These are the latest Canvas system updates that will become available on 20th April 2019.   Please click on an update to expand and view the information.  If you have any questions please submit a support ticket via the help menu in Canvas.

Please note that system updates are subject to change and may be subsequently updated.

Update 1: Conferences - BigBlueButton Interface Redesign. This update is available for all Canvas Roles.

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.

Premium tier customers can choose to opt out of the new interface by contacting BigBlueButton support. All other Canvas users with questions about using the new interface should contact their Customer Success Manager.

Change Benefit
This change makes the Conferences interface faster and easier to use and removes the requirement for extensions or plugins.

Affected User Roles & Behaviours

All Users
The new BigBlueButton Conferences interface provides improved usability and performance for all users. Users can still participate in a conference using their computer microphone and webcam, communicate using public and private chat, share notes, and annotate presentations using the multi-user whiteboard. Users can select between viewing the presentation area or displaying webcams only.

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.

Shared Notes page

The Conferences interface supports a Settings menu that includes new features for improved usability. 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 fault size.

Conferences Settings

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.

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.

YouTube within the conference window

When uploading a presentation file, presenters can upload multiple files at the same time.

Presenter files multiple uploads

Screen sharing is only supported through WebRTC. Previously, presenters could select to use WebRTC or Java for screen sharing. Screen sharing is only supported in Chrome and Firefox browsers on desktop.

Presenter screensharing window

Users may experience errors if the screen that is shared includes the Conferences interface. To correct these errors, simply share another window or application that does not display the Conferences interface.

Poll results are now only viewable to presenters after results have been published. Previously, poll results would display to presenters in real time.

Other related guides for Instructors
· How do I create a conference in a course?
· How do I start a conference?
· How do I create shared notes in a conference as a presenter?

Other related guides for Students
· How do I use Conferences in a course as a student?
· How do I use the Conferences interface as a participant?
· How do I use shared notes in a conference as a participant?


Update 2: Commons - Filter Tray & Status Banners. This update is available for the following Canvas Roles: Teacher, TA and Course Designer.

Filter Tray

The Filter window in the Commons Search page includes wider spacing between icons and for search filters.

Change Benefit
This change improves accessibility with an updated design.

Affected User Roles & Behaviours

When searching Commons, instructors can more easily filter resources with the updated filter design.

Commons Filter Tray

Status Banners

Status banners have been updated or removed for messaging clarification.

Change Benefit
This update simplifies and clarifies existing banner messages and removes redundant messages in Commons.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

Various messages have been updated or removed from the interface.

· Messages do not display for sharing a new resource or when an instructor views a resource that is still processing, including messages for successful and failed sharing.
· Success and Failure messages still appear in the Preview area while a resource is processing.
· Import status banner message text has been updated for clarity.

Commons Messages

Other related guides for Instructors
· What is Canvas Commons?
· How do I use Commons?
· How do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?

Update 3: Course Import - Pages Terminology. This update is available for the following Canvas Roles: Teacher, TA and Course Designer.

In the Course Import Tool, Wiki Pages terminology has been changed to Pages.

Change Benefit
This change aligns consistency with Pages terminology throughout Canvas.

Affected User Roles & Behaviors

When an instructor or admin uses the Course Import Tool and selects specific content to import or copy, the Wiki Pages section heading has been renamed to Pages.

Other related guides for Instructors
· How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell?
· How do I select specific content as part of a course import?

Other recent updates: Canvas Integration - Turnitin LTI.

4th April 2019: Text-based submissions can now be greater than 10,000 characters in length. This update is available for the following Canvas roles: Teacher, TA, Course Designer and Student.

A character limit previously prevented users of the Turnitin integration within Canvas from uploading text-based submissions that were greater than 10,000 characters. Turnitin have now identified and resolved this issue, and users can now upload text-based submissions that are greater than 10,000 characters. For more information please see the following guide: Submitting a paper – Text upload

4th April 2019: PeerMark Grades will now show correctly in the assignment inbox. This update is available for the following Canvas roles: Teacher, TA, Course Designer and Student.

Turnitin had identified an issue which meant that when an instructor applied a grade to their student’s Peer review in the Turnitin integration within Canvas, it would display as a percentage in the Turnitin Assignment Inbox. This would incorrectly display a grade of 49/50 as 49%. Turnitin have resolved this issue, and a numerical value now appears in the Turnitin Assignment Inbox. For more information, please see the following guide: Creating a PeerMark assignment

Other related guides for Instructors and Students
Turnitin within Canvas – Staff Guide
Important notes for Staff – Turnitin Assignments
Turnitin within Canvas – Student Guide
Full Turnitin LTI Release Notes