ID #1288

Canvas Production Release Notes 12/6/14

Canvas Release Notes

December 6, 2014

In this production release (12/06), Canvas brings back submission comments in the Conversations Inbox, Quiz Statistics have an improved look and feature set. The production notes also include updates to existing Canvas features and fixed bugs.

*Features are subject to change. Please see the complete release notes for details

 

Conversations: Submission Comments Filter
Users can filter messages in Conversations to view comments posted on assignment submissions. This feature restores user functionality of viewing submission comments in the Conversations Inbox.

Note: New submission comments do not affect the standard Canvas Inbox new message indicator. The communications team is exploring how to indicate new messages within the submission comments option. More details will be available in a future release.

Accessed in the Inbox type filter, Submission Comments allows users to view all comments sent and received from assignment submissions.

Each message contains the name of the user and the name of the submission, the time the message was sent, and the number of messages in the conversation thread. Submission Comments only appear between a student and any user who has appropriate Gradebook and SpeedGrader editing and commenting permissions—most commonly an instructor, TA, or both.

Like in the regular inbox, submission comments messages can be manually marked as read or unread. Messages can also be filtered by course.

Users can reply to submission comments directly from the inbox by clicking the Reply icon in the message thread or next to the conversations filter options. Replies appear as part of the conversation thread but are also posted back to the assignment. Comments can also be viewed in the Gradebook and SpeedGrader.

 

SpeedGrader:  Crocodoc Previews
SpeedGrader provides instructors with updates about Crocodoc files. If a submission includes a file that can be rendered in Crocodoc, but the submission preview is not complete, SpeedGrader generates a message stating the document is still processing.

 

Quizzes : Quiz Statistics
Quizzes has an updated design that enhances the details within quiz statistics. Additionally, this change improves the loading speed within quizzes.

Notes:

  • Quiz Statistics is a Course-level feature option, which means that once it is enabled by the institutional admin, the feature can be enabled by instructors on a course-to-course basis. If you are an instructor and do not see Quiz Statistics available to you as a Feature Option within Course Settings, please contact your institutional admin.
  • Some users have reported inaccuracies in matching-question graphs and quizzes that are linked to question banks. Our engineering team is reviewing this behavior and will continue to make enhancements in future releases.  In the interim, this feature will remain a course-level feature option.  

Instructors can view an entire quiz summary that shows all score percentages. The quiz summary also shows the quiz average score, high score, low score, standard deviation (how far the values are spread across the entire score range), and average time of quiz completion.

The quiz summary chart is interactive; users can focus on a specific segment of the chart by selecting a range with their cursor, such as viewing the number of students who scored between 0 and 50 percent.

Quizzes: Analysis Reports
When instructors generate an analysis report, Canvas shows the last time the report was generated. If there is an error with the report, instructors can retry the option or cancel the analysis completely.

 

Quizzes: Question Breakdown
The Quiz Statistics page shows a breakdown of each question in the quiz. Toggle the expand button to expand or collapse all details for all quiz questions.

Each question displays answer bars relating to the percentage of each answer choice. You can also hover over the answer bars to see the percentage and number of students in the tooltip. Expanding the question shows the exact percentage of each answer below the answer bars with the exact answer choices from your students.

Quizzes: Discrimination Index
Quiz statistics for True/False and Multiple Choice quiz questions include an item discrimination index, which attempts to look at a spread of scores and reflect differences in student achievement. This metric provides a measure of how well a single question can tell the difference (or discriminate) between students who do well on an exam and those who do not. It divides students into three groups based on their score on the whole quiz and displays those groups by who answered the question correctly.

Lower discrimination scores (in red) are scored +0.24 or lower; good scores (green) are +0.25 or higher. An ideal discrimination index shows students who scored higher on the quiz getting the quiz question right, students who scored lower on the quiz getting the quiz question wrong, and students in the middle range on either side. A discrimination index of zero shows all students getting the quiz question right or wrong.

Quizzes: Distribution Scaling
Quiz statistics for Fill-in-Multiple Blanks, Multiple Dropdowns (often used for Likert Scale questions), and Matching questions are animated to distinguish between answer choices. When each answer is selected, the bars in the answer distribution chart are scaled according to the answer response.

 

Updated Features

Quizzes: Correct Answers for Multiple Attempts
Instructors who create a quiz with more than one allowed attempt can restrict students from seeing the correct answers until after their last attempt. If an instructor allows students to view the correct answers, this additional option only appears if the Allow Multiple Attempts and Allowed Attempts checkboxes are both selected as quiz options.

Note: This additional option will follow the current Quiz functionality around multiple attempts.  If a student never makes it to the last attempt, the correct answer setting will not apply. To allow the student to view the correct answers, you can manually change the quiz options at a later time. 

SpeedGrader:  Crocodoc Previews
SpeedGrader provides instructors with updates about Crocodoc files. If a submission includes a file that can be rendered in Crocodoc, but the submission preview is not complete, SpeedGrader generates a message stating the document is still processing.

User Course List: Unfavorite Past Courses
On the My Courses page, users can favorite or unfavorite current courses. However, depending on course configuration, some favorited courses may still display the favorite icon even after the course has ended. If a past enrollment course shows the favorite icon, users can unfavorite the course by toggling the star icon.

 

Other Updates

Announcements

  • The search field contains a description for keyboard users.

Course Settings

  • Pressing enter on a Course Settings tab selects the tab.

Discussions

  • The Discussions remove attachment button is labeled for screen readers and keyboard users.
  • The search field contains a description for keyboard users.

Modules

  • The modules page does not give instructions for moving modules unless the user is authorized to move modules.
  • When a user adds content to a module, all form fields are labeled for screen readers.

Notifications

  • Notification Preference settings are labeled as buttons for screen readers.

Pages

  • Screen readers read the page title header once as an H1 tag.

SpeedGrader

  • SpeedGrader announces the name and grade status of each viewed student submission. However, in anonymous grading, student names remain hidden.

Syllabus

  • The Creative Commons License image contains updated alt text to differentiate from the image filename.

Account Settings: Calendar

Browser Back Button
On the Calendar page, users can use the back button in their browser window.

Explanation: After viewing the Calendar, users were not able to return to a prior page using the back button in their browser. Canvas code has been updated to support the use of the back button to return to prior pages.

Course Imports: Question Groups and Question Banks
Question groups remain linked to a question bank after course copy/import.

Explanation: When an instructor copied or imported a course, some question groups linked to a question bank lost their association with the question bank. This behavior occurred because assignments did not retain question bank IDs upon course copy. Canvas code has been updated to retain IDs between question banks and their associated assignments.

Discussions: Discussion Attachments
Attachments added to discussions are not attached when users open the discussion. Additionally, users who can edit ungraded discussions can view the attachment option.

Explanation: When an instructor granted access for users to attach files to discussions, attached files were no longer attached to a discussion after the discussion topic was saved. This behavior occurred because unpublished topics were not granting appropriate attachment permissions to appropriate users. Users were also not able to view the attachment option in unpublished ungraded discussions. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for adding attachments when saving a discussion topic.

Gradebook: GPA Scale CSV File Upload
Assignments set as a GPA Scale accept scores from CSV uploads.

Explanation: In a downloaded CSV file, all scores for a GPA Scale assignment are downloaded as points. When an instructor modified scores for a GPA Scale assignment and re-uploaded the CSV file, the upload cleared all scores set as points. Canvas code has been updated to apply point entries in GPA Scale assignments to the appropriate value for the GPA scale. For instance, if an assignment is given 4.5/5 points, and the GPA scale states that 80–100% is a 4.0, uploading the CSV file converts the 4.5 points to a 90%, which appears in the Gradebook as a 4.0.

Groups: New Student Groups Page Self Sign-Up Groups
When students are a member of a self sign-up group, the New Student Groups page only allows them to leave or view the group.

Explanation: When students joined a self sign-up group, viewing the New Student Groups page showed students that they could join the group, even though they were already members of that group. This behavior occurred because of a miscommunication between the user ID and group ID, which were coded in different data types. Since Canvas could not properly associate these IDs, the group links could not be updated for the appropriate users. Canvas code has been updated to code user and groups IDs as the same data type.

New Student Groups Page Add Groups Button
Students can only view the Add Groups button when they have permission to organize their own groups.  

Explanation: When the New Student Groups feature option was enabled by an admin, and an instructor created a group and disabled the Let Students Organize Their Own Groups option, students were still able to see the Add Group button, even though the button was not active. Canvas code has been updated to verify permissions for adding a new student group.

Quizzes: Quiz Edit and Course Navigation
When editing a quiz, instructors can access Course Navigation links.

Explanation: When an instructor edited a quiz, some of the Course Navigation links could not be accessed. This behavior occurred because the hidden quiz regrade feature (which only appears if an instructor wants to regrade a quiz question) was blocking some of the Course Navigation links. Canvas code has been updated to allow access to all Course Navigation links when editing a quiz.  

SpeedGrader: Rubric Edit Icons
When using the tab key, rubric icons do not appear in SpeedGrader.

Explanation: When viewing a rubric within SpeedGrader, instructors who used the tab key reported that edit icons


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