Survey Results Exports: Unicode Options

Idea created by UW Learning Technologies on Nov 6, 2017
    Open for Voting
    • Evan Zien
    • Tom Nguyen
    • UW Learning Technologies
    • Rob Ditto
    • Eric Werth
    • Kelley L. Meeusen
    • Eigeme Sim
    • Hyun Oh Kim
    • Yujin Cho

    Feature Idea: Allow the option for instructors/Canvas users to export a survey statistics file or gradebook as an XLS or XLSX file, rather than only having the option to export as CSV. This would allow for easier recognition of Unicode based characters, rather than interpreting Unicode characters as ANSI/ASCII text.


    Rationale: We have recently received a problem from one of our instructors that Excel was unable to read the contents of a CSV file (in this case, survey results from Canvas). Most of these responses were written in Korean, and we have concluded that this issue was due to the format of the exported file (from Canvas). When opening the exported CSV file in Microsoft Excel, Excel could not recognize the Unicode encoded characters that were written in Korean. Instead, it interpreted them as ANSI/ASCII text and was unintelligible.


    Current Behavior:
    When exporting survey statistics or a gradebook from Canvas, the only option is to export a CSV file. This CSV file option does not account for the potential use of Unicode. This means that if the survey or gradebook is using Unicode, it may not be decoded correctly after exporting, and decoded characters may be a scrambled mess when viewed in Excel.


    Proposed Behavior:

    When exporting survey statistics or a gradebook from Canvas, the user should be given an option to export to a XLS or XLSX file. This would allow the exported gradebook or survey statistics to be opened in Excel with Unicode characters correctly decoded.


    Note: it is currently possible to open a CSV export in a product such as Numbers or Google Sheets with the Unicode Korean characters intact. However, the majority of users utilize Microsoft Excel for viewing these Canvas exports.