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Add rich-content editor to Conversations

Add rich-content editor to Conversations

(143)
As a user, I would like to be able to use the rich-content editor to compose messages in the Conversations inbox. This would enable me to create Conversations that are on par, formatting- and content-wise, with Announcements. (Students seem to read Conversations messages more diligently than Announcements.)

 

transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Mia Nolan

Special thanks for contributions by: Stefanie Sanders

178 Comments
themidiman
Community Champion

I'd like to vote up on this, but I can't. The vote count shows 0 and there's nothing obvious about how to add a vote. I got here by way of my Activity stream in the Beta Community Site.

themidiman
Community Champion

Maybe the inability to vote up could be linked to the fact that it's an imported idea from the old community site??

seth
Community Participant

Hi Jeff--

Good feedback. Thanks! We're introducing a new process for feature ideas

that will have ideas run through a series of stages. In the first stage,

"New," ideas will be visible, but not vote-on-able. At the beginning of

each month, we'll release a fresh batch of "New" ideas into the second

stage, "Open for Voting." They'll stay in that stage until they either

accrue a net-30 upvotes or until 90 days passes without them getting 30

votes. They'll then move to another stage in the process. The process is

described a bit here:

https://instructure.jiveon.com/community/ideas/feature-ideas. We'll need to

explain it better for folks so they don't run into the same question you

had.

Thanks!

Seth

Beth_Young
Community Contributor

This feature would be very, very useful. If you implement it, please include a strikethrough button, as we have here in this forum.

[edit]

I thought maybe it would help for me to give some examples of when strikethrough would be useful. When I'm teaching, I'm often addressing two concepts that strikethrough helps explain:

* Concision. It is easier to convey opportunities for concision when you can visually cross-out and replace wordy phrases.

* Analysis. I often advise students who are trying to analyze the syntactic structure of a sentence that they should first cross-out all the adverbials and prepositional phrases. It's much easier to demonstrate that process with strikethrough.

rpetrina
Community Participant

I think that sometimes faculty use Announcements to send information to students specifically because Conversations does not allow for rich text editing. Having the ability to use the Content Selector to incorporate links to course material would be wonderful.

800215513
Community Member

A couple times while writing a message I have found rich content features would have helped make my messages easier to read.

Some features in particular that would have been useful are:

  • Bold certain text
  • Underline text
  • Create bullets
James_Kocher_UF
Community Champion

It doesn't look like some of the formatting stays in the notification email that is sent out. I know many students who read their announcements that way without checking on the course site itself!

I also wish that when you sent an announcement, embedded content like images or videos would also show up in the email the students receive.  They miss the great memes I put in a lot of my announcements  Smiley Happy

sadpanda.png

rpetrina
Community Participant

I was not aware that some of the formatting was lost. Do you have specific examples? I also wonder if the formatting loss is specific to the type of account where the student receives announcement messages, because I know that things can be truncated if they are not going to the institutional email account.

James_Kocher_UF
Community Champion

When I tested it out, things like font size changes were removed, but bold and other decorations.

This was received at my gmail.

The one I got at my institution email was completely sanitized for my protection  Smiley Sad

I didn't try it with bullets, etc though. Don't know if they stick or not.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @rpetrina ​ and  @James_Kocher_UF ​, I've been told that notifications of announcements are sent in two different formats, depending on whether the recipient is the creator or the recipient of the announcement. I had reported this formatting discrepancy in a ticket, and here's the guidance I received from Canvas Support:

You are indicating that announcements are appearing differently for students and instructors. When I reviewed this I found that this is actually acting as intended. When an announcement is sent, the "created by me" copy that is sent to the instructor is in a fairly basic format. This allows them to have access to all of the information, for example it shows the location of their hyperlinks so that they can review and make sure that those links are going to the appropriate location. The students will get the "pretty" version that is adjusted according to the viewer format instead of the editor format.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

I would be happy if I could at least use keyboard shortcuts in Canvas Conversations for bold (*bold*), italics, and hyperlinks (although the latter already auto-convert in Canvas messages, I'd prefer to have a clickable link consisting of words rather than a clumsy html:// address).

themidiman
Community Champion

Just voted up on this now that it's open for voting.

I've noticed on the announcement feature that rich formatting in the RCE doesn't do justice to the body of the announcement that's repeated in the notification sent out via email. Students have to click on the 'view this in Canvas' link to get the full experience. (i.e. embedded images, inline document renderings, formatted bold/italics/underlining, etc.). It would be nice if this feature went in conjunction with this request. Should that be a separate one? I'll suggest that if I don't find another one that's already got this covered.

themidiman
Community Champion

Hi  @James_Kocher_UF ​

I notice a lack of this as well. I created a separate feature request which has been marked to be able to be voted on next voting period:

themidiman
Community Champion

Hi stefaniesanders

I just saw your finding after posting a reply to  @James_Kocher_UF ​

I'll have to play around with the announcement feature with my roles switched so I can see what the format looks like for an announcement sent to students. That is good to hear that students haven't been getting weird looking email notifications on these. I'm off to check!

Be as it may, if the RCE was to be added to the Conversations feature, I'd like to be certain that the notification is on par with the Announcement feature in terms of the rich content displaying to recipients of the message.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

andersonj​, my experience has been that students see a more nicely formatted announcement in their email notification--but they still don't see everything that the announcement in Canvas contains. For example, their email notification won't include an embedded image or video. When I can remember to do it, I include the link to a video as well as the embedded version (or I add text on the order of "You'll need to log into the course to view the video"), and I add similar guidance when I use images in announcements. It's a clunky solution, admittedly.

themidiman
Community Champion

Good to know, stefaniesanders

I'll have to experiment. If there is anything lacking like embedded images, I may have to follow your advice until someday the notification display is on par with what shows up in Canvas.

ndcruz
Community Participant

It would be great to have an overhaul of the conversations feature so it would be more like regular email, where in addition to using the rich-content editor, one could edit the subject, easily see the name of the file one attaches to a message, save a draft, choose to see messages as conversations or as a list, etc.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

The inbox in Canvas was originally expressly designed to not be strictly analogous to email.  It was originally intended to be sort of mini-email that you would use to communicate brief little messages and still use your regular email for more in depth communication.  Remember that this was at a time when most LMSs didn't have an internal mail system at all.  Slowly over the time that I've used Canvas the inbox has become more fully featured.  I would not be surprised to see the kind of functionality that you are asking for Noella at some point in the future.

rpetrina
Community Participant

Thank you for adding that context. What I have heard from many faculty LMS users is that they get SO much regular email that they like to separate their course email by relying on the LMS for communication with students. That way they are able to sort it by course (because often students do not indicate in the subject line or message content what course they are inquiring about).

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

That makes sense to me, Renee.  I, personally, have always been one to keep my LMS or other system messages separate from my regular email.  I think mainly so that it is all in one place waiting for me when I'm ready to deal with it rather than being intermixed with all the other email I get.