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Community Contributor

Multiple Selections and Bulk Manipulation

I'd like to consolidate the various ideas and discussions that have appeared over the past 18 months, and renew this request for everyone to vote on.

I'm one of 4 course designers, and we've been using CIDI Labs (formerly Kennethware) Design Tools to streamline the course construction phase. While this tool is extremely helpful, we've already found that its usefulness is compromised by Instructure failing to address this issue (and some other others too). This one is the most obvious, and is the biggest time waster for designers (and teachers) who have more than a few digital courses to create.

Wherever repetitive tasks exist in a software application, tedium exists. We used CIDI Labs Multi Tools© to create whole sections of Assignments within the Modules area of Canvas. Great. Because the Assignment grouping feature in Canvas is mostly cosmetic, there's no way to group the assignments while they're being created. Okay, that seems like it would be a more challenging coding feat: creating separate resource types for pages, assignments, modules, discussions, etc. Fine.

Now, as you'll see in the screen shot description below, we're faced with a bunch of assignments that are all placed at the root level of the Assignments area, and we have to move them  ONE   AT   A   TIME.

Suggestion to the Instructure coding gurus: Put selection boxes next to these objects so that the ones selected can be moved or deleted  ALL  AT  ONCE.

To everyone who have ever suggested this feature, please VOTE here and elaborate with your comments. Thank you!

Banish the Tedium.jpg

This idea has been posted in various forms, and I'd like to refocus and renew the discussion. Anyone else interested in this? " modifiedtitle="true" title="No way to select multiple files to perform an action

10 Replies
Community Contributor

Hello fellow course designers,

I hope I'm doing this right; I was encouraged to "advertise" this idea by commenting on an earlier idea, which seems related to this "multiple selections" idea I posted a few days ago. That original idea had to do with work in Modules ( ), which I refer to as well. Selecting multiple Canvas objects regardless of what they are should be a standard feature to relieve the repetitious tasks by Canvas course designers. Pages for assignments, modules, and pages are inherently lists, and tasks for one item are generally tasks for bulk items.

To this extent, I suppose, my feature idea is related to what was requested last year, but applies to every area in Canvas where multiple items/objects exist for manipulation and sorting. Closely related to this design function is the ability to nest or embed items to become sub-topics within parent level objects. Currently, for example, text headers are the only object on the Modules page that can be indented, but this is only a cosmetic nesting—items indents under text headings can't be moved/manipulated by selecting/dragging that heading as they are with the parent module itself. Refer also to the Assignments page where assignments can be grouped, but groups can't have sub-groups that can be moved around as distinct units within an assignment group or between groups. Finally, refer to the Pages list page where no grouping or indenting exists at all.

Although most teacher users wouldn't use these design features, I think most designers would be faced with absurdly repetitious task sequences, and be increasingly daunted by the number of courses on their desks to create. In our large K-12 district, four course designers are expected to create/customize a multitude of courses for around 1,000 teachers in our pilot year. After years 2 and 3, all 15,000 teachers in our school district will have their own digital courses in order to blend and personalize instruction in their classrooms. Even with course frameworks/templates in place, modifications to individual course require bulk moves and manipulations of these Canvas objects.

I would appreciate for anyone to chime in here if you've been faced by this dilemma, and especially if you created a coding fix until Instructure grabs a hold of this idea and makes it a reality! Even if you don't think this feature applies to you now or will never apply, if what I've tried to describe makes sense, please VOTE UP!

Take it easy, but take it!


Community Champion

This would be incredibly useful, as would be the actual link for upvoting 😜 " modifiedtitle="true" title="Selecting Multiple Objects to Manipulate​. This seems like a duplicate post though, which may be why you don't include the actual link to vote on. Maybe stefaniesanders​ can straighten it out for you? 😜

Hey,  @jamely ​, thanks for the tag! Smiley Happy --and for providing the link to the feature idea. I saw this when it was originally posted, and interpreted it as a means of promoting the feature idea, which is why I didn't lock the discussion, but I completely overlooked the fact that the link to the feature idea was missing. It's great to have a side discussion that promotes ideas, but by and large, the best place to discuss the merits of a particular idea is in the comments section of the idea itself (in the Canvas Feature Ideas​ space).

 @ronmarx ​, did I interpret your intention correctly?

Community Contributor

YES! Thank you for the assist, Janell and Stephanie. I tried to post this as a Canvas Feature Idea, and thought I received a message from someone (you, Stefanie) that it was marked 1.5 ready for posting, and should be marked as 2.0 posted. Could you tag it accordingly and open it for voting, Stefanie?



Hi Marx,

Your idea is all queued up and ready to open for vote in the next cohort on July 6th.  You can view it here:



Community Contributor

Oh good, thanks, Scott. As I'm looking around in just the past few minutes, my posting in the Canvas Features Idea area went missing. I'll check the link you just sent. I received a message within the past couple of days acknowledging it was placed in the right place, and it was marked at level 1.5.

Maybe what caused confusion, and I'm sorry about this if it did, was cross-populate the idea as a discussion in the various groups I've joined. Again, I thought this action was recommended. If I was mistaken, just let me know and I can take the discussion posts down.

Thanks again for your help. I look forward to seeing the vote feedback in July.



Community Contributor

Hi Scott,

I tried to modify my profile but the changes to my name are not being saved.

Can you check the profile and make sure the edit feature is not locked? I am signing on through the broward.instructure instance, but I should be able to change my first/last/screen name, shouldn’t I?



Hi Ron,

You community profile info is likely being overwritten by the information coming over from your Canvas instance when you authenticate.  Can you make the changes you want to see on the Canvas side.  Feel free to DM or email me if you'd rather continue this conversation more privately.

Community Participant

This would be soooo helpful...did it every get incorporated.  How do I select more than one imported assignment at a time to move into my assignment groups for a new course?

New Member

Supremely frustrated that this isn't able to be done. I use McGraw Hill Connect and it creates a generic category of assignments. I have to painstakingly move one at a time to the appropriate category of assignment group, lecture, lab, exam, etc. 

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