[Courses] Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

I always find it useful to search for content using an index or an actual search tool rather than just scrolling through all of the pages one by one to find what I need.  I can see many uses for this:
  1. As a student, I know that a particular topic was covered but I'm not sure where.  I can search the course for the keyword and the page hits will come up.
  2. As an instructor, I want to know where else these students have seen a particular concept.  I can search a bunch of courses for a keyword and the courses and page hits will come up.
  3. As a student, as I am trying to integrate information from multiple lectures within a course or within multiple courses, it would be useful to see where a particular concept has been covered.

 

Tracey

Added to Theme

Add or improve search functionality Theme Status: Identified

205 Comments
g_r_saward
Community Novice

Thanks Laura. And I am interested to see your comment about Google search – I had been wondering whether they would crawl a public canvas course. We use their search appliance internally, and I was wondering about adding the VLE content in.

g_r_saward
Community Novice

Whereas I have found memories of a noodle eating poodle :^)

awilliams
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Yep, this works pretty good. You can see it in action in our Resource Center for Faculty course.

g_r_saward
Community Novice

Great. Thanks Adam, its good to know that it works well :^)

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Wow, awilliams‌ that looks so nice!!!

tfarmer
Community Novice

I am so excited that this is in the Product Radar status! In one given account, we can have almost 300 courses, so searching for one specific item within every single course is a daunting task. The ability to search all courses at once would be fantastic. I look forward to watching this progress!

daryl_scopes
Community Participant

I would also like to add my voice to this. A search engine would be extremely useful. There could also be the facility to provide keywords, as an option, on the bottom of a page, this would allow for easier management of the search? as well as the potential for the construction of an indexing system.

rebecca_goldswo
Community Novice

Would love to see a global site search tool developed! We're currently moving a lot of content from a public-facing website to Canvas and the need for students to be able to search the Canvas site as they would a website is high on our list of needs.

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Hi  @rebecca_goldswo ‌! This was one of the items voted up at the Project Khaki meeting in the Spring, but it was also one of the Khaki projects that was going to require a really large amount of engineering time. I was in the product group that discussed this with the engineers: apparently building a database-limited search is not so difficult, but if the search is going to include documents and materials UPLOADED to Canvas (the content of all those documents, slideshows, etc. etc. in Files and so on), then it becomes more challenging. Even more so when extended to Discussion search, Assignments search, etc.

I really think Canvas desperately needs a search feature, both for courses and also for the Commons, so I was really glad when this got voted up, but it was also clear that the engineers saw it as a huge project. Just speaking for myself, search was the absolute top #1 feature of all the product ideas discussed at Project Khaki; for anyone to take Canvas seriously as a content platform (and I want to take it seriously!), then search is essential.

I'm not really sure who to ping for Project Khaki updates, but maybe  @scottdennis ‌ knows who we can ask about that.

daryl_scopes
Community Participant

I understand the potential difficulties, however to start with the addition (when edting a page), of a box for "key Word" search option  would be a really helpful start. I am aware this will require some additional work for us, especially with a lot of pages already built, but it would be a really good start in helping us, help our students, finding content with an internal search engine.