Canvas Production Release: January, 7 2017

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 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.

1/7/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Disable Announcement Comments: In “Account Settings,” admins can set an option to disable comments on announcements by default. When an admin selects the option to disable comments on announcements, all sub-account and course announcements are shown to all users with a lock icon, meaning the announcement is closed for comments. However, instructors can choose to open comments on a per-announcement basis.
  • Course Home Page Announcements Display: If a course has a content page set as the course home page, instructors can display a certain number of recent announcements at the top of the page. This change allows instructors to show announcements as part of the course home page when users view Canvas in a web browser. To enable this feature, instructors can select the “Show Recent Announcements” checkbox in “Course Settings” and specify the number of recent announcements that should be shown (up to 15). By default, the interface displays three announcements unless the number is adjusted. Announcements display in the home page for two weeks.
  • Student Scheduler Events: When students click the Scheduler button, Scheduler displays all events available to them, even if the students are not viewing a calendar for a specific course. This change helps students be able to view all Scheduler events regardless of Calendar visibility.
  • Copy a Canvas Course Order: In the “Copy a Canvas Course” option, the course drop-down menu is sorted in order from newest to oldest terms, then alphabetically by course. This change helps admins and instructors more easily locate terms and courses for course copies. Note: The course drop-down menu does not display for users with access to more than 100 courses; users must use the search field to locate a course.
  • Course List Enrollments Default: For users who have never customized their courses list, Canvas has increased the number of courses automatically displayed in the Dashboard and Global Navigation “Courses” menu from 12 to 20. If the “Courses” menu includes more than 12 courses, the “Courses” menu includes a scrollbar.  Note: Once users customize their courses list, the Dashboard and Global Navigation “Courses” menu only display courses that have been set as a favorite. Customizing the course list means a user has clicked the All Courses link in the “Courses” menu and manually favorited at least one course in the “Courses” list.
  • Rich Content Editor Sidebar Update: The Rich Content Editor sidebar has been updated with backend improvements, resulting in small interface changes. The sidebar includes a visual style update, and each content section supports pagination. Currently, the Rich Content Editor sidebar update only affects “Pages” and the “Syllabus.” Additional feature area updates will be available in a future release.
  • Canvas Icons Update: The existing Canvas icon font has been updated with a new Instructure icon library that compiles icons as SVG files. This new library also enables consistency across all Canvas products and is already incorporated into the Canvas mobile apps.
  • External Tool Module Items: External tools retain their published state in course imports.
  • Special Character Folder Names: Files can load folders with special characters in the folder name.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: January 7, 2017

2017-01-07 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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