Updates to myCourses for Saturday October 29th, 2016

October 28, 2016

by Peter Doughty

myCourses by Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Academic Technology Teaching and Learning Support blogs highlights from myCourses’ production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content in the days surrounding a production release.

Here are the highlights of the 10/29 myCourses Production Release:

This update is the largest we’ve seen in a little while with some nifty additions and upgrades. We recently attended a meeting with the myCourses by Canvas Vice-President for Development who promised many new things in the coming months. Here are a few of the new ones:

  • Group Assignment Menu and New Group Button: To improve accessibility by those using screen readers (and/or keyboards only), in group assignments, the process of creating a new set of groups has been moved from the drop-down menu to an individual button. Once a group set is either created or selected, the name of the set displays in the assignment.

  • Global Navigation Menu Width: This is the update that everyone will notice right away. The Global Navigation Menu can be manually collapsed to hide the menu text. This update was originally implemented automatically for smaller screen resolutions. When users collapse the menu, the menu persists even if they log out of Canvas or switch browsers. When collapsed, the menu also displays text if a user hovers over an icon. For mobile users, you know this is already how it worked through the mobile app. Good to see this choice brought over functionally to the browser. Let us know what you think!

  • Intra-Group Peer Reviews: More and more faculty are using peer reviews with writing assignments. Now group assignments supports intra-group peer reviews. This option allows or prevents automatic peer review assignments from within a student’s own group. The intra-group peer review option is only available in group assignments when an instructor automatically assigns peer reviews. The default for the “Allow intra-group peer reviews” checkbox is always set to “off,” which means Canvas filters out members of the same group when automatically assigning the reviews. However, if the checkbox is selected, Canvas allows submission assignments to be truly random without any regard for group delegation. I know this will be good news to many of you!

  • “To Do” List Due Date Items: Finally, this feature was created because of popular community demand. All items with a due date display in the “To Do” list. These items include ungraded quizzes and assignments that do not require a submission.


Find the full text of the release notes as well as the New Feature Screencast here:


You are part of the Canvas community and can propose, share, and vote on ideas here:


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