How does the feature idea process work in the Canvas Community?

Document created by Canvas Doc Team Employee on Jun 22, 2018Last modified by Canvas Doc Team Employee on May 1, 2020
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Input from existing users is a very important part of how Instructure prioritizes work on new and existing features and fixing bugs. Instructure looks at data from the support team and gets feedback from customer success managers (CSMs) and from the Community directly. Learn more about sharing ideas and the development process.

The goal of the Ideas space is to provide:

  • Insight into what our Product team is working on right now and a way to give the Product team timely feedback to help guide their decisions
  • An opportunity to share ideas about anything to do with Canvas, whether Product is focusing on that area of the application right now or not.

Note: Please do not share ideas in the Comments section below, as comments are periodically deleted. Instructions on how to create a feature idea are provided in the How do I create a new feature idea in the Canvas Community? lesson.

Who can submit ideas?

Any registered user may submit an idea. Anyone can create an account for free and become a registered user.

How are ideas processed?

  • New ideas start their lives in a non-voting staging called Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea.
  • Canvas Coaches and the Community Team review new submissions, generally within three days.
  • A new idea may be moved into Moderating status if the idea is incomplete or needs clarification from the contributor.
  • The Coaches and the Community team may also apply organizational tags or archive any idea with explanation.
  • Please allow time for the review process to occur before sharing your idea link with others.

How long are ideas open for vote?

Ideas are open for six months. Following six months, ideas for that period in the top 10th percentile of the vote will remain in the general forum and open for voting. Ideas in the bottom 90th percentile  for their six-month period will be archived and moved out of the general forum which makes room for new ideas.

The archive process will occur monthly, on the first Wednesday of each month. Ideas that are part of the bulk archival process do not receive comments at the time of their move to Cold Storage.

How do I vote?

How do I vote?

The vote score is located at the top of the idea [1]. To add your vote, click the Vote up button [2], or to decrease the vote, click the Vote down button [3].

Note: You must be logged into the Community to vote

How are ideas connected to Product priorities?

Ideas are connected to product priorities using tags. Tags provide a list of related ideas in search results.

What do the stages mean?

Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea

New ideas start out in this non-voting stage pending review by a member of the Community Team.


An idea that is incomplete or needs clarification may be placed into Moderating status. Idea moderators may request that the author provide clarification or complete additional actions before the idea can be released from moderation status.

In Development

In Development ideas are being worked on or planned to be worked on in the next six months. Most of these ideas will be linked to a Product priority, which includes related ideas and other activities around development. If we mark an idea as being In Development, we will comment whether the idea might be implemented soon or whether it will be part of the long-term roadmap.

On Beta

On Beta ideas have been implemented in the Beta account of your Canvas environment. Visit How do I access the Canvas beta environment?

Archived/Not Currently Planned

Archived ideas may have fallen short of rising to the top in six months or may have been marked as not planned. We will comment and provide clear reasons for ideas that are not planned. Some ideas cannot be developed because of a technical limitation. Others do not fit with overall product direction or do not warrant the resources they would take to implement, relative to other requests.


Complete ideas have been implemented and deployed to Canvas.

What is Cold Storage?

Honoring our commitment to not delete Community content, your idea may have made the journey to Cold Storage because of one of the following factors:

  • The idea was not in the top 10 percentile of votes within its lifespan
  • The idea is a duplicate
  • The idea contained multiple ideas in one submission
  • The idea is off topic
  • The idea may now be obsolete

Select ideas that meet the criteria above are moved from the general Community to keep the search results precise and uncluttered, but that doesn't mean our teams will never look at them again. When our product teams are working on an initiative, they will review all related ideas, whether they reside in the open Ideas forum or Cold Storage.

If you want the additional chaos of more abundant search results, you can elect to join Cold Storage in order to see ALL idea submissions.

Can I resubmit an idea after it is archived and moved to Cold Storage?

Ideas can be resubmitted by creating a new feature idea.

Are there any considerations for voting on feature ideas?

Although all ideas are equally considered, the votes will help Instructure to better prioritize to meet needs. Read the considerations below to help during the voting cycles.

C = Core Products

The feature ideas forum is primarily dedicated to ideas about Canvas and the core features that support the product. Consider those ideas that you think will effectively enhance the application of Canvas, both in the immediate future and in the long run.

A = All Users

We understand that every institution or organization has different needs. We want to get a better idea of ways an idea might impact all users across all markets or audiences. Your votes will help us identify these needs more intuitively.

N = Navigation

Interested in just admin feature ideas? Want to see the ideas submitted for quiz settings? We've done our best to add tags to help you navigate and filter through ideas more effectively.

V = Vote (Up and Down)

You know the saying "a rising tide lifts all boats"? While it's easy to vote every idea up, we are looking to your guidance to help us differentiate various ideas, which means we want to see many ideas voted UP as well as DOWN.

A = Add a Comment

Like you, we are seeking to understand the applications and use cases for each idea. If you stumble upon an idea that is interesting, please help us by posting follow-up questions or additional insights. Every idea has an option to add a comment. Sometimes the best "a-ha" moments come from reading through various comment threads.

S = Share

Next to each idea is a share link. Use this link to share the idea via direct message, email it to your faculty or post it to your group in the Canvas Community. This is your way to advocate and gain support for an idea for which you feel strongly.


Your continued support and participation in the community forums are very valuable to Canvas as a product and to the user experience. We urge you to keep sharing, commenting, and voting.

Note: Instructions for creating a feature idea are included in the How do I create a new feature idea in the Canvas Community? lesson. Please do not share ideas in the Comments section below, as comments are periodically deleted.

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