If you are a techie like me then you probably get very excited about software updates. Software updates can be beneficial for both fixing bugs and for improving functionality on the respective product they are intended for. Do you use a smartphone such as an iPhone? Then you are probably familiar with software updates! In the world of Canvas, Instructure pushes software updates regularly on a 3–4-week schedule. These updates to Canvas, referred to as Canvas Releases, include both software updates and improvements, as well as smaller changes such as various bug fixes. To learn more about the Release Notes process checkout All about Release Notes.
The Canvas Insider series will focus more on the major (cooler?) improvements of each release, but if you’re adventurous enough to delve a little deeper into the world of Canvas Releases, everything you could possibly want can be found beginning with their Canvas Release Resources page. Just be warned that from there things can get a bit overwhelming rather quickly. So to make things a little easier to consume, I would suggest sticking to the Canvas Release User Summaries, which contain a running archive of past Canvas updates split up by user roles in Canvas (Admins, Instructors, and Students). If you wanted to view User Summaries that are Instructor-specific you can view those here.
New Updates for 5/15/2021 (Live Now)**
Assignments: Student Annotation Submissions
You can now upload a file that you wish for your students to annotate as their online assignment submission. For more details checkout the Instructor Summary for this release.
User Settings: Auto-Show Closed Captioning
Inside of your Canvas user settings (at the bottom), you can now enable captions to show by default in all Canvas videos. Note that videos embedded from third-party tools such as YouTube or PlayPosit are not supported. Studio videos are not yet supported but will be in a future release. For more details checkout the Instructor Summary for this release.
User Settings: Maintenance Windows
You can now see upcoming Canvas maintenance dates inside of your Canvas user settings. Note that these maintenance dates are for Canvas only, and not related to local system maintenance performed by Mt. SAC on things such as the Mt. SAC Portal and Banner.
New Quizzes: Save and Build Button Workflow
The New Quiz creation page now includes a “Save” button and a “Build” button. Previously the page only included the “Save” button, which counterintuitively launched the New Quiz editor. The “Save” button saves the content in the existing page and returns the user to the area where the quiz was accessed, making it more consistent to other areas in Canvas. For more details checkout the Instructor Summary for this release.
Coming Soon: Updates for 6/19/2021**
These updates are not currently available in our Canvas production environment but are scheduled to be released on the date above.
- Global Navigation Menu: Release Notes Interface
- SpeedGrader: Comment Library
- New Quizzes: Item Bank Management
For a summarized breakdown of the above list checkout the Instructor Summary for this specific release.
**Some updates might not be immediately available as they may be subject to local Canvas administrator approval before deployment to Mt. SAC Canvas users. For more information contact FCLT@mtsac.edu
Canvas Insider will be a regular blog series from FCLT News Bytes that will highlight the major changes coming to Canvas at Mt. SAC, and when you can expect for them to be available. In future posts I will also talk about how you, a Canvas user at Mt. SAC, can contribute towards making changes and improvements to Canvas and its features.