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Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

I always find it useful to search for content using an index or an actual search tool rather than just scrolling through all of the pages one by one to find what I need.  I can see many uses for this:
  1. As a student, I know that a particular topic was covered but I'm not sure where.  I can search the course for the keyword and the page hits will come up.
  2. As an instructor, I want to know where else these students have seen a particular concept.  I can search a bunch of courses for a keyword and the courses and page hits will come up.
  3. As a student, as I am trying to integrate information from multiple lectures within a course or within multiple courses, it would be useful to see where a particular concept has been covered.



Community Member

A staff member at our university would like to have a 'search' bar at the top of each Canvas course so that students can quickly search for relevant content stored within the course itself i.e. files, content on pages/assignments etc.

This is especially useful as we minimise our course navigation menu and hide our 'files' section in most Canvas courses. However, if a file itself is still published and they just cant find where it is embedded, they should still be able to search for and find the specific file.

New Member

Very much agree - lets get this implemented!

New Member

Be able to Search in all "Courses" for titles of lectures, pdf's. So I wouldn't have to click through 20 courses to find the single lecture called "Microbiology". I could just universally search "Microbiology" and see on the titles of the pdfs that have been uploaded or named that from across all the canvas courses.

New Member

Hi there, As a teacher I would find it soooo incredibly helpful to have a search function in Canvas that allows me to find content within specific shells or even across all my shells. I've been teaching some courses for 9 semesters now, and I KNOW there is out-of-date content in there but there's gotta be a better way than going through all my shells page by page, line by line to check it all/find something that I could just search for - especially if I'm just looking for one particular source or similar. PLEASE INCLUDE A SEARCH FUNCTION IN THE NEXT UPDATE. Cheers, P.

Community Champion

Atomic Search is an integration that enables searching in Canvas content:

New Member

This is an essential tool in today's world of "search-is-the-new-file." 

Please add this feature!

Community Member

@stelpstra it's a good point! But we're facing an up-hill battle encouraging the university to pay for yet another tool (Atomic Search). One department has even talked about developing one internally. Another way to get a search function would be for Instructure to add the functionality to its LMS as a native feature.... Though I do understand that there is little incentive for Instructure to do anything about it when people are paying themselves for the add-on!

New Member

I'm sorry to see this idea archived. A global search tool would be an excellent addition to native Canvas functionality. We now use Atomic Search, but it is relatively expensive. A search tool would allow instructors to update/improve course content more easily, allow students to find content more easily, etc. It just seems like it should be a basic feature of any robust LMS.

New Member

I believe this is an essential item for Canvas that has been missing since day 1. I don't know how many times (too many to even contemplate counting) when content has changed and I've had to go through page by page, assignment by assignment, etc. to find references to the information that needs to be changed. Having a global search function would have saved me endless hours.

New Member

We should be able to go into a specific subject/course and be able to search through the entire course using a search bar. This will save students so much time by wasting less time looking for what they want/need and find things way quicker by searching a topic or phrase within that course.

New Member

There should be a search function on the Canvas homepage, or Dashboard page to search for documents and files within different courses. When looking for a specific document, we are having to click through dozens of courses and search within each course for a specific file, rather than being able to search for the file once, and being able to locate it more quickly.

New Member

What’s at the top of this page? A search tool! Please add it to Canvas. 

New Member

It is unbelievable that this has been an ask for 2015 and Instructure doesn't care to implement the feature. I guess the schools already paid for Canvas and are tied to it, so they don't really care how well it works for the students?

It isn't like this is rocket science. Almost everywhere you go on the Internet has search.