Canvas Updates

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Production Release notes for Saturday, April 2, 2016.
In this Canvas release (April 2), instructors can view calculation improvements in the Gradebook and Quizzes, access student analytics directly from the People page, and more accurately reply to group comments in SpeedGrader. All users benefit from improvements to Notifications and the Assignments submission details page.

Contents

Updated Features

Gradebook

Individual View Final Grade Decimal Places

In the Gradebook, Individual View shows two decimal places for a student’s final grade. This change helps improve consistency with rounding in the Gradebook.

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.

Explanation: When an instructor was using multiple grading periods and was able to view total grades in the Gradebook, Individual View showed total grades rounding to the nearest tenth, while other places in Canvas showed two decimals. Canvas code has been updated to show the final grade as two decimal places.

Module Sorting and Non-Module Assignments

In the sort by Modules option, assignments that are not in a module sort below the last module item alphabetically by title. Modules sorting is available in the student grades page; if instructors have permission, they can also sort when viewing individual student grades from a user’s details page.

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.

Explanation: When a student sorted grades by module, modules was not considering quizzes and discussions in the modules list. Assignments were being sorted correctly but all quizzes and discussions were being displayed at the bottom of the module list. Canvas code has been updated to include quizzes and discussions as part of the modules sort list.

Notifications

Notification Preference View

In the Notification page, the notification option menus can be changed without hovering over a communication channel column. This change improves accessibility and allows notification options to be accessed by all users. Enabled notifications are shown with a dark background. Changing a notification option applies the option immediately.

People

User Menu Analytics Link & Profiles Addition

The Analytics link has been added to the people page menu for easy access.

Additionally, in the User Details page, the Analytics button always displays in the sidebar for users who have permission to view analytics. Previously, the Analytics button only displayed in the User Details page for institutions who were not using the Profiles feature. Profiles creates an additional space in the user details page where users can show contact methods and links and create a small biography. Admins can enable Profiles for their account by contacting their Customer Success Manager.

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.

Explanation: When an institution enabled the Profiles feature for an entire account, the user profile page was not displaying the Analytics button, even if the user had permission to view analytics. Canvas code has been updated to add the Analytics button to a user’s profile independent of the Profiles feature.

Quizzes

Manually Graded Question Quiz Statistics

In addition to showing a link to SpeedGrader, quiz statistics show relative grade performance for manually graded essay and file upload quiz question types.

In quiz statistics, manually graded question types are shown in the same table format as other quiz types. A manually graded quiz type is marked as correct if it contains a student score greater than or equal to the question points possible. Grade breakdown responses are shown as the top 27%, middle 46%, and bottom 27%. The statistics also show submissions that have not yet been graded. However, if all scores are identical, a response category may show more than the percentage number of students (e.g., all students score 100%).

SpeedGrader

Group Submission Individual Comments View

SpeedGrader does not display individual comments made in group submission assignments. Group submission assignments are assignments where the instructor creates a group assignment and one submission counts for all group members. This change was made so instructors can always verify that comments are made for the entire group; SpeedGrader defaults the comments field so that it cannot be changed. Private comments can still be viewed and given for each student in the group by accessing the Submission Details page for the group assignment. Instructors can also view the Conversations Inbox Submission Comments filter.

Note: Groups assignments with individual submissions are not affected by this change; this option is created when an instructor creates a group assignment but selects the option to assign grades to individual users. When grades are assigned to individual users, SpeedGrader shows the submission menu by individual student name (and not by group).

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group assignment where one submission counted for all group members, SpeedGrader was not showing any individual comments made by group members. Canvas code has been updated to remove individual comments in SpeedGrader for group assignments, which helps instructors inadvertently respond to private comments in a public setting.

Other Updates

Canvas Interface

12pt Font Size Updates

Announcements, Assignments, Calendar, the Syllabus, the Course Home Page, and the Gradebook include minor text and icons that have been enlarged to 12pt for better readability.

User Settings

High Contrast Styles Page Scrollbar Color

When High Contrast Styles is enabled, scrollbars in page browser windows have been changed from light gray to dark gray for better contrast. This change only applies to browsers that support WebKit webpage rendering (Safari and Chrome).

This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Dashboard

Calendar

Collaborations

Conversations

Help

Notifications

SpeedGrader

Analytics

Course Analytics and High Enrollments

User profile pictures are preloaded in course analytics to improve loading speed.

Explanation: When a course contained a high amount of enrollments and an instructor accessed the course analytics page, the page would time out. Canvas code has been updated to preload course user profile pictures in the analytics page to improve loading speed.

Assignments

Availability Dates and Submit Button

When an assignment is locked until a future date, students can view the Submit button once the assignment is available.

Explanation: When a student viewed an assignment before the availability date, reloading the page after the date had passed did not display the Submit button. Canvas code has been updated to reset the page cache once the availability date has passed.

Differentiated Assignments and Separate Sections

Instructors can edit and save assignments and quizzes assigned to students who may not be in their same section.

Explanation: When an instructor could only view students in his or her same section, but an assignment or quiz was differentiated to an individual in another section, the student’s name was shown as loading and the instructor was unable to save edits to the assignment or quiz. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to save assignments or quizzes with student section overrides.

Inactive Enrollments and Differentiated Assignments

When an instructor differentiates an assignment to students, inactive student names do not display in the assignment search list.

Explanation: When an instructor created a new assignment and differentiated the assignment by student, inactive student names were displaying as part of the search list. Canvas code has been updated to not display inactive students in the assignment search list.

Concluded Section Enrollments and Assignment Due Dates

Students with both an active and concluded section enrollment do not see due dates for assignments set for the concluded section.

Explanation:When an instructor created an assignment with differentiated section dates, and a student had an enrollment in both sections but one was later concluded, the student was still able to view the due date for the assignment in the concluded section. Canvas code has been updated to disregard concluded enrollments when showing assignment due dates.

Observer Views and Submission Details Page

Observers cannot view editable fields in a rubric.

Explanation: When an observer tried to view the rubric for an observee’s assignment, scores could be entered in the points field but they would not save. Canvas code has been updated to only show the points field as editable to users with grading permissions.

Calendar

Graded Discussions and Delayed Due Dates

In Week view, graded discussions due after 11:30 pm appear on the date they are due.

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded discussion that was due after 11:30 pm, students who viewed the discussion in Week view saw the discussion on the day after the discussion was due. The discussion defaulted to an hour time slot, which wrapped the due date to the next morning. Canvas code has been updated to not wrap calendar events in the Week calendar view.

Conversations

Sent Messages and Conversations Archive

Users cannot archive messages in the Sent folder.

Explanation: When a user viewed the Sent message filter and tried to archive a sent message, the message was shown as archived but did not move the message out of the Sent folder. Canvas code has been updated to remove the archive option from sent messages.

Concluded Terms and Course Override Dates

Courses with course dates that override term dates are not shown as concluded in Conversations.

Explanation: When a course included course dates that overrode the term dates, the course was being shown in Conversations as a concluded course. Canvas code has been updated to respect course override dates and mark the course as active until the course dates have passed.

Course Import

Common Cartridge Packages and Periods in Folder Names

Folders with a period at the beginning of the folder name import from Common Cartridge packages.

Explanation: When a user tried to import a Common Cartridge package that included a folder with a period at the beginning of the folder name, the import broke all links to files within the folder. Canvas code has been updated to support folders that include a period at the beginning of the name.

Module Item State and Course Copy

When importing content from a master course, any subsequent changes to the module item state are retained if content is re-imported from the master course.

Explanation: When a user imported content from a master course, change the state of module items, and then re-imported content from the master course, the module item states were being overwritten by the state of the master course. Canvas code has been updated to preserve the state of module items when a course is re-imported. Note that this change does not retain the state of any files in the module.

QTI Imports and Quiz Answer Feedback

QTI Imports that use the word “all” in specific fields retain all individual feedback associated with the quiz.

Explanation: When a user imported a QTI file that used the word “all” in the displayfeedback linkrefid and itemfeedback ident fields, the answer feedback broke and defaulted to the neutral general comment instead. Canvas code has been updated to improve matching with neutral feedback and retain all individual feedback.

Collaborations

Inactive Enrollments and Collaborations

Inactive enrollments do not display in the Collaborations invitation list.

Explanation: When a user created a collaboration, inactive student names were displaying as part of the collaborations invitation list. Canvas code has been updated to not show inactive enrollments in collaboration invitation lists.

Dashboard

Audio Comments Icon

In Firefox and Internet Explorer, the Recent Feedback audio comments icon displays as a thumbnail image.

Explanation: When users in Firefox and Internet Explorer viewed the Recent Feedback section of the Dashboard, any associated audio comments displayed a large audio icon. Canvas code has been updated to limit media comment icons to a thumbnail size.

Coming Up and Concluded Course Events

The Coming Up section in the Dashboard only shows students events for active courses.

Explanation: When a student viewed the Dashboard for a concluded course, the Coming Up section in the Dashboard showed upcoming events in the concluded course. This behavior only occurred in courses that included course dates that overrode the term dates. Canvas code has been updated to only display active course events in the Coming Up list.

To Do List and Concluded Assignments

The To Do list in the Dashboard only shows instructors ungraded assignments in active courses.

Explanation: When an instructor viewed the Dashboard for a concluded course, the To Do list showed past ungraded assignments in the concluded course. This behavior only occurred in courses that included course dates that overrode the term dates. Canvas code has been updated to only display active course ungraded assignments in the To Do list.

To Do List and Excused Assignments

Excused assignments are not shown in a student’s To Do list.

Explanation: When a student was excused from an assignment, the assignment was still displaying in the student’s To Do list in the Dashboard. Canvas code has been updated to ignore excused assignments in the To Do list.

Discussions

Group Discussions and Group Name

When a group discussion is created for a course, the group name is retained as part of the discussion.

Explanation: When an instructor created a graded group discussion and accessed the group discussion through the course, the group discussion no longer included the name of the group as part of the discussion name. Canvas code has been updated to not change discussion topic names in groups.

HTML View and Accessibility Keys

When using the HTML view in Discussion replies, clicking the less-than symbol does not trigger the accessibility shortcut menu.

Explanation: When a user replied to a discussion and accessed HTML view in the Rich Content Editor, clicking the less-than key opened the accessibility shortcut menu. Canvas code has been updated to correct accessibility keyboard shortcuts in the Rich Content Editor.

Files

Column Headers

In Chrome, file headers line up with file columns.

Explanation: In Chrome 48, file headers were not lining up with the correct file columns. Canvas code has been updated to correct alignment in Chrome 48.

Gradebook

Inactive Enrollments and Assignment Submission Downloads

Submissions from inactive enrollments are part of assignment submission downloads in the Gradebook.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Gradebook and downloaded submissions from an assignment, any students who had previously submitted the assignment but who had an inactive enrollment did not have their submission included in the download. Canvas code has been updated to download submissions from all students who had submitted the assignment.

Inactive Enrollments and Message Students Who

Inactive enrollments are not included in the Message Students Who list filters.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Gradebook, selected an assignment, and selected the Message Students Who link, inactive enrollments were being included in the list of students generated by the message filter. Canvas code has been updated to not include inactive enrollments for Gradebook messages.

Inactive Enrollments and CSV Exports

Inactive enrollment grades are included in Gradebook CSV exports.

Explanation: When an instructor exported grades from a course, grades from inactive enrollments were not included in the CSV file. Canvas code has been updated to include inactive enrollments in Gradebook export files.

Grades

Module Sorting and Non-Module Assignments

In the sort by Modules option, assignments that are not in a module sort below the last module item alphabetically by title.

Explanation:When a student sorted grades by module, modules was not considering quizzes and discussions in the modules list. Assignments were being sorted correctly but all quizzes and discussions were being displayed at the bottom of the module list. Canvas code has been updated to include quizzes and discussions as part of the modules sort list.

Inactive Enrollments and Course Grades

Inactive enrollments cannot view grades in prior courses.

Explanation: When a student participated in a course but his or her enrollment was later deactivated, the student could still access the course grades page with a direct link. However, the student could not view the course in the global grades page. Canvas code has been updated to not allow inactive students to access course grades.

Groups

Concluded Sections and Group Memberships

Users cannot access a group if their enrollment has been concluded by section dates.

Explanation: When a user enrollment was concluded by section dates, any group enrollments in the course were still accessible in the Groups menu. Canvas code has been updated to restrict group access to enrollments that have been concluded by section dates.

Groups API and Multiple Group Enrollments

Students can only join a group one time.

Explanation: When a student joined a group in a course, the Groups API showed the student joined the course more than once. Canvas code has been updated to not allow a student to join a group more than once.

Inactive Enrollments and Existing Groups

Only active users are shown in an existing group.

Explanation: When a student was involved in a course group but his or her enrollment was deactivated, the student’s name was still displaying in the existing group to other group members. Canvas code has been updated to hide inactive enrollments from other students in the group.

Inactive Enrollments and Auto-Assigned Groups

Inactive enrollments are not assigned to groups that are set to automatically assign students.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group set and auto-assigned group members to groups, inactive enrollments were being included in groups. Canvas code has been updated to remove inactive enrollments from being automatically assigned to groups.

Modules

External Tools and Module Items

When being added as a module item, External Tools require a URL.

Explanation: When an instructor added an external tool as a module item and did not include a URL, the module item appeared to be added but failed. Canvas code has been updated to require a URL when adding or editing an external tool.

Differentiated Assignments and Module Progression

Modules are relocked when an assignment is differentiated for additional users or due dates.

Explanation: When and instructor created a differentiated assignment but later edited the assignment to add additional students, the assignment’s module was not reevaluating the added students against existing module requirements. Students were able to skip any previous requirements in the module or skip to the next module entirely. Canvas code has been updated to relock associated modules for new students when a differentiated assignment is modified in the course.

Notifications

Notifications and Concluded Courses

Students do not receive notifications for concluded courses.

Explanation: When a course had concluded by course, term, or section dates, students were still receiving grade change, updated wiki pages, and student group enrollment notifications. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications for students in concluded courses.

People

Section Edits and Existing Enrollments

Section edits do not change an enrollment back to pending if the user has already accepted the initial invitation to the course.

Explanation: When a user had accepted an invitation to a course, editing the user’s section generated a new course invitation and showed the user’s status as pending. Canvas code has been updated to retain the user’s active status if the user had already accepted the initial course invitation.

Course End Date Restrictions and Completed Enrollments

If students are restricted from viewing a course after the end date, concluded enrollments are not shown as inactive.

Explanation: When students were restricted from viewing a course after the end date, any completed enrollments in the course were being shown as inactive in the user details page. This behavior did not affect the enrollment API, which still showed the enrollment as completed. Canvas code has been updated to always show completed enrollments in restricted courses as completed.

Enrollment Role Edits and Concluded Courses

Enrollments in concluded courses cannot be edited.

Explanation: When a course was concluded, instructors were able to edit roles for both manually added and SIS-imported users but the enrollment was deleted from the course. Canvas code has been updated to not allow roles to be edited in concluded courses.

User Details Page and Profiles

The Analytics button always displays in the sidebar for users who have permission to view analytics.

Explanation: When an institution enabled the Profiles feature for an entire account, the user profile page was not displaying the Analytics button, even if the user had permission to view analytics. Canvas code has been updated to add the Analytics button to a user’s profile independent of the Profiles feature.

Quizzes

Quiz Submission File Quotas

Student file quotas do not apply to quiz question uploads.

Explanation: When a student uploaded a file as a quiz question, the quiz appeared to attach the file, but when the student tried to submit the quiz, Canvas generated a warning that the quiz question had not been answered. This behavior usually occurred when a student’s personal files quota had been exceeded. Canvas code has been updated to not apply a student’s personal files quota to quiz question uploads. All assignment submissions do not count toward personal quotas.

Rich Content Editor

Cellpadding and Cellspacing Styles

The Rich Content Editor supports formatting for cellpadding and cellspacing values.

Explanation: When a user created a table in the Rich Content Editor and specified values for cellpadding and cellspacing, the values were being stripped from the content editor. Canvas code has been updated to respect cellpadding and cellspacing values. This change does not apply to tables placed within a table.

Rubrics

Observer Role and Rubric View

When viewing a rubric in the assignment details page, observers cannot view the rubric as an editable form.

Explanation: When an observer viewed the details for an assignment and viewed the rubric, the rubric displayed as an editable page. The total fields could be edited but the edits would not save. Canvas code has been updated to not display the total rubric fields to users without grading permissions.

Settings

Link Validator and Page Sidebar Content

URL-encoded pages are not flagged in the Link Validator.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Rich Content Editor, used the sidebar to link to a new page, and included special characters in the title, the page was created with an encoded URL, which caused the Link Validator to think the page didn’t exist. Canvas code has been updated to support URL-encoded pages in the Link Validator.

Link Validator and Deleted Question Banks

Deleted question banks are not flagged in the Link Validator.

Explanation: When a question bank included a question with an external link, and the Link Validator flagged the link, removing the question bank and re-running the Link Validator still flagged the broken link. Canvas code has been updated to not apply the Link Validator to questions in deleted question banks.

Custom JavaScript/CSS Files

Only the most recent JavaScript or CSS custom file is loaded to Canvas.

Explanation:When an admin using the Legacy UI updated a custom JavaScript or CSS file, the server was loading a cached version of the previous file, which caused conflicts between branding views. Canvas code has been updated to improve caching for custom JavaScript/CSS files in the legacy UI.

SpeedGrader

Group Submission Individual Comments View

SpeedGrader does not display individual comments made in group submission assignments.

Explanation: When an instructor created a group assignment where one submission counted for all group members, SpeedGrader was not showing any individual comments made by group members. Canvas code has been updated to remove individual comments in SpeedGrader for group assignments, which helps instructors inadvertently respond to private comments in a public setting.

Inactive Enrollments and Assignment Submission Downloads

Submissions from inactive enrollments are part of assignment submission downloads in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When an instructor opened an assignment in SpeedGrader and downloaded submissions, any students who had previously submitted the assignment but who had an inactive enrollment did not have their submission included in the download. Canvas code has been updated to download submissions from all students who had submitted the assignment.

Custom JavaScript/CSS Files

Only the most recent JavaScript or CSS custom file is loaded to Canvas.

Explanation:When an admin using the Legacy UI updated a custom JavaScript or CSS file, the server was loading a cached version of the previous file, which caused conflicts between branding views. Canvas code has been updated to improve caching for custom JavaScript/CSS files in the legacy UI.

Next release schedule:

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

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