Canvas Update (09/18/2021)

On Saturday, September 18, Instructure will deploy the latest release to the Canvas environment.  The highlights of this release are listed below.  The full release notes are also available.

  • Rich Content Editor – Accessibility Checker Indicator: When accessibility issues are detected within the Rich Content Editor, the Accessibility Checker automatically displays an indicator. This indicator helps users know about these issues without having to open the Accessibility Checker. Opening the Accessibility Checker will show the number of errors and how to correct each error.
  • New Analytics – Canvas Online Attendance: New Analytics includes an Online Attendance tab, which updates according to criteria set at the account level. Instructors will be able to tell which days a student has done at least one of the following:
    • Accessed a Page in Canvas.
    • Created a Page (if you have provided that permission).
    • Made a Discussion post.
    • Submitted an Assignment.
    • Started and/or submitted a Quiz.
    • Loaded a collaboration to view/edit.

Prior Canvas Updates

It can be really hard to keep up with Canvas releases, so the following are the prominant updates that have happened since the end of spring semester.

  • Assignments – Student Annotated Submissions: Instructors can use annotated document assignment type to upload a document for students to annotate and submit directly in Canvas. This assignment type is included under the online assignment types so that instructors can select additional submission options for students unable to annotate onscreen.
  • Course settings – Section Date Enhancement: A visual change was made to the availability dates option for sections of a course. This update made the visuals of the date settings for the sections match those of the course.
  • SpeedGrader – Comment Library: Comments can be added and saved for reuse within SpeedGrader, allowing individual users to save frequently used comments to be reused across assignments in multiple courses.
  • Canvas – Maintenance Window: Instructure has moved their intermittent maintenance to twice monthly scheduled maintenance windows. Moving forward, maintenance will be performed on the first and third Thursdays of each month, beginning at 1:00am, and running no later than 3:00am. Canvas may be unavailable to users during these windows. All users are able to view maintenance window times through Account then Settings. For additional information, please refer to the Canvas Community discussion.
  • New Quizzes – Multiple Attempts First Score Option: It is now possible to give students multiple attempts on a New Quiz, but retain their first score as their grade.
  • New Quizzes – Item Bank M​​​​​anagement: Item banks can now be shared with the entire account or individual users. When instructors share an item bank, the item bank supports a new View permission, which can be given to a user and provides access to the bank as read only. The user who shares an item bank can continue to specify editing access for other users.
  • New Quizzes – Save and Build Button Workflow: The New Quiz creation page includes both a Save and a Build button. When an instructor creates and enters details for a quiz, the page displays both a Save and a Build button. Previously the page only included the Save button, which counterintuitively launched in the New Quiz editor. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, or even just curious about how they can help you, please contact UW-W Canvas Support.