Canvas Production Release: April 20, 2019


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.

4/20/19 Production Release Highlights

  • Conferences BigBlueButton Interface Redesign: The BigBlueButton Conferences interface has been redesigned using HTML5 for improved usability. The new Conferences interface is not supported on Internet Explorer or Edge browsers. For best results, BigBlueButton recommends using Firefox or Chrome on desktop and Safari or Chrome on mobile devices.
    • Shared Notes includes additional functionality for formatting notes text. Users can also export their notes to an HTML, TXT, DOC, PDF, or ODC file. There is now a single Shared Notes window; opening additional notes windows is no longer supported.
    • Users can now enable icon animations that highlight conference participants who are speaking and audio and popup alerts for chat notifications. The Settings menu also includes options to disable webcams and desktop sharing to improve bandwidth. These data saving options are intended for use on mobile browsers but can be enabled on any device. Additionally the Settings menu includes previously-available options to select a default language and font size.
    • The Settings menu also includes an option to enable closed captioning in a conference. Closed captioning options are not currently supported in the HTML5 client of the Conferences interface. These features will be supported in a future release.
    • When uploading a presentation file, presenters can upload multiple files at the same time.
    • Presenters can upload a YouTube video to a conference. When the video is playing, all users will see the same playback time and speed that is selected by the presenter. However, users can enable their own captions. Shared YouTube videos will not appear in conference recordings.
    • Screen sharing is only supported through WebRTC. Screen sharing is only supported in Chrome and Firefox browsers on desktop.
    • Poll results are now only viewable to presenters after results have been published.
  • Course Import Tool & Pages Terminology: In the Course Import Tool, Wiki Pages terminology has been changed to Pages. This change aligns consistency with Pages terminology throughout Canvas.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: April 20, 2019

April 20, 2019 Canvas Production Release Screencast

Screencast Script


Last Updated: 16 Apr 2019

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