the exclude assignment option as a course copy attribute.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are associated with assignments in a course import.

Explanation: When a learning outcome from the account level is aligned with a course rubric, the learning outcome is not retained in the rubric if the user copied the course and selected individual content. Canvas code has been updated to retain learning outcomes when in selective course copies.

Courses

Course Reset and Course Favorites

Instructors can favorite a reset course even if it is unpublished.

Explanation: When an instructor reset a course and the course was unpublished, the instructor was not able to favorite the course. Canvas code has been updated to retain the instructor’s enrollment status after course reset and allow instructors to reset courses.

Cross-listed Sections

Users in cross-listed sections can access the course according to the course access dates.

Explanation: When a user was enrolled in a section with an access date in the future, and the section was cross-listed into an active course, the user wasn’t able to access the course. Canvas code has been updated to invalidate section dates when cross-listed and allow access according to the course access dates.

Dashboard

Sidebar Course Names

The To Do, Coming Up, and other sections in the Dashboard sidebar display the course code (or short name) instead of the full name. If a user has set a nickname for the course, the sidebar defaults to the course nickname.

Explanation: When a course had a long course name, the To Do section in the Dashboard sidebar was not truncating the course name. This behavior cause the entire To Do section to span the width of the page and overlap the Dashboard cards. Canvas code has been updated to display course short names in the sidebar.

Discussions

Deleted Graded Discussion Replies

Deleted replies in graded discussions are not counted as a submission.

Explanation: When a student deleted a post from a graded discussion, the discussion still showed as submitted and that the instructor needed to grade the discussion in the Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to clear submission state when replies are deleted.

Enrollments

Observers and Inactive Enrollments

Observer enrollments are synced with students who previously had an inactive status.

Explanation: When a student with an inactive enrollment status was linked to an observer, the observer was not able to view the course when the student’s enrollment status was changed to active. This behavior did not affect students who were already linked to an observer before their enrollment status was deactivated. Canvas code has been updated to sync linking between observers and students when an enrollment status is changed.

Observers and Trust Accounts

Observers can be linked to students if their accounts are in separate Canvas URLs.

Explanation: When a user tried to link a student to an observer enrollment where both accounts are located in separate Canvas URLs through a trust setup, the student was not able to be linked to the student. Canvas code has been updated to allow students to be linked to observers in a trust setup.

Files

File Access Settings

When access is changed for a file, the file shows the settings for the file even if the file is located in a folder with different access settings.

Explanation: When a user changed access for a file and the file is located in a folder that is hidden and only available with a link, the file showed the same access information for the folder. Canvas code has been updated to show the settings for a file and not inherit settings from the parent folder.

Search Field File Previews

Users who search for a file and open the preview can close the preview window.

Explanation: When a user searched for a file using the Search field and opened the preview, the preview window was not able to be closed without refreshing the page. Additionally, trying to close the preview window generated a javascript error. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to close the preview window.

Global Navigation

Help Menu Customization Link

Subaccount admins cannot view the link to customize links in the Help Menu.

Explanation: When a subaccount admin opened the Help link in the Global Navigation Menu, the Help window displayed the link to customize the Help Menu. Canvas code has been updated to verify user permissions when displaying the customization link.

Help Menu Link Order

Accounts with more than 10 custom Help links retain the link order in the Help Menu.

Explanation: When an admin created more than 10 custom Help links in Account Settings, the order was not retained in the Help Menu. Canvas code has been updated to retain the order of custom Help links.

Grades

Gradebook Individual View and Discussion Downloads

Discussion assignments do not display a button to download all submissions.

Explanation: When an instructor opened Individual View in the Gradebook and viewed a discussion, the discussion displayed a link to download all submissions, which generated an empty ZIP file. Canvas code has been updated to not display the link to download submissions in discussions; the link only displays in assignments with file upload submissions.

Modules

External URL and External Tool Module Items

External URL and External Tool module items require page names.

Explanation: When a user added an External URL or External Tool module item without a page name, the item could not be used in the module. Canvas code has been updated to require External URL and External Tool module items to require page names.

Outcomes

Rubrics and Outcome Criterion Points

Instructors cannot adjust point values for outcomes added to a rubric.

Explanation: When an instructor added an outcome to a rubric, the total point value for the rubric was able to be edited. Canvas code has been updated to only display existing point values for outcomes added to rubrics. Point value adjustments must be made directly in the outcome.

People

Discussions and User Recent Messages

If a discussion requires users to post before seeing other replies, students cannot view replies posted by other students through the Recent Messages link in the People page.

Explanation: When an instructor required students to post to a discussion before they could view other replies, students could open the People page, open the Recent Messages link for a student, and view the reply the student made to the discussion. This behavior affected institutions that did not enable the Profiles feature. Canvas code has been updated to only display the Recent Messages link to instructors.

Permissions

Observer Roles

Instructors can remove observers from a course if they have the Add/Remove Students permission or Add/Remove Other Teachers permission.

Explanation: When an instructor was given the permission to Add/Remove Other Teachers, Course Designers, or TAs to the Course, they were also able to add observers to a course. However, observers could not be removed from the course without the Add/Remove Students for the Course permission. Canvas code has been updated to allow observer roles to be managed either by the Add/Remove Students or Add/Remove Other Teachers permission.

Quizzes

Question Bank Titles

When a question bank is linked in a question group, quizzes display the full name of the question bank.

Explanation: When a course included a question bank with a long name, and a question group was linked to a question bank, both the question bank page and the question group truncated the name of the question bank. Canvas code has been updated to extend the length of a question bank name before it is truncated in the question bank page and wrap the name of the question bank when shown in the question group.

Source Code-16.png  Canvas open source contributions: Do not truncate question bank titles

Quiz Previews and Section Dates

When an instructor previews a quiz with section override dates, preview results show all answered questions.

Explanation: When a section is added to a course with override dates, when an instructor previewed the quiz, the last question in the quiz preview showed as unanswered. Canvas code has been updated to display all answered questions in the quiz preview results.

SIS

Deleted Course Enrollments

Enrollments cannot be added to deleted courses via SIS import.

Explanation: In SIS imports, admins were able to enroll users in a deleted course. Canvas code has been updated to verify the course status and not allow enrollments in deleted courses.

Labels (1)
Comments

Thanks for making it easier for instructors to access grade and feedback information in concluded courses.

When students delete discussion posts the submission indicator in the gradebook will disappear as well! Yeah.

The additional question details for question banks will be very helpful. However, there is still the issue of not being able to view question details for any banks with more than 50 questions in them. Many banks are larger than that, which makes it extremely difficult when trying to work with them. The Question Bank area still needs some love.

Hi, Elizabeth,

Please see my reply to a similar comment in the 2016-09-26 Canvas Beta Release Notes​.

Thank you,

Erin

A vast majority of these release notes make me very happy, but I must say, the Outcomes/Rubrics solution seems more like it's avoiding the problem. If instructors are not able to update point values of Outcomes in their Rubrics it means that they likely cannot use Outcome-laden rubrics for grading. It seems to me that there are two options for solving this problem:

  • Allow instructors to change the point values of Outcomes in Rubrics and then have the point values scale accordingly when they are passed back into the larger data set of their respective Outcomes.
  • Allow multiple rubrics on assignments. That way one rubric could be used for grading purposes and the other could be used for Outcomes.

I'm open to other ideas, but without being able to adjust the scores on Outcomes it seems to be presenting quite the stumbling block for someone who wishes to take advantage of the benefits that Outcomes provide.

Question regarding the LTI submission icon (when a student submits an LTI assignment, the Gradebook displays the submission document icon instead of displaying a blank entry)....  How does Canvas know when an LTI assignment has been submitted?

Is it fair to assume that the icon will only show up when the external tool assignment is graded automatically and the external tool gradebook is automatically synchronized with Canvas? Because otherwise, the submitted_at timestamp is not populated until the assignment is graded (at which time the submitted_at timestamp is populated with the timestamp of when the assignment was graded - not submitted).

If an LTI tool automatically grades an assignment, the value of the grade should be passed back. LTI tools use the same API as other assignment types (Submissions API), so I'd assume the icon follows similar behavior as other submissions. Meaning that if it has been submitted but not graded the icon will show...

Hi, Kimberley,

The icon shows up because of the workflow state of the submission; it shows up if the submission type isn't identified as a discussion, online text entry, URL, media recording, or online quiz, and the graded state is pending review. The timestamps aren't related to this change.

Hope that helps,

Erin

Hi, Steven,

This change was designed to keep the point value of outcomes set within the Outcomes page; if the value needs to be changed, it can be changed in the Outcomes page for the account or course, respectively (if you have permission to manage outcomes). Outcome point values should generally be set before a course is published and before it has been used in an assessment. Outcomes cannot be edited or deleted once they have been used to assess a student.

Release notes only announce the current changes in Canvas, so if you'd like to see additional Outcome behaviors developed in Canvas, you're welcome to copy your thoughts above and put them in the Canvas Feature Ideas​​ space, which will start a discussion with our community team and product manager.

Thank you,

Erin

Anyone else missing help links following this weekends update? Specifically "Report a Problem" and "Chat with Support" links?
Shane

shane.ohara@unh.edu​, our "Report a Problem" is working fine.   We don't have (or we've hidden) the "Chat with Support" link.

shane.ohara@unh.edu​, I've just checked three completely separate Canvas accounts, and all of the help links relevant to the particular institution (Report a Problem, Chat with Canvas Support, and Canvas Support Hotline) are still in the Help flyout menu.

All is working fine in our Canvas instance.

Thank you everyone. Support restored the chat link. There's no indication on how they went MIA.

Is anyone else having issues downloading this as a PDF? 

Yes. I clicked "View as PDF," and after my browser thought for a while, I got this message:

An unexpected error has occurred

There was a problem rendering a pdf for your document.

It renders quickly using PrintFriendly, though (one of the "more" links that appear across the bottom of the document).

Hi, Jason,

We're not sure why this document is rendering like this. Our community team is filing a ticket with our community platform to see what we can find out.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi,

I am working on my quizzes in Question Banks  and can no longer see the choice:

"Show Question Details"

in either firefox nor chrome.

It was just there the other day/ last week - and was very helpful. But now it is no longer there.

In looking at a recent  update for oct 8th

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-8299

it appears Canvas did something in quiz banks on oct. 8th

In the  image on this page where it describes the update  here it still shows the text

"show question details"

but  on my quiz bank  I can no longer see it - Over the past 2 months I have been working with multiple  quiz banks so this is new and sudden difference.

Other things are not working well either - for example when i create a question, after clicking 'update question' , it shows all of the answers whereas before it would just show the question and minimize the space where the answers were.

I'm on a Windows 7 PC with latest Chrome and Firefox.

Here is an image of what I see. Anyone else or is it just me?

Thanks! Kathy

test bank no show details oct 11 2016.jpg

Hi, Kathy,

The best way to get help is to submit a support case so they can take a look at your environment.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Jason,

We're still not sure why this document isn't rendering a PDF as we haven't had this problem before. If you need a PDF version, you can just copy it all into a Word or Google document. The information in these notes shouldn't change since we're headed into a new set of beta notes on Monday.

Sorry about the inconvenience!

Erin

Thank you!

Hi, everyone,

The next set of beta notes are ready and can be viewed here: Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-10-17)

Thanks!

Erin

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