Canvas release updates

We'll share the most important Canvas release updates every month here.

Stay tuned!

What's new?

Nov/Dec 2021 + January 2022

  • Feature previews -> Feature options

  • List View Dashboard Conference Links

  • Course Import

  • Course Navigation Menu State

  • Split Name Column - Gradebook

Feature previews -> Feature options

*Admins and Teachers
Sometimes you have to try something to find out that the change of words doesn't match. That's what happened with feature previews. The term has been reverted back to feature options. The content has remained the same.

List View Dashboard Conference Links

*Teachers and Students
This new feature is very handy in the COVID times we are experiencing. When you log in on Canvas you will see your dashboard. There are three views: card view, list view and recent activity. For the list view, there is a new functionality. If an instructor places a conference link (can be from Zoom, Meet, MS Teams etc.) in a calendar event in Canvas, Canvas will recognize this link and will add a Join the Conference button to this meeting. 

Course Notification

*Admins and Teachers
In the past, there was no warning when you were importing the same content again to the same course. This can cause overwriting of content. At this moment whenever you are importing course content to a new course, there will be a warning. 

Canvas Course Content Overwrite

However, the message always displays regardless of whether the actual content was previously imported or not. So it is a reminder for yourself to check if this is the case.

Course Navigation Menu State

*Users in Canvas
If you are in your Canvas course, you will see an icon like this in the left corner:
If you show or hide the Course Navigation Menu, this state will persist in all the Canvas courses you will open after. 

Menu State

Split Name Column - Gradebook

*Admins and Teachers
There is now the possibility to split the first and last name of students/participants in the Gradebook.
- This setting can be enabled or disabled on the root account level by the admin.

Split Name Column

- After enabling this setting, teachers have the possibility to split the students names in the Gradebook view and the Gradebook CSV export.

Split Student Names

What's new?

October 2021

  • Sticky Course Navigation (preview features)

  • Search Functionality in the Gradebook

  • Course Notification

  • Accessibility Checker

Sticky Course Navigation (preview features)

The new feature is a sticky navigation menu of your (sub)account, course and user menu. There are two advantages of this added feature. First, when scrolling on a long page, the course navigation will stay visible at the sidebar. The second advantage is that when the navigation menu is longer than your screen (e.g. due to more integrations and menu additions) you can scroll down in your navigation menu to view all the links. 

Search Functionality in the Gradebook

From this release on, you can search for a student or an assignment in your gradebook by using the search functionality. This functionality is very handy if you have a large course with lots of students and assignments.

Canvas search functionality

Course Notification

In the past, you could set the notifications for yourself as a Canvas user under the tab ‘account’ in the global navigation menu and ‘notifications’ in Canvas. If you want some other notification settings for one of your courses, you could set this up in the course itself.
Now this is all possible under account settings → notifications. Here you can set the notifications for your account plus for all your courses.

Canvas Course Notifications

Accessibility Checker

Accessibility has shown to be a key aspect for educators,  as well as for students. Therefore the Accessibility checker is by default enabled and unlocked in the Rich Content Editor. Now, this Accessibility sign is showing up if you are editing for example: a page or quiz instructions.

Accessibility Checker

A short explanation: the Accessibility checker will show you some issues (that you may resolve) which decrease the accessibility of your Canvas page. For example, to change the colour of your text to display text with a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1 or add some alt text at the images for screen readers.

What's new?

August 2021

  • New tab in New Analytics

  • New Quizzes: Quiz printing

  • RCE: Accessibility Checker

New tab in New Analytics

New Analytics is a feature for teachers, on a course level, to easily see how active your students are in your course. Not every institute has enabled this feature. If you use this feature or want to know more, please read on: 

In New Analytics a teacher can see 4 tabs. Next to the Course grade, Weekly Online Activity, Students, Reports; there is a new fifth tab called: Online Attendance. On account level, the criteria for online attendance are predefined.

Canvas release notes

Connected to the enabled criteria you get an overview per student how active they were in Canvas during a certain timeframe.

Cavnas release notes

New Quizzes: Quiz printing

This was a much requested feature in Quizzes (only available in New Quizzes). There are two print options available: 

  • Printing the quiz questions
  • Printing the quiz questions with answers. 

You can find this option within the New Quizzes under the three dots. Now there are more possibilities to do physical classes, this feature can help teachers to review the quizzes (not only digitally).

RCE: Accessibility Checker

At the bottom of the editor you will find an accessibility checker. This feature will indicate what you can improve to make your Canvas pages better accessible (For example: using screen readers).

Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 16.09.52
Screenshot 2021-09-06 at 16.09.45

What's new?

June - July 2021

  • Share Item Banks

  • Speedgrader Comments

  • ‘Next’ button at New Quizzes in Modules

  • Rich Content Editor - Classic

  • Microsoft Teams Group enrollment sync

Share Item Banks in Canvas

Item banks from New Quizzes can now be shared in multiple ways in Canvas. In the past, item banks could only be shared from user to user. Now it is possible to share the item bank with an entire sub-account. This means that the item bank (just like the question banks of classic quizzes) can be controlled at account level by an admin role. In addition, the permission can be changed per item bank: 'can view' and 'can edit'. See the Canvas screencast here:

Canvas Screencast of New Quizzes, Item Bank Management.

Speedgrader Comments

In the Speedgrader, teachers often use comments to give their students feedback on the entire quiz or assignment. From now on teachers can use standard comments in an easy way. In the Speedgrader there is a comment library available where all frequently used feedback will be stored. When you are typing a comment, frequently used comments will pop up if you enable ‘show suggestions when typing’ (see screenshot).
This is a very useful feature for teachers while grading!

Speedgrader comments Canvas LMs

'Next' button at New Quizzes in Modules

It's time! We have waited a while for it, but now the 'next' button is visible with a new quiz in the module overview. This means that new quizzes are no longer a stop in the learning path, but the students can click through to the next or previous part in the modules.

Rich Content Editor - Classic

Almost every university or business school that uses Canvas, uses the new Rich Content Editor. But we think it is good to mention that the old content editor is no longer supported as of this update. This means that everyone with Canvas LMS will use the new rich content editor by default.

Microsoft Teams Group enrollment sync

It is now possible to synchronize group registrations with MS Teams in your Canvas course. This feature first has to be enabled by the admin at function options on account level. After that, the tab 'integrations' will appear and finally it will be possible for teachers to determine this at course level.

What's new?

May 2021

  • Assignments - Submissions of annotations

  • New quizzes - Save button

  • Course template functionality

Assignments - Submissions of annotations

Various submission options are visible under assignments. Starting with the new release in May, it is possible to use this assignment type to upload a file that students can edit and return to Canvas.
This new feature gives teachers the option to submit a file as a template for students. Students can edit this file immediately and submit it as an assignment.

Two important notes:

  • Anonymous peer reviews are not supported for student annotation assignments.
  • Annotation assignments cannot be used for group assignments.

Lecturer perspective:

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 12.12.27

Student perspective:

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 12.12.34

New Quizzes - Save button

Work has been put in the workflow of the New Quizzes. A button has been added so that the workflow now matches the other quizzes.

The "Save" button goes to the quiz overview or the module overview.
The "Compose" button goes to create the questions

Course template functionality

In addition to the Blueprint functionality, there is now also the Course template functionality. As an admin, the course that you want to use as a template for other courses of a sub-account, can be set up by means of this function: course template

There are two steps you need to take:
You create a course template course from courses that you want to use as a template.

The second step is to link a course template to an account or sub-account.

Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 12.16.43
Screenshot 2021-05-14 at 12.16.53

Pay attention!

  • If you link a course template to an account / sub-account, all newly created courses will receive the course template content. In addition, there must be a course template, no enrolments.
  • Another note using Course Templates: When copying courses, there's no template use. It only applies if you actually create a new course (+ course).
  • Finally, there is a big function difference with blueprint courses; With course templates there is no connection between courses and the course template. As a result, no changes can be made. This is possible with Blueprint courses.

This Course Template functionality is good to use in combination with our Course Templates. A course template built by Drieam is a suggested setup for a Canvas course, usually including a home page and further course pages that may be required. Each course template is the result of a workshop in which the requirements of your institution and teacher are combined with our Canvas knowledge and experience. Think of visual appeal, consistent learning experience and user-friendliness!

What's new?

April 2021

  • Course settings

  • New quizzes

Course settings

The course settings now show more clearly how the course is managed. It is visible to teachers whether the course is open to students by means of a term (period) or data entered by yourself (course). If term / period is chosen, the data of this period will be visible at the beginning and at the end. If teachers are not allowed to change this, admins can indicate this in the settings of the Canvas Root account

New interface:

Canvas release update

New quizess

With a new Quiz it is now possible to keep the first score under the heading "multiple attempts". Previously it was possible to keep the height, the average and the latest score. Now the first score has been added. As a teacher, you can determine this under the settings of the new quiz.

What's new?

February - March 2021

  • LaTeX improvements

  • Rich Content Editor improvements

  • New quizzes in Modules

  • Resubmitting assignments

LaTeX improvements

LaTeX equations can be entered in any Canvas text field. Once equations or characters are detected, they are converted into LaTeX characters.

Rich content editor improvements

There are several improvements in the Canvas Rich Content Editor. First, a nice HTML editor is now available in addition to the raw HTML editor. This makes working in HTML more user-friendly.
Second, it is possible to preview documents added via the Rich Content Editor in two ways: overlay (overlapping the whole page) or inline (within the window).

New quizess in Modules

New Quizzes can now be created and added to the module. When a teacher adds an item to a module and selects a quiz, the Create Quiz option displays both the New Quizzes and Classic Quizzes. New quizzes is the default, but teachers can switch to classic quizzes.

Resubmitting assignments

In the SpeedGrader, teachers can reassign an assignment with a due date to an individual student and ask them to retake their submission. This returns the assignment to the List View Dashboard as another assignment to be completed.

Canvas release update February

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