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Latest revision as of 16:03, 16 December 2014

Production Release Notes for Saturday, December 6, 2014


New Features


Submission Comments Filter

Users can filter messages in Conversations to view comments posted on assignment submissions. This feature restores user functionality of viewing submission comments in the Conversations Inbox.

Note: New submission comments do not affect the standard Canvas Inbox new message indicator. The communications team is exploring how to indicate new messages within the submission comments option. More details will be available in a future release.

Accessed in the Inbox type filter, Submission Comments allows users to view all comments sent and received from assignment submissions.

Each message contains the name of the user and the name of the submission, the time the message was sent, and the number of messages in the conversation thread. Submission Comments only appear between a student and any user who has appropriate Gradebook and SpeedGrader editing and commenting permissions—most commonly an instructor, TA, or both.

Like in the regular inbox, submission comments messages can be manually marked as read or unread. Messages can also be filtered by course.

Users can reply to submission comments directly from the inbox by clicking the Reply icon in the message thread or next to the conversations filter options. Replies appear as part of the conversation thread but are also posted back to the assignment. Comments can also be viewed in the Gradebook and SpeedGrader.



Quiz Statistics

Quizzes has an updated design that enhances the details within quiz statistics. Additionally, this change improves the loading speed within quizzes.


Instructors can view an entire quiz summary that shows all score percentages. The quiz summary also shows the quiz average score, high score, low score, standard deviation (how far the values are spread across the entire score range), and average time of quiz completion.

The quiz summary chart is interactive; users can focus on a specific segment of the chart by selecting a range with their cursor, such as viewing the number of students who scored between 0 and 50 percent.

Analysis Reports

When instructors generate an analysis report, Canvas shows the last time the report was generated. If there is an error with the report, instructors can retry the option or cancel the analysis completely.

Question Breakdown

The Quiz Statistics page shows a breakdown of each question in the quiz. Toggle the expand button to expand or collapse all details for all quiz questions.

Each question displays answer bars relating to the percentage of each answer choice. You can also hover over the answer bars to see the percentage and number of students in the tooltip. Expanding the question shows the exact percentage of each answer below the answer bars with the exact answer choices from your students.

Discrimination Index

Quiz statistics for True/False and Multiple Choice quiz questions include an item discrimination index, which attempts to look at a spread of scores and reflect differences in student achievement. This metric provides a measure of how well a single question can tell the difference (or discriminate) between students who do well on an exam and those who do not. It divides students into three groups based on their score on the whole quiz and displays those groups by who answered the question correctly.

Lower discrimination scores (in red) are scored +0.24 or lower; good scores (green) are +0.25 or higher. An ideal discrimination index shows students who scored higher on the quiz getting the quiz question right, students who scored lower on the quiz getting the quiz question wrong, and students in the middle range on either side. A discrimination index of zero shows all students getting the quiz question right or wrong.

Distribution Scaling

Quiz statistics for Fill-in-Multiple Blanks, Multiple Dropdowns (often used for Likert Scale questions), and Matching questions are animated to distinguish between answer choices. When each answer is selected, the bars in the answer distribution chart are scaled according to the answer response.


Updated Features


Correct Answers for Multiple Attempts

Instructors who create a quiz with more than one allowed attempt can restrict students from seeing the correct answers until after their last attempt. If an instructor allows students to view the correct answers, this additional option only appears if the Allow Multiple Attempts and Allowed Attempts checkboxes are both selected as quiz options.

Note: This additional option will follow the current Quiz functionality around multiple attempts. If a student never makes it to the last attempt, the correct answer setting will not apply. To allow the student to view the correct answers, you can manually change the quiz options at a later time.



Crocodoc Previews

SpeedGrader provides instructors with updates about Crocodoc files. If a submission includes a file that can be rendered in Crocodoc, but the submission preview is not complete, SpeedGrader generates a message stating the document is still processing.

Note: Crocodoc is not available in beta, so SpeedGrader will always show that Crocodoc document previews are in process.


User Course List

Unfavorite Past Courses

On the My Courses page, users can favorite or unfavorite current courses. However, depending on course configuration, some favorited courses may still display the favorite icon even after the course has ended. If a past enrollment course shows the favorite icon, users can unfavorite the course by toggling the star icon.


Other Updates

Course Settings

Course Details Accessibility

To address accessibility concerns, Course Details page has been changed to always appear as a form and removes the Edit button. Changes to any allowed fields must still be made by clicking the Update Course Details button at the bottom of the page. This change does not affect any user permissions.


Fixed Bugs


Account Settings


Course Settings








Account Settings

Term Dates

Instructors and Teaching Assistants (TAs) can view courses according to term date restrictions.

Explanation: When an admin restricted term access dates for users with instructor and TA roles, those users could still access courses for the entire duration of the term, as long as it is not overridden by course or section restriction dates. Course code has been updated to verify user roles and dates when granting term access.



Browser Back Button

On the Calendar page, users can use the back button in their browser window.

Explanation: After viewing the Calendar, users were not able to return to a prior page using the back button in their browser. Canvas code has been updated to support the use of the back button to return to prior pages.

Linked Files

Linked files in Calendar events cannot be downloaded unless the user is logged in to Canvas.

Explanation: When an instructor created a calendar event with a linked file and used the Let Students Download or View Files in this Folder if I Link to Them permission, the calendar event included the verifier in the URL. This behavior meant that anyone with the URL could download the file without being required to log in to Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to remove the verifier on the URL in the Calendar and prompt the user to log in to view the file. This fix was released to production on 11/22/14.

Public Syllabus Dates

Courses with multiple sections and a public syllabus display assignment dates on the syllabus.

Explanation: When an instructor created a calendar event for a course with multiple sections and dates, viewing the public syllabus displayed the dates as a missing translation string. Canvas code has been updated to support multiple sections and display syllabus dates for non-logged-in users.


Course Imports

Question Groups and Question Banks

Question groups remain linked to a question bank after course copy/import.

Explanation: When an instructor copied or imported a course, some question groups linked to a question bank lost their association with the question bank. This behavior occurred because assignments did not retain question bank IDs upon course copy. Canvas code has been updated to retain IDs between question banks and their associated assignments.

Examview Exports

Canvas import Examview QTI files as a Blackboard import type as long as the ZIP upload contains QTI files.

Explanation: When a user tried to import an Examview ZIP file as a Blackboard import type, Canvas generated an error message if the ZIP upload contained no files. Canvas code has been updated to disregard empty Examview ZIP files.


Discussion Attachments

Attachments added to discussions are not attached when users open the discussion. Additionally, users who can edit ungraded discussions can view the attachment option.

Explanation: When an instructor granted access for users to attach files to discussions, attached files were no longer attached to a discussion after the discussion topic was saved. This behavior occurred because unpublished topics were not granting appropriate attachment permissions to appropriate users. Users were also not able to view the attachment option in unpublished ungraded discussions. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for adding attachments when saving a discussion topic.


GPA Scale CSV File Upload

Assignments set as a GPA Scale accept scores from CSV uploads.

Explanation: In a downloaded CSV file, all scores for a GPA Scale assignment are downloaded as points. When an instructor modified scores for a GPA Scale assignment and re-uploaded the CSV file, the upload cleared all scores set as points. Canvas code has been updated to apply point entries in GPA Scale assignments to the appropriate value for the GPA scale. For instance, if an assignment is given 4.5/5 points, and the GPA scale states that 80–100% is a 4.0, uploading the CSV file converts the 4.5 points to a 90%, which appears in the Gradebook as a 4.0.



New Student Groups Page Self Sign-Up Groups

When students are a member of a self sign-up group, the New Student Groups page only allows them to leave or view the group.

Explanation: When students joined a self sign-up group, viewing the New Student Groups page showed students that they could join the group, even though they were already members of that group. This behavior occurred because of a miscommunication between the user ID and group ID, which were coded in different data types. Since Canvas could not properly associate these IDs, the group links could not be updated for the appropriate users. Canvas code has been updated to code user and groups IDs as the same data type.

New Student Groups Page Add Groups Button

Students can only view the Add Groups button when they have permission to organize their own groups.

Explanation: When the New Student Groups feature option was enabled by an admin, and an instructor created a group and disabled the Let Students Organize Their Own Groups option, students were still able to see the Add Group button, even though the button was not active. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for adding a new student group.


Learning Mastery Gradebook

Learning Mastery Gradebook Pagination

Students can view all outcomes in the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

Explanation: When an instructor created a course with more outcomes than could initially be displayed in the browser, students were not able to view outcomes or were viewing duplicate outcomes. This behavior occurred because the outcome link API endpoint was not specifying an order when paginating outcomes. Canvas code has been updated to properly paginate outcomes in the Learning Mastery Gradebook.



Quiz Edit and Course Navigation

When editing a quiz, instructors can access Course Navigation links.

Explanation: When an instructor edited a quiz, some of the Course Navigation links could not be accessed. This behavior occurred because the hidden quiz regrade feature (which only appears if an instructor wants to regrade a quiz question) was blocking some of the Course Navigation links. Canvas code has been updated to allow access to all Course Navigation links when editing a quiz.

Search Field

Users can search for courses in the Search field on the Quiz Index Page.

Explanation: When a user clicked in the Search field to search for a quiz, the Quiz Index Page was not generating any results. This behavior occurred because of an error in the search script that rendered quiz titles. Canvas code has been updated to render the quiz result list after a search entry has been entered. Additionally, this fix also improves search performance and returns search results more quickly.



Rubric Edit Icons

When using the tab key, rubric icons do not appear in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When viewing a rubric within SpeedGrader, instructors who used the tab key reported that edit icons were appearing within the rubric. Canvas code has been updated to hide edit icons within SpeedGrader.

Admin Gradebook Filter

When filtering the Gradebook by section, admins can view the number of students in each section.

Explanation: When an admin filtered the Gradebook by section, the Gradebook was showing the total number of students in the course, not the number of students in the section. This behavior only affected users with an admin role. Canvas code has been updated to display correct student totals for each section.


User Course List

Course Names

Long course names do not affect the page display.

Explanation: When a course contained a long course name, the enrollment type was being pushed out of the browser view. This behavior occurred because the course name was changing the layout of the page instead of truncating the course name. Canvas code has been updated to truncate long course names and not affect the page display.


Next release schedule:

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

Archived Canvas Updates
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