Canvas Release Notes (2019-01-26) - Canvas Skip to main content

Canvas Release Notes (2019-01-26)

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 (January 26), instructors can add additional comments for rubric criteria directly in the SpeedGrader sidebar as part of the rubric.

Feature Options

  • For assignments using Moderated Grading, any user role who can select the final grade can edit a moderated assignment.
  • For courses using the Student Learning Mastery Gradebook, an outcome’s total score is displayed if at least one alignment does not include hidden point values.

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 (January 26), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on February 16, 2019.

Updated Features


For assignments using the Moderated Grading feature option, any grader who has permission to view the Grade Summary page for a moderated assignment can edit the assignment. The permission to view the Grade Summary page and manage moderated grades is managed at the account level by Canvas administrators as the Grades – Select Final Grader for Moderation permission. Instructor (teacher) and instructor-based roles are granted this permission by default; For Rutgers, these roles include teacher, facilitator, course support, and TA.

This change allows any grader with the same user role to edit a moderated assignment. Previously, only the grader who was selected as the final grader was able to edit the moderated assignment. When a grader creates a moderated assignment, the grader is also able to edit the assignment at any time. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Moderated Grading Assignment Editing for image.


Note: Any user role with permission to create assignments in a course can create a moderated assignment. However, once the assignment is saved or published, the assignment can only be edited by anyone with a user role permission to view the Grade Summary page.


Student Learning Mastery Total Score Display

The Student Learning Mastery Gradebook displays the total score for an outcome if at least one alignment does not include hidden point values. This change restores previous functionality of removing the total outcomes display, which was originally removed with the updates to non-scoring rubrics in the 2018-07-14 release.

For students, outcomes with rubric alignments display the outcome’s total score if at least one alignment does not include hidden point values.

When an outcome includes an aligned item with visible point values, the total score displays next to the mastery rating. However, when an outcome includes an aligned item where point values are hidden, the total score is not displayed.

For multiple alignments in an outcome, if at least one alignment displays a point value, the overall outcome displays the outcome’s total score. The total score is calculated using the mastery value within each outcome, and all hidden point values are still included in the total score. This behavior aligns with how total scores are displayed in the Learning Mastery Gradebook.

To completely remove a total score for an outcome, all aligned items for the outcome require point values to be hidden within their respective rubric.

Please see Canvas Release Notes: Student Learning Mastery Total Score Display for images.


When used within a rubric, additional comments can be added for a rubric directly in the SpeedGrader sidebar. Comments are displayed directly below each criterion. This change consolidates commenting within the SpeedGrader sidebar and aligns functionality of all other SpeedGrader comment types.

When an instructor creates a rubric for an assignment and views the rubric in SpeedGrader, clicking the Additional Comments icon displays a comments field directly below the selected criterion. Instructors can add comments for the criterion, save the comment, and view the comment directly below the criterion. Previously the comment would not display until the rubric was saved. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Rubric Additional Comments Text Field for image.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the Canvas Release Notes for January 26, 2019 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.


Course Import

Commons import notices have been changed to alerts. Import messages can be read by screen readers. Additionally, imscc download links include the name of the file being downloaded for screen readers.


The focus outline weight throughout Canvas has been increased from 1px to 2px.


Section edit searches display the section name and the user count.


Group Assignment Checkbox

The group assignment checkbox is disabled after group assignments have been submitted. Explanation: When a group assignment was created in a course, and students had submitted the assignment, the option to create a group assignment could be deselected in the assignment settings. However, the group assignment was not changed. Canvas code has been updated to disable the group assignment checkbox after group assignments have been submitted.


Assignment Group Weights

Users enrolled as a teacher, TA, or designer in a Blueprint course can update assignment group weights. Explanation: When a user was enrolled as a teacher, TA, or designer in a Blueprint course, the user was unable to adjust assignment group weights. This behavior did not affect non-Blueprint courses because group weights were associated with the permission to manage Blueprint courses. Canvas code has been updated to allow users to change assignment group weights in the Blueprint course.


Link Validator Email Links

Email links are not included in link validation. Explanation: When the Link Validator was started in a course, the Link Validator generated an error when it encountered an email link, as individual email links cannot be validated. Canvas code has been updated to not include email links as part of the Link Validator.


Downloaded File Names and Spaces

Downloaded files display the display name of the file. Additionally, spaces are retained within display names. Explanation: When a file was downloaded from a course, the file was downloaded with the file name instead of the display name. Additionally, any spaces within the name were replaced with a plus symbol, which was inconsistent when uploading files. Canvas code has been updated to use display names and retain spaces in file downloads.

Restored Files and Duplicate File Names

If a previously deleted file is restored in a course, any duplicate file names are amended by adding a 1 at the end of the file. Explanation: When a previously deleted file was restored in a course, duplicate file names could exist in the same folder. This behavior affected other Canvas features such as ePub exports and offline course content. Canvas code has been updated to amend the file name if a file with the same name already exists by adding a 1 at the end of the file.


Content Sidebar and Inline Preview Icon

This change was deployed to production on January 18.

When files that support inline previews are uploaded into the Content Sidebar and added to the Rich Content Editor, the file displays an inline preview icon. Explanation: When a user uploaded a file into the Content Sidebar that supports inline previews, and the file was added to the Rich Content Editor, the file did not display the inline file preview icon. This behavior did not affect files uploaded directly in the Rich Content Editor. Canvas code has been updated to display the inline preview icon when files are added from the Content Sidebar.