Canvas Production Release: November 18, 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.

11/18/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • New Gradebook: Admins can allow the New Gradebook for their institution on a course-by-course basis. The New Gradebook is a beta feature that allows instructors to view an improved version of the Gradebook. This feature makes grading more flexible and intuitive and elevates the Gradebook user experience. When the feature option is enabled at the course level in Course Settings, New Gradebook replaces the current Gradebook functionality. However, New Gradebook can be disabled at any time without affecting Gradebook data. The New Gradebook currently offers the following enhancements: Additional views to sort and filter assignments, custom color status options, and improved keyboard accessibility on grade entry. For more information, please see the New Gradebook Release Notes. If there is interest in enabling this new feature, please contact your Local Support Provider (LSP) or email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.
  • Move-To Menu Sidebar: In Course Settings, Modules, and Groups, the Move-To Menu has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas.
  • Module Items Duplication: Assignments, graded discussions, and pages can be duplicated within a module. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every supported module item. When a module item is copied, the word “Copy” is added to the end of the item name. Duplicating a module item defaults the copied item to an unpublished status. The item’s name and other supported options are duplicated except in situations as indicated by the item type. For details about specific item duplication limitations, please see Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-07-15) (assignments and pages), and Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-10-28) (graded discussions). Items duplicated in the Modules page follow the same behavior as a new item created in a module. The item displays in the Modules page but is also visible in the item’s respective index page.
  • Front Page Removal Option: Users can remove a page as the Front Page in a course. This feature allows instructors to remove the Front Page designation and allow the Pages Course Navigation link to direct to the Pages Index Page. If a Course Home Page is set to the Front Page, removing the Front Page will automatically change the Course Home Page to Modules.
  • Rubric Criterion Duplication: Criteria can be duplicated within a rubric. This feature allows instructors and course designers to easily copy and modify existing criteria. The duplication option is displayed as part of the link to add a new criterion. When a criterion is copied, it is duplicated exactly as the original criterion, including the criterion title, ratings, and point value, and placed at the bottom of the rubric. Outcomes added to a rubric can also be duplicated in the rubric.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: November 18, 2017

2017-11-18 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

 

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RESOLVED: Retroactive Fix for RCE File-Links

Our vendor has confirmed that the issue affecting file-links added to the Rich Content Editor (RCE) between October 28th and November 3rd has been completely resolved.

The RCE file-link issue had been resolved for new content as of November 3rd (for more information, please consult the November 4th Canvas at Penn post); however, this issue still affected content added while the it was active between October 28th and November 3rd (for details about this issue, please consult the October 31st Canvas at Penn post).  A retroactive fix was applied to content still displaying this issue at approximately 6:30pm EST on November 7th.

It is recommended that you perform the following actions before attempting to access any content that this issue affected:

  1. Clear your browser’s cache (instructions for PC and Mac).
  2. Close your browser.
  3. Open a new browser window, log into Canvas at canvas.upenn.edu with your PennKey usename and password, enter the Canvas site where this issue occurred, and re-attempt accessing the previously affected content.

By performing these steps, you will have removed from your browser any data that might have been stored during the RCE-file link issue that would give the appearance of it persisting. If the issue continues after performing these actions, please edit the content by re-adding the file link or image.

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.

Students Can’t See “View Feedback” in Resized Browser

Currently, Canvas hides the View Feedback link from a student’s “Submission Details” page for an assignment when a browser has been resized down to approximately half its full-screen size.

Example of the

The “View Feedback” link on a student’s “Submission Details” page doesn’t appear when a browser has been resized to be less than half the full-screen size.

This issue will be fixed in the November 18th Canvas Release. Until this issue is fixed, students who encounter it can apply either of these solutions to resolve it:

  • Check to see if the browser is displaying in full-screen. If it is not, please make the browser full-screen to see if the View Feedback link appears.
  • If you need to keep your browser resized to less than half the full-screen size, please scroll to the bottom of the page and look for a horizontal scroll-bar near the bottom the page. If you see one, please scroll to the right of the page and then check to see if the View Feedback link appears in the upper-right corner of the page (you may have to use the vertical scroll-bar on the page to see the the upper-right corner).
    • Chrome & Firefox Users: Please note that these browsers sometimes hide the horizontal scroll-bar. If you do not see the horizontal scroll-bar, you can make it visible by placing your cursor over the lower horizontal border of the “Submission Details” page, pressing the Shift key, and then using the scroll-wheel on your mouse to move the horizontal scroll-bar.

 

An example of how to use the horizontal scroll-bar to make the

If the issue is not resolved after performing these actions, please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu for further assistance.

RESOLVED: Files Linked through RCE Don’t Download

Our vendor has confirmed that the issue affecting files embedded in the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) has been resolved. Please consult the October 31st Canvas at Penn post for more information about how this issue manifested.

Please note: This solution applies to new content added to the RCE as of Friday, November 3rd, 6:30pm EST. Any course content added via the RCE between October 28th and November 3rd, 6:30pm EST that displayed this issue may need to be edited again, and files/images may need to be re-added, in order to appear correctly. Our vendor has confirmed they are working on a separate solution that will fix any residual effects of this issue by the morning of Monday, November 6th.

It is recommended that you perform the following actions before attempting to access any content that this issue affected:

  1. Clear your browser’s cache (instructions for PC and Mac).
  2. Close your browser.
  3. Open a new browser window, log into Canvas at canvas.upenn.edu with your PennKey usename and password, enter the Canvas site where this issue occurred, and re-attempt accessing the previously affected content.

By performing these steps, you will have removed from your browser any data that might have been stored during the RCE-file link issue that would give the appearance of it persisting. If the issue continues after performing these actions, please edit the content by re-adding the file link or image.

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.

Files Linked through RCE Don’t Download

Files embedded in the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) between Saturday, October 28th and today do not download when the file-link is clicked. Rather, when a file-link in the RCE is clicked, the following occurs:

  • The link opens a file preview.
  • The file preview opens in a user’s personal files area for their user account, not in the course files area. Through testing, we have discovered instances of users in the student role in Canvas sites receiving a “File not found” message when they click on a file-link in the RCE. This “File Not Found” messages appears to result from the file not being added to students’ personal files. When users in the teacher or TA role click on the RCE file-link, they can access the file, since it is in their personal files area as a result of their having added it to the site.
  • When a teacher or TA closes the file preview, they are placed in their personal files area, not in the course files area of the site.

Our vendor has identified this issue as resulting from the Saturday, October 28th Production Release. The issue stems from the HTML associated with RCE file-links not being formatted correctly. Our vendor’s engineers are working on a solution for this issue. Updates on this issue will be posted to the Canvas at Penn site and Twitter.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may cause. Thank you for waiting while our vendor works on this issue. Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions or need assistance.

Canvas Production Release: October 28, 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.

10/28/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Accessibility Checker: The Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker assists instructors and course designers to maintain accessibility requirements in Canvas content. The Accessibility Checker is located in the Rich Content Editor menu bar. Depending on the size of the browser window, users may have to scroll the menu bar horizontally to view the “Accessibility Checker” icon.The Accessibility Checker verifies attributes within the editor and notifies the content creator of common accessibility errors. The Accessibility Checker provides a user-friendly explanation about any errors and provides the fields or menus needed to fix the error. The explanation also provides a link to additional resources to educate content creators about the accessibility guideline. The content creator can easily correct the error and apply the fix to the editor. For a list of the accessibility rules the tool checks, please see the full release notes.
  • Move-To Menu Sidebars in Assignments and Discussions: The “Move-To” Menu within the “Assignments” and “Discussions” pages has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other “Move-To Menus” in Canvas. The selected menu change is applied immediately.
  • Discussion Duplication: Discussions can be duplicated in the “Discussions” page or the “Assignments” page. The duplication option is located in the “Settings” menu for every available discussion. When a discussion is copied, the word “Copy” is added to the end of the discussion name. Duplicating a discussion defaults the copied discussion to an unpublished status. All items in the discussion are duplicated, including the name, description, and options. The person who copied the discussion is shown as the author of the discussion and is immediately subscribed to the discussion, and the date the discussion was copied displays as the last posted date. Please see the full release notes for duplication exceptions in graded discussions.
  • DocViewer Comment Expand and Collapse Link: When an annotated comment includes multiple content lines, the content box displays an ellipses notifying the user of additional content. This change helps minimize comments in a document and improve the number of comments that can be displayed within a page. Users can click the ellipses to expand the comment. If a comment includes multiple replies, all replies are also expanded.
  • Annotation Delete Icon Visibility: When a user creates an annotation, the “Delete” icon only displays as part of the initial placement. Once a user clicks away from the annotation, the “Delete” icon no longer displays in the page. The “Delete” icon only displays again if the user directly clicks the annotation. This change hides the “Delete” icon so it does not obscure annotation content.
  • Gradebook History Filters: The “Gradebook History” page has been redesigned for improved performance and includes display filters for a specific student, grader, assignment, and start and end date. Additionally, this feature is redesigned based on existing data in Canvas, so displayed content is still retroactive. This change also removes the previous limit of 2,000 grade changes and allows instructors to view all grade changes in the course. For individual filters, results are generated dynamically. Users will need to know the name of the student, grader, and/or assignment to type in the search filter. Matching results can be selected from the results list, and multiple filters can be used at the same time. However, filters are not applied without clicking the Filter button.
  • Rubric Criterion Icon Visibility: In the “Create Rubric” or “Edit Rubric” view, criteria visibly display all “Add,” “Edit,” and “Delete” icons. Additionally, the “Delete” criterion column has been removed from the rubric table; the delete icon for each criterion is located above the criterion description.
  • Ratings Rubric Descriptions: When a user splits a rating, the rubric displays an “Edit Rating” window that includes the rating score, rating title, and rating description. Rating descriptions are not required, though any content in the description also displays as part of the rating in the rubric. Rating titles and descriptions are never truncated, though content should generally be short and concise. Rubric description ratings display in all areas where rubrics can be viewed including the course and account rubrics pages, associated assignments, and the student “Grades” page. In SpeedGrader, descriptions are included when a rubric is used for grading, but they are not included in the rubric summary after grading is complete.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: October 28, 2017

2017-10-28 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

 

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Canvas Production Release: October 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.

10/7/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Student Late and Missing Status Labels: The “Submission Details” page and student “Grades” page do not display labels for missing or late submissions. This change reverts the labels for students introduced in the Canvas Production Release Notes on August 5, 2017 and helps minimize confusion for students when their instructors create online assignments that can be submitted online or on paper in class. Canvas always marks online assignments as missing when no submission is made. For instructors, SpeedGrader has not been affected and continues to display missing and late labels for online assignments. If an assignment has not been submitted by the due date, the assignment is identified as missing. If the assignment is submitted after the due date, the assignment is identified as late.
  • SpeedGrader Performance Update: SpeedGrader has been optimized for performance in large courses and includes a JavaScript improvement for loading students in the “Student” menu. Although all values for an assignment are loaded and saved in the browser to reduce load time, the browser JavaScript inefficiently managed values when switching students. Instead of updating for all students, the student menu is only updated where a student’s status could change and only updates affected students accordingly.
  • Icon Updates: The “Publish” and “Unpublish” icons in Canvas have been updated in the Instructure icon library. Based on additional user testing of icons, weights, and styles, these icon changes enhance visibility and status clarity.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: October 7, 2017

2017-10-07 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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