Update on Recent Enhancements in Commons

KataKeri
Instructure
Instructure
10
1183

Canvas.png

Dear Community Members,

First and foremost, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in our survey! We're thrilled to announce that we received a total of 227 responses. We've finished processing all the feedback and are now in the prioritization stage. Stay tuned for some exciting updates coming your way soon!

In my previous post, I shared the fantastic news that Commons is back in action. Today, I'm delighted to provide the first update on what we've accomplished over the past couple of weeks, beyond collecting your invaluable feedback.

We've made several small yet impactful changes to the user interface (UI). Take a look at what's been improved:

  • Padding Adjustments: We've fine-tuned the padding for a cleaner and more consistent look.
  • Label Updates: Old 'new' labels have been removed to keep the interface fresh and relevant.
  • Accessibility Enhancements: We've addressed some accessibility issues to ensure a better experience for all users.

In more detail:

  • Provided max width for content area on the detail page
  • Improvement in search section responsive behavior
  • Changed “results” padding
  • Adjusted card list paddings
  • Improvement on side navbar behavior when navigating to Commons from courses
  • Improved filter pills
  • Added “clear all filters” button to filter pills
  • Removed "NEW" labels from features that are 3+ years old

Coming soon:

  • Report inappropriate/spam content
  • Changed Commons logo in the side navbar
  • Adjust button hover states
  • Text fixes to make functionality more straightforward
  • Mobile menu improvements

And many more!

These tweaks are part of our ongoing effort to enhance your experience with Commons. Keep an eye out for more updates, and as always, thank you for being such an engaged and supportive community!

Stay tuned and stay excited!

Best,
The Commons Team

10 Comments
jsowalsk
Community Coach
Community Coach

@KataKeri Hi Kata, Thank you! Where and when should we see these updates? In production or release notes?

KataKeri
Instructure
Instructure
Author

@jsowalsk We didn't do release notes for these, as these are very small updates and not new features or bigger improvements.
They are available in production!

jsowalsk
Community Coach
Community Coach

@KataKeri In the future will there be release notes for Commons?

KataKeri
Instructure
Instructure
Author

@jsowalsk Yes! 

jsowalsk
Community Coach
Community Coach

@KataKeri Great! Separate or with the Canvas release notes?

rmartini
Community Participant

Looking forward to these improvements! For the reporting inappropriate/spam content, where or who will receive those reports (in other words, do those reports go to someone at our institution)?

TrinaAltman
Community Participant

@KataKeri  - thank you for these updates. We are excited to hear about what else is in store, and also looking forward to having release notes for changes to Commons.

I have similar questions as @rmartini regarding "Report inappropriate/spam content" - how will that work? Some other reporting features in Canvas aren't designed very well in my opinion. For example, the reporting for inappropriate profile pictures goes to a buried area in the Admin interface with no notifications and no way of knowing who reported it and why. Who would the reporting for inappropriate/spam content in Commons go to, how would they be notified, what details will be available, and what tools will they have to manage that?

KataKeri
Instructure
Instructure
Author

@jsowalsk We'll do Commons release notes separately - that's the plan for now.

@rmartini @TrinaAltman 
In the first round the scope would be this:

Create a button that allows Commons users to report a resource for either: being a spam, infringing copyrights, or inappropriate. This would not cause any change in the resource's visibility, but can serve as good pointers for potential investigation or spam detection. Admins would have an additional column in the stats display for the number of reports on a resource.

Over time, we'd like to make it more efficient, so we are open to feedback or more needs from your side. This would be the first iteration - as a start. 

TrinaAltman
Community Participant

@KataKeri Thanks for the additional information. I like that the column would include the number of reports on a resource, but without a notification, it sounds like admins would need to periodically/actively go and check just to see if any have been reported which creates an unnecessary burden. A few suggestions off the top of my head:

  • Create a notification option.
  • Create an option that allows notifications for each type of report to go to a different person/unit on campus. Canvas Admins could probably identify and handle spam content, but we are not the experts on copyright infringement nor inappropriate content. There are other offices on campus that handle these types of reports. Allow an e-mail field so that we can set the notifications of each type to go to the appropriate arbiter.
  • For the reporting function, include data about the reporter so they can be identified in case there are questions. Also include a field where they can state their reason for reporting something so that the person evaluating the report is not left wondering why they reported it and not having any information for making a decision (unless the violation is obvious). When we had profile picture reporting (we have since changed that link to point to information about our official campus reporting procedure through our Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity) we would receive reports with no clue as to why someone would have reported it.

Thank you,

Trina

KataKeri
Instructure
Instructure
Author

hey @TrinaAltman,

Thank you so much for your feedback, it is well noted. This iteration is just the first phase, the plan is to improve on it later. Notifications are on our radar for this. However, because of privacy reasons we're not sure we can share the name/contacts of the reporter - I have to check this legal to make sure we are compliant. If we can't, I think we can provide some information (add reason for the report in writing as a mandatory field) which can help.