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 (March 30), the beta label has been removed from the New Gradebook in addition to other feature options in Canvas. In Notifications, SMS notifications have been shortened to distribute one message about the related content, and instructors can enable a notification to be notified of link errors in their courses.
As other updates, Slovenian has been added as a supported language in Canvas. The Submissions – View and Make Comments permission has been removed from Canvas. And as part of course groups, the group membership edit message has been reworded for functionality clarity.
- For institutions using the New Gradebook, the Final Grade Override column retains all percentages entered for grade overrides. Additionally, content is included in SIS syncs.
External Tools (LTI)
- For institutions using Commons, admins who have enabled a branding image for approved content can reset the custom branding image back to the default approved content icon. Additionally, the Back button includes more context and directs the user to the previously visited page or back to the Search page.
- For institutions using Quizzes.Next, tags can be added to item bank items, and item banks can be searched and filtered by tags or item type.
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 (March 30), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on April 20, 2019.
Final Grade Override Percentage Scores
Percentages added as an override grade are displayed as the entered percentage and the grade associated with the grading scheme. The lower bound of the grading scheme is not factored into the percentage display. This change allows instructors to adjust the final grade using a specific percentage and have that percentage apply for the grade.
When the Final Grade Override feature option is enabled for a course, instructors can enter a specific percentage and have that percentage apply for the grade. Previously the percentage adjusted to the lower bound of the grading scheme.
For instance, if an instructor added a grade override as 97%, and the grade range for A was from 94% to 100%, the student would be shown the grade of A with 97%. Previously the A grade would have shown a 94%. Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Final Grade Override Percentage Scores for image.
Content Link Error
The Notifications page includes a new alert for instructors to be notified about broken links in a course. This change allows instructors to be notified about broken links via notifications when they are accessed by students in the course.
If instructors want to be notified of broken links in their course, instructors can visit their Notification Preferences page and select the Content Link Error notification. Instructors are notified with both the location and content of the link error. The Notification default is set to daily delivery.
This notification is triggered in the following conditions:
- The link cannot be accessed by students because of a permission error
- The link is broken
- The link is unpublished
Deleted links are not included in this notification and can be validated using the Validate Links in Content option in Course settings. Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Content Link Error for image.
SMS Message Content
Cellular (SMS) Notifications have been shortened to distribute one message about the related content. Additionally, content no longer includes direct URLs to access the content within the course. This change minimizes the number of text messages sent to a subscribed user.
Any user can select text messages as an option for receiving notification updates. However, notifications sent via text message have been shortened to minimize the number of messages a user receives.
Depending on the notification type, text messages include the following minimized content:
- Submission Graded: assignment name and score (if score is included in the notification)
- Assignment Created: course name and due date (if the assignment includes multiple due dates)
- New Discussion Entry: discussion topic and user name who posted the discussion reply
- New Announcement: announcement title
- Conversation Message: user name who sent the message
- Assignment Due Date Changed: assignment name and new due date
Users who prefer accessing the content directly should consider accessing the Canvas apps and enabling push notifications.
Item Bank Tags
Quizzes.Next supports adding tags to item bank items. This feature allows instructors to easily categorize similar items within item banks.
Instructors can add tags when editing an item bank item. From the Tags and Metadata field, instructors can enter text to create a new tag. After a tag is created, it can be selected as a tag in any item bank associated with the user who created the tag. Tags display as part of the item in the item bank and in any assessment where the item has been added. Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Item Bank Tags for images.
Item Bank Search
Quizzes.Next supports searching item banks and filtering item bank results by tags or item type. This feature allows instructors to quickly find items in an item bank.
Instructors can search for items within any item bank by using the Search field. Search results will display items with matching results in question titles, question stems, and answer choices.
Instructors can also use the Add Filter button to filter search results by tags or item type.
Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Item Bank Search for images
Beta Label Removals
The beta label has been removed from the following feature options at the account and course levels:
- Public Course Index (Account)
- ePub Exporting (Course)
- New Gradebook (Course)
- Enable Dashboard Images for Courses (Course)
- MasteryPaths (Course)
- Anonymous Grading (Course)
- Moderated Grading (Course)
- Quiz Log Auditing (Course)
This change indicates that these feature options are no longer in beta. No existing functionality has been affected.
Features without a beta status indicate the features are ready to be enabled in production; any additional enhancements will be added as part of regular Canvas releases.
Back Button Context
The Back button includes more context and directs the user to the previously visited page or back to the Search page. This update helps clarify and improve the behavior of the Back button. When instructors view the details for a resource, the Back button displays the location of the previous page in the text. Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Back Button Context for image.
Group Membership Edit Message Clarification
The group membership edit message has been reworded for functionality clarity. This commit makes the warning message stronger about data loss that may occur when editing group memberships for existing group submissions. When an instructor has previously created a group assignment that has received group submissions, adding or removing any student within the group triggers a group membership warning. The previous message did not warn instructors about the loss of data within SpeedGrader that may occur. Please view the Canvas Release Notes(2019-03-30): Group Membership Edit Message Clarification for image.
Slovenian (Slovene) has been added as an available language in Canvas. This change allows users to view Canvas in their native language. Users can enable languages in their User Settings. Admins and instructors may enable a language for an entire account or course through Account or Course Settings, respectively. When a language is selected, users will view all Canvas areas in the selected language.
Please view the Canvas Release Notes for March 30, 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.
Concluded Course User Enrollments
In the Courses page, the Add People button only displays for active courses. Explanation: When a course was viewed in the Courses page, and the course was concluded by term, course, or section dates, the course displayed an Add People button to add users but adding a user generated an error. Canvas code has been updated to not display the Add People button for courses that are concluded by term, course, or section dates. This change aligns functionality with courses that are manually concluded using the Conclude Course button in Course Settings.
Rich Content Editor
Media Recorder Browser Access Error
If media access is blocked in a browser, Canvas displays a message that webcam and microphone access are required to use the media recorder. Explanation: When the microphone was blocked in the settings of a browser, the media recorder displayed a message that the webcam needed to be allowed in the browser. Canvas code has been updated to change the wording in the message to indicate the microphone and webcam are needed for media recordings.
Concluded Course Rubric Access
Instructors can view and add rubrics from concluded courses. Explanation: When an instructor created an assignment and tried to add a rubric from a concluded course, the page generated an unauthorized message. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to add rubrics from concluded courses.
Save Comment Button and Peer Review Rubrics
Peer Review rubrics do not display the Save Comment button after the peer review rubric has been saved. Explanation: When a student entered a score and a comment in a peer review rubric, the Save Comment button still displayed in the page after the page was refreshed, even though the rubric was not able to be changed. Canvas code has been updated to disable the Save Comment button after the peer review is saved.
Peer Review Rubrics
Peer Review Rubric scores are reset for remaining evaluators in SpeedGrader. Explanation: When a peer review assignment was graded using a rubric in SpeedGrader, the Total Points field did not default to zero when the assignment was graded as an instructor and retained the score from the last reviewer. Canvas code has been updated to reset the Total Points field for remaining evaluators in SpeedGrader.