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Canvas Release Notes (2019-11-16)

Canvas Release Notes (2019-11-16)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

  • 2019-12-21: End-of-Life functionality related to Live Events
  • 2020-01-18:
    • End-of-Life functionality related to Canvas Data
    • End-of-Life date for Gradebook
    • Enforcement of multiple feature options

For more information, please see Upcoming Canvas Changes‌.

In this Canvas release (November 16), the Help Menu includes a new training portal link for admin-, instructor-, and designer-based roles in North America. In the Course Card Dashboard, courses can be removed as favorites from the course card Options menu.

Feature Options

  • The Microsoft Immersive Reader feature option adds accessibility and comprehension to Canvas pages for learners of all ages and abilities.
  • For institutions using the New Gradebook, enabled plagiarism reports display in the New Gradebook. [PRODUCTION RELEASE DELAYED]

External Tools (LTI)

  • For institutions using the New Quizzes LTI, instructors can manually submit student in-process quiz attempts.

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

Feature Options

The following feature options are addressed in this release:

  • Account: Microsoft Immersive Reader - Free Trial (Wiki Pages)
  • Course: New Gradebook, RCE Enhancements

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


Release Notes Change Log

Updated Features

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Account Settings

Help Menu Training Services Portal Link

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Help Menu

Beta/Test Environment Support

No

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors, Designers

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Help Menu feature ideas 

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Help Menu

Region Availability

North America

Change Type

Deprecation; see Upcoming Canvas Changes

 

Summary

The Help Menu includes a new training portal link for admin-, instructor-, and designer-based roles in North America. This new training portal contains complimentary self-paced training resources and provides one-click registration for Subscription Training Webinars. The Training Services Portal is hosted in Bridge, a tool built and administered by Instructure.

Change Benefit

This change provides quick access to training materials and resources directly in Canvas.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

By default, the Training Services Portal will be added to the Canvas Help Menu for all accounts hosted in North America. No action is required by Canvas admins to enable this link. 

The portal link displays by default but can be hidden by a Canvas admin in Account Settings.

Admins, Instructors, Designers

Users with supported roles can access the Training Services Portal in the Canvas Help Menu, unless otherwise hidden. The portal authenticates via the user's Canvas account; no additional login is required.

Note: Users with no role assigned will also be able to view the training portal link.

For additional details about the Training Services Portal, please see Guide: Canvas Training Services Portal 2.0.

Global Navigation Training Services Portal available for North America customers

Dashboard

Course Card Unfavorite Option

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Card View Dashboard

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Dashboard feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Dashboard

Summary

In the Course Card Dashboard, courses can be removed as favorites from the course card Options menu.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to quickly remove a course as a favorite without having to access the Courses page.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

In the Course Card Dashboard, users can open the Options menu for a course card, click the Move tab, and select the Unfavorite option. Unfavoriting a course requires a confirmation before the course is removed from the Dashboard.

Courses can be re-added as a favorite in the Courses page, which can be accessed from the Courses link in the Global Navigation Menu.

Dashboard functionality to unfavorite a course through the course card Move menu

New Gradebook

Plagiarism Icons [DELAYED]

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 feature options, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Location to Enable Feature

New Gradebook

Configuration Details

New Gradebook Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

New Gradebook

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing New Gradebook feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

gradebook_new

 

Summary

For plagiarism tools, plagiarism reports display in the New Gradebook.

 

Change Benefit

This change matches previous functionality only available in the existing Gradebook for instructors. Updated icons will be added to the student Grades page in a future release.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

When a plagiarism tool is enabled for a course, plagiarism reports display for each student submission.

The New Gradebook displays icons that more accurately portray the plagiarism result by shape. Previously, results were only indicated by color.

New Gradebook old vs new plagiarism icon comparison

The plagiarism result displays directly in the Gradebook cell for each submission.

Report types are indicated by the following icons:

  • Error icon: the submission could not be submitted to the plagiarism service; resubmit from SpeedGrader
  • Clock icon: the submission is being processed by the plagiarism service
  • Green circle checkmark icon: the similarity score is between 0% and 20%
  • Red half-filled circle icon: the similarity score is between 20% and 60%
  • Solid red circle icon: the similarity score is higher than 60%

New Gradebook new plagiarism icons

The Grade Detail Tray also includes the indicated plagiarism icon. For originality reports, the actual percentage can be viewed in the Grade Detail Tray.

New Gradebook Grade Detail Tray shows plagiarism score

If an assignment includes multiple submission files, the Gradebook displays the highest originality score. The Grade Detail Tray indicates that the submission includes plagiarism data for multiple attachments, which can be viewed in SpeedGrader. SpeedGrader displays each individual file and the originality report for each file.

New Gradebook Grade Detail Tray showing more than one submission; SpeedGrader sidebar shows multiple plagiarism data

New Quizzes

In-Process Quiz Manual Submission

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.

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

New Quizzes LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Quiz Moderate Page

Beta Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing New Quizzes feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

New quizzes

Summary

Instructors can manually submit student in-process quiz attempts.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to submit outstanding quiz submissions on behalf of their students, specifically for situations where a quiz will never auto-submit because it is missing a timer and/or due date.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

If a student forgets to submit a quiz submission, or a quiz submission is otherwise displayed as in progress when a quiz needs to be graded, an instructor can open the Moderate page and view the number of attempts in progress. The attempts link can be viewed to display the name(s) of student(s) with in-progress submissions. 

Moderate page showing attempts in progress

By default, all student names are selected. The instructor can manually submit attempts for all selected students, or the instructor can individually deselect attempts that should not be submitted.

Attempts in Progress window with options to remove student submissions from being manually submitted

Pages

Microsoft Immersive Reader

This feature can be enabled in Canvas through a feature option in Account Settings. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about feature options, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ.

Feature State

Production-ready

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings, Feature Options

Configuration Details

Microsoft Immersive Reader - Free Trial (Wiki Pages) Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

Pages

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing pages feature ideas 

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Immersive reader

Summary

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is being offered in Canvas as a trial feature that can be enabled by a Canvas admin as a feature option in Account Settings. To learn more about this feature, see the Microsoft Immersive Reader website.

Change Benefit

This feature creates a reading experience that adds accessibility and comprehension for learners of all ages and abilities.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

If enabled for an account, every Canvas page within a course displays an Immersive Reader button. 

Canvas page with immersive reader button

Users can click the button to view the page using the immersive reader, which offers advanced learning features.

Page with immersive authoring functionality

Release Notes Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date
2019-11-06

Removed—Updated Features

  • New Gradebook: feature delayed from the production release
  • Rich Content Editor: feature delayed from the production release & removed from notes (see feature details in Canvas Release Notes (2019-10-19) 
2019-10-21Release Notes Published
Labels (1)
Comments

Excited to see the content that will be offered through the training services, super happy about the "unfavorite" course card option, and plagiarism icons look pretty good, too!

Without meaning to nitpick: 0-20% similarity score is what I'd expect to be indicated by a green circle/checkbox. Doesn't 0-20% originality sound like it should be the worst case?

Oh, Rob. Terminology and all that. Smiley Happy

Yes, I'll adjust the wording.

Erin

was about to comment something similar.  "If an assignment includes multiple submission files, the Gradebook displays the highest originality score"  probably needs to be  "the highest similarity score".  TII and other vendors tend to refer to them as similary scores for various reasons

Hi all!

Does anyone know what the language "Free Trial" for the immersive reader refers to? We currently have an Office365 licence and have turned it on in our beta. We've noticed that it gets turned on globally, but there was no authorisation/configuration information required. We'd love to know more about what the 'free trial' is referencing.

I have the same question! For example, how long will this trial last on Canvas?

When will "Help Menu Training Services Portal Link" appear in beta?

For the new Help Menu training services portal link, will there be content there that is free or is it only for those who have a subscription to training?

While Instructure/Canvas has linked to a Microsoft webpage for information about Immersive Reader, I think that a representative from Microsoft should be brought into this discussion so that a lot of our questions can be answered.

"This new training portal contains complimentary self-paced training resources and provides one-click registration for Subscription Training Webinars."

I assumed this would mean that there may be some free resources. If it is all paid/subscription based then I think we'd try to just remove it from the menu.

Beta/Test Environment Support

No


I thought when Beta/Test Environment Support is No then we have to wait until production to see it.

I saw that reference as well. If we do not see it until it is released on 2019-11-16, I hope that the new link is hidden by default.

I'm accessing it in Beta.

The Trainings seem interesting, but the descriptions cut off and for the trainings with more than one session, you can't see the rest of the description. For example:

327207_pastedImage_2.png

When you click "Enroll," you just see a list of the sessions. Even for the ones with one-off trainings, you have to click "Enroll" to see the full description, which is not what I was looking for. (I was looking for more info, but the only button was for "Enroll").

I see it too.  Apparently you have to go to account "Settings > Help menu links" and then click on the "+ Link" button in order to see "Training Services Portal".

Thank you.

For the plagiarism icons, it's a good move to make them accessible for people who can't see color, but for those of us who CAN, I believe it would be helpful for the half red one to be yellow instead (so, be a yellow circle halfway filled in):

  • It's more consistent with the current flags 
  • It's easier to refer to in conversation and emails (we can say, "the yellow one" instead of "the red one that's filled in halfway") 
  • When I first looked at the icons, I thought both red icons meant "Bad" so I think having a yellow one would more intuitively mean "this is fishy" or "this is on the edge". 

I agree, yellow is more appropriate and consistent. Maybe orange should be used so that it is also consistent with the SpeedGrader Sidebar.

erinhallmark‌, what do students see on their report, if the instructor has allowed them to see their own report? I can't test that in Beta.

dbrace@lccc.eduOrange would work. 

Are you able to see the actual Training content?  I was able to add the link to the Help Menu in Beta but am getting a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable when I try to access it

I didn't try to enroll. I got to the point where it asked me to enroll and I didn't go further. 

Hi, Katie,

Students do not currently see the new icons. Those will be added in a future release.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Katie,

Good idea, however yellow doesn't meet color contrast for accessibility. We may be able to change it to orange, but the color change would need to be added as a feature idea in the Ideas so that product can differentiate between the color causing a workflow issue vs personal preference.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Kim,

Instructure is currently providing access to the immersive reader for all customers. Based on adoption of the tool, our product team may either continue to offer it to everyone or convert it an add-on feature through Microsoft licensing. More information will be posted when it is available.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Doug,

We've recently discovered the training link is in the Help Menu, but the portal is not connected to that link so you'll see an error. Please check out the additional references provided in the release notes to get a preview of the portal data.

Customers who are able to access the portal may have been part of a training group at some point, but officially there is no support for the portal in beta.

Thanks,

Erin

Not sure if it should be mentioned in the notes or not, but I was testing the Course Card Unfavorite Option in my beta environment but the option did not appear. After reading and re-reading the notes I decided I would try with a different account and it was there. I found that if the user hasn't marked any courses as a favorite, then they do not have the option to remove them. While this makes sense, I wonder if it may confuse users that have never marked courses as a favorite and assume this means they can remove a course from the dashboard this way. 

Same here. I enabled the Training Services Portal help menu link in beta, but clicking it simply leads to a "503 Service Temporarily Unavailable" screen.

Yes, it does have free content for all.

Super helpful observations.. I am sure that question will come up!

So to clarify, if we aren't using the New Gradebook until January 2020, the icons will remain the same for us until we switch over? Is this correct? 

Definitely like the addition of Immersive Reader and I hope that it can  become  a  permanent addition. 

I spoke to a Canvas engineer at EDUCAUSE about it and he said the product is not a trial. That was someone's unfortunate choice of words when the LTI was created. It will soon be an option for all campuses.

Hi,


This is a comment about the new icons for the plagiarism result in the new Gradebook. I can see how these icons have been designed to be more assessible for people who are colour-blind since, not only is there a colour but also a difference in each icon pattern.

i.e.

    0% - 20% = green with tick.
    20% - 60% = half filled.
    > 60 % = fully fillled.


However, I find the icon for 0% - 20% (green with tick) worrying. In the case of an academic who is not familiar with Turnitin, I feel that the display of this ticked icon in the Canvas Gradebook endorses the student submission;  i.e. it seems to suggest to me that 0% - 20% similarity is OK and nothing to worry about.


In actual fact, I have read that any degree of similarity should be investigated. Whereas 20% over a number of sources may be OK, 20% from just one source could indicate significant plagiarism.


In summary, I think that the tick in the icon is misleading and should not be used. (I'm not sure what to replace it with but one of the suggestions that my workmate came up with, is to replace the 0% - 20% (green with tick) with a green empty circle). 

I agree with Barbara. I am very concerned that the icon for 0%-20% implies that this is an acceptable level of similarity. The value of the similarity report is to provide a framework for investigation and interpretation. The significance of the matching text is an academic judgement and will depend on context. There is no automatic level of acceptable text matching.  This "tick" icon could be very misleading for both students and staff. I am hoping that there will be an alternative icon set developed that will convey the range of text similarity without providing additional messages about the significance of the matching text. 

What about three circles that indicate a level of fullness?: 

  • one green circle all the way full
  • one orange or red circle partially full
  • one red circle empty?

or something along those lines. 

Can someone from Microsoft or Instructure confirm or clarify this?

  

"Based on adoption of the tool"

... has the potential to be confusing.

It could mean:

      
  1. if adoption of the tool is high, it will be free
  2.   
  3. if adoption of the tool is high, it will be referred to Microsoft for licensing
  4.   
  5. if adoption of the tool is low, it will be free
  6.   
  7. if adoption of the tool is low, it will be referred to Microsoft for licensing

Can someone from Microsoft or Instructure please clarify what the plans are for this tool?

I agree with the comments above, about the green check mark that is being proposed as an indicator for 0-20% similarity. As already mentioned, a green check mark is very misleading in terms of making it seem 'okay' for an assignment to contain up to 20% overlap with other sources.

Moreover, it seems that the development team has (yet again) chosen to reuse existing icons from within Canvas. The green check mark is used in a number of places within Canvas, such as the Modules, Files, Assignments, Discussions (etc.) page, the Admin courses overview (be it inverted in color). On all those pages, the green check mark indicates a published state. Reusing that icon for a completely different purpose is very confusing.

To be honest, I'm surprised to see an issue like this again, after the massive discussion about the eye icons in the New Gradebook being used for a completely different purpose as well...

I agree with all of the comments here on the new plagiarism detection icons.

  • The green checkmark already indicates published in many areas of Canvas.  Don't give the same icon multiple meanings
  • Green indicates "good' in most cases, but 20% plagiarism may not be considered "good" my faculty.  Using green to indicate 0% may be okay, but anything above 0% should be some other color
  • The icons and colors will now be inconsistent between the grades page and SpeedGrader (49% is a half filled red dot in grades, but a mustard yellow color box in SpeedGrader.  We need consistency for all areas of Canvas before this is rolled out.  SpeedGrader and Grades need the same visual indicators for plagiarism.

I have to agree with sebregts@euc.eur.nl‌ that I'm surprised to see an issue like this pop up again so soon after the post policy icon debacle.  I hope our feedback is heard *before* these new icons get rolled out to production this time.  Rolling things out too early and then having to change them again in a couple months is not a good experience for end users.  I understand the change is being made for accessibility (which I'm a big proponent of), but please don't rush a bad change out to production in the name of accessibility.

-Chris

Hi, Douglas,

Our product team will have more information for the plans of this tool probably at the end of the year.

Thanks,

Erin

The documentation for the training portal link says it will be for, "admin-, instructor-, and designer-based roles."  Shouldn't "instructor" be listed as "teacher" since that's the exact name of the role type? 

venitk@uwec.edu‌ and dbrace@lccc.edu‌ For the plagiarism icons, I agree that a orange half-filled circle would be a good color instead of the red or yellow. If you post this as a feature idea in Ideas‌, I'll vote up for it.

Just to be sure, I noticed that on BETA the Course Feature option "Final Grade Override" was set to "On" and we are not able to set it to OFF as we want to. I did not see anything about it in the release notes. Is this part of the release?

BETA327566_pastedImage_1.png

Production 327567_pastedImage_2.png

I agree with the above;

The green check mark should not be used for this as it's being used elsewhere and makes things confusing.  Also what does the tick mean in this context?

IF these icons are changing it would be better to have a roll out between Speedgrader/Gradebook and student view imho

I would also prefer change like this and the recent menu update not to happen during a semester so we have time to update training info and notify people in a more prepared way.

Thanks David

Well, based on the conversation below, I'm not sure the color is the biggest issue and people have pointed out there's some problems with consistency of icons. I'm hoping Canvas will hold off on implementing these icon changes until they come up with something that takes all these concerns into account.

f.g.bouwman@utwente.nl‌ I have the same thing. We don't want it set to on. I can't turn it off. I also looked in a subaccount and it is set to on and can't be changed.

One thing to note is that it still needs to be turned on separately in the gradebook before it appears to instructors anyway.  My biggest concern with Final Grade Override is that its not included in the gradebook history, its not included in live events yet (Oxana the PM has said its on the cards to be added) and the API's only allow reading but not writing of that field unless you use graphQL.  the lack of auditability is hugely problematic for such a vital number.

d.price@bham.ac.uk‌ to be fair its always a teaching period somewhere. We are mid exams here in Australia for a lot of unis and a change in November/December is ideal. But for other sectors and countries they will be still teaching, no matter when they make the change its going to be a bad time for someone.

We share the same serious concern around the lack of auditability for the final grade override feature. If gradebook history is deemed important enough for changing assignment grades, I argue that the importance of a final grade should be given at least the same consideration. We continue to ask for updates on this regularly with our CSM. If others have similar concern, please vote up this idea,  Gradebook History for Final Grade Override, and raise it with your CSMs.

That's definitely a must-have feature.  I just voted on the request (thanks for the link, Todd).  I do think things like that should be noticed before a feature is released, and not require an entirely separate feature request to make them happen though.

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