Learning Technology@LJMU


Canvas Release – Semester 1 2019

Canvas Release – Semester 1 2019

Canvas updates happen every four weeks, some are bug fixes or minor enhancements and others are background changes to improve the flow of data in Canvas. We check the releases before and after the upgrade to ensure everything is working as it should. Each release is usually documented by the team and summarises any relevant changes that may affect your working practice. Over the last three months, there has been minimal changes whilst Canvas have been working on Post Grade Policies. We have not developed individual monthly release notes for this reason, but we don’t want you to miss out on some of the changes, so here’s what’s been happening:

New Grades

Grades Area Changes

The New Gradebook makes grading more flexible and intuitive and elevates the Gradebook user experience. The student Grades page includes the status column, which displays late and missing labels to students.

The New Gradebook also offers the following enhancements:

  • Additional views to sort and filter assignments
  • Custom color status options
  • improved keyboard accessibility on grade entry

Grade Post Policies

Grade Post policies sets out how grades and comments are released to students.

Student Group filter

SpeedGrader can be filtered by student group via an option in course settings. When this feature is enabled, SpeedGrader will only load submissions from a selected group when the submission is accessed via the New Gradebook or the assignment details page. Note this feature is currently not supported when a submission is accessed from the Dashboard, or a discussion or quiz details page (old quizzes).

This feature is designed for large courses and helps manage submissions for tutors. Filtering submissions by student group also improves SpeedGrader loading times more efficiently than filtering submissions by section.

The Course Settings page displays an option for large courses to require viewing SpeedGrader by student group. 

Course Setting for large courses to enable SpeedGrader by student group
Large Course Setting: Launch Speedgrader Filtered by Student Group

When this setting is enabled for the course, SpeedGrader requires a student group to be selected in the Gradebook filter before submissions can be viewed. The SpeedGrader link is grayed out until a student group has been set. 

New Gradebook grade detail tray displays if selecting a group is required before viewing SpeedGrader
Grades Area – Speedgrader Disabled Until a Group is Selected

The Student Groups menu displays all groups that exist in the course. If no groups exist, groups can be created in the course People page.

Note: Selecting a student group does not apply to group assignments unless the assignment requires students to be graded individually.

The assignment page also allows a group to be selected. Once selected, the SpeedGrader link is no longer grayed out.

New Gradebook Student Group menu
The grades area can be filtered to only show students in a specific group

Note this feature is currently not supported when a submission is accessed from a discussion or quiz details page (old quizzes).

Menu Visibility

Canvas Navigation Menus have been updated to include color and visual indicators to define active menu items. Additionally, the Course Navigation Menu includes tooltip indicators to clarify inactive menu items. No functionality has been affected. This change helps improve accessibility in Canvas. Previously the inactive links displayed in light gray text with a light border, which did not fulfill accessibility contrast ratios. Additionally, active and inactive links only relied on color to convey information.

Course navigation before and after comparison
Canvas Menu – Hidden Items are now denoted by an eye icon

Pages are not visible to a student in one of two cases: a page contains no content, or a page is hidden via the Navigation tab in Course Settings. Tooltip content clarifies the hidden state appropriately.

Course Card Unfavorite Option

In the Course Card Dashboard, courses can be removed as favorites from the course card Options menu.

In the Course Card Dashboard, users can open the Options menu for a course card, click the Move tab, and select the Unfavorite option. Unfavoriting a course requires a confirmation before the course is removed from the Dashboard.

Courses can be re-added as a favorite in the Courses page, which can be accessed from the Courses link in the Global Navigation Menu.

Dashboard functionality to unfavorite a course through the course card Move menu
Unfavorite Option on Dashboard Course Card

Android Teacher Mobile App (v.1.9)

Grade Post Policies

Assignments supports grade posting policies for courses using the New Gradebook. Instructors can open Post Settings by clicking the Visibility icon on the Submissions page or from SpeedGrader. The functionality for posting or hiding grades is the same as posting or hiding grades from Canvas in a web browser. When posting grades, instructors can post grades for all students or to students with graded submissions.

Post Grades
Android Teacher Mobile App v1.9 – Grade Post Policies

Canvas Context Card Redesign

The student context card has been redesigned for improved accessibility and to support grade posting policies. The Grades section displays a student’s total grade before posting and after posting.

Student Context Card
Student Context Card in Android Teacher App v1.9