ID #1286

Canvas Release Notes - Changes Taking Effect 09/27/2014

09/27/14 Canvas Production Release Notes


Feature Changes and Updates

Conferences: Audio Updates
When joining a conference, users are asked how they want to join the conference audio: via microphone or a listen-only mode. Microphone users must grant access to their browser for microphone use, but the browser makes the process easy by prompting users for permission. To ensure users enter the conference with a working microphone, users are prompted to test their microphone and can choose a different microphone if needed.


Users of Firefox and Chrome have improved audio within the conference via Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) technology support. Users of Internet Explorer and Safari continue to participate with existing Flash-based audio.

Conferences: Conference Recordings
Moderators have improved functionality and control for recording conferences. Instead of starting the recording immediately after the first user has joined, conferences includes a start/stop button so moderators can control the length of the recording.

After joining the conference and setting up their microphone, moderators receive a reminder notifying them that they can record the meeting, but they must click the recording button to start. When users start or stop a recording, users will always be prompted to confirm the action.


Conferences: Lock Viewers
Moderators can lock down specific features so they are not available during a conference. Located in the Users Settings menu, this functionality helps moderators control the conference environment, such as locking private chat to prevent students from collaborating during a test.


Conversations: Address Book Scroll Bar
When composing a new message in Conversations, users can click and drag the scrollbar to access user data. They can also use keyboard navigation to locate recipients.

Conversations: Message Time Stamps
When users view a Conversation message thread, each message contains a full date stamp, including the time and year.

Dashboard: Global Navigation
The Assignments link no longer appears in Global Navigation. This change helps streamline the user experience and encourages users to interact with additional areas of their courses. Data shows that the majority of users already navigate to courses before assignments, meaning they prefer to look at assignments in the context of the course. Users can still see a comprehensive view of all upcoming assignments and events in the Agenda view of the Calendar.  

Gradebook: Quiz Regrade Gradebook History
Instructors can view scores for regraded quizzes in the Gradebook history. This feature allows instructors to view all grading events in the same location and see historical data for any regraded quizzes. The Gradebook history shows how many changes were made and the before and after quiz scores.



Navigation Design
The following changes have been implemented:

  • Courses & Groups Drop-down Menu: updated background color, no borders around the links, and an adjustment to the menu’s drop shadow.
  • User Navigation: Minimized style in all navigation areas (user, course, and account navigation)
    • Border-bottom on item list
    • Background color. The background color matches the body background.
    • Background color on :active and :hover states. The background color for both of these states has changed. The background color is a dark gray; active and hover states are a white background with blue link.
    • Content Sidebars and Page Footer: Replaced background texture with background color (same as User Navigation background color).

Notifications: Copy of Announcement to Sender
Instructors can set a new notification preference that allows them to receive a copy of all announcements they created. This feature allows instructors to see what announcements have been sent and how they appear in their specified communication channels. If users are allowed to respond to announcements, this notification preference also sends notifications for announcement replies. 

Fixed Bugs

  • Assignment Group Sets
    Instructors can grade group assignment submissions even if the group set has been deleted.
    : When an instructor created a group assignment then deleted the assignment group set, SpeedGrader was generating an error message because the assignment was no longer linked to its associated group set. In student view, students were not able to upload an assignment with the correct group, which created confusion. Canvas code has been updated to allow group submissions to be graded even if the group set has been deleted and no longer affect student submissions.  
  • Letter Grade Assignments
    When an instructor creates a letter grade, GPA, or percentage grading-type assignment with no points possible, Canvas generates a warning message that the assignment must be assigned more than zero points.
    : When an instructor chose to set a letter grade, GPA, or percentage grading-type assignment with no points possible, the Gradebook was generating an error as all assignments need a point value to factor into the total grade. This behavior caused scenarios where instructors set a point value for the assignment, causing all previously set letter grades to be overwritten as failing scores. Canvas code has been updated to generate a warning message in the points field for specific grading types.
  • 24-Hour Time Format in Calendar
    For non-English languages, calendar 24-hour time formats display time as AM or PM.
    : When a non-English language was set to a 24-hour time format, the Calendar was not correctly converting times to AM or PM. Canvas code has been updated to convert 12-hour format strings when localized into a 24-hour format.
  • Edited Discussion Replies
    When a user edits a discussion reply, Canvas displays the original reply date instead of the edited post date.
    : When a user had permission to edit a discussion reply, Canvas was showing the edited date instead of the original reply date. Canvas code has been updated to continue to display the original reply date.
  • Graded Discussions SpeedGrader Link
    For graded discussions, when an instructor clicks the Open in SpeedGrader option next to a student post, SpeedGrader opens the student’s submission. 
    : When an instructor opened a graded discussion and clicked the Open in SpeedGrader option next to a student post, SpeedGrader opened the first student in the list of students whose discussions need to be graded. Canvas code has been updated to confirm anchor tags and links to all specific student discussions.
  • Grading Scheme Percentages
    Scores entered in the Gradebook as a percentage reflect the percentage score assigned in the grading scheme.
    : When an instructor attempted to assign a percentage score, the grading scheme rounded the score incorrectly. Canvas code has been updated to retain percentages as entered in the Gradebook and support rounding to the nearest hundredth.
  • Grading Scheme Decimals
    Scores entered into the Gradebook as a decimal reflect the percentage score assigned in the grading scheme and support rounding to the nearest tenth.
    : When an instructor attempted to assign a decimal score, the grading scheme rounded the score incorrectly. This behavior especially related to decimal scores between letter grades. Canvas code has been updated to retain decimals as entered in the Gradebook.
  • Notifications: Announcement Reply
    Users receive external notifications for announcement replies.
    : When users set their notifications to receive Announcements, any replies to an announcement were not triggering external notifications. Canvas code has been updated to send notifications for announcement replies.
  • Notifications: Email Replies
    Users can reply to external notifications through their email.
    : In a previous release, notifications included a message indicating that users can reply directly to the notification email. Canvas code has been updated to retain this message in notifications emails.
  • Quizzes: Question Bank Duplicate Questions
    Editing a question in a question bank with more than 50 questions does not create duplicate questions.
    : When a question bank has at least one named question and 51+ questions in it (enough to trigger the More Questions link), and a question is edited in the question bank, the question bank created a duplicate question. Canvas code has been updated to specify quiz variables for quiz questions and isolate changes made to question banks.
  • Quizzes: Fill-in-Multiple-Blank Questions
    When viewing quiz results, given answers for Fill-In-Multiple-Blank equation questions are displayed in the answer box.
    : When users viewed quiz results for a fill-in-multiple-blank equation quiz question, the answer field was not displaying the answer for the equation. Canvas code has been updated to properly process equation objects and display the correct function result.
  • Quizzes: Quiz Question Character Limit
    When quiz questions exceed the character limit, Canvas generates a warning message.
    : When instructors created or edited a quiz question that exceeded the character limit, such as when copying and pasting from Word, Canvas displayed an unknown error. The character limit for quizzes is 16384 characters. Canvas code has been updated with a warning message about the character limit.
  • Quizzes: Quiz Numerical Entries
    Quiz questions support commas in numerical entry fields.
    : When a user entered a numerical answer that included a comma, the entry field was converting the comma to a decimal, resulting in an incorrect answer value. This behavior occurred for both numerical and formula question types. Canvas code has been updated to support commas in quiz entry fields.  


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