2022 Canvas Updates: Overview (Excluding New Quizzes)

This update will contain all Canvas release and deploy notes for 2022 thus far. These notes will not contain any updates pertaining to New Quizzes. All New Quizzes updates specific to 2022 that have been released through the Canvas release and deploy notes can be found in a separate post. If you’re looking for more information on New Quizzes, you can review the New Quizzes in Canvas webpage. You can view the most recent notes on this page.


The January 15, 2022 release update contained a number of updates.

Feature Updates

  • Course Navigation Menu State: The expended or collapsed state of the Course Navigation Menu persists throughout all Canvas courses.
  • Gradebook – Missing Status Removal: When a grade is entered manually for a missing assignment, the missing status is removed. When an assignment indicates a student’s submission as missing, and a grade is entered manually in the Gradebook, the Missing status is removed. In the Gradebook, the Missing status is indicated as a color. The Grade Detail Tray displays both the status and the color.
  • Modules Link State: When an External URL or an External Tool (LTI) links are added to a module, the Load in New Tab checkbox is not selected by default. However, if the checkbox is selected, the checkbox will remain selected for all additional links added to a module.
  • Rich Content Editor (RCE) – Accessibility Checker Indicator Feature Enforcement: When accessibility issues are detected within the Rich Content Editor, the Editor display an indicator over the Accessibility Checker icon.
  • SpeedGrader – Unposted Comment Warning: This change notifies graders if a comment has been created but not posted.


  • Gradebook – Split Name Columns: The Gradebook View menu can include the option to split student names into two separate column and show first and last names separately. Canvas admins have the option to allow the Gradebook to display split student name columns in Account Settings.


  • Settings – Feature Preview Terminology Adjustment: The Account and Course Settings Feature Preview tabs have been restored to Feature Options.


The February 2 and February 16, 2022 Canvas release and deploy updates included:

Interface Updates

  • Enrollments – Custom Roles Display Names: Custom role names display in various areas across Canvas. At the account level, the User Details link for a user displays the custom role type.
  • People – User Suspension Link Adjustment: The Suspend/Reactive User link has been relocated in the User Details page.
  • Rich Content Editor – Accessibility Checker Color Update: The Accessibility Checker color value has been changed from a warning style to an information style.
  • Calendar – Color Update: This change improves accessibility and aligns with updated contrast standards.

Misc. Updates

  • Mobile Apps – Session Duration Extension: The minimum session duration for mobile application has been changed from 20 minutes to 48 hours.
  • Google LTI – File Menu Selection: The file selection menu has been updated by Google.
  • Course Settings – Discussions Detail Label Update: In Discussions options, the option to let students edit or delete their own discussion posts has been changed to replies.


The March 2, March 16, March 19, and March 30, 2022 release and deploy notes contained the following updates:

Feature Updates and Previews

  • Gradebook – Enhanced GradeBook Filters: When the Enhanced Gradebook Filters feature preview is enabled for a course, instructors can create filters that can be saved or used one time. Instructors can select condition types and conditions to add to the filter. They can also remove conditions, apply the filter, and give a name for future use
  • Rich Content Editor Equation Update: The change provides mobile responsiveness and enhanced user experience across Canvas courses.

Interface Update and Previews

  • Outcomes – Friendly Description Addition to Outcome Import CSV File: When creating outcomes, admins and instructors have the option to create a custom or more friendly description. Friendly descriptions will display for students and observers/parents in the student Learning Mastery Gradebook and other locations in Canvas where Outcomes are visible for these roles.
  • Calendar – Event Title Label: When adding a Calendar event, a label has been added to the title field. In Calendar, create an event and click the More Options button.  The title field includes the Event Title label.
  • Assignments – Bulk Due Date Time Editor: The Bulk Due Date Editor has been updated to include a time field.
  • Gradebook – Gradebook Loading Icon: When the Gradebook is loading, a spinner icon indicates the loading process.


The current deploy and release notes for April 16, 2022 include:

Feature Previews

  • Account and Course Settings: The Assignment Default Due time can be modified in Account Settings and Course Settings. The Assignment Default Due time will not update existing assignments with due dates already set.
  • Gradebook – Apply Score to Ungraded Assignments: This change allows instructors to apply scores to ungraded submissions en masse from an assignment group and Total column menus in the Gradebook.
  • Rich Content Editor – Icon Maker: This change provides instructors the ability to incorporate simple icons for their courses without using an external tool. The Icon Maker allows simple customized iconography to be created directly within the Rich Content Editor.
  • Submission Comments – Emojis in Submission Comments: This change allows instructors and students to convey messages through the use of emojis as visual indicators in addition to written comments. When this feature is enabled, instructors can add emojis to comments in SpeedGrader using the emoji icon available in the comment box. Instructors and students can add emojis in comments added in the context tray from Gradebook.

Canvas: Media Icon Replaced with Studio

On December 22, 2020, the Canvas Media button in the Rich Content Editor will be removed to encourage the use of Studio for media needs. This change does not affect media previously created, uploaded, and/or shared using the Canvas Media button. In addition, all previously created content is still available through the Files link in the course menu. Future media needs can be accommodated through the use of Studio, accessible via the toolbar button or the left navigation menu within Canvas.

Studio provides several benefits including the ability to:

  1. Monitor student access to the video to identify if and how much they are watching.
  2. Add a quiz to the video.
  3. Add closed captions to your video using the closed caption generator, and quickly edit them to ensure you are meeting ADA guidelines.
  4. Download the closed captions to create a transcript. The transcript and a pdf of your lecture notes is a simple way for students without access to reliable internet to continue with their studies.
  5. Store videos without using up the allotted file space for the course.
  6. Enable students to control the speed of the video according to their individual learning needs.
  7. Properly buffer a video for a smooth viewing experience on slower internet connections.

For more information and detailed instructions for creating course media, visit the Studio page on the CELT website.

Canvas is implemented, Now Submit your Grades!

Spring semester 2018 grades are due by May 9th at 2:15pm. Follow this end of semester checklist to guide you through the end of the semester process in Canvas via the End of Semester Checklist website. You may also submit grades through AccessPlus.
Spring semester marked the implementation of Canvas as the centrally-supported learning management system at Iowa State University. Over 30,000 students were enrolled in nearly 3,000 courses taught by 2,200 instructors. In a survey CELT conducted earlier in the semester, students commented that the modules, the mobile friendliness, the list of upcoming assignments, and the calendar features helped them learn and kept them on track.
Finally, CELT Open Labs will be ending this Friday (April 27). You may schedule individual consultations with the CELT instructional designers for all your course development needs via the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website.
Best wishes for finals week.
Sara Marcketti, Interim Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
P.S. The CELT Teaching Tip resumes August 2018.

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Canvas is implemented, Now Submit your Grades! (April 26, 2018 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the Teaching Tip for April 26 (PDF)

Known Technology Issues (Archive) — Resolved


March 26, 2020

Some Zoom users are experiencing what is being called ‘Zoombombing,’  in which non-students join your Zoom session for the sole purpose of disrupting class.

To address this problem, Zoom has recommendations for avoiding Zoombombing and CELT has compiled a page of Best Practices to Prevent Zoombombing.


March 26, 2020

Zoombombing is possible if you are using the Webex tool (not the Canvas Integration) and can be deterred by locking the meeting once everyone has joined.

NOTE:  Using Webex inside Canvas will prevent this issue.


March 23, 2020 - Resolved April 7, 2020

Some Canvas-Webex users are experiencing an error when trying to schedule office hours. Participants who are unable to use Webex inside Canvas should email solution@iastate.edu with the link to the Canvas course, the time the error occurred, and which tool they were using.

Note: Webex cannot be tested with the “Student View” feature and will result in an error message. This error does not need to be reported.


March 26, 2020 - Resolved March 26, 2020

We are currently experiencing issues with the Webex App within Canvas.  If you login to iastate.webex.com with your NetID and password you can create a meeting or send your personal room information to  students via the Canvas Inbox or an Announcement.  Webex is working on the issue, no uptime is known.

Canvas is Available!

Canvas is available to all of Iowa State today. Blackboard is still available for faculty to use during fall semester 2017, and almost all courses that use a learning management system (LMS) will be taught in Blackboard. However, now is the time to learn Canvas in preparation for all courses being taught in the new LMS this spring semester 2018.

Begin to learn Canvas using the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website. This is a 24/7 publicly available course.

How-to Log into Canvas

To log into Canvas click the “Sign Ons” link found in the upper right-hand corner (above the search box) of Iowa State’s home page. Then, use the drop down menu and go to “More Sign Ons” to select the Canvas button.

What you will see in Canvas

Once you are logged into Canvas, you will see your dashboard displaying course cards for your current courses; as well as, a “Start Here” course for MyCanvas Teacher at ISU.

If you do not see the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU course (“Start Here”), follow the steps found in Canvas’s How do I view my institution’s Public Course Index as an instructor? website and click the “+Join this course” icon to self-enroll.

If you choose to not log into MyCanvas Teacher at ISU today, you still will have access to the resources at anytime.

We are no longer accepting Early Adopters for Fall 2017.

Canvas Support:

All 24/7 support options may be found by clicking the “Help” button found on the left-hand navigation bar in Canvas. Canvas offers 24/7 support via the following channels:

  • Canvas Support Line (Call 515-294-4000 then press 2, press 1)
  • Live Chat with Canvas Support
  • A web-based Report a Problem Form

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. 

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

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.