February 2020 Canvas Update

Starting February 15, 2020, 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

  • Commons: Favorite Import
  • Gradebook: Import Reserved Names
  • Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes Use the Same “+Quiz” button on the Quizzes page 

Quick Summaries

Commons: Favorite Import

Favorited Commons Items can be imported from Quizzes, Pages, Discussion, Assignments, and Modules. 


  • Previously content could only be imported to a course directly from Commons.

What’s new? 

  • After favoriting Commons content, instructors can open Quizzes, Pages, Discussions, Assignments, or Modules in their course and import favorited items into the content area. 

How can this affect teaching and learning? 

  • This feature facilitates an easier integration of commons materials with course sites.

Gradebook Import Reserved Names  

Gradebook import CSV files ignore reserved name columns as well as hidden and deleted custom columns. 


  • Importing Gradebook CSV files did not ignore existing columns with reserved column names and non-active custom columns.

What’s new? 

  • This change confirms data is uploaded correctly as part of the import and prevents grade conflicts from hidden or deleted columns.

How can this affect teaching and learning? 

  • This change helps improve the reliability of gradebook imports and helps prevent data errors caused by file transfers.

Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes Use the Same “+Quiz” button on the Quizzes page

Quizzes will be classified as “New” and “Classic” quizzes. Clicking the “+Quiz” button  will allow instructors to choose whether to use Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes for that quiz.

NOTE: instructors are encouraged to use Classic Quizzes. Before using New Quizzes, contact CETL or your school/college support to find out if New Quizzes is right for your course.


  • New Quizzes were created from the Assignment page.

What’s new? 

  • Instructors will now be able to create both new and classic quizzes from the Quizzes tab.

How can this affect teaching and learning? 

  • This change aligns the New Quizzes tool more closely with the quizzes tab, and also makes instructors more directly choose between “new” and “classic” quizzes.

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.