Canvas Mobile Apps & Canvas Release May 16, 2020

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By , May 28, 2020 7:56 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Canvas Mobile Apps

Canvas Mobile Apps are updated as needed. Check Google Play or the Apple App Store for the latest update.  Check here for links to the appropriate Release Notes for the associated version.

 

Canvas Release May 16, 2020

Course Settings: Link Validator Celebration

Canvas generates a virtual celebration when instructors run the link validator and no issues are found. This change provides validation to instructors after they’ve verified and resolved course links. Celebrations take place in Canvas when the Link Validator finds no errors. This User Settings feature option is included for all users and defaults to off. Instructors only need to adjust this feature option if they are seeing celebrations in the link validator page and they want to opt-out of the animations.

 

Notifications: SMS Notification Types Deprecation

On 2 May, all SMS notification types are deprecated except Announcements and Grading notification types. Remaining notification types can be enabled through other communication channels. This change provides a better communication experience for all user roles. Other notification types are more consistent and reliable for Canvas users. When users open their Notification Preferences page, all SMS options are disabled except announcements and grading notification types.

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: May 16, 2020.

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Canvas Release – April 18, 2020

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By , April 20, 2020 7:06 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Notifications

Mute Notifications by Course

Users can mute all notifications for a course where the user is enrolled. This change allows users to mute all notifications for a specific course.

Notifications video: Mute Notifications by Course (2020-04-18 Release)

 

Assignments

Limited Submission Attempts

Submission attempts can be limited in Canvas assignments. This feature allows instructors to limit submission attempts for students.

Assignments video: Limited Submission Attempts (2020-04-18 Release)

 

Gradebook

Assignment Header Menu SpeedGrader Link

Assignment menus in the Gradebook include a link to SpeedGrader. This change helps graders access SpeedGrader more easily.

Gradebook: Assignment Header Menu SpeedGrader Link (2020-04-18 Release)

 

New Quizzes

Multiple Answer Partial Scoring

Multiple Answer questions allow instructors to award students partial credit with penalty if a student selects an incorrect response. This grading option will be the default for new Multiple Answer questions with an option to use Exact Match instead. This change allows instructors to award partial credit when Multiple Answer questions are auto-graded. This change also provides parity with Classic Quizzes behavior, contributing to a smoother migration to New Quizzes.

New Quizzes video: Multiple Answer Partial Scoring (2020-04-18 Release)

 

Rubrics

Course Navigation Rubrics Link

The Manage Rubrics button has been removed from the course-level Outcomes page and added to the Course Navigation Menu. This change allows course rubrics to be accessed more quickly. Additionally, the workflow is more intuitive as outcomes are not required within a rubric.

Rubrics video: Course Navigation Rubrics Link (2020-04-18 Release)

 

Canvas Ready Releases

To provide more immediate solutions to our customers, the Canvas release process will temporarily involve weekly releases. Features included in these releases provide specific needs related to COVID-19 scenarios. For full details about release adjustments, please refer to COVID-19 Updates to Canvas Releases and Deploys.

 

Hypothesis tool – Specific for Creighton through Fall 2020

Creighton has integrated Hypothesis, an annotation tool for commenting/discussing within a document – available only through December 2020. Kathy Craig, of the RadLab, has created three training videos:

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: April 18, 2020.

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Canvas Release – March 21, 2020

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By , March 23, 2020 2:39 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Assignments: Re-Upload Submissions Status Page

The status of re-uploaded assignment files is managed in the background, no longer requiring the uploader to wait for the files confirmation page. After downloaded files are re-uploaded to Canvas via a zip file, a status page notifies the user that the files are processing. This change moves file uploads from a front-end process to a backend process allowing instructors to leave the assignment page. Additionally, this change prevents large files from timing out during the upload.

Feature Video

 

Gradebook: Export Sort Order

The Gradebook export CSV file matches the order of assignments displayed in the Assignments page. This change provides consistency in both the Assignments page and the CSV file.

Feature Video             (the Plagiarism piece seen in this video was dropped from this release)

 

New Rich Content Editor: Auto Save

In pages with one Rich Content Editor, the editor autosaves any content that hasn’t yet been submitted for up to one hour. This feature helps users retain new or edited content that may otherwise be lost from inadvertent browser reloads, loss of internet connection, or navigating to another window.

Feature Video

 

New Rich Content Editor: Keyboard Insert Menu Updates

The Keyboard Insert Menu includes the option to add a Horizontal Line. Additionally, the Insert Menu has been updated to reflect the same options available in the New Rich Content Editor toolbar menus. This change helps with consistency in both the Keyboard and New Rich Content Editor toolbar menus.

 

Syllabus: Course Summary Visibility

The Syllabus page includes an option to remove the Course Summary section. This change allows instructors to remove the auto-generated Course Summary section in the Syllabus.

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: March 21, 2020.

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Canvas: Online Teaching & Learning Mar. 16, 2020

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By , March 16, 2020 5:35 pm

Canvas, better known at Creighton as BlueLine, is poised to support ours and the all the institutions that use Canvas, even as many of these institutions transform from mixed on-premises/online course delivery to largely all online course delivery.

Before I share information about Canvas, please know that the Creighton Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) has compiled great information and resources to assist faculty to continue teaching in the event of campus closure for inclement weather, widespread illness or other unexpected events.

 

Canvas Performance

In 2011, a few of the more enticing attributes that drew the many faculty, academic staff, students and IT staff to select Canvas as our Learning Management System (LMS) included:

  • Modern technology including mobile access across devices & integration with social media applications
  • Dynamic feature upgrades as they are developed, eliminating patches and down time
  • Cloud-based storage and server technology supported by Amazon Web Services

Canvas utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host their services and our courses. A lot of people recognize this setup as “the cloud.” This is an excellent methodology for any hosted software company to use for many reasons. The key benefit among them is the ability to rapidly scale services as needed.

AWS is the largest and most robust, most dependable, cloud infrastructure in the world. Canvas can easily scale up and meet the demands of every school they work with by using AWS servers. AWS has massive server farms, scattered around the world, purpose built to handle some of the toughest workloads in under every scenario, including natural disasters.

If the AWS cloud goes down, the options would be very slim, as that would impact most online services across the world. One could utilize Google’s cloud product “Google Classroom” as a worst-case scenario option, but it seems very unlikely this would be a necessary contingency to plan for.

Canvas’ vendor, Instructure, is ramping up support personnel as well, and Creighton Canvas admins have a direct line to a Canvas Success Manager. If you have any issues or concerns, please contact Canvas Support (Support Hours: 24-7-365) first:

  • Click on the “Help” link after logging in to BlueLine:
    • Chat with Canvas Support – live link; one for students; one for teachers
    • Canvas Support Hotline – Students: 855 941-4242; Teachers: 833 278-2010
    • Report a Problem (links to an online form)

If there is something that cannot be remedied by Canvas Support, feel free to reach out to the Canvas admins. The best way is to open a ticket with the Service Desk.

Instructure’s Commitment

Here is a link to a good Canvas Blog posting on Scaling Online Learning. Several institutions of Higher Ed share strategies and tips.

In addition, the Canvas vendor, Instructure is committed to providing a successful client experience:

To our customers,

The health and safety of students and educators is incredibly important to our Instructure family. Like you, we’re paying attention to the daily developments, washing our hands, and discussing internally how we can ensure you have the support you need. I want to share some updates and resources to help you continue teaching and learning with minimal interruptions.

We are already actively working with many of you that have gone to a fully online model and with others that are preparing for the possibility of such an outcome. Here are a few things we’re preparing to help you:

Scaling Canvas – Canvas is a SaaS-based Learning Management System that can automatically scale to address the increased needs of schools dealing with the Coronavirus or other situations that might require an institution to move to an online model. We are working with AWS to ensure your use of Canvas will work seamlessly in an online-only environment. Should you need to provide more users with access to your Canvas environment than you currently have licenses for, please let your Customer Success Manager know. We are ready to work with you in this difficult time to support your needs between now and July 1st at no additional cost.

Scaling Support & Training – We have many K12 and HE institutions that have already shifted to an online-only model, following closures to schools and campuses. We realize this requires more help from our support and training organizations. To meet this need, we are ramping up support as needed. We have a flexible workforce in place that lets us ramp up and down in response to the load that is required from our customers. That also applies to trainers who are ready to help your institution prepare and scale as needed. No matter the need, we’ve got you!

Leveraging Partners – We are lucky to work with the greatest partner ecosystem in the world. Many of these partners have built tools that can help you more effectively educate during difficult times. Blindside Networks, the maker of BigBlueButton, which powers Canvas Conferences and its virtual classroom capabilities, is one of the partners. They have been providing hosting solutions to Instructure since 2012. We have many other partners who can be helpful during this time. We will be adding details about other partners who are available to help on our coronavirus update page.

We are going to learn together during the coming days and weeks the degree to which Coronavirus will escalate. We need the education community to rally together to support each other. I’m glad to have such an amazing group of customers who are committed to getting the right models in place to support students. One of the things I’m most happy to see is the way our customers are collaborating and sharing perspectives around what’s working. Below are some resources from our team and others that have come from many of you which we hope will help the education community work together through this:

Canvas Coronavirus Update Page – A resource page which we will update regularly

Maintaining the Connection of the Classroom – A step-by-step guide about how to maintain the connection of a classroom in a virtual environment

Community Collaboration Space – A safe space where community members can come together and share ideas

This isn’t an easy time. Our teams and your teams are being asked to work more than usual to get through this. We are committed to you.

With best regards,
Melissa Loble
Chief Customer Experience Officer,
Canvas

 

Learn More About Canvas

  • Canvas Documentation:
    • Canvas Community – front door to finding answers, guides, videos, ideas, community, and much more
    • Canvas Status – current status of main features/components
    • Canvas Training materials: Go to Canvas Answers and ask a question, search for a question or start a discussion
    • Teaching and Learning Center: Faculty desiring assistance with course building and design, or students with questions can reach out the Teaching and Learning Center at elearning@creighton.edu or 402 280-1190.
    • BlueLine Orientation: TLC is responsible for keeping up the Faculty Resources and the Student Resources course sites (links are in BlueLine Help section)
    • BlueLine Blog: Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Highlights from the most recent release notes are available on the BlueLine Blog.

Thank you,

Barb Stephens

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Canvas Release – February 15, 2020

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By , February 24, 2020 2:28 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Commons: Favorites Import

Favorited Commons items can be imported from Quizzes, Pages, Discussion, Assignments, and Modules. This change allows users to import all favorited content from Commons into one of the five supported Canvas areas.

 After favoriting Commons content, instructors can open Quizzes, Pages, Discussions, Assignments, or Modules in their course and import favorited items into the content area. Previously content could only be imported to a course directly from Commons. Embedded content can be any type, not just embedded file types.

 

Gradebook: Gradebook Import Reserved Names

Gradebook import CSV files ignore reserved name columns as well as hidden and deleted custom columns. For new custom columns, custom columns cannot have the same name as a reserved column. This change confirms data is uploaded correctly as part of the import and prevents grade conflicts from hidden or deleted columns.

A reserved column name is a column that is already being used by the Gradebook to manage user data. Reserved column names include the following: Student, ID, SIS User ID, SIS Login ID, Section, Integration ID, and Root Account.

 

New Quizzes: Quizzes Page New Quizzes Button

The New Quizzes button has been moved from the Assignments page to the Quizzes page. Additionally, the quiz creation process supports both New Quizzes and Classic (old) Quizzes. This change helps instructors logically identify new and old quizzes and be able to create each type from the same location. In an upcoming release, users can choose to make a selected quiz type persistent.

Instructors using New Quizzes can view the Quizzes page to create a new quiz instead of the Assignments page. When an instructor selects the Add Quiz button, the page displays a window asking which quiz type should be used to create a quiz: Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes.

Feature Video

 

Theme Editor: Responsive Layout Enforcement

Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines. This change ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.

 

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Feb. 15, 2020.

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Canvas Release January 18, 2020

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By , January 20, 2020 8:35 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Assignments: Direct Share

Instructors can copy individual course items to another course and share individual items with other users. This change allows instructors to copy and share content directly in Canvas without having to use a secondary repository like Commons.

Feature Video

 

For full details about Direct Share, please see the Canvas Release: Direct Share document.

 

Attendance: Do Not Count Toward Final Grade Settings Checkbox

The Settings menu includes the option to not count the Attendance assignment toward the final grade. This change allows instructors to not count attendance toward the final grade without having to edit the assignment.

Instructors

If instructors want to omit the Attendance assignment from the students’ final grade, they can open the Settings menu directly in the Attendance tool and select the checkbox to remove attendance from the final grade.

 

New Gradebook: Postable Submission Comments

For assignments with a manual posting policy, comments can be posted without requiring a grade. This change allows students to view feedback from instructors before they receive a grade for an assignment.

Instructors

In manual posting policy assignments, instructors can create comments in New Gradebook or SpeedGrader for a student submission and make them visible to students.

Once a comment is submitted, the Post Grades button can be used to post comments the same way as posting grades. The New Gradebook displays all submissions that will have grades and/or comments displayed to students, per the updated wording next to each posting option.

If the option to hide grades is selected for the assignment later on (for when the instructor is working on actual grading), comments will also be hidden until grades are reposted.

Students

If a student’s submission has been posted by an instructor in the New Gradebook or SpeedGrader, the student can view the comment in the Grades page.

Feature Video

 

New Gradebook: Sort Options

The Student Name column includes additional sorting options. This change allows users to sort the New Gradebook by student name, SIS ID, Integration ID, and Login ID in ascending or descending order.

Instructors

As part of sorting the Student Name column, instructors can select the Sort By option and not only sort by student name, but also by SIS ID, Integration ID, or Login ID. Each option can be ordered in ascending or descending order.

Feature Video

 

Rich Content Editor: Rich Content Editor Interface Enhancements

The New Rich Content Editor includes an improved user experience across Canvas courses. The existing Rich Content Editor is deprecated. Additionally, the New Rich Content Editor includes several updated features since it was first introduced in beta (2019-10-19 release notes).

See the Canvas Release: Rich Content Editor Enhancements document.

Feature Video

 

Users: Personal Pronouns

Users can associate their user profiles with pronouns. If a user selects a pronoun, the pronoun displays after the user’s name. This change allows users to select a pronoun that represents themselves for a course. Selected pronouns apply for the user in any course where the user is enrolled.

All Users

Users can visit their User Settings page, edit their settings, and select from the list of pronouns. Users cannot manually add their own pronouns. Additionally, this feature is not associated with any account-level settings, so all users can set a pronoun by editing their user settings.

Once a pronoun is selected by a user, the pronoun currently displays in the majority of Canvas course and user areas (as visible for each applicable role):

  • Account People page (admin)
  • Act as User page (admin)
  • Course Sections list (instructor)
  • Student Context Card (instructor)
  • SpeedGrader (instructor)
  • Assignment creation menu (instructor)
  • Assignment peer review page (instructor)
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Settings page/User profile page
  • Inbox
  • Discussions
  • Course People page
  • Groups People page
  • Comment Fields

Note: LTI tools, such as New Quizzes and Analytics, do not currently support pronouns as they need to incorporate this feature in a future release.

Feature Video

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Jan. 18, 2020.

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Canvas Release Dec. 21, 2019

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By , December 18, 2019 3:02 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

New Quizzes: Numeric Question Invalid Input Warning

In numeric questions, the invalid input warning displays if a student responds to a numeric question with an invalid character. This change reduces unintentional misgrading when students attempt to answer a numeric question and matches parity with numeric questions in existing quizzes.

 

Students: If a student enters an invalid character in a numeric question and clicks the Submit button, a confirmation window displays, informing the student an invalid answer has been received, and the student can change the answer to receive credit. The student can cancel or continue submitting the quiz. If the student cancels and returns to the numeric question, the warning text indicates that the answer must be a number and not include any symbols or units.

 

 

Instructure is Sold

Earlier this month, Instructure, the parent company of Canvas (aka BlueLine), announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, LLC for nearly $2 billion. The Instructure management team will continue in their current roles. Thoma Bravo will support Instructure as it increases investment in education technology innovation and expands internationally.

 

There are many links available here if you wish to learn more. Creighton has contracted with Canvas through June 2023.

 

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Dec. 21, 2019.

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Canvas Release Nov. 16, 2019

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By , November 14, 2019 8:22 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Dashboard: Course Card Unfavorite Option

In the Course Card Dashboard, courses can be removed as favorites from the course card Options menu. This change allows users to quickly remove a course as a favorite without having to access the Courses page. This applies only to courses that the user actively favorited, as opposed to courses that are automatically favorited when they are published.

 

Coming After Fall: the NEW Rich Content Editor

Over Christmas break, expect to find the New Rich Content Editor available within courses. Here are some features of the New RCE:

  • Right Side Content Selector Bar -This bar persistently used 1/3 of the page. The solution provides the right side content selector only when the user selects an option that requires it.
  • Images and Files -The updated RCE provides options to make it easier to add, embed or link to images and files. It auto-scales images with content so that your content is responsive on smaller screens. Students have the option to download images and files after previewing them, instead of auto-downloading everything they click on.
  • Window Size -The RCE window size auto-sizes to content while creating and after publishing.
  • Icons and Organization -The RCE toolbar is consolidated to make it more consistent with other editing tools that most users are accustomed to using.

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Nov. 16, 2019.

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Canvas Release Oct. 19, 2019 & Canvas Teacher App Updates

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By , October 21, 2019 6:13 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

Navigation: Menu Visibility

The Course and User Navigation Menus have been updated to include color and visual indicators to define active menu items. Additionally, the Course Navigation Menu includes tooltip indicators to clarify inactive menu items. No functionality has been affected. This change helps improve accessibility in Canvas. Previously the inactive links displayed in light gray text with a light border, which did not fulfill contrast ratios. Additionally, active and inactive links only relied on color to convey information.

 

New Gradebook: Post Policy Icon Updates

The word Manual displays in the assignment header to indicate the assignment is set with the Manual Posting Policy. Additionally, the outlined Visibility icon only displays when entered grades need to be posted. This change helps simplify the number of icons related to the manual posting policy and provide icon consistency throughout Canvas.

 

When an assignment is set with the Manual Posting Policy, the outlined Visibility icon has been replaced with the word Manual. This change clarifies the policy status, not the grade status, which aligns consistency with other statuses that display in the Gradebook—Unpublished, Moderated, and Anonymous.

 

Canvas Teacher Apps

Both the Android and the iOS Canvas Teacher apps have been updated within the last four weeks. You can download the Canvas Teacher app on Android and iOS devices. Here are links to the latest guides:

Canvas Teacher iOS Guide

Canvas Teacher Android Guide

 

End-of-Life for Firefox ESR 60 on October 22

Firefox ESR 60 is replaced by Firefox ESR 68. Users who have not upgraded will not be able to use Firefox ESR 60 as a browser. Which browsers does Canvas support?

 

ITLS has now created a Firefox ESR 6.8 package that CSAs can push to users who express a need. CSAs are cautioned to remember that this upgrade should be accompanied by the tech protecting the Bookmark file.

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Oct. 19, 2019.

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Canvas Release September 21, 2019

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By , September 18, 2019 8:16 pm

Canvas, the application better known as BlueLine, operates on a monthly release cycle through which features are added or updated. Some highlights from the most recent release notes follow. For further clarification, check out the full release notes site.

 

New Gradebook: Student Group Filter

SpeedGrader can be filtered by student group via an option in course settings. When this feature is enabled, SpeedGrader will only load submissions from a selected group when the submission is accessed via the New Gradebook or the assignment details page. Note this feature is currently not supported when a submission is accessed from the Dashboard, or a discussion or quiz details page (old quizzes). This feature is designed for large courses and helps manage submissions for an instructor or TA. Filtering submissions by student group also improves SpeedGrader loading times more efficiently than filtering submissions by section.

 

New Quizzes: Multiple Choice Individual Level Feedback

Multiple Choice Questions support individual feedback for each answer. This change allows students to receive specific feedback relating to each individual answer choice. If students are allowed to view their quiz results, students can view the custom feedback for each of their answers.

 

Navigation: Menu Visibility     ON HOLD UNTIL OCTOBER UPDATE!

The Admin, Course, and User Navigation Menus have been updated to include color and visual indicators to define active menu items. Additionally, the Course Navigation Menu includes tooltip indicators to clarify inactive menu items. No functionality has been affected. This change helps improve accessibility in Canvas. Previously the inactive links displayed in light gray text with a light border, which did not fulfill contrast ratios. Additionally, active and inactive links only relied on color to convey information.

 

Note: No existing functionality has been affected with this change. Third party LTI tools are not included in the course sidebar unless they are visible in the course.

 

For a complete production release update, please see: Canvas Productions Release Notes: Sept. 21, 2019.

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