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Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-03)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-06-03)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

Rich Content Editor Sidebar: July 15
On July 15, enhancements to the Rich Content Editor Sidebar (Content Selector) will be enabled in all Canvas features for all Canvas institutions. These enhancements already exist in Pages and the Syllabus using the Remote Version of the Rich Content Editor and Sidebar account-level feature option. Learn more about the Rich Content Editor Sidebar in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07).

New Instructor Tutorials: July 15
On July 15, the New Instructor Tutorials feature will be enabled for all Canvas institutions. This feature is comprised of the Modules Home Page and New User Tutorial feature options and will apply to all new Canvas courses. Learn more about New Instructor Tutorials in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

In this production release (June 3), account developer keys support user notes and enhanced usage statistics. Any Course Home Page can display recent announcements, content exports expire after 30 days, and the Gradebook Individual View displays weighted grading periods. The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements are available for all areas of Canvas including Quizzes, and the Rich Content Editor includes several updates.

Production release notes also include API updates and fixed bugs.


Canvas New Feature Screencast (2017-06-03)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: June 12
  • Production release notes: June 19
  • Production release and documentation: June 24

Production release notes indicate Canvas updates that will be included with Saturday’s release and are subject to change. However, some features may already be deployed to production as indicated in the release notes.

New features may differ from those available in your beta environment. Learn more about the Canvas Release Schedule.


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


  Updated Features



Course Home Page Recent Announcements Display

In Course Settings, the Show recent announcements option displays for any Course Home Page. Previously recent announcements only displayed when the Course Home Page was set to the Front Page.


Content Export Expiration

After an initial content export, the export expires after 30 days and can no longer be downloaded. A new content export can be created at any time. 

Content exports are located in the content exports page in Course Settings, and the download assignment submissions page in User Settings.


Developer Keys

Notes Field and Enhanced Usage Statistics

The Developer Keys account page includes a notes field to keep information about a key, such as how the key should be used. Notes about a developer key can be added in the Add Developer Keys page or by editing existing developer keys.

The Usage Stats section includes the access token count and the last used date. This information will only start to populate data for developer keys created after the June 3 release.


Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Add notes field and usage stats to Developer Keys


Individual View Weighted Grading Periods Display

After a student is selected from the student drop-down menu, the Student Information section in the Gradebook Individual View displays assignment groups when an individual grading period is being viewed. However, when grading periods are weighted and the All Grading Periods option is selected, the Grades section displays the weight of each grading period. Like in the grading period set, the total percentage is not displayed. 


Rich Content Editor

Remote Version of Rich Content Editor and Sidebar Global Availability

This feature applies to a entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature by contacting their Canvas Customer Success Manager.

The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus are available in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes. The sidebar enhancements include a visual style update and pagination support. Currently the sidebar enhancements only display in Pages and the Syllabus.


Embedded Content Preview

When content is embedded through the HTML editor, switching back to the Rich Content Editor displays a preview of the iFrame content. Previously embedded content always displayed as a gray box and content could only be viewed once the page was saved. This change does not apply to media added through the Link to URL icon in the Rich Content Editor Menu.

This change is already available in the production environment in Pages and the Syllabus.


Full Screen YouTube Link

In Pages, YouTube URLs linked in the Rich Content Editor support full-screen viewing. When users click the video thumbnail image, Canvas expands the video window to 425x344 pixels. To display the video in full screen, users can select the Full Screen option in the YouTube menu. This change allows users to view YouTube videos without having to open the video directly in YouTube.


Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Allow fullscreen for YouTube links

Table Context Menu

When a table is added and selected in the Rich Content Editor, the table displays a context menu. This change allows for quicker table navigation and design access.

This change is already available in the production environment in Pages and the Syllabus.


Media Play Icon

When a user creates or uploads audio or video files using the Record/Upload Media icon, the Play button for the media file displays against the background with higher contrast. This change also improves accessibility for visually impaired users. This change does not apply to media added through the Link to URL icon in the Rich Content Editor Menu.




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


External Tools API

In the External Tools API, the Create an External Tool endpoint supports the tool_configuration[prefer_sis_email] parameter, which allows an admin to default the lis_person_contact_email_primary to prefer a provisioned sis_email.

  Fixed Bugs


Account Settings
In the Help menu, disabled elements do not receive keyboard focus.

When an external URL is added to a module with the option to load the URL in a new tab, the text Links to an external site is not added to the module item’s title.

Rich Content Editor
When a user creates or uploads audio or video files using the Record/Upload Media icon, the Play button for the media file displays against the background with higher contrast.

Users API
The endpoint to view a list of users displays each user once.

Explanation: When a call was made using the Users API to view a list of users, some users were displaying on multiple pages, specifically for users of the same sortable name.


External Tool File Uploads
Students can submit an external tool file upload to an assignment.

Explanation: When a student tried to upload a file to an assignment using an external tool, the assignment page displayed a message asking if the student wanted to reload or leave the page. Canvas code has been updated to submit the file without a warning message.

Group Assignment Differentiated Due Dates
Previously created assignments can be changed to a differentiated group assignment.

Explanation: When a previously created assignment was changed to a group assignment, and differentiated group due dates were added to the assignment, the assignment could not be saved. Canvas code has been updated to allow an assignment changed to a group assignment to support differentiated due dates.

Submission Status
The Submission Details page for an assignment only shows a submitted status if a submission has been received.

Explanation: When a student had not yet submitted an assignment, the assignment’s Submission Details page displayed a submitted status. Canvas code has been updated to only display a submitted status when the assignment includes an active submission.


Google Authentication

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

Explanation: When Google authentication was enabled for an account and did not include a Google Apps domain, the hosted_domain field generated a login error. Canvas code has been updated to ensure that users can log in when the Google Apps domain is blank.


Scheduler Appointment Group and Syllabus
When an appointment group is deleted from the Calendar, the appointment group is also removed from the Syllabus.

Explanation: When an appointment group was deleted from the Scheduler page, the appointment groups were still displaying in the Syllabus. This behavior affected appointment groups in the new Scheduler. Canvas code has been updated to remove appointment groups from the Syllabus when removed from the Calendar.

Scheduler Appointment Group Details Page
The Scheduler Group Details page always includes a row to add a new time slot.

Explanation: When an appointment group was published and later edited from the Calendar, the Group Details page only included one empty row to create a new time slot. After the time slot was created, the page did not create any additional rows for additional time slots. This behavior affected appointment groups in the new Scheduler. Canvas code has been updated to always include a blank row to include a new time slot.

Scheduler Attendee List
If an appointment group allows, students can always see who signed up in a time slot.

Explanation: When an appointment group allowed students to see who was signed up for a time slot, students could view attendees in any time slot. However, once a student signed up for a time slot, the list of attendees in that time slot could no longer be viewed by the student. This behavior affected appointment time slots in the new Scheduler. Canvas code has been updated to always show other attendees who have signed up for a time slot.

Scheduler Time Slot Reservations
Students cannot sign up for or cancel time slots in the past.

Explanation: When an appointment group was in the past, students were still able to reserve a time slot and cancel time slots. This behavior affected appointment groups in the new Scheduler. Canvas code has been updated to not allow students to modify past appointment signups.

Course Import

Announcements and Discussion Copies

This change was deployed to the production environment on May 16.

Announcements and discussions from concluded courses are retained in course copies.

Explanation: When a concluded course was copied to a new course, discussions and announcements were not included in the course copy and the import did not display any errors. Canvas code has been updated to retain previous discussions and announcements in course copies.

Blackboard Lesson Exports
Blackboard lesson exports are imported into Canvas as a module page.

Explanation: When a Blackboard export included lesson plans, only the title of the lesson plan was included in a module. Canvas code has been updated to import Blackboard lesson plans as a modules page.

Course Settings
Course Image Uploads
Images can be uploaded for course cards in the Dashboard.

Explanation: When a course enables the feature option to add images to a course card, images were not able to be uploaded. Canvas code has been updated to allow images to be uploaded for course cards.


Course Home Page Recent Announcements and URLs
Recent announcements display links as part of the announcement text.

Explanation: When a course has enabled recent announcements in the Course Home Page, the body of the announcement displayed the URL markup around the URL. Canvas code has been updated to show links in announcements.


Group Discussion Posts and Concluded Courses
When a group discussion in a concluded course is set to require users to post before seeing replies, all users can view the group discussion post.

Explanation: When a course was concluded, all course roles other than students were unable to see group discussion posts that required users to post before seeing replies. Canvas code has been updated to allow all concluded users to view the group discussion posts.


Unauthenticated Users and User Files
Unauthenticated users must log in to Canvas before accessing their user files page.

Explanation: When an unauthenticated user tries to access their user files page, the page generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to redirect unauthenticated users to the Canvas login page.


Groups List
In the Global Navigation Menu, the Groups link displays up to 10 active groups.

Explanation: When a user accessed the Groups link, some active groups were not displayed in the Groups list if the user had more concluded groups than active groups. Canvas code has been updated to always show up to 10 active groups.

Usage Rights
Usage rights are not required for group submissions.

Explanation: When a student uploaded a file for a group submission in a course that required usage rights for files, the student wasn’t asked to set usage rights for the file. The file showed as uploaded, but the submissions folder did not display the group file. Canvas code has been updated to not require usage rights in group submission files.

Section Enrollment Count
Rejected enrollments are not counted in the total number of users in a section.

Explanation: When users had been invited to a course section but rejected the course invitation, the Course Settings number of users enrolled in the section counted the rejected enrollment as an active enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to disregard rejected enrollments when counting the total number of users in a section.


User CSV File Integration IDs
Integration IDs are retained for individual users in user.csv files.

Explanation: When a user.csv file was imported via SIS, and the integration ID was blank for an existing user, the import used the integration ID for the first user in the spreadsheet whose information included an integration ID. The import failed since the first integration ID had been claimed. This behavior only affected existing users in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to retain integration IDs for each user and import the CSV file without error.

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New Instructor Tutorials: July 15
On July 15, the New Instructor Tutorials feature will be enabled for all Canvas institutions. This feature is comprised of the Modules Home Page and New User Tutorial feature options and will apply to all new Canvas courses. Learn more about New Instructor Tutorials in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

It would be nice if this could be done without having the "Modules Home Page" option enabled (the way I'm reading this says Modules Home Page will be turned on and no option to disable, correct?).

When New Instructor Tutorials are released on July 15, will we still be able to disable these from the Feature Options? Better yet, will the release be applied as "Off"? We do not want to use the 'New Instructor Tutorials' until we can control this at the sub-account level; our adjunct instructors on the Worldwide campus have a very specific template they are trained in, and the additional tutorials will be very confusing.

Agree'd! Smiley Happy 

I've been building a number of courses these past few weeks and have noticed the 'Embedded Content Preview' on Pages. While it's cool to be able to see a preview of embedded content before clicking save, I've noticed that the ability to resize the iframe place-holder (grey box) in the Rich Content side of the editor is lost. In other words, if I don't like the size of the embedded item as it first appears, I have to go and adjust the height and width of the item via the HTML Editor. Not a huge deal to me, as I know just enough to hack at simple HTML adjustments, but the same is not true of our primary users.

Anybody else experiencing this change?

Yup...same thing here.  If I needed to change the dimensions for an embedded YouTube video, for example, I'd just go back to the embed options on the YouTube page and change them there.  That way, I know it's going to scale correctly.

On a slightly similar note, when I use the YouTube button available on the RCE to search for a video to embed, I choose the arrow next to the "Embed" button to select a size of the video.  No matter if I choose Small, Medium, or Large, the preview of the video in the RCE seems to be 300x150 pixels.  It's only when you save the page that you see the actual size of the video.  Looking at the HTML code, it displays both the actual dimensions of the video that you and your students will see...along with the dimensions of the preview when editing the page via the RCE.  I could see where this may be an issue if you were trying to align a video or some other content on a page to make it look nice...only to then save the page and have it look different than what you had expected...especially if you aren't comfortable looking at HTML code.

Yes I am seeing this too! I submitting a ticket on this as well. 

I see this as a big oversight on embedded content being useful in the RCE if it cannot be resized without knowledge of HTML. 

On a side-note I'm not sure what the advantages are for the RCE content selector sidebar enhancements being everywhere. Other than look of the sidebar, what does the enhanced version do that the other one doesn't? What are we missing if we don't ask our CSM to enable this?

Yes, I'd also like to know the answer to this question!


Our support team has been reviewing that behavior and we're going to see if engineering can look into it.

The RCE content selector change is primarily backend enhancements; as you've noticed, the interface side doesn't look too different but does have a few small changes. Our engineers need to enable this change in Canvas because it sets the foundation for future Rich Content Editor enhancements.



Hi, Christopher,

Our product team considers both feature options to be part of the New Instructor Tutorials feature so they will be enabled together. Not every feature option in Canvas is meant to stay an option forever; our product team works with our customer success department to find the most ideal time to enable a feature without too much disruption to the majority of our institutions.



erinhallmark‌, could you check on these options for us, please? Thanks!

Hi, Ira,

Please see the comment I left for Christopher above yours.



Hi, everyone,

Some of you may have seen that the top section of the notes linked to an upcoming Canvas Data release for Live Events. That note has been removed, as our Canvas Data team had a scheduling change outside their control. If you are interested in following that release information you can follow the Canvas Data Live Events document.



The table context menu is a nice addition and improves time and easy of use for using tables in the Rich Text Editor!

We've had some teachers express concern about the new message on Course Exports that reads "(expired)" and below it reads "Content exports expire after 30 days" seen below in the clip.

exported content 

As someone comfortable with computers I know that once I download the IMSCC to my computer I'm good. That download link can expire, tap dance, fly to Disney World or whatever as long as I grabbed my copy. To others though, we're already received concern and confusion that their ACTUAL content export they downloaded will expire as if there is some type of "this download will self-destruct in 30days" embedded into the cartridge that they just downloaded.

Again, in the tech world, I know that's not what this message means, but because there are widely different comfort levels in technology with our end users and after already receiving feedback of concern from our teachers, I was wondering if these auto messages could be modified a bit to reduce confusion?


Perhaps something like

Instead of
"Course Export from Apr 12, 2017 8:03am (expired)"
could the expiration message change slightly to something like
"Course Export from Apr 12, 2017 8:03am (download link expired)"


Instead of

"Content exports expire after 30 days."
could the expiration message change slightly to something like
"Download links from this page expire after 30 days."

Could those additional words be appended to the existing auto-created expiration words on these export pages?

Does anyone think this might help?  Thoughts?

Hola Community!! Anyone experiencing difficulties with ePortfolios since the weekend release? Edits and updates are not being saved. I have entered as ticket for this, but thought I would check here to see if this is a larger problem. Thank you!!

Yes indeed,  @ccalderon . We too noticed that ePortfolios was no longer working today. We have an elementary teacher workshop coming up next week about the ease of use of Canvas ePortfolios, and in our prep today we noticed nothing is saving. :smileyshocked:  Well, let me clarify... we could create ePortfolio Sections and also Pages within those sections, but content would not save in any of the blocks on those Pages such as in and HTML/embed or even a Rich Content block. Is this similar to what you found, Crista?canvas admin k-12 help center

I can't resize it (iframe) even though the size is set in the HTML correctly! This is happening in two different instances of Canvas, too.

Okay...that's weird. The first time I set the size, it doesn't work--the height and width are stripped when I save (again, happened in both instances). I just found out when I double-checked it. I put them in a second time, and this time, the sizes saved!

ARGH! It's not the timing, it's each time I edit the item, the height and width disappear. I had to guess the dimensions for one of them (I'd figured it out yesterday!), and each time I edit....they are gone when I go into the HTML editor.

Is anyone else seeing the "Sync to SIS disabled" icon on their Quizzes pages since this update? We do not even have any grade pass-back features enabled in our system, and I can't figure out how to turn it off??

We have this issue as well ...

 @annmarie_johnso ‌ I am seeing the same thing and am just as frustrated as you are. I submitted a ticket for the issue. Haven't heard anything yet. 

I have found a work around! If you use style="width: 600px; height: 400px;"  it doesn't get stripped out! (as opposed to height="480" width="800")

I just happened to copy from another iframe that did this and noticed that it didn't get stripped out. I did it in the two instances where it was stripped, and it stayed!


QC99.tsilvius‌ - thanks for the response. Yes, we are having exactly the same issues as you describe. In addition, new assignment submissions are not showing as available for students to add to their eportfolios. Bad news - this is end of term for us and not a good time for this to be happening. Good news - we sure have a good handle on how many instructors and areas are using eportfolios! More than we thought. 😉

I am also seeing this in our instance of Canvas.

Yes, we're having the same problem and Canvas support is aware of the issue. 😞

Hi AnnMarie,

According to the HTML white list, you should be able to use 'height and 'width' on an iframe element. You might want to submit this to support?


Love that that positive attitude,  @ccalderon ! When life hands you broken ePortfolio tools...

Amen to the end of term business. I almost wish updates to Production just wouldn't exist around the May/June months for K12 and higher ed sanity reasons  🙂  Just as long as it is working, let's get through the high grading period times before schools with summer breaks dismiss the students for summer break. that is, and then after we clear that, release the Kracken of updates!


Do you and your teachers have a plan-B for Canvas ePortfolios like Seesaw or perhaps purposing a Google SIte as a student portfolio, Crista?

A few problems remain with the Calendar bug fixes (related to New Scheduler) in this release:

  • Scheduler Appointment Group and Syllabus: Minor issue - a teacher who navigates from the course Syllabus to an appointment group, using the link from the course summary, will have all assignments, events and appointments "grayed out" in Week or Month view. I've opened a case with Canvas support about it.
  • Scheduler Attendee List: Works fine for individual appointments, but doesn't yet work for group appointments, due to a different bug.  I'm keeping track of these in the comments section of Appointment Signups with New Scheduler Workflow.
  • Scheduler Time Slot Reservations: Partly fixed; students can no longer reserve past time slots. However, by rescheduling to a future reservation, they can effectively cancel a past appointment.  I've reported this in our ongoing case about past appointment reservations.

Thank you erinhallmark for the explanation: "Our engineers need to enable this change in Canvas because..."! It really helps my resiliency to hear reasons for awkward changes, and reassures me that better things are coming!

 @annmarie_johnso  and  @marthazumack 

 @marthazumack This was so frustrating for me too!!!!

 @ccalderon ‌ and others, any updates on this issue? We are getting these reports as well. Thanks!

Hahaha - the Kracken, indeed QC99.tsilvius‌!! Sadly, no we do not have a backup plan - but it's looking like we may be heading that way. We will be going 100% Office365 by Fall Quarter, so OneDrive will most likely be our solution.

 @straussi ‌ - no updates since I pinged on my tickets yesterday afternoon. Just that it is identified as an issue and they are working on it. As tickets come in today, I am escalating them directly to Instructure.

I have great news  @ccalderon ‌, QC99.tsilvius‌ &  @straussi ‌

We were getting ready to publish a Top Known Issue for Admins, this morning, and our engineers were able to push out a fix before we could do that!  You should see it in your production instances real soon, if not already!

 @Renee_Carney ‌ - yay!!! We will be waiting with bated breath.

Yeah - I didn't think it was spelled that way either....  🙂

Hi, AnnMarie,

If you haven't already, please submit a ticket to Canvas support. We want to be able to help you so you aren't frustrated, and specific examples are always the best way to help us figure out what is going on. Sounds like snugent has already submitted one, but the more cases we can get help verify functionality.

Thank you,


Bated breath: 

Bender from Futurama with his mouth open and holding up his hands in anticipation

Baited breath: 

Heron eating a fish

Or just bad breath ...


Same problem here - how do I submit a ticket?

This is a great update,  @Renee_Carney . Thanks so much for sharing the progress!

Hi, Jacci,

We apologize that this behavior is affecting you! The fix for this is in beta and we'll get it into production as quickly as we can. 

Thanks for your patience,


Hi, Jacci,

This fix is in the production environment. Smiley Happy



Hi, everyone,

The next release is ready to go and beta notes can be viewed here: