Erlend Thune (admin)

Group search is very slow when having large number of groups

Discussion created by Erlend Thune (admin) on Jun 3, 2019
Latest reply on Dec 17, 2019 by Erlend Thune (admin)

I am writing this post as I think it might be useful for other Canvas-users, but I am also interested in hearing others experience with courses with large amount of students and groups.


We are planning to have a MOOC for norwegian teachers. There will potentially be tens of thousands of users in one course. We were thinking of splitting the students in small discussion groups, f.ex. one for each school, in which they


self register. I tried creating a couple of thousand groups in a test course. I named the groups "Studiegruppe nnnn", where nnnn is a a number from 1 and up. Then, as a student, I went into /groups for the course.  I started searching for the substring 178 to see how fast groups containing that substring would turn up. It took a lot of time, as can be seen on the enclosed video, and to my surprise it looks like Canvas does the search on the client side by downloading groups ten by ten, as is shown in the network inspector in the video.


During the search, the "busy-indicator" was visible for some seconds but then disappeared. However, by looking in the network-inspector one could see that the browser kept fetching new pages with 10 groups until the screen was filled up with matches. Scrolling down then initiated fetching of new groups to see if there where more matches.
I have been thinking all along that Canvas can handle large amount of students, sections and groups in a course, but I am started to get worried. Will Canvas be able to cope with say 30 000 students in a course, or will there be unexpected consequences. What is the recommended way to test it. I am considering adding 30 000 test students in a course and see how it behaves. Does anyone else have experience with this large amount of users in a course in Canvas?