[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.



Added to Theme

Add or improve search functionality Theme Status: Identified

Community Novice

there should be a area in the top right where you can search your assignments and different areas in canvas.

Community Member

Hello Canvas, we are continually updating our courses here at Camden Haven High School. A simple Find and Replace function should be added to the Modules page and the Files page so that when we make simple changes to 30 odd pages they can all be done at the same time. Example; I have just had to change Module to Learning Activity and Mod to LA. A simple Find and Replace function would have had this laborious job completed in less than 5 minutes and not an hour or so. Thanks.


Ken Healey

Community Explorer

I cannot tell you how often my colleagues have asked for a search tool, especially when they have to find course links - "load more" is so frustrating when there are so many pages or assignments to go through, especially when one is an elementary teacher teaching all subjects.  When we have to embed videos from Canvas Studio (a relatively new feature in Canvas), looking for the correct video is made simple by that search bar:

Search Studio.png

With the new RCE, you can now search when inserting different files:

Search course files.png

 Can you PLEASE add this feature for course links as well? Ctrl-F does not always work in the Pages tab, and it doesn't work at all when adding course links.

No search for course links.png

Adding a SEARCH feature would go a long way in getting teachers to buy in and embrace Canvas.

Community Novice

Please please please! Add this feature!! I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to scroll through 100's of assignments and pages. Please add this!

Community Novice

Over the years I have taught over 70 courses at two colleges using Canvas LMS. Teachers improve their course each and every semester - or at least they should.

Anyway, a History 5 course taught 5 years ago, is not the same History 5 course coming up. 

BUT, something created a few years ago needs resurrecting. Only, the problem is, I cannot find it. I had created a page, a rather involved page, and now I wish to retrieve it. But I cannot remember when or in which course I placed that page. 

I am suggesting that Canvas LMS creates for faculty a "Search All Courses" function for specific key terms. If I typed "Beethoven" in such a search engine, then Canvas would rumage through every assignment, page, module, etc., looking for that specific term and supply to faculty a list of places where it appeared. 

What do you say?

Dr Joe Krulder


Community Member

(This is from a student perspective, although it would probably be nice for educators, too.)

It would be soooooooo helpful to be able to search for content keywords. For example, I have several teachers that just use "Week 1," "Week 2" etc as labels for their modules. If I want to figure out when we covered "autism," I open each module in a new tab and work my way through the content until I find it. It's very time consuming. It would be AMAZING if I could enter a search term for a class (or all my current classes, and be presented with a page of hits (much like when I search gmail or "use google to search this website").

So in the example search, it could bring up a hit for "Week 7" module, the "Autism checklist" quiz, and the "Autism awareness" assignment/grade.

Initially, it could be a simple search for text strings in the module. Later, it could be beefed up to search any attached PDFs and PPTX

Community Member

It would be ideal to have the ability for search for terms within the course content (across modules) or even across all courses. 

Community Member

This is a much needed feature for anyone transitioning to Canvas from another LMS as they look to see if content has transferred over. I am working with an institution that is currently using Sakai 19 and that LMS does have a search feature with a toggle for "search all my sites" or "search this site".  As bringing content to Canvas via Common Cartridge is painful, a search would be so useful.

Community Explorer

I very much agree with many things already stated. This would be a very helpful feature for both instructors and students (even others). It would help students if they can search by weeks or topics, especially by the end of the semester when the course is very full of content. Students begin complaining about this just one month into the semester. Instructors/designers/coaches would also find it helpful to search within a course for similar reasons but searching across multiple courses would be best.

Saving an educator 10 minutes of manually hunting something down actually equals an HOUR of time saved (if not more). 

Community Member

I embed lectures in discussions and assignments, but I don't always know which lecture is in which assignment as I sometimes change the order of things and, alas, my notes aren't always as comprehensive as I would like. It would be great to just do a search on my course and see where, for example, I talked about integrating quotations since sometimes it changes from course to course and semester to semester.

I need this. It would be life-changing.