CanvasUpdates20160312

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Production Release notes for Saturday, March 12, 2016.
In this production release (March 12), Canvas includes changes to several feature areas designed to improve user accessibility. Instructors can differentiate assignments by groups and improve their course workflows with changes to the To Do list and Quiz previews.

Contents

New Features

Analytics

Page Views Table

Account, course, and user analytics can be viewed in graph or table view. This change improves accessibility and allows keyboard users to access additional data that could previously only be viewed by hovering over the graphs. Analytics pages always default to the graph view. To view data in tables, toggle the analytics view at the top of the page. Tables apply to every graph in its respective page, and each column defines the data within its respective graph.

Each table is paginated to 30 entries per page; additional pages can be viewed by advancing to the next page.

Assignments

Differentiated Group Assignments

When creating a group assignment or group discussion, instructors can differentiate between groups. This feature allows instructors to create a group set in the course and differentiate assignment due dates for each group.

Notes

To enable differentiated assignments for groups in an assignment or graded discussion, the assignment must be set as a group assignment. In the Assign section, select the name of the assignment group from the groups list. Groups can also be located by searching for the name of a group.In graded discussions, instructors still view the links to all groups that were part of the group set (as with any other group discussion). However, not all groups may have been selected in the differentiated assignments list, so not all assignment groups may show a differentiated due date. Students can only view the discussion if they are a member of an assigned group. Otherwise the discussion does not appear in the group's Discussions page.

For instance, if the group set in the graded discussion includes Assignment Groups 1, 2, and 3, but only Group 2 and Group 3 were added to the discussion, all students in Group 1 would not be able to view the discussion.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community

Updated Features

Calendar

Scheduler Student Signup View

When students sign up for an appointment in the Scheduler, the calendar defaults to the agenda view. This change improves accessibility and allows users with screen readers to view the dates and times of each appointment slot.

Dashboard

To Do List

For instructors, the To Do list indicates the number of submissions that require grading. The indicator supports up to three digits and matches the primary color of the account's theme as set in the theme editor. This change also aligns indicators and icons when associated with long course and assignment names.

Quizzes

Instructor Quiz Previews

Instructors can only preview quizzes in Canvas. Previewing a quiz allows instructors to complete a quiz the same way that students will complete the quiz, including submitting the quiz. However, an official quiz submission is never created in Canvas.

Notes:

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.

Explanation: When an instructor took a quiz, the instructor was no longer able to manage the quiz, such as unpublishing the quiz. Additionally, the instructor’s attempt was logged in quiz statistics and the Gradebook history, and the instructor received a graded notification in the Course Navigation menu that could not be removed. These behaviors occurred because Canvas did not differentiate quiz submissions by user role. Canvas code has been updated to only allow instructors to preview a quiz.

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Analytics

Announcements

Assignments

Calendar

Chat

Discussions

Gradebook

Help Menu

Integrations

Modules

Outcomes

Quizzes

Users

Analytics

Account Analytics

Term analytics display the number of users in analytics.

Explanation: When an account admin viewed account analytics for a term, analytics were displaying the number of enrollments instead of users, causing analytics to become inflated. Canvas code has been updated to count the number of individual users in an account.

Announcements

View Discussion Permission and Concluded Courses

Students and observers cannot view announcements in concluded courses if they are not granted the View Discussions permission.

Explanation: When a student or observer was not granted the View Discussions permission, the user wasn’t able to view announcements. However, when a course had already concluded by specific dates and the Users Can Only Participate in the Course Between These Dates checkbox was selected, the user was able to view announcements. Canvas code has been updated to verify user role overrides in concluded courses instead of course or term dates.

Assignments

Differentiated Assignments and User Removal

Instructors can save a differentiated assignment, quiz, or graded discussion after a previously added student or section has been removed from the course.

Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment, and an included student or section was later removed from the course, the instructor wasn’t able to edit or save the assignment. The due date area for the previously included student or section displayed a loading error. This behavior also affected the Gradebook, which was not able to load correctly when these users were removed from the course. Canvas code has been updated to remove the user override from an assignment if the student is removed from the course.

Differentiated Assignments and 200+ Enrollments

When creating a differentiated assignment for a student, instructors can view all student names enrolled in the course.

Explanation: When an instructor created a differentiated assignment and searched for the name of a specific student, any students beyond 200 enrollments displayed as Loading instead of displaying their names. Canvas code has been updated to improve how student names are cached in differentiated assignments.

Conversations

Percentage Symbols and Conversation URLs

Conversations does not double convert percentage symbols in conversation URLs.

Explanation: When a user sent a conversation with a URL that contained the space HTML code of %20 or the percent HTML code of %25, the links were being double converted. For instance, a URL that included %20 and %25 were being converted as %2020 and %2025, which broke the entire URL. Canvas code has been updated to improve URL encoding with percentage symbols.

Course Import

Course Files Folder Names

Canvas folders named Course Files do not break a course import.

Explanation: When a user created a course folder called Course Files, and the entire folder name was entered in lowercase text, importing the course broke all links in the folder. Canvas courses already include a folder called Course Files. Canvas code has been updated to disregard folder names when importing course content.

Course Settings

Link Validator and Root Directories

The link validator does not invalidate links in Canvas public directories.

Explanation: When a user created a link in the Rich Content Editor that included a public root directory in Canvas that was sanitized to a shortened version, the link validator marked the link as being broken. For instance, in https://canvas.instructure.com/images/preview.png, the link was sanitized the link to /images/preview.png. Canvas code has been updated to not invalidate links to public directories.

Course Statistics and Deleted Quizzes

Course Statistics only includes current course content.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed Course Statistics, the running total included deleted quizzes. Canvas code has been updated to only include current course content in statistics.

Courses

Groups in Courses List

The Courses list does not display groups for any courses that have been restricted to viewing after the course before or after the end date.

Explanation: When an admin or instructor restricted students from viewing courses after the course start or end date, students were not able to view the course in their Courses list, but they could still view any associated course groups. Canvas code has been updated to remove the names of groups that are associated with restricted courses.

Dashboard

Announcement Notifications

Announcement notifications can be deleted from the Dashboard.

Explanation: When a user viewed and removed an announcement notification, refreshing the page would display the same notification. The Dashboard was displaying duplicate announcement notifications where the duplicate could not be removed. Canvas code has been updated to prevent duplicate notifications.

To Do items and New Quiz Submissions

Quizzes with essay questions appear in the To Do list after a new submission is made to the quiz.

Explanation: When an instructor created and published a quiz with essay questions, the quiz appeared in the To Do list for grading once it receive student submissions. If the instructor chose the Ignore option, the quiz would not reappear in the To Do list once the quiz received a new submission. Canvas code has been updated to make submissions with manual grading reappear in the To Do list.

Discussions

Discussion Replies and Future Enrollments

Students cannot participate in a discussion before the course is active and the student has accepted the course invitation.

Explanation: When a student was invited to a future course, but viewing future courses was not restricted, the student was able to create and reply to discussions before accepting the course invitation. Canvas code has been updated to verify course start dates and user permissions before allowing participation in a course.

Until Dates and Time Zones

Date and times entered in the Until Date field are displayed according to the user’s time zone.

Explanation: When an instructor created a discussion with a time and date in the Until Date availability field, the time zone was being converted to Mountain Time instead of the user’s time zone. Canvas code has been updated to display discussion Until Dates according to the user’s time zone.

View Discussion Permission and Concluded Courses

Students and observers cannot view discussions in concluded courses if they are not granted the View Discussions permission.

Explanation: When a student or observer was not granted the View Discussions permission, the user wasn’t able to view discussions. However, when a course had already concluded by specific dates and the Users Can Only Participate in the Course Between These Dates checkbox was selected, the user was able to view discussions. Canvas code has been updated to verify user role in concluded courses instead of course or term dates.

ePortfolios

Page Downloads

ePortfolios can download pages without content.

Explanation: When a user tried to download an ePortfolio that contained page without content, the ePortfolio download failed and could not generate a zip file. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to download ePortfolios with empty page content.

Files

Unpublished Files and Concluded Courses

Instructors can download unpublished files in concluded courses.

Explanation: When an instructor was in a course concluded by course or term dates, the instructor was unable to download unpublished files in the Files page. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for instructors in concluded courses.

User Quotas and File Attachments

If an instructor allows students to attach files to discussions in a course, students cannot attach files if they have exceeded their user files quota.

Explanation: When a student tried to attach a file to a discussion, but the student had exceeded his or her user files quota, the post appeared to save but did not include the attachment. When the student refreshed the page, Canvas generated a warning that their file quota had been exceeded, but the reply was not included in the discussion. Canvas code has been updated to warn students on attachment upload if they are out of space. This behavior does not apply to graded discussions, where attachments are considered part of the assignment submission and are not counted against a user’s files quota.

Grades

Total Column and Weighted Assignment Groups

The Gradebook Total column displays a dash for weighted assignment groups with no submissions.

Explanation: When an instructor created weighted assignment groups for a course, the Gradebook Total column was displaying 0% instead of a dash, even if no grades had been entered for an assignment. Canvas code has been updated to display a dash in the Total Column for weighted assignment groups until grades have been entered. If the Treat Ungraded as 0 option is enabled, the Total Column will also display grades as 0% for instructors (this setting does not apply to the student grades page).

Modules

Requirements in Future Courses

Students cannot complete module requirements when viewing future enrollments.

Explanation: When a student is enrolled in a future course and is not restricted from viewing the course before the start date, viewing the modules page fulfilled some module item requirements. Automatic completion applied to any module item that was not locked and where the student was required to view the item or contribute to the page. Canvas code has been updated to only allow module items to be marked as complete if the course is active.

Requirements and Module Progress

Module Progress for a student only shows required module items.

Explanation: When an instructor view the module progress for a student, all items in the module were being displayed in the Module Progress page. However, once the student had completed all the required items, module items without requirements no longer appeared in the page. Canvas code has been updated to not show module items unless they include module requirements.

Notifications

Submission Comment Notifications

Submission comment notifications do not escape paragraph tags in HTML email notifications.

Explanation: When a submission comment contained paragraph tags (usually generated by a line break), the paragraph tags were appearing in the message and breaking the alignment of the content. Canvas code has been updated to preserve the format of HTML notifications and allow content to be readable.

Instructor Notifications and Scheduler Group Appointments

Instructors receive notifications when students sign up for appointment groups.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group appointment in Scheduler, the instructor was not receiving notifications for student signups when the instructor enabled the Appointment Reserved By User notification. However, instructors were receiving notifications regarding student cancellations in group appointments. Canvas code has been updated to send Scheduler appointment signup notifications to instructors.

Outcomes

Outcome Titles and Question Bank Alignments

Users can view outcome alignments when viewing a question bank.

Explanation: When an instructor created a question bank and chose to align an outcome from the question bank detail page, the instructor could view the title of the outcome but could not view outcome alignments. Clicking the name of the outcome generated a page error. Canvas code has been updated to link the name of the outcome in a question bank and display all aligned outcomes.

Pages

Front Page and Sequential Order Modules

Users can view the Front Page of a course if it is included in a locked module.

Explanation: When an instructor added the Front Page to a module as the first item in the module, and users were required to move through modules in sequential order, loading the Front Page for the first time displayed a message that the page could not be accessed. Canvas code has been updated to allow any page set as the first module item to be accessed the first time it is viewed.

New Canvas UI and Delete Page Window Size

Pages displays the Delete Page confirmation message in a larger window.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to delete a page from the Pages Index Page, the Delete Page confirmation message was being shown in a window that was not large enough to display the entire message. Canvas code has been updated to increase the height of the window and display all confirmation text.

Quizzes

Anonymous Surveys and Student Analysis

Instructors can view the complete results of an anonymous survey in the student analysis page.

Explanation: When students completed an anonymous survey, the survey statistics showed survey questions on a per-question basis and did not display any student names. However, when an instructor clicked the Show Student Survey Results button from the quiz and viewed the number of students who took the survey, clicking the name of a student (shown as Student 1, Student 2, etc.) did not display any individual survey results. Canvas code has been updated to show all survey questions for each student while still hiding the student’s name.

Question Bank Move/Copy Option

Instructors can move or copy a quiz question to a different question bank.

Explanation: When an instructor moved or copied a quiz question to another question bank, the move or copy failed if the question was recently edited or created within the same page load. Canvas code has been updated to move or copy newly created questions without having to refresh the page.

Quiz Submission API and Resume Quiz Option

The Quiz Submission API does not block students from resuming a quiz on mobile devices.

Explanation: The Quiz Submission API was not allowing students to resume quizzes on mobile devices. When students tried to complete a quiz, Canvas generated an error message that the quiz questions could not be viewed due to quiz settings, which occurred when students were also not allowed to view quiz results. Canvas code has been updated to allow the Quiz Submission API to resume quizzes on mobile devices.

Concluded or Inactive Instructor Enrollments and Grading Notifications

Instructors with concluded or inactive enrollments do not receive notifications about quizzes that require grading.

Explanation: When an instructor’s enrollment was concluded or deactivated in a course, the instructor was still receiving notifications about quizzes that needed to be graded. Canvas code has been updated to verify an instructor’s enrollment status before sending notifications.

Quizzes and Section Enrollments

Students can take a quiz if they are enrolled in an active course section.

Explanation:When a concluded course included a course with active section dates, and students were enrollment in both a concluded section and the active section, students were unable to take any available quizzes. Canvas code has been updated to verify enrollment eligibility when active section dates override course dates.

Quiz Log Essay Questions

When a student completes an essay question in a quiz, the quiz log does not show the student left the page.

Explanation:When a quiz included an essay question and the student clicked outside the Rich Content Editor but remained in the quiz, the quiz log showed that the student stopped viewing the Canvas quiz-taking page. Canvas code has been updated to only update the quiz log as navigating away from the page if the student leaves the quiz completely by opening another browser tab or window or views another area of Canvas. However, the quiz log may show that the user focused back onto the page, which is not the same as leaving the quiz page.

Instructors and Quiz Submissions

Instructors can only preview quizzes in Canvas.

Explanation:When an instructor took a quiz, the instructor was no longer able to manage the quiz, such as unpublishing the quiz. Additionally, the instructor’s attempt was logged in quiz statistics and the Gradebook history, and the instructor received a graded notification in the Course Navigation menu that could not be removed. These behaviors occurred because Canvas did not differentiate quiz submissions by user role. Canvas code has been updated to only allow instructors to preview a quiz.

Next release schedule:

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

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