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External Tool Assignment Type: Redesign the "Configure External Tool" window

External Tool Assignment Type: Redesign the "Configure External Tool" window

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The "Configure external tool window is not user friendly and the workflow process is not logical or intuitive in any way. 

Is it possible to change the "Find External Tool" to a dropdown menu?  and once you finish configuring it, automatically select the URL and put it into the address bar. 

The address bar is often covered and you have to scroll down to see it and it doesn't make sense as to why you're selecting the "Select" button. it'd be nice if it just automatically clicks select for you. 

This would add a deeper level of intuition for the External Tools component, as 90% of the newcomers to Canvas I've had to go through this process step by step and mistakes are made along the way.

7 Comments
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Moderating
 
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Moderating

@CourtCassar 

Thanks for sharing this suggestion. To clarify, are you an admin configuring external tool placements for an account (see the External Apps chapter of the Canvas Admin Guide), or is this a request for the teacher role  depicted in ( How do I configure an external app for a course us... )? Could you provide a screencast that shows where the workflow could be improved? That would help members and developers assess the problem statement.

CourtCassar
Community Member

No, what I mean is, the interface is clunky when using an external tool in assignment for submission type and it has discouraged a lot of teachers from using it.

The current process is

1. Change submission type to "External tool" and then click "Find" - The word "find" is confusing as it doesn't seem to describe what you're doing, it should say "Select tool" or even better, the list that pops up in step 2 should just automatically pop up when you select "External Tool".

Screen Shot 2021-09-02 at 10.31.14 am.png

2. Find the tool from a tiny window that has two scrollable pages. (1 for all of the tools, another to scroll down and choose select) Select your tool, but don't click the "Select button" until you're done.

Screen Shot 2021-09-02 at 10.28.44 am.png

3. Set up your external tool (I've used Google LTI which is in my experience has really been the only tool used 99% of the time) and click "Create"

Screen Shot 2021-09-02 at 10.28.34 am.png

4. Then you're taken back to the screen you were on for step 2! Now I know if I scroll down it's added a link there for me to link to the external tool, but for most teachers, this is not intuitive at all, Can we make it so that this step is skipped altogether and it just goes to step 5 once it recognises there's a URL in the dialogue box?

Screen Shot 2021-09-02 at 10.28.44 am.png

5. After clicking select you're all of a sudden back on the assignments page with a URL in the external toolbox without a sense of "Tool Created" and it's a URL that can be easily edited and deleted although there's never any reason to edit it. 

Screen Shot 2021-09-02 at 10.28.52 am.png

I mean, this current process I can do, I am tech-savvy. Is it intuitive? No. Are there any unnecessary clicks? Definitely. Is the process logical to a non-tech savvy person or even someone who has used Google Classroom previously? Absolutely not. 

By cleaning this process up, you will genuinely see an improvement in the adoption of Canvas in schools.

 

ShirleyT1
Community Member

I totally agree, having to "Select" twice is very counter intuitive.  I consider myself to be very tech savvy and even I stuffed up my first external tool linkage.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open for Conversation
 
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Thanks for taking the time to document the process so thoroughly, @ShirleyT1 . I've made a slight adjustment to the idea title to focus it on the External Tool assignment submission type, and we've moved it forward for broader discussion.

CourtCassar
Community Member

Thanks Stefanie!