Canvas Updates

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Production Release notes for Saturday, April 23, 2016.
In this Canvas release (April 23), instructors can better manage inactive enrollments in the Gradebook and the People page and access the Course Navigation Menu from the Gradebook. .

Contents

New Features

Grades

Inactive Enrollments Setting

When a student is deactivated in a course, instructors can view inactive enrollments through the Gradebook Settings menu. Similar to the behavior of concluded enrollments, this feature allows instructors to filter inactive students from the Gradebook. When enabled, the Settings menu displays a checkmark next to the option to show inactive enrollments.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.

Enrollment Labels

When displaying inactive or concluded students, Gradebook includes a label next to the name of the student indicating the student’s enrollment status. Grade fields for both enrollments types are grayed out, but inactive enrollment grades can still be edited.

Updated Features

Courses

Courses Page Updates

The Courses page design has been redesigned to incorporate the styles used in the Dashboard. The page displays all course details in a column format for easier readability. This change mostly affects the new Canvas UI; the legacy UI design only adds page headings to show each column type. Contrast ratios for the favorites star icon have also been increased for accessibility.

People

User Details Inactive Status

Users who have permission to view the user details page in a course can view an inactive label for inactive enrollments. This change helps clarify a user’s enrollment status when the user has multiple enrollments within a course.

Other Updates

Assignments

Turnitin Icon Contrast

Turnitin icon colors in the assignment submission details page, Gradebook, and SpeedGrader display with higher contrast ratios.

Gradebook

Performance Updates

Gradebook content is loaded incrementally for improved performance. Some Gradebook features such as column sorting may not be available in larger courses until all students have been loaded on the page.

Notifications

Communication Channel Update

If a user tries to reply to a message in an unconfirmed communication channel, the error delivery message includes information about how to confirm the communication channel so replies can be sent back through Canvas. Previously the message only mentioned that the reply could not be delivered, and the majority of users were unsure how to update or confirm a communication channel.

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas

Explanation: When a user’s communication channel is an alias of their address on their mail server, and the user replies to a message, the user receives a delivery notification that the message cannot be delivered. Replies cannot be made through external notifications if the sending address cannot be identified with a confirmed communication channel in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to include information about how users can update their communication channels.

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Assignments

Calendar

Conversations

Courses

Discussions

Files

Modules

Profile

Quizzes

Syllabus

Accounts

Subaccount SIS Export Reports

To maintain accuracy for subaccount reports, Canvas updates all user account associations weekly.

Explanation: When an admin in a subaccount generated the SIS Export reports, users were only included in the report if the first course where they were enrolled was the subaccount where the report was generated. Even though courses and groups can be created within subaccounts, user data is maintained at the account level. Canvas code has been updated to update all account associations weekly.

Analytics

Group Discussions

When a user participates in a group discussion, participation is shown in the user access report and the course activities analytics page.

Explanation: When a user participated in a group discussion, the user access report and course activities analytics page were not showing any participation in the discussion, although discussion was shown as a page view. Canvas code has been updated to include group page views and participations in course analytics.

Announcements

Announcement Titles

Long announcement titles do not affect the Announcements Index Page layout.

Explanation: When an instructor created an announcement with a long title, the title affected the announcement text and misaligned the announcement container in the Announcements Index Page. Canvas code has been updated to correct announcement titles from affecting the page layout.

Calendar

Scheduler Appointments and Deleted Student Enrollments

If a student enrollment is deleted from a course, any future appointments in Scheduler are also deleted.

Explanation: When a student was deleted from a course, any future appointments with the student were not removed from the instructor’s calendar. Canvas code has been updated to cancel future appointments when a student is deleted from a course.

Multi-Course Scheduler Appointments

Multi-course Scheduler appointments are shown to instructors in the associated course.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Scheduler appointment group for multiple courses, the appointment group in one course showed signups from students in another course. Canvas code has been updated to display student appointments to instructors in their respective courses.

Multi-Course Scheduler Appointments and Deleted Instructor Enrollments

If an instructor’s course enrollment is deleted from a multi-course Scheduler appointment, the instructor can edit the appointment group.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Scheduler appointment group for multiple courses, and the instructor’s enrollment was deleted for one of the courses, the instructor was not able to edit the appointment group. The group could only be edited if the instructor were re-enrolled in the additional course. Canvas code has been updated to allow users with the Add, edit, and delete events on the course calendar permission to manage any appointment groups without enrollments in all contexts.

Conversations

Recipient Search in Large Courses

Users can search for recipients when creating a message.

Explanation: When a user tried to search for recipients in a large course with multiple groups or use the Address Book icon, the recipient list was unable to load if the request took longer than 60 seconds. Canvas code has been updated to improve recipient search in Conversations.

Relative Links

Conversations messages treat relative URLs as absolute links.

Explanation: When a user sent a Conversations message without the full website path (e.g., canvaslms.com), the link was treated as a relative page URL in the user’s Canvas account URL structure. Canvas code has been updated to treat relative URLs in Conversations messages as absolute links with the full website path.

Help Messages and Group Conversations

Messages sent to multiple recipients through the Canvas Help menu are treated as a group conversation.

Explanation: When a student opened the Canvas Help menu and sent a message to a course that contained more than one instructor or TA, messages were being sent to each recipient separately. Canvas code has been updated to send the message as a group message so any replies are coordinated appropriately.

Course Imports

Multiple Course Imports

Canvas only processes one course import at a time.

Explanation: When a user imported multiple courses into Canvas, graded discussions and quizzes sometimes created duplicate or incorrectly linked items. Canvas code has been updated to only allow one course to be processed at a time.

Allow Liking Option

Allow Liking Discussions settings are retained in course imports.

Explanation: When a user imported a Canvas course and the Discussions Allow Liking checkbox was selected, the checkbox option was removed after import. Canvas code has been updated to retain Discussions Allow Liking settings in course imports.

Course Copy Self-Import

Copying a course into itself includes an updated warning message that importing course content into the same course will duplicate content the first time and overwrite duplicates if repeated.

Explanation: When a user copied a course into itself, the warning message indicated that the content would be copied, causing users to believe that content would always be duplicated. Content would be copied on the first import but overwrite the existing copy on any additional import. Canvas code has been updated to clarify the warning message for course copies.

Pre-processing Status

The course copy pre-processing status updates automatically when the process is queued.

Explanation: When a user copies a course, the import status updated as pre-processing but was never updated when the import was actually queued and running. Canvas code has been updated to automatically update pre-processing statuses.

Quiz Re-imports

Re-importing a quiz creates a new version of the quiz.

Explanation: When a user deleted but later re-imported a quiz, the old quiz was restored along with any previously deleted quiz questions. Canvas code has been updated to create copies of re-imported quizzes without any previously deleted questions.

Outcomes

Outcomes within an outcome group are retained in a course import.

Explanation: When an outcome was created in an outcome group and attached to a rubric in an assignment, copying a module with the assignment was not copying the associated outcome. Canvas code has been updated to copy any outcomes within an outcome group associated with modules content.

Quiz Images

If a quiz includes an embedded image that was deleted from a question, the import error message directs back to the quiz.

Explanation: When a user created a quiz question with an embedded image and deleted the image from the course, the course copy status created an error message. However, clicking the error link generated a page error. Canvas code has been updated to direct the error link to the quiz with the missing image.

Discussions

Locked Discussion Descriptions

When a discussion is locked by accessibility dates, the description is not available for viewing.

Explanation: When a discussion was locked by accessibility dates, the discussion description was still able to be viewed by students. Canvas code has been updated to hide descriptions in locked discussions.

Files

Folder Clicks and Page Load

Clicking a folder multiple times does not affect loading the Files page.

Explanation: When a user repeatedly clicked folders in the left panel, the right panel stopped loading for the last selected folder and did not display any files content. This behavior occurred in Chrome and Safari. Canvas code has been updated to remove unnecessary calls to previously selected folders and view files content.

Grades

Excused Assignments and Grade Calculations

In the Grades page, when a student deselects the checkbox to calculate grades based on graded assignments, excused assignments are not part of the calculation.

Explanation: When an instructor excused a student from an assignment in the Gradebook, students saw the excused assignment with a zero grade if they deselected the Calculate Based Only on Graded Assignments checkbox. Canvas code has been updated to exclude excused assignments from grading totals.

Groups

Cloned Groups and Pages

Group pages are not duplicated in cloned groups.

Explanation: When pages were created within a group, and the instructor later cloned the group set, existing pages in the group were also duplicated but did not consistently link to the correct group. Canvas code has been updated to not create duplicate pages for cloned groups.

Pinned Student Discussions

Discussions created by a student and pinned by an instructor do not appear as being edited by the instructor.

Explanation: When a student created a discussion that was pinned by an instructor, the discussion was being marked as edited by the instructor. Canvas code has been updated to not mark discussions as updated when pinning or unpinning a discussion.

Modules

Practice Quizzes and Ungraded Surveys

Practice quizzes and ungraded surveys are only marked as late if the item requires a student submission.

Explanation:When a student took a practice quiz or ungraded survey as part of a module, the module item will still show as late after the due date regardless of when the student took the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to correctly identify due dates for practice quizzes and ungraded surveys in modules.

Section Assignments and Module Completion

Module assignments assigned to a specific section and requiring a specific grade only show that the submission needs grading after the student has made a submission.

Explanation: When an instructor added an assignment for a specific section to a module and required the student to earn a minimum grade, the student could view an indicator that their submission needed to be graded even without opening or submitting the assignment. Canvas code has been updated to correct the minimum score module prerequisite requirement for assignments in specific sections.

Unlock Dates in Unpublished Modules

If a page or file within an unpublished module contains an unlock date in the past, students are not shown the message that the content will unlock at a future date.

Explanation: When an instructor created an unpublished module and added a page or file with an unlock date in the past, students who tried to view the content saw that the content was not viewable until a future date, which was shown as being in the past. Canvas code has been updated to not mention when the content will unlock if the unlock date is in the past.

Notifications

Conversations Links

Notifications sent from Conversations preserve URLs within a message.

Explanation: When a user sent a message in Conversations containing a hyperlink, certain ASCII characters within a URL were being converted to ASCII-encoded characters, which broke the link. Canvas code has been updated to retain ACSII characters included in a Conversations hyperlinks.

Communication Channel Update

If a user tries to reply to a message in an unconfirmed communication channel, the error delivery message includes information about how to confirm the communication channel so replies can be sent back through Canvas.

Explanation: When a user’s communication channel is an alias of their address on their mail server, and the user replies to a message, the user receives a delivery notification that the message cannot be delivered. Replies cannot be made through external notifications if the sending address cannot be identified with a confirmed communication channel in Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to include information about how users can update their communication channels.

Inactive Enrollments and Submission Comments

Students who have been deactivated from a course do not receive notifications about comments made to assignment submissions.

Explanation: When an instructor added a comment to an inactive student’s submission, the student was receiving a notification about the comment, which caused confusion since the student was not able to access the course or any prior submissions. Canvas code has been updated to not send submission comment notifications to inactive students.

Profile

Profile Picture Approvals

If an admin approves a user’s profile picture, all users are able to view the profile picture.

Explanation: When a user flagged another user’s profile picture that was later approved by an admin, the user who flagged the profile picture was not able to view it. Canvas code has been updated to show user profile pictures if they were previously reported and then approved.

User Menu Icon

The User Menu icon is not available in the breadcrumbs of a user’s personal files page.

Explanation: When a user clicked the User Navigation icon in the user’s Files page, the files shifted to make room for the menu items, but no items appeared because of a previous code change that did not display the menu items. Canvas code has been updated to remove the User Navigation icon from the breadcrumbs in a user’s Files page.

Quizzes

Question Bank Question Text

Questions are displayed within a question bank.

Explanation: When an instructor moved multiple questions from a question bank, the question body was cut off and could not be viewed horizontally. Canvas code has been updated to retain the full question body within a question bank window.

Rubrics

Use Rubric for Assignment Grading

If a rubric is linked to multiple assignments, the rubric is not copied if the only change made is to set the rubric for grading.

Explanation: When an instructor created a rubric for an assignment and set the rubric to be used for grading, and then the instructor created another assignment with the same rubric that was not set for grading, copying the course and setting the second assignment’s rubric for grading copied the rubric. Canvas code has been updated to not copy a rubric if the only change made is to select the Use Rubric for Grading checkbox.

Free-Form Comments and Numerical Entries

When an instructor enters a number as a free-form comment, students can view the Grades page.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a number as a free-form comment, students viewed an error message when they tried to view the Grades page. Canvas code has been updated to load the Grades page with free-form comment entries.

Settings

Course Link Validator

The Course Link Validator has been optimized to retrieve valid pages through header status requests and accepts only gzip compression.

Explanation: When a valid link was added to a course, the Link Validator marked them as broken if the content compression type wasn’t verified. Canvas code has been updated to accept gzip-encoded content and optimize validation through header status requests.

SpeedGrader

Graded Survey Labels

Graded surveys do not include Correct Answer labels in multiple choice questions. In SpeedGrader, graded surveys only display the option that a student selected for the survey response.

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded survey, the survey responses did not include an option for a correct answer. However, SpeedGrader was still showing the Correct Answer label. Canvas code has been updated to only show the option that a student selected for the survey response.

Crocodoc Annotations and Group Assignments

When an instructor creates Crocodoc annotations on a group assignment, all students in the group can view the annotations.

Explanation: When an instructor graded a group assignment and added Crocodoc annotations for feedback, the student who submitted the submission on behalf of the group was the only student who could view the annotations. Canvas code has been updated to create submission records in SpeedGrader to include all students in the group.

Next release schedule:

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

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