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Possible Catalog Improvements

zsgoreczky
Instructure
Instructure
8 18 2,042

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)
18 Comments
bjholt
Explorer III

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

zsgoreczky
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! 

bjholt
Explorer III

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   

 

 

 

jsowalsk
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?

zsgoreczky
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. 

jsowalsk
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.
bromanski
Learner II

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 

klebrun
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. 

trinaadams1
Surveyor II

@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 

florence_kam
Surveyor II

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!

mdthomas
Explorer 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. 

albertina_clayt
Surveyor II

I am very glad to see Catalog will be receiving some improvements. 🎉 Below is how I would rank them for our organization.

  1. Search improvement: This is first on my list, especially if we will be able to leverage tags to find/filter promo codes. Currently there is no way to filter through promo codes or even sort them by name. 
  2. Login workflow improvement
  3. Login workflow improvement 2
  4. Consistent time-zones
  5. Concluded courses 

Other Improvement Recommendations

  1. An update to the current API - Specifically the ability to get a mass list of completed certificates from a particular program
  2. Improved report functionality - It would be great to specify which items you would like to include in your reports rather than have to edit the .csv after it is downloaded

 

JustinBrooksby
Surveyor II

These are all good. I was not aware the tags didn't work. What are they there for then? Seems like a bug rather than a feature.

I would ask that you please add a filter and sort to the listings page on the admin panel.  Or even just fix the search. The search returns results that have nothing to do with the search.  I need to be able to filter catalogs and sort course names.

janice_meyer
Surveyor

These are great.  I often feel like Catalog is the forgotten child of Instructure.  I am glad you are looking at some improvements.

I also agree  with those above about the accuracy of course completion status.  This is a major issue for us.  I have open tickets on this issue right now.  I am glad to see that it is just not my account having this issue.  Please fix this bug.

Our institution would like to see some enhancements in the user defined fields.  More options than just text boxes and check boxes.  Maybe add drop down menus?

 

Also - is there a way we could have an option to have the catalog listing in Spanish?  we can translate our Canvas courses to spanish but not the Catalog listing.  This would be very helpful for a lot of our users.

 

Anne-Marie
Surveyor
  1. Login workflow improvement 2.
  2. Search improvement

These two of the 5 mentioned are very high priority for us.

Other enhancements we need include:

1. an option to turn GST on or off (including all the GST options GST exempt, GST Free, etc).

2. differing Admin roles within Catalog so that access can be given to reporting without all the other functionality (like there is in Canvas).

3. Provide the Help link (as in Canvas) as a function within Catalog

Thanks

bromanski
Learner II

Great suggestion:

 Provide the Help link (as in Canvas) as a function within Catalog

bromanski
Learner II

I didn't receive a response to my original comment for clarification, so here are a few other priorities:

1. Streamline program enrollment to begin the course/program immediately without 2-step verification

2. Ability to organize Catalog promo codes and listing order more easily within the Admin portal - by integrating a drag and drop feature to move listings around and a filter or a search box for promo codes

3.  Allow for duplicate/copying of listings

4. Automated reporting (i.e. set up filters to generate email reports on a recurring basis)

5. Add a CEU field to listing set-up 

s_gary1
Surveyor II

Great to see some attention on the Catalog product! While 1,2, and 5 would be useful for us, my institution's current biggest feature request and pain point for Catalog is the inability to have cross-listed listings. The use case is two different subcatalogs with different audiences, different branding needs and different revenue streams, need the ability to have their separate audiences enroll in different listings that land users in the same Canvas course. The same facilitator is managing both groups and the success of these programs often rely on peer-to-peer interaction so it's important they are all in the same space. You can't cross list courses on the Canvas side without this breaking the listings on the Catalog side. 

 

One other big request would be more flexible options for program requirements. Currently we have very limited use for programs. We need the ability to allow end users choice (e.g. take 3 out of 5 listings in a set).