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james_sanzin
Community Champion

Is there a way to spice up profile pages?

I would like our faculty and students to be able to dress up their profiles.  I would love the ability to use rich text and HTML on profile pages. I would also love to be able to display badges from Badgr.  I think it would be great for instructors to have links to their courses on their profile page. Anyone know how to make this happen? What elements do you think a good profile page should have? https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/admins?sr=search&searchId=563d8e1d-71d4-4d93-b4c6-7d025fddac8...https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/k12?sr=search&searchId=ef519bdd-5ca7-4d89-9eda-28660918649b&s...

31 Replies
James
Community Champion

On the other hand, Jive would never work for most people in education who still desire the traditional LMS features.

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Ah, but if Instructure wants to do something about the LMS discussion board, it will need to grow out of this kind of approach. 

Whether or not Canvas really wants to do something about the discussion board is not clear, though. 

My guess is that they are expecting integrations like Notebowl to fill that gap.

How Canvas is Using Notebowl for Social Learning | blog.canvaslms.com 

Has anybody tried Notebowl? It sounds very promising, but I have no experience with it at all, and since I am personally very happy with my students' blog network, I probably won't be using it.

I am curious though!

 I'm going to try and look into it. Lol, laurakgibbs you always give me lots of homework.

james_sanzin
Community Champion

 @James ‌, you don't think they could give us some hybrid between the two? I have used an LMS that was more socially engaging and I  do not see why Canvas can't work towards this.

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @james_sanzin ...

I would also love to be able to display badges from Badgr.

This is actually possible with both the Badgr and Canvabadges LTI apps.  Check out these two websites for more information:

Edu App Center: Badgr 

Edu App Cente: Canvabadges 

Here is where they are placed on a user's profile page:

Profile - Badges

"My Badges" is for the Canvabadges LTI, and "Badgr Badges" is for the Badgr LTI.

Hope this helps, James!

james_sanzin
Community Champion

Thanks  @chofer ‌,

I see they display after clicking the links. This is cool, but I would really like them to show up of the front page of their profile without clicking. I was using an LMS where this was possible. Students were far more competitive trying to earn those badges when this was displayed on their profile (much like I'm working extra hard to get the "Educator I"  achievement in JIVE, lol)My students would creep on their peers to see what badges they had and started working really hard to get them.  I love Canvas, but I want these little tweaks to take the platform to the next level and to get my learners check Canvas and engage beyond graded assignments.

Two more points!!!

251863_Capture.PNG

 @chofer ‌ This is more what I'm am looking for

251885_Capture.PNG

Then when you click badges you would get this

251886_Capture01.PNG

Please forgive the cheesy badge titles, but I like cheese!

James
Community Champion

I talked with some Instructure people after Project Khaki and one hinted (or flat out said, I can't remember for sure) that Discussions needed to be reworked, but probably as a part of a larger overhaul of Communications (including the Inbox and perhaps submission comments). Part of that conversation was whether Canvas should do it themselves or find someone to do it for them. Notebowl and Ning were not mentioned, but I am sure they will put a lot of thought and discussion into it before they decide what to do.

But this thread isn't about discussions, it's about the profile page. And saying that you can't use something for a purpose it wasn't intended to be used for isn't telling me anything except that they recognize where their strengths are. I wouldn't try to use Segway to win the Indianapolis 500, either. That doesn't mean that the Segway isn't good at what it is designed for. Neither does it imply that the Segway is perfect and doesn't need any improvement.

Canvas is designed to allow it to be easier for third parties to plugin using LTIs and other software using standards. There are some areas where that integration isn't easy, yet. There's a discussion going on about using an LTI as a front page, but Canvas doesn't currently support that directly through LTI placements. The profile page is another place that doesn't support LTI placement -- or much of anything -- without custom JavaScript to overwrite the default behavior.

James
Community Champion

After that screenshot you provided from your previous LMS, I'm wondering if you would rather be called Jay?

I didn't disagree with the assertion that the profile page is bare. I'm not the one to know what should be there as I'm not into social media. There are several areas of Canvas where the code is getting old and could benefit from updating. As I wrote Laura earlier, I had a conversation with Instructure employees back in April and one hinted that Communications needs updating. That could be a great time to redo the profile page along with discussions, the inbox, the submission comments, and announcements.

I don't think, however, that Canvas should spend a lot of time reworking the profile page now if a major overhaul of communications is coming down the pipeline. They could make it easier for third-parties to supply solutions, but I don't know that I would pull resources away from other things to work on that. It would depend on how difficult that was to do and I haven't really looked into it.

Canvas seems to target the middle 60% of users. That places you, Laura, and myself (math) into a group where our needs and desires don't get much development because they're working on other projects that will benefit the masses. That's where the openness comes in and the ability for someone else to step in and develop.