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New UI: Use pictures for courses

New UI: Use pictures for courses

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas
  Idea will be open for vote Wed. October 7, 2015 - Wed. January 6, 2015  Learn more about voting...

 

I couldn't find anything like this in the discussions already, so I hope I'm not being redundant!

 

It would be great if we could upload images for each course on the homepage rather than just selecting colors. I love the new theme editor and it would great to have just one more level of customization on the course page.

 

Thanks!

 

 

  Comments from Instructure

 

For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-08-27)

37 Comments
biray
Community Member

Thank you for your submission,  @kerry_floyd ​. This idea will be open for vote during the next voting cycle (starting Oct. 7).

I've also shared this idea with the User Group: New UI​ and referenced the idea here: New UI - Image Tiles? and here: Dashboard Courses - Background Image?

Smiley Happy

MJH1
Surveyor

That's what we want also from University College Northern Denmark. It could be so cool that our programs can design their courses with an image that says something about the content of the course.

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

FWIW, Deactivated user​ posted a comment here about a future enhancement to add pictures to course cards on the new UI dashboard: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-3949#comment-11612

millerjm
Adventurer

I can definitely see the value in this and love that we would be able to add more customization to Canvas but I also see a few issues that would come up with image choices or disability support. 

I think having this as a permission "allow to change course image" because some institutions might prefer to have admins do this for quality control.  This could get messy fast at some institutions.

I would support this feature as long as there were new permissions associated with it.

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @millerjm ​, You share some great points. I think the added permission would be helpful. It would be nice for students to either use the institution- or teacher-chosen image or opt for a color of their choice. I think students would still need to be able to choose a color (regardless if an image or a color is seen on the course card) since that's attached to Calendars.

mikescheid
Surveyor

This would make a great difference for young learners and the ease of finding the correct course!!

mcsmith
Instructure
Instructure

At this time we still need to do some more research around adding images to course cards. As mentioned, there are a lot off questions around permissions that need to be addressed. We want to be very weary of just adding permissions on a whim. Permissions are complicated in general. We do not want to get in the habit of adding them without research or consideration.

The good news is that simply adding the ability to add an image is not overly expensive. We just need to figure out the ramifications around permissions.

johnmartin
Explorer

YES! I'd like to be able to differentiate courses for students with images that mean more than random colors. So instead of Chemistry being green, it has an image of a beaker. Or the Geology class, instead of being brown, has a pic of a rock, and the Shakespeare class, instead of being orange, has an image of Shakespeare, etc. This puts less cognitive load on the students and instructors.

173351_pastedImage_0.png

mcsmith
Instructure
Instructure

While we would love to be able to do this, there are large projects that are being worked on to provide a better workflow, consistency, and user experience. This feature is not going to be worked on in the next 6-12 months. When we have updates, we will be sure to post them! Thanks for submitting this feature request.

johnmartin
Explorer

Drat! In so many other ways Canvas is very user-friendly. Wish it were easy

to find courses — especially sad that Language Learners and Learners with

Disabilities are being left behind in this lack of accessibility Smiley Sad

John Martin, Education PhD, Sr. Teaching & Learning Consultant, UW–Madison

tel: 608.556.3061 | regardingjohn.com/blog

<http://www.regardingjohn.com/blog/about/teaching-philosophy/> [image:

linkedin] <http://linkedin.com/in/regardingjohn>

<http://twitter.com/regardingjohn>

On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 12:20 PM, mcsmith@instructure.com <

angela1
Community Member

Hi guys, I just submitted this as an idea as I did not see this when I was searching (I think we used different words).

To reiterate and agree with John -- yes! People with learning disabilities are being left behind. So many reasons this is important. Hope it comes into the radar.

Here is my comment:

When you create a course, right now there is no way to make your course stand out from the other courses the student may be seeing. If a student has ten courses, for instance, he or she has to either memorize that the photography course is "green box" or read all of them.  This seems like a bit of a waste, in my opinion; those color squares take up a large real estate on the dashboard and do absolutely nothing for the student or the teacher. The visual aspect may not seem like a big deal for some, but it is important; so important, that Coursera (who I think really has a great system, unfortunately not for the everyday teacher) has exactly that for their dashboard. With one glance, you can see that the course is photography, because there is an uploaded picture of a camera (for instance).

If people don't want to mess with that aspect, by all means, leave the colour squares so students can customize it; but if the teacher is willing to go the extra step to make the course look even more polished and easy to find in a sea of courses, then I think this option should be made available. It doesn't seem to be a game changer, so I hope it won't be a whole lot of work.

johnmartin
Explorer

Thanks Angela! It seems like such a little thing that would be a huge step forward for UX. I'm not sure why they don't spend 30 minutes of development time to just make the change.

mikescheid
Surveyor

So very unfortunate!!! our early learners have a hard time finding the correct course as they are just learning to read. Our previous LMS would allow you to add a photo for the course so it could easily be found. I honestly don't see why there a big ramification around the permission of this feature request. It does seem like k-12 takes a back seat at times with canvas and I believe in this feature that may be true. I would sure love for a re-evaluation of this decision as it should not take much to get this feature implemented.

aluxenburg
Community Member

Thank you, Angela, for posting this request.  An image for courses on the dashboard would certainly be a favourable move.  I like what Canvas has done with their new build, but this would be another step in right direction.  I am very aware of how much work this shift might be for Canvas; nothing seems simple when you are talking development.  I hope they see this as a good enough move to spend time and money on it.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

My thought is that it's not that Instructure doesn't see the importance of this, it's that right now they are pretty focused (money and engineer hours) on completely redoing quizzes - Canvas Studio: Modern Quizzing Engine​.

The new quizzing engine will cover many existing feature ideas related to quizzes and quiz questions, and overall improve Canvas for everyone who uses quizzes (and might actually encourage more to use quizzes in the future!). Currently quizzes have some missing and not easy to use features that can sometimes make it difficult for faculty to effectively assess students.

So while yes, I voted for this and would love to see this feature idea implemented - it would be great to be able to add images to the course tiles (and I'm higher ed) - right now I understand and appreciate why the focus is on getting the new quizzing engine done. Smiley Happy

aluxenburg
Community Member

Well said, Kona Jones.

Sent from my iPhone

mcsmith
Instructure
Instructure

 @jtmartin  Thank you, we think Canvas is darn user-friendly as well! We actually have a bunch of amazing designs in place for adding pictures to course cards that are already done. While we completely understand how adding pictures enhances the experience for language learners or elementary students, it does not mean that the current implementation of course cards are not accessible. Since the color is not used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, etc.. the course cards are accessible. We take accessibility very seriously and strive to provide a great learning experience for all learners. To improve the experience for finding courses, there is a new "course and user search" that is actually in development. You can turn it in on in beta under "feature options" if you are interested in checking it out. As  @kona  mentioned, there is a lot of very high initiatives taking place that greatly increase the usability and functionality throughout Canvas. We reevaluate our committed roadmap items regularly and this is something we would truly love to do!

brigid_taylor
Surveyor

This is exactly what we have just spoken about. We are looking at ways to make the interface more attractive and easier to navigate i.e. they're more likely to easily find a picture of Shakespeare for English then look for the green square

ephraimross1
Community Member

Shoot, really upset to hear this won't be worked on in the next year. I'm a bit surprised, too, as I didn't expect it to involve too much development time to make it work. Essentially, keep the color layer, but make it opaque and add an image layer underneath it. Boom, the color scheme is still meaningful and you now have images, too.

Behold, my low quality GIF re-enactment of this idea!

course_card_gif.gif

John_Lowe
Learner II

Ephraim's example is an awesome example of what could be done.  Please, Instructure, reconsider this.  I've not heard one person at our institution like the plain colored tiles.  Every single person at Baylor that has seen the new UI so far has either complained about the amount of space it takes up, asked if they can add an image or something there, or asked us how to go back to the old style.  Every.  Single.  Person.