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Display most recent announcements on a Page

Display most recent announcements on a Page

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

 

 

     
  Idea open for vote Wed. August 3, 2016 - Wed. November 2, 2016  Learn more about voting...

 

Having set up an informative home page that displays all the important course information when students open the course, the only thing that is missing is the most recent announcement(s) displayed. A small horizontal widget bar would be ideal and could be placed under the course title or at the top of the page.

 

Announcements are vital to the running of a course, reminding students of a  room change, to bring something with them to a certain session etc. While they can subscribe to receive announcements to their email or subscribe to the rss feed (which are both encouraged), it would make so much sense to have the most recent important announcement appear on the Home Page too. This most recent announcement would be visible immediately to all users when the student opens the course, without having to navigate to the announcements page.

 

I have tried displaying the announcement RSS feed in an iframe on the home page, which seemed like the perfect solution, but unfortunately Chrome and Firefox (not sure about Safari) don't automatically support this without add-ons - only IE does. So that wont work for 95% of students.

 

I am certain students would find this useful and instructors would feel much more confident that their most recent message is reaching everyone if it is front and center, regardless of whether a student forgot to visit the announcement page or did not subscribe to an rss feed or email announcements visit the announcement page.

 

Maybe there is already a widget out there that I am missing that will fill this gap. Or other solutions or ideas out there to solve this?

        

Comments from Instructure

 

For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07)

33 Comments
scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hello Nathan,

Thank you for taking the time to submit this feature idea.  Many people would like to see Announcements get a facelift and this is something that our Product team is evaluating and prioritizing with other competing projects.   is one feature idea that came close to 100 votes.   and both received fewer votes but the associated comments tell of an unmet need.

Because the previous related submissions did not reach 100 votes I will open this idea with the cohort starting today.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Nathan:

Until your idea comes to fruition, have a look as this great work-round Create an Announcements Box on your Course Home Page

I hope this helps, and I have added this to everyone of my courses.

KLM

nathan-swailes
Community Participant

Hi  @kmeeusen ,

Thanks for the suggestion! I have actually been following this work-around discussion for a while and tried to get our IT team to implement the code needed so i could add this tweak (but to no avail). It is a wonderful idea to plug this gap in displaying announcements (especially important or most recent ones) front and center on a homepage but it was unfortunately a non starter for me. I also still want to use the announcement feature as it currently operates so students are subscribed and can visit announcements. Manually adding a duplicate announcement to a text box on the home page is a good intermediate fix but I'd definitely be happy if a permanent widget were available. The other ingenious idea posted on the same thread by ishar-uw​ about using the RSS feed and displaying it using an iframe on the home page also did not work for me (I was so excited for it to work as it looked ideal) - there appears to be RSS feed and browser compatibility issues that make it unreliable for some users (it does not display on all browsers all of the time). It is clear that there is interest in displaying these types of notices on a home page. If you are interested in having your workaround operate as a universally compatible feature that ties in with the current announcements I encourage you to up vote

Thanks!

-NS

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Nathan:

First, you do not need the IT intervention if you are willing to use the HTML editor in a Canvas page. There is no need to add anything to the global account files, simply paste the HTML code for the message box into the HTML editor for your home page.

If it is any consolation, I did vote for your idea! I have always wanted announcement front and center in a course. While using HTML is rather easy, many won't touch that editor if their life depended on itSmiley Wink

KLM

nathan-swailes
Community Participant

Hi Kelley,

Sorry about my miscommunication, when I mentioned editing the global account files, I was referring to Emily Frank's code over here. that stemmed from the discussion you started - I meant to tag that post in my reply. Thanks for sharing your ideas and starting that discussion as it has been so helpful as a new Canvas user. I love that as course directors we now have freedom to play with the html and create wonderful interactive courses for our students. It has opened up a new world of possibility that previous course management software prevented me from exploring fully. I am sure that if others, like you, checked out the html editor and tried out some simple coding they would start having way too much fun creating their courses.

Thanks again!!

NS

mpilati
Community Participant

While I am thankful for the work-around that Community members shared with me, it would be really awesome to not have a work around and just be able to quickly add something that is just like the widgets that have been developed - without 10 steps and dealing with HTML. Please vote this up!

cward
Instructure
Instructure

Hi all,

Thank you for this suggestion, and for voting and commenting. We've created a ticket in our backlog for this, and although I can't provide a timeframe for when this will become available, know it's something we're definitely interested in doing soon.

Chris

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in development
rkelley1
Community Participant

For those interested, here's a work around to add announcements to a homepage, by using Feedwind, which relies upon RSS and an iframe.  Below is an example and the steps used.  It has worked for me with Google Chrome and Explorer.  If others try it, I'd like to hear your feedback.

Thanks,

Robert


Example of Announcements on Your Home Page (Using RSS, Feedwind, & HTML)

209127_pastedImage_7.png

Steps for Inserting Announcements into Your Home Page (Using RSS & HTML)

  • First, you need to create an minimum of one announcement
    1. Open your course
    2. Click on Announcements
    3. Click create announcement (if you don't already have one)
    4. Once you've created an announcement view your course in student view
    5. Once in the student view open the announcement tab
    6. Right click on the RSS icon & select "copy link address"
    7. Paste link into notepad, you will need it for the next steps.
  • Second, go to Feedwind
    1. Create your free account (e.g., can login with Facebook or Google); otherwise, may impact results below
    2. Paste the link into the 'Feed URL' box on the left hand side
    3. Click the 'Plus' button (to the right of where you pasted the URL)
    4. Adjust General Settings to suit (e.g., set height to 395; keep width as 'responsive')
    5. Click the green 'Get Code' at the top right of the page
    6. Click on the 'Try this if it doesn't work' link
    7. Click on the bottom 'Copy Code' button
    8. Paste the code into a safe place to keep it temporarily (e.g., Notepad or Word app)
  • Go to your Canvas Home Page (or anywhere else you wish to add the announcements)
    1. Edit the page (e.g., Home Page)
    2. Place a row of x's where you'd like the announcements to go (e.g., xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
    3. Switch the HTML by clicking on the link 'HTML Editor'
    4. !! Copy all of the HTML code and paste it somewhere as a backup of your existing page (e.g., in the Notepad or Word app).
    5. Copy the Feedwind code (from wherever you temporarily stored it)
    6. Highlight the row of x's (e.g., xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx) on the Canvas page (in HTML view), and paste over it the Freedwind code. (e.g., then, in rich text editor view, drag and resize the Announcement box to 400 and width to 640; note, the announcements width will still shrink to accommodate smaller screens if width was set to 'responsive' on Feedwind)
    7. Save the page

First note:  In addition to making a copy of the HTML for your entire Canvas page...   I'd recommend also saving the HTML code below wherever you post the announcements, and then after you save the page, re-open it, go into HTML view, and then paste that HTML code below the announcement.  This is helpful, because the code below the announcements will likely be removed when Canvas 'cleans the HTML' code.

Second note: After you paste in the HTML code for the announcements, and are back in the 'Rich Content Editor' view, you may need to resize the announcements; if you make it larger than 640 in height (e.g., 660), you'll remove one of the vertical scroll bars on the right hand side.


rkelley1
Community Participant

Link to video on YouTube

Here's a 4 minute "walk through" for adding announcements to your Home Page (using the Feedwind widget).  It has a few modifications to the above directions, to create a better result.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @rkelley1 , this is a very helpful resource! I'd hate to see it get lost, residing as it currently does in the comments section of a feature idea, which doesn't make it readily searchable. Would you be willing to take a few minutes to create a new stand-alone document in one of the group spaces, say in the Instructional Designers​ group? You could then share it out to any other group of which you're already a member--and if you're not yet a member of the ID group, just navigate to the home page of the group and select Join Group from the Actions menu at the upper right, which will allow you to create content within the group.

rkelley1
Community Participant

I just added it to the instructional designers group.  I hope to hear back from others how it works for them.

cward
Instructure
Instructure

By the way, this feature request is currently in QA with the Canvas engineering team. We probably won't make the 11/19 beta release, but know it's a rapidly forthcoming course feature (no workarounds needed)!

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Thank you for doing that,  @rkelley1 ! For those interested, the link to the new resource is here: Adding Announcements to the Home Page

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @rkelley1 

This is powerful! I just test this is two courses in the same account using the Announcements in just one course, and it worked. Then I tested it in courses in two separate accounts (yes, I actually have 8), and it worked! I suspected it would, but needed to test it.

One disclaimer to add - if the course is not published when you capture the RSS feed code, then Feedwind cannot create the widget.

Thank you! This is going to be very helpful for my faculty!

KLM

nathan-swailes
Community Participant

I can't wait to add this to my courses Deactivated user​ thanks for keeping us updated and for listening to our ideas! Very excited about this feature! Cheers!

nathan-swailes
Community Participant

Yessssss!    

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

One more request Robert................

Can I add this to our CanvasHacks course at resources.instructure?

kLM

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  This idea has been developed and is On Canvas Beta How do I access the Canvas beta environment?

For more information, please read through the Canvas Beta Release Notes (2016-12-19)

Discuss this new feature, and others, in the Beta Release (2016-12-19) Collaborative Chat

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