Canvas Release Notes (2021-3-20) - Canvas Skip to main content

Canvas Release Notes (2021-3-20)

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 20):

  • Students can use their webcam to submit File Upload assignments.
  • In SpeedGrader, instructors can reassign an assignment to an individual student and ask them to redo their submission.
  • In Course Settings, the Participation menu includes an option to select course dates by term or course.
  • Files linked in the Rich Content Editor can be previewed in an overlay or inline.
  • Names menu includes filters for showing inactive and concluded enrollments in Learning Mastery Gradebook.
  • New Quizzes can be created when adding a quiz to a module.

This announcement lists pertinent updates that affect instructors and students and omits features that are not applicable for Rutgers Canvas.

View Full Release Notes on Instructure Website (3/20/2021)


New Features


Webcam Submissions

This change allows students to use their webcam to submit a file upload assignment from the browser and aligns behavior with the Canvas Student app.


For File Upload assignments, students have the option to use their webcam for file uploads. The first time they use the feature, they will need to give permission to Canvas to access their computer webcam. Like all other graded submission types, images submitted via the webcam functionality do not count against course or user quota.

Updated Features

Course Settings

Course Availability Date Enhancements

The Participation menu includes an option to select course dates by term or course. This change offers clarification for how student participation is managed for a course.


When an instructor views the Participation section in the Course Settings page, the Participation section displays a menu that defaults to Term dates for new courses. This option sets student course participation to the start and end dates defined for the term.

If preferred, instructors can change course participation to the Course option, where course participation is limited to the course start and end dates, which can be added in the course. Course dates override term dates; however, section dates that exist in the course override course dates.


New Quizzes Support

New Quizzes can be created as part of adding a quiz to a module. This change allows instructors to create quizzes using the New Quizzes LTI in modules.


When an instructor adds an item to a module and selects a quiz, the Create Quiz option displays both the New Quizzes and Classic Quizzes quiz engines. New Quizzes is the default, but instructors can switch to Classic Quizzes and create a name for the quiz.

Existing quizzes in the module are also identified as a classic quiz if created with the Classic Quizzes quiz engine.


Learning Mastery Gradebook Student Filters

This change allows instructors to view outcomes data in the Learning Mastery Gradebook for students who no longer have an active enrollment in their course.


In the Students menu, instructors can show or hide outcomes data for students with inactive and/or concluded enrollments, along with all active enrollments. By default, data is not shown for inactive and concluded enrollments.

Rich Content Editor

File Preview Enhancements

This change allows users to control the display of the file preview. Previously all file previews opened in a new browser tab.

All Users

Users who link a file can open the File Options menu and indicate a preview type.

  • Preview in overlay displays the existing file preview functionality, where the file preview opens and overlays the entire page.
  • Preview inline loads the displays the preview directly in the Rich Content Editor window once the file is clicked. If the option to expand the preview by default is also selected as an option, the file is automatically expanded in the page and the user does not need to click the file to view it. Instead, the user can close the preview by clicking the Minimize Preview link that displays along with the image.


Submission Reassignments

In SpeedGrader, instructors can reassign an assignment with a due date to an individual student and ask them to redo their submission. This change allows instructors to provide feedback and reassign an assignment to an individual student, which places the assignment back in the List View Dashboard as another assignment to complete.


For online assignments with a due date, instructors can view a Reassign button in SpeedGrader. If they require a student to redo an assignment, they can reassign the assignment directly to the student from within their grading workflow in SpeedGrader. The instructor must first provide feedback regarding the assignment, which will enable the button. The reassignment does not change the original due date for the student.


Canvas Deploys

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.

Deploy notes include notable fixed bugs and additional updates that do not affect existing user functionality. View last five full Deploy Notes: