Canvas Production Release: January, 28 2017

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

1/28/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Student Context Card: With the Student Context Card feature, instructors and admins can click a student’s name in a course and view a sidebar-type overlay that shows quick insights and context about the student. Users with student roles cannot view context cards in a course. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser. This feature requires the Student Context Card feature option, which can only be enabled for an entire account. Canvas admins can enable this feature option in Account Settings. If there is interest in enabling this feature, please let us know.
  • Default Term in Term List: The Terms drop-down menu places the Default Term at the top of the list, regardless of set term dates.
  • Assignments & New Group Set Window: When instructors create a group assignment and create a new group set, the group creation window matches the options located in the People page when creating groups. Most significantly, the structure supports randomly assigning students to a group by section. This feature aligns the group set menu found in the People page and allows instructors to specifically limit groups to users within a specific section. Section assignments also support instructors in large or cross-listed courses. When this option is selected, students are only grouped together with students from their own section. The section designation is available as part of a new group set page when selecting the option to split students into a specific number of groups.
  • Recurring Event Occurrence Clarification: When an instructor enables recurring events for a course, the repeat text field has been changed to For __ additional occurrences. This text change helps clarify how many additional occurrences will be created from the initial event. For example, setting the additional occurrences to three means the calendar item will create the event for the first date and then three additional occurrences of the event, creating a total of four events.
  • To Do List and Past Assignments: In the student Dashboard, No Submission and Not Graded assignments display in the To Do list until their due date. After the due date, these assignments no longer display in the To Do list.
  • MasteryPaths Assignment Descriptions: When instructors create Mastery Paths and allow students to choose their assignment path, students can view the entire description for each assignment. This change helps students understand what is required for each assignment and select their assignment path accordingly. The description content is content created for the assignment in the Rich Content Editor.
  • Instructor Course Home Page Announcements Display: When a course home page is set to display the pages Front Page, and an instructor has chosen to display announcements as part of the course home page in Course Settings, delayed announcements do not display to instructors. When instructors view the course home page, the announcement display is also the same view that their students will see in the home page. Delayed announcements do not display until the date set for each announcement.
  • Student Quiz Responses Clarification: When an instructor retains the default quiz option to let students see their quiz responses, the checkbox explanation text mentions that incorrect questions are included in student feedback. This text change helps clarify the functionality of the checkbox in that quiz responses include both the student’s responses and incorrect questions.
  • Sidebar Quiz Grading Count: For instructors, the Dashboard sidebar displays all quizzes that require grading.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: January 28, 2017

2017-01-28 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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Last Updated: 24 Jan 2017