[Courses] Comprehensive Course Search Tool (Searching Course Content for a Topic)

I always find it useful to search for content using an index or an actual search tool rather than just scrolling through all of the pages one by one to find what I need.  I can see many uses for this:
  1. As a student, I know that a particular topic was covered but I'm not sure where.  I can search the course for the keyword and the page hits will come up.
  2. As an instructor, I want to know where else these students have seen a particular concept.  I can search a bunch of courses for a keyword and the courses and page hits will come up.
  3. As a student, as I am trying to integrate information from multiple lectures within a course or within multiple courses, it would be useful to see where a particular concept has been covered.



Added to Theme

Add or improve search functionality Theme Status: Identified

Community Novice

We will really be missing the search feature in Canvas. This is searching across a number of courses, and within one course. Having to browse and scroll through pages and pages of content is simply not an acceptable alternative, because it takes ages to find stuff! 

Initially, we didn't have a search in our old VLE, and then users kept asking for it, so we developed one. Now we're missing it again in Canvas. It's a shame. We're going to have to find our own solution, and it looks like many people are in the same position.

Community Novice

We really need global search so strongly support this idea. Search is now a ubiquitous function of any online platform and our students expect to be able to search for their resources, especially as our institution starts to use Canvas more and more.

Community Participant

As this request is about to tip the 300 up votes - its a shame to see it has just been deferred from Khaki 2018 Smiley Sad

We really need global search capability - or at least the start of search functionality

Community Novice

At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, we also need global search capability. We were referred to an expensive third-party product for this by our Canvas rep - if a third party can implement it, why can't Canvas? It's necessary.

Community Champion

I am disappointed about this too,  @magronel ‌ ... and I was hoping that even though it got deferred from Project Khaki, there would be some discussion about WHAT NEXT, but the discussion is not ongoing.

For example, does it make sense to look at a scaled down version (search that works in specific areas) as opposed to the incredibly ambitious global search scheme that was sketched out at Khaki? As far as I know we were never told just what the problems were that caused it to be deferred (it had a big budget of developer time already, so was that developer time not enough? insurmountable architecture problems? ongoing resource costs?) ... without knowing why it was ditched, and without being given alternatives, we cannot make a plea for a scaled down version.

We know it IS possible to implement additional search features, since Atomic Jolt offers this service at a steep price: I wish we had made at least some progress as a result of Khaki, but it looks like we made no progress at all, and without more details we are not even better informed about the problem(s) that the engineers encountered, which is what I find frustrating.

Having digital content that is not fully searchable is something unimaginable to me: I honestly don't understand why search was not a feature from the start, and now it looks like the costs for building search after the fact are daunting.

Community Novice

Sarah - Tacoma Community College just finished a pilot of Atomic Search and signed a contract.  It's been a great tool for students and faculty.  It has been particularly useful for our Canvas admins. 

Community Novice

I totally agree with Laura. Digital content should be fully searchable.

Community Champion

There are lots of reasons why I do no content development inside Canvas, and lack of search is one of them. I need search, my students need search: digital content wants to be searched. 🙂

Community Champion

Hi all! I just added a question about search at the "Ask Engineering Leadership Anything" ... if you want to help me refine that question and upvote it (as Renee explains: Pertinent questions with the most likes will be answered), that would be great! Here's the link:

Here's the way I wrote the question:

One of the engineering projects that got up-voted from Project Khaki was global search, but we learned a couple of months ago that global search is deferred without any specific explanation as to why. As I recall, global search had a pretty big budget of developer time from Project Khaki, so can you tell us what unexpected obstacles came up? Are there plans to add search options to specific areas of Canvas even if there will not be global search? What can we as Canvas users do in order to document our search needs so that we can be a productive part of the search development process going forward?

And to make that more broadly strategic:

In general, what can we as Canvas users do in order to best document our experience in ways that will really be useful as Instructure engages in strategic engineering discussions?

Community Contributor

I'd love to upvote that, but the link isn't coming through for some reason...