Canvas Updates

Whether it's fixing glitches or adding new tools like the accessibility checker, Canvas is constantly seeking ways to improve as an online learning management system. The Canvas Community produces frequent Release Notes that contain details on these updates, and we want you to know how Canvas changes may affect and help you.

Following is a brief overview of recent Canvas Release Notes, with information from the Canvas Community; if you have any questions, please contact us

Next release: August 4, 2018

Updates for July 14, 2018

  • Canvas Release Notes will be formatted differently. See the Canvas Community's document on Simplifying the Release Notes Process: Upcoming Release Notes Changes for more.
  • If moderated grading is enabled for an assignment, students' and moderators' names can be hidden to prevent the impact of bias.
  • When creating a rubric, instructors can select "Remove points from rubric" to rate students' assignments without impacting points awarded. 
  • In SpeedGrader, instructors' comments on a document submission will remain on the same page. If comments exceed space limits on the page, they will be shown through an indicator (example: "2 more comments") at the top of the page. 
  • For instructors who use Canvas Commons, search results can now be filtered by students' grade level.

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.

Updates for June 23, 2018

  • Calendar events in Canvas can now be made to repeat themselves every day, week, or month. Instructors can select a "Count" function that labels these events as the first, second, etc. of their kind.
  • The Discussion index page has been updated to improve accessibility. Not much of the index appears to have changed, but the "All" and "Unread" options are now listed in a drop-down box, and the "subscribe" button has changed to a "bookmark" icon. Instructors can now create a non-graded discussion that is section-specific.
  • Instructors can now copy entire modules in the "Modules" page. New modules default to an unpublished state and have "Copy" at the end of their name. For information about limitations for copying items within a module, see Canvas's Release Notes on the topic

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.

Updates for June 2, 2018

  • Canvas now supports right-to-left languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian languages. To enable this feature in your course, contact your Instructional Consultant.
  • In Speedgrader and on the Submission Details page, instructors can now leave annotations on BMP, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, and TIFF images. Larger images are scaled down so they can be viewed without scrolling.
  • Any user can now comment on an annotation in Speedgrader. If these comments are longer than five lines, they are truncated to show the first line. Also, instructors can delete any user’s comments or annotations. No one but the comment’s author will be able to see deleted work.

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.

Updates for May 12, 2018

  • Users can now comment on all announcements in courses that allow announcement replies.
  • When students submit assignments, their submission status has changed from "Turned In!" to "Submitted!" See the table below for before and after photos.
  • Before After
    turned in submission submitted submission
  • Under Files, the Files Settings menu icon has changed from a gear symbol to three vertical dots. See the table below for before and after photos.
  • Before After
    gear symbol three vertical dots symbol

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.

Updates for April 21, 2018

  • In Canvas's Conferences tool, instructors now have the ability to delete individual concluded conferences. These concluded conferences also show the date and time at which they concluded below their title on the Conferences page. 
  • In Canvas's Rich Content Editor, a word counter appears at the bottom right of the text window. 

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.

Updates for March 31, 2018

  • Internet Explorer has transitioned from being a fully supported browser to a functionally supported browser. In other words, this browser can be used only in Windows, and Canvas in Internet Explorer may appear differently over time, but it will still work with Canvas. 
  • For those who use Learning Outcomes, outcomes can be imported into a course using a CSV file. For more on outcomes, visit Canvas Communities
  • In Speedgrader, you now have the ability to add comments to a student's assignment. 

Image of buttons to the upper right of a student assignment in the Speedgrader

From left to right, available options for making marks on a student assignment are:

  1. Selection allows you to select text and other annotations you have made
  2. Point annotation allows you to select a point within an assignment and then leave a comment
  3. Highlight annotation allows you to highlight text within an assignment 
  4. Freetext annotation allows you to click on any part of the project and type comments within a textbox
  5. Strikeout annotation allows you to draw a line through text by clicking and dragging across a word
  6. Free draw annotation allows you to draw on a student's assignment
  7. Area annotation allows you to create a box around an area, and leave a comment

Numbers 2 through 7 on the above list allow for you to customize markings with color, size, and more! When you are adding or clicking on an annotation, a trashcan icon will appear in the annotation's edit window. This allows you to delete any annotation.

To view more, see Release Notes or the Canvas Community's Screencast (below) concerning these updates.