Photo credit:  Give me Power... by Mahesh Basedia on Flickr - CC By NC SADid you know that you can create, vote for, and contribute to new Canvas features? Instructure has instituted a 6 phase process, and you can get involved at (almost) any point by logging into the Canvas Community site.

Phase 1- Gather Requests

If you have an idea you’d like to see implemented in a future Canvas release, you should log into the Ideas site, and search to see whether it has already been suggested. If your idea has not been suggested yet, you can create a new feature request. At this phase, you are encouraged to contact IT Academic Technology Services ( to discuss what you have in mind, and we’ll help you write up your request.

Phase 2 – Voting

On the 3rd Wednesday of every month, newly collected requests enter the voting phase. Ideas have 3 months in which to collect votes. Your idea needs at least 100 votes from the community to make it to the next phase. During the voting phase, proponents of an idea often campaign for votes by contacting other people who they think would benefit if the idea becomes reality. Look in the comments of this post for links to specific ideas in need of your vote!

Phase 3 – Gathering Information

Ideas that pass muster during the voting phase are explored in more detail. Instructure engineers and designers engage in discussion with users to improve their understanding of what is required/desired.

The duration of phase 3 is somewhat variable, but will not go longer than 30 days without an update from Instructure.

Phase 4 – Under Consideration

Even after gathering enough votes, an idea can get rejected during this phase. Requests that are complex and hard to implement can spend up to 18 months in this phase before being rejected or pushed into the development phase. No user input is solicited during this phase.

Phase 5 – Development

Here is where the work actually gets done. User input is still accepted. Visit the Canvas Studio to see and discuss what is currently under development.

Phase 6 – on Beta

New features go live on the beta sites for final testing. At this point, community members with access to their institution’s beta site (Canvas administrators) can actually see the features in action. Unless new bugs are discovered during this phase, you can expect the feature on production sites very shortly thereafter.

Optional Features

Even after a feature is fully implemented, you may not see it immediately in your courses. Some features are optional. Features can be opted for at several levels. Some are institution-wide, some can be enabled per department, and some can be enabled for individual courses. To see what optional features may already be available to you, check the Feature Options tab in your course Settings.



Share this post: