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Community Member

Use of wildcards in searching for a course

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Does Canvas allow for the use of wildcards when searching for a course in the "Find a Course" field?

Our school has extremely long course names and the year is at the very end.  It would be incredibly helpful to be able to enter SOC 101 * 17 and get all the Soc 101 course taught in 2017.

Any ideas?

1 Solution

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eosika@marian.edu 

You are correct that Canvas will match off of a string, so the "SOC 101 17" won't find anything because it's not a single phrase. While I don't have a wildcard solution for you, here are a couple of ideas that you might be able to utilize.

If your institution uses terms, you can search for "SOC 101". Once the list comes up, choose the appropriate term from the list and click on Filter. This is explained in the Canvas Admin Guide as How do I filter or find a course in an account? 

If you're using terms, that may not even be necessary, though, as Canvas display the term name under the name of the course in the autocompletion search box.

235342_pastedImage_2.png

If you're not using terms, you may want to consider it. In the meantime, you can get the list of all of the courses that match the first part and then scan the list or use the browser's find feature.

You can consider shortening the names of your courses. When we implemented Canvas, we didn't really have any good insight into how to name things and ran into issues with long names. It's better now than it was in 2012, but some things still get truncated.

Another option is available if you want to go directly to a course and you use SIS imports and know the SIS codes for a course (a lot of ands there). Our SIS codes are a combination of the term, the course name, and the section number in a very predictable and consistent manner: My stats course is sp17-math_113-01

If you know that, you can put it directly into the URL, prefacing it with sis_course_id:

235402_pastedImage_6.png

Then, when you hit enter, it will take you to your course page.

Of course, you don't have to enter it directly into the location bar, that just saves time going to the admin course search page. You can enter a SIS code directly into the search box.

235403_pastedImage_7.png

The term name doesn't have to be at beginning, either. Here's a list of all the hybrid stats classes we've offered in Canvas (their section names are all Y1)

235404_pastedImage_8.png

View solution in original post

5 Replies
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Learner II

You don't have to use a wildcard character.  Canvas will search based on the partial name you enter and return anything you have rights to access.

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Community Member

Unless there is something different on our system, this isn't the case.

It does search for courses that have the same beginning . . . for example searching for "SOC 101" returned a list of over 30 courses.  However, if I search on "SOC 101 17", where 17 is the last characters of the title of course, it responds with no results found.

I was hoping there was a way to search for "SOC 101 * 17"

Highlighted
Navigator

eosika@marian.edu 

You are correct that Canvas will match off of a string, so the "SOC 101 17" won't find anything because it's not a single phrase. While I don't have a wildcard solution for you, here are a couple of ideas that you might be able to utilize.

If your institution uses terms, you can search for "SOC 101". Once the list comes up, choose the appropriate term from the list and click on Filter. This is explained in the Canvas Admin Guide as How do I filter or find a course in an account? 

If you're using terms, that may not even be necessary, though, as Canvas display the term name under the name of the course in the autocompletion search box.

235342_pastedImage_2.png

If you're not using terms, you may want to consider it. In the meantime, you can get the list of all of the courses that match the first part and then scan the list or use the browser's find feature.

You can consider shortening the names of your courses. When we implemented Canvas, we didn't really have any good insight into how to name things and ran into issues with long names. It's better now than it was in 2012, but some things still get truncated.

Another option is available if you want to go directly to a course and you use SIS imports and know the SIS codes for a course (a lot of ands there). Our SIS codes are a combination of the term, the course name, and the section number in a very predictable and consistent manner: My stats course is sp17-math_113-01

If you know that, you can put it directly into the URL, prefacing it with sis_course_id:

235402_pastedImage_6.png

Then, when you hit enter, it will take you to your course page.

Of course, you don't have to enter it directly into the location bar, that just saves time going to the admin course search page. You can enter a SIS code directly into the search box.

235403_pastedImage_7.png

The term name doesn't have to be at beginning, either. Here's a list of all the hybrid stats classes we've offered in Canvas (their section names are all Y1)

235404_pastedImage_8.png

View solution in original post

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Community Member

Definitely miss having a wildcard functionality.  Would like to see # matches displayed as well instead of having to scroll down, use Browser search or what have you to know # of hits.  One up-vote for wildcards.

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I can't find an idea submission for wildcard searches.  Before I add one, does one exist that I am missing?