Canvas Production Release: July 18, 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.

7/18/15 Production Release Highlights:

  • Differentiated Assignments: Differentiated Assignments will no longer be a Feature option in Canvas and will be enabled for all Canvas users as a standard feature. For more information, please click here.
  • Differentiated Assignment Section and Student List: When assigning an assignment, discussion, or quiz to a section or student, Canvas displays a maximum of five sections and seven students. If a course includes more sections or students than the display limit, Canvas will display a prompt notifying the user to type and search for the section or student. Additionally, instructors can search for students by either first or last name.
  • Recurring Calendar Events: When creating a new calendar event, users can choose to create multiple copies of the event every day, week, or month.
  • Anonymous Peer Review & Student Names: The anonymity option now hides student names to avoid biased peer reviews. The submitting student’s name is hidden from the reviewer and any linked observers on the reviewer’s dashboard and the assignment submission page. In peer review notifications, student names are not yet hidden. This feature will be added in a future release. Instructors can always view the name of the student reviewer in SpeedGrader, Crocodoc comments, and the student submission page.
  • Assignment Details and Locked Assignments: Students are no longer restricted from viewing assignment details in locked assignments. Details can still be seen after an assignment is locked by a due date or an Until date.
  • Assignment Submissions Button: The student Submit Assignment link has been moved out of the sidebar and placed more prominently as a button by the assignment details.The Re-submit Assignment link has also been repurposed as a button.
  • Incomplete Quiz Score Icon: When students complete a quiz that includes a manually graded question, the Grades page displays a Quiz icon instead of the current score, indicating that the quiz score is not yet complete. When students hover over the icon, students can view a message indicating that grading is in progress.
  • Excused Assignment Notifications: Excused assignments are part of the Grading notification (under Course Activities). If users enable this notification, they will receive a notification when an assignment has been excused.
  • Autosave SpeedGrader Comments:  If an instructor adds comments to a student submission and then navigates away from the page, Canvas will generate a message warning that there are unsaved comments on the page. This feature only applies to leaving the SpeedGrader page; it does not apply to the comment field for each student submission. If an instructor creates a comment for a student but does not submit it before viewing another student submission, SpeedGrader retains the comment in the comment field for the second student—and any student—until the Submit Comment button is clicked and the comment is officially submitted as part of a student’s submission.
  • Restricted Files and Unpublished Folders in Concluded Courses: Instructors can view restricted files and unpublished folders in courses that have concluded.
  • Quiz Previews and Until Dates: The quiz preview page does not time out for instructors if the quiz includes an Until date.

Other Canvas Changes:

On August 8, 2015, all existing Etherpad collaborations that are hosted by Canvas will be permanently deleted.

For a complete production release update, please see:

July 18, 2015 Canvas Production Release Notes

2015-07-18 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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