RESOLVED: Power Outage Affecting Courseware Sites (Course Request Form, Ticketing System, etc.)

Power has been restored to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, so the several library webpages that were inaccessible (Course Request Form, Canvas Guides, the ticketing system for canvas@pobox.upenn.edu, etc.) are back online.

It is recommended that you perform the following actions before attempting to access sites that the outage affected:

  1. Clear your browser’s cache (instructions for PC and Mac).
  2. Close your browser.
  3. Open a new browser window and attempt to access the site that the outage affected (for example: the Course Request Form).

By performing these steps, you will have removed from your browser any data that might have been stored during the outage that would give the appearance of the outage persisting.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue caused. If you have any questions, or if the issue still seems to affect you despite performing the recommended actions, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu, and we will be happy to help. Thank you.

Power Outage Affecting Course Request Form, Ticketing System, & Other Penn Libraries Webpages

Due to a power outage at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, several library webpages are inaccessible, including our Canvas guides,  the Course Request Form, and Footprints, the ticketing system we use for canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Canvas is accessible and unaffected by this issue.

We have been told this outage may last for several hours and will share any updates as we receive them through the Canvas at Penn website and Twitter.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may cause and will be happy to assist with emails sent to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu once the outage ends.

 

Canvas Production Release: June 24, 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.

6/24/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Blueprint Courses: Blueprint Courses makes it easy for administrators or designers to deploy, update, and maintain course design templates or components across any number of courses or instructors. For an individual institution, Blueprint Courses allows Canvas admins to create content and learning objects, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing. Any items that are not locked can be managed individually by a course instructor. Content that can be managed by an instructor is not overwritten when the Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected. For more information about Blueprint Courses, please see the Canvas Blueprint Courses Release Notes.
    • Please note that this feature can only be enabled at the root level for our Canvas environment and would apply to all courses. We do not plan to enable this feature as part of the 6/24 release.
  • Canvas DocViewer: DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences. This feature replaces the current Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance. For more information about Canvas DocViewer, please see the Canvas DocViewer Release Notes. For detailed instructions on how to use the Canvas DocViewer, please see Canvas DocViewer on Canvas at Penn.
    • Please note that this feature will go live for UPenn between 10am and 2pm on Tuesday June 20th, ahead of this weekend’s release.
  • Assignment Groups and Total Points: In the “Student Grades” page, the “Out of” column displays assignment group point values in courses where students are allowed to view total grades. If a student is not allowed to view total grades, the assignment group displays the total percentage for the assignment group only. Total grades can be restricted by an instructor in Course Settings by hiding the totals in the student grades summary. For courses involved in Multiple Grading Periods, admins can choose to not display totals when students view the “All Grading Periods” option.
  • Self-Sent Messages: Users can now send messages to themselves without any other recipients.
  • New Instructor Tutorials (coming July 15th; mentioned in the June 24th Production Release Notes): On July 15th, the New Instructor Tutorials feature will be enabled for all Canvas institutions. This feature is comprised of the Modules Home Page and New User Tutorial feature options and will apply to all new Canvas courses. Learn more about New Instructor Tutorials in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: June 24, 2017

2017-06-24 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the script for this video.

NEW! Canvas DocViewer Coming June 20th

What is DocViewer?

An example of DocViewer in SpeedGrader.

The Canvas DocViewer automatically converts common documents types into web-viewable and interactive learning experiences.  On Tuesday, June 20th, between 10am and 2pm, this feature will replace the Box previewer and Crocodoc annotation tools in Canvas and provides improved performance.

The following post covers basic information about DocViewer. For comprehensive documentation, please consult Canvas DocViewer.

DocViewer Features

Annotations

While the submission details page and SpeedGrader both allow users to create general comments about a submission, annotations allow users to create and highlight specific comments within a submission.

Both assignment graders and students can add annotations to a supported assignment file; however, annotations are not supported in anonymous peer reviews.

Annotation Types & Comments

The DocViewer toolbar displays the number of pages for a document, zoom in and out of the file, and use one of six annotation types for commenting: Point, Highlight, Freetext, Strikeout, Free Draw, and Area Annotation types.

Point Annotation

The Point Annotation option appears as a black balloon-shaped icon with a white background.

After you select the Point Annotation option, you can click anywhere on the document preview to add a point. To make a comment, type into the comment bubble and press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard.

An example of a Point Annotation comment that shows the blue point indicating the content being commented upon and the comment associated with the point in the right margin.

To delete a Point Annotation, click on the trashcan icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment and then on the Reply button for the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation.

Highlight Annotation

The Highlight Annotation icon appears as a black highlighter icon with a white background when selected.

After you select the Highlight Annotation option, you can click to the left of the first word or piece of content you want to highlight and then drag your cursor until you have included all content for the comment (highlighted content appears in yellow).

An example of a Highlight Annotation.

To delete a Highlight Annotation, click on the highlighted content and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?” Alternatively, you can click on the highlighted content and  then click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard, which will produce the window with the OK button.

Please note that the Highlight Annotation option does not require a comment, but you can leave a comment by clicking on the content to which the Highlight Annotation has been applied and then clicking on the circular button appears in the right margin that has a black document icon with a white background. To make a comment, click on this circular button. Also, please note that the option to have a Highlight Annotation with a comment replaces the functionality that was offered by the “Text Comment” option in Crocodoc.

An example of a Highlight Annotation after content has been selected in a document for commenting and the circular button appears in the right margin.

After you click on the circular button,  a dotted line appears leading from the highlighted content to the right margin where a comment bubble appears with the message “Leave a Comment” in its center. To make a comment, type into the comment bubble and press Enter or Return.

A Highlight Annotation comment appears in the right margin of DocViewer.

To delete a Highlight Annotation with a comment, click on the trashcan icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment and then on the Reply button for the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation.

Freetext Annotation

The Freetext Annotation icon appears as a black upper-case

After you select the Freetext Annotation option, you can click anywhere on the document previewer where you would like to add a free text comment. After you click on the preview, a blue-trimmed square appears where you clicked, and your name appears beneath the square.

After you click on a document preview when the Freetext Annotation has been selected, a blue-trimmed square appears, and your name appears beneath it.

To add a free text comment, begin typing in the blue-trimmed square. When you have finished typing, press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard to save the comment.

An example of a saved free text comment.

To delete a free text comment, click on the perimeter of the comment so that the trim turns blue, click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard, and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

Strikeout Annotation

The Strikeout Annotation option appears as a black upper-case

After you select the Strikeout Annotation option, you can click to the left of the first word or piece of content you want to strikeout and then drag your cursor until you have included all content you want to include. As you drag your cursor, a red line appears through the content you are striking out.

An example of the Strikeout Annotation option being applied to text.

To delete a Strikeout Annotation, click on the content to which the Strikeout Annotation has been applied, click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard, and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

Please note that the Strikeout Annotation option does not require a comment, but you can leave a comment by clicking on the content to which the Strikeout Annotation has been applied and then clicking on the circular button appears in the right margin that has a black document icon with a white background. To make a comment, click on this circular button.

An example of a comment being applied to text to which the Strikeout Annotation option has also been applied.

After you click on the circular button,  a dotted line appears leading from the content to the right margin where a comment bubble appears with the message “Leave a Comment” in its center. To make a comment, type into the comment bubble and press Enter or Return.

An example of a comment for a saved Strikeout Annotation. 

To delete a Strikeout Annotation with a comment, click on the trashcan icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment and then on the Reply button for the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation.

Free Draw Annotation

The Free Draw annotation icon appears as a black paintbrush with a white background when selected.

After you select the Free Draw Annotation option, you can click anywhere on the document preview where you want to draw and then draw your cursor to begin drawing. When finished, you can unclick to save the drawing.

An example of a saved Free Draw Annotation.

To delete a Free Draw Annotation, click on the perimeter of the drawing so that the trim turns blue, click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard, and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

Please note that the Free Draw Annotation option does not require a comment, but you can leave a comment by clicking on the content to which the Free Draw Annotation has been applied and the clicking on the circular button appears in the right margin that has a black document icon with a white background. To make a comment, click on this circular button.

An example of a comment being applied to a Free Draw Annotation.

After you click on the circular button,  a dotted line appears leading from the content to the right margin where a comment bubble appears with the message “Leave a Comment” in its center. To make a comment, type into the comment bubble and press Enter or Return.

An example of a saved comment that has been applied to a Free Draw Annotation.

To delete a Free Draw Annotation with a comment, click on the trashcan icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?”

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment and then on the Reply button for the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation.

Area Annotation

The Area Annotation icon appears as a black-trimmed square with points on each corner over a white background when selected.

After you select the Area Annotation option, you can click anywhere on the document preview where you want to add the a comment. Your cursor will turn into a black cross-shape that you can use to define the area upon which you will comment, and you can drag your cursor to increase or decrease the size of the defined area. When you have finished defining the area, unclick to save the outline of the area. After you unclick, a dotted line appears leading from the point to the right margin where a comment bubble appears with the message “Leave a Comment” in its center. To make a comment, type into the comment bubble and press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard.

An example of a saved comment for an Area Annotation.

To delete an Area Annotation, click on the trashcan icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the comment and then click on OK in the window that appears near the top of the screen that displays this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?” Alternatively, you can click on defined area for the Area Annotation on the preview and then click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard, which will produce the window with the OK button.

All users can reply to any comments in the document by clicking the comment and then on the Reply button for the comment. However, comments and annotations can only be deleted by the user who created the comment or annotation.

Other Previewing Features

Zoom

The Zoom function for DocViewer appears with a plus on to the right for increasing the size of the preview and a minus on the left for decreasing the size of the preview.

The Zoom function for DocViewer appears with a plus on to the right for increasing the size of the preview and a minus on the left for decreasing the size of the preview. To increase or decrease the size of the preview, click on the plus or minus, respectively.

Page Navigation

The DocViewer Page Navigation feature displays the number of the current page being previewed for the document (number is black with a white background) and the total number of pages for the document (appears in white with a black background).

The DocViewer Page Navigation feature displays the number of the current page being previewed for the document (number is black with a white background) and the total number of pages for the document (appears in white with a black background). The page number changes as you scroll through the document. To navigate to a specific page in the document, type the page number in the box next to “Page” in the DocViewer menu.

Supported File Types

Supported Document Types

  • Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX, DOCM, DOT, DOTX, DOTM)
  • Microsoft Excel (XLS, XLSX, XLSM, XLSB, XLS2003)—DocViewer only converts the defined print area of the spreadsheet
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX)
  • Microsoft Project (MPP)
  • Portable Document File (PDF, XPS)
  • Data (VTX, TXT, CSV)
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • OpenOffice (ODT, OTT, ODS)
  • Markup Language (HTM, HTML, MHT)
  • Mail Message (MSG, EML, EMLX)
  • eBook (EPUB)

Supported Image Types

  • JPG, JPEG
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • TIF, TIFF
  • AutoCAD (DWG, DXF)
  • Visio (VDX, VDW, VSD, VSDX, VSS, VST, VSX)

Coming Soon

The following features will not be available with the June 20th release of DocViewer, but they will be coming soon:

  • Persistent Tool Selection: Currently, tool selection is not persistent, which means you will need to re-click a tool option when you intend to make consecutive annotations with the same tool (for example: after using the Highlight Annotation tool once, you will need to click on this tool again if you want to use it for your next annotation).
  • Downloadable Annotated PDFs: DocViewer does not yet offer the option to download annotated PDFs of students’ submissions.
  • Colors for Free Text Comments: There is not an option to change the color of free text comments currently.

Please follow Canvas at Penn to receive updates when these features are added to DocViewer.

Additional Information

Please note the following about DocViewer:

  • No Session Limitations in SpeedGrader: DocViewer does not include any session limitations in SpeedGrader. An assignment does not have to be annotated within a specific time frame and will not display a timeout warning message.
  • Deleting Highlight, Free Draw, and Strikeout Annotations: The process for deleting Highlight, Free Draw, and Strikeout Annotations in DocViewer differs from how these types of annotations were deleted in Crocodoc. To delete a Highlight, Free Draw, or Strikeout Annotation, please click on the annotation and then click on the Backspace (PC) or Delete (Mac) key on your keyboard. A window will appear near the top-center of the DocViewer display with this message: “Are you sure you want to delete this annotation?” Click OK to delete the annotation or Cancel to cancel the deletion. For more information, please see the Highlight Annotation, Free Draw Annotation, and Strikeout Annotation sections in this post.
  • Highlight Annotations with Comments Replaces the “Text Comment” Option:  The option to have a Highlight Annotation with a comment replaces the functionality that was offered by the “Text Comment” option in Crocodoc.  For more information, please see the Highlight Annotation section in this post.
  • Names with Freetext Annotations: The Freetext Annotation tool includes the name of the person who entered the annotation.
  • Not Supported: .pages: DocViewer does not support .pages. The “Supported File Types” list will be updated if .pages are supported in the future.
  • n>1,000 Class Size: The issue affecting SpeedGrader submissions of classes larger than 1,000 students will not be resolved by the switch from Crocodoc to DocViewer, as this issue stems from SpeedGrader and not the document previewer associated with it.  

How to Find Help with DocViewer

For more information, please consult the Canvas DocViewer Release Notes.

If you have any questions or need help with DocViewer, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Scheduled Maintenance Affecting Student Enrollments in Canvas: June 18th, 7am-12pm EST

Stop sign

Due to the planned maintenance for the Administrative Mainframe on June 18th,  Canvas will encounter an interruption in student enrollments. On Sunday June 18th, from approximately 7am until 12pm EST, student enrollments will not be running in Canvas. Once this maintenance is completed, student enrollments will begin running again in Canvas.

The Course Request Form should be available during this outage, but the information may not be 100% up to date.

Canvas will remain accessible during this time and will not be affected by this outage.

We apologize for any inconvenience this interruption in student enrollments may cause. Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Panopto Downtime: Saturday, 6/10, 8pm-12am EST

stop sign with a hand-symbol instead of an

Panopto will be unavailable on Saturday, June 10th from 8pm to 12am EST due to scheduled maintenance by the vendor. During this time, media content in Panopto and the “Class Recordings” area of Canvas sites will be unavailable.

Canvas and all other integrated tools will be available and unaffected by this maintenance.Please direct any questions or concerns to canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Canvas Production Release: June 3, 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.

6/3/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Course Home Page Recent Announcements Display: In “Course Settings,” the “Show recent announcements” option displays for any Course Home Page. Previously, recent announcements only displayed when the Course Home Page was set to the Front Page.
  • Embedded Content Preview: When content is embedded through the HTML editor, switching back to the Rich Content Editor displays a preview of the iFrame content. Previously, embedded content always displayed as a gray box, and content could only be viewed once the page was saved. This change does not apply to media added through the “Link to URL” icon in the Rich Content Editor Menu.
  • Full Screen YouTube Link: In Pages, YouTube URLs linked in the Rich Content Editor support full-screen viewing. When users click the video thumbnail image, Canvas expands the video window to 425×344 pixels. To display the video in full screen, users can select the “Full Screen” option in the YouTube menu. This change allows users to view YouTube videos without having to open the video directly in YouTube.
  • Table Context Menu: When a table is added and selected in the Rich Content Editor, the table displays a context menu. This change allows for quicker table navigation and design access.
  • Submission Status: The “Submission Details” page for an assignment only shows a submitted status if a submission has been received.
  • New Instructor Tutorials (coming July 15th; mentioned in the June 3rd Production Release Notes): On July 15th, the New Instructor Tutorials feature will be enabled for all Canvas institutions. This feature is comprised of the Modules Home Page and New User Tutorial feature options and will apply to all new Canvas courses. Learn more about New Instructor Tutorials in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22).

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: June 3, 2017

2017-06-03 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

View the script for this video.

Data Center Maintenance Affecting Student Enrollments in Canvas: June 4th, 12-8am

Stop sign

Due to the planned Data Center maintenance over the weekend, Canvas will encounter an interruption in student enrollments. On Sunday, June 4th, from approximately 12am until 8am, student enrollments will not be running in Canvas. Once this maintenance is completed, student enrollments will begin running again in Canvas.

The Course Request Form should be available during this outage, but the information may not be 100% up to date.

Canvas will remain accessible during this time and will not be affected by this outage.

We apologize for any inconvenience this interruption in student enrollments may cause. Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

NEW! Student Context Cards

What are Student Context Cards?

Student Context Cards provide insights and context about a student and are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress in a course. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser.

What Do Student Context Cards Show?

Example of a student context card appearing from the "People" section of a Canvas site.

  • Profile picture: View the student’s profile picture. A picture may not be available if the student has not added a profile picture or if your institution does not allow profile pictures. You can also click the picture to access the student’s user details page.
    Student name: Click to access the student’s user profile page.

 If you have the appropriate permissions, you may be able to access additional information including the student’s access report, interactions report, outcomes report, and registered web services.
  • Course name and section: View the name of the course and section. The section name is only included for courses with multiple sections.
  • Last login: View the student’s last Canvas login. This field does not display if the student has never logged in. If the login was on the current date, the card only displays the time. If the login was within the current week, the card displays the day of the week. Any later logins display the full date.
  • Grades button: Click to access the student’s grades page.
  • Analytics button: Click to access the student’s analytics page. This button is only available to users with permission to view course analytics.
  • Mail icon: Click to send a message directly to the student from the context card.

More Information

Please see: How do I view a context card for a student in a course?

If you have any questions, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.