Upload an image directly to a discussion as a student

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


As a student, I want to be able to upload an image directly to a discussion. I can only do this today using a cludgy, two-step workaround: (1) upload the image to my personal files, then (2) use the content-picker in the discussion-response window to select the image from my files. Instructors can upload images directly to discussions. Students can upload images directly to other parts of Canvas. Seems odd that this use case requires a workaround.

transferred from the old Community
Originally posted by: Sunny Washington
Thank you especially for contributions by: T Beasley, Stefanie Sanders

Comments from Instructure

This is now completed for mobile and web.

For more information, please read through the following release notes:

Canvas Student Release Notes (iOS 6.3) 

Canvas Student Release Notes (Android 6.3) 


Community Team
Community Team

Dave & Sherri

This idea is in the Under Consideration Stage, but has not been allocated for.  It is one that we continue to research.

Community Novice

Renee, respectfully, how much research can be done on such a basic usability/QoL implementation?

Community Novice

Agreed!  This is already functionality that exists for instructors: why not just roll that same functionality over into student accounts and be done with this.  As a biology instructor who wants my students ENGAGED in class discussions, having an efficient way for them to embed images in the discussions is absolutely essential.  I mean, imagine the difference between a student being able to embed an image of something that went wrong in their "kitchen sink" lab, to quickly ask me what I think might have happened, so they can redo the procedure... versus that student having to go through the multi-step, triple backflip with a salchow process that is currently required.  This lack of functionality is detrimental to EVERY one of my students, so the longer it takes to implement, the more students are suffering!  :*{

Is there some way to expedite the "Under Consideration" process on this?  Anything we can do, as instructors?  Pretty please!  Smiley Wink

Community Novice

Why is this so difficult?  It is essential for my Basic Drawing Class to be able to embed the images of the drawings they are discussing in the posts, without having to go out of the discussion and back in again, especially since there is no draft feature in discussions.  Attaching the image just doesn't cut it for what we are doing.  Can you please fix this?  I see people have been promised a fix for this for over a year.  

In the meantime, could you please provide a screencast or step by step visual instructions for students that we can all use to teach our students the 10 step process of embedding an image to discussions?  I can't even figure it out as an instructor, so they are going to have a very hard time, and probably half or more will give up.  


Community Explorer


Thank you for that tip on how instructors can upload photos directly. I knew how to do this with files. I had tried to do this with videos, but it didn't work.  I didn't know instructors could do this with photos as well.

Three further items of concern:

1. Both students and instructors need to be able to add "alt text" descriptions of the images. Some parts of Canvas make this easy to do, but it is not easy here.

2. Students, of course, should also be able to add pictures.

3. I have tried adding videos using the method Stephanie described and it doesn't work (there is an error message saying that the media content is loading, but it never loads). Instead, I use a work-around I found on this forum, which is to embed the video (which is what we are asking to be able to do with pictures).


Community Champion

Hi  @monica_a 

Students can currently add images and media, and add alt text to images through the RCE. Unfortunately, and this is what this feature request is asking, they can only upload images stored in the personal files in Canvas, or from some other web-based repository.

When they click on the Embed Image icon in the RCE, the dialog box includes a field for adding alt text.


Students can also use the Record/Upload Media icon to add video to a discussion.


Students who are HTML savvy can also make use of the HTML Editor to embed images and other media in a discussion reply. You can learn more about the RCE from the student perspective at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-4121#jive_content_id_Rich_Content_Editor 

I hope this helps,


Community Novice

Yes, they can upload a video, but not an image.  This seems like a complete oversight.  

Community Champion


My first screenshot is for uploading an image, and students can most certainly do that.

You can learn more at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1929 

I hope this helps,


Community Novice

Thank you.  We are working with AVID students and they are often taking hand-written notes that we would want uploaded.  So our issue is more specifically, how can students add an image from their camera?

Community Explorer

Glad this is being worked on -- I really hope that progress is being made so that Canvas users can easily embed images....!