canvas-logo - squareGrunge Stempel rot UPDATEDCanvas automatically rolls out updates to our Canvas server every 3 weeks with new features, tools, fixes and more.

This post will be updated throughout Fall Semester 2015 to capture the key new features and fixes for a 1 stop shop to keep you up to date on all the capabilities available to you via NC State’s Canvas server.


  • Clone Groups
    Access via: “People”>”Project Groups”>”Clone Group Set”

Group sets can be cloned at any time in the Settings menu for the group set.
Cloning a group set will copy the entire group set, including all groups, group leaders, and memberships; instructors only have to make changes to the affected users. Instructors can also create a new name to differentiate the cloned group set.

  • ASSIGNMENTS – No Submission assignment types show students when an assignment has been excused.
  • COURSE IMPORTS – Pages that include an email link with a comma at the end of the address do not affect course copies.
    • When a user imports a comma separated value (CSV) file to the Gradebook, excused assignment variations are not considered changes to grades.
    • Comma separated value (CSV) file uploads do not allow instructors to change grades in a prior grading period.
    • When a user tries to import content to the Gradebook without attaching the comma separated value (CSV) file, Canvas generates a display error and redirects the user back to the import page.
  • MEDIA RECORDINGS – Subtitle size and placement are adjusted for full-screen videos in the HTML video player.
    • Resetting Student View while taking a quiz as a test student does not affect the quiz.
    • If a question bank is linked to an outcome and used in a quiz, student performance is mastered based on the performance of all associated questions.
    • Quiz logs orders them by student attempt date and time.
    • Concluded courses do not allow quiz previews.
  • RICH CONTENT EDITOR – Table styling inside the Rich Content Editor is not affected by included links.
Accessibility Fixes APPLIED SAT., August 29:
    • Screen readers can read Announcements as a list.

    • In the Courses list, the text for enrollment status, term dates, and course name (in Groups) is enlarged to meet accessibility standards.
    • Screen readers can identify and open module item links. Screen readers can expand and collapse modules. Screen readers can read the unlock date for a module.



  • Recurring Calendar Events
    [This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.]
    Access via: “Calendar”
    Create a repeating event in Canvas Calendar. When creating a new calendar event for a course, instructors can choose to create multiple copies of the event every day, week, or month. Once created, recurring events are not linked together and are independent events. Therefore, if users need to modify an event, each event has to be modified individually.
    Calendar Documentation: 


  • Conclude Groups at Course Conclusion
    [ This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community. ]
    When a course concludes in Canvas, groups in the course also conclude. Concluded groups do not appear in the Courses & Groups menu. Users can still access their previous and current groups in the Groups page.
    Note: Currently groups still appear on the Courses page and will be addressed in a future release.

  • *Muted Assignments Total Shown to Instructor
    Access via: “Grades”
    When an instructor mutes an assignment, scores are muted from the student’s Total score, but not the instructor’s Gradebook.
    When an instructor mutes an assignment in the Gradebook, the Total column will display a warning indicating that the total score is different than shown to students.
    To better associate warning messages, in the next release the warning icon will be changed to the mute icon.

    Mute Assignments Documentation:

Bug Fixes of Note – APPLIED SAT., Sept. 19 :

    • The new calendar events window always displays the close icon.
    • The Calendar shows due dates for Everyone on the Calendar.
  • COURSE IMPORTS – Deleted enrollments also remove any associated sections.
  • DASHBOARD – Peer Review assignments only display one Peer Review icon in the To Do sidebar.
  • DISCUSSIONS – Students cannot participate in deleted discussions through email notifications.
  • ePORTFOLIOS – Uploaded files and embedded images appear in downloaded ePortfolio Pages.
  • GRADES – Entering an invalid character in the Gradebook or SpeedGrader does not alter the state of the assignment.
    • Users can move or copy paginated questions in a question bank with more than 51 quiz questions. Additionally, editing a question does not create a duplicate.
    • Quizzes do not auto-submit with a course end date listed in the past.
  • SPEEDGRADER- In a manually graded quiz question, instructors no longer have to remove the dashes in the point field.
Accessibility Fixes Of Note – APPLIED SAT., Sept. 19:
  • In the Navigation tab, the Move option is not read unless it is selected in the settings menu
  • Keyboard users can view lists of courses, accounts, and groups in Global Navigation.
  • Keyboard users can access Rich Content Editor drop-down fields.
  • Screen readers can access the file attachment and media comment buttons in the Add a Comment section.
  • The User Settings displays a color contrast of 3:1 for the default Canvas interface and 4.5:1 for high contrast profiles.



*Modules “And/Or” Requirements
Access via: “Modules”>gear icon>Edit

When creating requirements in a module, instructors can give students an option between two or more tasks. This change allows students to choose which task they prefer to complete to demonstrate their learning and move forward in the course content. To enable the And/Or option, instructors can edit a module, add a requirement, and select the Students must complete one of these requirements option.
Students view the same information in the module header, showing them they must complete one or all items. Requirements are shown with the task item. The circles next to the module item show the state of the item. Blank circles indicate the requirement has not yet been completed.

When a student completes the prerequisite, the module item changes to a green check mark icon.
If the student fails the prerequisite, the module item changes to an orange dash icon.
An orange icon can also mean the assignment is overdue. Students can hover over the icon to view the details about the item.

The module header also indicates the status of the entire module:

  • If a module includes requirements, an orange icon indicates the module has been started.
  • A green check mark icon indicates the module has been completed.

If a module doesn’t include requirements, the status will not appear in the module header, but each module item will still indicate if an item (such as an assignment) is overdue. Modules still display gray text and a lock icon for modules that have not yet been unlocked.

Modules Documentation: 

*Quiz Question Breakdown by User
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.
Access via: “Quizzes”>Specific Quiz>Quiz Statistics>Show Answer Details

When instructors view the breakdown of a quiz question, they can see the number of respondents for each answer choice. This statistic is in addition to the percentage of respondents.
Instructors can click the respondents link to view the names of the students who chose each specific answer.

 Quiz Statistics Documentation:

*Gradebook Muted Assignments Total Column Icon
Access via: “Grades”

As introduced in the previous production release (2015-09-19), when an instructor mutes an assignment in the Gradebook, the Total column will display a warning indicating that the total score is different than shown to students. The icon has been changed to the mute icon to help differentiate between icons in the total column. This icon also takes precedence over the warning icon for weighted assignment group errors.

Mute Assignments Documentation:

*Calendar Appointment Scheduler Student Comments
Access via: “Calendar”>Scheduler>Appointment>Student Reservation

When students sign up for an appointment slot in the Scheduler, they can add a comment as part of the reservation. However, this field is optional. In the student’s calendar, the student can view the submitted comments by viewing the reserved appointment group event.
Instructors can view any comments left by students by viewing the reserved appointment group slot.

Calendar Scheduler Documentation: 


*Anonymous Student Peer Review Notifications
This feature was originally suggested in the Canvas community.
Access via: “Assignments”>Specific Assignment>Edit/Create>”Require Peer Review”

When instructors enable anonymous peer reviews, notifications sent to students about the peer review assignment are also anonymous. Notifications do not include the name of the student whose work is to be reviewed.
Student Peer Review Documentation:

TO BE APPLIED SAT., October 10:
  • ASSIGNMENTS: Complete assignments retain their setting if the score is changed.
  • CONVERSATIONS(INBOX) – Attachments are sent in Conversation messages for all users.
    • Instructors can import concluded courses without false error message.
    • Question marks in folder titles do not affect images in copied courses.
  • FILES –
    • Users can view and preview all files located in folders with subfolders.
    • Users can preview files that are filtered in the search field.
    • The Learning Mastery Gradebook loads for courses with a large number of outcomes.
    • Gradebook cell shading for dropped scores is accurate according to section.
    • The student grades indicator does not include unpublished assignments.
    • Users can view the name of a module header when the header also includes prerequisites.
    • When a quiz submission with multiple attempts meets the Must Submit requirement for a module, the module requirement is marked as complete.
    • Publishing a module publishes all unpublished files within the module.
  • PEOPLE -Instructors can manage other teachers, course designers, or TAs if they have the Add/Remove Other Teachers… permission enabled.
    • When an instructor previews a quiz with the Lock Questions after Answering option enabled, instructors see a warning message.
    • Instructors can view the extra time granted to individual students.
    • Instructors can view the quiz options when extending extra time in a quiz.
    • Instructors can preview quizzes with availability dates in the past.
  • SPEEDGRADER: When a student is allowed multiple quiz attempts, only attempts that are submitted after the due date are marked as late.

Accessibility fixes

  TO BE APPLIED SAT., October 10:

  • In the sidebar, To-Do items can be read by screen readers.

  • The Modules Index page includes headings for screen readers.


*Cancel Button in Discussion & Announcements
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas community.
Access via: Announcements>”+ Announcement” or Discussions>”+Discussion”
When instructors create a new discussion, the Discussions page includes a Cancel button. This change helps enable consistent behavior when creating content across Canvas. When instructors create a new announcement, the Announcements page includes a Cancel button. This change helps enable consistent behavior when creating content across Canvas.
*Requirements & Sequential Order Placement
Access via: “Modules”>+Module or “Edit”
The Module requirements field displays the sequential order checkbox below the All Requirements radio button. Instructors can only require students to complete module requirements in sequential order if students complete all the requirements in the module. The One Requirement option is not supported.
Modules Documentation:

  • ASSIGNMENTS: Allowed extensions listed in restricted file types are not honored if File Upload is not a submission option.
  • CALENDAR- The Recurring Calendar Event feature creates events according to the user’s time zone.
    • Exporting and importing a course with module requirements retains the module settings.
    • The Disable Comments on Announcements course setting is retained in course export.
    • Group discussions are displayed by discussion ID, which may also be alphabetical order.
    • Users with concluded enrollments cannot edit their discussion replies.
  • FILES –
    • If a user navigates away from Files before an uploaded file is complete, Files displays a warning message.
    • A file set to unlock after a specific time will unlock regardless of whether a student has already tried to access the file.
    • Entering zero as a grade for an essay quiz removes the Q icon.
    • The Message Students Who Have Not Submitted option selects names of students whose assignments have been graded but are unsubmitted.
    • Exporting a Gradebook CSV does not overlap links for previous exports.
    • The Muted Assignment icon only displays in the Total column for graded assignments.
  • INBOX (Conversations) – Conversations shows the names of all participants in a message thread.
    • Canvas code has been updated to only allow sequential order as part of the all requirements checkbox.
    • Instructors can only require students to complete module requirements in sequential order if students complete all the requirements in the module.
    • Instructors can drag modules to the end of of the list in a course with multiple pre-existing modules.
  • NOTIFICATIONS – Long email addresses do not misalign the email notification column.
  • PAGES –  If a course does not show the Pages Course Navigation link, students cannot view the View All Pages button on the course home page.
    • Instructors can specify the number of decimals for an answer in the Numerical Answer question type.
    • Repeating decimals beyond two places are rounded up.
    • Quiz questions do not auto scroll to the last quiz question.
    • Instructors can view quiz results in concluded courses.
    • Instructors can download all student submissions in SpeedGrader.
    • When an instructor enters a score for a student submission, SpeedGrader updates the student’s assignment status with a green check mark.
  • SYLLABUS – In the Syllabus, graded assignments are shown in bold text.

Accessibility fixes

  • The Unread filter can be read by screen readers in Announcements & discussions

  • What-if Grades are accessible to keyboard users.
  • Screen readers can identify content items within a module.

November 21, 2015 Update Highlights

*Anonymous Grading Student View
Access via: Student Grades view only
Students can view whether or not an assignment was graded anonymously in SpeedGrader. Anonymous grading is set by opening SpeedGrader options and selecting the Hide Student Names in SpeedGrader checkbox. Notifications of the anonymous status are shown in both the student Grades page and the sidebar of the assignment submission page.


*Student Assignment Submission Download Link
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Access via: Student assignment view only
In the Assignments submission sidebar, the download link for the assignment is shown below the submission details link.


*Firefox Speedgrader Crocodoc Warning Banner
Access via: Assignment>SpeedGrader
To warn about the effects of Firefox and Crocodoc annotations, Canvas displays a warning banner that says “Warning: Crocodoc has limitations when used in Firefox. Comments will not always be saved.” When an instructor uses Crocodoc annotations for a supported assignment submission type (primarily Word documents and PDFs), the Firefox browser frequently removes the last annotated comment when updating the score field in SpeedGrader. This behavior is a Crocodoc-specific limitation within Firefox that cannot be resolved by Crocodoc at this time. To avoid losing any annotations, instructors may choose to use another browser when providing Crocodoc annotated feedback, or try clicking the screen before navigating to another student.


  • ASSIGNMENTS:  When an instructor created an assignment but did not publish the assignment, editing the assignment at a later date then clicking the Save and Publish button was not generating a notification. Canvas code has been updated to send out notifications for an assignment once it is published.
    • When editing an appointment group, an instructor cannot edit the dates with the calendar icon.
    • Changes to group memberships are shown in previously created scheduler appointments.
  • COURSE IMPORTS -Canvas retains assignment groups for courses importing select assignment and discussion content.
  • DASHBOARD: Coming Up events do not visibly conflict in the Dashboard and Course Home Page sidebar.
    • Graded discussions that have been restored to a course are restored to their original state.
    • Group discussions do not send notifications if the course is unpublished.
  • FILES -When a folder contains over 100 files, the Files page loads more efficiently.
    • When a graded quiz or assignment is deleted from a course, Course Navigation refreshes the Grades indicator for associated assignments.
    • In Safari, users can view grades when hovering over assignment scores.
    • When an instructor hovers over the Total Column, the options appear in the drop-down menu.
    • Instructors can download submissions from concluded courses.
    • The Learning Mastery Gradebook does not display outcome results for deleted outcomes.
  • INBOX (Conversations) – Users can send a message from a course’s people page regardless of the course’s favorite status.
    • Modules displays the overdue icon only if a student does not have a submission for the assignment.
    • Modules only display completion requirement types relating to the items added to the module.
  • PEER REVIEW – When an instructor assigns automatic peer reviews, peer reviews are distributed evenly across all students. (peer reviews were being distributed inconsistently, where students were being reviewed more times and fewer times than other students)
    • Ungraded surveys do not display point values.
    • Ungraded quizzes don’t refer to correct answer choices.
    • Instructors can update a quiz question containing uploaded/recorded media.
    • Quizzes display <, >, and & in quiz questions.
  • RICH CONTENT EDITOR – When editing a page, preformatted text appears in the Rich Content Editor.
    • IThe attachment icon does not autosubmit comments in SpeedGrader.
    • The rubric window in SpeedGrader scrolls independently of the student submission.
    • The Canvas document previewer generates file previews for peer-review assignments.
    • When an instructor enters a score for a manually graded quiz question, SpeedGrader updates the student’s assignment status with a green check mark.

Accessibility fixes

  • Conversations retains focus indicators on the Reply and More Options buttons.
  • When updating a profile picture, keyboard users can upload a file and navigate back to the profile page.



Originally scheduled for 12/12 but moved back to 12/19 for further bug testing

*External Link Validator
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Access via: Settings>Course Details tab
Instructors can verify all the external online links throughout a course to ensure they are valid. This option is available in the Course Details tab in Course Settings.

The course link validator searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive links. If links are found, Canvas provides the name of the content item with a link so instructors can correct the error.
Course-Link-ValidatorNote: Our engineers are correcting two known issues with false positive results: If the link has a redirect, and if the link needs authentication that the canvas server does not posses (but the user does). The link validator will follow redirects (up to a limit) before it creates the false positive of a broken link, as well as exclude links that trigger an unauthorized (403) error. More details about these fixes will be in a future release.

*Moderated Grading
Access via: “+/Edit Assignment”>Moderated Grading option
When creating an assignment, instructors can choose to have multiple graders evaluate a student’s work and create draft or provisional grades before the grade is marked as final for the course. This feature can also be used to create a sampling of students for assignment review to ensure grading is consistent and allows secondary grade reviews. Students cannot view any comments or grades until the grade is published.

Moderated grading refers to two specific user roles: moderators and reviewers – those with roles of Instructor, TA etc. in the course.
For each assignment that needs to be moderated, instructors must select the Allow a moderator to review multiple independent grades check box.

Once an assignment has been published, moderators will see the Moderate button on the assignment page. Moderators can select checkboxes next to students whose assignments should be moderated, then click the Add Reviewer button to add the students to the moderation set and create quick-access links to SpeedGrader.
The Moderate page only supports up to two provisional grades and one moderator grade.
Reviewers interact with SpeedGrader as they would with any other Canvas assignment, including grading with rubrics and leaving comments. Once a reviewer grades the assignment, the grade appears in the Moderate page as a provisional grade in the appropriate reviewer column. Provisional grades are not included in the Gradebook and are only visible to moderators.
To assign and post a final grade for the assignment, the moderator can click the radio button in any reviewer column (or click the Select button in SpeedGrader). Then click the Post button. The final grade is the grade that will appear in the Gradebook once the assignment grades are posted.
Moderated-Grading-6Once a grade is published, the grade in the moderator page cannot be changed; all content is considered read-only for historical reference. However, grades can still be changed in the Gradebook. 
*Student ePub Offline Course Content Export
Access via:  Settings>Course Details tab
Instructors can allow students to download a course as an ePub file. This feature allows students to view course content when they are offline, such as files, pages, assignment details, discussion topics, or quiz instructions. Students cannot interact with the course in ePub material; course materials are displayed in a read-only state and any tasks such as submitting an assignment must be completed online.
The default ePub organization is by module, meaning only items that students have access to view in each module will be included in the ePub file. However, instructors can set their course organization by content type (e.g. assignments, quizzes, etc.). This option can be changed by checking the ePub Export checkbox located in the Course Settings Course Details tab.
Any user can generate ePub files in the current user interface by opening their User Settings page and clicking the Download Course Content button. (In the new Canvas user interface, click the Global Navigation Account link to access user settings.)
Downloaded content can be viewed in any ePub reader, such as iBooks (Mac) or Azardi (Windows and Android). Other ePub applications can be used, but iBooks and Azardi are recommended as they provide the best support for embedded media. In ePub content, students cannot interact with course content directly such as completing an assignment, but they can view the assignment details, availability dates, and point values. In ePub content, students cannot interact with course content directly such as completing an assignment, but they can view the assignment details, availability dates, and point values.
*Ungraded Essay Quizzes Qs And Student Grade Total
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Access via:  Students Grades
When a student submits a quiz that has a manually graded component, the ungraded quiz does not factor into student’s grades view. Student grades are only updated when the manually graded question has been graded by the instructor.



  • ASSIGNMENTS:  File names are not changed in submission downloads.
  • FILES –
    • Downloading a link to a text-based file immediately downloads the file.
    • Folder names can be no longer than 255 characters.
    • Folder previews are not supported in Canvas.
    • Users in large enrollment courses can use the Message Students Who feature in the Gradebook.
  • INBOX (Conversations) –
    • Users can send a group message and select the checkbox to send individual messages. [When a user tried to send a message to members in a group but chose to send messages individually, the page failed and generated an error message. ]
    • File names for recorded and uploaded videos/audio files display in Conversations.
    • In Firefox, files with long continuous names added to a module in Firefox are truncated after 50 characters.
    • When all requirements have been removed from a module, users can view the module content in any order.
  • NOTIFICATIONS – Due dates in differentiated assignment are included in the assignment creation notification.
  • PAGES – Users can view all pages in the Pages sidebar.
    • Instructors can preview and submit a quiz that requires access codes
    • When adding images in the Rich Content Editor, instructors receive a warning message about the alt-text image file name.
    • After saving a changed question, Canvas applies the quiz regrade option.
    • Question Banks only display one version of each question.
    • Students can take a quiz when a section date is still open.
    • When an assignment is resubmitted, all users are able to view the original Crocodoc submission.
    • Sorting in SpeedGrader is consistent in all browsers.

Accessibility fixes


  • Calendar date range fields, undated items, link drop-down menus, and calendar checkboxes retain focus for keyboard users.
  • To Do and Coming Up Lists display assignments with their respective icon in gray text. The Recent Feedback section shows a green check mark next to the content link and is the only section that includes the color green. The names of calendar event, quiz, discussion, and assignment icons can be read by screen readers.
  • Discussion expand and collapse links can be identified by screen readers.
  • File previews are accessible for both screen readers and keyboard users.


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