Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

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.



Navigator​, I really appreciate how you articulated genuine needs of various users which would be addressed by a more comprehensive search feature in Canvas.  I would love to see this happen and believe it would give Instructure a true competitive advantage in the LMS market for education.  Other than Apereo/Sakai 3, which was ahead of its time in this one particular feature area, I feel few mainstream LMS platforms have taken advantage of how course content is naturally faceted.

Community Member

Very similar to the post by Mor Sela in the old community:

Global Search

Make it easier/faster for users to find what they are looking for.

Basic search would simply search all the content available to the specific user.

Advanced search would allow to filter content by type (people, files, assignment, groups, etc) or by course.

Such feature is now a table-stake for content management systems (see for example). Users expect it.


I agree with here

As courses develop their content it becomes increasingly difficult to manage from both the student view and teacher. Having an in course search facility would make this so much easier for all users.

I am guessing this would only find published materials though as you wouldn’t want unpublished pages to be found ?

Community Member

Our Medical School would find this extremely helpful as they prepare for accreditation.


Other than Medical schools, do any other institutions find that a search of this nature would be beneficial when it comes to accreditation? If so, which accrediting bodies would this help with?

Community Member

At Brown, it's likely our programs in Education, Engineering, and Public Health would find search helpful for accreditation. We also have year-long courses that contain a lot of content (i.e. language courses) that are typically copied over year after year. These courses would find Search helpful, although not as pertinent for accreditation.

Community Member

We had the functionality being requested in Item 1 when we had WebCT Vista. The students and teacher(s) of a course could search that course for content pages, discussion topics, and I want to say it also searched in Announcements and Calendar entries for key words.

Items 2 and 3 are a little tricker, especially with some faculty not wanting to share their content. So if the search worked across multiple courses I think it would need to be limited to searching only the courses students were enrolled in (or previously enrolled) and only courses where that faculty member was marked as a Teacher.

Community Member

At the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, we would be very interested in having a search feature for Canvas!  I'm having trouble figuring out how to vote, however!



Deactivated user​ This link might be helpful in figuring out the voting system How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

Otherwise, here is a link to a screenshot of where to click for an upvote: 2015-05-27_2157 - Kentbesaw's library

Community Member

Thank you! Figured it out.


On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 11:59 PM, <