CanvasUpdates20140927

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Production Release Notes for Saturday, September 27, 2014

Contents

New Features

Gradebook

Quiz Regrade Gradebook History

Instructors can view scores for regraded quizzes in the Gradebook history. This feature allows instructors to view all grading events in the same location and see historical data for any regraded quizzes. The Gradebook history shows how many changes were made and the before and after quiz scores.

 

Notifications

Copy of Announcement to Sender

Instructors can set a new notification preference that allows them to receive a copy of all announcements they created. This feature allows instructors to see what announcements have been sent and how they appear in their specified communication channels. If users are allowed to respond to announcements, this notification preference also sends notifications for announcement replies.

Sender Email Addresses

Canvas does not display a sender’s email address as part of external notifications. However, admins can choose to show sender email addresses in Account Settings. Enabling the Show the email address checkbox will show a sender’s email address for all notifications sent from the account.

When enabled, sender email addresses appear in user-interaction notifications for conversations, discussions, announcements, and their associated replies. Note: Not all notifications display the sender’s email address.

 

Updated Features

Conferences

Audio Updates

When joining a conference, users are asked how they want to join the conference audio: via microphone or a listen-only mode. Microphone users must grant access to their browser for microphone use, but the browser makes the process easy by prompting users for permission. To ensure users enter the conference with a working microphone, users are prompted to test their microphone and can choose a different microphone if needed.

Users of Firefox and Chrome have improved audio within the conference via Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) technology support. Users of Internet Explorer and Safari continue to participate with existing Flash-based audio.

Conference Recordings

Moderators have improved functionality and control for recording conferences. Instead of starting the recording immediately after the first user has joined, conferences includes a start/stop button so moderators can control the length of the recording. After joining the conference and setting up their microphone, moderators receive a reminder notifying them that they can record the meeting, but they must click the recording button to start the recording. When users start or stop a recording, users will always be prompted to confirm the action.

Lock Viewers

Moderators can lock down specific features so they are not available during a conference. Located in the Users Settings menu, this functionality helps moderators control the conference environment, such as locking private chat to prevent students from collaborating during a test.

Other Enhancements

Users benefit from other added enhancements in conferences:

 

Conversations

Address Book Scroll Bar

When composing a new message in Conversations, users can click and drag the scrollbar to access user data. They can also use keyboard navigation to locate recipients.

Message Time Stamps

When users view a Conversation message thread, each message contains a full date stamp, including the time and year.

 

User Settings

Account Deletion

Non-administrative users whose accounts are created via SIS do not have access to delete their own accounts. When users edit their profile settings, they can only see a Delete My Account link if they have no SIS ID or are an account administrator. If non-admins with SIS IDs try to delete their accounts via the Users API, the API call returns a 401 (unauthorized) error.

Bounced Communication Warnings

Canvas does not send notifications to communication channels that have bounced, which means the channel can no longer attempt to generate or send a notification. Bounces can occur from invalid addresses (caused by address typos, changed addresses, etc.) or blocked servers.

Users are notified in Canvas when one of their communication channels has bounced. If a user is on a Canvas page outside of their User Settings, Canvas displays a warning banner at the top of their browser window.

In User Settings, the bounced contact method displays a warning icon. To correct the error, users should remove then re-add the method to their profile.

Notes:

 

Other Updates

Dashboard

Global Navigation Assignments Link

The Assignments link no longer appears in Global Navigation. This change helps streamline the user experience and encourages users to interact with additional areas of their courses. Data shows that the majority of users already navigate to courses before assignments, meaning they prefer to look at assignments in the context of the course. Users can still see a comprehensive view of all upcoming assignments and events in the Agenda view of the Calendar.

Canvas Navigation Design

We’ve made some design changes to improve the global header and navigation menus throughout the Canvas interface. These changes help improve accessibility within Canvas and allow for future design enhancements. Some changes may affect institutions with custom CSS.

CSS has been adjusted in the following areas:

Note: The High Contrast user setting should not be affected and display the dark background on active and hover with white text; disabled links will now have a gray background with the dark link.

 

Quizzes

Quiz Performance

The Quizzes Index Page is optimized for enhanced performance and speed. This improvement was released to production on 09/15/14.

 

New APIs

Quizzes

Users can set extensions for student quiz submissions in the Quiz Extensions API.

Users can access quiz statistics in the Quiz Statistics API.

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

The following accessibility issues have been corrected within Canvas:

General Updates

Account Settings

Admin Tools

Assignments

Calendar

Conversations

Course Settings

Dashboard

Discussions

Gradebook

Modules

People

Quizzes

Support

Syllabus

 

Account Settings

Open Enrollment

In Account Settings, setting the Open Enrollment option to Never disables open enrollment in all courses within the account.

Explanation: When an admin changed the Open Enrollment setting to Never, the option was not disabled in any courses where open enrollment was previously set up or disabled in any course exports. Canvas code has been updated to restrict open enrollment in courses when disabled at the account level.

Account-level Group Names

Admins can edit the name of an account-level group. Explanation: When admins tried to edit the name of an account-level group, the dialog box was not saving the name or disappearing from the page. Canvas code has been updated to properly save the name of the account group.

 

APIs

Enrollments API

When an enrollment is generated as Invited via the enrollment API, the enrollment state displays as Active. Explanation: When an enrollment was generated as Invited, the status was not displaying as Active, even if it was removed and re-created. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to re-create enrollments and display them as Active status.

Groups API

The Groups API shows how to invite users to a group using the correct syntax. Explanation: The API documentation example showed a form line indicating a user could set multiple invitees in the form if joined with an ampersand, which is an incorrect syntax. Canvas code has been updated to correct the API documentation.

 

Assignments

Assignment Group Sets

Instructors can grade group assignment submissions even if the group set has been deleted.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group assignment then deleted the assignment group set, SpeedGrader was generating an error message because the assignment was no longer linked to its associated group set. In student view, students were not able to upload an assignment with the correct group, which created confusion. Canvas code has been updated to allow group submissions to be graded even if the group set has been deleted and no longer affect student submissions.

Letter Grade Assignments

When an instructor creates a letter grade, GPA, or percentage grading-type assignment with no points possible, Canvas generates a warning message that the assignment must be assigned more than zero points.

Explanation: When an instructor chose to set a letter grade, GPA, or percentage grading-type assignment with no points possible, the Gradebook was generating an error as all assignments need a point value to factor into the total grade. This behavior caused scenarios where instructors set a point value for the assignment, causing all previously set letter grades to be overwritten as failing scores. Canvas code has been updated to generate a warning message in the points field for specific grading types.

 

Calendar

24-Hour Time Format

For non-English languages, calendar 24-hour time formats display time as AM or PM.

Explanation: When a non-English language was set to a 24-hour time format, the Calendar was not correctly converting times to AM or PM. Canvas code has been updated to convert 12-hour format strings when localized into a 24-hour format.

 

Course Settings

Course End Date

Courses are only concluded by a course end date if the Users can only participate in the course between these dates checkbox is selected.

Explanation: If an instructor sets an end date before the term end date and selects the Users...dates checkbox, the course end date was overridden with the term end date. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the course end date when the participation checkbox is enabled.

 

Discussions

Edited Discussion Replies

When a user edits a discussion reply, Canvas displays the original reply date instead of the edited post date.

Explanation: When a user had permission to edit a discussion reply, Canvas was showing the edited date instead of the original reply date. Canvas code has been updated to continue to display the original reply date.

Graded Discussions SpeedGrader Link

For graded discussions, when an instructor clicks the Open in SpeedGrader option next to a student post, SpeedGrader opens the student’s submission.

Explanation: When an instructor opened a graded discussion and clicked the Open in SpeedGrader option next to a student post, SpeedGrader opened the first student in the list of students whose discussions need to be graded. Canvas code has been updated to confirm anchor tags and links to all specific student discussions.

 

ePortfolio

User Profile Link

Users can view their profile page after creating a new ePortfolio.

Explanation: When users created new ePortfolios and then tried to click the link to their profile page, Canvas generated an unauthorized page. Canvas code has been updated to link users to their own profile page, and for viewing as a public ePortfolio, to the user’s ID page.

 

Gradebook

Grading Scheme Percentages

Scores entered in the Gradebook as a percentage reflect the percentage score assigned in the grading scheme.

Explanation: When an instructor attempted to assign a percentage score, the grading scheme rounded the score incorrectly. Canvas code has been updated to retain percentages as entered in the Gradebook and support rounding to the nearest hundredth.

Grading Scheme Decimals

Scores entered into the Gradebook as a decimal reflect the percentage score assigned in the grading scheme and support rounding to the nearest tenth.

Explanation: When an instructor attempted to assign a decimal score, the grading scheme rounded the score incorrectly. This behavior especially related to decimal scores between letter grades. Canvas code has been updated to retain decimals as entered in the Gradebook.

Complete/Incomplete Grades

Instructors can update complete/incomplete grades in the Gradebook.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed a complete/incomplete assignment in the Gradebook and changed a student’s grade, the Gradebook was displaying an error message. Canvas code has been updated to properly support complete/incomplete scores in the Gradebook.

 

Modules

Move-To Dialog

The Modules Move To… option does not display the current module.

Explanation: When a user opens a module’s Settings menu and selects the Move To… option, the module included the currently selected module. Canvas code has been updated to disregard the current module in move commands.

 

Notifications

Announcement Reply Notifications

Users receive external notifications for announcement replies.

Explanation: When users set their notifications to receive Announcements, any replies to an announcement were not triggering external notifications. Canvas code has been updated to send notifications for announcement replies.

Notification Email Replies

Users can reply to external notifications through their email. Explanation: In a previous release, notifications included a message indicating that users can reply directly to the notification email. Canvas code has been updated to retain this message in notifications emails.

 

Quizzes

Question Bank Duplicate Questions

Editing a question in a question bank with more than 50 questions does not create duplicate questions.

Explanation: When a question bank has at least one named question and 51+ questions in it (enough to trigger the More Questions link), and a question is edited in the question bank, the question bank created a duplicate question. Canvas code has been updated to specify quiz variables for quiz questions and isolate changes made to question banks.

Fill-in-Multiple-Blank Questions

When viewing quiz results, given answers for Fill-In-Multiple-Blank equation questions are displayed in the answer box.

Explanation: When users viewed quiz results for a fill-in-multiple-blank equation quiz question, the answer field was not displaying the answer for the equation. Canvas code has been updated to properly process equation objects and display the correct function result.

Quiz Question Character Limit

When quiz questions exceed the character limit, Canvas generates a warning message.

Explanation: When instructors created or edited a quiz question that exceeded the character limit, such as when copying and pasting from Word, Canvas displayed an unknown error. The character limit for quizzes is 16384 characters. Canvas code has been updated with a warning message about the character limit

Quiz Numerical Entries

Quiz questions support commas in numerical entry fields.

Explanation: When a user entered a numerical answer that included a comma, the entry field was converting the comma to a decimal, resulting in an incorrect answer value. This behavior occurred for both numerical and formula question types. Canvas code has been updated to support commas in quiz entry fields.

 

Users

Profile Pictures

Users cannot select a profile picture if it can’t be edited.

Explanation: When a student clicked the public profile picture of another user, Canvas generated an unauthorized page. Canvas code has been updated to only select a profile pictures if it can be edited by the requested user.

 

Next release schedule:


Note: You can follow the release schedule on the Canvas Updates calendar

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