Canvas release notes for July 15, 2017

Jul 13, 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 July 15, 2017 Canvas release notes, these are the new and updated features, and fixed bugs.

New Features

Assignment Duplication

Assignments can be duplicated in the Assignments index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every available assignment. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the assignment name.

Duplicating an assignment defaults the copied assignment to an unpublished status. All items in the assignment are duplicated including the name, description, point value, and options, except for the following situations:

  • Copied peer review assignments retain the peer review setting and Assign Review date, but the number of reviews per user will be set to zero.
  • Copied assignments are always assigned to everyone in the course; differentiated assignments are not retained for individual users, groups, or sections.
  • If a differentiated assignment includes an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment retains the Everyone Else due date, if any. If a differentiated assignment does not include an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment does not include a due date.
  • If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.
  • Copied external tool (LTI) assignments may need to be reconfigured.

If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.

Note: Assignments currently cannot be duplicated for discussions and quizzes. These assignment types do not include a Duplicate option in the Settings menu and will be added in a future release.

Pages Duplication

Pages can be duplicated in the Pages index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every page. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the page name.

Duplicating a page defaults the copied page to an unpublished status. All items in the page are duplicated including the page name, content, and options.

If a page is used in MasteryPaths, the MasteryPaths setting is also enabled in the copied page. Additionally, any MasteryPaths page also displays in the Assignments index page.

If a page is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the page after the page is refreshed.

Updated Features

Course Home Page

Modules Course Home Page Default

In new courses, Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. This change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. Instructors are not required to use Modules for the home page and can choose another home page layout.

The Modules page includes two links to help new instructors either create a new module or add existing content through a course import. If Modules is set to the Home page but no modules content exists, Canvas will prompt the instructor to either publish a module or choose a different home page layout.

Rich Content Editor

Sidebar Enhancements

The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus displays in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes. The sidebar enhancements include a visual style update and pagination support.

The sidebar has been updated with backend improvements and some small interface changes:

  • Each selector tab supports pagination, and content sections include scrollbars.
  • In the Links tab, Pages content is displayed alphabetically. The link to create a link to a new page has been removed, so new pages need to be created from the Pages index page.
  • The Files tab displays all files alphabetically.
  • When usage rights are enabled for files, the Files and Images tabs display usage rights options.

Other Updates

Courses

Content Export Expiration Clarification

After an initial content export, the export expires after 30 days and can no longer be downloaded. The text noted in the export page has been clarified as not being able to be downloaded after 30 days.

Content exports are located in the content exports page in Course Settings, and the download assignment submissions page in User Settings.

User Interface

Canvas Font Size Update

The base font size in Canvas has been increased from 14p to 16p. This change improves accessibility and text legibility, and all other font sizes have been increased accordingly. Please note that some Canvas areas with multiple text components may still display smaller font sizes. Instructure designers are still adjusting CSS for these areas and will update them in future releases.

Canvas Icon Update

The icons throughout Canvas have been updated with a new Instructure-owned icon library. All new Instructure icons default as line vs. solid icons.

Some Canvas areas may display inconsistent icons, and Instructure designers will update these icons in the next release.

Dashboard Course Card Width

All course cards are responsive to the full width of the browser. Depending on a user’s browser’s resolution, the Dashboard could display more than three course cards in a single row.

Fixed Bugs

Accessibility

Account Settings

When an admin restores a deleted course in the Admin tab, the restored course is announced to screen readers. Focus is retained on the new content.

Calendar

In high contrast mode, the current date displays in bold and underlined text.

Conversations

In the Compose Message window, the heading announcement to screen readers does not include mention of an extra space.

When the Reply All, Forward, or Delete icon is selected for a message, and the message is closed, focus is retained in the icon used to display the message.

Course Home Page

The Published/Unpublished button displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Course Settings

In the Course Details tab, the More Options link is read as a button to screen readers.

In the Sections tab, the Edit and Delete icons are read as buttons to screen readers.

In the Navigation tab, when a keyboard user moves a navigation item using the Move button and then closes the navigation window, focus is retained in the Settings icon for the navigation item.

Grades

In the Gradebook, column headings background color and text display a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Tooltips are not hidden when focus is in a Gradebook cell.

Modules

The Add Prerequisite link displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.

Account Settings

Student Start Date Restriction and Course Participation

The options to restrict students from viewing a course before the start date or after the end date can be used with the option to allow users to only participate in a course between specific dates.

Explanation: When the options to restrict students from viewing a course before the start date or after the end date were changed at the same time as the option to allow users to only participate in a course between specific dates, the student restriction options did not restrict or allow student access appropriately. Canvas code has been updated to clear course caching when enabling course restriction options.

API

Enrollments API

When a course is changed from an active to deleted status via SIS import, the Enrollments API also shows the deleted status.

Explanation: When a course was changed from an active to deleted status via SIS import, the Enrollments API showed the course as active. Canvas code has been updated to display the status of deleted courses via SIS import in the API.

External Tools API

When a user calls a paginated list of external tools associated with a group, the header points to the group’s URL.

Explanation: When a user called a paginated list of external tools associated with a group, the header pointed to /accounts/ instead of /groups/. Canvas code has been updated to correct the URL for group pagination.

Course Import

Announcements

Announcements are displayed in order of announcement date.

Explanation: When a course was imported with existing announcements, and new announcements were created in the course, the new announcements displayed at the bottom of the announcement list. Canvas code has been updated to correct the order of displayed announcements.

Dashboard

Instructor To Do List and Excused Assignments

Instructors do not view excused assignment submissions in their To Do list.

Explanation: If a student submitted an assignment and was later excused from the assignment, the assignment still displayed in the instructor’s To Do list for grading. Canvas code has been updated to remove excused assignments from the To Do list.

Modules

Concluded Enrollments and Course Content Exports

Students with concluded enrollments cannot download course content from the Modules page.

Explanation: When a course has allowed students to download course content offline, and students with a concluded status tried to export course content in the Modules page, the Export Course Content button generated an error message. Canvas code has been updated to remove the Export Course Content button for students with concluded enrollments. This change creates consistency among other export functionality and concluded enrollments in Canvas.

Notifications

Export Course Content

When a course export is complete from the Modules page, Export Course Content notifications include the full link to the export page.

Explanation: When a course has allowed students to download course content offline, and students export the course in the Modules page, the export notification did not include a domain in the page link and did not direct back to the export page. Canvas code has been updated to include the student’s full URL for the export page in the notification link.

Membership Updates

Instructor-based enrollments who can only participate with users in the same section only receive enrollment notifications for users in their same section.

Explanation: When an instructor-based user was enrolled in a course and could only participate with other users in the same section, the user was receiving acceptance enrollment notification emails from users in other sections. Canvas code has been updated to only send acceptance notifications to instructor-based users in the same section.

User Settings

Email Confirmations

Users can resend confirmation emails to confirm their email addresses.

Explanation: When a user tried to resend the confirmation email to confirm his or her email address, the page generated an error message. This behavior affected users whose accounts were not using the Profiles feature. Canvas code has been updated to resend confirmation emails from the User Settings page.

The next Canvas release notes will be sent on July 31, 2017.

To see the full release note list by Instructure or watch the Canvas New Feature Screencast, please visit https://community.canvaslms.com/videos/3030-canvas-new-feature-screencast-2017-07-15.