Canvas Release Notes (2018-10-06)

In an effort to continually improve Canvas, Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, releases Canvas upgrades every three weeks along with Release Notes. Pertinent features and upgrades are listed below. In this Canvas release (October 6), rubrics can be created without point values and Quizzes.Next supports restricting students from viewing their results. Section-specific discussions include an updated workflow. DocViewer supports manual image and document rotation. For students, the List View Dashboard includes Peer Review assignments, and the Alerts tab displays both new and dismissed alerts.  For all users, right-to left language support is enabled by default for all supported languages. Various Canvas areas include non-functional interface updates.

LTI Tools

  • For institutions using Quizzes.Next, Quizzes.Next supports restricting students from viewing their results after submitting an assessment.

Feature Options

  • Assignments that have enabled anonymous grading as part of the assignment settings do not display the SpeedGrader settings option to hide student names.
  • For courses using the Learning Mastery Gradebook, improvements have been made for a simplified user experience. As part of the rubric creation process, results can be set to be hidden from the Learning Mastery Gradebook. Additionally, custom ratings may be created for all courses using the Learning Mastery Gradebook.
  • For courses using the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, the Gradebook includes an improved interface. When students view the rubric from their Grades page or from the Submission Details page, they can view the instructor’s selected ratings for each criterion. Additionally, all aligned items are displayed in an outcome, both assessed and unassessed.

Production release notes also include API updates and fixed bugs. This announcement lists pertinent updates that affect instructors and students and omits features that are not applicable for Rutgers Canvas. You may view the full Canvas Release Notes for October 6, 2018, and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on October 27, 2018.

Updated Features

Account Settings

Anonymous Instructor Annotations Feature Option

In Assignments, the Anonymous Instructor Annotations option is enabled by a course-level feature option. This assignments-based feature was introduced in a previous release. This change enables the Anonymous Instructor Annotations option for instructors who want to create anonymous instructor annotations in their course assignments. When this feature option is enabled, instructors can view the option in assignments to create anonymous annotations and comments in DocViewer-supported submissions`. The Anonymous Instructor Annotations option only affects DocViewer in the SpeedGrader submission window. When Anonymous Instructor Annotations is enabled, DocViewer comments do not display an instructor's name. When the Anonymous Instructor Annotations option is enabled in an assignment, annotations and comments in a student’s submission do not display the name of the instructor or grader. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Anonymous Instructor Annotations Feature Option for images.

Dashboard

List View Dashboard Dismissed Alerts

In the List View Dashboard, the Alerts Menu displays both new and dismissed opportunities. This change allows students to view opportunities that have been dismissed from the menu. In the List View Dashboard, students can view the Alerts Menu and view new opportunities and dismissed opportunities. New opportunities can be dismissed at any time. Dismissed opportunities are only removed if they are fulfilled according to the label in the opportunity, such as submitting an assignment.  Please see Canvas Production Notes: List View Dashboard Dismissed Alerts for images.

List View Dashboard Peer Review Items

Peer Review assignments are included as to-do items in the List View Dashboard.  This change allows students to view and complete peer review assignments in the List View Dashboard. In the List View Dashboard, students can view and complete peer review assignments. Peer review assignments indicate the peer review that must be made by the student and display the peer review icon. Peer reviews can either be due on the same day as the initial assignment, or it can be due after the due date.  Please see Canvas Production Notes: List View Dashboard Peer Review Items for image.

Discussions

Section-Specific Discussions Workflow Update

The Discussion Details page includes an updated workflow for section-specific discussions. This change clarifies the workflow functionality of adding section-specific discussions. By default, the Discussion Details page includes all sections for the discussion. If all sections are selected, the discussion can be created as a graded discussion. The sections menu is removed, and individual sections and due dates can be added to the graded discussion. However, if the discussion is changed to include one or more specific sections, the Graded checkbox is grayed out and the discussion is not available for grading. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Section-Specific Discussions Workflow Update for images.

DocViewer

Document Rotation

DocViewer supports manual image and document rotation. Files that are viewable in DocViewer can be manually rotated in DocViewer using the Rotation button. Rotation is available on a per-page basis in documents with multiple pages. This feature allow instructors and students to manually rotate images and documents in DocViewer to allow easier viewing of files that were uploaded with a different image orientation. Instructors and Students viewing documents in DocViewer can manually rotate a single page of content from the DocViewer Toolbar. The Rotate button rotates the current page clockwise by 90 degrees. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Document Rotation for images.

Grades

Non-Scoring Rubrics Feature Option Enforcement

The Non-Scoring Rubrics feature option has been enabled for all Canvas institutions and applies to all users. This feature allows rubrics to be created without point values. Additionally, improvements have been made to the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook interfaces for a simplified user experience. These changes promote learning engagement by helping students focus on assignment feedback instead of point values. Admins can create custom ratings that display in the Learning Mastery Gradebook and Student Learning Mastery Gradebook. This feature allows admins to specify specific proficiency ratings that display to all users in courses that have enabled these gradebooks.

Note: Custom learning mastery ratings do not affect ratings within individual outcomes at the account or course level.

The Learning Mastery tab is located in the account-level Rubrics page. Admins can manage the Proficiency Ratings, select the rating at which students display mastery, and customize Proficiency Rating names, points, and display colors.

When adding a rubric to an assignment, instructors can choose to remove criterion point values to create a non-scoring rubric. This change allows instructors to help their students focus on the feedback for an assignment instead of the actual point value and improve learning engagement.

When non-scoring rubrics is enabled, instructors can select the Remove points from this rubric checkbox in the rubric details. Selecting this checkbox removes points from rubrics and instructors can no longer see the Use this rubric for assignment grading and Hide score total for assessment results checkboxes.

Additionally, instructors can choose to not display rubric results in the Learning Mastery Gradebook. By selecting this option, instructors can provide students with proficiency feedback, but the resulting score will not affect Learning Mastery Gradebook calculations. This option can be used for practice assignments or other types of assessments where outcome results should not be officially recorded in the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

Note: This option is not retroactive once a submission has been graded and should always be selected before grading takes place. Any submissions that are assessed using the rubric before this option is selected will not have outcome results hidden in the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

When grading an assignment with a non-scoring rubric in SpeedGrader, instructors select ratings from the rubric for students to view, but points are not associated with each of the ratings. In the Learning Mastery Gradebook, improvements have been made for a simplified user experience. Additionally, sidebar ratings can be customized by a Canvas admin at the account level.

When students view the rubric from their Grades page or from the Submission Details page, they can view the instructor’s selected ratings for each criterion. When enabled for a course, the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook also displays an improved interface. The name of the outcome group displays the associated number of mastered outcomes. Expanding the page shows each outcome in the course and the number of aligned assignments. For each associated outcome in an outcome group, students can view their outcome results. Non-scoring rubrics do not display the point value associated with the rubric.

Please see Canvas Production Notes: Non-Scoring Rubrics Feature Option Enforcement for images.

Languages

Right-to-Left Language Support Enforcement

The Right-to-Left language feature option has been enforced for all Canvas accounts. This change enables any supported language with right-to-left functionality automatically and affects all navigational elements and text components in Canvas. Users can enable supported right-to-left languages in their User Settings. Right-to-left functionality is supported for Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian languages. Admins and instructors may enable a language for an entire account or course through Account or Course Settings, respectively.

Outcomes

Student Learning Mastery Gradebook Unassessed Aligned Outcome Items

The Student Learning Mastery Gradebook displays alignments for assessed and unassessed alignments. This change allows students to view all assignment alignments for an outcome, regardless of assessment status. For courses that have enabled the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, students can open an outcome and view all items aligned with the outcome. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Student Learning Mastery Gradebook Unassessed Aligned Outcome Items for image.

Quizzes.Next

Restrict Student Results Option

Quizzes.Next supports restricting students from viewing their results after submitting an assessment. This change allows instructors to control the visibility of the Quizzes.Next results page for students.vInstructors can enable the Restrict student result view option in Delivery Settings. Results will not be displayed to students.

When the Restrict student result view option is enabled, students cannot view the assessment results page, which includes their answer choices, feedback, and scores. After submitting an assessment, students will only see a message that their submission was successful and their results are hidden. The Restrict student result view option will not affect students’ ability to see their assessment grades in the Gradebook. To completely hide grades from students, instructors will need to mute the assignment. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Restrict Student Results Option for images.

Other Updates

Announcements

Profile Initials

The Announcements page displays user profile initials for users without profile pictures. Initials are based on the first name and last name of the user’s display name. This change upgrades the current interface functionality of non-profile-picture user accounts. Users who can create announcements who and do not have a profile picture display the initials of their name as their profile picture. Previously user images without profile pictures displayed a gray profile outline.

Rich Content Editor

Mark Text Element

The Rich Content Editor supports the mark text element. This change indicates marked or highlighted text within HTML. Users using the HTML Editor can include the mark text element (<mark>), which assists with accessibility.

SpeedGrader

Anonymous Grading SpeedGrader Options

Assignments that have enabled anonymous grading as part of the assignment settings do not display the SpeedGrader settings option to hide student names. This change removes the Hide Student Names checkbox in SpeedGrader settings, as anonymous assignments already have this option selected by default. When an instructor views the SpeedGrader settings menu, the Hide Student Names in the SpeedGrader checkbox is not included. Only the Sort Student List option displays in the settings window. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Anonymous Grading SpeedGrader Options  for image.

User Navigation

Profile Initials

The User Navigation Menu displays user profile initials for users without profile pictures. Initials are based on the first name and last name of the user’s display name. This change upgrades the current interface functionality of non-profile-picture user accounts. In the User Navigation Menu, users without profile pictures display the initials of their name as their profile picture. Previously user images without profile pictures displayed a gray profile outline. Please see Canvas Production Notes: Profile Initials for image.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the Canvas Release Notes for October 6, 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 stated here.

 

Calendar

Event Attendees Label

In Calendar events, the Attendees label only displays for Scheduler appointment groups that have been reserved by an attendee. Explanation: When an instructor created a calendar event, the event displayed an Attendees label for all events and for all users. Canvas code has been updated to only display the Attendees label for Scheduler appointment groups. When students reserve an appointment group, the name of the student(s) display within the calendar event for the instructor.

Calendar iCS Host URL

Downloaded Calendar iCS events always includes the URL of the host Canvas account. Explanation: When a calendar was downloaded as an ICS file, the URL displayed canvas.instructure.com for all calendar events that used the user as the context instead of the course. Canvas code has been updated to include the correct URL for Calendar iCS downloads.
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