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Canvas Release Notes (2019-12-21)

Canvas Release Notes (2019-12-21)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

  • 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 (December 21), Global Announcements are included as a notification preference. The BigBlueButton interface allows participants to resize the webcam window during a conference and displays the user who is talking in the left corner of the meeting window. And users can view shared notes from a concluded conference.

For admins, the Grade Export report and the MGP Grade Export report include grading scheme values in the CSV export. Admins can also moderate ePortfolio spam generated by their Canvas users.

External Tools

  • For institutions using New Quizzes, the invalid input warning displays if a student responds to a numeric question with an invalid character.

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

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

Announcements

Global Announcement Notification Option

 

Location to Enable Feature

Notifications

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Global Announcements, Notifications

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Global Announcements - add / edit / delete

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/13977 

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

View existing Announcements feature ideas

View existing Notifications feature ideas

Summary

Global Announcements include a checkbox to distribute a notification to subscribed users when the announcement starts.

Change Benefit

This change helps distribute global announcements via notifications.

Affected User Roles

All Users

In the Notifications page, the Alerts section includes a Global Announcements option. By default, the notification preference is set to Immediately via email. Other notification channels default to off.

Notification Preferences page with Global Announcements option

Admins

As part of creating a global announcement, an admin can enable a checkbox to send the global announcement via notification when the announcement starts. All users will receive the global announcement via email, unless a user has disabled the notification for global announcements.

Global Announcements page with Notifications checkbox

Conferences

These features are managed by a third-party provider. To provide feedback, please see the Feature Enhancement Ideas section.

Production Feature Availability

Rolled out to all institutions December 18–20

Configuration Details

N/A

Beta/Test Environment Support

test.bigbluebutton.org

Affected Canvas Areas

Conferences

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Tier Availability

Free, Premium

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Blindside Networks Contact Page

 

BigBlueButton Interface Webcam Window Resizing

Summary

The BigBlueButton interface allows participants to resize the webcam window during a conference.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows participants to manage the size of the webcam in a BigBlueButton conference.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

When a participant is viewing another user through a webcam window, the participant is able to resize the window larger than the default view. This change benefits conferences where the presenter needs to be seen more prominently on screen, such as for sign language classes.

To see how this feature can be used, please see the Resize webcams in BigBlueButton video.

BigBlueButton Interface User Talking Indicator

 

Summary

The BigBlueButton interface displays the user who is talking in the left corner of the meeting window.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows moderators to better see who is talking in large BigBlueButton conferences.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Moderators

The BigBlueButton interface displays all users in a conference in the sidebar. When a conference includes a long list of users, the moderator can view the specific person who is talking in the corner of the meeting window. Previously a moderator could only see who was talking by scrolling down the sidebar to see which user’s name included a highlighted icon.

Example of Who is Talking indicator in BigBlueButton Conferences

Concluded Conference Shared Notes

Summary

Shared notes can be accessed from concluded conference recordings.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to view shared notes included in a recorded conference.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

Users who attended a recorded conference that included shared notes can view the notes from the conference. When available, the notes display as a Notes link below the concluded conference. All users who have access to the recording can view the notes. A new browser tab loads with the final state of the notes. Text can be copied into a text-based program such as Word or Notepad.

concluded conference notes link

ePortfolios

ePortfolios Moderation

 

Feature Availability

December 18

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

ePortfolios, Account Navigation

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Users - moderate content

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing ePortfolio feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

ePortfolio

Summary

Admins can moderate ePortfolio spam generated by their Canvas users.

Change Benefit

This change allows admins to view any content that has been identified as potential spam within their entire account.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

When a user is deleted from an account, ePortfolios are also removed for the user. However, sometimes content can be identified as spam within Canvas for existing users. Admins can manage any content identified as spam within their account by opening the ePortfolio Moderation page in Account Navigation. 

ePortfolio Moderation

The Moderation page is viewable by any admin with the Users - Moderate Content permission. By default, this permission is enabled for all account admins. The page displays any ePortfolio that has been flagged with one of the three statuses:

  • Needs review: flagged as possible spam—Instructure’s systems have identified this ePortfolio as possible spam, and it needs administrator review. It is only visible to the original author and administrators.
  • Marked as spam—An administrator has reviewed this ePortfolio and marked it as spam. It is only visible to the original author and administrators.
  • Marked as safe—An administrator has reviewed an ePortfolio and marked it as safe. It is visible to its original intended audience.

Note: ePortfolios identified as safe only remain on this page if the ePortfolio is part of an author’s account with at least one ePortfolios marked as spam and all ePortfolios have not yet been resolved. Otherwise, ePortfolios identified as being safe do not display in the page. For example, when a user has a single ePortfolio that was automatically flagged as spam but manually marked as safe, it would be removed from the page. However, if a user has two portfolios where both were automatically marked as spam, and one was eventually marked as being safe, the safe portfolio would remain in the page listing until the second portfolio was reviewed and marked as safe or deleted as spam from the account.

The page displays the author of each portfolio and a link to the portfolio for review. ePortfolios can be reviewed by clicking the name of the ePortfolio.

Note: Currently ePortfolio links load in the same tab. For easier review, consider opening each ePortfolio in a new browser tab. Consult your operating system or browser for help with how to open links in a new browser tab.

ePortfolio Moderation Page

Mark as Safe

ePortfolios identified as spam include a banner at the top of the page, which can be viewed by the author of the ePortfolio. Authors are not able to edit ePortfolios marked as spam.

If an admin determines the ePortfolio content is not spam, the admin can click the Mark as Safe button. The banner will update to show the ePortfolio was successfully updated, and the button will read as Mark as Spam.

eportfolio mark as safeeportfolio marked as safe confirmation message

Mark as Spam

At any time, admins can manually mark any ePortfolio as Spam by clicking the Mark as Spam button, even ePortfolios that were previously marked as safe. When the Mark as Spam button is selected, the page will update to show the ePortfolio was successfully updated, and the spam banner will display at the top of the page.

eportfolio mark as spameportfolio mark as spam confirmation

New Quizzes

These features are 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

Quizzes

Configuration Details

New Quizzes LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Quizzes, Assignments

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

Numeric Question Invalid Input Warning

Summary

In Numeric questions, the invalid input warning displays if a student responds to a numeric question with an invalid character.

Change Benefit

This change reduces unintentional misgrading when students attempt to answer a numeric question and matches parity with numeric questions in existing quizzes.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Students

If a student enters an invalid character in a numeric question and clicks the Submit button, a confirmation window displays informing the student an invalid answer has been received, and the student can change the answer to receive credit. The student can cancel or continue submitting the quiz.

Invalid answer warning for students

If the student cancels and returns to the numeric question, the warning text indicates that the answer must be a number and not include any symbols or units.

Quizzes warning text for numeric questions

Quizzes Page New Quizzes Button

PRODUCTION RELEASE DELAYED

Summary

The New Quizzes button has been moved from the Assignments page to the Quizzes page. 

Change Benefit

This change helps instructors logically identify new and old quizzes.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

Instructors using New Quizzes can view the Quizzes page to create a new quiz instead of the Assignments page. To differentiate quiz versions, New Quizzes are identified as the + Quiz button, while old quizzes has been renamed to the + Old Quiz button.

Quizzes created with New Quizzes or migrated to New Quizzes display a solid Quiz icon. Quizzes created with Old Quizzes display an outlined Quiz icon.

Quizzes Instructor View with adjusted quiz buttons

Students

Students can also view New Quizzes in the Quizzes page, complete with the new and old icons to differentiate quiz versions.

Quizzes Student View with adjusted quiz buttons

Reports

Grading Scheme Values

 

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings - Reports

Configuration Details

Reports

Affected Canvas Areas

Reports

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Courses - View Usage Reports

Related APIs

Account Reports API

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Reports feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

reports

 

Summary

The Grade Export report and the MGP Grade Export report include grading scheme values in the CSV export.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows admins to see the final and current grade compared to the course grading scheme.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

When admins configure and run the Grade Export report or the MGP Grade Export report, the CSV file includes columns for current grade, final grade, unposted current grade, and unposted final grade.

Platform/Integration

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Live Events

Compressed Events Payloads Enforcement

For users of Live Events, all events are being compressed to allow for smaller payloads. All data elements with null values will be omitted from events payloads.

Per API guidelines, this change provides a transition period for users to adjust custom applications in the production environment.


For additional details about live events, please see Live Events: Event Type by Format

This deprecation was previously announced in Canvas Release Notes (2019-09-21).

New Quizzes Deprecation

The following New Quizzes events have been deprecated and will be removed on 2020-02-18:

  • Quizzes Next Quiz

  • Quizzes.item

  • Quizzes.quiz Clone Job

  • Quizzes.quiz

  • Quizzes.quiz Session

  • Quizzes.qti Import

  • Quizzes-lti.grade

Release Notes Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date
2019-12-17

Added—Updated Features

  • Conferences: Concluded Conference Shared Notes
  • ePortfolios: ePortfolios Moderation
2019-11-22

Removed—Updated Features

  • New Quizzes: Quizzes Page New Quizzes Button [production release delayed]
2019-11-18Release Notes Published
Labels (1)
Comments

Audra,

When there is more information to be had from our quizzes team, that information will be widely distributed. Our teams generally don't make multiple large changes anymore and try to deliver changes in increments. 

Thanks,

Erin

This is what we heard via a CSM.  As Erin said I'm sure there will be more formal communication as things move forward, but Instructure has always been good at letting everyone move at their own pace with such large changes, the new UI was a great example of that.  So regardless of how the tool is implemented, i don't see that as a worry.

Just to confirm, new quizzes would move to the Quiz tab, but in New Analytics it would still be filtered with assignments? To be consistent, it would make sense for New Quizzes to move to the quiz filter, if that's where faculty would find the tool. Otherwise they won't know how to find that information in New Analytics.

From the description above, I assume that the Global Announcement Notification Option will not replace the notification within Canvas -- is that a correct assumption? I really like this change, especially because there's no way for a user to retrieve a dismissed global announcement, if they accidentally deleted it, or if they wanted to go back to it.

Hi, Linda,

No, it just ensures that admins can send a notification at the start of the global announcement, should students remain opted in to receiving notifications about global announcements. This doesn't affect the global announcement displayed within Canvas itself.

Thanks,

Erin

I agree I think it would be more helpful to keep the +Quiz button as the "legacy/old" quiz and then have the new button say "+New Quiz" to avoid confusion or having buttons named the same do different things in different courses. 

I am looking forward to the global announcement notification functionality. I am a little bit surprised how quickly it was implemented since the idea was created in April and only has a few votes, comments, and not a lot of views.

We have "New Quizzes" added to our Canvas instance but it is set to "Off" in production and "Allow" in beta/test.

We have almost no usage of "New Quizzes" and we are hoping that in the relatively near future that its details become more finalized and then we will consider changing the degree that it is enabled in our instances.

e.provensal@northeastern.edu's suggestion would also be inline with the naming convention for how New Analytics is being rolled out, with a plan to eventually drop the 'New' tag.

Hi there, was anyone able to test the global announcement and email notification? I don't think the little tick box is present in the Test environment, but wondering if it is only our instance of it.

Kirsten

I could be wrong but I believe that this functionality is currently only available in beta and not in test or production.

Something also to consider is that the notification itself will not work in beta or test because notifications only work in production.

Thanks Doug, I guess that also means we cannot test Reports and Grading Scheme Values either. What do other people do to test pre-release? Or do you just wait for the roll-out and then check it then in prod?

Kirsten

You’re welcome, Kirsten.

Reports and Grading Scheme should be possible in beta and test based on the release notes but I have not checked.

331610_9B2BEC48-D6ED-443B-96EF-703D7CB501D2.png

While my institution does not have "New Quizzes" enabled in production, we do have it enabled for admins and select users with access to beta and test.

For the "Numeric Question Invalid Input Warning" release what happens if a quiz is configured with "One question at a time" and does not "Allow Backtracking", will a student be able to change their response?

If a student will be able to change their answer, this could be a concern for instructors  because the answer to this specific question could have been found in another question and why the instructor opted for "One question at a time" without "Allow Backtracking".

With regards to the Grades Report, how is the final grade/score being calculated where the future  non-submitted  assignments, tests, and etc being  counted as  zeros? I understand the Current Score, but I  have no clue about how Final Grade is being  calculated.

Another potential point of confusion is the "Manage Question Banks" item in the Options menu of the Quizzes tool.  It's not clear that this option pertains to old/legacy quizzes.  Now that two different Quizzing tools are combined into a single page, it would probably make sense to change the label to something like "Manage Question Banks for Old Quizzes" or whatever name is ultimately used for the legacy tool.  It would also be helpful if an "Manage Item Banks for New Quizzes" item were added to the Options menu.  Requiring users to open a specific quiz in order to manage item banks in the new tool doesn't really make sense, since the banks are neither quiz- nor course-specific.

That's a very great point!

I *ALWAYS* put a start date on an announcement even if it's only 10 minutes in the future.  I always notice a problem right after I hit post!

I agree - renaming these are a bad idea at this time.  We aren't using "New Quizzes" at all.  They aren't included in Canvas Data and are nowhere near feature parity. 

I can totally see our faculty asking why it says "Old quizzes."  Is it because they aren't as good?  Why don't we have the new ones?    

Or the opposite...faculty freaking out about a pending change.  

Here's a plug for my feature idea in case anyone wants to vote for it.  Smiley Happy  https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/11920-canvas-data-quizzesnext 

We won't be using "New Quizzes" until they have feature parity and are included in Canvas Data.  

Just adding my agreement to those above - "no to 'old' until functionality parity" - is what I will be chanting in the office:) Jim

Just Adding my voice to the conversation here. The naming of 'Old' quizzes is problematic for a number of reasons

  • We do not use 'New' quizzes as it is not yet at a point where we would consider it ready.
  • Will all documentation for 'Old' quizzes be changed to reflect the proposed naming? If not this will create even further confusion 
  • Old quizzes could indicate deprecation is imminent - this may dissuade newer staff from trying out the quiz system and could even discourage existing staff from using the tool.

Please consider scrapping/reversing any proposed name changes until the implications have been more fully thought through

Regards

Phil

Regarding the global announcement notification option, is this tied at all the the course or account roles that control who sees the announcement in the dashboard? That is, if I create a global announcement that is supposed to be seen by the "student" course role, and if I check the box to send notifications, will only the "student" role users get the notification (assuming their settings are correct), or will every Canvas user get the notification, but only students will see it in the dashboard?

Hi, Sarah,

Only the intended recipients will receive the notification, assuming the recipients still have the notification option enabled.

Thanks!

Erin

That's a relief. Thanks, Erin.

Will individual Canvas users be expected to migrate their tests/quizzes into New.Quizzes, or will Instructure perform the migration? If Instructure will do it, then the timeline may be more  doable.  Otherwise, I feel faculty and IDs will need as much time that can be afforded in order to be ready for  Spring 2020 unless the migration can be  put off until  Summer 2020.

vancej@tncc.edu‌, I don't think that classic Quizzes is going away in spring or even summer 2020. May I ask why you thought that? I want to make sure I'm not missing something because, you're right, we'll need time for the migration because I doubt Canvas will do it. 

Katie,

I  am under the impression that New.Quizzes is  suppose to replace the legacy platform, Quizzes, at some point. It is my understanding it  tentative to be  some time  in 2020, possibly early 2020. Yet, I think Instructure has  not release/answered when Quizzes will be phased out. I  could be wrong on what  has  been communicated.

vancej@tncc.edu,

According to erinhallmark's comment on Upcoming Canvas Changes:

Old Quizzes has not yet been determined. We'll give plenty of notice when we have more information.

Based on my conversations with my CSM, I believe that the earliest "Old Quizzes" will go away and "New Quizzes" will be the only version is Spring 2021 and more likely to be Fall 2021.

dbrace@lccc.edu

Doug,

Thanks. I was about to panic.

erinhallmark‌ Is it intended that the "ePortfolios Moderation" functionality is already available on production? Also what is the latest that new items are added to a scheduled release? 

Hi, Frank,

Yes it is. This update was necessary to be part of the release as soon as possible to help manage spam in Canvas. The impact is low as it is only available to admins.

Thanks,

Erin

erinhallmark‌ Thanks for the swift clarification. We are happy with the functionality but it caught us by surprise.

erinhallmark‌, is there a reason that ePortfolio Moderation is showing for admins --- even though our CSM has turned ePortfolios off on our instance. Shouldn't the visibility of this moderation tool adhere to the setting available to our CSM?

When I first saw the tool, I thought it was related to Portfolium then I remembered that when we first deployed Canvas, we requested that the native ePortfolio tool be disabled. I would like to see the moderation tool follow that same practice. It shouldn't show for folks who have the tool turned off.

-Justin

erinhallmark jwadec raises a good point.  We do not have ePortfolio/Portfolium enabled in our institution's Canvas and I see the moderation options in my beta environment.

dbrace@lccc.edu FWIW, it should also already be in your production instance as well.

jwadec I don't know if it will be as easy as being tied to the ePortfolio tool enablement since institutions that have had ePortfolios ON will continue to have the need to manage this "risk", as the public portfolios will still exist even if/when they choose to disable the tool and move on to Folio. Maybe they can do some logic to not show the moderation tool if there are no ePortfolios existing in the instance, or just make it a separate CSM controlled flag which can be requested to be turned off/on.

vanzandt, you are correct. It is in production even if ePortfolio/Portfolium has not been enabled.

The new option to "send the global announcement via notification" is great. As a possible future enhancement, I would like the ability to send global announcements to specific Terms. If it was possible to narrow down the recipient list this way, I believe our school would use global announcements more frequently.

lteixeir@unex.ucla.edu, that would probably have to be created as a feature idea. I would vote for this because we always have classes taking place (full Fall, short 5-week Winter, full Spring, and short 5-week or 10-week Summer) and not all of the announcement apply to everyone.

erinhallmark, is there any notification or settings for such so that the ePortfolios Moderation will create an Administrative Notification?  We experienced two instances of 'exam question dumps' recently so the addition of ePortfolio Moderation couldn't come at a better time !

Hi, Ira,

I am not sure what else is planned for this for the moment (the team's officially checked out for the holidays, I think!), but I'd recommend following the standard recommendation of creating a feature idea so our product team can see how many people would benefit from that.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Justin,

I'll make sure the team sees these comments after the new year and we'll see what we can do. The overall goal was met by this addition and sounds like it needs to be fine tuned.

Thanks!

Erin

When is the new RCE going to be available in production ? The last release notes said it would be today, but it’s not referenced at all above. 

Hi there, just checking if anyone can see the update to Global Announcements in production environment. I cannot see the update yet, so wondering if I am too early, or if it has been delayed.

Kirsten

kirsten.ryall@rmit.edu.au,

I logged into our production environment using one of our test user accounts and I see it.  I then clicked on "Accounts > Notifications" and scrolled all the way down to the bottom to the "Alerts" section.

The "Alerts" section has notification options for "Administrative Notifications", "Content Link, Error", and "Global Announcements".

The "CanvasNotifications.pdf" file at https://s3.amazonaws.com/tr-learncanvas/docs/CanvasNotifications.pdf (which was last updated on 2019-12-21 and is also linked to in How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as a student? and How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as an instructor?) makes reference to on pages 1, 3, and 16.

If you do not see it, I would recommend following your normal process for Canvas assistance.

dbrace@lccc.edu

I do not see the checkbox as an admin to create global announcements. Was this never pushed out? https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-18049-canvas-release-notes-2019-12-21?utm_source=Canvas%20L...

I don't see the checkbox on our instance either Smiley Sad.  Hopefully this will get corrected soon, as I'm guessing someone forgot to push the correct code out to production over the weekend.

I don't see it either. I created a case. 

I apologize for any confusion. I do not see the checkbox while composing the announcement but do see the notification setting in the "Notifications" area of a user account.

Same here.

What's the case number so we can refer to it?

We're working on getting that feature turned on; it was inadvertently missed on Saturday. Thanks!

Erin

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