Canvas Production Release: September 17, 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.

9/17/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Student Attendance View: For courses using the Attendance tool, students can view their attendance as part of the Attendance assignment submission details page. Students can also access Attendance submission details from the Grades page. The first time students access the submission details, they are asked to authorize the app for their account. Submission details display attendance statistics in the course. In the attendance graph, students can view the total number of days they were graded on attendance; within the total, they can view the specific number of days they have been late, absent, and on time. Below the graph, students can view the date and day of the week they were marked late or absent.
  •  Custom Course & Syllabus Visibility: In Course Settings, the visibility options have been changed to allow more customization for courses and the Syllabus. The visibility setting offers three choices for a course: Course (those enrolled in the site), Institution (logged in users with the URL) or Public (anyone with the URL). Syllabus visibility can also be set to one of the same visibility options.
  •  Gradebook and SpeedGrader Excessive Points Alert: If an instructor adds an excessive amount of extra points to a student’s grade, Canvas generates an alert notifying that the student was awarded an unusually high grade. This update helps instructors be aware when excessive points are entered in the Gradebook or SpeedGrader. Excessive points can occur when the amount entered is 50% above the total possible points or when an extra digit is entered (e.g. 500 instead of 50). The alert is also generated if an assignment is given negative points. Alerts only apply to assignments with total points; they do not apply to assignments with no points possible or excused assignments.
  • Notifications UI Update: The Notifications page includes updated icons and background color contrast. Additionally, the notification descriptions have been removed from the icon tooltips and displayed directly below the notification preferences page heading. The Notifications page allows users to set preferences for any contact method specified in the User Settings page.
  • Twitter and SMS Notification Preferences: Twitter and SMS notifications can only be set to be received immediately or never. Daily and weekly digest options are no longer available. Any users with existing Twitter and SMS notifications set to daily or weekly have had their notifications set to never.
  • Moderate Quiz Student Search Filter: The Moderate Quiz page includes a search filter, which allows instructors to search for students by name. This change helps instructors more easily locate students in a course.
  • Rich Text Editor MathMan Integration: Canvas has integrated a new backend service called MathMan, which is designed to improve LaTeX images generated by the Rich Content Editor equation editor. With the MathMan integration, a LaTeX image is rendered as an SVG image instead of a GIF or PNG, which allows images to render more consistently and improves image accessibility for all users. No functionality has been affected by this change.
  • Help Menu External Links: Help Menu external links open in a new window.
  • SpeedGrader Group Submissions and Group Comments: In a group submission, when an instructor added both private comments to a specific student and comments for the entire group, the group comments were being hidden in the submission until another comment was posted. Group submission comments from an instructor now display to the entire group.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: September 17, 2016

2016-09-17 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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