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Filtering the Calendar

Filtering the Calendar

0 Kudos
(3)

My canvas calendar is flooded with events like office hours to an extent that I cannot see due dates for assignments and miss discussions. As a student, this is very stressful because it is easy to miss assignments within the individual course descriptions, and the calendar could provide an overview of the due dates of assignments, times of lectures, and times of discussions. A feature that allows us to check and uncheck categories of events—such as assignments, office hours, quizzes/tests, etc—would be very helpful and make the canvas calendar usable.

8 Comments
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
 
JarJar33
New Member

I agree: and maybe allowing us to individually remove events

seldredge
New Member

I feel that my calendar is clogged too and hard for students to read. For instance, if I open 8 tests for the term, and leave them all open until the end of the term so students can take them whenever it's convenient for them, when the information for all the tests get put on one day, that day goes on and on and on so you can only see one week on a month's calendar... I wish there was a way for us to check a box that says "Do not add this item to the calendar"! That way, I could just manually type the titles of the tests on the last day of the month, which would be so much shorter! The students do not need to see all the information that gets put on the calendar every time we add a date to an assignment or test etc!

louisjonathan
New Member

Because this idea has definitely been requested in one form or another, I hope to restate this in a way that explains the need for it, and highlights how easy it would be to implement.

Also though the idea is somewhat complicated, I'd like to assert that it is a single idea because it involves the implementation of a single tool. Additionally, I'd like to note that I have simplified things as much as I possibly could while still properly expressing the idea.

Justification:

Imagine that a theoretical course has Zoom or in person class meetings, lets say, 25 times a week for various discussion sections, lectures, and office hours, and the course is set up to display the calendar events for those Zoom meetings to all students. Every student sees every discussion section, office hour, and lecture that meets in a week. That means every student sees upwards of 20 calendar events a week that have virtually nothing to do with them. Now, imagine that you are taking 5 such classes. Your calendar is now useless, and you're forced to check the 'To do' tab on the mobile app daily so you don't miss all your assignments and fail the class.

Explanation of idea:

So, how can you allow the student to limit their calendar events to only those that are relevant to them, if turning off all calendar events for a single course wouldn't solve the problem?

In a single course's calendar, there are several different types of Calendar events: Quizzes, Assignments, Announcements, Discussion sections, and Zoom Meetings are the obvious ones, as they each have their own icons in the calendar, meaning if there isn't already a way to differentiate them, it could be done based on the icon.

Okay, well it would be extremely easy to write code that allows you to show or hide events of a certain category from appearing in your calendar. A more experienced programmer could do that with one arm tied behind his back and a strobe light in his face, in less than a half hour. Without handicaps, a programmer who already works for Canvas could do this in eight minutes without breaking a sweat.

But having a toggle for all Zoom meetings doesn't entirely fix the problem. A better solution would allow you to see only your class meetings and hide the irrelevant ones.

Given that Zoom meetings can recur, and their notifications on the Calendar can likely be set to recur as well, it would be reasonable to assume that instructors have the ability to create recurring calendar events. Assuming that is true, it would be reasonable to assume that those recurring events and the ones for Zoom meetings are the same type of calendar event. Given this, it would very easy to add another category to the list of categories that can be filtered out of the calendar: Recurring events.

Because events can be set to recur, it would be reasonable to assume that there is already a way to differentiate between events that recur and those that don't. Additionally, it would be reasonable to assume that the other categories I listed can be identified in a similar fashion.

Implementation

The easiest, simplest way I think something like this filter idea could be implemented is that the user would simply click on the 3 dot menu next to a class in the calendar, and below (or to the left of) the course color options there would be another section with a button called something like 'Edit Filters' that would do it's namesake, and a button called 'Add Filter' that, when clicked, allows you to choose the category of item to filter out from a dropdown menu (Quizzes, Assignments, Announcements, Discussion sections, Misc Recurring), and then a button next to the dropdown menu that would show/hide the category that was picked. If the selected category is 'Misc Recurring', another dropdown menu would appear to the right that would allow you to select all the recurring events that you want to show/hide (you should be able to select multiple items from this dropdown menu for obvious reasons). When a filter is added, it could show up in that same 3 dot menu, so it can be edited later if need be.

 

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Again, an experienced programmer could implement this with nearly zero effort, and it would be extremely beneficial to the students if this problem was fixed. I personally haven't used my calendar at all this semester, as I can't even see more than two weeks worth of assignments without scrolling down:

 

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louisjonathan
New Member

Hi @Stef_retired, could you please unmerge my post? I get that it's similar to this one, but I'd argue that it's different enough to be stand-alone, and that it being merged into a 7 month old post probably lowers the chance that the issue will be solved.

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

@louisjonathan

Having similar ideas discussed in separate places actually lowers the likelihood of a request being considered, in that it makes it that much more difficult for members to find them and for our product engineers to do discovery around problem statements and use cases. A conversation that was initiated seven months ago is not old at all! Please read through How do idea conversations work in the Canvas Commu... for a fuller description of how the Idea Conversations forum is facilitated, and What is the feature development process for Instru... to see how ideas fit into the overall development process.

louisjonathan
New Member

@Stef_retired In that case, thank you 🙂

timothy_maw
Community Champion

This would be extremely helpful for us. Some of our instructors are using the calendar to schedule appointments, and show office hours. It gets cluttered with all of the courses and assignments they have, so it becomes hard to navigate. Being able to filter by type would make it so much easier to use.