Canvas Updates

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Production Release Notes for Saturday, September 19, 2015

In this release (September 19), instructors benefit from added productivity tools in the classroom and students no longer see groups after a course has concluded.

Contents

New Features

Calendar

Recurring Events

When creating a new calendar event for a course, instructors can choose to create multiple copies of the event every day, week, or month. Once created, recurring events are not linked together and are independent events. Therefore, if users need to modify an event, each event has to be modified individually.

Recurring Calendar Events is a course-level feature option. This feature must be enabled at the account level before it can be used for individual courses.

When a course has enabled recurring (repeating) calendar events, an instructor can add the event details, select the course, then click the More Options button.

The repeat button appears as part of the new calendar event. By default, events are repeated every week.

Weekly events are replicated on the day of the week of the first event. For instance, if an event is created on a Monday and repeats weekly, the next instance of the event will appear on the following Monday, regardless of the actual date. Monthly events are replicated on the day of the month of the first event. For instance, if an event is created on July 6 and repeats monthly, the next instance of the event will appear on August 6. Users can also choose to select the Count option, which adds a number to the end of each event title (e.g. Event 1, Event 2, etc.)

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

Conferences

Polling

Presenters can create polls for participants to use during a conference. Polls can be created ahead of time, such as during a presentation, or created as part of an informal discussion.

Because of a distributed rollout for this feature, many institutions may already be able to see polling in their production environment. However, the beta environment should always be used to test new features if admins or instructors are uncertain about functionality or performance.

Presenters can create a poll at the bottom of the presentation window. Polls can be Yes/No, True/False, or letter responses up to six answer choices (A through F).

Presenters can also create a custom poll where they can specify their answer choices.

Polls can also be created automatically from a presentation slide. Conferences is able to read the slide and automatically include polling options that match the polling options.

For the conference participants, the polling options appear on the page automatically.

Once a poll is started, presenters can see the participant responses as they are made in real time.

Presenters can also see if one or more participants in the conference have not responded. However, polls are always anonymous and voting is not required.

Presenters can publish poll results to appear for all conference participants at any time. They do not have to wait for all participants to vote.

Groups

Conclude Groups at Course Conclusion

When a course concludes in Canvas, groups in the course also conclude. Concluded groups do not appear in the Courses & Groups menu. Users can still access their previous and current groups in the Groups page.

Note: Currently groups still appear on the Courses page and will be addressed in a future release.

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

Explanation: Users were not able to be removed from a course group unless an admin or instructor manually removed the student from the group. This behavior occurred because groups were not associated with the course status. Canvas code has been updated to show courses groups as concluded in the Groups page and remove associated groups from the Group favorites list.

 

Updated Features

Gradebook

Muted Assignments

When an instructor mutes an assignment, scores are muted from the student’s Total score, but not the instructor’s Gradebook. When an instructor mutes an assignment in the Gradebook, the Total column will display a warning indicating that the total score is different than shown to students.

Note: To better associate warning messages, in the next release the warning icon will be changed to the mute icon.

SpeedGrader

Manual Quiz Question Grading

In a manually graded quiz question, instructors no longer have to remove the dashes in the point field. Once an instructor starts typing a score, the dashes are removed automatically. However, if no value is entered and dashes are still present, the question is still considered ungraded.

This feature was originally submitted by the Canvas community.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

Explanation: When an instructor opened a manually graded quiz in SpeedGrader and clicked the dashes in the points field, any scores typed in the field were inserted around the dashes instead of remove them completely. This behavior occurred because the points field was not focusing correctly on the dashes. Canvas code has been updated to remove the dashes when points are entered in the field.

Hiding Names in Anonymous Surveys

When grading an anonymous survey (quiz) in SpeedGrader, instructors can view the Hide Student Names checkbox in SpeedGrader settings, but the checkbox cannot be disabled. Anonymous surveys require names to be hidden.

 

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Account Settings

Announcements

Course Navigation

Course Settings

Discussions

Global Navigation

Pages

Quizzes

Rich Content Editor

Rubrics

SpeedGrader

Theme Editor

The Theme Editor includes multiple additions for accessibility:

User Settings

Assignments

Admin Role

Admins enrolled as students can submit assignments.

Explanation: When an admin was enrolled as a student, admins were unable to submit assignments. This behavior occurred because of a regression in the Assignment submission page. Canvas code has been updated to allow assignment submissions for all student user roles. This fix was deployed to production on September 9.

Calendar

Description Content

The new calendar events window always displays the close icon.

Explanation: If a calendar event’s description had enough lines, when the item was clicked, the content was larger than the window’s height. This behavior occurred when viewed on small screens. Canvas code has been updated to adjust calendar window for smaller screen sizes.

Everyone Due Dates

The Calendar shows due dates for Everyone on the Calendar.

Explanation: When an assignment included multiple due dates, an Everyone due date was not displaying on the Calendar. This behavior occurred because the Calendar was not associating the correct due date when more than one date was used. Canvas code has been updated to include the original calendar event date unless all sections in a course include a varied due date.

Course Imports

Deleted Enrollments and Sections

Deleted enrollments also remove any associated sections.

Explanation: When a user used an SIS import to delete a section with enrolled students, the enrollments were left in the course but were no longer enrolled in a section. This behavior occurred because Canvas wasn’t coded to associate deleted sections with enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to mark enrollments as deleted when their associated section is deleted.

Course Settings

Course Reset and Integration IDs

Canvas resets courses correctly when used with an integration ID.

Explanation: When a course included an integration_id (used in the Courses API), and a user attempted to reset the course, Canvas generated a page error and did not reset. This behavior occurred because Canvas did not recognize the integration ID. Canvas code has been updated to include integration IDs as part of course resets.

Dashboard

Peer Review Icons

Peer Review assignments only display one Peer Review icon in the To Do sidebar.

Explanation: When a student was assigned more than one peer review, additional Peer Review icons appeared in the sidebar To Do list. This behavior occurred because of a misalignment with the peer review element link. Canvas code has been updated to only display one icon per peer review assignment.

Discussions

Deleted Discussions

Students cannot participate in deleted discussions through email notifications.

Explanation: When students received discussions via notifications and replied to discussions, students were able to participate with the discussion even if the discussion had been deleted. This behavior occurred because of a state verification error. Canvas code has been updated to not generate discussion notifications for deleted assignments.

ePortfolios

Uploaded Files and Embedded Images

Uploaded files and embedded images appear in downloaded ePortfolio Pages.

Explanation: When a file was uploaded to a page in an ePortfolio and later downloaded, the file appeared as a separate file in the ZIP folder but was not appearing in the HTML page. Additionally, the same behavior occurred for embedded images. This behavior occurred because the ePorfolio page was not able to associate the correct files for the page view. Canvas code has been updated to show uploaded and embedded files in downloaded ePortfolio pages.

Grades

Invalid Characters and Graded State

Entering an invalid character in the Gradebook or SpeedGrader does not alter the state of the assignment.

Explanation: When an instructor entered a non-grade character (such as an ampersand or parenthesis), the grade was set to null and the state of the assignment showed as graded. This behavior occurred the state of the assignment changed with grade entries in either SpeedGrader or the Gradebook. Canvas code has been updated to disregard invalid characters in changing the assignment state.

Groups

Course Conclude

When a course concludes in Canvas, groups in the course also conclude.

Explanation: Users were not able to be removed from a course group unless an admin or instructor manually removed the student from the group. This behavior occurred because groups were not associated with the course status. Canvas code has been updated to show courses groups as concluded in the Groups page and remove associated groups from the Group favorites list.

Pages

Links and Escaped Characters

Pages render linked character text correctly.

Explanation: When a user created a link in a Page with non-alpha characters (such as a parenthesis or ampersand), the characters were escaping the link. This behavior occurred because of improper character decoding in the Rich Content Editor. Canvas code has been updated to render linked characters correctly.

Quizzes

Question Banks with More than 51 Quiz Questions

Users can move or copy paginated questions in a question bank with more than 51 quiz questions. Additionally, editing a question does not create a duplicate.

Explanation: When a user created a question bank with more than 51 quiz questions, the question bank could not be moved or copied. These behaviors occurred because of pagination restrictions to properly associate all questions in the question bank. Canvas code has been updated to properly associate all quiz question IDs in a question bank regardless if more items are loaded on the page.

Term Dates and Auto-submission Quizzes

Quizzes do not auto-submit with a course end date listed in the past. Explanation: When a term had an end date of whenever and the course had an end date listed in the past (without selecting the Students can only participate during these dates checkbox), quizzes were auto-submitting as soon as a student clicked to take a quiz. This behavior occurred because the quiz was not verifying the term date associated with the enrollment. Canvas code has been updated to use term dates for a course unless the course has course date overrides and the participation checkbox is selected. This fix was deployed to production on September 10.

SpeedGrader

Manual Quiz Question Grading

In a manually graded quiz question, instructors no longer have to remove the dashes in the point field.

Explanation: When an instructor opened a manually graded quiz in SpeedGrader and clicked the dashes in the points field, any scores typed in the field were inserted around the dashes instead of remove them completely. This behavior occurred because the points field was not focusing correctly on the dashes. Canvas code has been updated to remove the dashes when points are entered in the field.


Next release schedule:

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

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