Canvas Release Notes (2018-10-27)

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 production release (October 27), the List View Dashboard displays for students a summary for course events, and course links within the Grades menu direct to the Grades page instead of the home page. Additionally, in the Card View and Recent Activity Dashboard sidebars and the Course Home Page sidebar, the Coming Up section has been removed for students. In both the dashboards and sidebars, the Pages icon has been updated. 

Feature Options

  • For assignments using Anonymous Grading, student names do not display in the Gradebook History if an assignment was graded anonymously.
  • For courses using the New Gradebook, the search filter supports searching by SIS ID (Rutgers NetID).
  • For assignments using Moderated Grading, graders can access SpeedGrader in a read-only state after the maximum number of graders for a moderated assignment has been reached.
  • Student Context Cards display initials for students without profile pictures.

External Tool (LTI)

  • For assignments using the Google Apps LTIs, students and instructors can view the status of assignment submission file uploads.
  • Analytics LTI may be enabled in the course navigation.

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 Production Release Notes (October 27), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on November 17, 2018. 

New Features

Analytics

Analytics Beta LTI

Analytics Beta LTI is an LTI tool that provides improved analytics for tracking student data using an interactive chart or table. Analytics Beta will eventually replace current course and account analytics. However, Analytics Beta and the current course Analytics functionality can be used concurrently. This feature allows admin, instructor, TA, and designer roles to view improved analytics functionality and provide functional feedback for additional analytics development. For full details about Analytics Beta LTI, please see the Canvas Release: Analytics Beta (Course Grade) document.

Updated Features

Assignments

Google Drive Assignment Submission Status

Students and instructors can view the status of Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 assignment submission file uploads. This change informs students and instructors of assignment file upload status. Please see the Production Release Notes: Google Drive Assignment Submission Status for images. 

Students

Students can view the status of a file upload from the assignment details page. Successful submissions display a link to download the document. Unsuccessful submissions display an Upload Failed icon. Submissions that are queued for upload display an Uploading icon. Students can also view the status of a file upload from the Submissions Details page. Successful submissions display a link to download the document. Unsuccessful submissions display an Upload Failed icon. Submissions that are queued for upload display an Uploading icon. A student’s grades page also displays the status of an assignment submission. The score column displays a submission icon for successful upload, an Upload Failed icon for failed uploads, and an Uploading icon for queued submissions.

Instructors

Instructors can view the status of a student’s assignment submission in the Gradebook. The score column displays a submission icon for successful uploads, an Upload Failed icon for failed uploads, and an Uploading icon for queued submissions. Upload Failed icons also display in Gradebook Comments for failed submission uploads.The DocViewer window displays an Upload Failed image for unsupported file types and failed submission uploads. Additionally, SpeedGrader displays an Upload Failed icon for failed submission uploads. DocViewer displays an Uploading image for queued submissions, and SpeedGrader displays an Uploading icon next to assignment upload name links.

Commons

Approved Content

Content uploaded to Canvas can be approved by account admins or curators. Approved content is indicated by a banner and image, both of which can be customized by an administrator. This change allows admins to manage approved content and customize what users see in search results. Approved content is easily identifiable with custom branding. Instructors can easily find and import content approved by their institution by looking for the assigned image in the content card. Please see the Production Release Notes: Approved Content for images.

Curator Permission

Admins can add users as content curators in Commons. Curators and admins can mark resources in Commons as approved. This change allows admins to add users as curators to assist in the content approval and management process. Please see the Production Release Notes: Curator Permission for images.

Dashboard

List View Dashboard Calendar Event View

In the List View Dashboard, the link for an event displays a summary window that includes the event date, location, and event details. This change allows students to quickly view details for an event without having to view the event directly in the Calendar. When course events display as part of the List View Dashboard, students can click the event and view a summary window that includes the event’s date, location, and any details provided by the instructor. Students can still access the event in the Calendar by clicking the name of the event in the window. Please see the Production Release Notes: List View Dashboard Calendar Event View for image.

List View Dashboard Grades Link Update

In the Grades menu, the course link directs to the Grades page instead of the home page. This change allows students to directly access the Grades page for the course. When a student views the Grades menu, clicking the name of a course directs to the Grades page. Previously the link directed to the course home page. Please see the Production Release Notes: List View Dashboard Grades Link Update for image.

Student Dashboard Sidebar Updates

In the Card View and Recent Activity Dashboard sidebars and the Course Home Page sidebar, the Coming Up section has been removed for students. The To Do list displays up to seven items instead of five, and items may be included that are due more than two weeks in advance. This change aligns consistency with content display in the List View Dashboard and the Calendar. In the Dashboard sidebar, the Coming Up section is not included for students. To accommodate this change, the To Do list displays up to seven items instead of five. For the date range, the To Do list still displays items no older than two weeks until removed manually, but the list can include items that are due more than two weeks in advance. Previously the list would only include items due up to two weeks in advance. In a course home page, the Coming Up sidebar has also been removed. The View Calendar link has been changed to a button located at the top of the sidebar. Please see the Production Release Notes: Student Dashboard Sidebar Updates  for image.

Gradebook

Gradebook History Anonymity

Student names do not display in the Gradebook History if an assignment was graded anonymously. This change helps mask anonymity in the Gradebook History page. If a user searches for a student in the Gradebook History page, any entries related to an anonymously graded assignment do not return in the search results. If the anonymous grading option is removed from the assignment at a later time, the Gradebook History page displays an icon showing that the assignment was previously graded anonymously. Please see the Production Release Notes: Gradebook History Anonymity for image.

Moderated Grading

SpeedGrader Maximum Grader Access

Graders can access SpeedGrader in a read-only state after the maximum number of graders for a moderated assignment has been reached. This change allows graders to always view SpeedGrader even if they cannot directly grade submissions for an assignment. Previously, once the grader limit had been reached for a moderated assignment, graders were not able to access SpeedGrader at all. Graders in the course are able to view any moderated assignment in SpeedGrader, even after the maximum number of graders for the assignment has been reached. The assignment is displayed in a read-only state until after the assignment has been moderated. DocViewer is also displayed in a read-only state and annotations cannot be added. Please see the Production Release Notes: SpeedGrader Maximum Grader Access for image.

New Gradebook

SIS ID Filter

The New Gradebook search filter supports searching by SIS ID; for a Rutgers Canvas, the SIS ID is also the Rutgers NetID for matriculated students or email address for non-credit students. This change allows instructors to search for a specific user by SIS ID. Instructors can use the search field to search for a specific user by SIS ID. Relevant search results display in the Gradebook rows. Please see the Production Release Notes: SIS ID Filter for image.

Other Updates

Dashboard

Dashboard Pages Icon Update

The Pages icon has been updated in the List View Dashboard and the To Do List sidebar in the Card View and Recent Activity Dashboards. This change aligns the Pages icon with other areas in Canvas.  Pages with a To Do date display to students with an updated icon. This icon matches the Page icon located in other Canvas areas. Please see the Production Release Notes: Dashboard Pages Icon Update for image.

Student Context Cards

Profile Initials

Student Context Cards displays profile initials for students without profile pictures. Initials are based on the first name and last name of the student’s display name.  This change upgrades the current interface functionality of non-profile-picture user accounts. Previously student images without profile pictures displayed a gray profile outline. In any location where student context cards are supported, students without profile pictures display the initials of their name as their profile picture. Please see the Production Release Notes: Profile Initials for image.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the Canvas Release Notes for October 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 stated here.

Calendar

All-Day Events

All-day calendar events can be changed to include specific start and end times. Explanation: When an all-day calendar event was changed to include a specific start and end time, the event would not update and remained an all-day event. Canvas code has been updated to allow all-day calendar event times to be modified appropriately. Specific date events can also be changed to all-day calendar events.

To Do Events and Instructor Roles

The To Do option does not display for instructors in the Calendar. Explanation: When a user had an instructor enrollment and a student enrollment in separate courses, the To Do option showed for the user in the Calendar and could be used to create To Do items for specific courses, even though the items were not able to be viewed. Canvas code has been updated to not include courses in the To Do option where a user has an instructor role.

SpeedGrader

Anonymous Grading Sort Consistency

Gradebook sorting behavior is consistent in SpeedGrader. Explanation: When a user viewed an anonymous assignment in the Gradebook, clicking the SpeedGrader link for an anonymous student did not direct to the same student submission in SpeedGrader. Canvas code has been updated to align consistency for anonymous student submissions between the Gradebook and SpeedGrader.

Rubrics Free-Form Comment Reuse

Free-form comments can be reused in SpeedGrader. Explanation: When a comment was saved for reuse in free-form comments, the saved comment would not display in the comment menu until the page was refreshed. Canvas code has been updated to retain all saved comments for reuse in SpeedGrader.

Rubrics Sizing

Rubrics attached to an assignment in SpeedGrader display smaller criteria, ratings, and points fields. Explanation: Previously rubrics were changed to align all criterion to a consistent width. When instructors viewed a rubric in SpeedGrader, the layout displayed wider styling to allow for consistent rating widths. Canvas code has been updated to adjust rubrics to match their original size.