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The most recent updates to Canvas were rolled out on October 28th. Changes included:

Rich Content Editor

Accessibility Checker

The Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker assists instructors and course designers to maintain accessibility requirements in Canvas content. This tool only verifies content created within the Rich Content Editor. An institution may also use other accessibility tools to verify additional content in Canvas.

The Accessibility Checker is located in the Rich Content Editor menu bar. Depending on the size of the browser window, users may have to scroll the menu bar horizontally to view the Accessibility Checker icon.

Acessibility icon

The Accessibility Checker verifies attributes within the editor and notifies the content creator of common accessibility errors. The Accessibility Checker provides a user-friendly explanation about any errors and provides the fields or menus needed to fix the error. The explanation also provides a link to additional resources to educate content creators about the accessibility guideline. The content creator can easily correct the error and apply the fix using the editor.

Accessibility check appears as right side pop-out

All components are designed according to the template set in the institution’s Theme Editor.

This tool verifies the following accessibility rules:

  • Table captions: Tables should include a caption describing the contents of the table.
  • Table header scope: Tables headers should specify scope and the appropriate structure.
  • Table header: Tables should include at least one header.
  • Sequential headings: Heading levels should not be skipped (e.g. H2 to H4). However, the tool does not check if the first header starts with H2 or whether the headings are sequential with the rest of the content in the page. Tables do not begin with H1, which is allotted to the page title.
  • Heading paragraphs: Headings should not contain more than 120 characters.
  • Image alt text: Images should include an alt attribute describing the image content. In an upcoming release, alt text can be included when uploading an image to help minimize this error. Additionally, users can identify image as decorative, which do not require alt text.
  • Image alt filename: Image filenames should not be used as the alt attribute describing the image content. Currently, files uploaded directly to Canvas create a redirect that does not properly verify image filenames, which will be corrected in an upcoming release.
  • Image alt length: Alt attribute text should not contain more than 120 characters. In an upcoming release, alt text can be included when uploading an image to help minimize this error.
  • Adjacent links: Adjacent links with the same URL should be a single link. This rule verifies link errors where the link text may include spaces and break the link into multiple links.
  • Large text contrast: Text larger than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1.
  • Small text contrast: Text smaller than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1.

Note: For text contrast, the Accessibility Checker verifies color using the same calculations as the WebAIM tool. However, currently the checker only verifies against Theme Editor templates with High Contrast Styles. To verify color contrast, enable High Contrast Styles in user settings before enabling this feature.

Assignments

Move-To Menu Sidebar

The Move-To Menu within the Assignments page has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas.

When a user clicks the Settings menu for an assignment and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu first asks the user to select the new assignment group, then select the placement of the assignment. The selected menu change is applied immediately in the Assignments page.

Previously the Move-To Menu included both the assignment group and the placement fields in the same window.

Move Assingment pop-out window

Discussions

Discussion Duplication

Discussions can be duplicated in the Discussions page or the Assignments page. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every available discussion. When a discussion is copied, the word Copy is added to the end of the discussion name.

discussion duplication appears as right side pop-out

Duplicating a discussion defaults the copied discussion to an unpublished status. All items in the discussion are duplicated including the name, description, and options. The person who copied the discussion is shown as the author of the discussion and is immediately subscribed to the discussion, and the date the discussion was copied displays as the last posted date.

In graded discussions, duplication exceptions include the following situations:

  • Copied peer review discussions retain the peer review setting and Assign Review date, but the number of reviews per user will be set to zero.
  • Copied discussion are always assigned to everyone in the course; differentiated discussions are not retained for individual users, groups, or sections.
    • If a differentiated discussion includes an Everyone Else date, the copied discussion retains the Everyone Else due date, if any.
    • If a differentiated discussion does not include an Everyone Else date, the copied discussion does not include a due date.

Note: If applicable, the Discussions page displays any Blueprint Course icons after the page is refreshed.

 

Move-To Menu Sidebar

Within Pinned discussions, the Move-To Menu has been changed to a sidebar and displays a nested structure of move options. This change helps improve consistency with other Move-To Menus in Canvas and applies to both course and group discussions.

When a user clicks the Settings menu for a pinned discussion and selects the Move-To option, the sidebar menu first asks the user to select the placement of the pinned discussion. If the Before or After option is selected, the user can select the order of the discussion compared to other pinned discussions. The selected menu change is applied immediately in the Discussions page.

Previously the Move-To Menu only moved a discussion before an existing discussion and did not provide any other location options.

move disscussion menu on sidebar

DocViewer

When an annotated comment includes multiple content lines, the content box displays an ellipses notifying the user of additional content. This change helps minimize comments in a document and improve the number of comments that can be displayed within a page.

doc viewer notes condensed

Users can click the ellipses to expand the comment. If a comment includes multiple replies, all replies are also expanded.

Doc view notes expanded

Bug Fixes:

Assignments – Submission Comment Length: Long non-breaking words in submission comments are wrapped within the comment field. Explanation: When an assignment submission comment contained long non-breaking words such as a web address, the comment covered up the re-submit button from the Assignment page and overlapped the submission in the Submission Details page. Canvas code has been updated to wrap long words within submission comments.