Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-01-27)

In an effort to continually improve Canvas, Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, releases Canvas upgrades every three weeks along with Production Release Notes. Pertinent features and upgrades are listed below. This Production Release was originally scheduled for January 27, 2018 but was postponed until February 3, 208. In this production release,courses associated with a Blueprint Course display the name of the Blueprint Course in Course Settings. The External apps page at both the account and course level displays a warning when a user adds an existing app in the same context. The Rich Content Editor Embed Image option includes the decorative image checkbox to indicate decorative images. And international users in 16 additional countries can enable SMS messages for Canvas notifications.

In the New Gradebook, the Enter Grades as menu allows the assignment grade to be entered and viewed in a different format than the default display for the assignment. Unpublished assignments are indicated as Unpublished in the column header, and the Muted assignment indicator has been changed from an icon to text located next to the assignment point value. Additionally, assignment columns have been resized and support a minimum width of 214 px.

DocViewer displays pagination links for multi-page documents. Free Text annotations support transparent backgrounds and varied text sizes.

Some Canvas Settings menu icons have been replaced with an Options icon. These changes clarify user expectations when displayed in a page and helps align consistency throughout all Canvas areas. Additionally, the Privacy link has been added to the Canvas footer in the Login page and the Dashboard.

Production release notes also include fixed bugs. You may view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018, and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on February 17, 2018.

Updated Features

Blueprint Courses

Associated Course Links

When a course is associated with a Blueprint Course, the associated course displays a link to the Blueprint Course in Course Settings. If the user viewing the associated course does not have permission to access the Blueprint Course, the name of the course does not include a link. In the Course Details sidebar, the associated course also includes a Blueprint Information button, which displays information about the most recent course sync. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Blueprint Courses for images.

DocViewer

These changes were deployed to the production environment on January 23.

Free Text Annotation Backgrounds and Text Size

Free Text annotations support both white and transparent backgrounds. Annotations default to a white background, which may obscure page content, but the transparency option can be selected in the menu next to the annotation color. The Free Text menu bar also supports selecting a specific text size for the annotation. Text can also be adjusted in existing annotations. In smaller browser windows, the Free Text menu bar displays a secondary toolbar with a scrollbar for easy access. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Free Text Annotation Backgrounds and Text Size for images.

Pagination Links

DocViewer displays pagination links for multi-page documents. These links can be used to advance to additional pages. A specific page can be accessed by typing the page number directly in the page number field and clicking the Enter or Return key. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Pagination Links for images.

New Gradebook

Entered Grades Display

In the New Gradebook, the Enter Grades as menu allows the assignment grade to be entered and viewed in a different format than the default display for the assignment. Previously the New Gradebook always displayed the grade in the Grade Detail Tray by the default grade display. Note: Changing the Enter Grades display option is for grading convenience only and does not affect the actual grade. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Entered Grades Display for images.

Unpublished Assignments Indicator

When unpublished assignments are displayed in the New Gradebook, unpublished assignments are indicated as Unpublished in the assignment column header. Unpublished assignments that are also muted will not show the assignment is muted until the assignment is published. This change also indicates muted assignments as Muted in the assignment column header instead of displaying an icon. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Unpublished Assignments Indicator for images.

Minimum Column Width

New Gradebook assignment columns have been resized and support a minimum width of 214 px.

Rich Content Editor

Decorative Image Checkbox

When a user clicks the Embed Images icon and selects an image source, the Attributes section displays a decorative image checkbox, which indicates the image is for decorative purposes. Decorative images do not require alternative text. If the Decorative Image checkbox is selected, the alternative text field is grayed out. Decorative images and alt text can be applied when embedding any image type: URL, Canvas (previous uploads), and Flickr. Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Decorative Image Checkbox for images.

Other Updates

Canvas Interface

Menu Design Updates

Some Canvas Settings menu icons have been replaced with an Options icon. These changes clarify user expectations when displayed in a page and helps align consistency throughout all Canvas areas and mobile apps.

  • If the icon displays a window with options that actively change the interface, the icon displays as a Settings icon.
  • If the icon displays a menu with links to additional functionality or other Canvas areas, the icon displays as an Options icon.

Items within each menu have not been affected. Icons have been updated in the following Canvas areas:

  • Assignments
  • Course Details (Course Image upload; Navigation tab)
  • Dashboard View
  • Discussions
  • Modules
  • Pages
  • People
  • Quizzes

Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Menu Design Updates for images.

Privacy Policy Link

Privacy Policy links have been added to the Canvas footer. The Canvas footer displays in the Canvas Login page and the Dashboard.

External Apps

Duplicate Application Warning

If a user manually adds an external app to a course, account, or subaccount, and then adds the same external app again, Canvas asks the user to confirm whether or not the app should be saved. This change helps users identify previously installed external apps. Confirmations only take place on the same context for an existing external app (course, account, or subaccount). Please see Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018: Duplicate Application Warning for images. Note: This warning only applies to new applications added to a course, account, or subaccount, and is not retroactive for previously installed external apps.

User Settings

International SMS Country Additions

Canvas offers SMS notification support to additional users outside the United States. Unlike in the United States, international carrier details are not required as part of the communication setup. The following countries have been added to SMS notifications: Venezuela, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, China, South Africa, Oman, Hungary, and Keyna.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for January 27, 2018 Fixed Bugs descriptions and its accompanying screencast for more information concerning accessibility improvements and other bug fixes.  Some bugs that may have affected Rutgers users are listed here.

DocViewer

Annotated PDF Downloads

This change was deployed to the production environment on January 23.

Users can download annotated versions of a submission. Explanation: When a user tried to download an annotated version of a submission, the download generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to correct file size and other limitations that prevented annotated submissions to be downloaded.

Files

Resource Link Caching

When the cache resets in a browser, associated file links in Canvas courses display correctly. Explanation: When a course contained a linked resource and the browser cache reset, the associated resources in Canvas courses created broken links. Canvas code has been updated to shorten resource caching so browsers do not use expired resource links.