Canvas Guides (en)Recent Updates

Recent Updates

  • Canvas is continually creating new features to improve your user experience. The majority of improvements will be made available as part of our regular release cycle. However, some features may affect your personal interaction with Canvas. Learn more about User Feature Options and how to enable them in the manage new features lesson.

  • The beta environment allows you to explore new features before they reach production. The beta environment is overwritten with data from the production environment every Sunday. Any work or content you add to your beta environment will be overwritten every week.

    If you want to keep up on the latest beta features in Canvas, visit the Release Notes page in the Canvas Community.

    The beta environment is separate from the test environment, which is overwritten with data from the production environment every three weeks and allows you to test using your real data without ruining the experience for your users. Learn more about the different Canvas environments.  

    Notes about the Beta Environment:

    • All users can access the Canvas beta environment, but students cannot access course content beyond the Course Home Page; if you want to allow students to view all course content, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
    • Notifications, including course invitations and report downloads, cannot be sent in the beta environment.
    • Crocodoc (annotation tool in SpeedGrader) 
is not available in the beta environment.
    • Any changes you want to keep in the beta environment must be made directly within the production environment before beta is reset.
    • LTI tools (External Apps) are typically not available outside the production environment. LTI tools may display in the beta environment, but often they are only configured for the production environment. Using production-configured LTI tools in the beta environment will affect live data. If you have permission to edit LTI tools, you can confirm the configuration for a specific LTI tool in your course or account. Please contact your Customer Success Manager for specific questions.
    • Account-level user page views always reflect activity from the production environment.
    • Feature option settings are copied from the production environment.
  • In the test environment, you can test using your real data without messing up your live production environment. Here you can add users, change the CSS, and/or troubleshoot issues without ruining the experience for your users. The test environment is overwritten with data from the production environment every three weeks. You can configure your test environment with production-ready features, such as access to your institution's login authentication system.

    If you want to keep up on the latest production features in Canvas, visit the Release Notes page in the Canvas Community.

    The test environment is separate from the beta environment, which is overwritten with data from the production environment every week and allows you to explore new features before they reach production. Learn more about the different Canvas environments.  

    Notes about the Test Environment:

    • All users can access the Canvas test environment, but students cannot access course content beyond the Course Home Page; if you are an admin and want to allow students to view all course content, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
    • Notifications, including course invitations and report downloads, cannot be sent in the test environment.
    • Crocodoc (annotation tool in SpeedGrader) 
is not available in the test environment.
    • Any changes you want to keep in the test environment must be made directly within the production environment in order to affect live data.
    • LTI tools (External Apps) are typically not available in the outside the production environment. LTI tools may display in the test environment, but often they are only configured for the production environment. Using production-configured LTI tools in the beta environment will affect live data. If you have permission to edit LTI tools, you can confirm the configuration for a specific LTI tool in your course or account. Please contact your Customer Success Manager for specific questions.
    • Account-level user page views always reflect activity from the production environment.
    • Feature option settings are never copied from production and always retain their default settings.
  • Canvas is continually creating new features to improve your user experience. The majority of improvements will be made available as part of our regular release cycle. However, some features may affect your personal interaction with Canvas.

    This lesson gives an overview of how to manage user-level feature options for your user account. You have no control over user-level features.

    To view specific feature options available in Canvas, visit the user account features lesson.

  • English is Canvas' language default, but you can choose to view the Canvas interface in another language.

    Note: Instructors have the option to change the language preference for their courses. If you view a course where the instructor has made this change (most often for a foreign language course), the course language will override the language in your user settings.

  • As an admin, you can choose to disable comments on announcements for all courses in an account.

    To manage comments, you can set the default value but allow instructors and sub-account admins to enable comments as necessary, or you can set and lock the setting for all courses and sub-accounts. The checkbox settings at the account level are passed to the sub-account and course levels as default values.

  • The Global Navigation Menu is located on the left side of every page in Canvas. Global Navigation links provide quick access to frequently used Canvas features. Default links include the User Account, Admin, Dashboard, Courses, Groups, Calendar, Inbox, and the Help menu.

    Depending on your institution account settings, other links may appear in the Global Navigation Menu.

  • You can manually manage a user's login information in an account. You can create a new login for a user to access Canvas through your Canvas URL and also delete logins.

    If you have permission, you can also edit passwords for existing user logins. If you cannot view the password field for a user's existing login, you cannot edit the user's password. For assistance with this feature, please contact your Customer Success Manger. Users need to reset their passwords through the institution's password management system.

    Notes:

    • New or updated login information is not automatically sent to the student. Changes need to be communicated to the student. For security, login information should not be sent through email and should be communicated verbally.
    • If your account manages user information through a student information system (SIS), changes will also have to be made in the SIS. Any changes made in Canvas will not be passed back to the SIS.
  • As an admin, you can manage grading periods for your institution. Each grading period set applies to the entire institution, including subaccounts. All courses associated with a term in a grading period automatically inherit the term's grading periods.

    As grading periods do not directly affect any course assignments, grading periods can be deleted or their start and end dates can be changed. However, changes should generally be made before a term begins. Changing grading period dates during a term will affect grade totals.

  • Macros allow you to save a set of case settings and apply them to cases in Service Cloud. These changes include transferring a case to a specific user, case status, Canvas Component Affected, Canvas Component Issue, and case comments.

    To apply a macro to multiple cases, use the Mass Update feature.