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.


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:

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.

On 12/18/2019, the Release Notes were amended to add the following:
  • 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:
  • 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.

Link to meeting recording:

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.
Link to the meeting recording:

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.
Link to the meeting recording:

Keywords:Canvas release   Doc ID:93835
Owner:Karla C.Group:UW System Administration DLE
Created:2019-08-13 15:48 CSTUpdated:2020-01-15 09:48 CST
Sites:UW System Administration DLE
Feedback:  0   0