Canvas Release May 16, 2020 + New RCE is Here

Pen writing on ruled paper

The headline change for Canvas this summer is that Instructure plans to activate to the New Rich Content Editor (RCE) feature for all courses on July 18 December 19, 2020. The New RCE is a redesigned version of Canvas’s “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) composition tool for Announcements, Assignments, Pages, Discussions, etc. The New RCE is the default editor for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 courses at Emory University. Until July 18 December 19, teachers may turn the New RCE on or off in their courses (the option is labeled “RCE Enhancements” in the Feature Options tab under course Settings). (I corrected the dates in this paragraph following Instructure’s change to the New RCE enforcement date. – ST)

The content selection tabs for course links, files, and images do not remain open to the right of the New RCE. Content selection tabs hide while not in use, and menu buttons hide so the bar has just one row. But all of the options are still available: the link, picture, and document buttons allow you to open the content selection tabs for course links, images, and files. (Buttons discussed below are circled in red in the screen shot.)

Screen shot circles options, link, image, documents, and apps buttons in new Canvas rich content editor.

  1. Click the triple dot button (a.k.a. the kebab) at the far right to reveal hidden buttons.
  2. Click the link button and select Course Links to insert a link to items in your course (e.g. Assignments, Discussion, Pages, Quizzes) or to add an external address link.
  3. Click the picture button to embed an image from course files or to upload a new one (the upload option also lets you search Unsplash or specify an external image address).
  4. Click the document button to insert a link to a file stored in your course files or to upload and link to a new file.
  5. Click the plug button to insert content from apps, e.g. Canvas Studio videos.

The guides on the Canvas Community website have up-to-date information on this new tool that Instructure is regularly updating.

Canvas Production Release May 16, 2020

Instructure will release updates to our Canvas environment Saturday, May 16, 2020 as part of the regular monthly release cycle. The release notes for May 16 reiterate that notifications via SMS, except for Announcements and Grading, were discontinued on May 2, 2020. Click here to view the full Canvas release notes for May 16, 2020. We have not activated the confetti celebration features at this time, but Instructure plans to activate them for all institutions on July 18, 2020.

Production feature releases arrive on the third Saturday of each month. Since universities transitioned to remote learning in March, Instructure has added features on some other Saturdays known as “ready releases,” most of which are optional for institutions. Click here to view release notes on Canvas Community.

Header photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash