In an effort to continually improve Canvas, Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, releases Canvas upgrades every third Saturday of the month along with Release Notes. Pertinent features and upgrades are listed below. In this Canvas release (December 21), Global Announcements are included as a notification preference. The BigBlueButton interface allows participants to resize the webcam window during a conference and displays the user who is talking in the left corner of the meeting window. And users can view shared notes from a concluded conference.
- For courses using New Quizzes, the invalid input warning displays if a student responds to a numeric question with an invalid character.
Previously, Rutgers Canvas notified users of upcoming changes that will result in enforced Feature Options including the New Gradebook and Mastery Paths. The enforcement will take place on January 18, 2020.
Monthly Release Notes also include API updates. 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 (December 21), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on January 18, 2020.
Global Announcement Notification Option
Global Announcements include a checkbox to distribute a notification to subscribed users when the announcement starts. This change helps distribute global announcements via notifications.
In the Notifications page, the Alerts section includes a Global Announcements option. By default, the notification preference is set to Immediately via email. Other notification channels default to off.
Please see the Production Release Notes: Global Announcement Notification Option for images.
BigBlueButton Interface Webcam Window Resizing
The BigBlueButton interface allows participants to resize the webcam window during a conference. This change allows participants to manage the size of the webcam in a BigBlueButton conference.
When a participant is viewing another user through a webcam window, the participant is able to resize the window larger than the default view. This change benefits conferences where the presenter needs to be seen more prominently on screen, such as for sign language classes.
To see how this feature can be used, please see the Resize webcams in BigBlueButton video.
BigBlueButton Interface User Talking Indicator
The BigBlueButton interface displays the user who is talking in the left corner of the meeting window. This change allows moderators to better see who is talking in large BigBlueButton conferences.
The BigBlueButton interface displays all users in a conference in the sidebar. When a conference includes a long list of users, the moderator can view the specific person who is talking in the corner of the meeting window. Previously a moderator could only see who was talking by scrolling down the sidebar to see which user’s name included a highlighted icon.
Please see the Production Release Notes: BigBlueButton Interface User Talking Indicator for image.
Concluded Conference Shared Notes
Shared notes can be accessed from concluded conference recordings. This change allows users to view shared notes included in a recorded conference.
Users who attended a recorded conference that included shared notes can view the notes from the conference. When available, the notes display as a Notes link below the concluded conference. All users who have access to the recording can view the notes. A new browser tab loads with the final state of the notes. Text can be copied into a text-based program such as Word or Notepad.
Please see the Production Release Notes: Concluded Conference Shared Notes
Numeric Question Invalid Input Warning
In Numeric questions, the invalid input warning displays if a student responds to a numeric question with an invalid character. This change reduces unintentional misgrading when students attempt to answer a numeric question and matches parity with numeric questions in existing quizzes.
If a student enters an invalid character in a numeric question and clicks the Submit button, a confirmation window displays informing the student an invalid answer has been received, and the student can change the answer to receive credit. The student can cancel or continue submitting the quiz.
If the student cancels and returns to the numeric question, the warning text indicates that the answer must be a number and not include any symbols or units.
Please see the Production Release Notes: Numeric Question Invalid Input Warning for images.
Canvas Deploy Notes (2019-12-04 & 2019-12-18)
Canvas deploys contain code changes that are intended to fix bugs, improve performance, and prepare for new features, but they do not affect customer workflows. These deploys take place every two weeks and intended changes in workflow are noted in the Canvas Release Notes published monthly.