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Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-11-18)

Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-11-18)

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 may include notable fixed bugs, resolved fixes in Known Issues, and other updates that do not affect user functionality.


  • Subscribe to the deploy notes page to be notified of posted deploy notes
  • For Canvas Platform Service changes (API, GraphQL, Canvas Data), please see the appropriate page in the Change Log 
  • Other questions? Visit the Canvas Deploy FAQ 


Deploy Notes Change Log


Interface Updates



SCORM Pages Import

This feature is not supported in the beta environment.


SCORM packages can be imported as pages.

Change Benefit

This change allows users to import content as a page and not just an assignment.

Affected User Roles


When the SCORM LTI is installed for a course, SCORM packages can be uploaded into Canvas. As part of the import process, the type of import must be selected from the menu. The Import as Page option allows the package to be imported as a page.




MathJax Equation Enhancements [DELAYED]

This feature is delayed until the 2021-01-16 Canvas Release

MathJax is loaded if Canvas detects an equation image added by the equation editor.

Change Benefit

This change improves accessibility for equations in more areas of Canvas.

Affected User Roles

All Users

LaTeX equations are typeset or processed by MathJax. Equations can be added through the Equation editor as supported in the Rich Content Editor.

Equation errors display in the editor as a broken image with the alternative text for the image. However, the LaTeX can still be inserted into the editor content.

Clicking a LaTeX equation displays the Edit Equation button, which loads the LaTeX back into the equation editor.

Related Community Idea
Make Math Equation Editor Accessible

New Rich Content Editor

Sidebar Functionality Improvements and Search Field


When the sidebar is displayed in a Canvas page, the Rich Content Editor window is resized so all content is visible. Additionally, the Images, Documents, and Media Content sidebars include a search field.

Change Benefit

This change allows users to view all content being added to the editor window and more easily search for user, course, or group files.

Affected User Roles

All Users

The New Rich Content Editor sidebar opens from the Links, Images, Documents, and Media content menus. The editor window is resized when the sidebar is open, which allows the user to always view content in the window. Previously, the sidebar always opened over the top of existing content. 


Additionally, adding a link does not immediately close the sidebar. Multiple links and user files (as well as group or course files, when applicable) can be added to the editor without having to continually open the sidebar.

Note: Resizing the browser when the sidebar is open will retain the sidebar over the content. The window will only resize if the sidebar is closed and reopened.

When the Images, Documents, or Media content folders are opened, the sidebar includes a search field. At least three characters are required to generate search results.



Related Community IdeaNew RCE Pin the Sidebar

Uploaded Files Folder and Hidden Status


Files uploaded to an assignment default to a hidden status. These files are added to the Files page in the Uploaded Media folder.

Change Benefit

This change ensures all file assets for assignments are not visible to students unless they have a link per the assignment. Additionally, notifications are not sent to students regarding hidden files.

Affected User Roles


When a file is uploaded to an assignment, quiz, or discussion, the file is added to the Uploaded Media folder in Files. The file within the Uploaded Media folder defaults to the hidden status.

Once the assignment, quiz, or discussion is published, students only receive a notification about the assignment, quiz, or discussion being published, not any associated files. 


Additionally, students have access to the file via the assignment, quiz, or discussion. As the file is already set to a hidden status, it does not need to be published separately for it to be visible to students.

Note: No change has been made to files uploaded directly in the Files page. Files that are uploaded in the Files page are uploaded to the folder where they are uploaded. 





External Apps

LTI 1.3


Canvas supports integrated tools using LTI v1.0 or LTI v1.1 moving to use the latest LTI v1.3 IMS standards in production. Engineering teams are currently testing tools with integration partners.

Change Benefit

This change ensures LTI tools can support the latest IMS standards.

Affected User Roles


Canvas partners can use a Canvas sandbox account to test migrations. When a 1.0 or 1.1 tool co-exists with a 1.3 tool configuration—as Canvas does the tool lookup by the launch url—Canvas will look for matching tool configurations by domain and prefer the 1.3 tool configuration for LTI launches. Where a new 1.3 configuration is discovered for existing links in Canvas, Canvas will create the associated Names and Roles Provisioning and Assignment and Grades Service URLs plus associated records on the fly during the first launch. Canvas will also create these records when tools use the Assignments and Grades Service to query the gradebook. 

Partners should submit issues and questions as support cases via their Canvas sandbox account.


Admins can test supported LTI 1.3 tools without removing existing LTI 1.0/1.1 configurations. If an LTI tool is not functioning correctly, removing the LTI 1.3 deployment will revert Canvas to using the previous configuration. Once the 1.3 tool configuration is confirmed as working, the old LTI 1.0/1.1 configuration can be removed.


Other Updates


InstUI Update

Student View Edit Group Window

The Edit Group window for students has been updated to use the icon style used in InstUI. No functionality has been affected.


Fixed Bugs




After a MasteryConnect assessment is linked to an assignment, an alert is read by screen readers indicating assignment details have been updated.

MasteryConnect assignment headers displayed sequentially as H2 and H3 instead of H3 and H4.


Download links include a download attribute.

Account Settings

Canvas Elementary Theming Feature Option

The state of the Canvas Elementary Theming feature option is retained when enabled as allowed or on.

Explanation: When the Canvas Elementary Theming feature option was allowed or turned on for an account or course, the feature option state was not retained. Canvas code has been updated to retain the state of the feature option.


Event Duplication Checkbox

The Duplicate Calendar Event checkbox is not displayed when editing a calendar event.

Explanation: When a calendar event was edited and the More Options link was selected, the Duplicate checkbox displayed in the calendar event. Canvas code has been updated to not display the Duplicate checkbox for edited calendar events. The checkbox is only displayed when initially creating calendar events.


User Course Access Log Error Email


This change was deployed to the production environment on 11 November.

User Course Access Log error emails are only sent for reports that are not completed successfully.

Explanation: When a User Course Access Log report was generated, a Report Generation Failed email was sent, even if the report completed successfully. Canvas code has been updated to not send an error email if the report completes successfully.


Source Code Summary


To view a summary of all code included in the deploy, please see the Deploy Source Code Summary (2020-11-18) reference sheet.




Deploy Notes Change Log



Delayed Courses: MathJax Text Field Support


Added Interface Updates: Assignments


Added Platform/Interface: External Apps

Added Fixed Bugs: Reports

2020-11-06 Published Deploy Notes
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Our faculty sorely need MathJax support in Quizzes.  Is that one of the new locations included, "in more areas"?

Hi @vanzandt 

Classic quizzes isn't entirely accurate right now, but our engineer is working on it and possibly has a fix coming soon.



[EDIT: New Quizzes will have a separate solution and MathJax does not apply]

@erinhmcmillan Thank you for the update. Though I wish it was in this deploy, it's great to hear there is work actively being done to fix it for Quizzes as well. 

@erinhmcmillan Is this in relation to the new quizzes being sluggish when updating grades within Speed Grader? I am also having issues with the new quiz grades being synced cleanly with my SIS. Hopefully, both these things are what you are indicating are being addressed.

MathJax is immensely important as an accessibility tool for some of our students.  It would be nice to know in which tools it is functional and in which tools it is not so that we can communicate and set expectations with our instructors.  The only way we know this is to thoroughly test for MathJax in every instance of RCE availability after each deploy.  I am hoping that Instructure sees this testing/QA as a responsibility that should housed within the Instructure organization and not the responsibility of the educational institution or the end users. Thank you @erinhmcmillan for letting us know about the lack of MathJax support in Quizzes (assuming both Classic and New quizzes).

I see the search field for Images, Documents, and Media Content is coming. Any chance this is also in the works when adding course content?

Is the hidden file status feature is active in beta systems at this time? I tried the steps described above (in a course with the New RCE create a new assignment, upload a new document from my computer in the description area, save the assignment) and found the file I added had published status, not hidden. It was where I expected it in the Uploaded Media folder. Are there other conditions that must be met for the hidden status to be applied?

Hi @erinhmcmillan, as I was testing the hidden file status feature in beta, the results were not what I expected. I thought this feature would apply to individual files in the Uploaded Media folder ("Files uploaded to an assignment default to a hidden status."). I suspect that the feature actually applies to newly created Uploaded Media folders. In beta I find that, in a course where there is already an Uploaded Media folder with published status, newly uploaded files are published whether I uploaded them while editing an assignment or announcement (which the notes imply would not be affected by this feature). In a course that does not yet have an Uploaded Media folder, the folder is created with hidden status whether my first upload is made while editing an assignment or an announcement, and the files inherit the status.

After the new MathJax enhancements have been implemented, equations are shown in LaTeX when editing content. This is the case even if a user is not editing the equation itself. This is also the case when viewing questions after accessing a quiz in editing mode - even though the pencil icon for a question was not clicked to start editing the question itself. Is that what we are supposed to see? If so, this will not be helpful to instructors or students if they want to review the equation before saving the content. The equation only appears in normal view after saving the content.

We have opened a ticket on the display issue with the Equation Editor. Here is the ticket number: 06970088 and here is a screen cast of the issue:


Thanks, @Robbie_Grant  - I opened a ticket as well and referenced your case number.

We are having the latex equation issue as well. I had my teachers try turning on the new RCE (We have it set to allow) and that fixed the issue. It shouldn't take that to fix it, but for those needing a workaround. @Robbie_Grant @crafte 

We are seeing this issue at our institution as well and we have had the New RCE enabled for all users since the early summer. Thank you @crafte for posting about this issue, and @Robbie_Grant for sharing the screencast you made. This helped us to confirm what was happening. We are putting in a ticket with Canvas Support and will reference your case number. Hope that this gets resolved quickly!

From Support:

"Thank you for contacting Canvas Support. This is an issue that our engineers are aware of and they are currently working on a fix! I do not have an ETA on when it will be resolved, but I do know that it is high priority and they are actively working on it. I will attach your case to an internal tracker that will keep you updated on their progress towards a resolution!"

We've ensured the MathJax feature is turned on, which should help resolve some of the concerns that some of you may inadvertently be unaware of (some of you may not know if that feature was previously on for your institution or not).



We are following this as well, having several instructors who have reported the issue. The latest from Support is no ETA, are there any updates available? Instructors are currently preparing final exams and this is very critical for those affected. 

We have been told no ETA as well by Support.


Product for the win! They have fixed the issue with the Equation Editor!!!


@Robbie_Grant Awesome! Anything required from us in order to implement fix?

@straussi Nope. I was actually trying to show the problem to one of our IDs and it was not a problem anymore. Then our CSM said the fix was deployed at about 2pm MST.


It is working for us as well.

Please note that the previously included support for LaTeX in text fields has been removed from these notes and will be part of the December 2 deploy. However, it is still available for testing in the beta environment.



Notes for the December 2 deploy have been published: Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-12-02) - Canvas Community