December 2019 Canvas Updates

Starting December 21, 2019, Canvas will receive a number of improvements and updates as part of the regularly-scheduled upgrade cycle by Instructure. Updates are made regularly to bring new features, improve user experience, and fix bugs. Such updates do not typically result in downtime. 

Upcoming Changes

  • New Course and User Analytics 
  • New Quizzes: Invalid Numeric Input Warning
  • Reports: Grading Scheme Values (Admins)
  • Global Announcement Notifications (Admins)

Quick Summaries

New Course and User Analytics (Released January 1, 2020)

A new analytics tool has been enabled, which offers enhanced information for many areas of a course.
Note: This feature was enabled January 1, 2020.

The tool is still being actively developed. Visit the New Analytics Canvas Community to provide feedback and suggestions. View a comparison between the old and new Analytcs tool. View release documentation.


The original Analytics tool was accessible from a course’s Home page.

What’s new?

A new Analytics tool is accessible from a course’s Home page, and the tool contains new information, better visualizations, and additional functionality.

How can this affect teaching and learning?

Instructors will have additional statistical information to assess the success of their students, and effectiveness of their course. In addition, instructors will be able to more easily communicate with students based on their level of success in the course.

New Quizzes: Invalid Numeric Input Warning

New Quizzes warns students when they respond to a numeric question with an invalid character. 

New Quizzes is not yet widely supported by CETL or school/college support. Please contact CETL before using New Quizzes in your course.


Student entry of invalid characters in numeric questions led to mis-grading.

What’s new?

If a student enters an invalid character in a numeric question and clicks the Submit button, a warning informs the student that an invalid answer has been entered, and they can confirm their answer or change their answer.

How can this affect teaching and learning?

The warning reduces the risk of students submitting correct answers and receiving an incorrect mark due to symbols (i.e. if the answer is 5 and the student enters $5).

Reports: Grading Scheme Values

Administrators can now export the Grade Export Report.

Note: This update only applies to department, school/college and institution administrators.


The Grade Export report did not include grading scheme information.

What’s new?

The Grade Export report and the MGP Grade Export Report include grading scheme values in the CSV export.

How can this affect teaching and learning?

This change allows admins to see the final and current grade compared to the course grading scheme.

Global Announcement Notifications

Global Announcements will now distribute notifications to subscribed users.

Note: Only department, school/college and institution administrators are able to post global announcements.


Global announcements only appeared on user dashboards.

What’s new?

Global announcements will now distribute a notification to subscribed users.

How can this affect teaching and learning?

This update increases the likelihood that global announcements will be seen and read.

Learn more

To learn more about this Canvas update, and to see how the changes may affect instructors’ and students’ work, refer to the audience-specific release note links.