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Canvas Release Notes (2021-02-20)

Canvas Release Notes (2021-02-20)

In this Canvas release (February 20), LaTeX equations can be entered in any Canvas text field, and MathJax is loaded if Canvas detects an equation image added by delimited LaTeX characters.

The Rich Content Editor includes a pretty HTML editor in addition to the raw HTML editor.

For instructors, the Gradebook View menu includes the View Ungraded as 0 option, which is a visual change only and does not affect any grades. When grading periods are used in the Gradebook, the Gradebook CSV exporter will append the title of the selected grading period to column headers whose values vary based on grading period. Additionally, the Gradebook importer recognizes and can apply changes for final grade override scores.

 

For all resources and feedback information related to this release, see the Release Resources section at the end of this document.

Related Links

 

Updated Features

Back to Table of Contents

 

Courses

MathJax Equation Enhancements & Text Field LaTeX Characters

 

This feature is experiencing temporary behavior with Classic Quizzes. Currently this feature is disabled for all institutions, but admins can enable it at any time via two account-level feature options—
  • Math: Support LaTex math equations almost everywhere
  • Math: Updated equation handling

Once the Classic Quizzes behaviors have been confirmed as resolved by our engineers, these feature options will be enabled for all institutions.

Location to Enable Feature

Account Settings—Feature Options

Feature Functionality Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Any content area in Canvas

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Video

Courses: MathJax and LaTeX (2021-02-20 Release)


Summary

LaTeX equations can be entered in any Canvas text field, and MathJax is loaded if Canvas detects an equation image added by delimited LaTeX characters.

Change Benefit

This change allows users to use equations in more areas of Canvas and manage equations more efficiently.

Affected User Roles

All Users

LaTeX equations can be added in any text field in Canvas and are typeset or processed by MathJax. Equations can be added through manual entry, or through the Equation editor as supported in the Rich Content Editor.

Manually Entered Equations

Equations can be added manually in any Canvas area that includes a text field, such as the title of an assignment or in a calendar event. Manual entries must be formatted according to LaTeX specifications. For help using the LaTeX Editor, please see the Canvas Equation Editor Advanced PDF.

LaTex in the CalendarLaTex in the Calendar

 

Text fields support MathJax $$ or /( delimiters to identify equations. Adding equations added in a \(...\) format indicates the equation should be in an inline format. Generally, equations entered with text should be formatted inline. However, an equation in a $$...$$ format indicates the equation should be in a block format. 

Inline Example: 

\(area = \int_{a}^b f(x)dx\)

Block Example:

$$y = mx + b$$

LaTex in the Rich Content EditorLaTex in the Rich Content Editor

 
When saved, MathJax renders the LaTeX equations in the editor window as inline and block text, respectively.

 

Rendering of LaTex in the Rich Content EditorRendering of LaTex in the Rich Content Editor

 

Gradebook

View Ungraded as Zero

 

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

Gradebook

Feature Functionality Details

View Ungraded as Zero Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

Gradebook

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Related Idea Conversations

Allow View Ungraded as 0 in New Gradebook

Feature Video

Gradebook: View Ungraded as Zero (2021-02-20 Release)


Summary

The Gradebook View menu includes the View Ungraded as 0 option, which is a visual change only and does not affect any grades. 

Change Benefit

This change aligns parity with the Individual View Gradebook and provides instructors with a visual change in identifying grading calculations for ungraded assignments.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When this feature is enabled for an account, the View menu includes the View Ungraded as 0 option, which allows instructors to view student grades as if all ungraded assignments were worth zero points. This setting also persists for the Individual View Gradebook.

Each time the View Ungraded as 0 setting is selected, the Gradebook displays a window explaining the details about the setting. The user must agree to the details before the setting can be used.

This setting only affects the user’s view of student grades and displays grades as if all ungraded assignments were given a score of zero. This setting is a visual change only and does not affect grades for students or other users of the Gradebook. When the setting is enabled, Canvas will not populate zeros in the Gradebook for student submissions within individual assignments. Only the assignment groups and total columns will automatically factor in all scores of zero into the overall percentages for each student. 

View Ungraded as 0 MessageView Ungraded as 0 Message


When selected in the Gradebook, the View Ungraded as 0 option displays as a heading in all assignment group columns and the total column to indicate this feature is turned on in the Gradebook. This feature also includes grading periods, if used for a course.

Ungraded as 0 in HeadersUngraded as 0 in Headers

Enabling this option has no effect outside of the Gradebook; students cannot see any difference in their grade pages. Similarly, TAs or other instructors in the course will not see any change in their view of the Gradebook. Only the user who enables this option in the Gradebook will see the affected grades.  

Note: This feature affects the configuration of the Total Column in the Gradebook, which also applies to CSV Exports. The CSV file displays columns for the Current and Final scores: the Current score reflects the total while ignoring unsubmitted assignments (option disabled), and the Final score counts unsubmitted assignments as zero (option enabled). 

 

Grading Period in CSV Headers

Location to Enable Feature

Gradebook, Gradebook Export

Feature Functionality Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Gradebook

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Feature Video

Gradebook: CSV File Updates (2021-02-20 Release)


S
ummary

When grading periods are used in the Gradebook, the Gradebook CSV exporter will append the title of the selected grading period to column headers whose values vary based on grading period.

Change Benefit

This change helps instructors see which columns in the CSV are specific to the grading period.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When instructors use grading periods in a course and export the Gradebook, the CSV file displays the title of the selected grading period in the following columns:

  • Current/Final columns
  • Assignment Group columns
  • Override Score/Grade columns
 

Import Override Scores in Gradebook

This feature is used in conjunction with an existing feature option in Canvas. Please view the content below for additional details. For more information about feature options, please see the Canvas Release Notes FAQ

Location to Enable Feature

Gradebook Import

Feature Functionality Details

Final Grade Override Feature Option

Affected Canvas Areas

Gradebook

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

Instructors

Related Idea Conversations

import grades to "the Override" column using csv file

Feature Video

Gradebook: CSV File Updates (2021-02-20 Release)


Summary

The Gradebook importer recognizes and can apply changes for override scores.

Change Benefit

This change allows instructors to modify override scores via Gradebook CSV import.

Affected User Roles

Instructors

When an institution has enabled final grade overrides, and an instructor has enabled the option in the Gradebook, the instructor can use the CSV export file to enter and upload final grade override scores. 

As with other CSV changes, changes to the final grade overrides column display in the import confirmation page, which allows instructors to verify the final grade override scores before they are uploaded to the Gradebook.

Changes to final grade override scores also reflect in the Gradebook history.

 

Rich Content Editor

Pretty HTML Editor

 

Location to Enable Feature

N/A

Feature Functionality Details

N/A

Affected Canvas Areas

Rich Content Editor - HTML Editor

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Related Idea Conversations

Toggle between HTML and Rich Text Editors in Full Screen mode with new RCE, HTML Formatter

Feature Video

Rich Content Editor: Pretty HTML (2021-02-20 Release)


Summary

The Rich Content Editor includes a pretty HTML editor in addition to the raw HTML editor.

Change Benefit

This change provides an enhanced HTML experience for users.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When using the Rich Content Editor, users can switch to the HTML editor by clicking the HTML editor icon.

HTML Editor buttonHTML Editor button


By default, the HTML editor displays an improved, pretty version of the HTML.

Users can switch to the existing (raw) HTML editor by clicking the Raw HTML Editor link. Only the Raw HTML Editor is currently accessible to screen reader users.

Pretty HTML EditorPretty HTML Editor


Both HTML editors can be expanded to the width of the screen by clicking the Full Screen icon.

Full Screen button for HTML EditorFull Screen button for HTML Editor

 

 

Change Log

Back to Table of Contents

 

2021-02-26

 

2021-02-17

 

2021-01-26

Changed MathJax Equation Enhancements & Text Field LaTeX Characters

  • Feature is temporarily an account-level feature option

Changed Gradebook: View Ungraded as Zero

  • Feature is an account-level feature option

Added feature videos

Changed Gradebook: View Ungraded as Zero

  • Feature description window displays every time the setting is selected; previously it only displayed the first time it was used
2021-02-19

Release Notes Published

 

Release Resources

Back to Table of Contents

 

User Summaries

Release features are summarized for individual roles in the User Summaries page.

Canvas Chat

Want to chat with other customers about any of these features? Sign up to view and join our Collaborative Release Chats in the CanvasLIVE Calendar. Chats take place ten days after these notes are published. 

New Feature Screencast

View a screencast of all the updates included in this release in the New Feature Screencast page.

tl;dr Podcast & Blogs

Features in this release may be included in product blogs and our product podcast, the Canvas tl;dr. For related links, check the Canvas Release Archive for this release date.

Feature Enhancements

The release notes indicate available functionality for a feature. If you want to see any future development planned for any features included in these notes, please visit the Roadmap. Have an idea you don't see prioritized in the next three months? Visit the Idea Conversations page.

Feature Support

All items listed in the release notes are immediately available for testing in the Canvas beta environment, unless otherwise indicated. If functionality in the beta environment does not match the functionality shown in the release notes, please submit a support case through your institution's preferred method as shown in your Global Navigation Help Menu. The Canvas Support Team can help escalate behaviors that may need to be resolved before they are deployed to the production environment, which takes place on the date of these release notes. When submitting a case, please indicate that the behavior is occurring in the beta environment.

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Comments

@jeremy_stevens, you are correct. There are no changes to the export with the addition of view ungraded as zero.  

@jsailor ,

Thank you for putting "view ungraded as 0" behind a flag admins can choose to enable/disable.  I am really happy that we won't have to use javascript to disable the feature ourselves.

I think there were some awesome ideas on how the feature can be improved from some others here.

  1. For the current implementation, a big bold border/banner like test student and beta/test environments would be great.
  2. A way to have ungraded assignments shown as 0s for students and faculty alike, so there are not two different views of the gradebook.

I hope someday those two ideas will be implemented, as we'd be much more likely to enable the feature at that point.  For now, institutions where this is important can enable the feature while those of us who prefer not to have it available can leave it off.  Seemingly perfect compromise.

-Chris

@jsailor , thank you for recognizing this issue and moving this to a feature option. We have been extremely concerned not just with faculty confusion, but our own customized version(s) of final grade passback in courses and staff material reading this as well. 

Will the pretty HTML editor support HTML comments? Would be the cherry on top. Either way, wonderful update, thanks ! 🙂

@jsailor thank you for making View Ungraded as Zero a feature option!

@jsailor Thank you for the update, and for providing each institution the ability to decide for themselves whether to implement the return of the updated "View Ungraded as 0" feature.

@jsailor 
RE: @tom_gibbons, thank you for pointing out the inconsistencies in the UI. We are working on updating the column headers to be all caps and bold as they are with other conditions applied in the gradebook. Please watch for these changes in an upcoming deploy.  
---

This may be just a small thing given that I haven't gone back up to read Tom Gibbon's post, but using All Caps is generally not recommended as it can be difficult for persons with reading disabilities to consume and can be read as acronyms (one letter at a time) by some screen reader programs.

Deciding to put the View Ungraded as Zero feature behind an account level feature option is a great compromise for people and institutions on both sides of the fence. Thank you for doing this. 

@jsailor - Thank you for listening to all the feedback here and elsewhere and putting the View Ungraded as Zero behind a feature flag. This is a big win for everyone. Please extend the gratitude of everyone here to the rest of your team!!!

Re: all caps—it’s the solution that’s already in place in the UI for this. I would think that it’s managed with a CSS style property, which would at least be ignored by screen readers. 

It creates readability problems, for sure, and my preference would be the little caution icons. But every inch is progress, I hope. 

jnc

I want to love 'pretty' html editor, and I do love how it looks, but I'm finding I can't use keyboard shortcuts to search (CTRL+S) or paste content (CTRL+V) - both still work fine in the not-so-pretty HTML editor but in pretty HTML I can't search and to paste need to use right click on mouse (oddly that does seem to work).  Hoping this will resolve in future updates, but for now unfortunately I'm having to revert back to non-pretty HTML to do any meaningful edits. 

I am also experiencing the same challenges with the pretty html editor that @jnc describes. 

When I try "CTRL+V", it does not operate as expected (though "CTRL+C" and "CTRL+X" do function as expected). I just posted a question related to this here: Keyboard Shortcuts in the Pretty HTML Editor 

When I try to paste via "CTRL+V"  the pretty HTML editor will scroll to a different section of the html despite the cursor location.  A work-around is to right-click within the editor, and then select paste from the menu.  I'm sure that a lot of faculty will be frustrated by this limitation.  If there is specific documentation on keyboard shortcuts related to the pretty html editor, please let me know.    (Windows 10, Chrome 88).  

@KOliveras and @jnc   I'm finding I cannot scroll in the pretty html editor - or at least not scroll and stop at any particular point.  It continually jumps to the top of the page if I try to click anywhere.  I have to click on the page (where visible when scrolled to the top) and use the down arrow to navigate to where I need to edit.  Once I get the cursor to the correct place that way, the ctrl+v shortcut to paste works as expected. 

Am I the only one that cannot cut and paste code using keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V) in the pretty HTML editor?

lic

I am so disappointed! I actually thought, "any text field" meant "any text field", so I could now use equations in the different question options in new quizzes, but no. It doesn't work in the old quizzes either, although there you can see something making an effort, bur fractions don't show and equations are repeated.
Quizzes still require a lot of work and creativity to be moderately functional.

@jsailor I would like to, along with many of my colleagues, offer my appreciation in your group's decision to place the Ungraded as Zero feature behind a flag.  This option will allow all of us in the UC Davis teaching and learning community to keep rolling along without undue chaos.

Is there a way for a teacher to "Insert Zero for Ungraded Items" so that there is some accountability in doing the assignment at some point in time?  Let's say that a teacher has looked at his grades, surveyed the results, and is at a point in time when he wants to add zeros for the assignment as a last warning. 

@lic, I did some quick testing in a variety of fields including question titles, question bodies, and answer choices, in old and new quizzes and I'm able to get equations rendering as expected using the inline and block syntax. Can you please reach out to support with details for additional troubleshooting so they can help get the issue sorted for you?

Hi, all,

Thanks for all your questions and feedback. At this time if you still have unanswered questions relating to the Rich Content Editor, I'd recommend continuing the conversation by posting them in the New RCE Users Group (which will be transitioning titles soon).

However, if you're encountering bugs, please submit a support case so our Support team can investigate for you. We don't triage behaviors through release notes comments.

Meanwhile, our notes for March have been posted here: Canvas Release Notes (2021-03-20)

Thanks,

Erin

 

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