January/February 2022 Release Summary

This is the latest information on changes to UWM’s Digital Learning Environment which includes changes to Canvas, Kaltura (a.k.a. My Media), Zoom, and other services available in Canvas.

Updates are made regularly to bring new features, improve the user experience, and fix bugs. For each item, the change date is provided. Release Summaries are used to communicate planned updates for the given month and may include updates which occurred after the previous update.

Service Maintenance

No maintenance is planned for these changes.

Major Changes

  • Canvas
    • January 15, 2022: “Sticky” Menu Collapsing by Course and User
    • January 15, 2022: Missing Status Removed on Grade Entry
    • January 15, 2022: “Sticky” Load in New Tab by Course and User
    • January 15, 2022: Unsaved Comment Warning for Graders
    • January 15, 2022: (New Quizzes) Partial Credit for Matching Questions


January 15, 2022: “Sticky” Menu Collapsing by Course and User

When you click the Menu icon in a course, the state of the menu persists through the course.

  • Before the change: If you click the menu icon to hide the menu, leave the page, then return, the menu would need to be clicked again to re-hide it.
  • After the change: The hidden menu continues to be hidden regardless of the course page, until the person chooses to un-hide the menu.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: this quality-of-life change provides a more consistent experience to all Canvas users.

If a teacher changes the menu, the change only applies to the teacher who made the change. The gradebook hides the menu by default, and it ignores the menu state in other pages of the course.

January 15, 2022: Missing Status Removed on Grade Entry

If a teacher or grader enters a grade for manual submissions in the Gradebook or SpeedGrader, the Missing color and message are removed from the Gradebook.

  • Before the change: If a grade is entered for a manual submission which is missing, the course instructor or grader needs to manually remove the “missing” indicator (flag).
  • After the change: Manual submission grades automatically turn-off the missing flag, and the Gradebook is updated.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This quality-of-life change reduces the number of steps instructors need to take to maintain manually entered grades. In-turn, this results in clearer communication to students, and it reduces the risk of errors in grade presentation.

If a manually entered assignment grade is removed, the missing indicator Is not restored. Additionally, the missing indicator will not appear if a late policy has been applied to the assignment.

January 15, 2022: “Sticky” Load in New Tab by Course and User

If an instructor adds an External Tool or External URL to a course module, and they click the “Load in a new tab” checkbox, the box will remain checked when adding additional external items. If the instructor later un-checks the box, the box will remain un-checked.

  • Before the change: The “Load in a new tab” box needs to be re-checked for every External URL or External Tool Module item.
  • After the change: The “Load in a new tab” checkbox remains (un-)checked for the addition of each External URL or External Tool.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This quality-of-life change reduces the number of clicks an instructor must make when they are developing/managing a course.

When using an External Tool (a.k.a. LTI tool), refer to the tool’s documentation to determine if you should check the “Load in a new tab” box.

Opening in a new tab can introduce un-intended challenges for people who use assistive technologies or mobile devices. Consider minimizing the use of “Load in a new tab” unless it is necessary.

January 15, 2022: Unsaved Comment Warning for Graders

When an instructor or grader adds a comment in SpeedGrader, but doesn’t save the comment, a warning is displayed.

  • Before the change: Instructors received no warning when navigating in SpeedGrader before saving a comment.
  • After the change: A warning is presented if the instructor navigates away from a student’s assignment without saving.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: This usability change resolves a common issue where feedback is mistakenly discarded by instructors. This in-turn means that instructors will overall spend less time gradingand recovering from mistakes.

The warning box can be dismissed on an assignment-by-assignment basis by checking “Do not show again for this assignment.” If the grader switches browsers, the box will re-appear for the given assignment.

January 15, 2022: (New Quizzes) Partial Credit for Matching Questions

Note: CETL and school/college support do not currently recommend using New Quizzes unless it is needed for specific question types or capabilities. Contact CETL or your school/college support for additional information; and continue using Classic Quizzes whenever possible.

Matching Questions in New Quizzes support partial points, which is set by default.

  • Before the change: Matching Questions in New Quizzes does not support partial credit.
  • After the change: Matching Questions in New Quizzes are configured by default to offer partial credit. The grade type can be changed while editing the question by changing the “Grading” option.
  • How this affects teaching and learning: New Quizzes will one day replace the Classic Quizzes tool. This functionality is necessary to facilitate the eventual transition. For instructors who must use New Quizzes, this change increases the versatility of a new quiz.

Clearly communicating the use of partial credit questions is a good strategy to incentivize students to answer as completely as possible. The mixed experience of getting some aspects of a question correct, combined with the ability to review quiz results can make the iterative process of knowledge acquisition more practical in New Quizzes.

Existing Matching questions default to “Exact match,” rather than “Partial credit.”

Additional Changes

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  • Canvas LMS
    • January 19, 2022: (Administrators) the default theme colors for school/college and department areas are updated to reflect increased contrast. This change also affects all mobile web users where the default theme is used.
    • January 19, 2022: When the Equation Editor is used, images which are created use absolute web paths to prevent breakage during content or course copies.
    • February 2, 2022: Roles aside from the original Student, Teacher, TA, and Observer roles are listed by name in many places in Canvas. Previously, roles were listed based on the generic role they were based on.
    • February 2, 2022: (Accessibility) In the Rich Content Editor, the accessibility badge (indicator on-top of the Accessibility Checker icon) has been adjusted to indicate information vs. indicating a warning condition.
    • February 16, 2022: (Accessibility) The High Contrast color scheme is updated for courses to improve readability.
  • Canvas Mobile Apps:
    • February 2, 2022: Mobile app sessions in Canvas can last up to 48 hours, up from 20 minutes.
    • February 9, 2022: (Canvas Teacher App for Android) the SpeedGrader comment library is automatically shown when an instructor is grading an assignment.
  • H5P
    • February 14, 2022: (Accessibility) Drag the Word exercise correctness messages have descriptions which help screen readers identify text context.
  • Proctorio
    • January 15, 2022: Audio encoding uses less bandwidth through the use of a new audio codec.
  • Zoom
    • December 28, 2021: Users may now join multiple meetings simultaneously.
    • January 23, 2022: Audio files can be recorded for individuals in a meeting. This setting can be changed by Zoom users in the web portal.

Learn More

To learn more about updates, and to see how the changes may affect instructors’ and students’ work, refer to the release note links. Remember that some features may not be enabled for UWM or the UW System.