Not Receiving Email Notifications? You Might Need to Confirm Your Email Address

With the 2/21/2015 Production Release, users who have not confirmed their email addresses in Canvas no longer receive email notifications. If you notice that you are not receiving email notifications, please check to see if your email address is confirmed by clicking on Settings in the upper right corner of Canvas.

Click on "Settings" for your Canvas account.

Then, mouse over your email address under “Email Addresses” in the “Ways to Contact” section of the page. If you see this:

"Unconfim" message  for email account in Canvas

you will need to click on the email address and then on Re-Send Confirmation.

Re-Send Email Confirmation Window

Then, click on the Ok, Thanks button (don’t click on the Done! Message may take a few minutes link–this will re-send the confirmation).

Click on "Ok, Thanks" to close the confirmation window.

Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Improved Gradebook Toolbar Design

The Canvas gradebook toolbar has been re-designed for easier grading.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the re-design (please click on the image to enlarge it):

Canvas Gardebook Re-Design OverviewIf you have any questions about the gradebook re-design, please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu. If you would like to learn more about grading in Canvas, please sign up for our next Assessment and Grading in Canvas workshop, which is on Tuesday, March 24th, 1-2:30pm, or register for other Canvas workshops and office hours.

Canvas Production Release: February 21, 2015

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

2/21/15 Production Release Highlights:

  • Usage Rights: As part of the new Files design, institutions can require their instructors to indicate usage rights for all course files before publishing the file to a course. Usage Rights is a course-level feature option called “Require Usage Rights for Uploaded Files.” A course-level feature option means that once the feature is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If there is interest in enabling this feature, please contact us at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.
  • Notifications and Unconfirmed Channels: Previously, when a user added a communication channel but the channel was never confirmed, the user was still receiving notifications through the unconfirmed channel. Canvas code has been updated to verify the confirmation of the channel before sending notifications.
  • Publish Button: As part of our interface redesign, Canvas Publish buttons include a flatter design with no shading. No functionality has been affected by this change.
  • Calendar New Event Window: Users can  now view all options when creating a new event in the Calendar. Previously,when a user created a new event in the Calendar, the height of the New Event window had been too short, restricting the course options at the bottom of the window. With the 2/21/2015 production release, Canvas code has been updated to correct the height of the window.

For a complete production release update, see:

February 21, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes

New Feature Screencast (2015-02-21) from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Canvas Production Release: Saturday, January 31, 2015

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

1/31/15 Production Release Highlights:

  •  Course and Term Date Validation: Instructors cannot create assignments, graded discussions, or quizzes with due dates and/or availability dates outside the start and end dates for the course or term. This feature helps instructors better manage all student coursework within the course schedule. This feature currently only applies when editing an assignment.
  •  Quiz Log Auditing: Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Students can also view the log for their own quizzes. This is a course-level feature option, which means that it must be enabled in Canvas by a System Administrator. If there is interest in this feature, please let us know.
  •  Assignment Point Value: When an existing assignment contains graded submissions and an instructor changes the points possible, Canvas displays a warning that changing the point value requires regrading the assignment. This warning message applies to any grading type with assignment submissions, including changing points from or to zero.
  • Folder Names: Folder names containing a number symbol (#) do not display a page error.

For a complete production release update, see:

January 31, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes

New Feature Screencast (2015-01-31)

New Feature Screencast (2015-01-31) from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Publishing Bug Affecting Canvas Assignments

Courseware Support uncovered a bug with the publishing feature for assignments. If an instructor publishes and then unpublishes an assignment, it cannot be re-published if a student submitted work during the period when the assignment was published. When this happens, the Publish button will appear greyed-out and will not respond if clicked on, and the publishing-status cloud will produce this message when moused over:

“Can’t unpublish if there are student submissions.”

Although the message implies the assignment is published, it is not, nor is it unpublished; rather, the assignment is stuck between being published and unpublished.

We have reported this issue to vendor, who has assured us their engineers are working to fix it. In the meantime, if you encounter this bug, we recommend this workaround—re-create the assignment, have students who submitted to the now non-functioning assignment re-submit to the new one, and delete the non-functioning assignment.

Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

New Semester Checklist: Spring 2015

Here are a few tips to help you get started with Canvas this term.

1. Create a Course Site. If you haven’t requested your site yet, now is the time. It’s easy! Use the Canvas Site Request Form.

2. Get Help.  Register to drop in to Canvas Office Hours at the Weigle Information Commons  to meet with experts who want to help you.

3. Publish Your Site. Students are added to Canvas course sites automatically, but they can’t access course content until the site is published. Just click the Publish button when you are ready!pblsh_cnvs_st

Questions? Email us at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu, or contact your local support provider.

Here’s to a great semester!

Canvas Production Release: Saturday, January 10, 2015

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn blog a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

1/10/15 Production Release Highlights:

  • Checklist Redesign: The Course Setup Checklist has been redesigned for a better user experience and displays as a full window. Each sidebar item shows the status of your course and provides quick links to each Canvas area. To close the window and return to Canvas, click the close icon in the upper right of the window, or press the Escape button on your keyboard. No functionality has been changed in this feature.
  • Test Student Scores: Test Student scores are not included in analytics assignment data. When an instructor viewed analytics for a course, test student scores were appearing as part of the data. Canvas code has been updated to remove Test Student data from all assignment statistics.
  • Students can submit assignments uploaded to their their personal files: When a student submitted an assignment from their personal files, Canvas was creating an error that said the file was not authorized for the submission. This behavior occurred when an assignment restricted the submission file type. Canvas code has been updated to accept file submissions from personal files as long as the file contains the correct file extension.
  • Quiz Log Auditing: Students and instructors can view progress logs for course quizzes. This feature is designed to help instructors investigate problems that a student may have in the quiz. Students can also view the log for their own quizzes. Quiz Log Auditing is a course-level feature option, which means that it must be enabled by a System Administrator before it can be used. If there is interest in this feature, please let us know.

For a complete production release update, see:

January 10, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes

New Feature Screencast (2015-01-10) from Instructure on Vimeo.

Coming Wednesday, January 7th: Changes to Canvas Files

On the morning of January 7th, Canvas files will have a new interface:

New Canvas Files

The New Canvas Files

Here are some of the main changes you will see:

  • Files will be fully searchable by file name, offering quick access to add a folder or upload a file.
  • The left panel will show all folders for quick navigation.
  • Clicking the name of a folder will display all the contents of the folder in the right panel.
  • For each file, users will be able to view and sort files by name, the date the file was created and modified, the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user), and the size of the file.
  • Files will also be published and unpublished within Files. Files will only be able to be published and unpublished within the Files page. If a file is placed in a Module, Modules will only display the state of the file; you will not be able to directly publish or unpublish files within the module itself.
  • When a file is selected, Files will displays the file toolbar at the top of the window:

New-Files-Drag-and-Drop

Using the toolbar, users will be able to download the file, edit the file name, share the file, delete the file, and move the file to another location. Users will also be able to edit permissions for files, including setting the state of the file (published or unpublished), scheduling availability dates for the files, or making files available to students who have the link. Users will also be able to download, rename, move, or delete a file using the Settings icon for each individual file. Users will be able to select and manage multiple files at one time.

Want to Learn More?

Please see the “Files Redesign” section in the 12/20/14 Canvas Production Release Notes.

Need Help?

Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu or click on Help > Report a Problem from inside Canvas for assistance.