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Canvas Release Notes (2020-07-18)

Canvas Release Notes (2020-07-18)

In this Canvas release (July 18), multiple previously introduced features are being enforced for all Canvas customers. Additionally, the code file that manages the Canvas supported browser banner will be updated to reflect the two most recent versions of Firefox and Chrome. The Alexa Canvas Skill is deprecated and will be removed from the Amazon store.

External Tools (LTI)

  • For institutions using Commons, the Commons menu includes a link that displays frequently used Commons guides.
  • For institutions using New Quizzes, Respondus LockDown Browser is supported.

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

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


Release Notes Change Log

Updated Features

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Assignments

Direct Share Enforcement

 

Original Release Date

2020-01-18

Affected Canvas Areas

User Navigation, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Pages

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Direct Share feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

direct_share

Feature Video

Assignments: Direct Share (2020-01-18 Screencast)

Summary

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

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users 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.

Assignments Send to and Copy to menus highlighted

Due and Availability Date Bulk Edit Enforcement

 

Original Release Date

2020-04-18, 2020-06-20

Affected Canvas Areas

Assignments

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Assignments feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

assignments

Feature Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/2214-adjust-all-assignment-and-quiz-dates-on-a-single-page 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16898-bulk-update-selectedall-assignments 

Feature Video

Assignments: Due and Availability Date Bulk Edit (2020 Ready Releases)

Assignments: Bulk Editing Enhancements (2020-06-20 Screencast)

 

Summary

The Assignments page supports editing all assignment, discussion, and quiz dates in a single page.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows assignment dates to be adjusted at one time in the same location.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

The Assignments Settings menu includes an option to Edit Assignment Dates. This option displays all existing assignments in a single page arranged by due date. 

Edit Assignment Dates menu

Assignments with the same due date are listed in alphabetical order. The full name of an assignment is included in the hover text for the assignment. Dates can be selected via the Calendar icon or by typing a date directly in the text field. Currently times cannot be adjusted within the page and are set to the default of 11:59 pm.

For assignments with multiple due dates, all due dates display below the Everyone Else date, and the student, section, or group is right-aligned in the assignment name column. Only due dates and availability dates can be edited in this page—details such as changing the specific group or section assigned to the assignment must be edited directly within the assignment.

 Edit Assignment Page multiple dates with individual student and group

The Edit Assignment Dates page supports enhancements to select multiple assignments, batch edit dates, and improve date validation. These changes provide faster management of assignment dates in a course.

Bulk Selection

Each heading and assignment row includes a checkbox that can be used to select assignments. The checkbox in the heading can be used to select all assignments. The top of the page displays the number of selected assignments.

Bulk Assignment Select by Date Range

If an assignment includes overrides (differentiated assignments), only the main assignment includes a checkbox.

Bulk Assignment Override Dates

Note: Checkboxes are grayed out for assignments that cannot be edited, such as if the assignment falls in a closed grading period.

Assignments can also be selected by choosing a specific date range.

Bulk Assignment Select by Date Range

Batch Edit Dates

Assignments can be managed in bulk by selecting the assignments and then selecting the Batch Edit Dates button. The batch edit feature allows multiple assignments to shift all dates by a specific number of days (including differentiated assignment overrides, if any). Assignment due dates can also be removed for the selected assignments.

The OK button applies the desired changes for the selected assignments, but changes are not applied to the course until the Edit Assignment Dates page is saved.

Batch Edit Dates

Assignment Changes

Any assignment that includes a date change includes a Remove icon. Icons display for both assignments manually updated or updated via batch edit. Changes can be reverted by clicking the Remove icon next to the applicable row.

Bulk Assignment Remove Icons

Validation Errors

If the date validator discovers individual errors, the error is displayed immediately near the due or availability date with the error. Previously errors were displayed only after page updates were processed.

Bulk Assignment Errors

Once all dates have been adjusted, changes must be saved via the Save button. The status of the page updates can be viewed in the status percentage bar, which displays the percentage of changes saved to the page.

Edit Assignment Date Percentage of Completion

Limited Submission Attempts Enforcement

 

Original Release Date

2020-04-18

Location to Enable Feature

Assignments

Affected Canvas Areas

Assignments

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Assignments feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

assignments

Community Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1799-restrict-assignment-submission-attempts 

Feature Video

Assignments: Limited Assignment Attempts (2020 Ready Releases)

Summary

Submission attempts can be limited in Canvas assignments.

 

Change Benefit

This feature allows instructors to limit submission attempts for students.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Instructors

By default, assignments can be submitted an unlimited number of times. However, instructors can choose to limit the number of attempts a student can make for an assignment by using the Attempts menu.

Assignment Limited Attempts

Students

When an assignment is limited in attempts, they’ll see the number of attempts they’ve made as well as the number of allowed attempts.

Student View with Number of Attempts

Blueprint Courses

Blueprint Association Course Publishing Enforcement

 

Original Release Date

2020-03-28

Location to Enable Feature

Blueprint Associations

Affected Canvas Areas

Blueprint Courses, Associated Courses

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Blueprint Course feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Blueprint

Community Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/14158-give-domain-canvas-admins-the-ability-to-mass-publish-cl... 

Feature Video

Blueprint Courses: Blueprint Association Course Publishing (2020 Ready Releases)

 

Summary

Courses associated with a Blueprint course can be published as part of the initial Blueprint sync.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows admins to choose if they want to publish all associated courses as part of the sync process.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

Courses associated with Blueprint courses may be taught by instructors who are not the creator of the course content. When admins associate courses with a Blueprint Course, admins may choose to ensure that courses are published as part of the association sync by selecting the Publish Upon Association checkbox. However, admins can choose to disregard this checkbox and publish courses using another method.

Blueprint Publish Checkbox

Commons

Commons Guides Help Menu

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.

Feature Functionality Details

Commons LTI

Affected Canvas Areas

Commons LTI

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing Commons feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Commons

Feature Video

 

Summary

The Commons menu includes a link that displays frequently used Commons guides.

Change Summary

This change helps Commons users quickly access resources about Commons.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

In the Commons menu, instructors can view a Commons Guides link, which displays a sidebar that includes commonly accessed Commons guides. This sidebar can be accessed as needed.

Commons Guides Menu

Courses

Instructor Publishing Improvements Enforcement

 

Original Release Date

2020-04-25

Affected Canvas Areas

Card View Dashboard, Courses Menu, All Courses Page

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

Existing course publishing feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

publish

Community Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8934-show-publishedunpublished-status 

Feature Video

Courses: Instructor Publishing Improvements (2020 Ready Releases) 

Summary

The Dashboard, Courses menu, and All Courses page display both published and unpublished courses.

Change Benefit

This change helps instructors see what courses are unpublished in various Canvas locations.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

The Dashboard, Courses menu, and All Courses page all indicate if any courses are unpublished.

Dashboard

The Dashboard displays two sections: published courses and unpublished courses. Unpublished courses display at the bottom of the Dashboard.

Note: The Dashboard only displays favorited courses for the current term or course dates.

Dashboard Published and Unpublished Courses

If an instructor has been given the Course State - Manage permission, courses can be published directly from the Dashboard without having to open the course. The existing behavior for publishing courses still applies—Canvas will display the window to select a home page if no Modules exist in the course.

Unpublished Courses Heading and Publish Button

Once published, the course displays in the Published Courses section. 

Dashboard with Published Courses

Courses Menu

From Global Navigation, the Courses menu also displays courses as published and unpublished. Once a course is published, the Unpublished heading is removed, and the published course is listed along with the other published courses.

Note: The Courses Menu only displays favorited courses for the current term or course dates.

Courses List with Unpublished Heading

All Courses Page

In the All Courses page, unpublished courses are identified with a gray background if they are within the current term or course dates and display at the end of the section. Unpublished courses in past or future enrollments also display at the end of the section, but they are not indicated with the gray background.

Once the course is published, the gray background is removed.

Courses page with shaded unpublished course

Modules

File Upload Enhancements Enforcement

Original Release Date

2020-05-16

Affected Canvas Areas

Modules, Modules Home Page

Affects User Interface

Yes   

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Modules feature ideas 

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

modules

Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5443-drag-and-drop-files-into-course-modules-and-assignment-ed... 

Feature Video

Modules: Multiple File Uploads (2020 Ready Releases)

 

Summary

Instructors can add multiple module content from the Course Home Page or the Modules page. Additionally, the Course Home Page has received small design modifications.

 

Change Benefit

This change helps instructors build module content with multiple files at one time, using the same functionality supported in Course Files.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When Modules is selected as the Course Home Page, instructors can add new module content directly in the Course Home Page. With a new course, instructors are shown the option to create a new module. The Import Existing Content option displays in the Course Home Page sidebar as an additional button.

Modules in Home Page

Once a module name has been added and saved, the module displays a files area to drag and drop multiple files. Users can also browse for files by selecting them from their computer desktop.

Modules Upload

 

Module Items

In the module’s Add Item window, the File selection allows multiple files to be uploaded at one time. The number of selected files are displayed next to the Choose Files button. Once added, the files are uploaded to Canvas, and the progress of the file upload displays directly in the module window. When file uploads are complete, the names of the files are shown directly in the window. 

 

If an uploaded file is a duplicate of an existing file, Canvas displays a prompt asking if the file should be overwritten, renamed, or skipped.

Modules Files when Uploading Multiple Files

 

Notifications

Course Notifications Enforcement

Original Release Date

2020-04-18, 2020-06-20

Affected Canvas Areas

Course Home Page

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Notifications feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Notifications

Community Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/3663-notifications-by-course 

Feature Video

Notifications: Mute Notifications by Course (2020-04-18 Release)

Courses: Course-Level Notification Preferences (2020-06-20 Release)

 

Summary

Users can mute all notifications for a course where the user is enrolled. The Course Notification Settings page allows users to mute all notifications for a course where the user is enrolled. Additionally, users can enable or disable specific course notifications.

 

Change Benefit

This change allows users to manage notification preferences within an individual course.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

When course notifications are enabled, the Course Home Page displays a View Course Notifications button. The icon in the button displays the status of the notifications: enabled or disabled.

Course Notifications Home Page Button

Course notifications are enabled by default. In the Course Notification Settings page, users can choose to disable notifications for the course.

Course Notifications Settings

The Course Notification Settings page also supports granular notifications for the course.

The Notification Preferences page for a user’s account specifies the user’s notification preferences and communication channels for all courses, and preferences are automatically passed down to each course in the Course Notification Settings page.

Notification Preferences and Course Permissions

If a supported notification preference is changed for a user’s account in the Notification Preferences page, that preference will also be reflected within each course as long as none of the notifications are manually changed. 

The Course Notification Settings page only displays the following notification types:

  • Course Activities
  • Discussions
  • Scheduling
  • Conferences

Once a notification preference is changed at the course level, the course creates a notification override, meaning it is no longer associated with the preference set in the Notification preferences page. Any additional changes for that notification type must continue to be managed within the course. Notification preferences available within the course are identified by icon: notify immediately, daily summary, weekly summary, and notification turned off. 

If SMS notifications are enabled for a user, the page also displays notification types that are not supported.

Course Notification Settings

Rubrics

Course Navigation Rubrics Link Enforcement

Original Release Date

2020-04-18

Affected Canvas Areas

Course Navigation, Outcomes

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Rubrics - add / edit / delete

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Admins, Instructors

Feature Enhancement Ideas

View existing Rubric feature ideas

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Rubrics

Community Idea Contributions

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/13491 

Feature Video

Rubrics: Course Navigation Rubrics Link (2020-04-18 Release)

 

Summary

The Manage Rubrics button has been removed from the course-level Outcomes page and added to the Course Navigation Menu.

Change Benefit

This change allows course rubrics to be accessed more quickly. Additionally, the workflow is more intuitive as outcomes are not required within a rubric.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

At the account level, the Rubrics button already exists in the Account Navigation Menu, but the Manage Rubrics button has also been removed from the Outcomes page.

Instructors

Rubrics can be accessed through Rubrics on the Course Navigation. 

Rubrics Link

Instructors who open the Outcomes page no longer view the Manage Rubrics button.

Outcomes Page with No Rubrics Button

Note: Rubrics can still be viewed in concluded courses but only in a read-only state. 

Other Updates

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Account Settings

Feature Option Enforcement Changes

The following feature options were previously announced as being enforced but will instead be transitioned to account/course settings: 

  • Assignments: Confetti for On-Time Submissions
  • Course Settings: Confetti for Valid Links
  • Courses: Canvas Elementary Theme
  • Courses: New User Tutorial 
  • Courses: Product Tour
  • Notifications: Slack Integration

Additional information about the transition of these features will be provided in a future release.

Community Idea Contribution: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16671-make-the-confetti-for-on-time-submissions-an-option 

Platform/Integration

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Browsers

New Quizzes LockDown Browser Support

The Respondus LockDown Browser is supported in New Quizzes.

The Respondus integration requires an external app, which is the same app used for Classic Quizzes. Once New Quizzes is enabled for an account, the LockDown Browser Dashboard displays both Classic and New Quizzes in the same list.

Student Experience

When LockDown browser is enabled for Classic Quizzes, students open the LockDown browser first and login to their account to navigate to their quiz. When LockDown browser is enabled for New Quizzes, however, the student workflow has been simplified where students begin using Canvas in their regular browser and LockDown browser will automatically launch when the exam begins. 

Settings Functionality

LockDown Browser can be selected on a per-quiz basis from the LockDown Browser Dashboard in each course. 

Settings for both the LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor are the same for both Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes.

The following versions are recommended for accessing LockDown Browser with New Quizzes:

  • Mac 2.0.6.06
  • Windows 2.0.6.07
  • iPad 8.2

Beta Environment Support

Canvas admins can request New Quizzes support be enabled for their beta environment by submitting a support request at support.respondus.com. This action is only required by admins who want to test New Quizzes with Respondus before July 18. After July 18, New Quizzes will be enabled for all environments and contacting Respondus Support will no longer be required.


For additional resources about New Quizzes in Canvas, please visit the Respondus website. Resources will be posted when available.

Community Idea Contribution: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/12515-quizzesnext-should-work-with-lockdown-browser-or-proctor... 

Unsupported Browser Banner Update

The Canvas code that manages supported browser versions will be updated on July 18, 2020 to reflect the two most recent versions of Firefox (77 and 78), Chrome (81 and 83—version 82 was skipped because of the pandemic), and Safari (12 and 13). This update brings alignment with the supported browser banner and the list of supported browsers in Canvas.

This update will affect users accessing Canvas in any browser below the minimum version requirement, including extended release browser versions. Chrome and Firefox both offer extended support release (ESR) browser versions. 

A delayed update to the warning banner does not suggest Canvas supports older browser versions. Canvas teams continue to actively test and update Canvas based on the last two versions of a browser only. Not updating a browser may affect performance and functionality for Canvas users.

Institutions using an ESR browser should be familiar with the following guidelines.

Chrome ESR

Canvas supports the last two versions of Chrome. The Chrome ESR browser can be kept up-to-date with the existing full version of Chrome at any time, which will prevent the browser from becoming outdated with Canvas support.

For institutions using Chrome ESR, consider always deploying the latest release to ensure the best Canvas user experience. Using a version of Chrome older than the last two versions can affect Canvas performance and functionality. Scheduled Chrome updates can be viewed in the Chrome Platform Status page.

Firefox ESR

Canvas supports the last two versions of Firefox. Firefox ESR is only updated with every seventh major version, which will cause Firefox ESR to overlap with outdated browser versions. Additionally, the Firefox ESR webpage notes that ESR may not be supported in every web application because of the version release delay. The current version of Firefox ESR is 68.8.0.

For institutions using Firefox ESR, consider switching to the full browser version to ensure the best Canvas user experience. Using a version of Firefox older than the last two versions can affect Canvas performance and functionality. Scheduled Firefox updates can be viewed in the Firefox Release Calendar.

Digital Skills

Alexa Integration End of Life

The Canvas Alexa integration has been deprecated. As of July 18, the Canvas skill will be unavailable for all existing users.

Release Notes Change Log

BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Date
2020-07-21     

Changed—Platform/Integration

  • Browsers: New Quizzes LockDown Browser Support [updated LockDown Browser Mac version to 2.0.6.06]
2020-07-20

Changed—Platform/Integration

  • Browsers: New Quizzes LockDown Browser Support [updated LockDown Browser versions for Mac (2.0.6.05); announced support for Windows and iPad]
2020-07-02

Added—Updated Features

  • Commons: Commons Guides Help Menu [added Feature Video link]
2020-06-22

Changed—Other Updates

  • Browsers: New Quizzes LockDown Browser Support [added additional details about LockDown Browser]
2020-06-22Release Notes Published
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