January 2015 ICON Upgrade


ICON will be upgraded to a new version (10.3 SP13) on Tuesday January 6th, 2015.

The January 2015 upgrade is smaller in scale and impact than the May 2014 ICON upgrade was, but the new version does introduce several bug fixes, a few minor interface changes, and some new features.

ICON will be offline on Tuesday January 6th, 2015 from 7:00am to 4:00pm while the system is upgraded.

There won’t be any work instructors or students have to do to convert their settings or courses to use the new version of ICON.  Anything that currently exists in ICON will be there after the upgrade.

With a system that is as widely used as ICON, there is never a good time to take the system offline.  The January 6th date was chosen after consultation with several campus groups (SCIT, ICON Steering Committee, ICON Collegiate Admins, etc).

Contact the ITS Help Desk (http://its.uiowa.edu/contact) if you have questions or concerns about this upgrade.


Changes in ICON 10.3 SP13


    • Action buttons (Save, Cancel, Publish, etc) now appear in a tray at the bottom of the screen across all tools.
      ICON 10.3 save and close tray
    • The My Courses widget now searches all keywords independently.
      • Previously, the search option used an exact phrase match.
      • The new update aligns with the Course Selector search behavior in the minibar, and ensures users can perform the same search from multiple locations and receive consistent results.
    • URLs entered in the HTML editor will be automatically converted to a link.
      ICON 10.3 html editor and url
    • Screenreaders no longer falsely announce changes to dates as if they were live regions.


        • Students can now receive email or text notifications when new content is uploaded.
        • If instructors haven’t uploaded content yet, a welcome message is displayed prompting them on specific actions.
          ICON 10.3 content prompt
        • The navigation buttons have slightly changed in the collapsible navigation panel.
          ICON 10.3 content nav
        • The page forward and backward buttons are now displayed above and below the inline document viewer.
        • The maximum file size for uploading a file to the content tool has been increased from 500MB to 1GB.
        • PDF files now display using a PDF viewer (if you have a viewer installed for your browser), otherwise, the document viewer is used.
        • Insecure content links (http) now automatically convert to secure links (https), or are set to open as external links in a new window to help mitigate blocked content errors caused by browser security changes.
        • The manage files tool displays a message when uploading duplicate files.
        • Performance improvements for courses with more than 100 content topics.


        • If the instructor enables discussion voting, students can vote discussion threads up or down.
          ICON 10.3 discussions
        • A few minor layout adjustments:
          • A collapsible navigation panel (along the left hand side of the page) for easier navigation was added.
          • In a discussion thread, replies now show the date the reply was posted instead of an approximation.
        • Sorting and filtering options are now preserved when navigating through a discussion by using the browser’s Back button.


        • A bug was fixed that prevents instructors not enrolled in a section from opening files uploaded by students who are enrolled in a section.


        • When editing a quiz, options for configuring the quiz have been reorganized onto different tabs.
          • The Layout/Questions tab has been removed, and questions in a quiz now show on the Properties tab.
          • Associating a quiz with a grade item, allowing automatic export, and adding a rubric have moved to the Assessment tab.  Setting quiz attempts has also moved to the Assessment tab.
        • Previously, the Quizzes tool communicated that a quiz was always available to users by including the word “Always” on the Quiz List page.  The language term “Always” is now made clearer by renaming it to “Always Available” in the following areas:
          • Main quizzes list page
          • List of users granted special access in Quizzes
          • Main surveys list page
          • List of users granted special access in Surveys
        • ICOn 10.3 quiz countdownThe “Time Remaining” clock in a quiz now displays seconds as well as minutes and hours to provide better information to users taking a quiz. The clock also subtly flashes for the following times:
          • If a quiz is set for more than an hour long, the clock flashes when there are 10 minutes remaining.
          • If a quiz is set for less than an hour long, the clock flashes when there are 5 minutes remaining.
          • Regardless of the set timer, the clock flashes when there is 1 minute remaining.  If the quiz uses an unenforced time limit and displays a clock, the timer ticks upwards instead of downwards to indicate how much time has been spent.  ARIA alerts are also available for non-visual users.


  • When adding a grade item to a dropbox assignment in Content, the correct list of available grade schemes is now displayed.