December 2020 Release Summary

Beginning December 19th, 2020 Canvas will receive several 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

  • General Availability of the New Rich Content Editor
  • Changes in accessing Student View 

General Availability of the New Rich Content Editor (December 29, 2020) 

The New Rich Content Editor (New RCE) will be enabled for all UWM courses on December 29, 2020. With it come improvements to the editor, additional features and automatic saving of draft content. New RCE is discussed in the official New RCE announcement. Refer to Instructure’s New RCE documentation for students and New RCE documentation for instructors for further information.

  • Previously: the classic Rich Content Editor is the default editor, and the New Rich Content Editor is available as a feature that instructors can enable on a course-by-course basis.
  • After the release: The New Rich Content Editor is the only editor available to UWM courses. All the benefits of the new editor are available to all students and instructors.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: Students and instructors will ultimately have an improved experience with Canvas by using a refined editor with more features, a more flexible interface and increased editing space. By automatically saving drafts to the browser, less work will be lost.

Changes in Accessing Student View

The Student View feature is changing so instructors can toggle-on Student View on a specific page, rather than accessing Student view from either Settings or Home.

  • Previously: The Student View feature can be enabled by clicking on the “Student View” button on a courses Home page, or a courses Settings page.
  • After the release: Student View can be enabled from any page that is viewable by students by clicking the Eye Glasses icon. The method to exit Student View remains using the Exit button at the bottom of any page. If the feature is enabled on a page which can’t be viewed by students, an Access Denied error is shown.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: Instructors can test the way their Canvas course functions for students more easily, which can speed up course development, and may help resolve issues as they are raised by students.

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. Remember that some features may not be enabled for UWM or the UW System.