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Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-08-26)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-08-26)

In this production release (August 26), third-party authentication supports the admin role federated attribute, the SIS Export courses.csv report includes information about course formats, and several APIs and SIS files have received updated functionality.

SpeedGrader has been optimized for performance in large courses. In DocViewer, Point and Area annotations no longer require comments, and DocViewer displays an annotation session warning before the session is refreshed.

For all users, the Rich Content Editor includes an option to easily insert and embed media. The mobile login page in Canvas apps has been updated for design consistency with the desktop login page. And for institutions with multiple authentication methods, logged out users are redirected to the login page for their last authenticated account.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

watch-screencast-red.png

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2017-08-26)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: September 5 (In observance of Labor Day in the United States)
  • Production release notes: September 11
  • Production release and documentation: September 16

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

The Canvas product team welcomes feedback according to https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-11159-canvas-community-feedback-guidelines?sr=search&search....

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

Flash Content Reminder: Canvas displays Flash content as supported within major browsers. Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox default to HTML5 as the preferred method for displaying website content, which promotes a faster, more secure browsing experience. These browsers will eventually block all Flash content. For best performance in Canvas, course content should be designed to support HTML5. Recorded media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers. Any recorded content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser.

Advanced CSS and JavaScript users: Canvas releases may include undocumented changes that affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.

  Updated Features

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Authentication

Admin Role Federated Attribute

All authentication methods that support federated attributes include a Canvas attribute for admin roles. This attribute only applies to admins at the root account level and not sub-accounts. More information can be found in the Authentication Providers API.

Logout Page

When a user logs out of Canvas, the user is redirected to the login page for the last authenticated account. This change helps users log back in to Canvas using the same authentication provider.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8373-cas-protocol-support-for-logout-urls 

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

When a user logged out of Canvas and the user’s institution included several authentication methods, the logout page always redirected users to the Canvas authentication login page even if Canvas authentication was not the primary method. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the login page for the last authenticated account.

DocViewer

Canvas DocViewer can be used in the student submission details page and SpeedGrader.

Point and Area Annotation Comments

This change was deployed to the production environment on August 9.

To save an annotation, Point and Area annotations do not require comments. Comments can be added to the annotation like all other annotation types.

Session Expiration Warning

When a user creates annotations in DocViewer, Canvas will display a session expiration warning at 9 hours 50 minutes, followed by a 5-minute and 1-minute warnings until the 10 hour limit has been reached. This change helps users be able to save their work before the session automatically refreshes at 10 hours. A session can be restarted at any time by refreshing the submission page.

Reports

SIS Export Course Format

In the SIS Export report, the courses.csv file includes a column for course format. For each course, the report displays if a course format has been specified.

Course format can be set in the Canvas interface in Course Settings and through the Courses API.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8890-include-course-format-in-sis-export-report 

Rich Content Editor

Insert/Edit Media

The Rich Content Menu toolbar includes an option to insert or edit media. This change allows users to easily add online media content to a course without having to use the HTML Editor.

  • The General tab includes fields for the media source location and dimensions. The media can be resized and set to constrain size proportions.
  • The Embed tab includes an HTML field for embed code.
  • The Advanced tab includes fields for providing alternative source URL(s) and poster image information. Alternative sources pointing to different video encodings can be specified to be used as a fallback if the browser doesn’t support the initial encoding offered. The poster URL source indicates the image that displays until the user clicks the play button. If the poster option is blank, the first frame of the source video will be used as the poster image.

Links from common providers (like YouTube and Vimeo) often link to custom media players, rather than directly to video files, and will not recognize any content added to the alternative source and posted image options.

Rich Content Editor insert and edit media window with options

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/4249-embed-object-button-in-rich-content-editor 

User Interface

Mobile Login Page

The mobile login page in Canvas apps has been updated for design consistency with the desktop login page.

The mobile page displays the main text color (Login In button) and link color (Forgot Password link) as set in the Theme Editor Global Branding. All other changes must be managed through a custom CSS desktop file.

Canvas mobile login page

  Other Updates

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SpeedGrader

Performance Updates

SpeedGrader has been optimized for performance in large courses and includes an increased submission threshold per student submission. Previously averaging at 800 submissions, the current minimum threshold has improved to 1500 submissions. Assignments with more than 1500 submissions may result in delayed SpeedGrader loading times.

  Platform/Integration

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For details about using Canvas API documentation, please see the Canvas API Policy page.

API

Submissions API

In the Submissions API, the List Submissions for Multiple Assignments endpoint supports the workflow_state parameter, which shows the current state of the submission.

SIS Import Format Documentation

Blueprint Course ID

In the SIS Import Format Documentation, the courses.csv includes the option to add a blueprint course SIS ID and create a course association. This option is only supported for institutions that have enabled Blueprint Courses.

Diffing Mode Deletion

Admins can use the diffing threshold for their SIS import file to manage deleted objects. During a term, batch mode may be used often, and if a partial file is sent, many objects can become deleted. Using change_threshold to equal a specific number will only delete objects if the number of objects to delete is less than the percentage of the number of the objects for the term. For example: If change_threshold set to 5 and the term has 100 courses, and batch_mode would delete more than 5 of the courses, the batch will abort before the courses are deleted. The change_threshold can be set to any integer between 1 and 100 and also impacts diffing mode.

  Fixed Bugs

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Accessibility

Analytics

In Course Analytics, the Student, Page Views, Participation and Current Score column headings can be read by screen readers and indicate if they can be used to sort table data.

Assignments

The Submit Assignment button is announced as a button to screen readers.

Modules

The MasteryPaths sidebar link to view students within a specific scoring range can be read by screen readers.

Rich Content Editor

When a user opens an audio comment, a focus outline is placed around the comment.

The Rich Content Editor displays MathML code in Chrome.

Announcements

RSS Feed

The Announcements RSS Feed displays the most recent 15 published announcements.

Explanation: When an instructor created an announcement but then created multiple announcements with a delayed date in the future, students were not able to view any announcements in the RSS feed. This behavior occurred because the RSS Feed calculated delayed announcements as part of the 15 display count. Canvas code has been updated to display the most recent 15 announcements that have been published and made available to students.

Assignments

Blueprint Course Relative Links

In an associated course, assignment due dates can be edited if relative links are included in the assignment description and the due dates are not locked.

Explanation: When a Blueprint Course synced an assignment to an associated course and due dates were not locked, the assignment due dates could not be changed when relative links were included in the description. Canvas code has been updated to remove association of relative links with assignment due dates.

Date Selector in Non-English Languages

Dates in non-English courses display as selected.

Explanation: When a date was changed in a discussion, quiz, or assignment, changing the dates through the calendar selector displayed the incorrect month or year. Canvas code has been updated to retain the date selected by the user in the calendar.

Google Cloud Submission Downloads

Canvas can download Google cloud assignments for 60 minutes.

Explanation: When graders tried to download Google cloud assignments, some assignment submissions were not able to be downloaded from Canvas because they were never completely downloaded from Google. Canvas code has been updated to allow Canvas to download Google cloud assignments from 10 minutes to 60 minutes.

Group Assignment File Submissions

Group submission files uploaded through an LTI tool such as Google Drive or Office 365 can be viewed by the instructor and all group members.

Explanation: When students submitted an online file for a group assignment using an LTI tool option such as Google Drive or Office 365, the file attachment was not visible to the instructor in SpeedGrader or any group members in the Submission Details page. This behavior did not affect group submissions where each student was assigned a grade individually. Canvas code has been updated to upload LTI tool submission files to the group submission folder and display correctly to associated users.

Moderated Grading

Users with the moderated grading permission only view Dashboard To Do List items for students whose submission have not yet been graded.

Explanation: When a reviewer graded a moderated grading assignment for a student, the Dashboard To Do List indicated the assignment still needed to be graded for that student. This behavior affected any user with the moderated grading permission. Canvas code has been updated to not display duplicate To Do items once a moderated grading submission has been reviewed.

API

Users API and Sortable Name

Changing a user’s sortable name through the API does not affect the name order.

Explanation: When a user’s name and sortable name were updated through the Users API, the API call did not return the sortable name correctly. If the call was made again, the sortable name was updated. Canvas code has been updated to apply the sortable name set through the API.

Authentication

Logout Page

When a user logs out of Canvas, the user is redirected to the login page for the last authenticated account.

Explanation: When a user logged out of Canvas and the user’s institution included several authentication methods, the logout page always redirected users to the Canvas authentication login page even if Canvas authentication was not the primary method. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the login page for the last authenticated account.

Calendar

Group Scheduler Appointments

When a group appointment is reserved in the Scheduler, the reserved time slot is still displayed with all remaining time slots.

Explanation: When a student reserved a group appointment, the reserved time slot disappeared from the page. Refreshing the page displayed the time slot but the remaining time slots were not visible. This behavior did not affect individual appointment signups, which always display both reserved and unreserved time slots. Canvas code has been updated to correct group appointment calendar caching and align behavior consistency for group appointments with individual appointments.

Course Import

Google Links and Embedded Files

Google links and embedded files configure correctly in course copies. This change only applies to course copies with newly added Google LTI integrations or existing integrations that include a new configuration variable.

Explanation: When Google links and embedded files were included in a course, and the course was copied, the links were no longer authenticated and displayed a tool misconfiguration message. Canvas code has been updated to maintain Google file configurations in course copies. Newly added Google LTI integrations include this functionality by default. Existing integrations require the LTI tool to be edited before course copies can be made, as the configuration file must include the following variable: previous_context_ids=$Canvas.course.previousContextIds.

This fix does not yet apply to IMSCC course export and import files, which will be supported in a future release.

Discussions

Duplicate Files

Course Files amends file names when a file is uploaded multiple times in a course.

Explanation: When a user attached the same file to two different discussions in a course, Course Files created two files with the same name. Canvas code has been updated to amend the file name when files are uploaded to the course with the same name.

Gradebook

Complete/Incomplete Files

Submitted files are retained in complete/incomplete assignments.

Explanation: When an instructor graded a student’s complete/incomplete assignment in the Gradebook, the file submission was removed from the assignment. This behavior did not affect assignments graded in SpeedGrader. Canvas code has been updated to always display a link to file submissions in complete/incomplete assignments.

Complete/Incomplete Icons in Non-English Languages

Complete/Incomplete assignments display icons in non-English languages.

Explanation: When the Gradebook displayed a complete/incomplete assignment in a course with a non-English language, the icons did not load in the Gradebook cells. Canvas code has been updated to display icons for complete/incomplete assignments in all languages.

Save Button

Assignment overrides do not affect the Save button.

Explanation: If an assignment was changed to create differentiated assignments for multiple students, the assignment was not able to be saved. This behavior occurred because of a JavaScript error in the Canvas interface. Canvas code has been updated to save assignments with the Save button.

Weighted Grading Periods

When Weighted Grading Periods is enabled for an account, grading periods are listed by start date.

Explanation: When Weighted Grading Period were enabled for an account, viewing all grading periods through Individual Grades displayed them by creation date. Canvas code has been updated to display grading periods by start date.

Modules

Discussion Module Items

New discussions created in a module default to ungraded.

Explanation: When a new discussion was created as a module item, the discussion was created as a zero-point graded discussion. Canvas code has been updated to set any new discussion created through modules as an ungraded discussion.

Unlock Dates

Unlock dates do not display in a module after the module has been unlocked.

Explanation: When a course included a module with an unlock date in the future, the unlock date still displayed for some students even after the module had been unlocked. Canvas code has been updated to refresh page caching for course modules with unlock dates.

Notifications

Notification Preferences and Trust Accounts

Users associated with a trust account can view their notification preferences in any account.

Explanation: When users set their notification settings in their main institution’s account and then logged in to another institution’s account, their notification preferences did not match the preferences originally set in the main account. Canvas code has been updated to display notification preferences regardless of account view.

Course Invitations

Course invitations are sent to students manually enrolled in a course.

Explanation: When more than one user without Canvas accounts are manually added to a course, course invitations were not always sent to the users. Canvas code has been updated to always send course invitations to manually enrolled users.

People

User Roles

User roles can be edited within a course.

Explanation: When a user’s role was edited in a course, Canvas displayed an error. This behavior commonly occurred when editing a role from student to instructor. Canvas code has been updated to refresh the cache for the user’s enrollment status.

SIS Import

Default Email

Changes to a user’s default email address via SIS import are visible immediately after the import.

Explanation: When only a user’s default email address was updated vis SIS import into Canvas, the default email change was not visible if the user had been viewed before the import. This behavior did not affect viewing the user’s email via the API. Canvas code has been updated to refresh the page cache after the SIS import.

SpeedGrader

Complete/Incomplete Icons in Non-English Languages

Complete/Incomplete assignments display icons in non-English languages.

Explanation: When SpeedGrader displayed a complete/incomplete assignment in a course with a non-English language, the icons did not load in the sidebar. Canvas code has been updated to display icons for complete/incomplete assignments in all languages.

Labels (1)
Comments

Is there any possibility the new "Insert/Edit Media" option could get a slightly different name and/or icon?  While I appreciate the additional functionality without going to HTML mode, I think a lot of people are going to think this icon is to actually upload and embed media from their computer and not a website.  We have Kaltura integrated into Canvas (which includes an RCE button), and I really think this new option, with it's current name and icon, is going to cause a lot of issues for us (and others who have similar integrations from Kaltura or other providers).

I didn't get a chance to do any beta testing until today. I like the new embed feature in the editor, but I did notice that once you embed a video, clicking on it (while in edit mode) causes it to start playing. You have to click next to it and then use the delete or backspace buttons to delete it. Is that how it should work?

Even though I'm comfortable with html, that RTE embed option is going to be a good way to streamline the development process.  Good feature.  

I LOVE the new diffing mode threshold.   I've had a similar failsafe built in to my own home-grown system for years and it's saved my bacon more than once.    I think this will be what finally gives me the confidence to switch to use Canvas diffing mode.

One concern is the size of the threshold.   During our drop/add week, we can very easily process more than 100 drops between hourly refreshes of Canvas.    We'd not be able to make use of that threshold during drop/add.  

Could we ask that the threshold be increased?    From our data, we'd need it to be at least 1000, but I could see even higher.

I think there's a bug related to the new "Insert/Edit Media" option. On a page with an video already embedded using the "Insert/Edit Media" button (Video A), if you add a YouTube video using the "Link to URL" button, the size of the first video (Video A) will get resized to 300px x 150px.

Hi, all,

We've updated the fixed bugs section with several additions:

  • Assignments: Blueprint Course Relative Links, Google Cloud Submission Downloads
  • Course Import: Google Links and Embedded Files (please note some of the additional information required if your institution has been affected)

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Amy,

You may be experiencing the change we made for embedded content in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-03). That change allows you to preview your content in edit mode; previously you had to save the content before you could preview the media.

Hope that helps!

Erin

Hi, Christopher,

The Rich Content Editor uses functionality from a third-party service called TinyMCE. As a couple of others have noted in the beta notes, this feature has already existed in the editor through the File menu; our engineers just brought it directly into the editor to simplify media embedding. We're happy to see what we can do if we start to receive significant contrary feedback from users.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi Glen,

The threshold is not enabled by default and currently can only be set using the api. The threshold is set on each import, so it can be excluded or increased during times that you have large amounts of change. Also the threshold is actually treated as a percentage, so if you wanted to allow for 1000 dropped enrollments and you have 20,000 enrollments in the batch, you can set the threshold to 5. The api will allow for any integer between 1 and 99. So if it is set to 10, it will never allow a full batch to remove more than 10% of your enrollments. 

The same threshold is used for diffing mode if that is being used.

Diffing mode import would treat it as a new import so it would essentially not run through the diffing process. For diffing mode, it will go off of the file size which is not perfect, but works well to identify a large change.

For Batch mode imports, it will process the whole file, and at the last part that does the batch clean up process it will verify how many enrollments/courses/sections are going to be removed, and then throw an error before removing any if it is above the set threshold.

Hopefully that all makes sense. Let me know if you need any thing cleared up.

-Rob

Hi, Cecilia,

Thanks for trying out the new feature! If you think you've discovered a bug, please submit a support case according to your institution's guidelines (either though your own support department or directly to Canvas support). The Rich Content Editor uses functionality from a third-party service called TinyMCE, and if there is a behavior that we need to have reviewed or corrected, we'll submit that to them right away.

Thank you!

Erin

Hi, all,

Beta notes are now available for the next release: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12322-canvas-beta-release-notes-2017-09-05 

Thanks!

Erin

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