Canvas Release January 18, 2020

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.


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.


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.


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.


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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