Canvas Production Release: December 19, 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.

12/19/15 Production Release Highlights:

  • Moderated Grading:  When creating an assignment, instructors can choose to have multiple graders evaluate a student’s work and create draft or provisional grades before the grade is marked as final for the course. This feature can also be used to create a sampling of students for assignment review to ensure grading is consistent and allows secondary grade reviews. Students cannot view any comments or grades until the grade is published. For a more detailed explanation of this feature, please see the full release notes.
  • ePub Exports: Instructors can allow students to download a course as an ePub file. This feature allows students to view course content when they are offline, such as files, pages, assignment details, discussion topics, or quiz instructions. Students cannot interact with the course in ePub material; course materials are displayed in a read-only state and any tasks such as submitting an assignment must be completed online. Any user can generate ePub files in the current user interface by opening their User Settings page and clicking the Download Course Content button. Downloaded content can be viewed in any ePub reader, such as iBooks (Mac) or Azardi (Windows and Android).Other ePub applications can be used, but iBooks and Azardi are recommended as they provide the best support for embedded media.
  • Link Validator: Instructors can verify all the links throughout a course to ensure they are valid. This option is available in the “Course Details” tab in Course Settings. The course link validator searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive links. If links are found, Canvas provides the name of the content item with a link so instructors can correct the error.
  • Anonymous Grading: When grading assignments, the SpeedGrader option to “Hide Student Names” can now be enabled for all courses in Canvas as a course-level feature option. When the “Anonymous Grading” feature option is enabled, the “Hide Student Names” check-box is enabled by default
  • Ungraded Quizzes and Student Grade Totals: When a student submits a quiz that has a manually graded component, the ungraded quiz does not factor into student’s grades view. Student grades are only updated when the manually graded question has been graded by the instructor.
  • Firefox Crocodoc Annotations:  When an instructor uses Crocodoc annotations for a supported assignment submission type (primarily Word documents and PDFs), the Firefox browser frequently removes the last annotation when updating the score field in SpeedGrader. This behavior is a Crocodoc-specific limitation within Firefox that cannot be resolved by Crocodoc at this time. To warn about the effects of Firefox and Crocodoc annotations, Canvas displays a warning banner that says “Warning: Crocodoc has limitations when used in Firefox. Comments will not always be saved.” To avoid losing any annotations, instructors may choose to use another browser when providing Crocodoc annotated feedback, or click the screen to retain comments before navigating to another student.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: December 19, 2015

2015-19-12 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Please click here to view the transcript for this video.

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