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 (March 21), the Gradebook export CSV file matches the order of assignments. In assignments, the status of re-uploaded assignment files is managed in the background, no longer requiring the uploader to wait for the files confirmation page. Additionally, the Syllabus page includes an option to remove the Course Summary section. The Help Menu includes a new link to assist users with conferences.
- For institutions using the New Rich Content Editor, the editor autosaves any content that hasn’t yet been submitted for up to one hour.
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 Release Notes (March 21), and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on April 18, 2020.
Conferences Help Menu Link
The Help Menu includes a new link to assist users with conferences: Conference Guides for Remote Classrooms. This change assists institutions looking for assistance with Canvas Conferences. The Conference Guides for Remote Classrooms link displays by default in the Help Menu for all institutions with English locales. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Conferences Help Menu Link for image.
Re-Upload Submissions Status Page
The status of re-uploaded assignment files is managed in the background, no longer requiring the uploader to wait for the files confirmation page. After downloaded files are re-uploaded to Canvas via a zip file, a status page notifies the user that the files are processing. This change moves file uploads from a front-end process to a backend process allowing instructors to leave the assignment page. Additionally, this change prevents large files from timing out during the upload.
When instructors download all submissions for an assignment and then re-upload them as a zip file, clicking the Upload Files button displays a status page. This page indicates that the files are being processed, which may take a while depending on the file size. Instructors can navigate away from the assignment page if needed. Previously instructors had to wait for all files to be uploaded before they could leave the page.
The assignment sidebar displays a View Uploads Status button that can be used to view the status of the files as well. This button always displays in the sidebar, even after the upload is complete. In the case of multiple uploads, the page displays the results of the last upload. Please see Canvas Release Notes: Re-Upload Submissions Status Page for images.
Export Sort Order
The Gradebook export CSV file matches the order of assignments displayed in the Assignments page. This change provides consistency in both the Assignments page and the CSV file.
Instructors who export a Gradebook CSV file view the file in the same order as in the Assignments page. The file sorts by the position (ascending) of the assignment group for an assignment, then by the assignment’s position within the group. Previously the Gradebook export arranged assignment groups by ID, followed by the assignment’s position within the group.
New Rich Content Editor
In pages with one Rich Content Editor, the editor autosaves any content that hasn’t yet been submitted for up to one hour. This feature helps users retain new or edited content that may otherwise be lost from inadvertent browser reloads, loss of internet connection, or navigating to another window.
When a user enters content in a Rich Content Editor window, the editor automatically saves the content for up to one hour. If the user navigates away from the page or another situation occurs where the user revisits the page within one hour, Canvas will notify the user if any saved content is different from the existing content. The user can preview the autosaved content and select the Yes button to load the autosaved content. Selecting the No button will discard the autosaved content.
This autosave functionality only displays in pages that only include one Rich Content Editor window, such as pages and assignments. Saved content is matched with the page URL and the Rich Content Editor (RCE) ID. For instance, content that is autosaved for an assignment, but never submitted as part of saving an assignment may display as autosaved content when a user returns to the same assignment.
In discussions, autosave is supported when a user is only replying to one thread or comment at a time. Opening Rich Content Editors for multiple replies at the same time (and creating multiple RCE IDs) may not create autosave functionality.
Saved content is stored in each browser’s local storage, which means Canvas can only recover autosaved content using the same browser on the same computer an hour within the last edit.
Additionally, each browser includes a limit for how much information can be saved in local storage, which does not guarantee that the Rich Content Editor will always be able to save a user’s content.
In the same behavior of clearing a browser cache, users who are able to manage their local storage may want to check and clear their local storage space when using Canvas. Additionally, when manual save functionality is supported, such as in pages, users should frequently save their content; content that cannot be saved as a draft in Canvas, such as assignment and discussion replies, may need to be drafted outside of Canvas to ensure content is not lost.
Please see Canvas Release Notes: Auto Save for image.
Keyboard Insert Menu Updates
The Keyboard Insert Menu includes the option to add a Horizontal Line. Additionally, the Insert Menu has been updated to reflect the same options available in the New Rich Content Editor toolbar menus. This change helps with consistency in both the Keyboard and New Rich Content Editor toolbar menus.
All users can use the Keyboard shortcuts menu to open the keyboard menus. The Keyboard Insert menu includes the insert options also available in the Rich Content Editor toolbar menu:
- Link, Image, Media, and Document options
- Equation editor
- Horizontal line
Please see Canvas Release Notes: Keyboard Insert Menu Updates for images.
Course Summary Visibility
The Syllabus page includes an option to remove the Course Summary section. This change allows instructors to remove the auto-generated Course Summary section in the Syllabus.
When instructors create a course summary, editing the syllabus displays a checkbox to make the course summary optional. This checkbox is selected by default. If the Course Summary option is not selected, all other viewers in the course will also not be able to view the course summary.
The Syllabus is considered to be a course setting and is inherited in course copies. Additionally, any courses that are also a Blueprint Course must be synced for a Course Summary change to display in associated courses.
Please see Canvas Release Notes: Course Summary Visibility for images.
Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-02-26) and (2020-03-11)
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.