Canvas release notes for May 13, 2017

May 16, 2017 | Release Notes

The Canvas at Penn State team and Instructure are committed to continually enhancing the Canvas user experience. Every three weeks, we will post Canvas release notes. These include production notes on features and updates. While most are automatically implemented, some features and updates may not be immediately adopted or available for Penn State. Announcements will be shared on features that are not automatically implemented.

For the May 13, 2017 Canvas release notes, these are the new and updated features, and fixed bugs.

New Features


Color Overlay

The Dashboard Settings drop-down menu allows users to switch between two views: Recent Activity and Course Cards. When Course Cards is selected, users also have the option to remove the color overlay from any course cards that include an image. Like all Dashboard options, this feature allows users to view course cards in the Dashboard according to their personal preference. Dashboard features cannot be enabled for an entire institution.

The Course Cards view displays the color overlay option by default. When a user choose to remove the color overlay option, the transparent course color is removed from any course card that contains an image. However, the color of the course card displays as a circle behind the card’s More Options icon.


  • This option only applies to color over course images; it does not apply to the general color of a course card.
  • Adding an image to a course card is a course-level feature option. When available, course images can be added

Updated Features


Front Page Individual Setting

In an individual page, the page settings menu supports the Use as Front Page option. This update allows a front page to be set from any individual page.

A page can still be set as the front page by opening the Pages Index Page and selecting the page’s settings menu.


Section End Date and Past Enrollments

In the Courses list, the Past Enrollment section displays courses with section end dates. This change aligns functionality with the end date in Course Settings, which was updated in the April 1 release. Previously, sections with override dates were only considered to be concluded if the end date accompanied the Users can only participate in the course between these dates (or Users participation) checkbox.

User Participation Checkbox and Favorite Courses

The Users participation checkbox restricts users from participating in the course, such as replying to discussions, submitting assignments, etc. If an instructor is using course or section dates to override term dates and prefers the course be placed in a read-only state after the course or section has ended, the Users participation checkbox should be selected. Otherwise, students can still participate in the course after the course end date.

Additionally, the Users participation checkbox affects courses that have been marked as a favorite and display in the Dashboard. If a course or section includes an override date and the User participation checkbox is selected, users cannot participate in the course after the end date, and the course will be removed from the Dashboard. However, if the User participation checkbox is not selected, the course will still display in the Dashboard as a favorite course after the end date since the course still allows participation.

Fixed Bugs


Account Settings

In the Help menu, the Add Link button is accessible to screen readers.

Admin Tools

Course search results are announced to screen readers.


In the MasteryPaths assignment sidebar, the number of student results for a range and the View Range Student Details link can be read to screen readers. Additionally, focus is only retained in the sidebar when the sidebar is viewed.

In the MasteryPaths student details sidebar, the Send Message and View Submission links do not have redundant title text.

The Moderate Grades page functions as a table and identifies row and column data for screen readers and keyboard users.


If an authentication method does not include federated attributes, table headers are not shown to screen readers.

The SSO Settings section includes descriptive text for screen readers.

The Current Provider section identifies forms and labels with unique IDs for screen readers. When the Just in Time Provisioning checkbox is selected, the Provisioning Only information icon can be accessed by keyboard users.


In an appointment group, the Remove Student link can be accessed by keyboard users and read by screen readers.

New Instructor Tutorial

In an expanded tutorial window, focus is retained on the Collapse icon.


Scheduler and Long Course Names

When a new appointment group is created in the Scheduler, courses with long names are truncated in the Courses drop-down menu.

Explanation: When a new appointment group was created in the Scheduler, courses with long names were misaligned in the drop-down menu. This behavior only affected institutions that had enabled the new Scheduler feature option. Canvas code has been updated to truncate courses with long names.


Muted Assignments and Submission Comments

In the Submission Comments filter, comments for muted assignments display immediately after the assignment has been unmuted.

Explanation: When a muted assignment included submission comments, and the assignment was unmuted, all existing comments did not display in the Submission Comments filter until after a new comment was added to the submission. Canvas code has been updated to update and display all submission comments after the assignment has been unmuted.


Ungraded Surveys and To Do List

Students who have been assigned an ungraded survey can view the ungraded survey in the To Do list.

Explanation: When an ungraded survey was assigned to an individual student, students not assigned to the ungraded survey were able to view a To Do item for the ungraded survey. Canvas code has been updated to not display ungraded survey notifications for students who have not been assigned the ungraded survey.


Weighted Grading Periods and Current Grade

Empty weighted grading periods are excluded from current grade calculations.

Explanation: When an institution weighted multiple grading periods and a grading period did not yet include any assignment grades, any empty weighted grading periods were being calculated as part of the current grade calculation. Canvas code has been updated to exclude empty grading periods from current grade calculations.


All Submissions Notification

The All Submissions notification generates one notification for each student assignment submission.

Explanation: When an instructor enabled the All Submissions notification and a student submitted an assignment, the instructor received duplicate notifications. Canvas code has been updated to only send one assignment submission notification.


Concluded Enrollments and User Details Page

This fix was deployed to the production environment on May 4.

Users with permission to add/remove students in a course can view the user’s details page for a concluded enrollment.

Explanation: When a user with permission to add/remove students in a course opened the concluded enrollments page and clicked the name of a student, the user was directed back to the People page and viewed an error message that the user did not exist or was not a member of the course. This behavior affected users from restoring prior enrollments manually through the Canvas interface. Canvas code has been updated to display the user details page for concluded enrollments.


LTI Add and Edit

Instructor-based roles without the LTI Add and Edit permission can view the Apps tab in Course Settings.

Explanation: When an instructor-based role without the LTI Add and Edit permission tried to view external apps in a course, the Apps tab did not display in Course Settings. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructor-based roles to view the Apps tab. These user roles cannot manually add LTI tools, but they can install any approved apps available in the Canvas App Center.

Rich Content Editor

Content Image Links

The Rich Content Editor supports content links in images.

Explanation: When a user embedded an image in the Rich Content Editor, clicked the Pages link in the content selector, and tried to insert a content link, the image did not retain the link. Canvas code has been updated to support content links in images.


Users Participation Checkbox Consistency

When dates are added to a section and the Users can only participate between these dates checkbox is selected, the text displayed under the dates in the section page is the same as shown in the checkbox.

Explanation: When dates were added to a section and the Users can only participate between these dates checkbox was selected, the text displayed under the dates in the section page inaccurately read as Users can only access the course between these dates. Canvas code has been updated to change the users date text for consistency.

Theme Editor

Logout Page Button Color

The Logout button in the Canvas logout page displays the same color set for the Login Link customization in the Theme Editor.

Explanation: In the Canvas logout page, the logout button text was inheriting its color from the button color, which sometimes caused the text for the button to be hidden. Canvas code has been updated to use the login link color for the Logout button color. The logout page only applies to institutions using an authentication provider without single sign-out functionality. Otherwise, when a user clicks the Canvas Logout button, Canvas will log out the user through their authentication server and bypasses the logout page.

The next Canvas release notes will be sent on May 30, 2017.

To see the full release note list by Instructure or watch the Canvas New Feature Screencast, please visit