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Canvas Release Notes (2019-02-16)

Canvas Release Notes (2019-02-16)

In this Canvas release (February 16), DocViewer supports stylus tools to create annotations within supported touchscreen devices. For embedded images in the Rich Content Editor, the Canvas files folder structure displays thumbnail images. Interface updates have also been made in Pages and the Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker.

Feature Options

  • For institutions using the New Gradebook, instructors can replace a student’s final grade calculated through Canvas activities with a manually entered grade.

External Tools (LTI)

  • For institutions using the Canvas Commons LTI, when viewing the Resource Details tab in Commons, users can view filtered search results that only display resources from their specific institution, and resource cards display the number of times a resource has been downloaded or imported and the number of times a resource has been favorited [REMOVED].
  • Additionally, the Rich Content Editor allows instructors to view and import content from their Commons Favorites directly in Canvas [REMOVED].
  • For institutions using Quizzes.Next LTI, instructors can reopen submitted assessment attempts from the Moderation page. And the Restrict Student Result View option supports additional options to display or hide points, items, responses, and feedback.

Release notes also include API updates and fixed bugs.

Release notes describe upcoming Canvas functionality and are subject to change.

 

Feature Options

The following feature options are addressed in this release:

  • Course: Final Grade Override

Canvas release summary by user roleCanvas New Release ScreencastCanvas Release Collaborative ChatCanvas API Change Log


Release Notes Change Log

New Features

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New Gradebook

Final Grade Override

This feature is used in conjunction with an existing feature option in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about LTI tools, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Location to Enable Feature

New Gradebook, Individual Gradebook

Configuration Details

New Gradebook Feature Option

Final Grade Override Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

New Gradebook, SpeedGrader, Student Grades

Related APIs

Enrollments API

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

 

Summary

Instructors can replace a student’s final grade calculated through Canvas activities with a manually entered grade. 

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to adjust the final grade for a student if needed in the course, such as before sending course grades to a student information system. However, once this feature is enabled, it cannot be turned off.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

When the Final Grade Override feature option is enabled for a course, instructors can enable the final grade override in the Gradebook Settings menu.

New Gradebook Setting for Final Grade Override option

The Gradebook displays an Override column where a new grade can be entered. In the Individual View Gradebook, the grade overrides can also be enabled.

New Gradebook Override Column

For an override score, a letter grade results in the lower value of the grading scheme. This behavior varies from entering letter grades for individual assignments, where entries take the higher value of the grading scheme. A percentage is retained as the percentage as the override score. Overridden grades can be removed by deleting the grade from the column.

Students will view the overridden score in their Grades page. However, they will not know the score has been overridden.

New Gradebook Override Grade showing in Student Grades Page

Notes:

  • When enabled in a course by one instructor, the Override column will not automatically display for all instructors. The column must be enabled by instructors individually.
  • Final grade override actions are not recorded in the Grading History page, which only records changes for individual assignments.
  • Currently final grade overrides are not displayed in the student context card and will be updated in a future release.

Feature Idea Contributions

 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Quizzes.Next

Reopen Student Assessment 

Location to Enable Feature

Assignments                                

Configuration Details

Quizzes.Next LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Assignments

Beta Environment Support

No

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Summary

Quizzes.Next supports reopening submitted assessment attempts from the Moderation page.

 

Change Benefit

This feature allows instructors to grant a student access to an assessment that was submitted before it was complete.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins, Instructors

Instructors can reopen an assessment attempt for an individual student from the Moderation page. Reopening an assessment will reopen the most recent attempt.

Quizzes.Next reopen assessment button

Students

When a student resumes a reopened assessment, previously recorded responses will be retained and can be changed, unless the assessment displays one question at a time with backtracking disabled. The assessment timer will resume from its remaining time from the attempt.

Quizzes.Next reopen submission student view

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Updated Features

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Commons

Favorites and Downloads Sorting

This feature is used in conjunction with an external tool (LTI) in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about LTI tools, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Status

REMOVED 2019-02-11

Location to Enable Feature

Commons LTI

Configuration Details

Commons LTI

Resource Previews must be enabled by a Commons admin

Affected Canvas Areas

Commons LTI

Any area with imported content

Beta/Test Environment Support

Functionality affects content in the beta environment only; New/updated features not available until production deploy

Permissions

Course Content - add / edit / delete

Discussions - view

Assignments and Quizzes - add / edit / delete

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

 

Summary

Resource cards display the number of times a resource has been downloaded or imported and the number of times a resource has been favorited. Users can also sort search results by Most Favorited and Most Downloaded.

 

Change Benefit

This update allows instructors to easily view how many times a resource has been favorited and downloaded. It also allows instructors to sort search results by Most Favorited or Most Downloaded.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

The resource card displays the number of times a resource has been favorited and downloaded, allowing instructors to easily find content in Commons. Instructors can also sort search results by Most Favorited or Most Downloaded.

 

Commons Favorites View   Favorited views in Commons

 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Institution Search Results

This feature is used in conjunction with an external tool (LTI) in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about LTI tools, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Status

REMOVED 2019-02-11

Location to Enable Feature

Commons LTI

Configuration Details

Commons LTI

Resource Previews must be enabled by a Commons admin

Affected Canvas Areas

Commons LTI

Any area with imported content

Beta/Test Environment Support

Functionality affects content in the beta environment only; New/updated features not available until production deploy

Permissions

Course Content - add / edit / delete

Discussions - view

Assignments and Quizzes - add / edit / delete

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

 

Summary

When viewing the Resource Details tab in Commons, users can view filtered search results that only display resources from their specific institution.

 

Change Benefit

This update allows users to find resources from the same institution as the resource they’re currently viewing.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

When an instructor is viewing the Resource Details tab for a resource in Commons, they can click the Institution name to view filtered search results that only display resources from that institution.

 

Account filter view in Commons

Commons account search results 

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

DocViewer

Stylus Support

Location to Enable Feature

DocViewer                                                                                   

Beta Environment Support

No

Affected Canvas Areas

DocViewer

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructor, Student

 

Summary

DocViewer supports the use of a stylus for annotations in certain browser configurations on touchscreen devices.

Change Benefit

This feature allows instructors and students to use a stylus to make annotations in DocViewer on supported touchscreen devices.

Affected User Roles

All Users

Stylus functionality is supported for any user who can access DocViewer. Support is provided for the Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 10 using the Chrome or Edge browser. Stylus support is limited to Bamboo Ink and any stylus officially supported by Microsoft for the Surface Pro. Limited stylus compatibility is also available in the Firefox browser.

Feature Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8810-use-of-stylus-with-docviewer 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Quizzes.Next

Additional Result Restriction Settings

Location to Enable Feature

Quizzes.Next Delivery Settings

Configuration Details

Quizzes.Next LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Assignments

Beta Environment Support

No

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Summary

The Restrict Student Result View option in Quizzes.Next supports additional options to display or hide points, items, responses, and feedback.

 

Change Benefit

This change gives instructors additional options when determining the information that students can view in their assessment results.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

Instructors can manage additional settings when the Restrict Student Result View option is selected. Student result settings include displaying total points awarded, total points possible, and assessment items and questions. The options to show total points awarded and show points possible apply to overall points and individual question points.

When the option to display assessment items and questions is selected, instructors can also manage the option to display student responses and item feedback. When the option to display student responses is enabled, instructors can also manage options to indicate whether answers are correct or incorrect and display correct answers if an incorrect answer was selected.

To completely hide all assessment results, instructors will need to uncheck all options on the Restrict student result view settings.

Quizzes.Next restrict student result view option

Students

The information displayed in the assessment results page will vary for students based on the options selected by their instructor.

Assessment results page view for students

Feature Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/11598-additional-options-for-quiz-response-settings 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Rich Content Editor

Commons Favorites Importing

This feature is used in conjunction with an external tool (LTI) in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about LTI tools, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Status

REMOVED 2019-02-11

Location to Enable Feature

Rich Content Editor

Configuration Details

Commons LTI

Resource Previews must be enabled by a Commons admin

Affected Canvas Areas

Commons LTI, Rich Content Editor

Beta/Test Environment Support

Functionality affects content in the beta environment only; New/updated features not available until production deploy

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

 

Summary

Instructors can view and import content from their Commons Favorites list directly in the Rich Content Editor in Canvas.

 

Change Benefit

This feature gives instructors access to import favorite content from Commons directly in their Canvas course.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

Instructors can use the Commons Favorites button in the Rich Content Editor toolbar to import favorite content from Commons.

Any supported content added to the Favorites list in Commons are available for import in the Rich Content Editor. Users can search for items or filter by content type within the modal. Users can only import embeddable content types (documents, videos, audio, and images).

Open Commons Favorites in the Rich Content Editor

Select Commons Favorites from Commons menu

Feature Idea Contributions

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Files Thumbnail Images

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Rich Content Editor

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Related Bug Fixes

Rich Content Editor: File Image Thumbnails

Summary

When a user embeds an image into the Rich Content Editor, the Canvas files folder structure displays thumbnail images.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to view a small version of each image before embedding the image in the Rich Content Editor.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

User Role

When a user selects a Canvas file to embed in the Rich Content Editor, any image files in Canvas display a thumbnail version of the file to help identify the file. This functionality was temporarily unavailable after the Rich Content Editor was updated in a previous release.

Rich Content Editor Image embedding thumbnail previews

Feature Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/13031-restore-image-thumbnails-in-rce 

Canvas features are always welcome to feedback. Product teams may make adjustments at any time via the Canvas Feature Idea process.

Other Updates

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Pages

Column Heading Capitalization 

 

Location to Enable Feature

Pages

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Pages

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Pages - add / edit / delete

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

 

Summary

Page column headers do not display in all caps.

 

Change Benefit

This change helps align column headings with other design elements in Canvas.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When a user with permission to view pages views all pages for the course, the page column headers have been updated to not display in all caps.

Page headings are not displayed in all caps

Rich Content Editor

Accessibility Checker Link Formatting

 

Location to Enable Feature

Rich Content Editor - Accessibility Checker

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Rich Content Editor

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Related Bug Fixes

Accessibility: Rich Content Editor

Summary

The Accessibility Checker information Learn More link has been replaced with a descriptive text link.

Change Benefit

This change helps conform with accessibility guidelines and link text expectations.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When a user opens the information link in the Accessibility Checker, the Learn More text at the bottom of the menu window has been expanded to include more description about the linked reference.

Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker Link Description Text

Platform/Integration

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API

API Change Log

Adjustments have been made to the following APIs as noted in the API Documentation change log:

  • Users API

Fixed Bugs

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Accessibility

Pages

The Page History page wraps the full date, time, and author information if an entry is too long for one line.

Quizzes

Student text answer fields for multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, fill-in-multiple-blank, numerical answer, and multiple dropdown questions include label tags for screen readers.

Rich Content Editor

In the Accessibility Checker, the Learn More link has been replaced with a descriptive text link.

API

LTI Variable Supported Substitutions

The Supported Substitutions section can be viewed in the LTI Variable Substitutions page.

Explanation: When users tried to view the Supported Substitutions section in the LTI Variable Substitutions page, the section was unable to be displayed. Canvas code has been updated to regenerate the information that should display within the section.

Assignments

Anonymous Grading and Peer Reviews

When anonymous grading is enabled in a peer review assignment, students can view peer reviews without error.

Explanation: When the Anonymous Grading feature had been enabled on a peer review assignment, students received an Unauthorized message when accessing the submissions page for any student they were peer reviewing. Canvas code has been updated to view peer reviews for anonymously graded assignments.

Muted Assignments and Peer Review Comments

When a peer-review assignment is muted, students can view peer review comments from other students.

Explanation: When an instructor muted a peer review assignment, and a student left a comment on the assignment for another student, the second student was not able to view the comment for the peer review. Canvas code has been updated to display peer review comments to students in muted assignments. However, comments from instructors continue to be hidden until the assignment is unmuted.

Blueprint Courses

Grading Scheme State

The state of a grading scheme in a Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses.

Explanation: When a Blueprint Course was synced with a disabled grading scheme, the grading scheme was not disabled in the associated course. Canvas code has been updated to sync the grading scheme state to associated courses.

Sync History Page and Course Settings

Updates to Course Settings are indicated in the Blueprint Course Sync History page.

Explanation: When course settings are synced with a Blueprint Course, the Sync History page did not include any history about syncing course settings. Canvas code has been updated to include the history for course settings syncs.

Calendar

Course Visibility and Calendar Display

When a course is set with visibility to anyone in the institution, users not enrolled in the course can view the course calendar.

Explanation: When a course was set with visibility to anyone in the institution, the View Course Calendar button was still displayed to users not enrolled in the course and generated an error when trying to load the calendar. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the calendar even if users are not yet enrolled.

Course Import

Graded Discussions and New Gradebook Missing Labels

Graded discussions are not imported as missing assignments when dates are shifted for the course.

Explanation: When graded discussions were imported into a course that had enabled the New Gradebook, and dates were shifted as part of the import, graded discussions were being imported as missing before the course had been completely imported. Canvas code has been updated to skip due date caching for assignments and not apply late policies before the date shift has been completed.

Remove Dates Option and Sync to SIS Settings

Dates are removed from all assignments, including Sync to SIS assignments, when the Remove Dates option is selected in course imports.

Explanation: When a Canvas course was imported or copied with the option to remove existing dates, and the Default SIS Sync features in Account Settings were enabled, dates were not removed for assignments with the Sync to SIS setting enabled. Canvas code has been updated to remove dates for all assignments when the Remove Dates option is selected in course imports.

Courses

Default Assignment Groups

Newly created courses include the default assignment group.

Explanation: When a new course was created in an account, and a user tried to create a discussion, the default assignment group was not generated in the drop-down menu until the user viewed the Assignment Index Page was viewed. Canvas code has been updated to ensure a default assignment group exists upon course creation.

Gradebook

Default Grade Banner Confirmation Count

When a default grade is set for a group assignment in a course with more than 50 student enrollments, the banner that confirms the grade update confirms the correct number of students who received the default grade.

Explanation: When a default grade was set for a group assignment in a course with more than 50 student enrollments, the banner that confirmed the grade update displayed the incorrect number of students who received the default grade. This behavior affected both the current and New Gradebooks. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the banner displays the correct number of students who received the default grade.

Notifications

Anonymous Late Submission Notifications

Notifications about late submissions in anonymous assignments do not display the names of the students with the late submission.

Explanation: When an instructor received a daily or weekly summary notification for late submissions, anonymous assignments would include the names of students with the late submissions. Canvas code has been updated to anonymize all late submission notifications.

Grading Counts and Unenrolled Sections

Instructors who are limited to participating in a specific section only receive notifications for their specific sections regarding submissions that need to be graded.

Explanation: When an instructor was limited to participating within one section and received notifications about course grading, the notification included grading counts outside of the instructor’s section. Canvas code has been updated to only count submissions that need to be graded in the instructor’s specific section.

Quizzes

Fudge Points

Fudge points can be changed to zero after being assigned a non-zero value.

Explanation: When fudge points were changed to a non-zero value, and then the points were changed back to zero, the fudge points reverted to the previous value. Canvas code has been updated to support zero values as fudge points after a non-zero value has been applied.

Quizzes.Next

Course Copy Retry

Failed course copies with Quizzes.Next assessments can be retried.

Explanation: When a failed course copy included Quizzes.Next assessments, the option to retry the copy would become unusable. Canvas code has been updated so failed course copies with Quizzes.Next assessments can be retried.

Rich Content Editor

Files Thumbnail Images

When a user embeds an image into the Rich Content Editor, the Canvas files folder structure displays thumbnail images for files.

Explanation: When a user selected a Canvas file to embed in the Rich Content Editor, image files did not display a thumbnail of the image, which caused confusion as to which image was being embedded. Canvas code has been updated with a new version of the Instructure UI library that supports thumbnail images.

HTML5 Media Recorder Video Interface

When Canvas does not detect a webcam with a user’s device, the media recorder displays the video interface.

Explanation: When a user opened the media recorder, and Canvas did not detect a webcam, the inline media class updated to video in the HTML, but the recorder continued to display the video interface. Canvas code has been updated to display the video interface when a webcam is not detected for recording media.

SpeedGrader

Anonymous Moderated Assignment Student Links

Student submission links for anonymous moderated assignments link to the correct submission in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When anonymous moderated grading had been enabled for an assignment, links to submissions in SpeedGrader from the Moderate page were not linking to the student with the same submission in SpeedGrader. Canvas code has been updated to confirm that submissions are linked to the correct student within SpeedGrader.

Group Assignments and External Tool Submissions

Group assignments submitted through an external tool display in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When a student submitted a group assignment through an external tool, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Office 365, the file would not submit to SpeedGrader as a submission. However, the file displayed in the group’s Files page. Canvas code has been updated to associate external tool submissions with the correct student group and display correctly in SpeedGrader.

Release Notes Change Log

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Date
2019-02-25

Added - Fixed Bugs

  • API: LTI Variable Supported Substitutions
2019-02-11

Removed - Updated Features

  • Commons: Favorites & Downloads Sorting
  • Commons: Institution Search Results
  • Rich Content Editor: Commons Favorites Importing
2019-02-04Release Notes Published
Labels (1)
Comments

Great news about the stylus and the Surface Pro, albeit from a slightly biased viewpoint. Has huge potential especially with the rise and competition from OneNote Class Notebooks. Does this mean it is available to test from 16th?

Great to see a new quizzes.next feature. This is welcome functionality.

I'm glad to see the final grade override! My institution has been waiting for this since we adopted Canvas.

I do have some questions, if someone from Instructure could answer?

  • is the override grade accessible via API?  I don't see it mentioned in the API change log.
  • Are there plans to have the override grade included in the Grade History page?  This would be highly desirable.  In fact, I'm uncomfortable with this feature  being available without logging.

I'm also curious as to the reason why the visibility of the override column is an individual display option.  In courses with more than one instructor, this looks like a communication snafu just waiting to happen.

In my testing, placing a final grade override for students does not actually update the current or final grade found in an exported grade book. This means that those of us who use the grade sync tool will not be passing the override grade to our SIS. I am seeking clarification with our CSM, but wondering if others see the same result?

Steps: locate a course with grades > export the current grade book > enabled the feature > place an override for [XX] number of students > export the grade book again > no score updates for either the current grade or final grade; all scores match exactly.

Thanks,

Shane

Kudos for uncovering this Shane - hopefully they are planning on updating the exported grades or this will lead to some fun incidents. 

I think they added the grade override API endpoints in the 01-05-2019 release. Check the Additions --> API Responses --> Enrollments API section of the API Change Log - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation for that release date.

I also agree that there is a potential for confusion with not displaying the override column to other instructors in the course. If changes were tracked in grade history, as you propose/suggest, it shouldn't be an issue to display it to all who have Teacher access.  It could even be helpful to allow for a read-only version for TAs who are trying to field questions from students.

I agree with rake.9@osu.edu‌. If the Override feature is turned on/off based on the user, then this will be major confusion if the course has other users who are teachers and graders. Also, this could cause our internal help support staff to give out the wrong information. The help staff would have to turn on the Override column for a specific course in order to see the override grades.

I suggest that the option to turn on the Override column be at the Course/Feature Options level. That way, any user that has permission to see the grades will all see the same thing. I like the override feature, but as an admin, I will not turn it on for my account until it will do more good than harm.

This looks like a nice release.   One additional question about the Gradebook override:  will the override work for grading periods?   Meaning I create Quarter 1, Quarter 2 etc.   At the conclusion of Q1, can I enter an override that will be for that quarter / grading period only?    Quarter 2 can have its own override etc.?    In order to get the benefit of the override, it must apply to each individual grading period.   Thanks. 

I have also asked our CSM if/how the grade being sent through the Sync Grades to SIS process will accommodate the override grades. I'm hopeful with this statement above, "such as before sending course grades to a student information system," that it means the override grade would be sent in that process.  Hopefully one of us will hear back soon. I was expecting/hoping that they would also add a column to the gradebook export to display the override column, or to adjust one of the final grade columns. I haven't tested that yet, but will let you know if my testing results differ from yours.

Commons Favorites and Downloads Sorting

Does anyone see this new feature? I don’t see the menu items: Most Favorited and Most Downloaded. Also, I don’t see these changes in the resource cards. Is this new feature available in Beta Commons?

Commons Favorites in RCE

I don’t see Commons Favorites in RCE so I can import directly from Commons to a page. I have some images in Commons marked as favorites. But when I go to a course, edit a page, and look in the RCE, I don't see the menu the "Commons Favorites" menu item. 

For all of the above, I'm in the Beta instance and looking in Beta Commons and have Resource Previews enabled in Commons. Can anyone help me?

If it's like the release of the new Preview feature, they don't have a way to provide us access in a Beta period since it's an LTI tool, and the Commons linked in our Beta and Test environments is actually linked to Production Commons.  I was confused on the last release, but they do include the info in their tables for each item...

Beta/Test Environment Support

Functionality affects content in the beta environment only; New/updated features not available until production deploy

It would be nice if they could figure out how to provide beta environments of their LTI-based tools, so we have an opportunity to test in advance of release. Or if they do, then maybe they will respond and correct me.

I have gotten the exact same results.  We rely on these exports for transferring the grades to our SIS.  In order for this feature to be at all viable for us we need the changes reflected in the export.

Very important! And have API endpoints for this. If not, my institution will not be able to use this.

I agree also.  Not having both the override appear to all who have grading access and not keeping the overrides listed in the grading history can cause some serious confusion for our instructors.  The minute two instructors see different grades and we cannot identify what happened is a disaster in the waiting.  The grade override is a feature our faculty have been asking for, but we cannot deploy it without the transparency and logs in place.

The view-only for TAs was something my team also suggested as we reviewed this.

That is our state; we use APIs to transfer grades to the SIS.  I can't release this until I can be sure the expected grade can be pulled for transfer.  vanzandt‌ (above) said he thinks it was released earlier.  We'll check.

FWIW, I also asked our CSM to research theses issues.

Indiana University is super-jazzed about the final grade override.  We've been asking for this since 2014.  I took a quick look and I think I discovered a bug.  We've got both the new gradebook and the final grade override set to Allow.  If I turn on the final grade override option without enabling the new gradebook, both settings get locked and I can't go back and turn on the new gradebook.  Here's a quick video demo of the problem:

grade_override - Indiana University 

We found that once you turn on the Override feature in a course, you can't turn it off (we have the new gradebook on in all courses).

I concur with the Valerie Rake's observation that treating the override grade option as an individual display option is a formula for confusion among users with the teacher role (and derivative roles).  All teachers should be able to see the grade that will be transferred to SIS (and that students will see.  I also question the decision to not to show students their calculated grade and score along with the override grade and score.  By not doing this, students may be given the impression that they grade was incorrectly calculated.  Furthermore, there should be full transparency when an instructor opts to override the calculated grade in the event that the grade was lowered (rather than raised), which does in fact happen here at IU.

A quick observation about the final grade override which isn't necessarily apparent in the above description.  Instead of entering a letter grade, you can enter a percentage score.  The score will be converted to the corresponding letter grade in the course grading scheme.  Thi approach may be preferable for instructors who do not agree with the decision to assign the score for the lower boundary of the grade.  If a score is entered, that is the score that is returned by the API as the override_score.

Hi Gideon.Williams@britishschool.nl‌,

You are correct, this functionality will be available to test from the 16th.

Thanks!

Emily

shane.ohara@unh.edubuellj@seattleu.eduvanzandt, & cw2481@columbia.edu 

Have you sent this up through support yet?  If not, please do.  Thank you.

Hi leward@iu.edu  & rake.9@osu.edu 

This is a definite bug.  Please report this up through support.  It sounds like a workflow design issue.

Hi rake.9@osu.edu‌ and vanzandt‌,

I checked with the team and there are currently no plans to include the final grade override in Gradebook history. Gradebook history tracks individual assignment grading, it doesn’t track grading period/course totals, and final grade override is tied to those totals. I recommend creating a feature idea to help show how this functionality would be helpful to your institution.

Thanks!

Emily  

Hi joseph_allen@hcpss.org‌,

I checked with the team and you can apply an override to individual grading periods. However, the override doesn’t carry forward in course total calculations, it's just overriding that grading period for reporting purposes, etc. Hope this helps!

-Emily

We just did some checking with the product team.  This feature will need to remain an individual feature at this point, but we are looking ahead to see how we can show other instructors in the course that one has done a grade override.  No ETA on this, just want you to know we're thinking on it.

I agree with basically all of the commends so far about the grade override:

Grade override, in my opinion, should be a universal thing.

  • If someone has grade change privileges, they should be able to override the final grade (or, even better would be a new permission for grade override).
  • All people with view grade permissions should be able to see the final grade override, and know that it is indeed an override.
    • It's going to cause confusion if a student sees all of their individual grade items, but the final grade doesn't match the totals.  Transparency is key for grades, as far as I'm concerned
  • Ideally, any api calls/variables that used to return the final grade should be updated to return the override grade.  This would ensure any existing integrations with SIS or other systems don't all need to be revised.  A new api call/variable to return just the calculated grade (ignoring the override) could be added, if it's necessary.
  • Grade overrides should be on the gradebook history page.  I know it's currently only for individual item changes, but I think that's because all final calculations have been automatic and based on the individual items before now.  With the ability to override, it's critical to show that history as well now.

I don't quite understand why this would ever be a user setting...  Perhaps it was easier to code that way, but if one person sees grades one way, and they appear differently to another it's a recipe for disaster.  One of the biggest problems our faculty have with the "original" gradebook is the "treat ungraded as 0" option precisely because they are the only ones who see the effects of the switch (students end up seeing a different grade than teachers when the option is enabled).  The "new" gradebook removed this option in favor of grade policies, which lets everyone see the same grade views, but now the override is putting us right back to having differing views of grades.  I'd really urge Instructure to rethink this before release.

I'm definitely in favor of having a final grade override option, but it needs to be implemented in a better way which will minimize any possible confusion.

-Chris

leward@iu.edu I agree with the transparency point - even if the actual calculation isn't shown, letting the student know that an override has happened would be appropriate. 

Well said chriscas‌!

I also agree with Chris. We won't be releasing this on our production until the download issue is resolved and there is full transparency between teachers and students. I also urge you to rethink this and keep it in beta until these issues are ironed out.

Can you access the grading period overwritten score via API? For example currently I use "current_period_computed_current_score" to get the score for the current period, will I be able to do so to get the overwritten score.

Thanks eallen.  For us, having the override not carry to total calculation is not a problem.  Other institutions may have a different opinion.  

The override final grade enhancement is a great idea, but the actual changes implemented here will only further confuse faculty and students.  If the general goal of a gradebook is to record and display grades accurately then this feature is working against it.  

1)  Students should see that the final grade has been overridden.   Canvas needs to either show the grade they were assigned or tell them that the grade they are seeing has been overridden.

2)  All users that have the grading permissions should see overridden grades.  They shouldn't have to enable a adjust their own display to match the other graders.

3)  Overridden grades need to be shown in the gradebook history.  The reason why we look at gradebook history is to prove how a student received a final grade and assure it's authenticity.  This is critical when a student disputes their final grades.  Having a final grade that doesn't show up in the history undermines the validity of the grades in Canvas.

It appears that the feature as designed has been generally panned by the community.  Do we really need to put in an enhancement request for the above or can Instructure take the feedback in the release notes and make their own adjustments?    

+1 Chris.  I added similar thoughts below because I felt a like wasn't a strong enough way to convey our agreement with the problems we see.  "treat ungraded as 0" also needs some work.  Somewhere in the past few years Canvas has lost track of why it has a gradebook.  Many features they bolt on seems to make it more confusing/inaccurate.  At it's base a gradebook must make it clear what the grades are and how they have changed.  Right now we seem to be heading in the direction of a stylish looking spreadsheet that may show different numbers to anyone that uses it.

I agree with the above comments about the final grade override and hopefully updates will be considered.

Additionally, wasn't having the ability to enter a grade other than what was in the grade scheme what quite a few people were hoping for? Grades like IN, XF, NP, etc. Based on what I'm reading here, it doesn't sound like this will be possible.

I haven't actually been able to test the final grade override at all (does not appear in our test or beta environments). I'm assuming this might be because of what Todd Van Zandt mentions above, but am not sure. So I'm kind of just waiting until Feb. 16 to be able to look at this.

The final grade override feature should be available in Beta, but it does require an admin to first set the Feature Option flag to Allow or On in your beta instance at the Account level before you'll be able to enable it in your courses for testing. The note I made before about unavailability in Beta relates to tools like Commons, Analytics 2, and Quizzes.next, where they are technically LTI tools that connect to core Canvas and don't have beta instances (I think that's true for analytics 2, and quizzes.next as well. Again, someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this).

I tested your use case, and it let me enter it, but it places an red exclamation icon in the gradebook next to it, and returned an error/warning message that said "You have entered an invalid grade for this student. Check the value and the grading type and try again." I'm not sure what would happen to this grade in the Sync Grades to SIS process, but in the Student View it just displays the Current Grade rather than the 'invalid' override grade.

I contacted our CSM earlier this week to ask if turning on Commons was possible in "beta".  His response was, "That's a great question. I believe that Commons is sticky in Beta. I just enabled it in your beta instance. Let me know after the next refresh if it disappears."

Thanks! My understanding was/is that it can be enabled, but it connects to production Commons. While it displays in beta, you don't get to see the beta features, and any changes made to admin settings affect the production instance. Maybe someone from Instructure can help us better understand the availability and how it works in beta.

My friends.  The Final Grade Override ask was pretty popular, you can see it here: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1696-override-final-grade" modifiedtitle="true" title="Overrid....  We appreciate all of the feedback on the feature, and we are taking note of it.  We're also looking forward to seeing how it is used by instructors and received by students.  We too began our designs with thoughts of transparency.  We had proposed an alert, or notification, that told students their final grade was overwritten by their instructor, but every instructor we showed it to provided feedback that it would cause more questions (problems) than it would do good.  The examples given were that most likely a grade would be overwritten to bump a student grade on the border of the next grade.  

So, please do give it a try, and if you experience that transparency is more than a perceived issue, let us know.  We really appreciate the feedback.

anf107@psu.edu

Please see my comment above!

As much as I, personally, am in favor of grading transparency, I have to admit that our faculty response would be exactly what rcarney@instructure.com has noted. The majority would likely prefer that students are not notified, and that the change is not highlighted.

Given the feedback and interest of transparency shared here, it's clear that there is interest in both implementations. I wonder if there could be options built in that would provide each faculty member (or institution) with the choice; like providing a sub-option for student messaging on the Advanced tab that appears after checking the "Allow final grade override" box. If it's something that can't be a toggle/option at the account level, then institutions that don't want to provide instructors with the option could use javascript override to mask it. 

Hi holmer@jesuitnola.org‌,

Thanks for your question. I checked the Enrollments API documentation, and it lists "current_period_override_grade" and "current_period_override_score" in the enrollment object. I hope this helps!

-Emily

I wouldn't mind some sort of options that could be set at the account-level about override transparency (especially to students), but in my opinion those need to be build in to the interface by Instructure.  While we've had ot resort to using javascript for a few things, it adds another possible thing that could break in every release, and also doesn't normally apply to the Canvas app (where a lot of students go for grade information).

Hi rcarney@instructure.com‌,

Thanks for the extra information.

I think what most of us are saying is that all users should be able to see the calculated grade, and the override grade. I can see where teachers nay not be in favor of this, since they might then need to explain what they're doing to their students, but I'd actually view conversations like that as a positive thing.  In the case of bumping a grade up (from A- to A, for example) this probably isn't a big deal.  Even if the majority of cases will be bumping the grade up, the override does also allow the grade to be bumped down, and that's where the lack of transparency to the student could become a huge problem.  For a big change like this to perhaps the most important feature in Canvas, I'm hoping feedback from all roles (students, teachers, admins) is being considered.  While I'm sure teachers might not all like transparency, I'm also pretty sure students will not like a lack of transparency either.  Finding a balance for situations like this can be tricky, so perhaps some options can be built in for institutions to choose how they'd like the override to work in their instance. With the current implementation of the override, I can foresee quite a few issues coming from all sides right now, so we will have to think very hard about whether to enable the feature or not.  My fear is most institutions that have issues with the current implementation will not enable the feature, so you will have a very hard time getting user feedback on the changes (or options) that need to be added for universal adoption.

-Chris

Thanks, I completely agree with account level settings/options provided in the interface as the best option.  We really dislike having to use javascript to override items for exactly the reasons you noted.  I was just thinking through the current implementation and what might be able to be done (reasonably) quickly, since they only have the feature option slider at the Account level at the moment. But you're right, that by proposing the javascript option it gives them an out from developing this, and we should really focus on requesting the *best* solution.

I've set the Grade Override feature to Allow in Beta, but do not see the Advanced tab in the gradebook settings to turn it on. (yes, we are using the new gradebook). Am I missing something?

audra_agnelly@hcpss.org, after you set it to Allow at the account level, you also need to enable it in the course Feature Options. That will give you the Advanced tab when clicking on the gradebook Cog icon, where you can check the box "Allow final grade override".

Thank you!

Thank you for the feedback Renee.  Unfortunately our users already experience more confusion with the gradebook over final grades than we would like.  We get dozens of tickets every semester that question why grades don't match in certain places.  Combining that with some of the grade issues we have experienced, that you can get details on from our CSM or Seth, we have a much lower tolerance for confusion over grading than a few years ago.  Implementing some simple design changes(course option vs user option) could eliminate the confusion and allow all institutions to use it the way they want. 

When you refer to "trying" something with grading that is a very dangerous area for us to experiment and the penalties are enormous for our students and faculty.        

Hello everyone. Thank you for all of the feedback regarding the new Final Grade Override feature. We hear you. We’re exploring possible improvements over the coming releases based on the feedback we’ve received. Specifically, we’re scoping the following changes with the engineering team:
- Making the final grade override column visible to all graders once it’s turned on
- Adding overridden scores to gradebook exports
- Updating grade sync to work with final grade override

We’re hoping to release these changes in the near future. Thanks again for all the input.

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