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Latest revision as of 16:40, 12 March 2015

Production Release Notes for Saturday, February 21, 2015


Updated Features


Image Sharing

As part of file sharing, Commons users can share and import images into their courses. Sharing images to Commons works in conjunction with the Better File Browsing course opt-in feature.

Note: Commons is currently a beta feature. If you are interested in using Commons for your institution, please fill out the Commons beta signup form.


Move-To Option

Outcomes and outcome groups can be rearranged using a Move option. Designed for keyboard navigation, each outcome displays a Move Outcome button, which can be used to move the outcome to another Outcomes group.

Outcome groups also display a Move Outcome Group button to allow groups to be arranged as well. These Outcome options are located at both the Outcomes account and course levels.

Other Updates 

Publish Button

As part of our interface redesign, Canvas publish buttons include a flatter design with no shading. More information can found in our Styleguide at

No functionality has been affected by this change. However, if you have changed the appearance of your publish button via custom CSS, please check to ensure your style works with the new design.


Fixed Bugs



An assignment’s published status is not shown as a heading to screen readers.


Screen readers and keyboard users can view undated items in the sidebar undated items list.

After a user opens the detail view of an undated item, screen reader focus returns to the undated item.

Keyboard users can collapse and expand the undated items list. They can also edit undated items within the edit window.


Screen readers can navigate Conversations filters (Inbox, Unread, etc.). They can also identify the menus behind each button and read the number of items in each filter.

Screen readers can navigate the Groups search field. They can also view instructions for the search field and read the field filtering by user.


All accessibility updates relate to the Better Files Browsing (New Files) feature. 

In the Files Move-To option, screen readers can read all folder names.

When a user clicks the publish icon, keyboard focus returns to the close icon. This change retains standard consistency for screen readers and keyboard users when closing a window anywhere in Canvas.

Files item names, settings menu, published icon, and restricted access icon—both in selected and hovered states—display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

After a user opens a file folder in the left side of the files page, screen readers can navigate the files list that appears for the folder.

The Files accessibility banner does not appear unless a user navigates Files via keyboard.


Users can add students to groups using keyboard navigation. The use of the Move-To option is not required.

Screen readers can read a warning if there are no groups in the course.

Screen readers can read a warning if a group is full and students cannot be added.

Media Comments

Screen readers and keyboard users can select and play audio and video comments throughout Canvas.


When a user adds a new content page through Modules, the page name text field includes a label.


The Groups tab is labeled as a tab.


In Quiz Log Auditing, when a user clicks the Skip to Content link, screen readers and keyboard users are redirected to the the content.

The Quiz Log Auditing attempt count buttons display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.


Screen readers can read the Make this course publicly visible checkbox and associated text, which appears as part of the label data.


Teacher Activity Reports

When an instructor adds a comment to a student’s assignment submission, the Teacher Activity Reports shows a student interaction.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the Teacher Activity Report after adding a comment on a student’s assignment submission, the report was not showing any student interaction. Canvas code has been updated to include submission comments as part of the interaction report. 

Course Analytics

Course Analytics load more quickly for larger courses.

Explanation: Users were reporting that Course Analytics were loading slowly for large courses and were not usable in the course. Canvas code has been optimized to improve loading times.


External Feeds

External Feeds can contain secure URLs (HTTPS)

Explanation: If an instructor added an external feed that was a secure URL, Announcements did not create a new announcement. Canvas code has been updated to support secure URLs in Announcements.

Delayed Announcements

When an announcement is scheduled to be delayed, users can view the availability date of the announcement.

Explanation: When an instructor posted a delayed announcement, users were not able to view the message that showed when the announcement would be available for viewing. Canvas code has been updated to restore the delayed announcement notification for users.


Observer Notifications

Observers who are linked to a student receive notifications about new assignments.

Explanation: When an instructor created a new assignment in a course, any observers in the course were not receiving the notification about the new assignment, even when they were linked to a student who did receive the notice. Canvas code has been updated to include observers in assignment notifications. 

Unauthenticated Users and Unpublished Assignments

Unauthenticated users in a public course cannot view unpublished assignments.

Explanation: In public courses, users who are not authenticated (not logged in and enrolled in the course) were able to view unpublished assignments on the Assignments page. The content itself was inaccessible, but all titles, due dates, and points possible were able to be viewed. Unpublished content was not affected in any other Canvas page. Canvas code has been updated to hide unpublished assignments for unauthenticated users in public courses.


New Event Window

Users can view all options when creating a new event in the Calendar.

Explanation: When a user created a new event in the Calendar, the height of the New Event window was too short, restricting the course options at the bottom of the window. Canvas code has been updated to correct the height of the window.

Canvas Commons

Subaccount Search Results

When searching for a resource in Commons, resources within subaccounts appear in the search list. 

Explanation: When a user tried to search for a resource that existed within a subaccount, the resource would not appear in the search results unless the user specifically filtered the search parameters by subaccount. Canvas code has been updated to include subaccount IDs in search queries.


Course Home Page and Course Names in Firefox 34

In Firefox 34, when a page is set as the Home Page for the course, long course names do not hide the edit button. 

Explanation: When an instructor set a page as the Course Home Page for a course with a long name (over 100 characters), the edit button for the Course Home Page was not appearing if the instructor viewed Canvas in Firefox 34. Canvas code has been updated to allow access to the edit button for the Course Home Page in Firefox 34.

Course Imports

Examview Export Images

Examview exports with links to images render correctly after course import. 

Explanation: When a user imported an Examview file that contained links to images within a quiz, the links were not retained in the import and displayed missing link warnings. Canvas code has been updated to improve file searching for imported content and retain all image links. 

Quiz Settings

Course imports retain quiz settings for Only Once After Each Attempt and Show Response After Last Attempt.

Explanation: When the Only Once After Each Attempt setting or Show Response After Last Attempt setting was selected in a quiz, the settings were not being applied when copying the quiz to another course. Canvas code has been updated to retain all quiz viewing attributes when exporting and importing the quiz.  


Discussion Pages in Unpublished Courses

Students in unpublished courses cannot view course Discussions. 

Explanation: Students in unpublished courses were able to participate in discussions for the course by adding /discussion_topics to the course url. Canvas code has been updated to confirm read (published) access to discussion topics through direct URLs and display an unauthorized error. 

Hidden Discussion Entries

Users in a course can view all discussion posts within a discussion topic.

Explanation: Users who participated in multiple discussion topics were not able to view all associated discussion posts within unthreaded discussions. Canvas code has been updated to correct the ordering of each post ID within the database.


Better File Browsing and Student View

When an instructor enables Better File Browsing (New Files) then removes the Files Course Navigation link, students cannot view Course Files. 

Explanation: When an instructor enabled Better File Browsing for the course and later removed the Files Course Navigation link, students were able to view course files from their personal files until they logged out of Canvas. Canvas code has been updated to improve caching for Files permissions.

Grades (Student)

Show All Details

When a student selects the Show all Details link on the Grades page, all details will be shown for all assignments, including any assignment scores that are already opened. 

Explanation: When a student opened the Grades page and viewed scoring details for an assignment, and then selected the Show all Details link, all the assignments on the Grades page would show details except for the assignment details that were already viewed. Canvas code has been updated to show and hide assignment details based on the state of the option being accessed rather than any prior view of the assignment. 

CSV Assignment Sorting

In the Gradebook, sorting an assignment by due date does not affect the CSV download file.

Explanation: When an instructor requests to download the Gradebook as a CSV (comma separated value) file, Assignments in the Gradebook are sorted before the actual CSV export. When two assignments had the same Assignment Group ID and position, and one of them did not contain a due date, the CSV export failed. Canvas code has been updated to support assignments without due dates in CSV sorting.


Unassigned Students Section Hover

Hover text with all student section enrollments does not appear for unassigned students in course groups. 

Explanation: For students who had not been assigned a course group, instructors were able to hover over the student’s name and view hover text that showed all active section enrollments for the student instead of enrollments specific to the course. Canvas code has been updated to remove the hover text for unassigned students.

Self Sign-Up Student Groups

On the Student Groups page, when a student joins a group, the links for all other groups in the group set update appropriately as Join, Switch To, or Leave. 

Explanation: When a student joins a self sign-up group, the links for the other groups in the group set were not updating properly. For instance, when a student left a group, the group links were showing as Leave instead of Join. Canvas code has been updated to reflect the proper status for each group depending on the student’s involvement in the group.


Prerequisites Student View

If an unpublished module is a prerequisite to a second module, students have access to the second module until the first module is published. 

Explanation: When an instructor created two modules, where the first module is a prerequisite to the second but is unpublished, students in the course were able to view all items in the second module. However, once the first module was published, students could still access the items in the second module even though the first module was listed as a prerequisite. Canvas code has been updated to invalidate module progressions with prerequisite changes.


Unconfirmed Channels

Users only receive Canvas notifications through confirmed channels. 

Explanation: When a user added a communication channel but the channel was never confirmed, the user was still receiving notifications through the unconfirmed channel. Canvas code has been updated to verify the confirmation of the channel before sending notifications.


Rubrics and Outcome Criteria

When searching for an Outcome criterion in a rubric, courses without Outcome criteria display a link to the Outcomes page. 

Explanation: When a user tried to search for an Outcome criterion to add to a rubric, courses that contained no Outcomes displayed a blank page. Canvas code has been updated to direct users to the Outcomes page. 

Browser Zooming

In Chrome and Firefox, users can view all Outcomes when zoomed out of the Outcomes Index Page.

Explanation: When a user in Chrome or Firefox opened the Outcomes page and tried to zoom out of the browser, the Outcomes Group sidebar navigation was not displaying properly in the browser view. Canvas code has been updated to render Outcomes when users zoom out of the browser window.


Existing User Course Invitations

Inviting users to a course does not affect existing users with active enrollments. 

Explanation: When a user with an active enrollment was manually re-invited to a course section, the user’s status changed to the pending/invited status. This behavior seemed to only affect the newest users in the course. Canvas code has been updated to retain the state of existing active user enrollments. 

Concluded Course Invitations

Course invitations are displayed on a student’s Courses page until the course has concluded.

Explanation: If an instructor sent a course invitation, but the user did not accept before the course or term end date, the invitation was still showing on the user's Courses list under past enrollments. However, if the user tried to accept or reject the invitation, the page displayed an error message. Canvas code has been updated to hide course invitations for concluded courses. 

Enrollment Section Options

Canvas does not display an error for enrollment privileges unless there is an actual error.

Explanation: When an instructor added a user and selected the let this user see all course users option or limit this user to only see fellow section users option, Canvas was displaying an "Enrollment privilege change failed" message, even though the enrollment option was applied. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of the enrollment option before displaying the warning message.


Add/Remove Other Teachers/Designers/TAs

When adding users to a course, users can only view the designer role if they are granted the Add/Remove Other Teachers/Designers/TAs permission. 

Explanation: When the Add/remove other teachers, course designers or TAs to the course permission is disabled, instructors were able to view the designer role when adding users to a course. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions before displaying the designer role.   

Faculty Journal

Users can only view and access the Faculty Journal if granted the "Manage faculty journal entries" permission.

Explanation: When the “Manage faculty journal entries” permission was disabled, TAs and Instructors were still able to access the Faculty Journal and make entries from various locations. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions before displaying access to the Faculty Journal.


Extra Time Per Quiz Attempt

When multiple students are granted extra time in an additional quiz attempt, all students are able to complete the additional quiz attempt.

Explanation: When an instructor moderated a quiz and granted several students additional time in an attempt, only the last student updated was able to complete the attempt; all extra time and attempts given to the other students would disappear. Canvas code has been updated to include a small time delay in the timestamp when refreshing the moderate page so that all recent edits are displayed accurately.

Save it Now Quiz Button

When an instructor edits a quiz question or adds a new question to a quiz without saving, clicking the Save It Now button saves all changes to the quiz.

Explanation: When an instructor edited an existing question or added a

new question to a quiz without saving, clicking the Save It Now button was not saving the changes made to the quiz. Canvas code has been updated to save the quiz context with the quiz URL and quiz ID.

Deleted Questions in Quiz Statistics Question Limit

Quizzes does not count deleted questions when generating quiz statistics.

Explanation: When Quizzes generated quiz statistics for a quiz, deleted quiz questions were being incorporated into the default maximum question limit, which could stop quiz statistics from being generated. Canvas code has been updated to confirm the size of active quiz questions before turning off quiz stats in large courses. This fix was deployed to production on February 6.


Multiple Submissions

When multiple students submit assignments multiple times, SpeedGrader shows the most recent submission for each student.

Explanation: When multiple students submitted an assignment multiple times, an instructor who wanted to view the submission for the next student was being shown the same submission as the first student, whether that submission was the most recent or not. Canvas code has been updated to display the most recent submission when viewing the next student’s submission, unless an older submission is specifically selected in the sidebar by the grader. 

Quiz Submissions with Incorrect Students

SpeedGrader shows the correct quiz data for each student submission.

Explanation: When an instructor updated a quiz score for a student and quickly clicked the Next Student arrow, the next student’s submission was displaying quiz data belonging to the previous student. Canvas code has been updated to confirm that the data and the student are aligned before displaying in SpeedGrader.  


User and Browser Time Zones

User time zones are reflected in the course syllabus for each user, even if the user time zone is different from the browser time zone. 

Explanation: When users changed their user time zones to something other than their browser time zones, the Syllabus was not able to render local dates and event times correctly. Canvas code has been updated to default to the user time zone if varied from the browser. 

Public Syllabus File Previews

Users can preview files linked to a public syllabus.

Explanation: When a public syllabus contained links to files, users were able to download the files but were not able to preview the files. Canvas code has been updated to support previews for public users.

User Profiles

Space Exceeded Error Message

When users cannot upload a profile picture because they do not have room in their personal files, Canvas generates an error message telling the users they’ve exceeded the available space.

Explanation: When users tried to upload a profile picture but the upload failed, the Canvas error message did not help the users understand why the upload failed, which was usually because the users were out of space in their personal files. Canvas code has been updated to improve the error message regarding files storage space.

Next release schedule:

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

Archived Canvas Updates
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