E-Learning Blog: Canvas Release Notes for 04/25/15

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Every 3 weeks we bring you the details on scheduled updates to the Canvas
system, with information specific to the Canvas features enabled by our institution.

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Tomorrow’s update includes the ability for instructors to create anonymous peer reviews assignments, as well as other small updates to Assignments and Discussions. Also, Accessibility users can now access the menu bar in the Rich Content Editor. As always this release includes updates to existing Canvas features and fixed bugs.

New Features


Anonymous Peer Reviews

[Note: This release includes is the first part of this planned feature: anonymous student peer review responses. The ability to hide the submitting student’s name will be added in the near future.]

Instructors can choose to create peer reviews with anonymous responses. Located in the Peer Review options for assignments and graded discussions, the Anonymity option allows instructors to hide the name of the student reviewer from the student with the submission.

Screenshot of radial menu options to enable anonymous peer reviews.

The student whose work has been reviewed cannot see the name of the reviewer. However, instructors can always view the name of the student reviewer in SpeedGrader and on the student submission page.

Screenshot of text indication that peer review is anonymous.

Updated Features


Assignment Shell Date Validation

In the January 31 release, Canvas introduced date validations for new and edited assignments. Now, due date validations also apply to Assignment shells, which act as a placeholder for an assignment until an instructor creates the assignment details.

After an instructor saves the information for an assignment shell, Canvas validates the due date against the course start and end dates and generates an error message for an invalid date entry.

If the assignment does not contain a due date, the assignment availability defaults to the course start and end dates.

If the course does not include specified course start and end dates, Canvas validates the due date against the term dates for the course.

This feature validates against the “Users can only participate in the course between these dates” checkbox for start and end dates in Course Settings.

Screenshot of date validation error.

Rich Content Editor

Menu Bar

In the Rich Content Editor, the Editor supports ALT+F9 (PC) or ALT+FN+F9 (MAC) as a keyboard shortcut for the menu bar. This shortcut provides better accessibility to menu commands for keyboard and screen reader users.

For complete documentation and list of bugs fixed in this update,
please visit the Canvas release notes page.