SPSS workshop on Tuesday January 21st

Introduction to Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) Workshop
January 21, 2014
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Walker 633, 120 Boylston Street

Sponsored by the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, a hands-on workshop to learn and utilize the SPSS software package for statistical analysis.

Come and learn from Michael Duggan, Emerson’s Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and professional SPSS user!

RSVP for this and all Spring 2014 neXus events on this Google Form »

WordPress 3.8 update

Happy New Year! In the spirit of starting fresh, on Thursday, January 9th, from 6 – 8 a.m., WordPress will be unavailable while it updates to the latest version, 3.8.

Version 3.8 includes the usual security updates and patches, but also a gorgeous new dashboard design, that offers eight color scheme options for your enjoyment. However, all functionality within the Dashboard, while updated, remains the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ITG at ext 8090 or at itg@emerson.edu.

December 7th Updates to Canvas

As you may know, Instructure updates and repairs Canvas every few weeks. Here are some highlights from last weekend’s update:

New Features

Test Student Placement in the Gradebook

The Test Student (populated when using Student View), will always be listed at the end of the Gradebook, no matter how the Gradebook is sorted.

screenshot of gradebook showing Test Student at the bottom

The Test Student can still be removed from the Gradebook completely by managing your course section enrollments.

As deployed in our 11/16 release, the Test Student no longer affects analytics.

Note: Placement of the Test Student at the end of the user list does not apply to CSV downloads, which will be updated in the 12/28 release.

Individual Messages Option Update in New Conversations

In the New Conversations (Beta Version) compose window, the bulk message checkbox has been renamed to Send individual messages. This change makes individual messaging more intuitive and functions similarly as an email BCC (blind carbon copy) feature.

To send a conversation as individual messages, enter your recipients in the To field, and then select the Send individual messages checkbox. Otherwise Canvas will send the message as a group message, and all recipients will be able to view all recipients of the message.

screenshot of "Send Individual Messages" checkbox

In new Conversations, reply to all is never the default option for group conversations. As in email, users can always choose how to reply to a message: they can respond only to the sender with the reply icon [1], or if they want to reply to the entire group, they can click the gear icon [2] and select the reply to all option [2].

screenshot showing the reply icon and gear icon

When composing a reply, users can also check the intended recipient(s) in the To field and add or remove names as necessary.

screenshot of the "To" field of a message

Fixed Bugs

Calendar 2: Dates and Times

  • After importing a course, Calendar 2 will enter the date and time of an event exactly as it exists in the original course or content package.
    • Explanation: When a calendar event was imported, the Start/End times changed to the UTC offset (e.g. for Mountain Time it defaulted to 6pm) on the previous day if no date or 12:00am were used. Canvas code has been updated to accept the date and time as per the imported event.


Partially Submitted Quizzes

    • Canvas saves all student answers within a quiz and no longer auto-submits quizzes that are closed before the quiz is completed.
      • Explanation: Some quizzes were being auto-submitted with unsaved quiz questions. Canvas engineers determined that pressing the back button within a browser window would cause Canvas to stop auto-saving quiz questions, causing quizzes to be partially completed when auto-submitted. This situation occurred when students clicked the back button and chose to remain on the page, when students clicked the back button and closed the quiz window, and also when students downloaded a file.
    • This fix is a followup to a bug addressed in our 11/16 release: If a quiz is auto-submitted because of a time limit, Canvas will submit the quiz completely so it can be moderated by the instructor.

Question Groups

  • Canvas truly randomizes quiz questions within question groups.
    • Explanation: When an instructor sets up a quiz question group, some students would not get a truly randomized quiz with quiz question groups containing more than 25 questions. Canvas would not generate randomized quizzes consistently, often only randomizing one or two questions.

Regrade Questions

  • When notifying students about the number of quiz questions affected by a quiz regrade, Canvas will consider all regrade attempts.
    • Explanation: When an instructor regrades a student quiz where a quiz question was affected by the regrade, Canvas will notify the student with the following message: “Your new score reflects # questions that were affected.” However, this message only reflects the student of the number of scores affected over the last two regrades. Canvas will consider all regrade attempts in reflecting the number of affected questions.

 Other Canvas Updates

Accessibility Updates


If you’d like to see all the gory details, check out https://help.instructure.com/entries/23285064-12-07-13-Canvas-Production-Release-Notes-Featuring-the-Gradebook-Test-Student-and-Individual-Message

Known Issue – Canvas Annotations Displaying Incorrectly in Chrome 31+

Canvas recently reached out to ITG and other Canvas admins, informing us of a Canvas-Crocodoc bug. While it is a known issue, there is no ETA at this time.

Annotations that have been applied to student papers via the Speedgrader Crocodoc tool are being displayed incorrectly in Chrome 31+. 31 refers to the current version of Chrome – so it may be possible your browser is older and you do not experience these issues. However, once you update, they will probably start appearing.

On Macs, the annotations may look like this:

Mac Incorrect Crocodoc Annotations

While on a PC:


Students and faculty alike will experience this problem. Though Canvas and Crocodoc are working diligently on this, they again, did not provide a time frame for a fix. For now, to view annotated documents, please use another browser, such as Firefox or Safari.

(Just as a note – sometimes students have difficulty locating annotated documents.)

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact ITG directly. We can be reached at ITG @ emerson.edu or ext 8090