CanvasUpdates20151031

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Production Release notes for Saturday, October 31, 2015.
In this production release (October 31) instructors can more easily manage content and maintain grades thanks to small changes to existing features.

Contents

Updated Features

Announcements

Cancel Button

When instructors create a new announcement, the Announcements page includes a Cancel button. This change helps enable consistent behavior when creating content across Canvas.

Discussions

Cancel Button

When instructors create a new discussion, the Discussions page includes a Cancel button. This change helps enable consistent behavior when creating content across Canvas.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Files

Student Submission Files

Students cannot delete user files if they are associated with a submission in a course. This change allows instructors to always download assignment submissions in SpeedGrader.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas

Explanation: When a student submitted an assignment and then deleted it from his or her user files, the student's instructor was not able to download the submission file from SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because downloads for student files are associated with the submitted file in the student's user files area. Canvas code has been updated to prevent students from deleting submitted files in active courses. This change also improves a fix originally added to the July 18 release related to student submission files and SpeedGrader downloads.

Modules

Requirements and Sequential Order Placement

The Module requirements field displays the sequential order checkbox below the All Requirements radio button. Instructors can only require students to complete module requirements in sequential order if students complete all the requirements in the module. The One Requirement option is not supported.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas

Explanation: When an instructor created a module, added a few module items such as assignments, and required students to complete one module item, Modules did not allow a student to progress even if one of the module items had been completed. This behavior occurred because Modules doesn't support the module sequence option when choosing one module item to complete. Canvas code has been updated to only allow sequential order as part of the all requirements checkbox.

Canvas UI

Quiz Statistics and Section Views

When instructors view quiz statistics for a course, they can choose to view quiz statistics by section. Filter the quiz by selecting the Section Filter button. This feature was deployed to production on October 26.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Numerical Answer with Precision

In Quizzes, the Numerical Answer question type includes an Answer with Precision quiz option.

Answer with Precision allows an admin to set an answer that is rounded to a precision of up to 16 in standard or exponential format (e.g. 1e+26).

Question answer fields accept numerical inputs with or without an exponent and are formatted according to the configured precision. Any numerical entries past 16 are truncated for grading and comparison. By default, the precision answer field is set to 10.

If any of the potential answers to a numerical question is a precision answer, then the student answer fields will accept precision answers. If none of the possible answers are precision answers, then the student answer fields will continue to round to four decimal places.

This feature was originally suggested in the Canvas community.

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

Explanation: When an instructor created a Numerical Answer question and included varied answers, the formula question was being inconsistent with how to factor answers that included decimals. This behavior occurred because even though the Numerical Answer answers were defined to support four decimals places, Canvas didn't know how to properly round some answers, meaning some answers would be cut off or be rounded to zero. Canvas code has been updated to include a Answer with Precision option as an answer choice in the Numerical Answer question type.

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Assignments

Announcements

Discussions

Grades

Modules

Notifications

SpeedGrader

Assignments

Pending Turnitin Scores

Turnitin returns a Turnitin score for student assignment submissions.

Explanation: When a student submitted a Turnitin assignment, Turnitin was not generating scores for some students. This behavior occurred because of an error with the Turnitin ID. Turnitin IDs were generated based on the local database ID, allowing two different courses from two different institutions to share the same student email. Canvas code has been updated to preserve assignments with the appropriate Turnitin ID that matches the course and user account. However, older courses may require a separate support ticket to resolve this issue. This fix was deployed to production on October 15.

Restricted File Types and File Uploads

Allowed extensions listed in restricted file types are not honored if File Upload is not a submission option.

Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment and selected the Restrict Upload File Types option without selecting the File Upload submission type, the assignment could not be saved. This behavior occurred because the assignment was looking for extensions in the restricted file types field. Canvas code has been updated to ignore any restricted file types if the File Uploads submission option is not selected.

Authentication

Microsoft Office and Shibboleth

Students can access Canvas links placed in a Microsoft Office document if their institution is using Shibboleth for authentication.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Word Document with links to Canvas pages, students trying to view the links through those documents received an error message. This behavior affected institutions using Shibboleth for Canvas authentication and occurred because Microsoft Office applications use an internal browser that tries to handle all online communication and cannot pass user credentials from previous sessions. Canvas code has been updated to provide authentication support in Microsoft Word documents.

Conferences

Concluded Enrollments and Conferences

Users with concluded enrollments are not invited to join a conference.

Explanation: When a user in an active course invited all users to a conference, users with concluded enrollments were also able to join the conference. This behavior occurred because Conference was only pulling user IDs for the course. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of users in a course.

Conversations

Missing Names

Conversations shows the names of all participants in a message thread.

Explanation: When a conversations message included a message sent to multiple users, the conversation was not displaying the list of all participants. This behavior occurred because of a caching error. Previously conversations cached the list of users in a message, which conflicted with the actual user display. Canvas code has been updated to remove caching from the participant list. This fix was deployed to production on October 15.

Course Imports

Module Requirements

Exporting and importing a course with module requirements retains the module settings.

Explanation: When the module requirement option was edited in a module (such as requiring one module item instead of all module items), exporting and importing the course was not retaining the edited module option. This behavior occurred because the requirement setting was not set as a copied element. Canvas code has been updated to retain the requirement count for a module.

Disable Comments Setting

The Disable Comments on Announcements course setting is retained in course export.

Explanation: When an instructor selected the Disable Comments on Announcements course setting and copied the course, the setting was not retained when the course was imported. This behavior occurred because the lock setting for announcements was not specified. Canvas code has been updated to retain the state of announcements in a course export.

Course Setup Checklist

Course Publishing and TAs

TAs cannot publish a course in the Course Setup Checklist unless they have the appropriate permission.

Explanation: When a TA opened the Course Setup Checklist, the TA could see the Publish option. This behavior occurred because the checklist was not verifying permissions to change the course state. Canvas code has been updated to hide the publish button from any user role that cannot change the course state.

Discussions

Group Discussion Order

Group discussions are displayed by discussion ID, which may also be alphabetical order.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group discussion and viewed the discussion group's page (/courses/:course_id/discussion_topics/:id), the group names were shown out of order. This behavior occurred because group discussions did not include any sorting parameters. Canvas code has been updated to order groups by ID. Depending on the group creation, ordering by ID may also be ordered alphabetically.

Concluded Enrollments and Replies

Users with concluded enrollments cannot edit their discussion replies.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled the option for students to edit discussion posts, users with concluded enrollments were able to edit their discussion replies. This behavior occurred because replies weren't being restricted to concluded students. Canvas code has been updated to verify user state for discussion reply edits.

Files

File Upload Warning

If a user navigates away from Files before an uploaded file is complete, Files displays a warning message.

Explanation: When a user uploaded a file and navigated away before the file was complete, the file was not shown as uploaded when the user returned to the page. This behavior occurred because the file could not upload completely without the user staying on the page. Canvas code has been updated to display a warning if a user tries to navigates away from the page.

Locked Files and Previous Access

A file set to unlock after a specific time will unlock regardless of whether a student has already tried to access the file.

Explanation: If a student tried to view a locked file before the unlocked date, when the file unlock date had passed, the file remained locked for the student. This behavior occurred because of a caching error with viewing permissions. Canvas code has been updated to ensure the locked file date isn't cached beyond the unlock date.

Gradebook

Gradebook Quiz Icon and Zero Points

Entering zero as a grade for an essay quiz removes the Q icon.

Explanation: When a quiz displayed a Q icon for manual grading, entering zero as a grade retained the Q icon and didn't save the score. This behavior occurred because the gradebook was not identifying a score of zero as being a complete grade. Canvas code has been updated to clear the icon with a manual score.

Message Students Who Haven't Submitted Yet

The Message Students Who Have Not Submitted option selects names of students whose assignments have been graded but are unsubmitted.

Explanation: When an instructor manually grades a student's assignment without a submission, selecting the Message Students Who option was not selecting the student's name. This behavior occurred because the Gradebook was disregarding all students with a grade. Canvas code has been updated to include students without submissions regardless of grade.

Export Links

Exporting a Gradebook CSV does not overlap links for previous exports.

Explanation: After exporting a Gradebook CSV and reloading the page, exporting a new CSV placed the link for the previous export on top of the export icon. This behavior occurred because of the assigned icon class. Canvas code has been updated to correct the icon class and only allow two list items in the export menu.

Everyone Else Grades and Grading Periods

All course assignments appear in the Gradebook regardless of grading periods.

Explanation: When using Differentiated Assignments, grades were only appearing when viewing the grading period with the Everyone Else date or when viewing all grading periods. Additionally, some assignments were not appearing at all, regardless of dates. These behaviors occurred because grading periods were not respecting assignment dates. Canvas code has been updated to allow grading period filters to respect assignment dates. This fix was deployed to production on October 15.

Muted Assignment Icon and Internet Explorer 11

Instructors using Internet Explorer 11 view the Muted Assignment icon in the same size as all other icons.

Explanation: When instructors using Internet Explorer 11 opened the Gradebook and muted an assignment, the Muted Assignment icon appeared smaller than other icons. This behavior occurred because the icon size set to a specific size, which rendered smaller in IE 11. Canvas code has been updated to set the icon as a full percentage.

Internet Explorer 10 Display

Instructors can view the Gradebook using Internet Explorer 10.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Gradebook using Internet Explorer 10, the Gradebook was not displaying in the browser. This behavior occurred because of a syntax error in the browser. Canvas code has been updated to correct the syntax and prevent Gradebook viewing. This fix was deployed to production on October 15.

Not Graded Assignments and Muted Assignment Icon

The Muted Assignment icon only displays in the Total column for graded assignments.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Not Graded assignment and muted the assignment, the Muted Assignment icon still appeared in the Total column even though the assignment did not affect student scores. This behavior occurred because the icon was set to display for all assignments regardless of type. Canvas code has been updated to only show the icon for graded assignments.

Modules

Requirements and Sequential Order Placement

Instructors can only require students to complete module requirements in sequential order if students complete all the requirements in the module.

Explanation: When an instructor created a module, added a few module items such as assignments, and required students to complete one module item, Modules did not allow a student to progress even if one of the module items had been completed. This behavior occurred because Modules doesn't support the module sequence option when choosing one module item to complete. Canvas code has been updated to only allow sequential order as part of the all requirements checkbox.

Modules Drag and Drop

Instructors can drag modules to the end of of the list in a course with multiple pre-existing modules.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to drag modules to the end of the list in a course with multiple pre-existing modules, the module could not be dragged past the last newly created module. This behavior occurred because the drag-and-drop functionality was limited to the space of the module list. Canvas code has been updated to remove the container window for modules.

Notifications

Notification Columns and Long Email Addresses

Long email addresses do not misalign the email notification column.

Explanation: When a user set an email address as a notification method, long email addresses stretched the email heading and misaligned the notification column. This behavior occurred because of no width specification for the column. Canvas code has been updated to set a minimum width for the table column.

Pages

View All Pages Button

If a course does not show the Pages Course Navigation link, students cannot view the View All Pages button on the course home page.

Explanation: When the Pages Course Navigation link was hidden in a course, students were able to view the course home page and click the View All pages button, which resulted in an error message. This behavior occurred because the View All Pages button was not aligned with the visibility setting for the Pages link. Canvas code has been updated to hide the View All Pages button if the Pages link is hidden for the course.

Quizzes

Formula Questions and Decimals

Instructors can specify the number of decimals for an answer in the Numerical Answer question type.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Numerical Answer question and included varied answers, the formula question was being inconsistent with how to factor answers that included decimals. This behavior occurred because even though the Numerical Answer answers were defined to support four decimals places, Canvas didn't know how to properly round some answers, meaning some answers would be cut off or be rounded to zero. Canvas code has been updated to include a Answer with Precision option as an answer choice in the Numerical Answer question type.

Formula Questions and Rounding

Repeating decimals beyond two places are rounded up.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Formula quiz question and included an answer with a repeating decimal beyond two decimal places, any answers that included a five (such as 1.75) was being rounded down to 1.7 rather than rounding to 1.8. This behavior occurred because the decimal number wasn't being added to the computation correctly. Canvas code has been updated to round up with two decimals.

Quiz Questions and Auto Scrolling

Quiz questions do not auto scroll to the last quiz question.

Explanation: When a student took a quiz with at least three quiz questions requiring a typed answer, the quiz was auto scrolling to the last quiz question. This behavior occurred because the last question input element of a quiz would automatically be focused. Canvas code has been updated to remove the autofocusing of question input fields. This change does not affect general accessibility features when taking a quiz.

Numerical Answer Quiz Edits

After editing a Numerical Answer Quiz question, the input fields retain the correct answer type.

Explanation: When an instructor created a Numerical Answer question, selected an answer type, and then edited the quiz, each answer type included the input fields from the other answer type. This behavior occurred because the edit functionality was being applied to elements not part of the dialog window. Canvas code has been updated to correct functionality in maintaining various dialog elements.

Course End Date Setting and Concluded Enrollments

Instructors can view quiz results in concluded courses.

Explanation: When an account enabled the Restrict Students from Viewing Quiz Questions after Course End Date option, instructors and TAs with concluded enrollments were also restricted from viewing quiz results in both the quiz and SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because the restriction was not verifying permissions. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to view quiz questions if they have grading permissions.

SpeedGrader

Student Submission Downloads

Instructors can download all student submissions in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When a student submitted an assignment and then deleted it from his or her user files, the student's instructor was not able to download the submission file from SpeedGrader. This behavior occurred because downloads for student files are  associated with the submitted file in the student's user files area. Canvas code has been updated to prevent students from deleting submitted files in active courses. This change also improves a fix originally added to the July 18 release related to student submission files and SpeedGrader downloads.

Student Graded Status

When an instructor enters a score for a student submission, SpeedGrader updates the student's assignment status with a green check mark.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a score for a student submission, SpeedGrader still showed the submission as Needs Grading with an orange dot. However, once the page was refreshed, the green check mark icon displayed correctly. This behavior occurred because SpeedGrader was not verifying the submission state after a score was entered. Canvas code has been updated to verify the state of the submission after grading. This fix was deployed to production on October 14.

Google Chrome Speech-to-text Recognition

The speech-to-text icon appears in SpeedGrader when using the Chrome browser.

Explanation: In Chrome, when instructors opened SpeedGrader, the speech-to-text recognition icon was not listed as a comment option. This behavior occurred because the field that included the icon was inadvertently hidden. Canvas code has been updated to set the speech recognition as a class selector that should always identify the icon element in Chrome.

Syllabus

Syllabus Assignments and Events Differentiation

In the Syllabus, graded assignments are shown in bold text.

Explanation: When a user viewed the Syllabus, users could not differentiate assignments from events. Previously in the syllabus, graded assignments (assignments, quizzes, graded discussions) appeared in the syllabus in bold, while course events and non-graded discussions were not bold. This behavior occurred because of an inadvertent change while enhancing the performance of calendar events and assignment data. Canvas code has been updated to display graded assignments in bold text.

Next release schedule:

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

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