Canvas Release Notes (2018-03-31) - Canvas
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Canvas Release Notes (2018-03-31)

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 31), users with the manage Learning Outcomes permission (teachers, designers, course support) can import outcomes into an account or a course using a CSV file. Outcome edits can be updated in outcomes for both assessed and unassessed rubrics. In DocViewer, individual comments include an icon that displays the type and color of the associated annotation. The Free Draw annotation supports varied stroke widths. For courses using the New Gradebook, filters are cleared automatically when hidden by a user. Grading scheme and complete/incomplete assignment types include a grade entry menu, and grades are validated against the assignment grading scheme. The Grade Detail Tray displays a warning icon for assignments that are not calculated as part of the final grade. 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 31, 2018, and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on April 21.

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.

New Features

OUTCOMES

Bulk Import

Outcomes can be imported for an account or course using a CSV file. This feature allows users to manage a large number of outcomes and import them at the same time.

CSV Import

Outcomes can be imported in the Outcomes page by any user with permission to manage learning outcomes. This permission is available for both account and course roles (Rutgers Roles: teacher, designer, course support).

Imported CSV files must be formatted according to the Outcomes Import Format API Documentation documentation. Existing outcomes can also be downloaded using the Outcome Exports report. Large CSV files may take time to process, however, and users can leave the Outcomes page at any time.

Note: Currently, only CSV files are supported. The JSON format will be supported in a future release.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Outcomes Bulk Import for images.

Import Success

When a CSV import is completed successfully, the page displays a confirmation message. The user who uploaded the import also receives an email confirming that the outcomes were imported and can be managed in the Outcomes page.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Import Success for images.

Import Error

If the import contains errors, the page displays an error message. The user who uploaded the import also receives an email confirming an error with the import and displays the first 100 errors. Each error includes the CSV row number and a description of the error.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Import Error for images.

The following types of errors may occur in CSV files:

  • Required headings are missing
  • Other headings are placed after the ratings header
  • Invalid headers are present
  • Rating tiers have missing points
  • Rating tiers have invalid point values
  • Rating tiers have points in wrong order
  • Object type is incorrect
  • Parent group refers to missing outcomes
  • Required fields are missing
  • Parent groups are invalid
  • Workflow state is invalid
  • Invalid UTF-8 string
  • Calculation validation method not specified
  • Group receives invalid fields

OUTCOME EDIT FUNCTIONALITY

Outcome edits are updated in outcomes for both assessed and unassessed rubrics. Updates include text (title, label, description), ratings, calculation, and mastery points.

Unassessed Rubric Confirmation

When the outcome has not yet been used to assess a student, saving the outcome displays a confirmation message noting that the outcome edits will apply to all rubrics that have not yet been assessed. This confirmation also displays for any rubric that is only aligned with one assignment.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Unassessed Rubric Confirmation for images.

Unassessed Rubric with No Confirmation

If a confirmation message does not display for an outcome, the outcome is in a rubric that is associated with more than one assignment. Although the outcome can still be edited, edits will not be updated for that rubric.

Outcome edits also do not apply to new assignments unless the new assignment also includes the outcome in a new rubric. Existing rubrics do not apply outcome edits if the rubric has already been used to assess a student, or if the rubric is unassessed but already aligned with another assignment.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Unassessed Rubric Confirmation for images.

Assessed Rubric Confirmation

When the outcome is associated with an assessed rubric, the outcome displays a message above the Edit button, noting that the outcome has been used to assess a student.

Non-Scoring Edits

When non-scoring changes are made to the outcome, saving the outcome displays a confirmation message that the changes were made successfully.

Scoring Edits

However, if any scoring changes are made to the outcome, such as a points rating or scoring method, saving the outcome displays a confirmation message noting that scoring criteria edits will affect all students previously assessed using the outcome.

Scoring changes only affect a student’s learning mastery score in the Learning Mastery Gradebook for the edited outcome. When scoring criteria is edited, the learning mastery value scales for assessed rubrics according to the original points possible. For instance, if a learning mastery score has a top rating of 5 points, and mastery is achieved at 3 points, a student earning full mastery would score 5/3. If the outcome is later edited to give a top rating of 10 points, and a mastery score of 5 points, the assessed student’s total score would be adjusted appropriately to 10/5.

The student graph showing mastery scores continues to display as a percentage of the total score and is not affected by changing a calculation type or the value of a rating.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Assessed Rubric Confirmation for images.

MANAGE RUBRICS BUTTON UPDATE

The Manage Rubrics button displays directly in the Outcomes page. Previously, the Manage Rubrics button could be viewed by clicking the Options menu icon, which has been removed from the page. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Manage Rubrics Button Update for images.

Reports

Outcome Export

The Outcome Export report shows all learning outcomes that exist within an account. No configuration is required for this report. The resulting CSV file includes one row per outcome and shows the details of all associated attributes with each outcome. This report allows admins to export, modify, and re-upload multiple outcomes in the account. Updated outcomes only apply to unassessed rubrics. This report does not show which outcomes have been assessed in individual courses. Specific outcome results in a course can be viewed through the Outcome Results API or the Outcome Results account report.

Outcome Results and Student Competency

The account Outcomes Results and Student Competency reports include the following fields:

  • Account name and ID
  • Section name, ID, and SIS ID
  • Assessment/quiz URL
  • Outcome friendly name
  • Points possible, mastery score, and whether the outcome was mastered

When generating either report from the account or subaccount level, all outcomes are included for the appropriate context or a parent sub-account level. Additionally, reports include all child subaccount outcomes and all course level outcomes.

Updated Features

DOCVIEWER

Annotation Comment Icons

Individual comments include an icon that displays the type and color of the annotation. This change helps associate each comment with its annotation. The annotation icon displays next to the commenter’s name and only displays in the primary comment for an annotation. Replies to a comment do not include the icon. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Annotation Comment Icons for images.

Free Draw Stroke Widths

The Free Draw annotation supports varied stroke widths. This change allows users to choose one of three different widths for line annotations. Each ink annotation can only have one width. Individual annotations must be saved before creating a new line with a different width. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Free Draw Stroke Widths for images.

NEW GRADEBOOK

Filter Persistence

When a filter is applied to the Gradebook and later removed, all filters are cleared from the Gradebook. This change requires instructors to not have to clear filters individually before removing a filter. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Filter Persistence for images.

Display Grade Assignment Grading Scheme

For each grading scheme or letter grade assignment, the New Gradebook confirms and displays the grading scheme set for the assignment. Previously the New Gradebook always used the default Canvas grading scheme, regardless if a grading scheme was set for the course. Any grade entries that were not supported in the default Canvas grading scheme were removed from the New Gradebook.

The grading scheme is also validated in the New Gradebook. If an entry is made that is not supported in the grading scheme, the New Gradebook displays an error next to the invalid entry.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas: When an assignment included a course grading scheme, the New Gradebook was not validating the course grading scheme and always using the default Canvas grading scheme. Canvas code has been updated to confirm if an assignment includes a course grading scheme before applying the default Canvas grading scheme. The course grading scheme displays in the assignment and the New Gradebook to verify the correct grading scheme.

Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Display Grade Assignment Grading Scheme for images.

Grading Scheme Entry Menu

Grading scheme assignments include a menu to select a value in the grading scheme, along with Excused. This change allows the grading scheme values for the assignment to be viewed directly in the New Gradebook. Grades can also still be entered directly in the cell.

The Grade Detail Tray does not include the menu for grading scheme assignments and reflects the grade displayed in the New Gradebook. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Grading Scheme  Entry Menu for images.

Complete/Incomplete Entry Menu

Complete and incomplete assignments include a menu to select a value for the assignment: Complete, Incomplete, Ungraded, and Excused. This change makes complete/incomplete assignments easier to grade in the New Gradebook for all users. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Complete/Incomplete Entry Menu for images.

Grade Detail Tray Final Grade Calculation Warning Icon

The Grade Detail Tray displays a warning icon for assignments that are not calculated as part of the final grade. This icon displays for assignments that have selected the option to not count the assignment toward the final grade, or if the assignment is within a weighted assignment group with no weighted percentage. Please see the Canvas Production Release Notes: Grade Detail Tray Final Grade Calculation Warning Icon for images.

Other Updates

BROWSERS

IE11 Functional Support

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.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for March 31, 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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS DELAYED UNTIL DATE AND COURSE HOME PAGE

Delayed announcements shown in the Course Home Page do not display the Delayed date after the date has passed.

Explanation: When an announcement was created with a delayed post date, the Course Home Page did not remove the Delayed Until indicator even though the announcement had posted. Canvas code has been updated to remove the delay date after the announcement has posted.

BLUEPRINT COURSES

Assignment Group Drop Rules

Assignment group rules in Blueprint courses are retained in associated courses.

Explanation: When an assignment group in a Blueprint course included rules, such as drop scores and never drop certain assignments, the rules were not synced to associated courses. Additionally, editing group rules in the Blueprint course removed all drop assignment rules when the Blueprint course was synced to associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to retain group rules in associated courses.

Deleted Assignment Groups

Deleted assignment groups in a Blueprint course are not removed in associated courses if an associated course includes additional assignments in the assignment group.

Explanation: When a Blueprint course included an assignment group that was synced to associated courses, and an associated course included additional assignments in the assignment group, deleting the assignment group in the Blueprint course also deleted the additional assignments in the associated course. Canvas code has been updated to not delete assignment groups in associated courses that contain additional assignments in the group.

Deleted Locked Assignments

Deleted locked assignments in a Blueprint course also deleted in associated courses.

Explanation: When a Blueprint course included a locked assignment with some unlocked attributes, and a non-locked attribute was edited in an associated course, the assignment was not deleted from the associate course if it was deleted from the Blueprint course. Canvas code has been updated to delete locked assignments in associated courses when deleted in the Blueprint course.

Deleted Modules Exception Message

Blueprint courses display an exception message for deleted modules.

Explanation: When a module in a Blueprint course is synced to an associated course, the module was deleted from the associated course, and the module was synced again from the Blueprint course, the sync page displayed an empty Exception message without any sync details. Canvas code has been updated to include details for modules syncs when a previously included module is deleted from associated courses.

Deleted Question Bank Quiz Questions

Deleted questions within a question bank in a Blueprint course are also deleted in associated courses.

Explanation: When a question was deleted in a question bank in a Blueprint course, the question was not deleted from the question bank in associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to delete questions from question banks in associated courses when deleted in the Blueprint course.

Deleted Quiz Question Groups

Deleted question groups in a Blueprint course are also deleted in associated courses.

Explanation: When a question group was deleted from a quiz in a Blueprint course, the question group was not deleted from the quiz in associated courses. Canvas code has been updated to delete question groups from quizzes in associated courses when deleted in the Blueprint course.

Graded As Assignment Options and Locked Point Attributes

Assignments with locked point attributes in a Blueprint course cannot change the Graded As option to Not Graded in associated courses.

Explanation: When a Blueprint course included an assignment with locked point attributes, the assignment’s Display Grade in associated courses was able to be changed to Not Graded, which generated an error. Canvas code has been updated to disable the Not Graded option in associated courses.

COLLABORATIONS

Google Canvas Authentication

Google collaborations can be shared and opened in Canvas with a user in a different Google account.

Explanation: When a Google collaboration was shared with a user in a different Google account, and the user tried to open the collaboration in Canvas, the collaboration generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to display a Google authentication page for users who receive a collaboration from a different google account.

NEW GRADEBOOK

Display Grade Assignment Grading Scheme

For each grading scheme or letter grade assignment, the New Gradebook confirms and displays the grading scheme set for the assignment.

Explanation: When an assignment included a course grading scheme, the New Gradebook was not validating the course grading scheme and always using the default Canvas grading scheme. Canvas code has been updated to confirm if an assignment includes a course grading scheme before applying the default Canvas grading scheme. The course grading scheme displays in the assignment and the New Gradebook to verify the correct grading scheme.

PAGES

Revision History and Deleted Pages

The Revision History page does not generate an error when a deleted page is restored.

Explanation: When a page was deleted from a course and later restored, the Revision History page generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to create an initial version of the restored page as the Revision History page. The version history is cleared when a page is deleted and does not retain any previous versions.