Deploy: Terminology, assignments, faculty journal messages, offline exports, and accessibility – Canvas (July 21, 2021)

The July 21, 2021 Canvas Deploy addresses the following updates and bug fixes: 

  • Feature Option Terminology: The term Feature Option has been renamed to Feature Preview. 
  • Assignments: Students cannot view assignment descriptions for locked assignments; submission types can be changed in an assignment once students’ submissions have been received; Canvas code has been updated to disable notifications for annotations created during a student annotation submission; final grades for moderated assignments can only be released by active graders. 
  • Faculty Journal Messages: Faculty journal entries are only created if the Added as a Faculty Journal checkbox is selected as part of a message. 
  • Offline Export and Hidden Files: Offline exports download media files embedded in pages when the Files tab is hidden for the course. 
  • Accessibility: Account Settings elements include form labels for screen readers and checkboxes include the standard 2px blue outline when focused; in the Dashboard List View, the Notification window retains focus on the New and Dismiss tabs and does not affect the Close icon; when no conversations are selected in the Inbox, the No Conversations Selected text displays an appropriate color contrast; within the rich content editor, the img tag includes standardized role and alt attributes for screen readers. 

Visit the July 21, 2021 Canvas Deploy Notes website for a full description of changes. 

Deploy: Gradebook CSV columns, assignment buttons and notifications, rich content editor, and accessibility – Canvas (July 7, 2021)

The July 7, 2021 Canvas Deploy addresses the following updates and bug fixes: 

  • Gradebook CSV Column Order: Gradebook CSV assignment columns display in the same order as shown in the Gradebook for an individual user. 
  • Empty Assignment Descriptions: When creating an assignment, the default text has been updated for description content that is blank. 
  • Rich Content Editor: Support for several HTML tags and attributes has been added; the Upload Media window allows the name of the file to be changed before the file is added. 
  • Student Annotation Assignments: Canvas code has been updated to disable notifications for annotations created during a student annotation submission to prevent multiple notifications per submission; the Reassign Assignment button is now supported for instructors. 
  • Mark as Done Button for Pages: The Mark as Done button for students has been moved to the bottom. 
  • Accessibility: The focus indication ring is visible for keyboard users throughout the Files page; within Speedgrader, “The Following Questions need Review” section can be read by screen readers; the General and Advanced tabs of the Table Properties window display an appropriate color contrast within the Rich Content Editor. 

Visit the July 7, 2021 Canvas Deploy Notes website for a full description of changes. 

Canvas Deploy: Image Options, Anonymous Peer Reviews, Mastery Path Pages, Accessibility changes (June 23, 2021)

The June 23, 2021 Canvas Deploy addresses the following updates and bug fixes: 

  • Image Options: An image URL can now be updated without having to remove and replace the image 
  • SMS Notifications: The SMS column has been removed from the Notifications page. 
  • Student Annotation Anonymous Peer Review Support: Anonymous peer reviews are supported in student annotation assignments. 
  • Speedgrader and Assignment Submissions: LTI assignment grades for students in active sections but concluded course dates now properly pass back to SpeedGrader. 
  • Assignments Index Page and Mastery Path Pages: Pages allowed in a mastery path no longer display in the Assignments Index Page. 
  • Pretty HTML Editor: Placement of a user’s cursor does not affect the page formatting. 
  • Accessibility: The horizontal separator in the Collaborations Options menu is not treated as a stop for keyboard users; the No Conversations Selected text displays a minimum color contrast of 3:1; the Course Name has been added to the course total and assignment group totals for screen readers; the CSV download button on User Page Views includes more informative context for screen readers; the For All Devices link has been removed from the Ways to Contact page. 

 Visit the June 23, 2021 Canvas Deploy Notes website for a full description of changes. 

CELT-help’s most frequently asked questions for October 2020

Do you wonder what questions were asked via most during October? Below are the questions in no particular order. To find your answers, use the CELT search (upper right corner of the site) or click on the link below.

Discover more answers to your questions using the Canvas Guides or type your question in the search box on the CELT website.


Technology Updates (May 12, 2021): Canvas, Webex, Top Hat, WileyPlus, MATLAB Grader, Redshelf, Immediate Access Course Materials, and UDOIT

As we have in the past, the Learning Technologies Team will be doing system and vendor updates in-between Spring Semester and Summer Session I to minimize impact during instruction.  The updates listed below will occur between Thursday, May 13, and Saturday, May 15, 2021, unless otherwise noted.


  • Student Annotation Submissions: Instructors can use an annotated assignment type to upload a file for students to annotate and submit directly in Canvas.
  • Auto-Show Closed Captioning: Allows users to enable captions to show by default in all Canvas videos.
  • User Maintenance Windows: Regular maintenance windows will be implemented for each region, beginning in July 2021. Most maintenance windows will take place sometime between the hours of 12:00 am and 4:00 am local time on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.

Canvas updates will occur on May 15, 2021. See the Canvas Release announcement for more details.


Webex updates will be live on May 12, 2021.

Top Hat

  • Superscript, subscript, and symbol support in questions: Instructors can input superscripts, subscripts, and symbols into the text and answer options for Multiple Choice, Matching, Sorting, and Click on Target Questions.
  • Course-based free trials: When a student is enrolling in a Top Hat course, they will be provided with an option to initiate a 14-day free trial at the checkout page. Initiating the trial will grant the student immediate access to the Top Hat course (including any paid Top Hat products being used in the course such as textbooks or remotely monitored exams). Any work that a student completes within the duration of the trial will be recorded under their name in the course Gradebook.
  • Highlighting, note-taking, and reader location memory: These improvements will allow students using Top Hat via a web browser to highlight in three different colors (green, yellow, and red) as well as add notes to text on a Page both fullscreen view and the preview pane. In addition, when a student returns to a Page, it will open at the same location on the Page as when they exited.
  • Partial grading for Matching and Sorting questions: Students will now receive partial grades for Matching and Sorting questions, commensurate with the number of answer options they correctly match or place.

Top Hat has postponed its updates to June 2021. Read more in the May 2021 Upcoming Release Notes.



  • WileyPLUS becomes WileyPLUS Legacy and will be deprecated on July 30, 2021, in favor of the new WileyPLUS app.
  • New WileyPLUS app: The new app becomes available on May 12, 2021, and gives instructors the freedom and flexibility to tailor curated content and easily manage their courses in order to engage and motivate students. Explore the WileyPLUS Video Tutorials.


  • Redshelf end of life: Iowa State is transitioning from the use of Redshelf for immediate access to course materials, starting with Summer 2021. Redshelf will be disabled on May 13, 2021.
  • VitalSource and Immediate Access Course Materials: VitalSource is the new platform for immediate access course materials at ISU. VitalSource will be added to Canvas on May 13, 2021. Follow the instructions to add the new Immediate Access Course Materials link to your Canvas course.


  • UDOIT end of life: Due to a lack of support, Iowa State is transitioning from the use of UDOIT for course accessibility checking. UDOIT will be disabled on May 13, 2021.
  • Canvas accessibility tools: The accessibility checker and link validator are supported Canvas tools that can be used on any Canvas-created content.

Microsoft OneNote

Webex: Customized Views, Improved Stage Options, Mobile Enhancements

The Webex 41.4 update from April 8, 2021, included the following enhancements to Webex Meetings:

  • Zoom In and Zoom Out in Grid View: Customize the default grid view through the use of the new zoom in/out slider to control how many videos are seen at any given time.
  • Customize the Stage View: When in the Stack or Side by side view, users can now easily grab a participant from the filmstrip and move them to the stage. Add and remove videos from the stage at any time. Up to four videos can be added to the stage, in addition to the shared content or active speaker.
  • Simplified Layout Options: The Stack or Side by side views are now consistent, regardless of whether content is being shared. Focus view is now obsolete, users should instead use the slider to zoom all the way into only one active speaker. Grid view remains unchanged.
  • Sync my Stage for Everyone: Hosts and Cohosts can now sync their view to become the default stage view for everyone in the meeting.
  • Customized Layouts Attendee Support: Similar to desktop, mobile attendees can now select a preferred default layout (grid view vs focus or active speaker view) for their own meeting. After selecting it, they will be able to switch between different views again at any point within the meeting.
  • iPhone Breakout Room Host Support: Similar to desktop and Android, iOS users will now be able to host and assign breakout sessions directly from their mobile apps on their iPhone devices.

Updates to Webex Events (New) have been delayed until the May 2021 update to Webex 41.5.

Canvas Release: Learning Mastery Gradebook, File Previews, Submission Reassignments, Course Availability Dates, and Webcam Submissions (March 20, 2021)

In the March 20, 2021 Canvas Release, the changes below are slated to become part of the main Canvas environment.  
  • Learning Mastery Gradebook Student Filters: The Learning Mastery Gradebook includes filters for inactive and concluded enrollments, this feature already exists in the standard Gradebook view.
  • File Preview Enhancements: Files linked in the Rich Content Editor can be previewed in an overlay or inline. 
  • Submission Reassignments: In SpeedGrader, instructors can reassign an assignment with a due date to an individual student and ask them to redo their submission. Additional submissions cannot exceed the maximum number of permissions available for that student.
  • Course Availability Date Enhancements: Course Settings will now include a menu to select whether to use the university-determined Term dates or the instructor-specified Course dates. Instructors may still also specify dates for each specific section via ISU AdminTools; these continue to not display within the course. 
  • Webcam Submissions: In File Upload assignments, students can use their webcam to submit to an assignment. 
Additional features included in this update but not applicable to the ISU environment include: 
  • New Quizzes Modules Support: For institutions who have enabled New Quizzes, Canvas now includes support to build them straight from a module. Read the latest news about the New Quizzes implementation at ISU. 

March 15, 2021
The enhancements to Course Availability Dates will be reviewed for implementation at a later time.

Canvas Deploy: File Folder Structure in Blueprint Courses and Rich Content Editor focus (March 17, 2021)

The March 17, 2021 Canvas Deploy addresses the following features:

  • Rich Content Editor: When a user switches between editors, focus is retained in the editor link (Pretty HTML editor or Raw Editor, respectively).
  • File Folder Structure in Blueprint Courses: Folders changed in a Blueprint Course display in associated courses after the course sync.

Visit the Canvas Deploy Notes website for a full description of changes.

Canvas Deploy: Quiz Questions and Rich Content Editor (March 3, 2021)

The March 3, 2021 Canvas Deploy addresses several accessibility and user interface bugs, as well as the following features:

  • Mathematical Formulas in Quiz Questions: Mathematical formulas are rounded correctly in Quizzes.
  • Numerical Quiz Questions with Precision Answers: Auto-generated decimal places are not added to numerical questions with precision answers in Quizzes.
  • Rich Content Editor: Removing alternative text from an image and marking the image as decorative does not get flagged in the Accessibility checker.

Visit the Canvas Deploy Notes website for a full description of changes.

Webex: Meetings to Have Breakout Rooms

Implementation Date: September 15

The following features will become available in Webex Meetings:

  • Hosts will be able to create and use breakout rooms.
  • Attendees will be able to share their webcam in breakout rooms.
  • Meeting hosts can now assign other meeting participants as cohosts. 

These features can be used in any Webex Meeting, including those scheduled within Canvas.

For more information, please visit the Webex update web page.