Canvas Updates

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Production Release notes for Saturday, October 10, 2015

In this update, instructors have new tools to help them better create Modules and student appointments in the Scheduler. Student notifications for anonymous peer reviews are completely anonymous.


New Features


And/Or Requirements

When creating requirements in a module, instructors can give students an option between two or more tasks. This change allows students to choose which task they prefer to complete to demonstrate their learning and move forward in the course content.

Note: If you choose to use this feature for graded items, please note that all assignments with their current grades are reflected in the Gradebook. For instance, if a module requires a student to submit one of three assignments, the two assignments that aren't submitted still factor into the Gradebook as unsubmitted. If instructors would like students to select one assignment from a list of added module item requirements, the instructor may choose to manually configure assignments appropriately, either by using the differentiated assignments feature or excusing assignments as necessary in the Gradebook.

To enable the And/Or option, instructors can edit a module, add a requirement, and select the "Students must complete one of these requirements" option.

The requirement for the module appears as part of the module header (either Complete One Item or Complete All Items). Module prerequisites also appear in the module header.

Students view the same information in the module header, showing them they must complete one or all items. Requirements are shown with the task item. The circles next to the module item show the state of the item. Blank circles indicate the requirement has not yet been completed.

When a student completes the prerequisite, the module item changes to a green check mark icon. If the student fails the prerequisite, the module item changes to an orange dash icon. An orange icon can also mean the assignment is overdue. Students can hover over the icon to view the details about the item.

The module header also indicates the status of the entire module. If a module includes requirements, an orange icon indicates the module has been started. A green check mark icon indicates the module has been completed. If a module doesn't include requirements, the status will not appear in the module header, but each module item will still indicate if an item (such as an assignment) is overdue.

Modules still display gray text and a lock icon for modules that have not yet been unlocked.


Scheduler Comments

When students sign up for an appointment slot in the Scheduler, they can add a comment as part of the reservation. However, this field is optional. In the student's calendar, the student can view the submitted comments by viewing the reserved appointment group event.

Instructors can view any comments left by students by viewing the reserved appointment group slot.

Updated Features


Peer Review Notifications

When instructors enable anonymous peer reviews, notifications sent to students about the peer review assignment are also anonymous. Notifications do not include the name of the student whose work is to be reviewed.


Quiz Question Breakdown by User

When instructors view the breakdown of a quiz question, they can see the number of respondents for each answer choice. This statistic is in addition to the percentage of respondents. Instructors can click the respondents link to view the names of the students who chose each specific answer.

Other Canvas Updates


Muted Assignments Total Column Icon

As introduced in the previous production release, 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. The icon has been changed to the mute icon to help differentiate between icons in the total column. This icon also takes precedence over the warning icon for weighted assignment group errors.



Maori is now a supported Canvas language.

Fixed Bugs







Complete/Incomplete Assignments

Complete assignments retain their setting if the score is changed.

Explanation: When an assignment of zero points was marked as complete in SpeedGrader, and then the assignment was edited and changed to a point value of one, the score would change to an incomplete grade. This behavior occurred because preserving complete/incomplete grades was only based on grades with zero points possible. Canvas code has been updated to preserve the set submission grade.


Turnitin processes assignments with identical names.

Explanation: When an instructor created assignments with multiple names in Canvas, Turnitin was not able to process the assignment. This behavior occurred because the Turnitin API requires assignment names to be unique for any specific course. Canvas code has been updated to add the assignment ID to the end of an assignment in Canvas as part of the API call to Turnitin.


Student Groups

Students can invite other group members to join a Conference.

Explanation: When a student created a conference as part of a group, when the student unchecked the Invite All Course Members checkbox, the member list was empty. This behavior occurred because Conferences was looking for the course roster and not the groups roster. Canvas code has been updated to change the checkbox for groups as Invite All Group Members and display the list of members in the group.



Attachments are sent in Conversation messages for all users.

Explanation: When a user with profiles in multiple accounts attached a file to a message in Conversations, the attachment appeared to be added but was missing for both the sender and the recipient. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not correctly identifying the user association with the file. Canvas code has been updated to retain the attachment ID and better support multiple accounts.

Course Imports

Concluded Course Imports

Instructors can import concluded courses.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to copy a concluded course into another course, Canvas directed to the content migration page and displayed an error message that the course had not yet been published, even though the course had copied successfully. This behavior occurred because previous term dates were being inherited as part of the course. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to copy and view concluded courses.

Question Marks in Titles

Question marks in folder titles do not affect images in copied courses.

Explanation: When a user created a folder with a question mark in the title, added an image file to the folder, and embedded the image into the Rich Content Editor, importing the page into a new course broke the link to the image. This behavior occurred because Canvas couldn't detect whether the mark was part of the file name or a query string. Canvas code has been updated to support question marks in folder titles.


Subfolder File Previews

Users can view and preview all files located in folders with subfolders.

Explanation: After a user previewed a file that was located in a folder with one or more subfolders, the first listed file disappeared from view. Additionally, some files were not able to be previewed at all. This behavior occurred because the file system was extending itself for additional files but not ensuring they were linked. Canvas code has been updated to retain links to all files. This fix was deployed on September 29.

UTF-8 File Names

Temporary file names are limited to the last 50 characters.

Explanation: When a user created a long file name with UTF-8 characters, Canvas generated an error message that the file name was too long. This behavior occurred because the temporary file in the user's local storage extended the file name because of URL encoding. Canvas code has been updated to limit the temporary file name to the last 50 characters.

File Search

Users can preview files that are filtered in the search field.

Explanation: When a user searched for a file using the file search field, the file would not create a preview. Additionally, the search field affected Files Navigation and the user could not use Files without refreshing the page. This behavior was caused by an error in the modal window. Canvas code has been updated to preview files in the search field.


Learning Mastery Gradebook

The Learning Mastery Gradebook loads for courses with a large number of outcomes.

Explanation: When a course contained a large number of outcomes, the Learning Mastery Gradebook would time out, regardless of whether the outcomes had any alignments. This behavior occurred because the gradebook generated several database queries at once, which could cause conflicts. Canvas code has been updated to reduce the number of queries and improve gradebook loading and performance.

Multiple Grading Period End Time

The end time for a grading period defaults to 11:59 pm.

Explanation: The grading period end time was defaulting to 12:00 am, which caused assignments with due dates that correspond to the grading period end date to not be included in the grading period. Canvas code has been updated to change the default end time for a grading period to 11:59 pm.

Dropped Scores

Gradebook cell shading for dropped scores is accurate according to section.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed dropped scores for one section and then viewed another section, the Gradebook cell shading for the dropped scores was not refreshing with the new section. This behavior occurred because the matching section was not properly aligning with the filter. Canvas code has been updated to display shading according to section.

Student Grades Indicator and Unpublished Assignments

The student grades indicator does not include unpublished assignments.

Explanation: In Course Navigation, the Grades indicator shows students when they have a new grade posted for their course. However, the indicator was also displaying counts for submissions attached to unpublished assignments, such as the Roll Call Assignment. This behavior occurred because the indicator was only disregarding assignments that had been deleted. Canvas code has been updated to disregard unpublished assignments in the grade indicator.


Chinese Names

Traditional Chinese names do not affect Files or the Gradebook.

Explanation: When a course included a name with traditional Chinese characters, the Gradebook wasn't able to load submissions if the course language is also set to traditional Chinese. Additionally, some files were not able to be loaded. These behaviors occurred because of misconfigurations in locale names. Canvas code has been updated to rename Chinese configurations in Canvas.


Module Header and Prerequisites

Users can view the name of a module header when the header also includes prerequisites.

Explanation: When a module included a long name, and the module was assigned several prerequisites, the prerequisites in the module aligned to the left and cut off the name of the module. This behavior occurred because of misalignment with the module heading elements. Canvas code has been updated with the new Modules And/Or feature and allows for proper viewing of module headers.

Incomplete Quiz Attempts and Must Submit Module Requirement

When a quiz submission with multiple attempts meets the Must Submit requirement for a module, the module requirement is marked as complete.

Explanation: When an instructor created a quiz that allowed multiple attempts and added the quiz to a Must Submit requirement module, the module was being marked as complete after the first submission but marked as incomplete when the student began the second attempt. This behavior occurred because in module requirements. Canvas code has been updated with the new Modules And/Or feature and properly addresses module requirements and multiple attempts.

Published Modules and Student View

Publishing a module publishes all unpublished files within the module.

Explanation: When an unpublished file was added to an unpublished module, and the module was published by the instructor, students were able to view the file as part of the module, but the file appeared to be locked. This behavior occurred because the Module was publishing the file state but not the actual file link. Canvas code has been updated to publish the file link along with the module item tag.


Lock Questions after Answering Quiz Previews

When an instructor previews a quiz with the Lock Questions after Answering option enabled, instructors see a warning message.

Explanation: When an instructor set the Lock Questions after Answering option in a quiz and then previewed the quiz, instructors were not able to see the warning message: "Once you have submitted an answer, you will not be able to change it later". This behavior occurred because the warning was not set to display for instructor roles. Canvas code has been updated to show the warning message for instructor quiz previews.

Extra Time in Quiz Extensions

Instructors can view the extra time granted to individual students.

Explanation: When an instructor extended a quiz and opted to give a student extra time, extra time was disappearing for all students except the first in the list. This behavior occurred because of a misconfiguration with the extra time hidden style. Canvas code has been updated to always show extra time for quiz extensions.

Extra Time Quiz Options

Instructors can view the quiz options when extending extra time in a quiz.

Explanation: When an instructor granted a quiz extension for a student and viewed the Extend Quiz Time menu, the minutes from option was not displaying the second option. This behavior occurred because of a code display error. Canvas code has been updated to show both quiz options in the quiz menu.

Past Quiz Previews

Instructors can preview quizzes with availability dates in the past.

Explanation: When an instructor tried to preview a quiz with an availability date set in the past, Canvas created an error message. This behavior affected quizzes set to view one quiz question at a time and occurred because quizzes weren't set to be previewed when the submission was completed. Canvas code has been updated to allow previews for past quizzes.

Respondus Lockdown Browser

Users can exit the Respondus Lockdown Browser after completing a quiz.

Explanation: After a student completed a quiz using the Respondus Lockdown Browser, users were not able to exit the browser. This behavior occurred because of an outdated specification with the high security browser. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to exit the browser after a quiz submission.

Math Equation Editor Brackets

Scottish brackets are accepted in the Math Equation Editor's Basic View.

Explanation: When an instructor included Scottish brackets { } as part of a math equation, the equations did not appear in the equation. This behavior occurred because of an error with the unicode in the JavaScript. Canvas code has been updated to address bracket entries for math equations.


Late Quizzes

When a student is allowed multiple quiz attempts, only attempts that are submitted after the due date are marked as late.

Explanation: With multiple quiz attempts enabled, if a student submitted a quiz before the due date and then submitted another quiz attempt after the due date, SpeedGrader was marking all attempts as late. This behavior occurred because Canvas didn't clearly define late submissions. Canvas code has been updated to specify late submission definitions and actions.

Next release schedule:

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

Archived Canvas Updates
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