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Production Release Notes for Saturday, November 8, 2014


New Features

Course Settings

Course Format

Instructors can specify a format for their course. Located in Course Settings, this setting shows if a course is intended to be an online course or a supplement to a face-to-face course, but it is not visible elsewhere in Canvas.

This feature is intended to help institutions categorize courses for data analysis and research and can be filtered via the Courses API endpoint. Currently this setting only displays course metadata and will continue to be developed in a future release.


Moderate Quiz Updates

The Moderate Quiz page has an updated design for a cleaner look. Additionally, the page also adds functionality for improving outstanding quiz verifications for large courses. When a student views a timed quiz and time expires, Canvas auto-submits the quiz. However, if a student navigates away from the quiz page, the quiz submission remains outstanding. Previously instructors had to manually submit each outstanding quiz individually as indicated in the Time column as Time Up! Now, when instructors open the Moderate Quiz page, Canvas generates a warning message so instructors can manually check outstanding submissions for the entire quiz at one time. In the dialog window, Canvas displays a list of the outstanding submissions and automatically selects the checkbox next to each student’s name. To grade outstanding submissions for the selected student(s), click the Submit button. Canvas will grade the submission and update the score.


User Access Report Additions

User access is now logged in the following areas of Canvas: Course Home Page Outcomes Modules

At the course level, user access activity appears in a user’s Access Report. User access information also displays at the account level in user page views.

Updated Features

Gradebook Individual View

Switch Gradebook Link

After users have switched to Individual View, the link to return to the regular Gradebook has been renamed as Switch to Default Gradebook. This change creates a target destination in the link to remove ambiguity for accessibility users.

Download All Submissions Button

When viewing Assignment Information in Individual View, the Gradebook will display the Download all submissions button for quizzes that contain file upload questions. If a quiz does not include a file upload question, it will not include the download button. This change is to ease confusion with quizzes that contain no downloadable submissions.


Group Leader Settings

Instructors can modify the group leader settings in a Group Set at any time. When editing a Group Set through the Settings icon, the Leadership section appears at the bottom of the browser window. Previously group leader settings could only be specified while creating a new Group Set. Note: Edited settings won’t take effect until after the next membership change, such as when another person joins or is assigned to the group. For manually enabled changes, you may have to refresh the page to see the group update. This functionality will continue to be improved in a feature release.

Fixed Bugs


The following accessibility concerns have been addressed in Canvas:





Assignment URLs

When a student submits an assignment with a # at the end of the URL, the assignment submits successfully.

Explanation: When a student submitted an assignment that contains an # at the end of the URL, the assignment page did not refresh to show the submission was successful. Canvas code has been updated to address individual number signs as part of an assignment URL and refresh the page accordingly.

Grading Schemes

Assignments display any associated custom grading schemes.

Explanation: When an instructor created a grading scheme, applied the grading scheme to an assignment, and then edited the grading scheme, the assignment showed the default grading scheme, not the custom grading scheme. However, the custom grading scheme was being applied to the correct assignment. Canvas code has been updated to display an assignment’s associated grading scheme.

Course Imports

Date Adjustments

When copying a course, adjusting the date and time applies the selected parameters.

Explanation: When a user copies a course and selects the option to adjust the date and time, the course copy was adjusting the course start time several hours into the future. This behavior occurred because the time zone UTC offset in the date shift option was being treated as local time. Canvas code has been updated to honor the set time zone for the course as part of the course copy.

Course Settings

Course Time Zone

Assignment and Syllabus pages display the correct due date if local and course time zones vary across different days.

Explanation: When an instructor set a time zone for the course and then created an assignment, the assignment due date was displaying incorrectly if the date for the local time zone was the next day. However, the tooltip displayed the correct time. Canvas code has been updated to fix the date display for assignments with overridden date boundaries.


Graded Discussions

Graded discussions placed within a module contain the module footer.

Explanation: When a graded discussion was placed inside a module, users could not advance to the next module item because the footer was not appearing in the graded discussion. This behavior occurred because graded discussions did not include an assignment content tag. Canvas code has been updated to assign graded discussions with an assignment content tag and display the module footer.

Locked Files

Instructors can add and view locked files as part of a module.

Explanation: When an instructor locked a file and then added the file as a module item, the file would disappear in the module list. This behavior occurred because modules only displayed items with an attachment context as active. When a file is hidden, however, the file is no longer considered active, which is why it disappeared from the module list. Canvas code has been updated to update the attachment context limitation as not deleted instead of active.

Locked/Unlocked File State

Files module items reflect the state of the file.

Explanation: When an instructor added a file to a module and then changed the state of the file, the module was not adjusting the display with the changed file state. For instance, if an instructor added a locked file and then unlocked the file, the module still displayed as an unpublished file. Canvas code has been updated to sync the published state of file module items with the state of the file.

Module State Verification

When publishing a module, Canvas verifies the state of all module objects within a module to verify the correct publishing state.

Explanation: When an instructor published a module, Canvas was not verifying the state of each module item as a standalone object, causing problems where pre–Draft State objects were out of sync when added as a module item. For instance, a pre–Draft State quiz added as a module item was shown as published in the module but remained unpublished as the quiz object on the Quizzes page. Additionally, publishing an entire module would not publish any unpublished content module items; the only way to publish the module item and the object together was to publish each module item on an individual basis within the module. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of both the Canvas object and the state of the module item when publishing a module.

Languages and Module Unlock Date

When viewing a module unlock date in a non-English language, the unlock date is translated correctly.

Explanation: When a user viewed a module unlock date in a language other than English, the date was not translating and displayed an error message stating that the text was not a date. Canvas code has been updated to localize the unlock date in modules.


Course End Date in Auto-submitted Quizzes

When course dates are changed and set to override term dates, Canvas does not allow students to submit quizzes after a course has concluded.

Explanation: When course dates were changed and set to override term dates, quizzes did not always update immediately for students. Therefore, when students entered a quiz, Canvas registered a quiz submission where the submission date matched the course end date. Some of these course end dates could be before the submission start date, which caused the assignment to appear to be submitted in the future. Canvas code has been updated to verify course end dates and disallow submissions for concluded courses. This fix was deployed to production on 10/24/14.

Moderate Quiz Extensions

If an instructor grants extra attempts to a student as part of a quiz extension, the Moderate Quiz page only displays the additional number of attempts.

Explanation: When a student was granted an extension as part of a quiz, the Moderate Quiz page displayed the Gets 0 extra minutes on each attempt message for that student, even if there was no change to the quiz time. Canvas code has been updated to display the correct options for associated quiz extensions.

Quiz Regrade Question Titles

Quiz regrade does not expose custom question titles to students.

Explanation: When an instructor regraded a quiz, students were able to view any custom question titles that existed for the quiz. This behavior occurred because transformations that take place between the instructor and student views were not being applied when regenerating quizzes after the quiz regrade. Canvas code has been updated to retain the proper student view after a quiz regrade.

Quiz Unlock Settings

When an instructor unlocks a quiz using the let students see this quiz option, the quiz updates with any set availability dates.

Explanation: When an instructor unlocked a quiz using the let students see this quiz option, the current date appeared as the Available From date, even if the instructor removed or changed the date. In quizzes with time limits, the Until date was also affected and often restricted students from accessing the quiz completely. Canvas code has been updated to adjust availability dates for unlocked quizzes according to the proper quiz settings.

Respondus Quizzes

When users attempt to publish a quiz from the Respondus quiz builder, Respondus publishes the quiz in Canvas.

Explanation: When users attempt to publish a quiz from the Respondus quiz builder, Respondus generated an invalid file data error, even though the quiz was successfully published. This behavior occurred because of a naming change in the Canvas API, causing Respondus to not locate the quiz objects properly. Canvas code has been updated to correct the naming structure for the Respondus API endpoint.

Rich Content Editor

Media Elements

The Rich Content Editor displays all whitelisted media elements.

Explanation: When a user embedded a media element in the Rich Content Editor, saving changes within the editor removed the media element. This behavior occurred because the Rich Content Editor stripped all media elements that were not associated with any text content. Canvas code has been updated to support empty HTML elements when editing or saving content in the Rich Content Editor.


Google Chrome Speech-to-text Recognition

In Chrome, instructors can use the speech-to-text recognition feature to record comments in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: With the release of Chrome 33 in February 2014, Chrome replaced their web speech API with a JavaScript API, disabling the SpeedGrader speech recognition feature. Canvas code has been updated with the JavaScript API to support speech functionality, which now actively tracks speech results in real time and adds additional user prompts.


Profile Pictures

When profiles are enabled, users can upload and retain profile pictures for their Canvas account.

Explanation: When users upload profile pictures to their Canvas account, some pictures were disappearing from user profiles. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not retaining files that may have been created in and linked from temporary file folders, stripping the file path for the picture. Canvas code has been updated to generate and retain profile pictures from temporary file folders.


Next release schedule:

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

Archived Canvas Updates
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