Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-07-15)

In an effort to continually improve Canvas, Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, releases Canvas upgrades every three weeks along with Production Release Notes. Pertinent features and upgrades are listed below. You may view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for July 17, 2017 and its accompanying screencast. The next release will be on August 5.

New Features

Assignment Duplication (Courses) - Assignments can be duplicated in the Assignments index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every available assignment. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the assignment name.

Duplicating an assignment defaults the copied assignment to an unpublished status. All items in the assignment are duplicated including the name, description, point value, and options, except for the following situations:

  • Copied peer review assignments retain the peer review setting and Assign Review date, but the number of reviews per user will be set to zero.
  • Copied assignments are always assigned to everyone in the course; differentiated assignments are not retained for individual users, groups, or sections.
    • If a differentiated assignment includes an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment retains the Everyone Else due date, if any.
    • If a differentiated assignment does not include an Everyone Else date, the copied assignment does not include a due date.
    • If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.
  • Copied external tool (LTI) assignments may need to be reconfigured. If an assignment is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the assignment after the page is refreshed.

Note: Assignments currently cannot be duplicated for discussions and quizzes. These assignment types do not include a Duplicate option in the Settings menu and will be added in a future release.

Pages Duplication (Courses) - Pages can be duplicated in the Pages index page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every page. When an assignment is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the page name.

Duplicating a page defaults the copied page to an unpublished status. All items in the page are duplicated including the page name, content, and options.

If a page is used in MasteryPaths, the MasteryPaths setting is also enabled in the copied page. Additionally, any MasteryPaths page also displays in the Assignments index page.

If a page is copied in a blueprint course, the Blueprint icon displays for the page after the page is refreshed.

Updated Features

Observer Invitation (Conferences) - Observers can be invited to participate in course conferences with all course members or individually. In the Conferences creation page, the Invite All Course Members default includes observer enrollments. Observers can be individually added or removed from a conference invitation by deselecting the checkbox.

This change resolves a fixed bug in Canvas:

When a user created a conference in a course and wanted to invite an observer individually, deselecting the Invite All Course Members checkbox did not display the names of observer enrollments. Canvas code has been updated to display observers in the course enrollments list.

Modules Course Home Page Default (Course Home Page) - This feature was previously introduced as a feature option in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-04-22) will be enabled for all Canvas accounts.

In new courses, Course Home Page defaults to the Modules layout. This change replaces the Recent Activity Stream as the Home page default. Instructors are not required to use Modules for the home page and can choose another home page layout. The Modules page includes two links to help new instructors either create a new module or add existing content through a course import. If Modules is set to the Home page but no modules content exists, Canvas will prompt the instructor to either publish a module or choose a different home page layout.

Sidebar Enhancements (Rich Content Editor) - The Rich Content Editor sidebar enhancements that exist in Pages and the Syllabus displays in all feature areas of Canvas, including Quizzes. The sidebar enhancements include a visual style update and pagination support. The sidebar has been updated with backend improvements and some small interface changes:

  • Each selector tab supports pagination, and content sections include scrollbars.
  • In the Links tab, Pages content is displayed alphabetically. The link to create a link to a new page has been removed, so new pages need to be created from the Pages index page.
  • The Files tab displays all files alphabetically.
  • When usage rights are enabled for files, the Files and Images tabs display usage rights options.

Other Updates

Canvas Font Size Update (User Interface) - The base font size in Canvas has been increased from 14px to 16px. This change improves accessibility and text legibility, and all other font sizes have been increased accordingly. Please note that some Canvas areas with multiple text components may still display smaller font sizes. Instructure designers are still adjusting CSS for these areas and will update them in future releases.

Canvas Icon Update (User Interface) - The icons throughout Canvas have been updated with a new Instructure-owned icon library. All new Instructure icons default as line vs solid icons. Some Canvas areas may display inconsistent icons, and Instructure designers will update these icons in the next release.

Dashboard Course Card Width (User Interface) - All course cards are responsive to the full width of the browser. Depending on a user's browser's resolution, the Dashboard could display more than three course cards in a single row.

Fixed Bugs

Please view the full Canvas Production Release Notes for July 15, 2017 and its accompanying screencast for more information concerning accessibility improvements and other bug fixes.