Offline Support in the Student App - Survey

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni


At Instructure, we are always looking for ways to improve our Canvas mobile apps and make it more user-friendly. That's why we're excited to share that we are working on a new feature - Offline Support in the Canvas Student app! This feature will allow you to use a set of functionality in the app even when you don't have an internet connection.

We have created a clickable prototype of the offline support feature and are looking for feedback from our users. We want to make sure that the feature will work seamlessly and will meet your needs. We need your help to test the prototype and provide us with your feedback. What’s important to know upfront is that:

  • This prototypes are not an actually implemented and working applications.
  • The features you can see and use in the prototypes might or might not be implemented the same way as they appear there.
  • The offline feature is not released yet (May 2023) so you will not yet find it in the Canvas Student application.
  • Not all the features are represented or clickable/usable in the prototypes. If you encounter any problems, please let us know so that we can address them. 

We have created a few prototypes to mimic various workflows and use cases while users are interacting with the offline experience. 

To provide your feedback, please click through the short surveys below. The surveys should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and are completely anonymous. Your responses will be kept confidential and will only be used to improve our Canvas mobile apps.

To access the prototypes, please follow the links below:

  1. Download the content of a selected course to use offline:
  2. Fully or partially remove the offline content of a selected course:
  3. Download the content of all the courses to use offline:
  4. Fully or partially remove the offline content of all the courses:
  5. Managing the settings for the automatic offline content synchronization:

We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to test the prototype and provide us with your feedback. Your feedback will help us refine the feature and ensure that it works well for our precious users.

Thank you for your help in testing our prototypes and providing us with your valuable feedback. We value your input and are committed to delivering the best possible app experience for our users.

Jozsef from the Canvas Mobile team

Community Participant

#5 didn't ask for one of the bits of feedback I did have: It felt weird to have some parts of this in the hamburger button and some parts in the dashboard kebab with no link to one another between them.

Community Participant

@jozsefdavid I like the idea of students being able to download content to be able to view even when they don't have a connection. I do have a question though: Would this feature require the account setting of 'Allow students to download course content and view offline' be enabled, or would it be independent of that? It seems like it should be linked so that schools can make a decision at a leadership level as to whether students should be able to download content in bulk, in terms of the instructor's intellectual property, etc. Alternatively, there could be a setting available at the course level that would allow the instructor to opt out if desired.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi @TrinaAltman,

Thank you for your comment. The offline support which we are working on for mobile is independent from the current settings you mentioned. The download possibility will only be available in the student app, but the whole functionality will be controlled by a "regular" feature flag, so the institution will be able to control it's availability. Although there is no need to worry about the intellectual property problems because all the content in offline mode will be downloaded to the mobile app, but will only be accessible inside the app, there will be no way to access the downloaded content from outside the app. It will work the same way as it is working when the phone is online.

Community Participant

@jozsefdavid Thank you for the explanation. That sounds good. So will it respect course access restrictions as well? E.g., if the the course closes to students on May 31 and a student has downloaded content, would they lose access to that downloaded content in the mobile app on May 31  as well?

Community Participant

Will be interesting to see what functionality/participation students will be able to do offline, this may be beneficial for content that requires a strong/fast internet connection such as video content, however video content can be embedded into Canvas courses that are hosted from other sources.