Canvas Production Release: March 10, 2018

The word "now" in capital letters. The "n" and "w" are red, and the "o" is a clock.

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 canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

3/10/18 Production Release Highlights:

  • Profile Picture Gravatar Setting: When profile pictures (user avatars) are allowed for an institution, admins can also allow or disallow Gravatars as a profile-image option. A Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar associated for a user in any website that supports Gravatars. The University of Pennsylvania has decided to disable Gravatars as profile-image options. This will not remove Gravatars from existing profiles, but it will remove the option to add a Gravatar from the “Select Profile Picture” menu.
  • Courses Page Design Updates: The “Announcements” page includes an updated design to improve accessibility for all users. Most functionality has not been affected. The following changes have been made to course announcements:
    • The Unread button has been changed to a menu where users can filter between all announcements and unread announcements.
    • External feeds are viewed and managed within a separate sidebar similar to other Canvas features.
    • The RSS feed button has been changed to a link within the “External Feeds” sidebar.
    • Announcements are locked by default and no longer display a lock icon. Announcements that allow comments include a Reply link under the announcement. Users can view and reply to the announcement by clicking the announcement title or the Reply link.
    • Announcements can be specified for a specific section or all sections. The number of sections is visible to all users who are able to view the announcement.
    • Profile pictures display next to each announcement for the user who posted the announcement. If profile pictures are not enabled for an account, the announcement displays a placeholder profile picture.
    • For instructors, the following changes apply:
      • The Add External Feed link has been moved to a link within the “External Feeds” sidebar.
      • The “Announcements” page no longer includes excess whitespace.
      • Delayed announcements are identified in the “Announcements” page and include the upcoming post date and time.
      • The lock and unlock icon for allowing or disallowing comments has been changed to a “Reply” arrow icon.
  • Section-Specific Announcements: When creating an announcement, instructors can create section-specific announcements in their courses. When creating an announcement, instructors can select to send the announcement to all sections, one section, or multiple sections. Both the individual announcement and the Announcements page displays the section(s) that can view the announcement. Users will view announcements for the sections where they are enrolled. Note that they can also view the specific sections where the announcement was posted.

Please Note

Updated Announcements features will be released on the following tiered distribution schedule: Monday, March 12th (4pm EST) through Wednesday, March 14th (11am EST). Individual customer accounts will be enabled by engineering teams on an ongoing basis according to account size and Canvas performance.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: March 10, 2018

2018-03-10 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

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