A running Listing of All Canvas Updates/ changes made during Spring Semester 2016. As new updates come out, we will update this page.

JANUARY 30, 2016 Minor Update


Floating Module ‘Next’ & ‘Previous’ Buttons
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Access via: “Modules”>any module item
When a user views a module item, the Previous and Next progression bar always floats at the bottom of the screen. This change helps users not have to scroll to the end of a page to advance to the next module item or return to a previous item.
NOTE: When using Student View, the Student View notification blocks access to the Next button in the modules bar. Our engineering team is working on adjusting this behavior.
Modules Documentation:  https://guides.instructure.com/m/4152/c/23855

Discussion and Announcement Reply URLs
This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
Access via: Canvas Notification Message
When a user receives a notification for a reply to a discussion or announcement thread, the URL in the email links directly to the post rather than the top of the thread.
Notifications Documentation:  https://guides.instructure.com/m/4152/c/23856

  • COURSE IMPORTS – When a course is copied in Canvas, restricted course files that have been placed in a module retain their module association.
  • DISCUSSIONS:  Students can submit attachments to a discussion as long as they have not exceeded their user files quota.
    •  If an instructor mutes an assignment, unmutes the assignment, and then mutes the assignment again, all comments are hidden from the submission.
    • The Gradebook disables assignment cells for any student not assigned to an assignment.
    • The Gradebook Individual View paginates assignment submissions according to the number of assignments in the course
  • LINK VALIDATOR – The Link Validator does not report overwritten links as deleted links.

Accessibility fixes

  • The Calendar Feed link is identified as a button and can be accessed by keyboard users.

  • When viewing a discussion topic, keyboard users and screen readers are notified about keyboard shortcuts. However, screen readers are also notified that Canvas shortcuts may conflict with screen reader shortcuts.
  • Screen readers can identify which email addresses have been confirmed. Additionally, the Confirm Email Address dialog is associated as role-”dialog”, and the dialog identifies required fields for screen readers.
  • The Edit Settings page includes form fields that can be read by screen readers.
  • For Web services, screen readers can identify each label with unique name and ID attributes.

FEBRUARY 20, 2016 Update Highlights


  • Verification if Students Have Reviewed SpeedGrader Annotations
    This feature was originally suggested by the Canvas Community.
    Access via: “SpeedGrader”
    When an instructor adds Crocodoc annotations to a student’s submission, instructors can view if the student has viewed the feedback.
    This change does not affect any student behavior in Canvas. Students view Crocodoc feedback by viewing the submission details page and click the View Feedback button.
    Crocodoc Annotating in SpeedGrader Documentation:

Note: Crocodoc only supports specific file types, such as Microsoft Word and PDF documents. If a student submission does not support Crocodoc, SpeedGrader renders the document in the Canvas document previewer and the submission details page shows the Preview button.

TO DO SIDEBAR Enhancements
Access via: Canvas Dashboard or Course HOME
All sidebar areas now will include the name of the course, and

  • Assignments also include the total number of points. 
  • The Coming Up section includes the specific date of the assignment or event instead of the day of the week.
  • Additionally, any assignments that have already been graded include the assignment score.
  • For instructors, the To Do list assignment icons are replaced with an indicator representing the number of submissions that require grading.


Student Grade Sorting

STUDENTS Access via: GRADES area
When students view the Grades page, they can sort grades by due date, module, assignment title, or assignment group. By default, sorting is by due date.  If modules or assignment groups aren’t used in a course, they won’t be included as sorting options.
STUDENT Grades Access Documentation:

Announcement Replies Liking
Access via: Announcements>Individual Announcement
When an instructor creates an announcement, they can choose to allow students to like a reply. This feature is only applicable to courses that allow students to respond to announcements. When a student responds to an announcement, other students can view and click the like icon below the reply.

Announcements Documentation: 

Quiz Stats and Course Analytics Graphs Updates
Individual Quiz Stats via: QUIZZES>Quiz Statistics
Course Analytics via: Course Homepage>VIEW COURSE ANALYTICS button

Question breakdown graphs have been changed to display horizontal bars with question responses, the number of respondents, and the percentage of students who selected each response. Correct answer responses include a check mark, while no answer responses are indicated by a striped bar. For responses that show a discrimination index, the index displays the number but no longer displays the associated graph.
Account, course, and user analytics graphs have been improved for accessibility and readability; changes do not affect current functionality. The Submissions graphs use different colors and shapes to distinguish missing, late, and on-time assignment submissions. Specific percentages for each submission status can be viewed by hovering over the assignment. The Courses page shows submissions for all students; the users page shows the submissions for each individual student, as well as future assignments that are not due yet.
Quiz Statistics Documentation:
Course Analytics Documentation:


    • Students can view the points possible for an assignment in Firefox.
    • Instructors can create new outcomes from an assignment.
    • Users can view full quiz questions when taking quizzes in a narrow or low-resolution screen.
    • Instructors cannot change the state of a quiz by clicking the Q icon.
    • SpeedGrader does not add fudge points when an instructor manually grades quiz questions.



New Features OF NOTE:

Notification Preference View
Access via: “ACCOUNT>Notifications”
Notification option menus can be changed without hovering over a communication channel column.  Enabled notifications are shown with a dark background. Changing a notification option applies the option immediately.
Notifications Documentation

Student Analytics Link added to People Drop-down 
Access via: PEOPLE>Specific user “gear” icon> “ANALYTICS”
The Analytics link has been added to the people page menu for easy access:
Analytics Documentation

Manually Graded Quiz Question Stats
Access via: QUIZZES>Specific Quiz>Quiz Statistics
Quiz statistics show relative grade performance for manually graded essay and file upload quiz question types. A manually graded quiz type is marked as correct if it contains a student score greater than or equal to the question points possible:
Quiz Statistics Documentation


  • ANALYTICS: User profile pictures are preloaded in course analytics to improve loading speed.
    • Details page fixed to allow Preview/View Feedback on smaller screen resolutions.
    • When an assignment is locked until a future date, students can view the Submit button once the assignment is available.
  • CALENDAR: In Week view, graded discussions due after 11:30 pm appear on the date they are due.
  • COURSE IMPORT: When importing content from a master course, any subsequent changes to the module item state are retained if content is re-imported from the master course.
    • In Firefox and Internet Explorer, the Recent Feedback audio comments icon displays as a thumbnail image instead of a large audio icon.
    • The Coming Up section in the Dashboard only shows students events for active courses.
    • The To Do list in the Dashboard only shows instructors ungraded assignments in active courses, regardless of previous overridden term dates.
    • Excused assignments are not shown in a student’s To Do list.
  • DISCUSSION – When a group discussion is created for a course, the group name is retained as part of the discussion.
    • Gradebook, Individual View shows two decimal places for a student’s final grade.
    • STUDENT GRADES VIEW: In the sort by Modules option, assignments that are not in a module sort below the last module item alphabetically by title.
    • STUDENT GRADES VIEW: Inactive enrollments cannot view grades in prior courses.
    • Users cannot access a group if their enrollment has been concluded by section dates.
    • Only active users are shown in an existing group.
  • INBOX  – Canvas code has  been updated to remove the archive option from sent messages.
    • When being added as a module item, External Tools require a URL.
    • Modules are relocked when an assignment is differentiated for additional users or due dates.
  • NOTIFICATIONS – Students do not receive notifications for concluded courses.
  • SETTINGS- Deleted question banks are not flagged in the Link Validator.
  • SPEEDGRADER – SpeedGrader does not display individual comments made in group submission assignments.

Accessibility Fixes:

  • When the first item in a sidebar list is deleted, focus is retained on the item’s heading.

  • When starring or unstarring a conversation through the message menu, focus is retained in the menu.
  • The Help menu displays consistent highlighting for keyboard navigation.
  • In the Notification page, the notification option menus can be changed without hovering over a communication channel column.


To be updated as production notes are released:

APRIL 23, 2016 Update Highlights

MAY 14, 2016 Update Highlights


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