How do Ideas and Themes work in the Instructure Community?

Input from existing users is a very important part of how Instructure prioritizes work on new and existing features and fixing bugs. Instructure looks at data from the support team, feedback from Customer Success Managers (CSMs), and from the Community directly. Learn more about starting idea conversations and the development process.

Idea Conversations reside within the Roadmap section under each product area in the top navigation of the Community.

Who can Submit an Idea?

Any registered user with the rank of Member may begin an idea conversation. Anyone can create an account for free and become a registered user. 

Who Reviews Idea Submissions?

Instructure’s product managers review all submissions.

How and When are Idea Submissions Reviewed?

Ideas are reviewed weekly, at a minimum. When reviewing an idea, Product Managers use the opportunity assessment criteria to determine if the idea should be mapped to a new or existing theme.

What are the Idea Stages?


New ideas that have not yet been reviewed by Instructure. Ideas in New may be merged with existing ideas that request similar feature updates once reviewed.

Seeking Clarity

An idea that is incomplete or needs clarification may be placed into Seeking Clarity status. Instructure team members may request that the author provide clarification or complete additional actions before the idea is processed into another status. If an idea has been in this status for more than two weeks without a reply from the original author, it may be archived.

Added to Theme

Ideas that meet the review criteria and are relevant to a theme move into this status. The mapped theme can be referenced from the idea. Community members are encouraged to subscribe to the mapped theme so they can follow that theme as it progresses.

Will Not Consider

Will Not Consider ideas include a comment and provide clear reasons for why the idea will not be considered. Ideas may not be considered because of technical limitations, product planning and direction, or because they are duplicates or do not meet the requirements for a new idea.

Who Creates the Themes?

Instructure’s Product Managers identify and create themes based on trends identified from idea submissions.

What are the Theme Stages?


Themes start out in this non-voting stage and are created by a member of the Product Team based on trends identified from idea submissions. As new ideas are submitted, they might be added to an existing Identified Theme or create the need for a new Identified Theme.

Open for Voting

Themes that are Open for Voting allow any Community member to vote or comment on the theme during the 30-day voting window. Comments on Open for Voting themes allow users to share use cases, discuss benefits, and share constructive feedback that may argue against the theme. Product teams will moderate the comments and respond as appropriate.


Prioritized themes have gone through the voting process and have been selected by Instructure to be delivered within the next six months. As Instructure works through the development process for this theme, Instructure Product Teams will provide updates and engage the community for feedback on the potential solutions. When we deliver on prioritized themes, our focus is on solving the problem with the best solution we have identified. Due to this, the end solution and deliverable may be different from solutions or specific asks in the original ideas. If the problem of an idea mapped to a prioritized theme is not solved in our end solution, we will re-map the idea to a different theme (existing, new or extension of the current theme if the scope was deemed too big). The theme would go back through the process. 

It is important to note that some themes will extend past six months of development depending on the size and complexity of the theme. 


Delivered themes have been implemented and released.

How are "Open for Voting" themes selected?

The Instructure Product Team determines the viable set of themes for Open for Voting based on other priorities, capacity, and delivery schedule. Our team only selects themes for Open for Voting that, if prioritized, we could deliver.

When are Themes "Open for Voting"?

Open for Voting windows are generally in February and October so the prioritized themes can be delivered prior to the start of the new calendar year and back to school, as illustrated below.

How are "Prioritized" Themes Selected?

Selection of Prioritized themes is based on Community votes during the voting window, alignment to other development priorities, delivery schedule, and team capacity. Instructure selects Prioritized themes that have the highest value among our users.