Possible Catalog Improvements

Instructure
Instructure
5 11 480

In the upcoming months, the Catalog team is excited to work on a few Catalog improvements. We are considering such projects that don’t require massive engineering effort, but that address real customer pain points in the product. You can find the list of potential projects below.

Please let us know what you think of these improvement ideas and leave a comment on how helpful they would be for your institution. 

  1. Login workflow improvement: Checking for Canvas login automatically when accessing Catalog.  Currently, even if a user is logged into Canvas, they have to click the “Login” button before Catalog recognizes they are logged in. That, combined with the low-profile messaging about logging in on the registration page we show when one tries to enroll, results in lots of duplicate accounts being created for users that administrators have to triage in Canvas.
  2. Login workflow improvement 2.: Routing users to the page they initiated login from after they login. It’s an unnatural workflow if a user is viewing a course they have found in the Catalog, log in, and then get kicked to the student dashboard. Currently, to get back to the course they have to go back to the Catalog, then find the course again or use their browser’s back button.
  3. Search improvement: Adding tags to search. Currently, we don’t use tags when identifying search results and in this way users don’t get the full benefit of tags. 
  4. Concluded courses: Supporting concluded course status. Currently, Catalog doesn’t track if a course has been concluded. Due to this, on the analytics dashboard we show these courses with the wrong status, and they are not shown in the student dashboard. 
  5. Consistent time-zones: Having consistent time-zone settings across Canvas and Catalog. Currently, we don’t handle time-zones in a consistent way and they might be different at different parts of the product. 
Tags (1)
11 Comments
Learner II

Nice to see some progress on Catalog.  Would very much encourage work on existing tickets we have in the system.   Thanks.

Instructure
Instructure

Hi @bjholt Thank you for your feedback.  What existing tickets do you mean? Other feature ideas or issues / bugs you have encountered with? This is a list of smaller projects we are considering for the upcoming 1-2 months. At the same time we are also fixing emerging issues. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about these items? Would any of these be helpful for your institution? Thanks! 

Learner II

Thanks for your response @zsgoreczky.

By existing tickets, I mean items already submitted to Canvas support for assistance.  They may be more specific to our institution and our use cases.  For example.  Below are 2 ticket numbers we have been seeking help on for over a year:

 04999299  iimport date problem)

04037258  Teachers' classes appear on pdf transcript as "NOT COMPLETED"

Please review.

As for the projects above, #1, #2, and #5 would help us.  But not as much as getting our two tickets resolved.

Thanks   

 

 

 

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

@zsgoreczky

When can we expect to see these updates/release notes? How will concluded courses be identified by open or closed or by concluded from Canvas? Will the login feature work with CAS?

Instructure
Instructure

Hi @jsowalsk These are ideas from which we will pick 1-2 in the upcoming months. I'm looking for feedback from the group in order to decide which ones to start working on in a few weeks. It would be helpful to hear which ones would be the most helpful for most institutions. 

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi @zsgoreczky,

Please see my comments below then I can make up my mind regarding features. Also, I would reccomend in your posts to note that you want feedback by ranking.

  1. Login workflow improvementChecking for Canvas login automatically when accessing Catalog.  Currently, even if a user is logged into Canvas, they have to click the “Login” button before Catalog recognizes they are logged in. That, combined with the low-profile messaging about logging in on the registration page we show when one tries to enroll, results in lots of duplicate accounts being created for users that administrators have to triage in Canvas. Is this only for the standard out of the box workflow with the main Catalog site and/or having Canvas enrollments sync with Catalog feature on?
  1. Login workflow improvement 2.: Routing users to the page they initiated login from after they login. It’s an unnatural workflow if a user is viewing a course they have found in the Catalog, log in, and then get kicked to the student dashboard. Currently, to get back to the course they have to go back to the Catalog, then find the course again or use their browser’s back button. This is the most obnoxious and would be great to have a better workflow. 
  2. Search improvement: Adding tags to search. Currently, we don’t use tags when identifying search results and in this way users don’t get the full benefit of tags. Yes, please and associate this with the tags from each listing and not just the root listings all listings in all catalogs and subcatalogs.
  3. Concluded courses: Supporting concluded course status. Currently, Catalog doesn’t track if a course has been concluded. Due to this, on the analytics dashboard we show these courses with the wrong status, and they are not shown in the student dashboard. Would concluded mean ended by the date in Canvas or selecting the conclude button? Please provide more clarity.
Surveyor

Thank you for the updates.  I agree with @jsowalsk notes.  Another thing that would be helpful is if you can provide a timeline for the improvements so we know how long the improvements will take.

1. We have issues with students having two Canvas accounts because Catalog is typically used for personal emails and some students or Catalog users had a MUIH email account. This causes confusion for the student logging in and accessing courses.  

2. Are you suggesting that you'll be improving the flow for having to "Start Course" or "Start Program" for the course(s) to show up in their Canvas account?  

3. Tags are not important to us, but it would be helpful to have an easy way to change the listing order by a "drop and drag" function as a Catalog Admin - now it's very labor-intensive to reorder listings manually by changing numbers.

4. Same question as Jessica.  Also, it would be useful to have a way to deactivate the "Review Course" function in Catalog for courses that have ended and courses that are past the days to complete for individual users. 

@CWilkerson 

Surveyor

@jsowalsk We have similar issues with certificates not being issued due to transcript showing as Not Complete. It is a bug that we have had to submit numerous tickets on in the past. We are hopeful the new releases will help to fix those. Ideally I would like to see more admin rights and better sync functionality for Catalog. 

Surveyor

@zsgoreczky 

@jsowalsk 

Thanks for offering the 5 items currently on the radar for improvement.

The concern over inaccurate transcripts and concluded status has been expressed as far back as April 6, 2018. This is documented throughout the Canvas Catalog Users Group running agenda. February 8, 2019 was my request for a matrix of settings that would support an accurate transcript and certificate release.

As early as January 2018, I posted in the Catalog Users Group community via Instructure platform. Inaccurate transcripts, ability to permanently remove the "Drop Course" button - as the button returns with each update to the system plus the ability to remove the Transcript button as the information is inaccurate.

Looking forward to progress!

@bjholt 

@klebrun 

Surveyor

Hi @zsgoreczky,

Thank you for the update! Please see feedback below:

Login workflow improvement 1
: This has been a major pain point for our institution. It has also been a pain in the beta environment for admins when testing functionality. In beta, the navigation between the Canvas dashboard and the Catalog dashboard requires an additional login. And when we’re on the login page, you have to manually add beta to the URL.
Login workflow improvement 2: This is a pain point for students and would be beneficial for our institution.
Search improvement: Tags are currently being used so this would be a great feature to have and there have been requests from admins for it.
Concluded courses: This has been frustrating for admins who need to track whether or not students have completed their course(06162227) and to download completion certificates (06813670).
Consistent time-zones: This is not as important for us as the other improvements.

Looking forward to the improvements!

Learner II

Thank you so much for requesting feedback @zsgoreczky. My institutions just used Catalog over the summer to help with faculty development (219+ faculty working with a staff of 3-5) to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. Based on our recent experiences, I would rank these improvements in the following order:

Login workflow improvement 1: Absolutely the number 1 priority from our perspective and major pain point for our institution. We had so many faculty not read our directions or view our video about how to Login prior to enrolling in the courses/certificate program. Instead, they just went to our Catalog site but the the small "Already have an account?" was missed by so many because it is very generic that faculty didn't make the association between Canvas and Catalog. 

Login workflow improvement 2: Anything to help improve navigation would be beneficial as we grow our offerings.

Search improvement: As @jsowalsk stated please and associate the tags for each listing regardless of whether it is in the root catalog. We need to include the tags from all listings including the subcatalogs.

Consistent time-zones: Time zone support and consistency will be important to us as we expand our offerings for various programs which we know will be taken across various time zones.

Concluded courses: At this time, this would be our least important feature. 

About the Author
Zsofi loves how her two passions, education and product development, come together in Canvas. At the beginning of her career, she worked as a teacher in Budapest, Hungary. Later she studied digital media and learning in San Francisco before finding a home in product management.