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Canvas Deploy Notes (2019-10-23)

Canvas Deploy Notes (2019-10-23)

Canvas deploys contain code changes that are intended to fix bugs, improve performance, and prepare for new features, but they do not affect customer workflows. These deploys take place every two weeks and can be tested in the beta environment before the production deploy date indicated in the title of this document. Intended changes in workflow are noted in the Canvas Release Notes published monthly.

Deploy notes include notable fixed bugs and additional updates that do not affect user functionality.

Deploy Notes Change Log

Interface Updates


Blueprint Courses

Associations Page Menu Width


In Blueprint Courses, the heading menus in the Associations page have been upgraded to the most recent select component in InstUI, Instructure’s custom component library.

Change Benefit

This change ensures the menus in the Associations page are up-to-date in functionality with selection menus used elsewhere in Canvas.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors


The heading menus in the Associations page have been upgraded to align with similar selection menus. However, width for these menus is as wide as the menu heading. Long items within the menu are wrapped to display the full content.

Engineers may occasionally upgrade other areas that may affect the Canvas interface. Maintaining components ensure consistency throughout Canvas and outdated elements must be upgraded individually. After each element has been upgraded, all elements can be associated together and updated as needed at the same time in all locations for that element.


New Gradebook Submission Posted Notification


Users who have enabled the Grading notification can receive a notification when a grader posts submissions in the New Gradebook.

Change Benefit

This change allows other users to be notified when grades for an assignment have been posted for all users or all users in a section.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors


Notifications included in the Grading notification are sent for each assignment when a grader posts submissions in the New Gradebook. Additionally, if a grader posts grades for multiple sections, only one notification will be sent.

Depending on the post option selected in the Gradebook, the notification indicates that grade changes and comments have been released for everyone graded in a section, or that grade changes and comments have been released for everyone in the course.


Microsoft Immersive Reader

This feature is part of a joint Microsoft-Canvas Immersive Reader announcement and can currently only be viewed in the beta environment. More information about this feature availability in the production environment will be announced in the 2019-11-16 Canvas release notes.


The Microsoft Immersive Reader is being offered in Canvas as a trial feature that can be enabled by a Canvas admin as a feature option in Account Settings. By default, this option is turned off for all accounts.

Change Benefit

This feature creates a reading experience that adds accessibility and comprehension for learners of all ages and abilities. To learn more about this feature, see the Microsoft Immersive Reader website.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

All Users

If enabled for an account, every Canvas page within a course displays an Immersive Reader button.


Users can click the button to view the page using the immersive reader, which offers advanced learning features.


To submit feedback about this feature, please follow the Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines. New feature ideas should include the immersive reader tag.

Theme Editor

Custom JavaScript File Load Order


Instructure’s JavaScript, specifically the global “$” variable from jQuery, is loaded before an account’s custom JavaScript file.

Change Benefit

This change ensures custom JavaScript files load correctly in Canvas.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors


Admins can write custom JavaScript files knowing exactly how JavaScript is loaded in Canvas. Existing custom JavaScript files should not be affected, but admins should use their beta environment to confirm behavior. Any undefined JavaScript errors in the beta environment should be reported to Canvas support.

Fixed Bugs



Global Navigation

Active global navigation items can be identified by screen readers.


Differentiated Assignment Automatic Peer Reviews

Automatic peer reviews are assigned at the specified date regardless of the student assigned to the assignment.

Explanation: When a peer review was set to assign automatically, students assigned to the assignment were not given an assignment unless Everyone or Everyone Else was also assigned to the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to assign peer reviews for differentiated assignments.

Resubmitted Assignment File Annotations

Annotations added to an assignment file are not retained if the file is resubmitted for another assignment.

Explanation: When annotations were made to a submission, and a student re-submits the same file to another assignment via the option to find a file that had already been uploaded, the annotations were retained. Canvas code has been updated to remove annotations from resubmitted files.

Course Settings

Unsplash Course Card Images

Unsplash images can be added as a course card.

Explanation: When the Unsplash tab was selected to search for a course card image, the tab was unresponsive. Canvas code has been updated to allow Unsplash images to be added to the course card.

ePub Exports

Exported Content Order

ePub export content displays the table of contents first, followed by the subsequent course content.

Explanation: When an ePub file was exported from a course, the final module was listed first, followed by the table of contents. Canvas code has been updated to correct the order of content displayed in ePub export files.


Non-Graded Discussion Section Updates

Updates to non-graded discussion sections are reflected in the Modules page.

Explanation: When a non-graded discussion was updated to a section where a user was not enrolled, the user was still able to view the discussion in the modules page. Canvas code has been updated to clear the Modules cache after a section update is made to a non-graded discussion.

New Gradebook

Automatic Comments and Student Visibility

Students can see submission comments left by their instructors in assignments with an automatic posting policy.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a submission comment for a student for an assignment that had not yet received a grade, and the assignment included an automatic posting policy, the student was not able to view the comment unless the submission was manually hidden and then posted. Canvas code has been updated to allow comments to be displayed to students from users with instructor roles in automatic posting policy assignments. Comments display in the  Dashboard, the assignment page, the submission page, and the Grades page.

Message Students Who and Anonymous Assignments

In the New Gradebook, the Message Students Who option is disabled for anonymous assignments.

Explanation: When a user opened the Message Students Who option in the New Gradebook for an anonymous assignment, anonymity was removed for affected students. Canvas code has been updated to disable the Message Students Who option for anonymous assignments. The option is re-enabled after grades have been posted.

Deploy Notes Change Log



Added—Interface Update

  • Pages: Microsoft Immersive Reader (beta only)
2019-10-11Deploy Notes Published
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 @CanvasDocTeam ‌, a question regarding New Gradebook Submission Posted Notification: Is it actually a notification about grade posting, as the Change Benefit wording implies? Or will this notification be limited to Re-Upload Submissions, which is the only current way a teacher or TA can enact a submission? 

Hi, Rob,

It's strictly for posting grades, as the description indicates.




Our QA engineer is testing this deploy, and noticed that certain items in the deploy notes do not seem to be present on beta. Primarily, the javascript super streaming (Custom JavaScript File Load Order) change does not seem to be present.
Our developers are unsure how to interpret Instructure's github to determine which branch is currently running on beta.
If there is a 10/19 release currently in beta that does not include super streaming, where is the 10/23 release which does include that feature?
Can you clarify how this overlapping release schedule works when there's only one beta instance?

Hi, Miles,

I confirmed with our team the javascript loading was present as they were making some adjustments to that functionality just today. You may want to check it again in your beta environment.

We have one beta environment—you may want to check out Canvas Github Information if you haven't already. It has some default links we've set up to help you compare beta to prod, and also to compare changes within beta itself within the last 7 days and the last 24 hours. The document also includes a tutorial if you want to learn how to create your own custom comparisons.

Hope that helps!


We are so very excited about Microsoft Immersive Reader.   As I write this I'm looking at it in Beta with our Assistive Technology Specialist.    Questions we have:

  • What does "free trial" mean?    this is a wonderful tool and once "given" to students, we hope it won't go away
  • Does this work on the Student App?   Our elementary and middle school students only have iPads.   (only our HS students have macbooks)

Hi, Hildi,

Our product team is evaluating the adoption of Microsoft Immersive Reader to see how to incorporate it into Canvas long term. More information will be available in a future release.

These notes are only for the web; if mobile adds the functionality they'll be mentioned in Release Notes: Mobile.



that's great, Erin.  Thank you so much.     (by chance would you all know if it works on the iPads in Safari?)

Hi, Hildi,

I haven't tested it, but usually whatever is supported in web will be supported in the full browser version on iPad, though I cannot guarantee that.


Efforts to ensure that jQuery is available before the custom JavaScript runs has left it broken it for people using user scripts like QuizWiz, the all course Access Report, and a bunch of other contributions by the Community users. I'm seeing that $ is undefined when the document is ready, which is when those user scripts are executed.

User scripts (through a script manager like Tampermonkey) aren't supported by Canvas, so I'm not going to file a help ticket with Canvas support, but I thought I would mention it so that people are aware of it. If you're relying on Canvas' jQuery inside of a user script and not loading it through the custom JavaScript, there's a good chance your script is broken right now.

There are some ways around it. Off the top of my head, you can 1) use pure JavaScript, 2) keep checking until $ is available (ugly and wasteful), or 3) load your own version of jQuery (watch out for conflicts).

I'm tagging some people I know have contributed user scripts (even if your scripts are not affected): carroll-ccsd‌. cesbrandt‌,  @chadscott ‌

Thank you  @James ‌ for letting me know. We have most* of the scripts we use in our custom JS file, but there are a few that are not. For others that are using Tampermonkey to run the userscripts, I've updated the Canvas Course Event Manager, Print Quizzes, and Canvas Remove Student Tool (I need a better naming convention!). You can make the scripts update by clicking the links.

Hi, James,

I sent the link to this comment to one of our engineers so he can review and make improvements, if needed. Thanks for your input!


Hi, all,

Next deploy notes are out and available here: