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Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18)

Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

2020-02-18

  • End-of-Life functionality related to New Quizzes (Live Events)

2020-03-21

  • End-of-Life functionality for existing course and user analytics
  • Enforcement of New Course and User Analytics

For more information, please see Upcoming Canvas Changes.

In this Canvas release (January 18), admins can allow users to associate their user profiles with pronouns. The New Gradebook, Course Card Images, Rubric Criterion Range, and Student Context Card feature options will be turned on for all institutions and will no longer be optional in Canvas. These changes were previously included in Upcoming Canvas Changes.

In the New Gradebook, the Student Name column includes additional sorting options. Additionally, for assignments with a manual posting policy, comments can be posted without a grade.

Feature Options

  • The Direct Share feature option allows users to copy individual course items to another course and share individual items with other users.
  • The Responsive Layout feature option enables institutions to confirm any of their custom code in Canvas with recent default layout changes. This feature option will be turned on for all institutions in the 2020-02-15 Canvas release.
  • The Rich Content Editor feature option enables institutions to allow the New Rich Content Editor in Canvas courses. The current Rich Content Editor is deprecated.

Beta Environment Feature Options

  • The Assignment Enhancements - Student feature option enables institutions to explore student enhancements in Canvas course assignments.

External Tools (LTI)

  • For institutions using New Quizzes, the New Quizzes Settings menu allows answers to be shuffled for each student in supported quizzes, and users can search course outcomes within New Quizzes.
  • For institutions using the Attendance tool, instructors can choose to omit the Attendance assignment from the course final grade directly in the Attendance Settings menu.

Canvas release summary by user roleCanvas New Release ScreencastCanvas Release Collaborative Chat


Release Notes Change Log

New Features

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Assignments

Direct Share

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.

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings

Configuration Details

Direct Share Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

User Navigation, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Pages

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Direct Share feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

direct_share

Feature Video

 

Summary

Instructors can copy individual course items to another course and share individual items with other users.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to copy and share content directly in Canvas without having to use a secondary repository like Commons. 

Additional Details

For full details about Direct Share, please see the Canvas Release: Direct Share document.

 

Copy to and Share to link options in Assignments page

Student Enhancements

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.

Environment Availability

Beta environment only

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings

Configuration Details

Assignment Enhancements - Student Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

Assignments

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Students

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Assignments feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

assignments

Summary

Supported student assignments display an improved interface and submission workflow.

 

Change Benefit

This change improves the student experience in completing and submitting assignments, viewing rubrics, and locating instructor feedback.

Additional Details

For full details about student assignment enhancements, please see the Canvas Release: Student Assignment Enhancements document.

New Assignments interface for students 

Updated Features

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Attendance

Do Not Count Toward Final Grade Settings Checkbox

Location to Enable Feature 

Attendance

Configuration Details

Attendance LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Attendance, Assignments, Gradebook

Beta/Test Environment Support 

No

    Environment Limitations                                                         

Unlike other LTI tools in Canvas, updates to the Attendance tool may not be available with the initial notes for a release and may be added at any time.

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Attendance feature ideas 

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

attendance

 

Summary

The Settings menu includes the option to not count the Attendance assignment toward the final grade.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to not count attendance toward the final grade without having to edit the assignment.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

If instructors want to omit the Attendance assignment from the students’ final grade, they can open the Settings menu directly in the Attendance tool and select the checkbox to remove attendance from the final grade.

Attendance Settings menu

Course Settings

Dashboard Course Card Feature Option Enforcement

Location to Enable Feature

Course Settings

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Course Settings, Dashboard

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Related API

Courses API, Users API

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Course Settings feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Course settings

Original Feature Introduction

2016-08-27

 

Summary

Course cards in the Dashboard can contain an image as uploaded through Course Settings. 

 

Affected User Roles

Instructors

The Course Settings menu includes an option to add an image to course cards. Images can be dragged and dropped into the browser window or uploaded from a computer. Accepted images include JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG files. Larger images may take a few seconds to process. Images can also be added from Unsplash. Once the Course Details page is saved, the Dashboard image displays in the course card behind the course color. The image also displays for instructors in their Card View Dashboard.

 

Course Details option to add image

 

Students

Students can view the course card image in their Card View Dashboard. As with all courses shown in the Dashboard and Calendar, instructors cannot control the course color. Colors are automatically assigned by Canvas, though students can change the course color at any time.

Course Card Dashboard with images

 

New Gradebook

New Gradebook Feature Option Enforcement

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

New Gradebook

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing New Gradebook feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

gradebook_new

Original Feature Introduction

2017-11-18

 

Summary

The New Gradebook includes an improved user experience with additional filtering and sorting options, late and missing policies, and assignment posting policies.

 

Change Benefit

This change brings an enhanced version of the Gradebook to all instructors.

Additional Details

For full details about the New Gradebook, please see the New Gradebook Resources list in the Canvas Community.

333114_pastedImage_20.png

Postable Submission Comments

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

New Gradebook, SpeedGrader

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing New Gradebook feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

gradebook_new

Feature Video                      

 

 

Summary

For assignments with a manual posting policy, comments can be posted without requiring a grade.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows students to view feedback from instructors before they receive a grade for an assignment.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

In manual posting policy assignments, instructors can create comments in New Gradebook or SpeedGrader for a student submission and make them visible to students. 

Grade Detail Tray with comment in Manual assignment

Once a comment is submitted, the Post Grades button can be used to post comments the same way as posting grades. The New Gradebook displays all submissions that will have grades and/or comments displayed to students, per the updated wording next to each posting option. 

posting comments without a grade

If the option to hide grades is selected for the assignment later on (for when the instructor is working on actual grading), comments will also be hidden until grades are reposted.

Note: For manual posting policy assignments, the hidden label displays at the top of the page to indicate the assignment is hidden when a grade is entered. However, when a comment is added in the Gradebook context tray and SpeedGrader, respectively, the page must be refreshed before the hidden label will display.

Students

If a student’s submission has been posted by an instructor in the New Gradebook or SpeedGrader, the student can view the comment in the Grades page. 

If the option to hide grades is selected for the assignment later on (for when the instructor is working on actual grading), comments will also be hidden until grades are reposted.

Student View of receiving comments with no grade

Sort Options 

 

Feature Availability

2020-01-20

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

New Gradebook

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing New Gradebook feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

gradebook_new

Feature Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/7982 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/14023-new-gradebook-sort-by-secondary-id 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/3297-view-sis-user-id-in-gradebook 

Feature Video

 

Summary

The Student Name column includes additional sorting options.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to sort the New Gradebook by student name, SIS ID, Integration ID, and Login ID in ascending or descending order.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

As part of sorting the Student Name column, instructors can select the Sort By option and not only sort by student name, but also by SIS ID, Integration ID, or Login ID. Each option can be ordered in ascending or descending order.

Student Name Sort Options

New Quizzes

Answer Shuffling

Location to Enable Feature

Assignments

Configuration Details

New Quizzes LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

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

Feature Video

 

Summary

The New Quizzes Settings menu allows answers to be shuffled for each student in supported quizzes.

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to predetermine if students should get shuffled answers while taking the quiz.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admin, Instructors

Instructors can select the option to shuffle answers in the Settings menu. This option is a global setting that applies to multiple choice, multiple answer, and matching quiz questions.

Note: Shuffling answers does not guarantee the order is displayed differently to every student. Some students will receive the same answer order, depending on the number of answers for each question.

New Quizzes Shuffle Answers global setting

Outcomes Search

Location to Enable Feature

Assignments

Configuration Details

New Quizzes LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

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

Feature Video

 

Summary

Users can search course outcomes within New Quizzes. 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to search course outcomes when aligning outcomes to a new quiz or to individual quiz questions.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admin, Instructors

In New Quizzes and Item Banks, users can align quizzes and questions to outcomes with the Align Institution outcomes to this quiz or Align Institution outcomes to this question buttons.

New Quizzes Outcomes button

Within the alignment page, users can enter a search term into the search box in order to find specific outcomes. The search term will search and return results with the designated term included in the name and/or description of the outcome.

Outcomes search field

People

Student Context Card Feature Option Enforcement

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Any course location with a link to a student’s name

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing People feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

People

Original Feature Introduction

2017-02-18

Summary

For instructor (and admin) roles, links for users with student roles display a summary of student progress in the course.

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to view quick insights and context about a student from anywhere in Canvas.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When viewing anywhere in a course, instructors can click the name of a student and view a sidebar that shows quick insights and context about the student.

Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser.

Context Card Users

Context cards are not supported for user names where the user is not a student (e.g. observer, TA, or other instructor). Clicking links for these user roles will always direct to the user’s details page or profile page (if the institution has enabled the Profiles feature).

Student context cards do not display for inactive students or students with pending course invitations. The pending status displays in the People page, while the inactive status can be displayed in Discussions, Announcements, the Gradebook, and SpeedGrader.

Student Context Card in the People page

Context Card Details

Context cards can display the following details:

  • Profile picture (if applicable)
  • Act as User: act as the student (link only available to users with the Users - Act As permission)
  • Student name or email: view the student’s user profile page
  • Mail icon: send a message directly to the student from the page
  • Course name and section: view the name of the course and section (section name only included for courses with multiple sections)
  • Last login: view the last login date (does not display if the student has never logged in); the card only displays the time when the login is on the current date, the day of the week when the login was within the current week, and the full date for any later logins
  • Grades: access the student’s grades page
  • Analytics: access the student’s analytics page (button only available to users with permission to view analytics)
    • If New Course and User Analytics is enabled, the button displays as New Analytics and directs to New Analytics data
  • Current grade: view current grade as displayed in the Gradebook (according to grading scheme)
    • For courses using Multiple Grading Periods, the context card only displays the grade for the current grading period; the card does not match the grade shown in any prior or future grading periods even if another grading period is selected in the Gradebook.
  • Number of missing assignments: view the total of missing assignments based on student analytics data, which generates data for both online and no-submission assignments in Canvas
    • For submissions not submitted online, assignment calculations may not be entirely accurate as they are attempted based on the assignment’s grade and when the assignment was graded
  • Number of late assignments: view the total of late assignments based on assignment due date
  • Number of last graded items in the course: view a maximum of the last 10 recently graded assignments with the assignment’s grade (shows according to grading scheme, but grades default to points if the grading scheme does not fit)
  • Participation activity compared to class: view the standard deviation of the student’s participation in the course compared to other students (none, low, moderate, or high)
  • Page views compared to class: view the standard deviation of the student’s page views in the course compared to other students (none, low, moderate, or high)

 

Context Card Link Locations

Context cards are supported anywhere in a Canvas course that displays a link to a student’s name. (They do not apply outside a course, such as in the Conversations Inbox.) No extra permissions are required for this feature; context cards are inherent specifically to instructor and admin roles.

 

In addition to the People page (course roster), frequent areas where student names display in courses include announcement and discussion replies, the Gradebook, and the Moderate page for moderated assignments. 

Note: Context cards do not display for links that direct to group context (such as clicking the name of a group leader) and student links in Course Analytics pages, as they link to a student’s individual analytics page.

Rich Content Editor

Rich Content Editor Interface Enhancements

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

Course Settings - Feature Options tab

Configuration Details

Rich Content Editor Feature Option

Feature Option Enforcement

2020-06-20

Affected Canvas Areas

Rich Content Editor

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Rich Content Editor feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Rich Content Editor

Change Type

Deprecation; see Upcoming Canvas Changes

Feature Video

 

 

Summary

The New Rich Content Editor includes an improved user experience across Canvas courses. The existing Rich Content Editor is deprecated. Additionally, the New Rich Content Editor includes several updated features since it was first introduced in the beta environment in the 2019-10-19 release notes.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows institutions to enable the New Rich Content Editor for courses in the production environment before it is enabled by default for all institutions on 20 June 2020.

Additional Details

For more information about Rich Content Editor Enhancements, please see the Canvas Release: Rich Content Editor Enhancements document.

New Rich Content Editor interface

Rubrics

Rubric Criterion Range Feature Option Enforcement

 

Location to Enable Feature

Rubrics

Configuration Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Rubrics, Assignments, SpeedGrader

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Rubrics - add / edit / delete, Course Content - view

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Rubrics feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Rubrics

Original Feature Introduction

2017-10-07

 

Summary

Rubrics include a Range checkbox to create a point range for a criterion.

Change Benefit

This change allows rubric criteria can include a point range instead of just an individual point value.

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

When the Range checkbox is allowed and selected, each rating displays a maximum and minimum point value. Ranges are managed the same way as non-range rubrics. Ratings can be divided, edited, and removed individually, and total point value changes automatically adjust for all rating values.

Rubric criterion Range checkbox

When a rubric is added to an assignment, range options are not displayed if the free-form comment option is selected.

Rubric comparison in assignments with free-form comments

In SpeedGrader, rubric values can be selected by an entire range. Students can also view the ranges in the assignment details page and when viewing the rubric in the Grades page. The first value in the range is assigned for the point value.

SpeedGrader view of criterion range

Users

Personal Pronouns

 

Affected Canvas Areas

All Canvas areas that display user names

Configuration Details

Account Settings

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Account-level settings - manage

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Users feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Users

Community Idea Contribution

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5500-add-a-field-for-pronouns-to-the-profile-page 

Feature Video

 

 

Summary

If allowed by a Canvas admin, users can associate their user profiles with pronouns. If a user selects a pronoun, the pronoun displays after the user’s name.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to select a pronoun that represents themselves for a course. Selected pronouns apply for the user in any course where the user is enrolled.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

Admins can choose to enable pronouns for their institution in Account Settings. When the pronouns checkbox is selected, the page displays three default options: She/Her, He/Him, They/Them. The admin can keep or edit these defaults, as well as add additional pronoun options.

Account Settings Personal Pronouns options

All Users

If user pronouns have been enabled by a Canvas admin, users can visit their User Settings page, edit their settings, and select from the list of pronouns. Only pronouns set by the Canvas admin can be selected; users cannot manually add their own pronouns. Additionally, this feature is not associated with any account-level settings, so all users can set a pronoun by editing their user settings.

User Settings Pronoun option

Once a pronoun is selected by a user, the pronoun currently displays in the majority of Canvas course and user areas (as visible for each applicable role):

  • Account People page (admin)
  • Act as User page (admin)
  • Course Sections list (instructor)
  • Student Context Card (instructor)
  • SpeedGrader (instructor)
  • Assignment creation menu (instructor)
  • Assignment peer review page (instructor)
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Settings page/User profile page
  • Inbox
  • Discussions
  • Course People page
  • Groups People page
  • Comment Fields

Note: LTI tools, such as New Quizzes and Analytics, do not currently support pronouns as they need to incorporate this feature in a future release.

Pronouns placement example

Platform/Integration

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Theme Editor

Responsive Layout

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.

Affected Canvas Areas

Canvas Interface

Configuration Details

Responsive Layout Feature Option

Feature Option Enforcement

2020-02-15

Location to Enable Feature

Theme Editor (Upload Tab)

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Theme Editor feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

theme

 

Summary

Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines.

Change Benefit

This change ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.

Affected Canvas Users

Admins

Institutions implementing custom JavaScript or CSS through the Theme Editor should review the WAI reflow standards and their current code to ensure no conflicts exist with Canvas pages.

This responsive layout change is enabled by default in the beta environment, but it can also be optionally tested in the production environment until 2020-02-15 with the Responsive Layout feature option in Account Settings. 

On 2020-02-15, the feature option will be enabled for all accounts in the production environment by default.

Release Notes Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date
2020-01-18

Changed—Updated Features

  • New Gradebook: Sort Options—production availability changed to Monday, 20 January
2020-01-14

Added—Updated Features

  • Attendance: Do Not Count Toward Final Grade Settings Checkbox
2020-01-07Added available feature videos (from screencast) to feature sections
2019-12-23Release Notes Published
Labels (1)
Comments

Hi erinhallmark - thanks for this! A few questions on the Rich Content Editor piece. First off, there is a link a Google Doc that isn't public. It's also stated that "The existing Rich Content Editor is deprecated." but this is misleading since I understood June 2020 to be the date that the existing RCE will be deprecated? Thanks for your help and happy holidays! Tim

Thanks, Tim! Good catch. I've updated that link.

Deprecation is the date when our team starts channeling all focus into the new functionality as compared to the old functionality. We technically deprecate the older functionality when we make the new functionality generally available in the production environment. So starting in January, the existing (old) RCE is deprecated, and we'd like you to start thinking about using the New Rich Content Editor. The end of life for the old RCE is June, which is when we'll turn on the New RCE for everyone by default. Does that help? We've explained these terminology adjustments in Upcoming Canvas Changes.

Thanks!

Erin 

Thanks Erin! Very helpful!

Tim

RE: Personal Pronouns.

I am glad to see this implemented in Canvas because it shows that Canvas and educational institutions care about human dignity and are respecting its users.  Until reading these release notes I had not been aware that Canvas was working on implementing this functionality.

Upon seeing this in the release notes, I read the comments in the feature idea and there seems to be differences between how this is being implemented.  A user from Palo Alto University and developer from Atomic Jolt posted a few comments with mock-ups of what was developed and offered their time and money to develop this because of how long it was taking to implement the feature and because of its importance.

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5500#comment-149158 (Jan Habarth -- Sep 17, 2019 5:40 PM)

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5500#comment-149697 (Scott Hines @ Jan Habarth -- Sep 25, 2019 12:39 PM)

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5500#comment-150440 (Dani Morris -- Oct 8, 2019 8:44 AM)

directly linking to the comment does not seem to be working... I apologize for the time zone confusion

One question that I have (mainly because of the differences presented in the feature idea and what has been included in the release notes) is what if someone has two sets of pronouns that they use? An example would be that I use he/him/his but I also use they/them/their.

Based on my limited experience with how this is going to be implemented in Canvas, having multiple sets of pronouns does not seem to be possible.

I'm confused about the postable submission comments. If an assignment has manual grade posting policy, do students automatically see the submission comments? Or are is it possible for them to be released separately from the grades? Or are they released at the same time as the grades? 

Would it be possible to just have the pronoun to be a blank text field rather than a dropdown? Some students use pronouns other than the three options, and since this realm of language is adapting quickly, it would be difficult for admins to anticipate every set. A text field would also give students the opportunity to indicate they prefer not to have pronouns. Here's more information: How Do I Use Your Pronouns Correctly? — MyPronouns.org Resources on Personal Pronouns 

I like the format of what Palo Alto came up with.

333751_pa-pronouns1 (1).png

Definitely a huge step in the right direction, but I think allowing students to write them in would be more respectful. 

Hi Katie,

Yes, it would be possible to design the pronouns feature to be a text container in which the user could write anything they wanted to (character limit permitting I suppose). However, at this time the feature has been designed to allow institutions to set their own choices.  Admins may elect to keep all or none of the default values and can add or take away as many choices as they choose going forward.  Thank you for sharing your opinion on this issue.  I personally think your point of view is valid.  I would imagine that with most features people care about the conversation around this one will continue.

I'd like to try out the "Student Assignment Enhancements" in our Beta instance so I turned it "On" for all courses.  Subsequently, I have gotten a "Sorry, something broke" page every time I try to open an "Online submission" assignment as a Student.  After I turned the "Assignment Enhancements - Student" feature off things returned to a working state.   There's a "Report Issue" button on the error page, and I used it, but seven days later, the error persists and I've received no indication that the report was received.  So I'm trying here.

I agree with what venitk@uwec.edusaid in her/their comment and it seems that what was purposed and discussed in the feature idea and its comments is different than what will be implemented, leading to (potential) confusion and (potential) feelings of the user community being ignored.  Pronouns and inclusive language are a rapidly changing part of our society, deeply personal for someone, and expecting LMS administrators to be on top of all of the possibilities will/may be difficult to handle.

Based on what I originally said, it will not be possible for someone to have a combination of two sets (he/him/his/they/them/their) unless a combined entry is also created ahead-of-time by an administrator.

An admin will have to create entries for "she/her/hers", "he/him/his", "they/them/their", "she/her/hers/they/them/their", and "he/him/his/they/them/their". Doing this will create two extra entries, and that is before even considering other gender-neutral pronouns.

It would be helpful if it were possible for there to be either (1) a blank text field and then someone could provide their own pronoun(s) or (2) for someone to select multiple sets (such as checkboxes instead of a dropdown menu) that have already been created by an administrator.

My institution has been a Canvas customer for almost two calendar years and I have a question, and I apologize in advance if this is the incorrect venue to ask it but it feels appropriate.  I thought that the Canvas Community feature ideas process was supposed to be an area for someone in the community to purpose something to Canvas and then for the community to provide feedback and vote on the idea.  If there is enough support, consensus, and it is possible to implement, the feature is then developed.  Am I wrong?  If I am wrong, what is its purpose?  If I am right, was the process followed?

Hi Douglas,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the pronouns feature as it stands today and also asking about the feature development process more generally.

I see what you mean about the list of possible pronouns potentially becoming long and unwieldy and also about it being difficult or impossible for a technical admin to anticipate every potential combination or pronoun choice.  Those are both two possible weaknesses with the current system.

As far as venues go; the release notes comments are generally an appropriate place to ask questions about what is changing in the current release - how and when and who will be affected, etc.  The feature forums are a great place to share feedback about new features that might be developed in the future as well as on how existing features and functionality could be better.  We do take into consideration how many votes and what concerns have been shared in the comments when deciding what totally new things to build.  We will also often go back and look at all the feature ideas related to a given area in Canvas, and all their comments, before we begin to update a given user experience.  If you look back far enough in the process you will find examples of things that began as new feature ideas that were implemented and then have been improved upon and updated with input from the community as time goes by. 

Thank you for your response, scottd@instructure.com, and clarification about the feature ideas process.  I look forward to seeing how this specific feature will improve and evolve as Canvas continues to mature.

Hi venitk@uwec.edu‌ - Having just awoken from my long winter's nap gotten back from our holiday break, I was curious about this, too, and tried it out on a sample class in Beta.  Basically, YES....it is possible for comments to be released separately from the grades if the instructor has not input a grade yet.  So, in my experiment I added comments to the student's submissions but did not grade them.  When I went to post--again, meaning the comments but not the grades--Canvas states in the dialog box  All students will be able to see their grades and/or submission comments.  You can then "post" them just like grades.  (The confirmation dialog box even states that their "grades" have been posted, even if you just input comments...which may be a bit confusing.)  It's important to note that this includes inline document comments in the DocViewer, and not just the general comments on the side of SpeedGrader.  (I might suggest that this information be included in the release notes, if I may be so bold, just to ensure that people realize it's all comments.)  I masqueraded as a couple of the students to double-check this, and basically they see everything that they normally would when grades were posted....even if the grade was not input yet.

Where I think this may get confusing, however, is what happens when the instructor wants to then add a grade in cases where comments have already been posted.  In the case of assignments where comments were posted, any grades input later WILL be posted automatically. There is not a separate "post grades" option anymore.  This is kind of implied in the release notes by pointing out that the instructor can still "hide" grades, but I can see where instructors might be caught off-guard by this, perhaps thinking that the grades are not visible to students yet, even if the comments are.  But unless the instructor also later HIDES the grades, any grades input will be seen automatically.

I hope I'm wrong, but (as they say in Star Wars) I have a bad feeling about this......  I realize that this feature was introduced because many users wanted this exact ability, but I fear it may add to the confusion with manual/automatic grade posting.  Fortunately, I imagine it's a minority out there who will want to post comments but not the grade, but who knows??

I mean no disrespect but I have to disagree with what some have suggested about having the pronoun field be a blank text entry box.  Don't get wrong I would love to let people enter their own, but from my years of being an admin on various systems; I just don't trust people.  Years ago at a different school using a different LMS, the option was set to let people change their names.  Members of the basketball team all changed their names to their nicknames; many of which were offensive.  I quickly learned not to let people change their names on an LMS, even though I would love to let them do so in legitimate cases (Rebecca goes by Becky, Robert goes by Bob, etc).  If you let students in an LMS put whatever they want in the pronoun field, I'm afraid of what some may enter in an attempt to be funny, offensive, or just rude.  As such I'd rather have an LMS admin manage what can and can't be entered for possible pronouns.

Rick

rmurchshafer@unomaha.edu, I understand your concern completely and that is why we do not allow a user to change their name in Canvas.  At our institution we make use of the "preferred first name" field in our SIS and whatever is entered into that field is automatically used transferred to Canvas instead of what appears in their "first name" field.  We have had some interesting data transferred to Canvas (including unicode characters for emojis) and we deal with them (we have maybe a dozen a semester) accordingly when they are brought to our attention by the student or by faculty.  Having a list of approved sets of pronouns does prevent anything from being used as a pronoun, which is why I made reference to having the option to select multiple approved sets of pronouns instead of only one.

Ultimately, I will do what is necessary to provide our students with a range of pronoun possibilities that have been vetted by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and/or its Safe Zone Subcommmittee ( I am a member of both of them) so that our users are respected.

"(The confirmation dialog box even states that their "grades" have been posted, even if you just input comments...which may be a bit confusing.)"

I agree, kblack@dom.edu this will be VERY confusing. 

"It's important to note that this includes inline document comments in the DocViewer, and not just the general comments on the side of SpeedGrader."

This is a red flag for me, and I'm not sure what the utility of it would be. I could sort of see wanting to release comments in case you want to tell students something through SpeedGrader, but I don't see the value of releasing inline doc comments separate from a grade. Won't that increase student anxiety? 

"This is kind of implied in the release notes by pointing out that the instructor can still "hide" grades, but I can see where instructors might be caught off-guard by this, perhaps thinking that the grades are not visible to students yet, even if the comments are.  But unless the instructor also later HIDES the grades, any grades input will be seen automatically."

Also, the instructor would have to HIDE grades after every grade inputted, correct? HIDE still only works retroactively, on grades not yet assigned. 

I also have a bad feeling about this, and I would strongly suggest to Canvas that before additional complexities are added to the grade posting policy, they need to work to simplify it back to the point where it's intuitive for instructors, or at the other extreme, so complicated that it doesn't SEEM intuitive so they know they have to really understand the guides before clicking buttons. At this point, it seems intuitive but it's not, which is a broken tool, IMO. I hate to keep self-promoting my idea, but I really really think the GPP needs to be fixed before it's adjusted, which is what I'm proposing in this idea: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/15561-gradebook-and-speedgrader-dropdown-visible-invisible-and... . I really don't care if my idea is used to fix the GPP, but something needs to happen to simplify it before it's made more robust. The more complex features of the GPP need to be put behind something like an Advanced Features or More Options thing so instructors aren't tempted to do things they don't understand. 

Interesting points, Rick.  I would be curious what Palo Alto's experience has been with allowing students to write in their own pronouns. dani.morris‌, would you be able to comment on whether allowing students to write in their pronouns has led to an abuse of power?

venitk@uwec.edu‌, regarding "I could sort of see wanting to release comments in case you want to tell students something through SpeedGrader, but I don't see the value of releasing inline doc comments separate from a grade. Won't that increase student anxiety?" I don't see that as anxiety-inducing and that for essays it can be a useful tool to provide feedback and allow students to edit/resubmit work before the instructor scores it. That said, I think there are so many if-this-then-that scenarios with the grade posting feature, that I don't know if I'm going to promote this new feature to our teachers since it just adds one more layer of confusion to the tool.

Speaking strictly from my own experience (etc) I can say that I was previously an admin of one of the other LMSs that Rick is referring to and we also had trouble with students changing their own names. Sometimes they changed them to something in bad taste or simply something silly.  More often we had trouble where an instructor or the registrar would contact the eLearning office about a missing student, only to find that the student was on the roster but had changed their first and last names in the LMS due to legal name change, nickname, etc.  Eventually we punted and referred all name change requests to Registration.  In my current life I am a member of another social network where users have begun adding pronouns using the existing title field.  We have had several instances of people adding crude or insensitive pronouns, usually in an attempt to be funny.   None of these challenges have been insurmountable but they are real.

I got the same thing as well. I submitted a case too. 

hesspe@bc.edu, I experienced the same issue when I set the submission to "Online". When I changed the submission type back to "On Paper", it resolved the error. I've submitted a ticket to support.

Regarding Grade Posting Policy, my teachers do not like the most recent change.  The interface is not clear and understandable and more than once the teachers have been taken off guard by releasing a grade without intending to.  Many teachers who grade papers (much less those grading quizzes and assignments), want to read every paper and comment on it and then review BEFORE assigning any grades.  Am I understanding that these comments would be visible to students even if Manual was chosen and Hide was chosen?  I agree that Canvas needs to take a look at the user interface for this process.  It's way too complicated and potentially problematic.  Even the name "posting policy" is confusing; the mute function was great and clear to understand.  I look forward to hearing more about how this feature set develops.  Thanks.  

Hi vrichter@exeter.edu‌ - When I was playing around with this new feature, as outlined above, I can assure you that students will NOT see any comments whatsoever unless the instructor specifically opts to click Post grades.  That will still work as it always has; no post....no seeing things.  The confusion may result now when the instructor does want to reveal comments, but NOT necessarily grades. I agree that the whole automatic/manual process has been a bit rocky, though.  In case you or your faculty have not seen it yet, I think that the following documentation will be incredibly helpful to assist folks used to the previous muting ability: New Gradebook and SpeedGrader Muting Behavior Changes .  I plan on pointing this page out to my own faculty once the questions inevitably start rolling in.

audra_agnelly@hcpss.org‌ every one of my faculty has refused to use the grade posting policies at all, despite using the mute button before. So, I will also not be introducing this other layer of confusion with the tool, although I think the ability to make grades invisible while grading is really valuable. It's a shame. 

"I can assure you that students will NOT see any comments whatsoever unless the instructor specifically opts to click Post grades "

Just to clarify, Ken means as long as the course/assignment is set to manual. 

I like having the shuffle answers option in the new quiz settings but I have an issue with the way it doesn't work with the individual question settings. Many instructors will use questions that require the answers to not be shuffled. Currently, in the individual question settings instructors can check a box to shuffle answers.Since these types of questions are rarely used, it would be better if this option was the opposite (see first screen shot). Then it could be used to coordinate with the quiz settings  (see second screen shot). For our instructors, this is a very sore point with the current quiz tool. In the new quiz tool, the instructor will still need to set this option for each individual question when they have some questions' answers they don't want shuffled in a quiz. That is a lot of unnecessary editing!

new quiz options for multiple choice question

new quiz settings

About: Rich Content Editor Interface Enhancements.  From my testing it appears that if the feature option is set to "Allow" in the account, and the new RCE is switched to "On" in a course, it can later be switched back to "Off" in the course with no adverse effects.  I'd like to have someone who knows or who has also tested this affirm or correct that observation.  Thanks.

Regarding the ability to show preferred pronouns for a user, will there be any option to populate these to a user's profile through SIS feeds from a SIS system?

That is correct, Katie...the assignment must be set to manual.  (Sorry for the delayed reply...I didn't see it until just now!)

This would be helpful for institutions, hopefully at least through API and CSV.

I just tested with a Text Entry assignment and did not run into this issue. Have you tried again recently?

I still am. In the browser network panel, there's a request that's returning a 504 error when I try to view the assignment from Student View. Canvas Support is not encountering an error when my test assignment on their side, but they're looking into it. 

I shared this on the Canvas Release: Direct Share page as well, but I think there's more eyes here on the release notes:

I'm so excited about this feature! For teacher's who want to duplicate content between courses, it's a real time-saver. I have some questions about sharing and notification settings, specifically when some one shares/copies between their own courses.

  1. When I copied an assignment from one of my courses to another, the due date and publish state carried over from the original course. If that assignment comes over published, will students receive a notification (if they have due date notifications on)?
  2. With copied announcements, I see the copied announcement has the unread blue dot next to it and that the Posted On date/time is empty. I opened my announcement, selected edit, made a small change and saved the announcement. The Posted On date/time field remained blank. I also noticed that the image icon next to the announcement just displays the letter "U", unlike my other announcements which show my profile picture; my name also doesn't appear anywhere in the announcement header. The only way I could populate the Posted/On field was to enter a delay posting on date (this change still didn't show me as the author). So, if an announcement is copied, will students be able to see it even though the posted on field is empty? Will they receive a notification when the announcement is copied or do we need to enter a delay post date/time to force a notification? 

Hi, Peter,

The New Rich Content Editor doesn't have changes that restrict it from being turned off at this time.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Evan,

Yes, eventually that is an improvement our product team will incorporate.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Audra,

Please see the response on the Direct share page. Smiley Happy

Thanks!

Erin

erinhallmark‌, in the September release it mentions that the anonymous feature option will be enforced for all institutions. But I can't see any mention of it here, has this been delayed?

In regards to the direct share, when will modules and files include this functionality? Is there any plan to add these elements in?

In the Direct Share flow, could the final dialog could be updated with a Done button instead of only Cancel or the modal X to close it out? It's a little unclear at that point how to close the modal (the x is small, Cancel feels like it'll cancel the operation).

334305_2020-01-07_11-39-57.png

Bethan,

The official source of truth for changes is the Upcoming Canvas Changes‌ page, and Anonymous Grading was removed. Our product team ultimately decided not to enforce that feature.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Bethan,

This is the first release of this feature and additional enhancements are pending.

Thanks!

Erin

Hi, Susan,

Thanks for the feedback and we've passed it on to our product team.

Erin

Agreed, bbennett@elkhart.k12.in.us . This is a neat feature, but I found that a bit odd, as well. To add to Brian's point, after the user clicks Send and they see that green check mark, as Brian's screen capture shows, the user is stuck with a dialog box on the screen.  Clicking Cancel might imply to the user that it would cancel what they just did, despite the "Content share started successfully" message.  On the other hand, Send is now grayed out (correctly), since it was already sent.  As Brian suggests, having that Send change to Done would make things a lot clearer for the end-user rather than having to close out the dialog box with the X.

I apologize if I missed this already discussed.  Is there any place within Canvas where Student Pronouns will be seen by other students?  Such as in Discussions...  Asking for the K12 folks.  We are SUPER excited about this feature! 

Hi, Beth,

Yes, the lists show all the areas where pronouns can be seen. It's quite a lot! Smiley Happy

Thanks,

Erin

RE: Direct Share

I note, as an admin, when I use the direct share feature I am seeing multiple iterations of the same course with the same name. As our academics teach the same course semester after semester, they are going to run into the same issue. It would be great to see the course code/SIS ID underneath each of the courses (much like the ToDo list) so I know which version I am copying my content too. 

334364_pastedImage_1.png 334365_pastedImage_2.png

100% agree with this.  Anywhere that a course name is displayed the course code also needs to be displayed.  only the course code is unique.

I'm glad to see this feature but I agree that this should not be a user editable field.  There are just too many issues and too hard to check everything.  On the comment above with the prefered name, we had an issue at UoM because preferred name is not actually used in most of the Canvas UI so we have been forced to use our prefered name data from the SIS to populate the Name fields for Canvas for many of the same reasons the pronouns are important.  Legal names dont always match daily use names in systems of record.

Yes, this!! Please!

I like your suggestion dbrace@lccc.edu‌ to use checkboxes instead of a dropdown menu. This seems to strike the right balance between user flexibility and admin management, and avoids having to create an unwieldy list of pronoun permutations.

I'm hoping that a future iteration of the pronoun field will allow us to import values from SIS data.

I'll add my +1 to the comments that bbennett@elkhart.k12.in.us and kblack@dom.edu have shared above.  Having a Done button would be nice here.

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