Canvas Production Release: April 4, 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.

4/4/15 Production Release Highlights:

  • On April 4, 2015, Facebook will no longer be supported as a Canvas integration.
  • Student Access Settings: Student access can be managed at the account, sub-account, or course level. We are not opting to make any account level changes at this time, but schools may opt to make changes to their sub-accounts or instructors may enable this feature on their specific courses to prevent students from viewing a course before the start and/or after the end date. Enabling this setting removes the course from the users’ Courses menu and if they attempt to access the course via direct URL they see an unauthorized message. This allows instructors to make their entire Canvas sites completely inaccessible to students after the course ends.
  • Rich Content Editor Interface Update: The Rich Content Editor has been updated with the most recent interface design and ultimately update provides more backend functionality to support future upgrades to the Rich Content Editor. The main feature of this upgrade includes better support for creating and deleting tables. Users can easily add, merge, and split table cells without having to switch to the HTML Editor. Rows can be added, copied, and pasted anywhere in the table. The editor also supports directional text so users can insert content right to left.
  • Analytics-Student Submissions: For student analytics, the Assignments analytics section has been renamed Submissions. Additionally, no icons are displayed for assignments that do not include a submission (i.e. not graded, on paper) or for assignments that do not apply to a student because of differentiated assignments. These changes were made because assignments that did not require a submission were always being shown as missing, and Canvas could not calculate whether or not a non-submission assignment was submitted on time.
  • Discussion Creation Dates: Discussion creation dates have been modified as an instructor permission, meaning the student and observer views do not display the creation date for a discussion. This change helps instructors copy course content without having to modify any Discussions content; only instructors can view the creation date for a discussion.
  • Instructors and Concluded Enrollments: When a course is concluded, instructors can still view all Course Navigation links. When a course was concluded by Term Dates, instructors could only view navigation items and files/folders available to students. If the instructor hid any Course Navigation links from students, those links were also not able to be viewed after their Term access ended unless the dates were overridden by course dates. This behavior occurred because the course was not verifying enrollment types for instructors. Canvas code has been updated to confirm enrollments within the course and not hide Course Navigation tabs for instructors.

And in future Canvas releases . . .

On June 6, 2015, Differentiated Assignments (by section) will no longer be a Feature Option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. For more information on this feature please see:

How do I create an assignment for a specific section?

For a complete production release update, please see:

April 4, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes

2015-04-04 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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