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Canvas Release Notes (2020-08-15)

Canvas Release Notes (2020-08-15)

In this Canvas release (August 15), the Account Navigation Menu includes a link to Global Announcements, where users can view current and recent announcements.

In courses, multiple pages can be deleted at one time in the Pages Index page. The Sections column can be hidden from students in the People page when more than one section exists in the course.

Feature Options

  • For institutions using the New SIS Integration Setting feature option, the Post to SIS button does not need to be removed for assignments in closed grading periods.

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

 

Canvas release summary by user role Canvas New Release Screencast Canvas Release Collaborative Chat


Release Notes Change Log

 

Updated Features

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Pages

Bulk Page Delete

Affected Canvas Areas

Pages

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Pages - Create

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

pages

Feature Idea Contributions

Delete Multiple Pages 

Feature Video

Pages: Bulk Page Delete (2020-08-15 Release)

 

Summary

Multiple pages can be deleted at one time in the Pages Index page.

Change Benefit

This change allows outdated content to be removed more quickly. Previously pages could only be deleted one at a time.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

The Pages Index page (View All Pages button) allows for multiple pages to be deleted at one time. Pages can be multi-selected by selecting a checkbox next to the pages.

Note: The delete functionality is disabled for the page designated as the Front Page. To delete the page used as the Front Page, a new Front Page must be set.

Pages bulk delete checkboxes

 

People

Course Section Column Student Visibility

Affected Canvas Areas

People

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

Users - view list

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors, Students

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

people

Feature Idea Contributions

Hide Section Visibility from Students 

Feature Video

People: Course Section Column Student Visibility (2020-08-15 Release)  

 

Summary

The Section column can be hidden from students in the People page when more than one section exists in the course.

Change Benefit

This change prevents students from viewing sections for other students when they have access to view the People page.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When a course includes more than one section, the Course Settings Details page includes an option to hide sections on the People page from students. Instructors can select this option for the course. 

Course Details tab with Hide sections option

 

When enabled, the Section column displays to instructors (and admins), as well as other user roles with People permissions.

People page with Section Column

 

Students

When the option to hide sections is enabled for the course, students are not able to view the Section column when viewing the People page.

Note: This functionality does not prevent students from identifying section information in other areas of Canvas, such as if students can send messages to all students in a section from their Inbox.

People Page Student View without Section Column


User Navigation

Global Announcements Page 

 

Affected Canvas Areas

User Navigation Menu

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Specified Tag for Feature Ideas

Announcements

Feature Idea Contributions

View Previous Global Announcements 

Feature Video

User Navigation: Global Announcements Page (2020-08-15 Release)  

 

Summary

The User Navigation Menu includes a link to Global Announcements, which displays current and recent announcements for the institution.

Change Benefit

This change allows users to view announcements that were previously dismissed from the Dashboard.

Affected User Roles

All Users

Global Announcements display as a notification in a user’s Dashboard if the user’s role is included for the announcement. Users can manually close the notification at any time. Closing the announcement displays an alert indicating that the announcement can be viewed again in the user’s Navigation Menu.

Dashboard notifications removal and notification about dismissed announcements

 

The Global Navigation link is located at the end of the User Navigation Menu.

Account Navigation Menu with Global Announcements Link

The Global Announcements page defaults to the Current Announcements tab, which displays all active announcements for the institution.

 

Global Announcements Current Tab

 

The Recent tab displays all announcements with an end date within the past four months.

Global Announcements Recent Tab

 

Platform/Integration

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Browsers

TLS Protocol Changes

Summary

TLS Protocols 1.0 and 1.1 are not supported in Canvas. Institutions must update to TLS 1.2 by 19 September or switch their API URLs to a legacy endpoint.

Change Benefit

This change ensures all customers are using the highest encryption protocols to protect user interactions with Canvas. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols support usage of ciphers that do not meet modern security standards.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Admins

Users who rely on browsers to interact with Canvas must update their TLS protocol to 1.2, as support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will no longer be available. Users should ensure they are using the latest version of each supported Canvas browser. Users may be affected if applications are parsing page content or using a script against Canvas APIs. Background regarding these changes can be found in Deprecating TLS 1.0 & 1.1.


Test Environment Support: 15 August 2020

  • Institutions can test changes to their TLS protocols using the Beta environment at any time. On 15 August, Canvas engineering will disable support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the Test environment. Institutions that still produce TLS 1.0 and 1.1 data will be contacted by their Customer Success Manager.

Legacy Endpoint Support: July 17, 2021

  • Institutions that are not able to transition to TLS 1.2 by 19 September should update their API URL to a legacy endpoint, which is created by adding legacyapi after the institution name (e.g. institution-name.legacyapi.instructure.com). Legacy endpoints will be supported until 17 July 2021.

 

For questions about this change, please see Customer TLS Protocols FAQ.

 

 

Release Notes Change Log

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Date  
2020-07-31

Changed—Platform/Integration

  • Added Customer TLS Protocols FAQ document
2020-07-28 Added Feature Video Links
2020-07-20 Release Notes Published
Labels (1)
Comments

For the Section Column Student Invisibility option – When I hide Section in People from students, I can’t see it as an admin. As the admin, I don't get the "Section" column at all on People. But when I Act As the teacher, I see it. (I’m in Beta and I tried it to two courses, each with multiple sections.) What does it do for the rest of you admins?

samitoelau@coastline.edu,

This is partially what I am seeing, but it seems to be worse than you have found. I am a root account admin.

  • For a course that I am a teacher in, I can select the checkbox and still see the sections. I would expect this.
  • For a course that I am a teacher and a student in, I can select the checkbox and still see the sections. I would expect this.
  • For a course that I am only a student in, the option does not even appear to me, despite me being a root account admin. This is a deviation from the normal behavior.
    353402_pastedImage_2.png
  • For a course that I am not enrolled in, the option is there to me as an administrator. Selecting it and then looking at the People page hides the sections for me. This is what you are seeing and is problematic.
    353403_pastedImage_3.png

The good news is that if I masquerade as a student in a course with this option set, I do not see the sections. This is the intent of the feature.

Hi, Sylvia,

In testing this functionality, I noticed that being able to view the Section column seems inconsistent for admin roles. But rest assured it does not display to students. My guess is it has something to do with other roles where you are also enrolled. Will you do us a favor and submit a support case just so we can track this behavior and see what may be causing this inconsistency?

Thanks!

Erin

I also don't see the option to even check the box as a lower-level admin.

Will Global Announcements have a Tab in the iOS and Android Apps, or will this be only available on a desktop/laptop device?

OK erinhallmark‌, I'll submit a support case. FYI - I'm a root level admin but I am enrolled in some courses with the role of student, or designer, or teacher.

Hi, Rebekah,

Mobile apps have their own update process for if and when they incorporate features from the web. This feature is for web browser use only at the moment. Mobile apps have their own release notes you can follow here: Release Notes: Mobile

Thanks!

Erin

Perfect! Thank you! New Admin, just getting use to reading all these great releases. Smiley Happy 

Welcome! We're happy to have you!

Will an api or graphQL endpoint be available for: 'Hide sections on the People page from students' ?

Hi, Stephen,

If it's something that customers request via our Ideas‌ page, it could probably be done. Our engineers don't automatically make all functionality available via API/GraphQL.

Thanks!

Erin

The article says institutions must update to TLS protocol 1.2 but gives no information on how to do that. I'd appreciate some clarification on the importance of this change in Canvas.  Does it just mean "use the most recent version of your web browser"?

Following, at least for the answer the browser question. I am concerned about the error messages I'm seeing on Beta concerning this TLS change, and supported browsers.

See the following:

Although I'm using up-to-date Firefox with TLS 1.2 (the "3" min version in the Firefox settings screenshot below means I am using at minimum TLS 1.2), as seen here in my Firefox settings,

353651_pastedImage_1.png

I still see a warning (screenshot below) that "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas" when I access our beta instance as of today (07-24-2020):

353652_pastedImage_2.png

The warning directs me to this page What are the browser and computer requirements for Canvas? 

And on that page, it warns me about supported browsers, as seen in the quote below. However, I am using Firefox 78.0.2, so I should be fine on the supported browser side as well.

Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:

  • Chrome 83 and 84
  • Firefox 77 and 78 (Extended Releases are not supported*)
  • Edge 83 and 84
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
  • Safari 12 and 13 (Macintosh only)

This is a long-winded way for me to ask, are we going to see these "Minimum requirement" warnings pop up for all of our users on August 18? Will they actually be blocked from using Canvas?

Same. I see: 'update to TLS 1.2; it's very important.' I think, 'let's do it.' No idea how, or what it even means. Did you ever find out?

Hi there, regarding the bulk page delete update, I noticed that it is not saving checked items if using the sort column function. If I select a couple of items to delete by checking the tick box, then decide to sort the pages by creation date, or last edit, or page title, those items that I had previously checked become unchecked. Is that expected behaviour? 

Also, thought I'd check out what happens if I delete a page that is linked to published course content. I'd love to have seen a warning as an Instructor that I was deleting 'live' pages, but I do not. The Link Validator is my saviour though as will pick that up. As a student, I got two error messages which I found a bit confusing, as there are two different messages conveyed. 

353702_pastedImage_1.png

@Glenn Pillsbury @Kevin Jackson  Did either of you get an answer to this?  I just recently received an email from Canvas saything that this affects our institution, but it did not say how or why.  Reached out to our CSM, but not sure if she will be able to provide any information.

353712_pastedImage_3.png

It's a networking setting that may need to be enabled in your Windows Internet settings.  UMass-Lowell has handy quick guide at https://www.uml.edu/docs/TLS%201.2%20Guide_tcm18-296238.pdf 

You are already using browsers that are TLS1.2 accessible, if you are using Canvas minimum browsers.

The Issue with TLS 1.2 is mostly related to clients making API calls.       If you have applications that are making API calls, such as LTI's you have developed, or using the SIS Import API to send data files to Canvas, or if you are working with 3rd party vendors that are making API calls using one of your API tokens, any of those may be using an HTTPS layer to make those calls that is not using TLS 1.2    In those cases, those applications will stop working on September 19th.   

I do wish this message gave some indication which API calls were being made  non-TLS1.2 , to help track down who or what is out of spec.   Even something simple like the API call being made and the IP address of that call would help.    Information about the owner of the API token would also help.    

Agreed.  I have at least a couple of each of these scenarios.  I will have to reach out to each on of our vendors to determine functionality and what they are using.  Not looking forward to that.  

Same issues for us .... even after updating the Firefox settings.

Hi, Christin,

We're checking on the browser update file.

Thanks,

Erin

Thanks, Kirsten,

I've asked our product manager to take a look at this.

Erin


The Issue with TLS 1.2 is mostly related to clients making API calls.       If you have applications that are making API calls, such as LTI's you have developed, or using the SIS Import API to send data files to Canvas, or if you are working with 3rd party vendors that are making API calls using one of your API tokens, any of those may be using an HTTPS layer to make those calls that is not using TLS 1.2    In those cases, those applications will stop working on September 19th.   


This may help someone here. I found a small snippet of python code that will test your TLS connection, if you are running your own API calls using python:

#!/usr/bin/python3

import requests

print(requests.get('https://www.howsmyssl.com/a/check',verify=False).json()['tls_version'])

I tried our beta instance again just now. Looks like the warning is gone. I assume it's fixed, so thank you!

We have FF ESR, so we still see warning in TEST and BETA. I know ESR is not approved, but we never had the warning popups before.

Another update:
If you got the "Your institution is affected by this change" email in regards to TLS, then contact your CSM. They should be able to provide you with a report of the IPs that were violating the new TLS requirements.

In my case, it was only 3 IPs, and a quick nslookup revealed that they were all ec2 instances on AWS that had been used for testing at one point. Those ec2 instances had since been shut down anyway, so this was a relief for our institution.

Hi, Ira,

We announced that we'd be updating the browser file in our last release. Details posted here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-26937-canvas-release-notes-2020-07-18#jive_content_id_Unsup... 

Thanks,

Erin

Thanks, Erin. Appreciate the info.

Hi there, I'm not sure if anyone has observed any instances when as a teacher, they have checked the box 'hide sections on the people page from students' in course details, and then not been able to see the section information themselves (as teachers) in the people space. I thought I saw it occur twice when testing, but have not been able to replicate it today. So I'm now questioning myself. Anyone else had this occur?

We've seen this behavior and think it may relate to user roles. If you would be so kind, please submit a support case so our Support team can investigate. Support cases will also let you know when our teams have triaged the behavior and have an update for you.

Thank you!

Erin

Hi, Glenn (and everyone!)

We've posted a resource that helps with additional information regarding the TLS update: Customer TLS Protocols FAQ. It's linked in the notes above as well.

Erin

There is a note for the People/section update:

Note: This functionality does not prevent students from identifying section information in other areas of Canvas, such as if students can send messages to all students in a section from their Inbox.

I am aware that students can see section info from the Inbox but which other areas of Canvas can they identify section information from (apart from People)? Thanks, Julia

We have scanned our list for vendors and internal calls, but have a few high hitters that appear as ISP's through nslookup?

hsd1.ar.comcast.net

res.spectrum.com

lsv2.qwest.net

san.res.rr.com

Does this make sense? Any idea what these might be, with hits as high as 1,879 for comcast.net?

 

Thanks for any help or advice ... Ira 

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