Canvas - Release Notes Meetings
The University of Wisconsin-System instance of Canvas hosts a monthly Canvas Release Notes meeting where we review upcoming changes to the Canvas application. We will post a brief overview of the release features covered with links to the official Canvas Release notes and links to the recording of the meeting.
Canvas Release Notes by Instructure: https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/releases/release-notes-canvas
July 17, 2021 Release
New Features available in Canvas after 07/17/2021
- External Tools (LTI) – SCORM Launch Links Enforcement: Signed launch links will be integrated into SCORM content. This change ensures that all SCORM content will be encrypted, meaning that only users enrolled in the course where the SCORM content was uploaded will be given access. Impacted campuses have already been reached out to.
- Notifications – SMS Notifications End of Life: SMS Notifications for Announcements and Grading have been removed from Canvas. Additionally, the SMS column has been removed from the Notifications page. This should have no impact, as SMS notifications had previously been disabled for our instance.
- Rich Content Editor – Classic Rich Content Editor End of Life: The Classic Rich Content Editor is no longer supported in Canvas. Any institution that had turned off the New RCE feature option must use the New Rich Content Editor, which was originally turned on for all institutions in the 2021-01-16 Canvas release. This should have no impact, as the new Rich Content Editor has already been enabled at each campus.
- Browser - TLS Protocols 1.0 and 1.1 Legacy Endpoints End of Life: TLS Protocols 1.0 and 1.1 Legacy Endpoints are no longer supported in Canvas. Institutions must update to TLS 1.2. This change ensures all customers are using the highest encryption protocols to protect user interactions with Canvas. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 protocols support usage of ciphers that do not meet modern security standards. Users who rely on browsers to interact with Canvas and have updated their TLS protocols to direct to legacy endpoints must update their TLS protocol to 1.2. Background regarding these changes can be found in Deprecating TLS 1.0 & 1.1.
- Canvas - Maintenance: Instructure has moved their intermittent maintenance to twice monthly scheduled maintenance windows. Moving forward, maintenance will be performed on the first and third Thursdays of each month, beginning at 1:00am, and running no later than 3:00am. Canvas may be unavailable to users during these windows. UW-System has been reassured that these maintenance windows will not prevent SIS integration, and at worst, SIS data update will kick off as soon as the maintenance window closes. All users are able to view maintenance window times through Account then Settings. For additional information, please refer to the Canvas Community discussion.
June 19, 2021 Release
New Features available in Canvas after 06/19/2021
- Global Navigation Release Notes Interface: In the global navigation Help menu, users will see links to release notes for new Canvas features which have been deployed. Only default features available to all users in a given role (ex: Students, Teachers, Admins, etc.) are included in these notifications.
- New Quizzes - Item Bank Management: Item banks can now be shared with the entire account or individual users. When instructors share an item bank, the item bank supports a new View permission, which can be given to a user and provides access to the bank as read only. The user who shares an item bank can continue to specify editing access for other users.
- Permissions - Manage Course Granularity: The Courses - add/edit/delete permission has been grouped into five separate permissions. The five permissions are manage/update, add, conclude, delete, and publish.
- SpeedGrader - Comment Library: Comments can be added and saved for reuse within SpeedGrader, allowing individual users to save frequently used comments to be reused across assignments in multiple courses.
May 20, 2021 Release
New Features available in Canvas after 05/15/2021
- Assignments - Student Annotated Submissions: Instructors can use annotated document assignment type to upload a document for students to annotate and submit directly in Canvas. This assignment type is included under the online assignment types so that instructors can select additional submission options for students unable to annotate onscreen.
- Courses - Course Templates: A course ID can be designated as a course template for all new courses created in an account.
- New Quizzes - Save and Build Button Workflow: The New Quiz creation page includes both a Save and a Build button. When an instructor creates and enters details for a quiz, the page displays both a Save and a Build button. Previously the page only included the Save button, which counterintuitively launched in the New Quiz editor.
- User Settings - Auto-Show Closed Captioning: User can enable captions to show by default in all Canvas Videos. Users can access the User Settings page to enable the Auto-Show Closed Caption feature. This functionality is supported for captions added to recorded Canvas videos or videos uploaded directly into a course, but not third party tools such as Kaltura.
- User Maintenance Window: To better manage required maintenance across all customer instances, regular maintenance windows will be implemented for each region.
March 20, 2021 Release
New Features available in Canvas after 03/20/2021
- Gradebook – View Ungraded as Zero: The February update regarding Gradebook View received an update allowing individual institutions to adjust their setting locally.
- Assignments – Webcam Submissions: File upload assignments that allow for the upload of a .png file will allow students to use their webcam to take a photo.
- Course Settings – Course Availability Date Enhancements: When an instructor views the Participation section in the Course Settings page, the Participation section displays a menu that defaults to Term dates for new courses. This option sets student course participation to the start and end dates defined for the term.
- Modules - New Quiz Support: When an instructor adds an item to a module and selects a quiz, the Create Quiz option displays both the New Quizzes and Classic Quizzes quiz engines. New Quizzes is the default, but instructors can switch to Classic Quizzes and create a name for the quiz.
- Outcomes – Learning Mastery Gradebook Student Filters: The Learning Mastery Gradebook includes filters for inactive and concluded enrollments. This change allows instructors to view outcomes data in the Learning Mastery Gradebook for students who no longer have an active enrollment in their course.
- Rich Content Editor – File Preview Enhancements: Files linked in the Rich Content Editor can be previewed in an overlay or inline. This change allows users to control the display of the file preview. Previously all file previews opened in a new browser tab.
- SpeedGrader – Submission Reassignments: In SpeedGrader, instructors can reassign an assignment to an individual student and ask them to redo their submission, as long as the student has submissions remaining on the assignment.
- Permissions - Manage Course Files Granularity: Course file management for add/edit/delete permissions has been grouped to allow for additional granularity in roles.
- Permissions - User Granularity: Permissions for add/remove users has been grouped to allow for additional granularity in roles.
February 20, 2021 Release
- Courses - MathJax Equation Enhancements & Text Field LaTeX Characters: LaTeX equations can be entered in any Canvas text field, and MathJax is loaded if Canvas detects an equation image added by delimited LaTeX characters
- The Gradebook View menu includes the View Ungraded as 0 option, which is a visual change only and does not affect any grades. Administrators and Instructional Designers from across UW-System are in the process of reviewing this tool to determine if it will be enabled for our instance. *Under Review*
- The Rich Content Editor includes a pretty HTML editor in addition to the raw HTML editor.
- Gradebook - Grading Period in CSV Header: When grading periods are used in the Gradebook, the Gradebook CSV exporter will append the title of the selected grading period to column headers whose values vary based on grading period.
- Gradebook - Import Override Scores in Gradebook: The Gradebook Importer recognizes and can apply changes for Override Scores. At this time, the Override Scores option is turned off due to its inability to communicate with PeopleSoft (campus SIS). This update will become relevant when that field is able to export to SIS.
January 16, 2021 Release
- New Rich Content Editor - Enforcement: Individual Universities have already begun local enforcement to ensure the least amount of disruption for their campuses.This enforcement applies to any remaining subaccounts that have yet to enable it.
- Notifications – Push Notification Types end of Life: When users open their Notification Preferences page or notifications in a Canvas app, Push notifications are only supported for specific notification categories. Users can adjust their notification preferences by setting up additional supported communication channels.
- Settings – Feature Option Management: The buttons to manage feature flags at the account, course, and user levels have been updated in design and functionality. This change aligns design consistency with other areas of Canvas (specifically the Permissions page) and allows admins to better manage subaccount- and course-level feature defaults.
- Admin Tools – Bounced Email Tab: This change allows admins to view notifications about emails that have bounced for specific users in their account. It is currently unclear if this option can be made available to subaccount administrators, and is being investigated by UW-System.
- Permissions – Course Sections Granularity: The Course Sections - Add / Edit / Delete permission has been separated into three separate permissions.
December 19, 2020 Release
New features available in Canvas after 12/19/2020
- New Rich Content Editor - Staggered Release: The New Rich Content Editor is set for enforcement during the January 2021 release. Universities are being encouraged to find a time that best meets their needs for local enforcement.
- New Rich Content Editor – Upload Media File Placement: Newly recorded media and upload media is stored in the Course or User Files folder, according to user role, to ensure that users can reuse media. Previously, newly recorded and uploaded media could not be repurposed without being exported as part of course content.
- Student View Changes - Additional Locations: The Student View button displays in supported Canvas tools (e.g. Pages). This change allows instructors to access Student View quicker.
November 21, 2020 Release
New features available in Canvas after 11/21/2020
- People - Group Import CSV File: The Groups area within "People" will allow for CSV imports to create and assign currently enrolled users to Groups. This will be especially useful for instructors that have created groups in external tools and want to reproduce them in a course.
- Admin Tools - Grade Change Activity Search Field Enhancements: Administrators using the Grade Change Activity Log will be able to use multi-parameter searches, allowing for more granular functionality.
October 17, 2020 Release
New features available in Canvas after 10/17/2020
- Global Navigation – Recent History: The Global Navigation Menu includes a Recent History link, which displays recently visited pages in Canvas. This change helps users remember what page they last viewed in one or multiple courses
- Notifications – Notification Preferences Interface: The user-level Notifications page has been updated to match the design of the course-level Notifications page. Additional enhancements have been added to clarify notifications between each level.
- MathJax Equation Improvements: The MathJax JS library has been improved to render equations in a more accessible format and promote ease of use. Math equations created anywhere in Canvas will be rendered as MathML. This change improves accessibility for equations throughout Canvas. Previously, equations were treated as an image and included title attributes and alternative text and were not available to keyboard users. Additionally, image views varied by browser and screen readers, equations could not be copied, and alternative text could be inadvertently changed or removed.
September 19, 2020 Release
New Features available in Canvas after 09/19/2020
New Analytics – Missing Assignment Report: New Analytics provides downloadable CSV files for missing assignments, late assignments, excused assignments, the class roster, and course activity data. Using APIs, all reports provide real-time data except for the Course Activity report, which includes data that may be delayed up to 24 hours.
Browsers – TLS Protocol Changes: TLS Protocols 1.0 and 1.1 are not supported in Canvas. Institutions must update to TLS 1.2 by 19 September or switch their API URLs to a legacy endpoint. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have already been removed from both the Test and Beta environments, which can be used for testing.
August 15, 2020 Release
New features available in Canvas after 08/15/2020
- Pages - Bulk Delete: Multiple pages can be deleted at one time in the Pages Index. This allows outdated content to be removed more quickly.
- People - Course Section Column Visibility: The course section column can be hidden from students in the People page when more than one section is in the course. This will prevent students from viewing the sections of other students in the same course.
- User Navigation - Global Announcements Page: The User Navigation Menu includes a link to Global Announcements, which displays current and recent announcements for the institution. This will allow users to view announcements that were previously dismissed from the Dashboard.
July 18, 2020 Release
Commons: The Commons menu includes a link that displays frequently used Commons guides.
- New Quizzes: Respondus Lockdown Browser will be supported in New Quizzes.
- Assignments: Limited Submission Attempts: Instructors will be able to set the number of submissions that can be made for a Canvas assignment.
- Browser: The "unsupported browser" banner will be updated to reflect the two most recent versions of Firefox (77 and 78), Chrome (81 and 83—version 82 was skipped because of the pandemic), and Safari (12 and 13). This update will affect users accessing Canvas in any browser below the minimum version requirement, including extended release browser versions. Chrome and Firefox both offer extended support release (ESR) browser versions.
- Digital Skills: The Canvas Alexa integration has been deprecated.
- Enforcement changes: A number of tool changes are now also being enforced, but should not impact users, as UW-System had already opted in for each tool.
June 20, 2020 Release
Edit Assignment Dates: The Edit Assignment Dates page supports enhancements to select multiple assignments, batch edit dates, and improve date validation.
Course Notification Settings: The Course Notification Settings page supports granular notifications for the course.
Canvas Permissions: simplified status options Canvas Permission status options have been simplified to enable, disable, and lock. The Lock option is independent and can be used with either status. When the Lock option is selected, a lock icon displays next to the status.
Canvas Permissions: Pages The Pages - Add / Edit / Delete permission has been separated into three separate permissions.
May 16, 2020 Release (Implemented by UW-System on 05/24/2020)
- SMS Notification Deprecation: KB News Item
- Course Settings: Link Validator Celebration. The Confetti for Valid Links feature option displays confetti for instructors who run the link validator on a course and no issues are found. Instructors can disable celebrations for their own account in User Settings.
- Confetti for On-Time Submissions: Canvas generates a virtual celebration when students submit assignments on time. Celebrations take place in Canvas for on-time submissions, which include both an initial submission and any resubmissions for any file type before an assignment due date. Students can disable celebrations for their own account in User Settings.
- Help for Unpublished Courses: (also referred to as Instructor Publishing Improvements) The Dashboard, Courses menu, and All Courses page display both published and unpublished courses. This change helps instructors see what courses are unpublished in various Canvas locations. The Dashboard displays two sections: published courses and unpublished courses. Unpublished courses display at the bottom of the Dashboard. Note: The Dashboard only displays favorited courses for the current term or course dates.
- New User Tutorial: New Instructor Tutorials display for instructors in newly created courses. Tutorial pages display in Outcomes, Rubrics, and New Analytics pages to provide additional resources and information about these features.
- Product Tour (Admin): Canvas provides a welcome tour for admins that guides them through transitioning their institution for online learning. This change displays a welcome tour to orient admins to Canvas and guide them toward Canvas best practices and resources. Each tour area includes links to specific how-to lessons about accomplishing each task.
- Product Tour (Instructor): This change displays a welcome tour to orient instructors and guide them toward Canvas best practices and resources in the Canvas Community. After logging in to Canvas, instructors view a short welcome message that gives them a quick tour through setting up notifications, locating their courses and setting them up online, and accessing Canvas resources and how-to guides. The setting up a Canvas course section directs instructors to tutorial videos showing them how to set up a course in less than 30 minutes.
- Product Tour (Student): Canvas provides a welcome tour for students that guides them through getting started with a Canvas course. This change displays a welcome tour to orient students through their courses in Canvas.After logging in to Canvas, students view a short welcome message that gives them a quick tour through finding their courses, contacting their instructors, downloading the Canvas Mobile App, and getting help with Canvas.
- Assignment Allowed Attempts (currently set to allow): This feature allows instructors to limit submission attempts for students. By default, assignments can be submitted an unlimited number of times. However, instructors can choose to limit the number of attempts a student can make for an assignment by using the Attempts menu.
- Rich Content Editor Auto Save (currently set to allow): In pages with one Rich Content Editor, the editor autosaves any content that hasn’t yet been submitted for up to one hour. This feature helps users retain new or edited content that may otherwise be lost from inadvertent browser reloads, loss of internet connection, or navigating to another window. When a user enters content in a Rich Content Editor window, the editor automatically saves the content for up to one hour. If the user navigates away from the page or another situation occurs where the user revisits the page within one hour, Canvas will notify the user if any saved content is different from the existing content. The user can preview the autosaved content and select the Yes button to load the autosaved content. Selecting the No button will discard the autosaved content.
Link to Beta Release meeting recording: >https://us-lti.bbcollab.com/recording/28c44f1e33134b0693da51118af32841
April 18, 2020 Release
New features in Canvas available after April 18, 2020:
- Notifications: Mute Notifications by Course. Allows users to mute notifications for a course via a button on the course home page. More information: https://kb.wisconsin.edu/dle/100814
- Assignments: Limited Submission Attempts* Instructors will be able to set the number of submissions that can be made for a Canvas assignment.
- Gradebook: Assignment Header Menu SpeedGrader Link. In the Gradebook, there is now a link to SpeedGrader in the headers of assignments.
- New Quizzes: Multiple Answer Partial Scoring. Multiple Answer questions allow instructors to award students partial credit with penalty if a student selects an incorrect response. This grading option will be the default for new Multiple Answer questions with an option to use Exact Match instead.
- Rubrics: Course Navigation Rubrics Link. The Rubrics tool is now a Navigation menu link instead of a part of the Outcomes tool.
Link to meeting recording: https://us-lti.bbcollab.com/recording/97b9a67b25284b95952abfd45f8722ad
March 21, 2020 Release
- When instructors download all submissions for an assignment and then re-upload them as a zip file, clicking the Upload Files button displays a status page. This page indicates that the files are being processed, which may take a while depending on the file size. Instructors can navigate away from the assignment page if needed. Previously instructors had to wait for all files to be uploaded before they could leave the page.
- The Gradebook export CSV file will now match the order in which the assignments appear in the Assignments page.
- For plagiarism tools, updated plagiarism icons display in the Gradebook, SpeedGrader, and the student Grades page.
- The New Rich Content Editor will now autosave any content that hasn't been saved for up to one hour. It is browser specific and will only display in pages with one Rich Content Editor such as pages and assignments.
- For instructors, the Syllabus page includes an option to remove the Course Summary Section. The summary button is enabled by default and when unchecked, all other viewers in the course will also not be able to view the course summary.
February 2020 Release
- Favorited Commons items can be imported from Quizzes, Pages, Discussion, Assignments, and Modules.
- Gradebook import CSV files ignore reserved name columns as well as hidden and deleted custom columns. For new custom columns, custom columns cannot have the same name as a reserved column.
- The New Quizzes button has been moved from the Assignments page to the Quizzes page. Additionally, the quiz creation process supports both New Quizzes and Classic (old) Quizzes. Students can also view New Quizzes in the Quizzes page, complete with the new and old icons to differentiate quiz versions.
- Admins can allow Include parameters when enforcing scopes for a developer key.
- Responsive Layout Enforcement. Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines. This change ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.
Link to meeting recording: https://us-lti.bbcollab.com/recording/5c571be95d6a4af6980668009615749c
January 2020 Release
- The Direct Share feature will allow instructors to copy individual Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, and Pages to other courses and to share them with other users.
- The Student Assignment Enhancements feature will begin testing in Beta. This feature will improve the student user interfaces for completing assignments, viewing rubrics, and accessing feedback. This feature has no release date for Production.
- In any Assignment with a manual posting policy in the Gradebook, instructors will have the option to share comments with students before assigning grades.
- Users will have the option to sort the Gradebook by SIS ID instead of student name.
- Users New Quizzes users will have an option in Quiz settings to shuffle quiz answers for all multiple choice, multiple answer, and matching quiz questions.
- The Rich Content Editor Enhancements originally proposed in November have been made Optional. Instructors can turn them on in Course Settings. These enhancements will become mandatory some time after Spring semester.
- Users will be able to associate a set of personal pronouns with their Canvas user profile. This change will be implemented after the Fixed/Flex workgroup consults with experts to determine the correct array of pronoun choices to offer.
- Changes will be made to the way that Canvas content scrolls in order to make it more responsive and accessible.
December 2019 Release
- The New Analytics tool will be set to "On" in the DLE instance of Canvas on January 1, 2020, and the old analytics tool will no longer be available. For a comparison of the two tools see Instructure's New vs. Old Analytics post.
- Instructure has delayed proposed changes which would expose both Quizzes and New Quizzes together on the Assignments page.
- In New Quizzes, numeric questions will display an "Invalid Input" warning if students respond to numeric questions with invalid characters (i.e. letters instead of numbers).
- In Reports, administrators will be able to see four new columns in the Grading Export and MGP Grade Export reports: the current grade, final grade, unposted current grade and unposted final grade columns.
- ePorfolio Moderation: Admins can moderate ePortfolio spam generated by Canvas users.
November 2019 Release
- The new Analytics tool has been set to "Allow" in our instance and Analytics Beta has also returned. Instructors can toggle between the tools.
- In the Help menu, the top link is to the "Training Services Portal" with access to view upcoming training opportunities and pre-recorded video training.
- Microsoft Immersive Reader is now available. Every Canvas page within a course will display an "Immersive Reader" button. More information: https://education.microsoft.com/courses-and-resources/resources/all-about-immersive-reader
- The plagiarism icons in New Gradebook have been delayed and will not be included in this release.
- The Rich Content Editor enhancements have been delayed and will not be included in this release.
- Users can unfavorite previously favorited courses from the "Course Card Options" menu on the course card.
- Instructors can manually submit quizzes on behalf of their students, specifically for situations where a quiz will never auto-submit because it is missing a timer and/or a due date.
October 2019 Release
- End of Life for Firefox ESR 60 on October 22, 2019. The warning banner that alerts users about an outdated browser will be re-enabled in Canvas on September 25, 2019.
- The navigation menu has been updated to include color and visual indicators to define active menu items. Tooltip indicators will indicate inactive menu items instead of grayed out text.
- New course and user analytics will be enabled at some point after the semester as we currently have Analytics Beta enabled on our instance.
- Instructors can enable the Rich Content Editor feature option in Course Settings. The toolbar includes a condensed more intuitive look. Toolbar menus are grouped by common icons and interactions.
- In User Settings, the feature options to manage international preferences of byte-order mark, semicolons, and field separators are supported in account-level Outcome Results and Student Competency reports and the Learning Mastery Gradebook Export report.
- The word Manual displays in the assignment header to indicate the assignment is set with the Manual Posting Policy. Additionally, the outlined Visibility icon only displays when entered grades need to be posted.
- Commons admins can view statistics for their Commons account.
September 2019 Release
- Instructors can filter SpeedGrader assignments by student group via an option in course settings. When the feature is enabled, SpeedGrader will only load submissions from a selected group.
- In New Quizzes (formerly known as QuizzesNext) multiple choice questions support individual feedback for each answer.
- Navigation: Menu Visibility release has been delayed to 10/19/2019. With this feature, instead of disabled menu items appearing in gray to the instructor, an icon will be displayed next to the disabled item. Active link will appear in a different color and with a small vertical line to the left of the link name.
August 2019 Release
- Users can access LTI tools more quickly without having to open the User Settings page in the User Navigation Account menu.
- Admins can curate featured content in Commons. When enabled, featured content will appear near the top of the page in Commons.
- Unsplash has replaced Flickr for course card image search. Flickr images already in use will not be impacted.
- Student permission to attach files to discussions will be enabled by default. Instructors can still disable the attachment feature in the settings for Discussions or in the course settings.
- In New Quizzes (formerly known as QuizzesNext), Instructors will be able to view and test assessment questions and settings by viewing an assessment the way students see it.The preview displays most settings, including calculators, timer, question shuffling, and one question at a time. Assessment Preview does not support displaying student access codes and IP address filtering. Instructors can also submit an assessment and view their results in the preview. The preview results page supports any restricted student result view settings. A colorful border will indicate to the instructor that they are in preview mode.
- Instructors, admins, and TAs will have access to test bank sharing in New Quizzes. From the Sharing window, instructors can share the item bank with a user, view all users who have access to the bank, and remove access to the bank. Sharing an item bank gives users full access to the item bank, including adding items to the bank, sharing or removing users from the bank, and deleting the bank.
- In the Mobile App for students (Android 6.6) (iOS 6.6), the Assignments details page has been redesigned. As a part of the redesign, the assignment submission process has been updated. Students can launch external tool assignments and view rubric criterion details within the app. In Android, external tool opens in a browser. In iOS, the external tool appears within the app.
- The Canvas Teacher app (Android 1.8) supports viewing Modules.