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 Champion

I agree that this process should be simplified.  Students are confused by this, as well as instructors. 

Community Team
Community Team

I teach at a school with a 1:1 iPad program, and in my art classes, I rely on students sharing images of their work. Once we figured out the multi-step process, it worked well-enough -- the browser version was more reliable than the mobile version. An easier process would be well used and much appreciated!

Community Contributor

I agree!  Please make this easier for students!  Many of my faculty ask students to include photos, diagrams, etc. in their Discussion posts without realizing that it's convoluted process for the students.  The reason we are all here is to remove barriers to success from the lms so students can focus on the content and learn!



Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks for the feedback, everybody!

Let me workshop this and I'll send an update afterwards.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Pardon the delay on this, we misunderstood the request in our initial workshop and will circle back during the next one to clarify. (We assumed "upload image directly to discussion" meant attaching an image directly to a discussion (which is already possible for students to do, provided the less-than-obvious course setting is enabled) rather than embedding an image in a discussion.)

Kenny, thanks for highlighting the history of this request. That's crazy. I've had a few discussions about this with more veteran Instructurans (Instructurites? Canvassers?), and it sounds like there's a little more complexity to it than we were expecting when we looked into it previously. At this point, I don't have much more detail than that, but we will be addressing this again at our upcoming workshop.

And just in case some folks are unaware of the course setting I mentioned above, this may help improve the situation:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 8.50.36 AM.png

Community Champion

 @peytoncraighill  - can you share a few details as to the technical obstacles that are preventing this from being considered?  Such feedback would be helpful so feature advocates don't feel as though the idea has been set aside.

ps.  Alaska's state flower...   Images can be very useful.


Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hey Jeff,

My apologies, I didn't mean to imply that this idea isn't being considered. We recognize this as the highest priority Discussions request from our community and it's most definitely under consideration. I only meant to say that last time it was looked at, it wasn't as simple as we would have hoped (i.e., not as simple as, say, let's copy and paste the code to enable it for students).

Still, rather than taking a few minutes to make it happen, it might take a few days to make it happen, including QA time, so it's not a massive project to implement.

Thanks for checking in!

Community Contributor

Hi  @peytoncraighill ​

The functionality for embedding images into Discussion replies could overlap with embedding images on Wiki Pages. Currently, students can embed an image or file onto a page in their group workspace, but they can't on a course page for which the instructor has set "Teachers and Students" editing rights.

I don't see an existing request for this exact functionality, other than my archived request here:

Though, it seems to me like there could be an easy WIN-WIN situation here by enabling students to embed images on both discussions AND wiki pages.

Community Coach
Community Coach

One more example of why it would be amazing if this feature idea got implemented! Part of the discussion assignment was to include a picture (preferably embedded), but this student had problems and instead tweeted it and included the link to her Tweet in the discussion.


Community Contributor

Hello All! I am new the Canvas community. Please forgive me if my question is naive. But, is there a reason why it is currently a global course setting to attach files to discussions and not an option to set a the individual discussion board topic? Thanks! I hope this goes through.