Canvas Production Release: August 27, 2016

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.

8/27/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Calendar Event Edits: After an event has been created, instructors can move the event from one calendar to another. To move an event, open the event in the calendar, click the Edit button, and select the new calendar in the “Calendar” drop-down menu. In the “Edit” menu, calendar changes cannot be made for section-specific events, assignments, and Scheduler appointments.
  • “Help” Menu Placement: The “Help” icon displays as the last item in the Global Navigation menu instead of being placed at the bottom of the page. This update helps users be able to view the “Help” icon as part of the entire Global Navigation Menu and be accessed more easily. Additionally, to align with other Global Navigation features, the “Help” icon displays a navigation menu instead of a modal window. “Help” links are not affected and display according to the links set for the Canvas account.
  • Index Page Style Update for Assignments, Conferences, Modules, and Quizzes: Instead of all items being grouped in columns in the same content line, data has been reorganized for easier readability. No functionality has been affected. Individual items include a larger icon and additional whitespace. All page content is responsive within a browser window. Names are no longer truncated; long titles wrap to the next line. Item content, such as availability dates, due date, and point value, has been moved below the item title. For instructors, published assignments/quizzes/modules also include a green bar for easier recognition.
  • Sidebar Updates: In the Rich Content Editor sidebar “Links” tab, the Wiki Pages link has been renamed to Pages. This update helps align terminology throughout Canvas. Additionally, pagination in each content section has been increased from 10 to 50 content items.
  • Rubrics Button Placement: The Cancel and Create/Update Rubric buttons have been moved to the left side of the Rubrics page.
  • Download Submissions and Anonymous Grading: The Download Submissions button in the Assignments page does not include student names if “Anonymous Grading” is turned on.
  • Grading Scores Checkbox: If the scores opt-in checkbox is disabled at the account level, students cannot view the option in “Notifications” to opt-in to grading scores.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: August 27, 2016

2016-08-27 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.

LibGuides Available in Canvas!

Two smiling people sitting at table, looking down at a pile of books.

Help your students with their research by adding a LibGuide to your Canvas site!

What are LibGuides?

LibGuides are guides provided by the Penn Libraries that cover specific resources for a subject or class. You can browse guides by subject to learn more about currently available LibGuides.

How can I have a LibGuide added to my Canvas site?

Contact your liaison librarian for assistance. Please see the subject directory of  liaisons in the Penn Libraries to find your liaison librarian.

Can I have a new/custom guide created for my course?

Yes! Please contact your liaison librarian for assistance.

What are the benefits of adding a LibGuide to Canvas?

  • Direct students to librarian-vetted resources for their research.
  • If requesting a custom guide, you will work personally with a liaison librarian who will create a LibGuide designed specifically for your students.
  • You can also ask the liaison to help you develop research assignments and to teach library-research sessions in your course.
  • A LibGuide is a great way to introduce academic research conventions to students, as well as the research conventions of your field.
  • If you do not know your subject’s liaison librarian, adding a LibGuide to Canvas is a great way to meet them! Not only will this introduction help your students, but it could also lead them to help with your research, since you can ask them for research assistance, too.

What will it look like when I add a LibGuide to my Canvas site?

Please see the example of how a LibGuide looks in a Canvas site.

How do I get started?

Contact your liaison librarian, and they will be happy to help you add a LibGuide to your Canvas site!

New Semester Checklist: Fall 2016

Here are a few tips to help you get started with Canvas for the Fall 2016 term.

1. Create a Course Site. If you haven’t requested your site yet, now’s the time. It’s easy! Use these instructions to request your Canvas site.

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

Want a workshop for a small group, team, or department in the Fall 2016 term? Request one through this form.

3. Learn about What’s New in Canvas and Other Tools. If you used Canvas at Penn last year, you might recall there were a few changes that happened just after the end of the Spring 2016 term. If you need a refresher on these changes, or if you are new to using Canvas at Penn, please see:

4. Request Your Course Reserves. Planning to have the Penn Libraries’ Course Reserves Service add content to your Canvas site? Please review the Course Reserves Information.

5. 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!

Student Enrollments Outage: August 13th-14th

Stop sign

Due to scheduled maintenance by ISC, student enrollments will not be updating in Canvas on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th. Any enrollment changes made during this period will not be reflected in Canvas until Monday, August 16th when enrollments begin running again.

Canvas and all integrated tools will remain accessible for the duration of this outage and will be unaffected by this maintenance.

Please note: the Course Request Form will be available during this time, but the data may not be completely up to date until the maintenance ends.

Please email canvas@poxbox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Canvas Production Release: August 6, 2016

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.

8/6/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Final Grade Exclusion: As part of creating or editing an assignment, instructors can choose whether or not assignments count toward the final grade. This feature allows instructors to provide feedback without an assignment counting toward Gradebook calculations. The option to remove assignments from the final grade can be changed at any time on a per-assignment basis. This feature is only available in assignments; it does not apply to graded discussions or quizzes. When an assignment is removed from total grade calculations, the assignment displays a banner in the assignments page and assignment details page indicating that the assignment does not apply to the final grade. The Gradebook and the student “Grades” page also display a warning icon for assignments that do not apply to the final grade.
  • Remote Version of Rich Content Editor and Sidebar: The Rich Content Editor sidebar has been updated with backend improvements, resulting in small interface changes. The sidebar includes a visual style update, and each content section supports pagination. Currently, the Rich Content Editor sidebar update only affects Pages and the Syllabus. Additional feature area updates will be available in a future release.
  • SpeedGrader UI Updates: The primary navigation buttons have been moved to the right side of the menu bar to be more closely associated with the most frequently used features in SpeedGrader. Navigating from student to student is now located directly above the sidebar. The less frequently used navigation buttons have been moved to the left side of the menu bar: return to the Gradebook, mute the assignment, view keyboard shortcuts, view the help menu, and change Gradebook settings. Assignment details (assignment name, due date, and course name) and grading statistics are in the middle of the menu bar).
  • Comment Drafts in SpeedGrader: If an instructor creates a comment in SpeedGrader and navigates to another submission without submitting the comment, or refreshes the page, SpeedGrader auto-saves the comment and notifies the instructor it has been saved as a draft. The instructor can go back to the student’s submission and submit the comment at a later time. Comments cannot be viewed by students when in draft. Currently, draft comments cannot be edited, but they can be deleted or submitted at any time.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: August 6, 2016

2016-08-06 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.

Turnitin Maintenance: Saturday, August 20th, 10am-2pm (NEW DATE)

Stop sign
Turnitin may be intermittently unavailable on Saturday August 20th from 10am-2pm due to vendor maintenance.

Please note this maintenance was originally scheduled for August 6th but was postponed.

Instructors who use Turnitin are encouraged to modify assignment due dates either before or at least several hours after the scheduled maintenance window.

Canvas and all other integrated tools will be available and unaffected by this maintenance.

Please direct any questions to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Breaking News! 2015-2016 Pilot Assessments Published!

A man reading a newspaper while sitting on the ground.

Extra! Extra! Read All about the Academic Year 2015-2016 pilots on Canvas at Penn!

There were several Courseware pilots during Academic 2015-2016. Please read the Academic Year 2015-2016 pilot assessments to see:

  • Statistics for each pilot, including school- and program-level information
  • Feedback from pilot participants
  • Courseware Support’s recommendations for each piloted tool

Please bookmark the Canvas at Penn “Pilots” page for updates on future Courseware pilots. If you have any questions, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Thank You!

Courseware Support would like to thank all of the pilot participants for their willingness to use these tools in their courses and for the feedback they provided. We truly appreciate it! We would also like to thank all of the Local Support Providers for the support they gave pilot participants!

Canvas Production Release: June 25, 2016

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.

6/25/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Department Label Change: In the account-level “Add a New Course” menu, the “Department” label has been changed to “Subaccount”; this label update is also shown in the “Course Details” page. Although subaccounts are essentially used to separate departments in an institution, this change helps align Canvas terminology.
  • Complete/Incomplete Icon Updates: The icons for the complete and incomplete grades in the Gradebook have been updated to match similar icons throughout Canvas. This change does not affect the student Grades page as the icons were updated in a previous release.
  • Daylight Savings Time: Calendar Events for dates within Daylight Savings Time display correct course and local times.
  • Recent Activity and Content Titles: In the Dashboard “Recent Activity” view, long content titles are wrapped to the next line.
  • Long File Names: File names are truncated if they are longer than 65 characters.
  • Media File Previews: Media files can be previewed in “Files.”
  •  Letter Grade Zeros: When a zero is entered for a letter grade assignment, the letter “F” is shown along with the score of zero.
  • Student View and Unpublished Courses: Student View can be accessed in unpublished courses.
  •  Multiple Quiz Submissions: If a student has multiple quiz attempts, SpeedGrader can display all previous quiz submissions.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: June 25, 2016

2016-06-25 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.