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Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-02-12)

Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-02-12)

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 existing user functionality.

Deploy Notes Change Log

Interface Updates



Compose Message Course List


In the Compose Message window, the Select Course menu has been updated to display two menus: Favorite Courses and More Courses (non-favorite courses). Long course names are truncated in the middle to help view the beginning and end of the name. Additionally, both menus include a search field.

Change Benefit

These changes allow users to more easily locate a course when composing a message.

Affected User Roles

All Users

When a user opens the Compose Message window and clicks the Select Course menu, the menu displays two options: Favorite Courses and More Courses. Additionally, both menus include a search field to help locate courses within the menu. 

Any courses that have been favorited manually via the Star icon display in the Favorite Courses menu—the same courses that display in the Card List Dashboard. Active courses that are not a favorite display in the More Courses menu.

Long course names are truncated in the middle to help view the beginning and end of the name.

If no courses have been manually customized as a favorite, the Canvas default applies to the Favorites menu, where up to 20 active courses are automatically added. Any additional courses display in the More Courses menu.

Conversations Favorite Courses and More Courses menus in Compose Menu window


Restricted Access Option Clarification

The Restricted Access link availability option has been changed from Not visible in student files to Only available to students with link.

Change Benefit
This change clarifies the functionality of this link for instructors and more accurately indicates that the link is only available to students if they are given the link. The previous wording suggested that the link displayed to students directly in their user files.

Affected User Roles

When an instructor changes the access to a course file, the option to only display files to students if they have a link has been reworded for clarity. The placement of this option in the list of access options has not changed, nor has any functionality been affected.

Course Files Restricted Access Menu

Fixed Bugs




The Gradebook Settings button includes a label for screen readers.


Imports and Deleted Assignment Groups

Assignments cannot be imported into deleted assignment groups.

Explanation: When one course was exported and imported into a second course, and the Imported Assignments group was deleted from the second course, any imported assignments did not display in the Assignments page. The assignments were imported into the Imported Assignments group, which had been deleted, so no assignments were visible. Canvas code has been updated to display imported assignments in the Assignments page if the Imported Assignments group does not exist.


Late Policy and Grade Detail Tray

For students with late assignments, the Grade Detail Tray displays the correct day(s) late entry for each student.

Explanation: When one or more students were marked late for an assignment, advancing to another student via the Grade Detail Tray would not update the day(s) late field to reflect the student being viewed. The first student’s late days persist for any other students viewed. Canvas code has been updated to always display the correct day(s) late field for each student.

Non-active Students and Posted Grade Notifications

Inactive students, concluded students, and students restricted by section or course dates do not receive notifications for posted grades.

Explanation: When a manual posting policy was enabled for an assignment, non-active students received notifications about posted grades. Canvas code has been updated to disregard non-active users when notifications are sent to students.

Submission Status and Group Assignments

The submission status for a group assignment applies to all members of the group.

Explanation: When a submission status is changed for a group assignment via the Grade Detail Tray, the change did not apply to other members in the group. Canvas code has been updated to apply a group assignment submission status to all members in the group.


Quiz Icon Consistency

New Quiz icons are consistent in the Modules page and the Quizzes page.

Explanation: When a quiz was created in the Modules page, the New Quiz icon displayed the assignments icon instead of the New Quizzes icon. Canvas code has been updated to display the correct icon to indicate the assignment type created in a module.


Quiz Timer and Chrome Browser

The Quiz timer displays in Chrome.

Explanation: When a student opened a Canvas quiz using the Chrome browser, the browser intermittently displayed the timer. Canvas code has been updated to always display the timer when used in Chrome.

Rich Content Editor

Upload/Record Media Button and Kaltura LTI

This change was deployed to the production environment on 30 January.

When the Kaltura integration is configured to hide the video icon in the New Rich Content Editor, the Upload/Record Media button does not display.

Explanation: When the Kaltura integration was configured by a Canvas Customer Success Manager to hide the video icon in the Rich Content Editor, the Upload/Record Media button was still available in the Rich Content Editor toolbar. Canvas code has been updated to hide the Upload/Record Media button when this configuration exists in Kaltura.

Deploy Notes Change Log


2020-01-31Deploy Notes Published
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Hi erinhallmark‌,

Can you clarify how the "Kaltura integration is configured to hide the video icon" process is done?  There have been some question in a Kaltura group, and as far as I remember from a few years ago, this was something an Instructure CSM has to enable/configure for us.  If that's still the case, perhaps these notes could be updated to reflect that.



On Compose Message Course List notes it doesn't state that past courses will not be included. In testing this in our production environment it appears that past courses are now no longer part of the list. Was this intended? This has disrupted one of our instructor's workflow. He liked to be able to quickly find a past message from particular concluded course. 

conversation issue 

Hi, Susan,

Yes, this change was implemented in our last deploy, as referenced to a bug fix noted in the 2020-01-29 notes:



Hi, Chris,

Yes, the integration is managed by Canvas CSMs. 



With the Conversations interface update, it appears we no longer have the ability to send a message to "All Students."  I've checked multiple browsers, and the option for All is not there for any of the roles.  All Students option is missing

 @clputnam ‌, I'm not able to replicate that behavior; I can still select "All in [course name]" or "Teachers" or "Students" from the dropdown. Just to confirm, are there students enrolled in the "Demo Course - Patterson" that is toggled on that screenshot?

Hi, Cindy,

Sending a message to all students is managed as a permission by your Canvas admin. If that feature was working previously for you, you may want to contact your Canvas admin to make sure that permission wasn't changed. If not, please let our Canvas support team know; they've been working on a permissions fix related to messaging all users, which may also be the culprit, and our Canvas support team would let you know about that if needed.



I put in a ticket to Canvas Support and here is the response they sent me last night:  We were notified of this happening and have been able to roll back the change in the code that caused this. Everything should be working as it used to. Let us know if you have anymore questions. 

It is now working correctly.  We still have the "Favorite Courses" and "More Courses," but we also have the ability to send a message to "All Students." 

Hi erinhallmark‌, I'm wondering why the conversations update was added to a deploy as opposed to a Canvas release? I thought deploy updates were mainly updates that didn't require an interface change?

Also in regards to the restricted access option should students be able to view files via the direct link? Or can they just view the file if it's embedded within the page? Does the availability of the files area affect whether the file can be accessed because I'm having trouble accessing an image as a student.

Your thoughts appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Hi, Bethan,

Our strategy is to put out changes as quick as we can without disrupting too much existing functionality. Deploy notes may periodically have UI updates if they don't cause significant disruption to the product. So if this change caused more heartache than intended, we need to know those details. After these notes are closed (which they will be when the new deploy notes are out), feel free to send me a direct message if needed.

If you set a file to only be accessed by students with the link, they should be able to view it, yes. However, the hidden option only applies to Course Files, so if you've hidden it, students won't be able to get to the link. If you add the file to another area of Canvas, such as Assignments or Modules, all students can view the file.

Hope that helps!


Hi, everyone,

Deploy notes are up for February 26. Check them out here: