Canvas Production Release: February 18,2017

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.

2/18/17 Production Release Highlights:

  • Student Context Card: Instructors and admins can now view more standardized interaction with student data in a course. 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. For more details, please see the Student Context Card section of the Production Release Notes.
    • This feature requires the Student Context Card feature option, which can only be enabled at the account level for all schools. If there is interest in enabling this feature, please let us know.
  • Deleted Reply Management in Discussions: In discussions, deleted replies no longer display as part of the discussion thread for all users. However, if instructors need to view notices of deleted individual replies, they can view them using the Show icon located in the discussion bar. (Non-instructor roles cannot view this icon.)
  • Groups & Collaborations User List: In Google Docs collaborations created within a group, the Collaborations user list includes the name of all group members in addition to the name of any user with an instructor-based role in the course. This change allows instructors or TAs to be added to a group collaboration directly in Canvas. Previously instructor-based roles could only be added to collaborations by sharing the collaborations document manually.
  •  Add Users Process: When adding a user to a course, instructors benefit from an improved workflow process. This new workflow only applies to schools which allow instructors to add users to their courses. Schools who have disabled the permissions for “Add/remove other teachers, course designers or TAs to the course” and “Add/remove students for the course” will not be affected by this change.
    • Instructors now have the option to select up to three search types to locate users: email address, login ID, and SIS ID. We are working on custom text that changes “login ID” to PennKey and “SIS ID” to Penn ID number. If Canvas finds multiple user matches for a search entry, the instructor can choose which user should be selected.  If Canvas is not able to find a match for a user, the instructor will not see the option to add new users to the course and the message “We were unable to find the matches below” will display. The only users that can be added to the course are users who already have an account and display in the search results list, if any.
    • Updated documentation will be posted to Canvas at Penn and to our Canvas Support for Faculty & Staff Canvas Guide.
  • Canvas Icon Updates: Several Canvas areas have been updated for icon consistency or simplicity and do not affect Canvas functionality.
    • Assignments: Student assignment submission sidebar and submission detail page
    • Outcomes: Aligned Items & Outcome Artifacts (accessed by viewing an outcome in a course)
    • Rubrics: Aligned outcome icon (displayed when an outcome is aligned within a rubric)
    • People: User Details sidebar and User Access Report
  •  JavaScript & Webpack Module Bundler: JavaScript modules are now loaded into Canvas using Webpack instead of RequireJS. This change allows Canvas to take advantage of conveniences available in a more modern JavaScript ecosystem while continuing to deploy JavaScript packages for all supported browsers. Canvas engineers have reviewed all existing JavaScript code against Webpack and have deployed Webpack in all beta environments.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: February 18, 2017

2017-02-18 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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Last Updated: 14 Feb 2017