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Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-08-27)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-08-27)

In this production release (August 27), admins can customize the default Help links in the Global Navigation Menu for their institution. Instructors can add images to Dashboard course cards (if allowed by their institution) and easily move an existing event to another calendar. All users can enable a new option in User Settings to underline all Canvas links without relying on High Contrast Styles.

Instructors and students also benefit from design improvements to the Assignments, Conferences, Modules, and Quizzes pages. Other features include additional improvements.

Starting on September 10, instructors and other course conference moderators can use live captioning in Conferences. Desktop sharing functionality will also be changed to run as a Java application to support all browsers, including Chrome. These features will be rolled out to all Canvas regions over the next few weeks, beginning in North America.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

watch-screencast-red.png

Canvas New Feature Screencast (2016-08-27)

Next release schedule:

  • Beta release and notes: September 6 (in observance of Labor Day in the United States)
  • Production release notes: September 12
  • Production release and documentation: September 17

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.

  New Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Course Settings

Dashboard Course Images

This feature is used with the Enable Dashboard Images for Courses feature option, which can be enabled by an institutional admin in Account Settings.

Course cards on the Dashboard can contain an image as uploaded through Course Settings. Images can be dragged and dropped into the browser window or uploaded from a computer. Accepted images include JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG files. Larger images may take a few seconds to process. Images can also be added from Flickr; the search field displays image results with a Creative Commons public domain license.

After an image has been uploaded, the image automatically displays in the Course Details page. The image display shown in Course Details is true to size; for best practice, images should be approximately 262 pixels wide by 146 pixels high.

Course-Settings-Image.png

Once the Course Details page is saved, the Dashboard image displays in the course card behind the course color. As with all courses shown in the Dashboard and Calendar, instructors cannot control the course color. Colors are automatically assigned by Canvas, though users can change the course color at any time.

Course-Settings-Dashboard-.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: use pictures for courses

User Settings

Underline All Links Feature Option

This feature is used with the Underline Links feature option, which can be enabled by any user in User Settings.

Users can view all Canvas links without having to enable high contrast mode. When enabled, this feature underlines hyperlinks in Global Navigation, the Dashboard, page sidebars, and text links.

Note: Currently, the high contrast option also generates underline links, but this functionality will be removed in a future release.

User-Settings-Underline-Feature-Option.png

  Updated Features

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Account Settings

Customized Default Help Links

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

Admins can disable and reorder default help links in Canvas. Available at the account level only, this feature enables admins to better customize the Help menu for their institutions.

To move an available link up or down in the menu list, click the up or down arrow. To delete an available link, click the delete icon. For each link, faded icons mean the link item cannot be changed, so some actions may not be available. For instance, custom links can be edited, but default links cannot be renamed.

  • Ask Your Instructor a Question (students only) Search the Canvas Guides, and Report a Problem links can be deleted and re-added at any time.

  • Ask the Community (instructors and admins only) and Submit a Feature Idea links always appear at the end of the menu. These links currently cannot be deleted or moved.

  • The Help menu links also display when a user accesses the Help link in the Login page. However, even when enabled, Ask Your Instructor a Question and Ask the Community links are never part of the Help menu in the Login page since the Login page does not associate a user by role.

Account-Settings-Help-Menu-Options.png

Links that are deleted from the Help Menu can be added back to the menu at any time. Available links display in the Add Link menu. Links that are in gray text are already included as part of the menu listing.

Account-Settings-Help-Menu-Links.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: edit order of help menu links

Calendar

Calendar Event Edits

After an event has been created, instructors can move the event from one calendar to another. To move an event, open the event in the calendar, click the Edit button, and select the new calendar in the Calendar drop-down menu.


Notes: In the Edit menu, calendar changes cannot be made for section-specific events, assignments, and Scheduler appointments.

Calendar-Move-Event.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: move calendar events

Conferences

Conferences updates are not available for testing in the beta environment. Beginning on September 10, updated features will be rolled out to all Canvas regions, beginning with North America.

Live Captioning

The Conferences interface allows conference moderators to support live captioning during a session. A moderator (such as a stenographer) can enter captions for one or more languages, though each language can only support one moderator. Students can select a language that has been made available and view the live captions. Conference recordings display the captions as subtitles.

conferences-captioning.png

Desktop Sharing Improvements

The Conferences interface offers faster desktop sharing with full-screen capturing. The presenter can also pause or resume desktop sharing. Additionally, the desktop sharing process has changed to run as a Java application to support all browsers, including Chrome.

conferences-desktop-sharing.png

Global Navigation

Help Menu Placement

The Help icon displays as the last item in the Global Navigation menu instead of being placed at the bottom of the page. This update helps users be able to view the Help icon as part of the entire Global Navigation Menu and be accessed more easily. Additionally, to align with other Global Navigation features, the Help icon displays a navigation menu instead of a modal window. Help links are not affected and display according to the links set for the Canvas account.

Global-Navigation-Help-Menu.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: custom menu options and help menu placement

Global Navigation Width

The Global Navigation Menu has been redesigned for smaller screen resolutions. This update helps the Global Navigation Menu be more adaptive to future enhancements. When the browser window size is reduced to a tablet width, the Global Navigation Menu narrows and the icon menu names are hidden.

  Other Updates

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Account Settings

Button Updates

The buttons for adding an account feature in Account Settings match similar button styles throughout Canvas. Updates are included in the sidebar for adding a new course or user, as well as in the Settings, Admin, Announcements, and Apps tabs.

Account-Settings-Button-Update.png

Assignments

Index Page Style Update

The Assignments index page includes an updated design. Instead of all assignment data being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected.

  • Individual assignment items include a larger icon and additional whitespace.

  • All page content is responsive within a browser window. Assignment names are no longer truncated; long assignment titles wrap to the next line. Assignment content, such as module name, availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the assignment title.

  • For instructors, published assignments also include a green bar for easier recognition.

Assignments-Index-Page-Update.png

Conferences

Index Page Style Update

The Conferences index page includes an updated design. Instead of all conferences data being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected.

  • Individual conference items include additional whitespace.

  • All page content is responsive within a browser window. Conference names are no longer truncated; long names wrap to the next line. Conference content, such as the conference date and description, has been moved below the assignment title.

Conferences-Index-Page-Update.png

Modules

Index Page Style Update

The Modules index page includes an updated design. Instead of all module data being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected.

  • Individual module items include a larger icon and additional whitespace.

  • All page content is responsive within a browser window. Assignment names are no longer truncated; long assignment titles wrap to the next line. Module content, such as assignment availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the content item title.

  • For instructors, published module items also include a green bar for easier recognition.

Modules-Index-Page-Update.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: allow wrap-around text for content items

Quizzes

Index Page Style Update

The Quizzes index page includes an updated design. Instead of all quiz data being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected.

  • Individual quiz items include a larger icon and additional whitespace.

  • All page content is responsive within a browser window. Quiz names are no longer truncated; long quiz titles wrap to the next line. Quiz content, such as availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the content item title.

  • For instructors, published quizzes also include a green bar for easier recognition.

Quizzes-Index-Page-Updates.png

Rich Content Editor

Keyboard Shortcut Icon

The keyboard shortcut icon has been changed to a keyboard icon. This icon complements the keyboard icon shown in the Gradebook and in SpeedGrader.

Rich-Content-Editor-Keyboard-Shortcut-Icon.png

Sidebar Updates

This update applies to institutions using the Use remote version of Rich Content Editor and Sidebar feature option, which currently only affects the sidebar in Pages and the Syllabus.

The sidebar feature option has currently been disabled for institutions also using the Require Usage Rights for Uploaded Files feature option; more information will be available in a future release.

In the Rich Content Editor sidebar Links tab, the Wiki Pages link has been renamed to Pages. This update helps align terminology throughout Canvas. Additionally, pagination in each content section has been increased from 10 to 50 content items.

Rich-Content-Editor-Sidebar.png

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: consistent naming in Canvas

Rubrics

Button Placement

The Cancel and Create/Update Rubric buttons have been moved to the left side of the Rubrics page.

Assignment-Rubric-Details-Window.png

release-notes-bug-fix-icon.png This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a user created or updated a rubric with a large number of ratings, the Create or Update Rubric button overlapped into the sidebar. This behavior occurred for users who created or updated rubrics in small browser windows. Canvas code has been updated to move the rubric buttons to the left side of the rubric window.

  Platform/Integration

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

API

For details about using Canvas APIs, please see the Canvas API Policy page.

Courses API

In the Courses API, users can return both the public description and course time zone using the include parameters, and both are also now available as additional parameters when creating or modifying a course via the API.

Additionally, users can view if a course has enabled the multiple grading periods feature option as part of a current grading period. When the current grading period scores argument is passed, the course includes the multiple_grading_periods_enabled attribute. This argument is ignored if the course is configured to hide final grades or if the total_scores argument is not included.

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: allow course time zone in API

Assignments API

In the Assignments API, users can filter unsubmitted and ungraded assignments. For an individual student, the API shows which assignments have not been submitted by the student and which assignments have not been graded by the instructor.

Calendar Events API

In the Calendar Events API, users can set a course timetable, get course timetable, and create or update events directly for a course timetable.

Developer Keys

Multiple Redirect URIs

Account-level features are not available in Free-for-Teacher accounts.

Developer keys can have multiple redirect URIs (legacy redirect URI and multiple redirect URIs).

Developer-Key-Redirects.png

LTI

External Link Launch

Users can set LTI links in Course Navigation and embedded in the Rich Content Editor to launch into a new tab.

  • Links embedded in the RCE via Content Item specifying to open in a new tab would open in a new tab, but include the Canvas chrome. This behavior has been modified to only open the LTI content in the new tab.
  • Tools that use course navigation placements can specify the launch behavior to open into a new tab by adding the following in the XML configuration:

"<lticm:property name="windowTarget">_blank</lticm:property>"

release-notes-feature-idea-icon.png Canvas Community contributions: LTI links open to new tab/window

  Fixed Bugs

  < BACK TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

Accessibility

Announcements

Announcement links are focused left to right, starting with the author.

Conferences

The New/Edit Conference window displays the title of the window to screen readers.

Discussions

The state of a discussion, subscribed or unsubscribed, displays to screen readers.

Grades

The aria-label for Gradebook tooltips do not escape from the page.

Rich Content Editor

The keyboard shortcut icon has been changed to a keyboard icon.

Syllabus

The mini calendar can be accessed by keyboard users.

Media recorded in Canvas supports closed captioning and other functionalities available in other Canvas pages.

Account Settings

Account Admins

Admins removed from an account via SIS are completely deleted from Canvas.

Explanation: When a user is removed via SIS as an account admin, the user’s SIS and login information is removed from Canvas but the user is still shown as an admin in Account Settings. Canvas code has been updated to delete the account membership when removed as an admin via SIS.

Analytics

Student Analytics and Table View

In Table View, the Student Analytics page updates data when a different student is selected.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the Student Analytics page in the Table View and viewed another student, the table data was not updating to display the data for the next student. Canvas code has been updated to update user data for the student being viewed.

API

Analytics URL

When a user makes a call with an include parameter, the link header analytics_url is only returned once.

Explanation: When a user made a call with an include parameter, the link header returned analytics_url multiple times. Canvas code has been updated to only return the analytics_url once.

Assignments

Download Submissions and Anonymous Grading

The Download Submissions button in the Assignments page does not include student names if Anonymous Grading is turned on.

Explanation: When a user downloaded all submissions for an assignment and submissions were graded anonymously, the downloaded ZIP file displayed the names of all students. Canvas code has been updated to respect anonymous grading in assignment downloads.

Turnitin Submissions

When a student submits an assignment through the Turnitin LTI, Canvas retries Turnitin attempts up to 14 times over a 24-hour period for both the submission and the originality score.


Explanation: When a student submitted a Turnitin assignment through the Turnitin LTI, Canvas waited five minutes to attempt to receive the submission and originality report information. If the submission could not be retrieved, Canvas would fail silently. If the originality score could not be retrieved, Canvas would try 10 more times over the next hour. This behavior still sometimes resulted in not being able to retrieve the information before the submission was ready for processing. This behavior only affected institutions using the Turnitin LTI. Canvas code has been updated to retry Turnitin attempts up to 14 times over a 24-hour period for both the submission and the originality score.

SIS Index Icon

When the Post Grades to SIS feature option is enabled for a course, the Post to SIS icon displays in the Assignments page.

Explanation: When the Post Grades to SIS feature option is enabled for a course, the Post to SIS icon was not displaying in the Assignments page. However, if an individual assignment was edited and selected to be sent back to the SIS, the icon would appear in the index page. This behavior did not affect the Quizzes page. Canvas code has been updated to display the SIS icon when enabled.

Authentication

Google and Community Login

When Google is set up as the default authentication provider for an institution, users can authenticate and log in to the Canvas Community.

Explanation: When an institution set up Google as the default authentication provider (first position in the authentication page), users who tried to log in to the Canvas Community were not able to authenticate. Canvas code has been updated to correct logins for authentication methods set in the first position.

Calendar

Event Detail Window Placement

When a user clicks the link to a calendar event, the event detail window displays directly above the event.

Explanation: When a user clicked the link to an event from the Calendar (or from another page that displays events, such as the Syllabus), the event detail window displayed in the top left corner of the Calendar. Canvas code has been updated to position the event detail window next to the calendar event.

Conversations

Submission Comments and Muted Assignments

Submission comments display in assignments for muted assignments.

Explanation: When a student added a comment to an assignment, and the instructor later muted the assignment, the student’s comment was not displaying in the Conversations Submission Comments filter. Canvas code has been updated to always show comments regardless of the assignment’s grading status.

Course Imports

Schoology Files

Schoology imports retain links for files.

Explanation: When a course was imported from Schoology, file links were not being retained to display previews. Canvas code has been updated to add referenced files to the course.

Moodle Assignments and Floating Integers

Moodle imports create assignments with grades containing floating integers.

Explanation: When a course was imported from Moodle, assignments that included floating integers were not able to be imported. Canvas code has been updated to include a more recent Moodle dependency.

Announcements/Discussions and File Attachments

Attachments in announcements and discussions are included as part of a course copy.


Explanation: When a user copied a course and chose to select specific content, selecting an announcement or discussion that included an attachment was not importing the attachment, unless it was specifically selected to be imported from Files in the same import. Canvas code has been updated to always copy attachments for assignments and discussions.

Dashboard

Student To-Do List and Trust Institutions

Students can view To-Do items even if the courses they are enrolled in originate in a different account.

Explanation: When students tried to view their Dashboards, they were unable to view all course items in the To-Do list. This behavior affected students who were enrolled in courses located in another account through a trust setup. Canvas code has been updated to populate To-Do items for all courses.

Instructor To-Do List and Concluded Courses

In concluded courses, assignments do not appear in an instructor’s To Do list.

Explanation: When an instructor participated in a course that had concluded by course or section dates, previous assignments were appearing in the To Do list. Canvas code has been updated to correct assignment To-Do list items for concluded courses.

Grades

Gradebook Export and Enrollment Status

The Gradebook export CSV file honors enrollments shown or hidden in Gradebook settings.

Explanation: When an instructor exported the Gradebook, the CSV file always displayed inactive enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to include enrollments if shown in the Gradebook settings.

Groups

Account-level Groups and Pages

Users in an account-level group can view pages in the group.

Explanation: When a user in an account-level group tried to view a page in the group, the link generated a page error. Canvas code has been updated to correct page links to account-level groups.

Student Groups and Unpublished Courses

Student group enrollments are not displayed until the associated course has been published.

Explanation: When a user was enrolled in a group in an unpublished course, the Groups menu displayed the name of the course group. Trying to access the group generated an authentication error. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of the course and only show groups for published courses.

Modules

Differentiated Assignments and Single-Section Courses

If a course only includes one section, differentiated assignments indicate the assignments have multiple due dates.

Explanation: When a course only included one section, differentiated assignments with multiple due dates did not show in Modules that the assignment included multiple due dates. Canvas code has been updated to support showing multiple due dates in courses with only one section.

Notifications

SMS Confirmation Codes

Users can view SMS Confirmation codes to verify SMS contact methods.

Explanation: When a user tried to set up SMS (text) messaging as a contact method, the notification was not sending the confirmation code. Canvas code has been updated to send confirmation codes. This change was deployed to production on August 18.

Grading Scores Checkbox

If the scores opt-in checkbox is disabled at the account level, students cannot view the option in Notifications to opt-in to grading scores.

Explanation: When an admin disabled the option to allow students to opt-in to receive scores in email notifications at the account level, the Notifications page displayed the information about the setting in the tooltip. Canvas code has been updated to remove all mention of the opt-in scores checkbox when the option is disabled.

People

Empty Group Sets

Instructors can view the Groups tab for courses that don’t have any group sets.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to view the Groups tab for a course that did not contain any group sets, the page generated an error. Canvas code has been updated to redirect to the groups page.

Quizzes

Manage Assignments and Quizzes Permission

Instructors can view Quizzes if they do not have the Manage Assignments and Quizzes permission.

Explanation: When an instructor without the Manage Assignments and Quizzes permission tried to view a quiz, the quiz displayed a message saying the quiz was currently locked. Canvas code has been updated to grant read-only access to Quizzes if they do not have the Manage Assignments and Quizzes permission.

Rich Content Editor

YouTube Videos

Embedded YouTube videos use iFrames for playback.


Explanation: When a user pasted a YouTube video link into the Rich Content Editor, the link embedded correctly but was not able to be played. This behavior occurred in the Chrome browser. Canvas code has been updated to play embedded YouTube videos in iFrames.

File Links

File links retain existing file names and highlighted text.


Explanation: When the remote version of the Rich Content Editor and sidebar account feature option was turned on, if a user highlighted text in the Rich Content Editor and uploaded a new file in the sidebar, the highlighted text was unchanged and did not create a link. Additionally, if a user uploaded a new file with no text already highlighted, the file appeared as a link in the bottom of the text area with only the word Link. Canvas code has been updated to create links to files according to the file name, regardless of whether the file is new or previously uploaded. If text is already highlighted, the highlighted text is retained and linked to the selected file. If no text is highlighted, the Rich Content Editor creates a link using the entire file name. This change was deployed to production on August 24.

Rubrics

Rubric Ratings and Sidebar

The Create or Update Rubric buttons are located on the left side of the rubric window.

Explanation: When a user created or updated a rubric with a large number of ratings, the Create or Update Rubric button overlapped into the sidebar. This behavior occurred for users who created or updated rubrics in small browser windows. Canvas code has been updated to move the rubric buttons to the left side of the rubric window.

SIS

Completed State in SIS Enrollments

Users can import SIS enrollments set to a completed state.

Explanation: When a user imported an SIS enrollment with the completed state, the SIS import was not able to process the enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to allow completed enrollments through SIS imports. This change was deployed to production on August 9.

SpeedGrader

Private Comments in Group Submissions

Private student comments posted to group submissions are not visible in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When a student in a group submission posted a private comment to the instructor, the comment was displaying in the SpeedGrader comments until the page was refreshed. This behavior occurred after instructors or TAs make a public comment to the entire group in SpeedGrader, causing the instructors or TAs to think comments were disappearing from submissions. Canvas code has been updated to always hide private comments in group submissions.

Theme Editor

K12 Themes and Global Navigation

When the K12 Specific Features feature option is enabled, Global Navigation icons display the set branding color.

Explanation: When a customer success manager enabled the K12 Specific Features feature option for an institution, and an admin created a K12 theme in the Theme Editor, Global Navigation icon colors were not able to be updated. Canvas code has been updated to allow K12 Global Navigation icons to be branded in the Theme Editor.

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Comments

Can I just say how excited I am about the Modules visual enhancements? No more clipped item names, bigger and brighter item type indicators, easier to tell published from unpublished ... oh my! Smiley Happy Thank you team for all your hard work!

Hi Erin,

Thanks for getting some more information on this. To be honest I am not sure I would call this fixed if there is at least an hour wait between marking the assignment as anonymous and then downloading the assignments. I have to think most instructors will do these two steps almost instantaneously and then assume it is not working correctly. This time lag is a major caveat and should have been mentioned in the release notes. Please let us know when the lag is reduced.

Thanks again!

Dan

Has anyone tried the new Conferencing features indicated?  In Chrome I'm still seeing the following message, despite what the Release Notes indicated as it being more Chrome-friendly:

chrome app.jpg

Not a huge deal in our case since so few faculty use it, but I always like to test these out before announcing it.

Is there a way to make all the HELP links open in a new tab vs. opening on top of Canvas?

kmiller​...

Not in the current user interface, and I'm glad you asked about this...because I wanted this right away, too.  I actually created a Feature Idea about this, and so I'll ask for your vote (and the vote of others here in the Community) when it opens for voting in September. 

I too, don't think it to be good design to have the help links replace the default Canvas display if linking to an outside domain. For now I believe to mitigate this you would have to use custom .js override file and jQuery. Until such a feature request gets implemented here's a quick snippet of code to do this for ALL links in the help menu:

$(".ic-NavMenu-list-item__link").each(function(i, obj) {      $(this).attr("target","_blank");; });

FYI for everyone about custom links in the "Help" menu...  I've found that after adding several custom links, the order that you intended for your "Help" menu doesn't "stick"...no matter how many times you try to re-re-order and save.  I have submitted this as a bug to Instructure's Help Desk staff.  This morning I received word that the bug fix is currently in QA, and they are expecting it to be released shortly.  happypanda happypandadance

How does this work with the link, "Ask Your Instructor a Question"?  When users click on that link, this is what displays within the same Help menu:

Help.jpg

On my first test in the Chrome developer console manipulating the html for that link, it doesn't seem to affect it as the href is a hashtag for an id of #teacher_feedback. The UI changes out in the same tab to the expected interface to create a Conversation message. I cannot say that it would be the same in every browser.

FYI, our institution hasn't spearheaded changing the link behavior in this list, so I whipped up that JavaScript snippet as a proof of concept if someone was interested in taking it further.

I was wondering the same thing myself,  @Chris_Hofer ​!  So I went to our Test installation (didn't want to do it on Production the first day of classes) and "masqueraded" as an unsuspecting student.  It functions a little like the Inbox in that the drop-down listing auto-populates with a listing of courses the student was/is enrolled in.  However, unlike the Inbox function, there is NO indicator/separation at all for "Concluded" courses as opposed to active courses.  For the student I masqueraded as, one of the courses listed on that drop-down menu that you depicted shows a class from the Spring 2015 semester!  And it does not seem to be all courses she ever enrolled in on that list--just a select few.  (Including, of course, her current courses.)  It lists 10 courses altogether on that menu, and she has enrolled in at least 16 published course sites so far.

I honestly do not recall what limitations the previous version had (if any), but clearly older courses should somehow be separated from current courses, as is the case in the current Inbox.

Oops--sorry  @Chris_Hofer ​--that last comment of mine was not a direct answer to your question regarding the tabs, but more my own observation of the behavior of that menu item.  Is that how it worked on the previous version, as well?  (Having so many classes listed?)

I reported this as a bug!  Why would they do this? Smiley Sad

I just assumed it had to be broken.  Any idea why they decided to change it?  Classes started today here, and I showed many faculty how to access the Help links using the previous version of how the help links worked.  Now, I worry this may make our faculty (who are new to Canvas) give up on using Help before they've even started.

Hi, Ken,

The best case here is to make sure your version of Java is current and that you are using the latest version of Chrome.

Thanks,

Erin

erinhallmarkI think what  @kblack ​ is experiencing is the fact that Google Chrome no longer supports older-style browser plugins like Java and Silverlight. Ref: http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/chrome.xml

Hi, Tara,

Sometimes things just happen. But we're happy to make it right as quickly as we can. We have someone in support working on this now.

Thank you,

Erin

Hi, Jeffrey,

BigBlueButton reconfigured how desktop sharing works so that it does work with Chrome. However, we just found out that BigBlueButton didn't actually deploy their change in production last weekend as they were working to correct one last behavior. Apologies on the confusion! (BigBlueButton does recommend making sure Java is always current, though, if you're having difficulties installing it later on.)

[Edit] The updates will be available on Saturday, September 10.

Thanks,

Erin

Erin,

Thanks!  Sometimes, things like this happen, and they actually benefit a certain subset of the Canvas users, while other times, it's unintended consequences of changes in programming.  I'm actually glad to hear it's not an intended behavior - it gives me a bit more hope that it won't stay that way.

-Tara

That makes more sense, Erin.

In general, I'm curious as to how the parts of Canvas that still rely on browser plugins are going to fare with Chrome users. Chrome is reportedly dumping the idea of updating Flash regularly at the end of the year or at least changing the way that users will be required to interact with web sites that have Flash content on them. I'm aware that Canvas uses Flash mostly for recording video from WebCams and for some areas that accept file uploads. Any indication on how Canvas is prepared to react to such situation where the web standards re-occupy functionality in the space that browser plugins have needed in the past? I'm referring to ideas like WebRTC​ for starters.

Thank you, erinhallmark​ for the added information.  I was just going to add that indeed I was on the latest Chrome and even downloaded the latest Java just to make extra-sure it wasn't working right before saying something, but you confirmed that.  (Other than that, how's your Monday going?  Smiley Happy )  

Thanks, JEFHQ12951​, as well, for backing me up a bit and for the added information concerning Chrome.  There's many developers who are going to have to be making some adjustments to things courtesy of Chrome!

Big improvement on the length of module item titles --- thanks for making that change!

Hi, Jeffrey,

Canvas is already set to prefer HTML5 instead of Flash, so there isn't a need to be worried since our engineers don't seem to be. They've been working on a lot of changes on the backend to make sure Canvas is using the latest technologies and standards.

Thanks,

Erin

It appears that this feature option was turned on by default when it was rolled out to production, and several people have already turned it on for their courses.

I was hoping to have the opportunity to roll this out in between terms as well as the ability to develop send out some instructions and guidelines at that point.  I guess I'll be writing those up today since it's already on and people found it.   Smiley Sad

After waiting for this feature for a year, I am disappointed to see that my course images are washed out with the color overlay.  I assumed that course images would display brightly, similar to the Canvas network https://www.canvas.net/.  Please remove the color overlay or allow the user the option to select no background or clear background.

Student View of Grades issues.  I have 22 tickets from student who can't see their grades from their Dashboard view.  The date of these tickets is 08/27 to 08/30.  This is random but suspicious number of tickets for the same thing.  I have submitted this as a bug, just wondering if anyone else is seeing this?

I disagree and think Canvas should keep the color overlay.

The color overlay is important for those students who want to color code their courses so they can quickly locate them in the dashboard. If you remove the color overlay, then you're taking the decision out of the hand of the user and putting it into the hand of the instructor. I can also see the same image being used multiple times -- let's say that a department dictates that all their courses must use the department logo as a way to brand their courses. That probably sounds good to the department, but it just made it harder for the student taking multiple courses in that area to benefit from the coloring.

Also, let's say that the instructor has a "graphic of the week" and likes to change their image so that students cannot rely on the image to identify their course. Keeping the color overlay keeps control of the student's dashboard in the hands of the student, not the instructor.

Students can still find the text version of the course, but the colorization gave a quick way to find it without having to read. Colors are also coordinated between the course favorites, the course dashboard, and the calendar. For accessibility reasons, information should not rely on color, but for those who can benefit from it, the use of a common color provides a consistency. The course cards on the dashboard is going to be the primary place they see that color and should be kept.

I just want to add to  @James ​ comment that the user chosen colors are also coordinated with the mobile apps where (I believe) the course card images will not show up. So if a user is looking for their History 101 course that they have made purple, the course appears as the same color in on both their phone/tablet and in a web browser.

Excellent, well thought out response as always  @James ​

Here's why it's *not* a good idea.

* First, it washes out both the image AND the color overlay. The color becomes so muddled that you can't even tell what it is. What they should have done is what they showed us at InstructureCon - They bordered the image with the card color.

* Secondly - and far more disconcerting than esthetics - is that I'm concerned about people with visual impairments and the lack of image contrast.

I could not agree more. This is both aesthetically displeasing, but I believe that it may violate ADA guidelines for image contrast.

Allow me to follow this up further. If an image is uploaded that contains text (which I have to assume many will), it must conform the a certain contrast ratio as specified here: WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker

Any text over a background color or image must be high contrast. The color overlay debilitates that contrast.

rgibson1​,  @cfinke ​, and anyone else following the course card image discussion, a new feature idea has been queued up to open for voting next week:

Support found that our tickets are tied to students who are in cross-linked courses and within trust relationships where courses use multiple grading periods.  Seems the new release wasn't prepared for that in the dashboard grades view.  Wanted to share back as this is a confirmed bug and they are working on a fix now.

I agree! It is more helpful to faculty and students if their course stays open in the original tab and then the Canvas Guides open in a new tab.

Your feature request covers custom links but not the general links such as Search the Canvas Guides, Ask the Community, and Submit a Feature Request. It would be helpful to be able to open those pages in a new tab as well.

A00274597​...

I am not opposed to that idea, either.  If you'd like to post your thoughts to that Feature Idea, that would be fantastic!  That way, Instructure knows that it is important to you, me, and others.

In the update to Modules, where it says "Module content, such as assignment availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the content item title." we are no longer seeing the assignment availability dates in the Module. Is this applicable for Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions?

jen

Is there anyway we can turn on the Underline All Links Feature Option to be the default for all of our users? This would be a terrific ability for an Admin to be able to control. Thanks!

Hi, Kathleen,

Modules have never displayed the availability dates. They only display the due date (if assigned). You can still view the availability dates in Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions.

Hope that helps!

Erin

Hi, Jennifer,

That feature was developed specifically for accessibility, and not all users will want to have it enabled. Therefore, the feature was created as a user-level feature option, which can only be managed by individual users.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Dan,

Most Canvas assignment features actually operate using this same caching method. Re-caching Canvas only periodically helps maintain performance. If Canvas were consistently reloading content in the background, Canvas wouldn't be able to operate as efficiently. Our engineers did make a change to have the Gradebook cache reset when the anonymous setting is changed, so hopefully that will help out. That change is currently in beta right now.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Ken,

Several of the behaviors in the sidebar have been resolved and should be in production shortly.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, Jennifer,

Our design team is trying to keep the interface as clean as possible, which is why they are repurposing the help link so it can be used more easily for custom links. The Global Navigation Menu already contains a lot of links, and institutions using Commons or Arc also have those respective links in the menu as well. The end goal is to develop features that do help you from having to use custom CSS/JS. Features are always being evaluated and can be updated based on feedback other and future enhancements.

Hope that helps,

Erin

Hi, Bill,

The SIS icon should be back on the assignments page now, if not soon. Our engineers just pushed that fix into production. Smiley Happy

Thanks,

Erin

Issue: List view of Assignments

The most recent update creates significant difficulty and slows the course updating & troubleshooting process. Prior to this update,  settings showed in consistent places in the list view of Assignments (points showed on the far right of each line, due dates left of points, available/until dates, then module placement or blank space.)  Faculty or Instructional Designers could "look for a blank spot" to see errors or missing info.  Now, placement of these info bits shifts inconsistently and it forces course builders to read each line for content--not just to look for blank spaces or anomalies. Serious time waster.

Issue: Icon size and contrast

Thanks for the green bar on published assignments. Many Faculty members I serve wear glasses and the contrast with icons was not improved with the size. For example, the larger circle and black ring on a Quiz icon--it is larger but the center Q is still faint and blurry. I appreciate the effort the improve it, but the outer ring of black was not the problem.  Width and contrast clarity of the Q character is what was needed.

Agreed. It takes people out of their courses--making them less likely to actually click the Help button when they need it.

It's there! Thank you and please thank the engineers!

Hi, Rachel,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about these changes. Our product team is consistently evaluating the designs within Canvas to provide the user experience for everyone. Canvas is designed to be responsive to various browser windows and enlargements (zooming in and out, etc) so sometimes tradeoffs have to be made to get all of that to work.  Additional adjustments may be made in the future based on continued feedback, which is always welcome.

Thank you!

Erin

Hey, everyone,

The next beta release notes have been published: Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-09-06)

Most of the behaviors discussed these comment threads are being resolved and we're trying to get them in this upcoming release if we can. Stay tuned for the fixed bug section in the production notes being posted next Monday, September 12.

Any feedback on the course card color overlay can be made in the existing feature idea Remove colour overlay from course cards that have an image.

As always, if you are experiencing contrary functionality behaviors about a Canvas feature, please submit a case to Canvas support according to your institution's support procedures. Support is always happy to help!

Thank you!

Erin

[Edit: added link to beta release notes.]