Canvas Production Release: December 10, 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.

12/10/16 Production Release Highlights:

  • Group Assignments by Section: When instructors create a group set from the “People” page, the group structure supports randomly assigning students to a group by section. This feature allows instructors to specifically limit groups to users within a specific section. Section assignments also support instructors in large or cross-listed courses. When this option is selected, students are only grouped together with students from their own section. The section designation is available as part of a new group set page and selecting the option to split students into a specific number of groups. This feature is currently not available when creating a new group set in an assignment.
  • Course Auto-Favorites: For users who have customized their “Courses” list, Canvas automatically adds all new enrollments as a favorite. This change helps Canvas users locate new courses in the Dashboard and the Global Navigation Courses menu. Customizing a “Course lists” means a user has clicked the All Courses link in the “Courses” menu and manually favorited at least one course in the “Courses” list. Favorite courses in the “Courses” menu and the Dashboard are still ordered alphabetically by course role and course name. There is no limit for favorited courses.
  • Sort Order Menu for Administrators: The course-filtering sidebar in the account-level Courses page includes a sort menu. This change helps admins sort courses more easily according to their preference. Courses can be sorted in four ways:
    • A–Z (by course name, ascending)
    • Z–A (by course name, descending)
    • Oldest to newest (by course creation date, ascending)
    • Newest to oldest (by course creation date, descending)
  • Term List Order Update for Administrators: The “Terms” drop-down list groups terms into active and past terms. Terms within each group are ordered alphabetically This change helps admins locate a specific term when an account includes multiple terms. By default, courses are shown from all terms.
  • File Name Confirmation Check Mark: When a user creates a folder or renames a file, the text field includes a check mark to save the folder or file name. Previously files and folder names were only saved by clicking the Enter key on the user’s keyboard. This change improves accessibility and clarifies the process for creating a new folder name or renaming a file.
  • Minimize Preview Link Placement: When an instructor adds a file to a Rich Content Editor window and selects the option to auto-open the link’s inline preview, the content displays a Minimize Preview link. This link has been moved above the preview window. This change improves accessibility and also allows users to minimize the preview without having to scroll past the document window.
  • Global Font Update: The default font in Canvas has been updated from Helvetica to a modern typeface, Lato. This change helps improve typography standards in Canvas and across all Instructure products. Lato is an open-source font that supports over 100 Latin-based languages and over 50 Cyrillic-based languages (including Greek and IPA phonetics). Additionally, Lato improves legibility for all font sizes and provides better visual hierarchy in Canvas typography. Lato uses numeric weight sizing, which will provide additional font functionality in future releases, and supports four weights: Lato Light, Lato, Lato Bold, Lato Italicized, and Lato Italicized.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: December 10, 2016

2016-12-10 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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