Canvas Release Notes (2019-02-16) - Canvas Skip to main content

Canvas Release Notes (2019-02-16)

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 (February 16), DocViewer supports stylus tools to create annotations within supported touchscreen devices. For embedded images in the Rich Content Editor, the Canvas files folder structure displays thumbnail images. Interface updates have also been made in Pages and the Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker.

Feature Options

  • For courses using the New Gradebook, instructors can replace a student’s final grade calculated through Canvas activities with a manually entered grade.

External Tools (LTI)

  • When viewing the Resource Details tab in Commons, users can view filtered search results that only display resources from their specific institution.
  • For courses using Quizzes.Next LTI, instructors can reopen submitted assessment attempts from the Moderation page. And the Restrict Student Result View option supports additional options to display or hide points, items, responses, and feedback.

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 (February 16), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on March 9, 2019.

New Features

New Gradebook

Final Grade Override

For courses using the New Gradebook, instructors can replace a student’s final grade calculated through Canvas activities with a manually entered grade. This change allows instructors to adjust the final grade for a student if needed in the course, such as before sending course grades to a student information system. However, once this feature is enabled, it cannot be turned off.  When the Final Grade Override feature option is enabled for a course, instructors can enable the final grade override in the Gradebook Settings menu.  The Gradebook displays an Override column where a new grade can be entered. In the Individual View Gradebook, the grade overrides can also be enabled.

For an override score, a letter grade results in the lower value of the grading scheme. This behavior varies from entering letter grades for individual assignments, where entries take the higher value of the grading scheme. A percentage is retained as the percentage as the override score. Overridden grades can be removed by deleting the grade from the column.

Students will view the overridden score in their Grades page. However, they will not know the score has been overridden.  Please see Canvas Release Notes: Final Grade Override for images.


  • When enabled in a course by one instructor, the Override column will not automatically display for all instructors. The column must be enabled by instructors individually.
  • Final grade override actions are not recorded in the Grading History page, which only records changes for individual assignments.
  • Currently final grade overrides are not displayed in the student context card and will be updated in a future release.


Reopen Student Assessment

Quizzes.Next supports reopening submitted assessment attempts from the Moderation page. This feature allows instructors to grant a student access to an assessment that was submitted before it was complete.

Instructors can reopen an assessment attempt for an individual student from the Moderation page. Reopening an assessment will reopen the most recent attempt.

When a student resumes a reopened assessment, previously recorded responses will be retained and can be changed, unless the assessment displays one question at a time with backtracking disabled. The assessment timer will resume from its remaining time from the attempt.  Please see Canvas Release Notes: Reopen Student Assessment for images.

Updated Features


Stylus Support

DocViewer supports the use of a stylus for annotations in certain browser configurations on touchscreen devices. This feature allows instructors and students to use a stylus to make annotations in DocViewer on supported touchscreen devices.

Stylus functionality is supported for any user who can access DocViewer. Support is provided for the Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 10 using the Chrome or Edge browser. Stylus support is limited to Bamboo Ink and any stylus officially supported by Microsoft for the Surface Pro. Limited stylus compatibility is also available in the Firefox browser.


The Restrict Student Result View option in Quizzes.Next supports additional options to display or hide points, items, responses, and feedback. This change gives instructors additional options when determining the information that students can view in their assessment results.

Instructors can manage additional settings when the Restrict Student Result View option is selected. Student result settings include displaying total points awarded, total points possible, and assessment items and questions. The options to show total points awarded and show points possible apply to overall points and individual question points.

When the option to display assessment items and questions is selected, instructors can also manage the option to display student responses and item feedback. When the option to display student responses is enabled, instructors can also manage options to indicate whether answers are correct or incorrect and display correct answers if an incorrect answer was selected. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Additional Result Restriction Settings for image.

To completely hide all assessment results, instructors will need to uncheck all options on the Restrict student result view settings.

The information displayed in the assessment results page will vary for students based on the options selected by their instructor.

Rich Content Editor

When a user embeds an image into the Rich Content Editor, the Canvas files folder structure displays thumbnail images. This change allows users to view a small version of each image before embedding the image in the Rich Content Editor.

When a user selects a Canvas file to embed in the Rich Content Editor, any image files in Canvas display a thumbnail version of the file to help identify the file. This functionality was temporarily unavailable after the Rich Content Editor was updated in a previous release. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Files Thumbnail Images for image.

Other Updates


Column Heading Capitalization

Page column headers do not display in all caps. This change helps align column headings with other design elements in Canvas.

When a user with permission to view pages views all pages for the course, the page column headers have been updated to not display in all caps. Please view Canvas Release Notes: Column Heading Capitalization for image.

Rich Content Editor

Accessibility Checker Link Formatting

The Accessibility Checker information Learn More link has been replaced with a descriptive text link. This change helps conform with accessibility guidelines and link text expectations.

When a user opens the information link in the Accessibility Checker, the Learn More text at the bottom of the menu window has been expanded to include more description about the linked reference.  Please view Canvas Release Notes: Accessibility Checker Link Formatting for image.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the Canvas Release Notes for February 16, 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.


Anonymous Grading and Peer Reviews

When anonymous grading is enabled in a peer review assignment, students can view peer reviews without error. Explanation: When the Anonymous Grading feature had been enabled on a peer review assignment, students received an Unauthorized message when accessing the submissions page for any student they were peer reviewing. Canvas code has been updated to view peer reviews for anonymously graded assignments.

Muted Assignments and Peer Review Comments

When a peer-review assignment is muted, students can view peer review comments from other students. Explanation: When an instructor muted a peer review assignment, and a student left a comment on the assignment for another student, the second student was not able to view the comment for the peer review. Canvas code has been updated to display peer review comments to students in muted assignments. However, comments from instructors continue to be hidden until the assignment is unmuted.


Course Visibility and Calendar Display

When a course is set with visibility to anyone in the institution, users not enrolled in the course can view the course calendar. Explanation: When a course was set with visibility to anyone in the institution, the View Course Calendar button was still displayed to users not enrolled in the course and generated an error when trying to load the calendar. Canvas code has been updated to redirect users to the calendar even if users are not yet enrolled.


Anonymous Late Submission Notifications

Notifications about late submissions in anonymous assignments do not display the names of the students with the late submission. Explanation: When an instructor received a daily or weekly summary notification for late submissions, anonymous assignments would include the names of students with the late submissions. Canvas code has been updated to anonymize all late submission notifications.

Grading Counts and Unenrolled Sections

Instructors who are limited to participating in a specific section only receive notifications for their specific sections regarding submissions that need to be graded. Explanation: When an instructor was limited to participating within one section and received notifications about course grading, the notification included grading counts outside of the instructor’s section. Canvas code has been updated to only count submissions that need to be graded in the instructor’s specific section.