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Canvas Known Issues

This page outlines Canvas-specific technical issues impacting students, staff, and instructors that have not yet been resolved by Instructure, the publisher of Canvas.

Safari Issues with viewing & downloading content

Issue: Safari users with the ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ privacy setting enabled may have difficulties viewing embedded images (including images embedded into quizzes) and downloading files from Canvas. 

This feature blocks externally-stored content from loading in Canvas (and other sites) and is automatically enabled on Safari 13.1 and later. Due to the way that Canvas stores and hosts image and file content, this setting can cause images and files to not load in Safari.

Workaround: Use a different supported browser, particularly when accessing quizzes that contain images:

Download Google Chrome
Download Mozilla Firefox

Alternatively, disable the ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ privacy setting in Safari:

  1. Open the Safari app on your Mac
  2. Click the Safari button in the top left corner of the Safari app, and then select Preferences
  3. Click on the Privacy option to open Safari privacy settings
  4. Untoggle the ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ setting
  5. Reload the Canvas page to reload images/files 

See this page for more information on accessing this setting.

Browser extensions keep Chrome from loading Canvas pages

Issue: Several browser extensions, like AdAware and LastPass, have been known to slow down or completely block access to Canvas pages, particularly when using Chrome. This issue can block access to Canvas pages or keep users from uploading files or grades.

Workaround:

  1. Disable all browser extensions in your preferred browser
  2. Use incognito tab with extensions disabled
  3. Use a different browser without extensions
In some cases, Chrome may mistakenly considers certain UC San Diego resources to be unsafe. In those cases, add UCSD, Canvas, and other affiliated vendors as safe sites in Chrome privacy and security settings.
Here's how:
  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More button (three dots icon), and then Settings .
  3. Under "Privacy and security," click Cookies and other site data.
  4. Next to "Sites that can always use cookies," "Always clear cookies when windows are closed," or "Sites that never use cookies," click Add.
  5. Enter the web address.
    • [*.]ucsd.edu
      This creates an exception for the entire ucsd.edu domain. For example, [*.]ucsd.edu will match canvas.ucsd.edu and canvaskaf.ucsd.edu.
    • Also recommend adding ucsd.instructure.com and ucsd.zoom.us (or [*.]zoom.us if using other versions of Zoom)
  6. Select Add.

To remove an exception you don't want any more, to the right of the website, click More (three dots icon), and then Remove.

Quiz Availability Dates

Issue: When assigning a quiz to an individual student AND a section that they have membership in, Canvas will give the individual student an aggregated set of availability dates that spans from the earliest ‘Available From’ date to the latest ‘Available Until’ date.

  • The 'Availabile From' date dictates the first date/time a student will be able to access a Canvas resource, such as a quiz, assignment, or file. 
  • The 'Available Until' date dictates the latest date/time a student will be able to access a Canvas resource, and can be used to enforce a strict deadline (unlike the 'Due Date', which is a suggested date for students to submit quizzes/assignments by).
  • More information about Availability Dates is available here.
Example: An instructor assigns their quiz to both their ‘A01’ section AND an individual student, with different ‘Available From’ and ‘Available Until’ dates. Because the individual student also has membership in the A01 section, Canvas will give them an aggregated Availability Dates set - e.g. Available From Dec 1 12am, and Available Until Dec 9 12:59pm.
Top half of image shows 1 Canvas Availability Date assigned to course section A01, bottom half shows availability date set assigned to an individual student where the 2 sets of availability dates do not overlap

Workaround: Make use of other quiz settings to ensure students are limited in their access to the quiz, and/or use the Quiz Log tool to verify how much time a student spent in a quiz.

  • Time Limit - This Quiz setting enforces a time limit that starts when a student opens the quiz. Students see the remaining time available to them on the right side of the quiz-taking page. Canvas will automatically submit a student’s quiz at the end of the time limit if a student does not manually submit their quiz. 
    • Implementing a Timer will ensure students have an equal amount of time to view and complete a quiz, even if their Availability Dates vary. 
    • See this page for more information on adding a Timer to a quiz.
  • Use the Moderate Quiz tool to give students who need an exception more time on their quiz than what is specified in the Timer. 
    • See this page for more information on providing student accommodations.
  • The Quiz Log shows how much time students spent in a quiz, when they started and ended the quiz, and information on their activity on each individual problem within a quiz. It can be useful for identifying when during the Available From and Available Until times a student accessed a quiz.
    • See this page for more information on accessing the Quiz Log.

Google LTI Integration

Issue: Students and instructors trying to access the ‘Google Drive’ Course Navigation Menu link or embed a file via the Google Drive option in the Rich Content Editor fail to connect to their Google accounts.

Workaround: Consider adding a link directly to the document/file in Google Drive and adding the link to the Canvas Rich Content Editor when sharing documents with students. If you have multiple files to share with students, you can make a shared folder in Google Drive that allows for sharing of multiple files.

You may also be experiencing issues using the Canvas Google integration if you are logged into multiple Google accounts. Please try the following:

  • Log out of personal Google accounts and ensure you are signed into your UCSD Google account. Refresh your Canvas course homepage and then reaccess the Google Drive course link.
  • Access the Google Drive tool from an ‘Incognito’ or ‘Private’ browser where you are not logged into any Google accounts. You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account, at which point you can sign in via your UCSD Google credentials.

Note: Some instructors and staff, particularly those affiliated with UC San Diego Health, do not have UCSD Google accounts. Please ensure you have a Google account by logging into the campus Google Apps site: gapps.ucsd.edu. If you cannot log in because you do not have an account, contact your department IT.

Copying Canvas Quizzes in the same course

Issue: Using the 'Copy to..' option to duplicate a quiz within the same course will overwrite the previously copied quiz (the original) with the newly copied quiz, losing both the original quiz and any student response data tied to it.

The 'Copy to..' option is intended to be used to copy content between separate courses. For example, an instructor may use this tool to copy content from a course in a previous quarter into a newer course where they would like to reuse the content.

  • See this page for more information about the 'Copy to..' function for quizzes.

Workaround: Canvas does not have a built-in tool for easily duplicating quizzes into the same course site. While instructors can import content into the same course via the 'Import Course Content' tool using the 'Copy a Canvas Course' option, this can produce errors with quizzes if a quiz is copied multiple times. Instead, instructors should export their quizzes into the QTI package format and then import the QTI package into Canvas:

  1. Go to the Settings tab of your course.
  2. Select the 'Export Course Content' option from the right side of the page.
  3. Select the 'Quiz' option and select the quizzes you'd like to duplicate.
  4. Click 'Create Export'. This will save a ZIP file to your computer, which you can then reupload into Canvas to create duplicates of the exported quizzes.
  5. Go to the Settings tab of your course and click the 'Import Course Content' option.
  6. Next to 'Content Type', select the 'QTI .zip file' format.
  7. Click 'Choose File' next to Source and select the .zip file file you downloaded in Step 4, and click 'Open'.
  8. Opt to file the questions to a specific question bank or 'Unfiled questions', which are questions not associated with a specific question bank
    Note: Do not select the 'Overwrite assessment content with matching IDs' checkbox, as this will overwrite the questions from the original quiz.
  9. Click 'Import'. You will see under 'Current Jobs' that the .zip file you have uploaded is processing.
  10. Go to the Quizzes tab of your course, and edit/rename the quiz that you imported into Canvas, which will have the same name as the originally saved quiz.
More information on importing quiz packages can be found here