bCourses Update: April 4, 2016

April 11, 2016

New Features (Highlights)

[iOS App] Next and Previous Buttons

When viewing module content, users can advance through module items by clicking the Next and Previous links at the bottom of the screen. 

Screenshot of an item in Modules from the iOS app

[Android App] Languages

The Canvas by Instructure app for Android now supports 18 new languages. Language preferences will need to be set in the web version of Canvas, as well as in your device settings.

[iOS Speedgrader App] Dashboard

From the Canvas release notes: SpeedGrader includes a completely redesigned dashboard modeled after the Canvas by Instructure app. By default, the dashboard displays favorite courses as selected either in the Canvas browser or in the Canvas by Instructure app (favorites cannot be modified in SpeedGrader). Toggle the button at the top of the window to view all courses.

Course colors can be changed by tapping the course arrow. Within the course assignment page, assignments are displayed by course color.

Submissions are indicated by a circle with the total number of submissions in the course that need to be graded.

Screenshot of the grading dashboard on the iOS Speedgrader app

[Android Speedgrader App] Video Comments

Users can add video comments to assignment submissions. Located in the Comment section, use the attachment icon to make a video comment, or choose an existing video file.

Screenshot of Video Comments interface in the Speedgrader app for Android

Updates (Highlights)

Gradebook - Module Sorting and Non-Module Assignments

Sorting grades by Modules is available available in the student grades page, which you can get to by clicking on a student's name from the Gradebook. Assignments that are not in a module sort below the last module item alphabetically by title.

Screenshot of Student Grades page with Module sorting

This feature resolves a fixed bug in Canvas: Previously when a user sorted grades by module, quizzes and discussions that were part of a module were not included in the list. Assignments were being sorted correctly but all quizzes and discussions were being displayed at the bottom of the module list. Canvas code has been updated to include quizzes and discussions as part of the modules sort list.

Notification Preference View

From the Canvas release notes: In the Notification page, the notification option menus can be changed without hovering over a communication channel column. This change improves accessibility and allows notification options to be accessed by all users. Enabled notifications are shown with a dark background. Changing a notification option applies the option immediately.

Users who have enabled push notifications will still be able to manage push notifications in the Push Notifications column. Please note that enabling push notifications only allows notifications to be sent immediately or not at all (daily and weekly notifications are not currently supported).

Screenshot of User Notification Settings

Group Submission Individual Comments View

From the Canvas release notes: SpeedGrader does not display individual comments made in group assignments. Group assignments are assignments where the instructor requires students to submit their assignment as a group and the same grade is given to all group members. This change was made so instructors can always verify that comments are made for the entire group; SpeedGrader defaults the comments field so that it cannot be changed.

Screenshot of Group Assignment Comments in the Speedgrader

Private comments can still be viewed and given for each student in the group by accessing the Submission Details page for an individual student's group assignment. Instructors can also view the Conversations Inbox Submission Comments filter.

Screenshot of Group Assignment Comments Submission

Note: Groups assignments with individual grading are not affected by this change; this option is created when an instructor creates a group assignment but selects the option to assign grades to individual users. When grades are assigned to individual users, SpeedGrader shows the submission menu by individual student name (and not by group).

Fixes (Highlights)

Differentiated Assignments and Separate Sections

From the Canvas release notes: Instructors can edit and save assignments and quizzes assigned to students who may not be in their same section.

Explanation: When an instructor could only view students in his or her same section, but an assignment or quiz was differentiated to an individual in another section, the student’s name was shown as loading and the instructor was unable to save edits to the assignment or quiz. Canvas code has been updated to allow instructors to save assignments or quizzes with student section overrides.

Inactive Enrollments and Collaborations

From the Canvas release notes: Inactive enrollments do not display in the Collaborationsu invitation list.

Explanation: When a user created a collaboration, inactive student names were displaying as part of the collaborations invitation list. Canvas code has been updated to not show inactive enrollments in collaboration invitation lists.

Inactive Enrollments and Assignment Submission Downloads

From the Canvas release notes: Submissions from inactive enrollments are part of assignment submission downloads in the Gradebook.

Explanation: When an instructor opened the Gradebook and downloaded submissions from an assignment, any students who had previously submitted the assignment but who had an inactive enrollment did not have their submission included in the download. Canvas code has been updated to download submissions from all students who had submitted the assignment.

Inactive Enrollments and CSV Exports

From the Canvas release notes: Inactive enrollment grades are included in Gradebook CSV exports.

Explanation: When an instructor exported grades from a course, grades from inactive enrollments were not included in the CSV file. Canvas code has been updated to include inactive enrollments in Gradebook export files. 

Notifications and Concluded Courses

From the Canvas release notes: Students do not receive notifications for concluded courses.

Explanation: When a course had concluded by course, term, or section dates, students were still receiving grade change, updated wiki pages, and student group enrollment notifications. Canvas code has been updated to not send notifications for students in concluded courses.

Quiz Submission File Quotas

From the Canvas release notes: Student file quotas do not apply to quiz question uploads.

Explanation: When a student uploaded a file as a quiz question, the quiz appeared to attach the file, but when the student tried to submit the quiz, Canvas generated a warning that the quiz question had not been answered. This behavior usually occurred when a student’s personal files quota had been exceeded. Canvas code has been updated to not apply a student’s personal files quota to quiz question uploads. All assignment submissions do not count toward personal quotas.


For the full explanation of new features, updates, and bug fixes in bCourses (Canvas), please see these recent Release Notes from Instructure’s products:

Please note: some New or Updated Features in Canvas might not be implemented in bCourses. Contact us if you have any questions about any of these features and how to use them in your course.