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. In this production release (March 10), the Announcements page in courses includes an updated design and several feature enhancements, including announcements by section, that will be distributed for all institutions across a tiered release schedule directly after the release. Additionally, the Outcomes page includes a minor directional change to the Options icon. Production release notes also include 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 Production Release Notes for March 10, 2018, and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on March 31.
Upcoming Canvas Changes
IE11 Functional Support: On March 31, Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) will transition from a fully supported browser to a functionally supported browser. As future Canvas releases take place, Internet Explorer may begin to exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences will not restrict product functionality or accessibility.
Profile Picture Gravatar Setting
Users can import their Gravatar when selecting a profile picture in their user settings page. Gravatars are associated with the user’s Gravatar email address.
This feature will be updated Monday, March 12 (2 PM MT / 4 PM ET) through Wednesday, March 14 (9 AM MT / 11 AM ET. Users should prepare for this feature to be enabled in their accounts at any time during the scheduling window.
Courses Page Design
The Announcements page includes an updated design to improve accessibility for all users. Most functionality has not been affected.
The following changes have been made to course announcements:
- The Unread button has been changed to a menu, where users can filter between all announcements and unread announcements.
- External feeds are viewed and managed within a separate sidebar similar to other Canvas features.
- The RSS feed button has been changed to a link within the External Feeds sidebar.
- Announcements are locked by default and no longer display a lock icon. Announcements that allow comments include a Reply link under the announcement. Users can view and reply to the announcement by clicking the announcement title or the Reply link.
- Announcements can be specified for a specific section or all sections. The number of sections is visible to all users who are able to view the announcement.
- Profile pictures display next to each announcement for the user who posted the announcement.
For instructors, the following changes apply:
- The Add External Feed link has been moved to a link within the External Feeds sidebar.
- The Announcements page no longer includes excess whitespace.
- Delayed announcements are identified in the Announcements page and include the upcoming post date and time.
- The lock and unlock icon for allowing or disallowing comments has been changed to a Reply arrow icon.
Note: Currently announcements shown in the home page must be viewed individually and cannot be expanded directly in the page. This functionality will be updated in a future release.
Please view the Canvas Production Release Notes: Courses Page Design Updates for images.
Updates Section-Specific Announcements
When creating an announcement, instructors can create section-specific announcements in their courses. When creating an announcement, instructors can select to send the announcement to all sections, one section, or multiple sections.
Both the individual announcement and the Announcements page displays the section(s) that can view the announcement.
Users will view announcements for the sections where they are enrolled. Note that they can also view the specific sections where the announcement was posted.
Note: Section-specific announcements are not available in groups.
Please view the Canvas Production Release Notes: Section-Specific Announcements for images.
Allow Comments Option
In announcements, comments are disabled by default. This change helps manage expectations for announcements while still allowing users to participate.
Instructors can allow users to comment in announcements by selecting the Allow users to Comment checkbox. When selected, instructors can also select the option to allow users to post before seeing other replies.
In the Announcements page, comments can be allowed or disallowed at any time in the Settings menu for the announcement.
Please note that commenting can be disabled completely in Account Settings or Course Settings. If commenting is disabled, the Allow Users to Comment checkbox is not included as an announcement option. Additionally, comments cannot be managed in the Announcements page.
Note: Comments cannot be disabled for announcements within groups.
Please view the Canvas Production Release Notes: Allow Comments Option for images.
The Outcomes menu icon has been changed from a horizontal options icon to a vertical options icon. This change applies to both account and course levels and helps align consistency throughout all Canvas areas and mobile apps.
Please view the Canvas Production Release Notes: Outcomes Menu Icon Update for images.
Please view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for March 10, 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.
Google Docs Course User List
For Google Docs collaborations, the Collaborate With section displays all users within a course. Explanation: When a user created a Google Docs collaboration and tried to invite users, the Collaborate With section only displayed the first 50 users in the course instead of all users. Canvas code has been updated to display all users within a course so users can select up to 50 from the entire list.
Rich Content Editor
Equation Images and Microsoft Edge
Equation images display correctly in Microsoft Edge. Explanation: When a user created an equation through the Rich Content Editor equation tool, the image for the equation did not render until the changes were saved and the image placeholder showed the alt text for the image instead. Canvas code has been updated to display equation images in Microsoft Edge.