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Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-02-17)

Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-02-17)

Upcoming Canvas Changes

LDAP No TLS Support: March 31

On March 31, Canvas will no longer support the No TLS option for LDAP authentication. In the Canvas authentication page, the TLS preference should be updated to either Simple TLS or Start TLS. Institutions should work with their LDAP vendor to encrypt traffic and verify their TLS port.

Related Product Updates

Canvas Data Live Events: February 17
On February 17, Live Events will be available in Canvas Data in the production environment and conforms to the Caliper 1.1 standard. Live Events is not available for testing in the beta environment. For more details, please see the Live Events configuration document in the Canvas Data community space.

In this production release (February 17), subaccounts no longer support the Modify Login Details for Users account role permission. Grade Export and MGP Grade Export reports include columns for posted and unposted grades, and the SIS Export report includes group categories. And global announcements can be restricted to an individual institution if the institution is associated with a trust account.

In courses, individually graded group assignments include clarified options for sending student and instructor comments. The New Gradebook allows instructors to enter grades without having to verify the display grade originally set for the assignment. And the People page includes a field to record the date a student last attended a course.

Small interface changes have been made in the New Scheduler appointment group editing window, Modules page, and the Terms of Use pages. And various changes have been made to platform and integration tools including APIs, LTI tool visibility, and SAML authentication.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs.

This release involves an authentication change that may require user attention.

Features are subject to change throughout the release based on user feedback and testing. Please follow the release notes for the latest information.


Canvas New Feature Screencast (2018-02-17)

Next release schedule

  • Beta release and notes: February 26
  • Production release notes: March 5
  • Production release and documentation: March 10

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.

The Canvas product team welcomes feedback according to Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines. Release notes comments are subject to release notes comment policies.

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

Flash Content Reminder: Canvas displays Flash content as supported within major browsers. Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox default to HTML5 as the preferred method for displaying website content, which promotes a faster, more secure browsing experience. These browsers will eventually block all Flash content. For best performance in Canvas, course content should be designed to support HTML5. Any affected content can still be accessed by manually allowing permission for flash content in the browser. Using the camera and microphone to record media content within the Canvas Rich Content Editor currently still relies on Flash and is being addressed by Canvas engineers.

Advanced CSS and JavaScript users: Canvas releases may include undocumented changes that affect styles and code in custom applications. Please make sure to view your Beta environment for any customization conflicts.


  Updated Features



Individually Graded Group Assignment Comment Options

When an instructor creates a group assignment with individual grading, the group assignment includes specified options that clarify how to send submission comments. This change helps clarify comment distribution in group assignments with individual grading. Previously if a student didn’t select the option to send the comment to the entire group, instructors were not able to view the comments in SpeedGrader.

For individually graded group submissions, students and instructors can view improved commenting options

For student roles, this change applies to the assignment submission page and the submission details page sidebar. Students can choose whether they want to send a comment to the instructor only or to the whole group.

For instructor roles, this change applies to the submission details page sidebar, the Gradebook comment window, and the SpeedGrader sidebar. Instructors can choose whether they want to send a comment to the student only or to the whole group.

Note: Comments are not currently supported in the New Gradebook.

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


Course Home Page Student View Button

The Course Home Page includes a Student View button. This change allows instructors to access student view without having to open Course Settings.

The Student View button can be accessed from the Course Home Page

Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions: Add a button to enter student view to the course home page 

Global Announcements

Trust Account Domain Restriction

Admins in a trust relationship can create global announcements and limit the announcement to a specific domain, which restricts the announcement from being viewed when a user logs in to a different domain.

Admins in trust accounts can specify if a global announcement should be for a specific domain

New Gradebook

Entered Grades Calculation Value

Instructors can enter grades in the New Gradebook in any format without having to confirm the grade display originally set for the assignment.

When the Enter Grades option is set to points, grades can be entered as points or percentages. The entered grade is converted into points and displayed appropriately. Percentage entries are calculated as percentages but displayed as the appropriate point value. For instance, for a 25-point assignment, entering 80% in a Gradebook cell or in the Grade Detail Tray calculates to 20 points and displays the grade as the point value.

New Gradebook Enter Grades as Point Value

When the Enter Grades option is set to a percentage, grades can be entered by percentage or grading scheme (if a grading scheme is set for the assignment). Entries without a percent symbol are always calculated as a percentage, which helps graders save time by not having to always enter the percent symbol. For instance, for a 25-point assignment, entering 100% in a Gradebook cell or in the Grade Detail Tray calculates as 100% and displays the grade as the percentage. Point values are not supported; entering 20 as a point value calculates as 20%. 

Additionally, for Letter Grade assignments that include a grading scheme, entering a grading scheme value calculates according to the grading scheme and displays as the highest percentage value for the grading scheme.

New Gradebook Enter Grades as Percentage

When the Enter Grades option is set to a grading scheme, grades can be entered as the grading scheme, points, or a percentage. The grading scheme option only displays for Letter Grade assignments that include a grading scheme. The entered grade is converted into the grading scheme and displayed appropriately. For instance, for a 50-point assignment where an A is 50 points, entering an A in a Gradebook cell or in the Grade Detail Tray calculates to 100% or 50 points, but the Gradebook will always display the grade as the grading scheme value.


  • The Enter Grades option is not supported for Complete/Incomplete assignment types.
  • Grading schemes are only calculated using the grading scheme set for an assignment. Course grading schemes are not supported.

New Gradebook supports grade values in any format


Last Attended Date

In the User Details page, an instructor can note the date that a student last attended in the course.

Dates can only be entered in Canvas individually on a per-student basis. Additionally, once a date is entered, it cannot be removed.

Enrollment data can be returned using the Enrollments API.

Note: This functionality is currently not supported for institutions using the Profiles feature.

Instructors can include the last attended date for a student


Modify Login Details for Users Subaccount Permission

In subaccounts, the Account Roles tab does not display the Modify Login Details for Users permission. This change supports permissions functionality, as user data resides in the root account. Admins who would like to enable this permission for subaccount admins should create a new role within the root account.


Grade Export Unposted Columns

The Grade Export report includes additional columns at the end of each row to represent unposted (muted) current and final scores.

MGP Grade Export Unposted Columns

The MGP Grade Export report includes additional columns at the end of each row to represent unposted (muted) current and final scores. Along with the existing current and final score columns, this report also includes individual unposted current and final score columns for each grading period.

SIS Export Group Categories

The SIS Export report includes a Group Categories CSV file, which exports group categories.

  Other Updates


Canvas Interface

New Scheduler Design Updates

This update applies to institutions using the New Scheduler feature. Canvas admins can enable this feature by contacting their Canvas Customer Success Manager.

In the Calendar, the Scheduler appointment group editing window includes minor design updates to the date and time fields.

Module Files Download Icon Update

In Modules, the download icon used for a file added as a module item has been replaced with the attachment icon. This change clarifies user expectations when displayed in a page and helps align consistency throughout all Canvas areas and mobile apps.

Files added as a module item include the attachment icon

Terms of Use Terminology Update

Terms of Use has been renamed to the Acceptable Use Policy. Any link, window, or page in Canvas that previously referenced Terms of Use has been updated to reflect this new terminology. The Acceptable Use Policy link displays in the Canvas footer in the Login page and the Dashboard.

Terms of Use has been renamed to Acceptable Use Policy



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


Entity IDs and SAML

This authentication method includes a change that may require user attention.

Canvas only accepts SAML assertions from explicitly configured Entity IDs. If an IdP doesn’t use a consistent Entity ID, it must be configured to use a static Entity ID. If an institution has multiple IdPs that share the same certificate, each must be explicitly listed in Canvas.

Courses API

Default View Parameter

In the Courses API, the Create a New Course and Update a Course endpoints include the course[default_view] parameter, which displays the type of page that users will see when they first visit a course.

Source Code-16.png Canvas open source contributions:  default_view setting available in documentation 

Discussion Topics API

Specific Sections Parameter

The Discussion Topics API supports the specific_sections parameter in the List Discussion Topics and Create a New Discussion Topic endpoints. This parameter returns a list of comma-separated section IDs for the discussion topic.

Group Categories API

SIS Group Category ID and SIS Import ID Parameters

The Group Categories API returns the sis_group_category_id and the sis_import_id for a group category object.

The Create a Group Category and Update a Group Category endpoints support the sis_group_category_id parameter, which is the unique SIS identifier.

Groups API

SIS Group ID Parameter

In the Groups API, the Create a Group and Edit a Group endpoints support the sis_group_id parameter, which is the SIS ID of the group. Users must have the Manage SIS permission to set the SIS ID.


User Navigation Menu LTI Tool Visibility

When configuring XML for an external tool, the tool can be set in the User Navigation Menu and defined for admins only. This content will also be added to the Canvas APIs in a future release.

Plagiarism Detection Platform Users API

Group Index Endpoint

The Plagiarism Detection Platform Users API includes the group_index endpoint, which returns all users in a group. Tool providers may only access groups that belong to the context where the tool is installed.

SIS Import Format Documentation

Parent Account ID Sticky Field

In SIS Import Format Documentation, the parent_account_id field in the accounts.csv is sticky. Sticky changes are not overwritten on the next SIS import unless the Process as UI Changes checkbox is selected in the Canvas interface.

Groups CSV Group Category ID and Course ID Fields

The groups.csv supports the group_category_id and course_id fields.

The group_category_id field is the group category identifier from group_categories.csv. If none is specified, the group will be in the default group category for the account or course, or root account if there is no specified course ID or account ID.

The course_id field is the course identifier from courses.csv. If none is specified, the group will be attached to the root account.

Group Categories CSV

SIS Import files supports the group_categories.csv, which manages all group categories for an account and works in conjunction with the groups.csv. Group categories allow grouping of groups together in Canvas.

  Fixed Bugs




The Lock and Delete buttons are read correctly by screen readers.

Admin Tools

View Notifications Tab Date Range

In the View Notifications tab, date queries return all results for the date range.

Explanation: When a user with permission to view notifications searched for a user’s notifications within a specific date range, notification results were returned at random. Canvas code has been updated to return notification results within the specified date range. Additionally, invalid date ranges generate an error.


Full Width External Tool Assignment Sidebar

External tool assignments configured as full width do not display the sidebar in the assignment page.

Explanation: When an external tool includes full-width configuration, the assignment sidebar prevented the tool from displaying full width without having to view the tool in a new window. Canvas code has been updated to not display the assignment sidebar for external tools configured for full width.

Blueprint Courses

Untitled Calendar Events

Untitled calendar events do not affect Blueprint Course syncs.

Explanation: When an untitled calendar event was added to a Blueprint Course, the course generated an error when attempting to sync to associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to support untitled events in the calendar.


Week View Events

In Week view, calendar events longer than 30 minutes are fully displayed.

Explanation: When a calendar event longer than 30 minutes was viewed in the Week view, the event’s title was cut off horizontally. Canvas code has been updated to display titles for events longer than 30 minutes.


Sender Conversation Count

Conversations include for the sender when counting the number of recipients.

Explanation: When a user sent a group message to 100 users, the users were unable to reply to the conversation, both for the group or individually, because they received an error about too many participants in the conversation. Canvas code has been updated to include the sender as part of the recipient count in group conversations.


Courses Filter and Grading Periods

The Courses filter displays grades for other courses regardless of grading period.

Explanation: When a student filtered the Grades page to view an course that did not share the same grading period as the current course at the account level, the page generated an error. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to view all available courses regardless of grading period.


Course Date Restrictions and Inactive Status

If a course is set to restrict access before or after the start date and includes student groups, students are not displayed with an inactive status in the group.

Explanation: When a course was set to restrict access before or after the start date and included student groups, students were being displayed as inactive in the group. Canvas code has been updated to match the enrollment state for students in group enrollments.


Special Character Module Titles

Content locked by modules does not show encoded characters in the module name.

Explanation: When a module included special characters in the module name, and the content was locked either by date or prerequisites, students were able to view the encoded version of the characters in the title. Canvas code has been updated to retain special characters rather than display the encoded version.

New Gradebook

Total Column Misalignment

Changing the placement of the Total column does not misalign any other column.

Explanation: When a user moved the Total column to the front of the Gradebook and then back to the end, the other columns became misaligned until the page was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to correct Gradebook scrolling with the Total column.

Total Column Duplication

Changing the placement of the Total column and applying filters does not duplicate the Total column.

Explanation: When a user moved the Total column to the front of the Gradebook and then applied any filter, the Total column was shown twice in the New Gradebook and until the page was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to not display the Total column twice when filters are applied.


Future Courses

Notifications are not sent to students in published date-restricted courses with future start dates.

Explanation: When a published course had a start date in the future, students received notifications for any action that triggered a notification although they were unable to access the course content. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications in published courses with future start dates.

Message All Unassigned Students and Multiple Enrollments

When an instructor messages unassigned students within a group, the notification shows the correct course context for students who have multiple course enrollments with the instructor.

Explanation: When an instructor created groups within a course and used the Message All Unassigned Students option to message students, the message notification did not show the correct course context for a student if the student had multiple course enrollments with the instructor. Canvas code has been updated to use the correct course context when messaging students.


Subaccount Outcome Reports

Outcome reports generated in a subaccount only display outcomes within the subaccount.

Explanation: When an outcome at the account level was used in multiple subaccounts, running an Outcome report within a subaccount showed results from all other subaccounts. Canvas code has been updated to only display outcome results for the subaccount where the report was generated.


Manage Account-Level Settings and Term Access

Admins can view terms in an account without the Manage Account-Level Settings permission.

Explanation: When an admin user with the Manage Account-Level Settings permission tried to view the list of terms in the account-level Courses page, the Terms menu was not able to be displayed. Canvas code has been updated to display the list of terms in an account without the Manage Account-Level Settings permission. Admins can view the Courses page with the Manage ( add / edit / delete ) courses permission.


Multiple Question Quiz Regrade

Correct scores are retained for quiz questions regraded multiple times.

Explanation: When the quiz regrade feature was used to regrade multiple questions within a quiz multiple times, each question in the quiz failed to process grades consistently if the regrading took place within a short amount of time. Canvas code has been updated to apply updated grades for each regraded question.


Deleted Enrollment Rubric Visibility

Rubrics from deleted enrollments are not visible in other courses.

Explanation: When a rubric was created in a course by an instructor whose enrollment was later deleted, the rubric was able to be viewed by other instructors in other courses. Canvas code has been updated to not display rubrics created by deleted enrollments.

Deleted Rubric Assignment Associations

Deleted rubrics do not maintain association with assignments.

Explanation: When a rubric was associated with an assignment and later deleted, the deleted rubric remained associated with the assignment and affected outcome reports. Canvas code has been updated to remove association with assignments when rubrics are deleted.

SIS Import

SIS Import Error CSV

All SIS import errors are displayed in the SIS Import page.

Explanation: When a SIS file was imported for an account, the page displayed a list of import errors that did not correctly identify all the errors. Canvas code has been updated to display all SIS import errors.

SIS Import Format Documentation

Change SIS ID CSV and User Integration ID

The Change SIS ID CSV file does not include user_integration_id as a supported type item.

Explanation: When a user tried to change the user_integration_id in the Change SIS ID CSV file, the action could not be completed. Canvas code has been updated to remove user_integration_id as a type that can be changed.


Long Description Display

In SpeedGrader, the long description for a criterion can be viewed by clicking the Show Long Description link.

Explanation: When a user viewed a rubric to assess a submission, the long description for a criterion showed in SpeedGrader, causing the rubric to stretch down the page. Canvas code has been updated to retain the Show Long Description link for criterion when a rubric is viewed in SpeedGrader. This behavior does not affect rubrics within the Rubrics page.

Originality Reports and Submissions API

Originality report requests do not slow loading times in the Submissions API.

Explanation: When originality reports were requested for an assignment, the query slowed the Submissions API and affected loading times in both SpeedGrader and the Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to improve originality report queries in Canvas.

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"When the Enter Grades option is set to a percentage, only percentage values are supported."  This isn't quite true. I can still enter letter grades when the Enter Grades option is set to a percentage. The New Gradebook will return the highest percentage for that letter grade.

Hi, Cecilia,

We're noting behavior as intended by our engineering team, so if you're seeing that letter grades are supported for percentages I will ask them to review that, just in case.



It'll definitely be nice to have the student view button on the course home page, even though it was just one extra click the convenience is nice.

 @cclo ‌ and erinhallmark‌ - I was playing around with that, as well, and here is what I observed:

  • If the Assignment itself was set to "Display Grade as Percentage" and the column in the New Gradebook was likewise set to "Enter Grades as Percentage" then, indeed, one CANNOT input a letter grade.  Canvas simply leaves the score in the Gradebook as a dash, as though nothing was done.
  • If, however, the Assignment itself was originally set to "Display Grade as Letter Grade" and the column in the New Gradebook is set to "Enter Grades as Percentage" then it will behave as Cecilia indicates.  (One can input a letter grade OR a percentage).


Love some of these changes.

With Autocomplete on menus like this, could it reference both the course code and title, one is more commonly used by the staff and one more commonly used by the students. Staff might be on 3 courses called research ethics, students might be on 5 courses with very similar codes. can we have both please


I'm not sure about the "Modify Login Details for Users Subaccount Permission" change and if it will affect us. We do have sub-accounts that we manually create courses in and add users into. I hoping a couple screenshots will help clear this up for me.

Thank you,


Deleted Rubric Assignment Associations

Deleted rubrics do not maintain association with assignments.

Explanation: When a rubric was associated with an assignment and later deleted, the deleted rubric remained associated with the assignment and affected outcome reports. Canvas code has been updated to remove association with assignments when rubrics are deleted.

-- If I used a rubric to grade an assignment a year ago then, today, delete that rubric from my Outcomes/Rubric page, the rubric (and my grading/feedback) will be deleted from the assignment I graded a year ago? Or will the just the association between the assignment rubric and the outcomes rubric be deleted (leaving my assignment rubric/assessment intact)?

Will you create a way for me to see where my rubrics are being used first, so I determine if it is going to be a disaster to delete the rubric vs. no big deal? Smiley Happy

I also played around with this New Grade book in Beta. If the assignment is originally set to "Display Grade as Letter Grade" as Ken did, and I set the column in the New Grade book to "Enter Grades as percent" the grade book is not referring back to my set grade scheme. Example: If I input a B in the column grade I get 86%. My scheme is set for letter grade of "B" to be a range from 80 - 89%. If I put in "B+" then I get the 89%. The grade book is pointing back to some other scheme that I don't use. This part maybe as expected not sure.

I also tested using the column grade "Enter grades as points", again if I enter a "B" I get  1.72 out of 50 instead of 40 out of 50 as would be expected.  

I hope this helps. 

Hi, Andy,

I'd recommend reaching out to your Customer Success Manager, who can help you further with this change and see if your institution is affected.



Thanks Erin,

Great suggestion! We actually have a regular appointment scheduled for tomorrow, so I'm all set.


Hi Erin, 

FYI: My assignment is set to "Display Grade as Percentage" and the gradebook is set to "Enter Grade as Percentage." I can enter B as a grade and the grade book will turn it to 86%.  Thanks!

Hi, James,

Great idea! That change would be considered a feature enhancement, which are compiled in our Canvas Studio space. If would like to create a new idea there, you'll start a dialog for our product team to share your workflow and ideas of why this enhancement would benefit you and other Canvas customers.



Hi  @cclo ‌, jenningsje‌,  @kblack ‌,

I've clarified with our Gradebook engineers that setting a grade as a percentage can indeed support grading scheme entries, but only if the assignment already includes a grading scheme. The Gradebook displays the grading scheme entry as the highest percentage value for the grading scheme range. 

Assignments that do not include an individual grading scheme cannot correctly calculate grading scheme entries—course grading schemes are not supported, which is what some of you may be experiencing here. When you use a grading scheme entry for an assignment, Canvas is looking for the assignment's grading scheme, and if it doesn't find one, skips to the default Canvas grading scheme, which is included in all Canvas courses regardless of whether you've enabled it as a course grading scheme. We are looking into whether we can support course grading schemes for grade entry, and if our product team supports that idea, it will be included in a future release.

So basically, if you're going to use a grading scheme value to enter all your grades, make sure your assignment has already been set with a specific grading scheme. Then your grade calculations, regardless of your Enter Grades as selection, will be correct.

Hope that helps!


Hi, Tasha,

Only the association is removed. When a rubric was deleted, Canvas was still looking for that rubric when compiling reports, when in fact it shouldn't have been looking for it at all. So we've fixed that so the association is no longer there.

Our product teams are aware of several enhancement ideas requested for rubrics. If you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to check out existing rubric requests and share your thoughts in any ideas that would help you achieve how you use rubrics in Canvas.



Hi, everyone,

We've made a change to our upcoming release and will no longer deploy the GPA scale change previously announced in the beta release notes. After Saturday, GPA scale can still be used as an assignment grade display option in the Canvas interface, and the gpa_scale value is no longer deprecated in the Assignments API.

These changes will be re-introduced later this year during a release that is less invasive for the majority of our customers. We appreciate your feedback!



Hi Erin,  Thanks for checking in on this. Your clarification is very helpful!  Just as a feedback, I personally find it confusing that Canvas accepts grade entries in a format different from the one expressly indicated. I think it begs question of what the "Enter Grade as" function really is.  This is especially so when it's unclear which grading scheme is used.

Thank you for this explanation, erinhallmark‌, but (if I'm understanding this correctly....always a big IF!) does this not essentially re-open a bug that was previously fixed quite some time ago?  'Way back in 2015, there was a fixed bug reported that, under the heading for Gradebook, stated this.  (Bold at the end is mine.)

Course-Level Grading Schemes and Letter Grade Assignments

New assignments default to the course-level grading scheme.


Explanation: When an instructor set a course-level grading scheme and then created a new assignment with a letter grade, the assignment automatically used default grading scheme created for the course. This behavior occurred because the assignment was specified to use the course scheme. Canvas code has been updated to only use the default course grading scheme if a specific scheme is not defined for the assignment.

I assumed that if one did not create a separate assignment grading scheme, then Canvas would use the course grading scheme, but that the course grading scheme--if edited by the instructor--would be the one used by the assignment without then having to re-select a grading scheme  No?  I admit that I don't have a lot of faculty using letter grades, so it's possible that this has not come up as much as it may have at my specific institution.

Hi, Ken,

That fix applied to the current Gradebook. So it would not apply to the New Gradebook, though I'm happy to pass this mention along for additional consideration in supporting course grading schemes.



Hi, Cecilia,

If multiple grading schemes are used for assignments, then yes, it could potentially be confusing. The Enter Grades as feature is specifically designed as a grade display customization option and doesn't affect student grades at all. Additionally, the Enter Grades as option will always default to the display grade set for the assignment, so it's possible that some instructors will never need to change the grade display. 



I've gotten panicked emails from two faculty members so far about the Canvas Inbox. They can't tell which course is from which semester in the drop-down list of courses. Previously, only the favorite courses appeared in the list, so a professor could select this semester's course if they had their favorites set correctly. Now they get a long, long list of courses, and they don't know which one is from this semester. We need an immediate fix to this!

There are some great things in this production release!

However, we noticed that new announcements created following this weekend's production release are now automatically closed for comments, even if the "Disable comments on announcements" course setting option is not selected. In order to open comments on announcements, the "Allows users to comment" option must now be selected when creating an announcement.

Is this change a result of announcements accessibility bug fix from this weekend's production release?

We opened a Service Cloud case (02887936) about this issue, hoping to get some clarity regarding whether this is the new intended behavior.

We are experiencing a similar issue, and I have asked our IT department to file a support case with Instructure.  In our case, the issue is that our Summer courses have been created already, so anyone teaching the same class in the summer is unable to select the correct one.  However, to add to the issue, even if (seemingly) the correct class is selected for some reason the "focus" always returns to the wrong class, so the instructor cannot send a message to all students.  I will select the proper class with the mouse, but the "wrong" class keeps being selected, nevertheless.

In the meantime, A00274597‌, you may want to suggest what the ever-resourceful  @Chris_Hofer ‌ suggested on a recent Feature Idea here: .  Have your faculty give the classes a "nickname." Only the faculty can see the nickname on the course cards; students cannot.


One work-around is to use course Nicknames on the Dashboard (see for more information).  After an instructor creates a Nickname for a course, then that Nickname will be reflected in the Canvas Inbox drop-down list.  So, your instructors could include a section number or some other unique identifier that would help them distinguish between courses with the same name.  Hope this helps.

I just tried to send a message to my class and there are a couple problems.

   a) The course list for new messages now includes ALL courses in my history, which is a lot of courses.   And NONE of mu course titles start with a simple term like "theory".  They all start with either a CRN MUT12**  OR they have some other character which I have entered to keep them organized in my courses list.   IE, starting a name with an asterisk moves it to the top of the list.  Starting with Z moves it to the bottom.   SO autocomplete is useless for me in this case and I have to scroll to find the correct course.

Hint:  For autocomplete, If you change the mysql search to "LIKE %TYPED%" instead of "LIKE TYPED%" it will search terms within the field, not just at the beginning.  This change would mean I could type "Theory" and it would find all courses with "theory" anywhere in their title.  PLEASE FIX!!

   b) After selecting a course, there is no "TO" field at all when using my iPad (which I do 98% of the time).  So this is definitely a step backwards in Canvas development.  There are plenty of jQuery and Bootstrap autocomplete libraries, so there is no reason to have an autocomplete function that does not work across all devices.

Is there any way for me to roll back this function??!!!

Thank you, Chris.

Thank you for that information, Ken.

We are experiencing the same and we have support tickets in as well. I will suggest the nickname thing, but for now, I have an instructor that added a content page to this week's module so students get the info she wanted to send them.

Along with those 2 concerns by Don, some identifying information would be nice (term of the course, course code, whether the item selected is a course or a group). A lot of our instructors teach the same course with the same name every semester and they all look the same in this interface.

I have other instructors that say they have noticed this issue, but some already have nicknames on their courses, but they cannot choose the course, the list keeps closing and won't let them pick. Smiley Sad

I've seen that, too,  @myerdon01 ‌, especially in Chrome.  I've found that Firefox seems a bit more forgiving with that drop-down menu.

Ditto to this exact issue. I respect the additional functionality of the autocomplete; however, it'd be much better if the previous functionality of having only favorited courses appear in the list was in the inbox as well. This is ultimately resulting in more confusion than applause.

Was just notified of this by an instructor as well. Reading through it doesn't sound like the previous functionality will be restored....hopefully i'm wrong. 

Hi, everyone,

We apologize for not catching some of these behaviors with Conversations earlier in this release. Our teams are strongly considering reverting the Conversations change; we'll keep you posted with more information.

Thank you!


Hi, Linda,

It's intended behavior, and we apologize for inadvertently missing it in the notes. In our upcoming release we have an additional change to announcements and we'll be sure to mention it again. In the meantime we'll also update our documentation to show the new functionality.



Hi, Linda,

As an additional followup, the checkbox doesn't seem to be functioning entirely as expected when used with the disable option in course settings. So we'll get that remaining functionality corrected as soon as possible.



erinhallmark‌, thank you for the explanation. Will the check box on the course settings page be removed, if comments can be allowed/disallowed on the announcement page?

I look forward to learning more about what the intended behavior is expected to be.



This is CRITICAL.   I cannot send emails at all unless I go to my office to a desktop computer.   PLEASE fix.  Like TODAY.    I’m writing this while a class is working on an in-class question and need to send a message right now to another class.   And I can’t do it because there is no “TO:” field anymore.   PLEASE FIX TODAY!

Good Morning-

Usually I like change, but have to say I do not feel the change to "composing messages" in Canvas is user friendly. I do not like how the courses populate for choosing, and that I am not able to see my students. I often send individual messages to students, and with the feature it is all or none.I use this feature quite a bit in canvas, and was disappointed at how the upgrade is functioning. I am hoping that the change comes to revert back.



While this is not to replace any efforts by Canvas to actually fix this issue, a faculty member at our institution called Tier 1 support today and the agent suggested that instructors nickname their courses from the Dashboard to something like, "English 1 M/W 2018" This nickname only appears to that individual user, but more importantly that nickname will carry over to the course list when composing a new Inbox message. So instead of seeing several previous sections of English 1 that all look the same, you'll see the nickname you gave that course for this term. Again, this is in no way an excuse for Canvas to actually fix the issue, but our institution will be putting in a global announcement for this workaround for faculty today.

Erin, thank you for the update on the behavior with Conversations. Given the global impact that the Inbox has, I would strongly recommend the engineering teams revert the Inbox back to the previous instance in order to address these new issues. As a Canvas administrator, though, this Inbox issue has me concerned about how Beta releases actually influence what goes into Production releases. In the Beta release for this update Canvas Beta Release Notes (2018-02-06)  @Chris_Hofer  made a comment related to some behaviors of the Inbox that he discovered in Beta. (These are related to the scroll bar not working in the Course Menu of composing a new message, and the course menu list opening as an expanded menu, then shrinking to a smaller menu once you mouse over a course.) In addition to the issues that have been discovered since this Production release, the concerns that Chris made in his comment are still present in Production. 

Issues related to the Inbox were brought up in the Beta release notes, and yet those same errors still made it into Production, in addition to others that have been discovered since then. What benefit do our comments have in these forums if errors that we report here are still making it into a Production release? 

On the bright side, I very much appreciate the change to the longer description not showing in speedgrader. Thanks for helping me with that erinhallmark‌. Smiley Happy 

I have had 2 instructors contact me on this so far. I hope there is a fix in the works, instructors and students are going to be very confused. 


We've also heard from several faculty who are displeased with not seeing their favorited courses in the dropdown. In addition to quarterly shells our faculty are also members of departmental and committee shells and their course lists are long. Restoring the favorited courses would be greatly appreciated.

It is great to have the Student View link on the course home page. Our instructors had problems finding this under settings. Thank you!

PLEASE change this back. Our faculty now have hundreds if not thousands of courses in the autocomplete menu since every course and group they were ever associated with now shows. We cannot scroll unless we have a mouse with a scroll wheel since the scroll bar does not work. This is really bad and faculty can't send email since they can't find the course to send an email in. Many faculty have accessibility issues with lists that get too long like we have now.

Having the full name is nice, but at most institutions they are very long and include CRN information which of course no one memorizes so to include that doesn't really help. Also on the big courses that have lots of sections merged in you have a numbered nightmare. Being able to nickname a course and decide which ones show was great. Faculty had a manageable list; now they have a disaster because they have no control over what courses show.

Some of our faculty cannot scroll down this list. This is an accessibility issue for many. Some are having difficulty selecting a course it doesn't seem to allow them to choose it. Not sure why unpublished courses are in this list. Not sure why past courses are in the list. Please let faculty control their lists again.

Thank you in advance for changing this back.

Karen Matson

Thanks, Erin! I also have instructors who would appreciate reverting the Conversations change.

I have to echo the concerns about accessibility with the changes to Conversations.  I just attempted to use it to compose a message and it is not accessible with screen reading software.  I am not able to select a course.  Even if I type a course with a nickname, I cannot confirm that the actual course has populated.  This is with JAWS and IE, both the most updated versions.     

Hi, everyone,
We’ve updated the release notes to remove the Conversations autocomplete feature, which has been removed from the production environment. (It is still in the beta environment but will be removed there shortly.) This feature will be reviewed by our teams and may be re-introduced in a future release.

erinhallmark‌, I too would like to hear what the expected behavior is for this feature. It should never be more work for an instructor to allow students to communicate with their instructors or other students. Canvas should facilitate communication by default, not restrict it. I hate having to check a box each time I make an announcement to let my students talk to me. Smiley Sad Please tell me this is a bug. Smiley Happy 

Hi, Robert,

This release may seem heightened as it had tighter turnaround than normal. But now we're back on our regular three-week cycle. Smiley Happy

While we cannot always guarantee that a fix will be added to the beta environment before the production release (depending on the severity), we do log those bugs and prioritize them appropriately. Both of Chris's noted behaviors had actually been resolved by our design team and would have been deployed shortly if our teams had not reverted the autocomplete functionality completely. Additionally, additional behaviors that occurred were noted by unfamiliar use cases, but our teams have adjusted their test plans and other resources for better support in the future. We continually work to improve our resources to account for as many workflows as possible and minimize error.