Dear User,

The Feature Request Process was put in place in order to allow early adopters to make suggestions for enhancements to Canvas. The process was put on hold in February 2020 to undergo a review of the lessons learned throughout the project.


Due to the unforeseen circumstances of Covid-19, resources were diverted to assisting with a large increase of support tickets from both staff and students and to prepare the system for an increased use therefore the review remains on-going.


The team has been focused on supporting alternative assessments throughout the summer with attention now moving to preparing for online teaching for September 2020, as a result, priorities for the DLSSS Team are:


  • Support for the Alternative Assessment period in August
  • On-going support as staff transition to prepare their Canvas courses for the next AY
  • Business as usual support processes, for example on going monthly system updates
  • Ensuring the Canvas platform is ready to support different modes of teaching
  • Enhancement for Digital Accessibility in line with legislation


Thank you for your patience.

For Information:
Below is the process followed during the initial roll-out of Canvas 

What is a Canvas Feature Request?

The Feature Request Process allows you to suggest new features to improve or enhance Queen’s Virtual Learning Environment Canvas.

How can I submit a Feature Request?

You can submit your Canvas Feature Request via the Help Menu in Canvas:

Note: The Feature Request for will become available again after the process has been reviewed.

What happens once my Feature Request has been submitted?

The Feature Request process will undergo a number of stages and will depend on the development/deployment of features by Canvas, review & assessment against policies in particular GDPR, review/assessment of other support required (in particular where Third Party Companies are involved) and the total number of requests received.

The current priority is the Canvas rollout and support of live modules currently using Canvas. Where there is availability, feature requests will be analysed and investigated, we thank you for your patience with this process. In the meantime please proceed to develop in Canvas using the functionality available.

When your request has been prioritised for further investigation the request will go through an approval process to determine if and how the request will be actioned. Click on the individual stages to view more information about the Feature Request Process below.

1. Request Logged


The initial stage of this workflow involves:

• A log of the request through the Feature Request Form.
• Gathering of requirements to make sure the request is understood by the team. If not, we will reach out to you to clarify your request further.
• Prioritization session (Where a large number of requests have been received). The Priority of your request will be determined by:

• the number of similar requests received
• the impact the feature has on enhancing the learning and delivery experience
• how widely requested the new feature is (for example faculty/school request)

2. Canvas Analysis


This stage will identify:

• If the feature is available within Canvas
• If the feature is in development by Canvas
• If the feature has been suggested to Canvas
• If there is an alternative application that can be integrated with Canvas that meets University Policies and can be supported.

Where the functionality is a possibility within Canvas, this will take precedence over 3rd party application integrations and API developments for the following reasons:

• We have the opportunity to provide input into the development of features & functions, to assist in continuously improving the learning & teaching experience within Canvas.
• Canvas has a high level of direct support available for both Students and Staff to contact 24/7/365 via multiple channels of support.
• It will avoid duplication of similar types of activities, providing a level of consistency and a better user experience for students.
• There are no current additional costs associated with using Canvas existing functionality or functionality that will be implemented into Canvas production.
• There will be less impact during Canvas Updates.

3. Canvas Requests


Additional requests may need to be made to Instructure to enable/implement functionality prior to the next stage if this is not yet available in Canvas. Examples include:

• Release of a new feature from Queen’s Customer Success Manager at Instructure.
• New development requests raised to Instructure. These requests are then voted on within the community & User Groups. To increase the visibility of the development requests, we will share this with the UK User Group and encourage you to get your peers and colleagues to vote on the request.

4. Impact Analysis


This stage will complete an analysis of the possible function/integration to understand if it:

• Enhances learning & teaching experience
• Meets accessibility standards
• Meets GDPR/Data Protection policies
• Meets University Security policies
• Can be supported
• Can be used across browsers/devices
• Supports Single Sign on
• Requires additional licenses (or other costs involved)
• Requires additional internal resources for developing/testing/implementing (where applicable).
• Can be integrated based on data sets/account setup/configuration of the external tool (Where third party application integrations have been requested)

This stage of the process will also seek guidance from the Digital Learning Solution Project Working Group. This group consists of representatives from the below areas:

• Faculty (AHSS, EPS, MHLS)
• Student
• Student Services & Systems
• Centre for Educational Development
• Information Services
• Library Services

5. Approval


The analysis will be presented to the Change Advisory Board where a decision will be made on how to proceed with the request.

6. Development


This stage identifies the development work completed by Canvas. Queen’s University Belfast will not undertake any development efforts within Canvas with the exception of any approved API developments by the Change Advisory Board. API developments are reserved for developments outside of Canvas.

7. Testing


In this stage, testing will take place in a non-production environment and a report will be produced identifying any issues/errors caused by the new feature. This is completed to ensure the feature functions as expected prior to implementation into production.

8. Acceptance


The Change Advisory Board will make a decision on whether to implement the feature in production based on the testing report and previous analysis.

9. Implementation


This stage will implement the feature into Canvas. Implementation into the live environment must first be accepted and approved by the Change Advisory Board.

10. Communication


Communication will depend on the feature request raised.

• If the feature is already available within Queen’s Canvas, then the user will be advised of the existing functionality and will receive documentation on how to use it.
• If the feature is newly implemented into Queen’s Canvas, then all affected users will receive communications via Canvas Updates.
• If the feature has not been approved for implementation, staff members who originally requested the feature will be informed of the reason for closure.

11. Resolution


At this final stage, requests are closed and archived.


What are the priority Canvas Improvements?

Canvas development priorities

The Canvas Community provides the opportunity to view, explore and contribute to the current development priorities for Canvas. Click here for further information.

HE UK User Group priority requests

The Canvas Higher Education UK User Group meet on a quarterly basis to discuss the Feature Requests relevant across Higher Education UK Institutions using Canvas. The Top 10 development priorities are listed below.

  Feature Request Status
1 Anon and moderated marking


This request is to make improvements to the Canvas Anonymous & Moderated Marking capabilities.

Anonymous Marking in Canvas provides the ability for assignments to be marked anonymously.

Moderated Marking in Canvas provides the ability to set a particular number of graders for the assignment and assign a Final grader to determine the Final Grade.

This Feature is currently in ongoing development with further releases to be available Early 2019

2 Post Policies (mute by default, selective muting)


The UK HE Usergroup would like the option to mute assignments by default so that all students receive grades and feedback at the same time.

Instructure are currently looking into how this could be achieved within Canvas. Once designs have been completed, these are typically shared to provide feedback.

3 Groups functionality


Requirements are currently being gathered from the UK Usergroup to understand the improvements requested to the Group functionality. Current requested requirements include:

  • Batch Upload to groups
  • Autocreate Groups from Sections
  • Customise teacher access to groups
  • group naming
  • Ability to customise tool options in Groups / Ability to hide/ turn off / reorder group menu items
  • Copy/import content
  • Copy group settings from one module to another
  • Notification when new content added by anyone
4 Download all feedback


This request is to provide the option to Download all feedback. Once designs have been completed, these are typically shared to provide feedback.

5 Sep release of feedback and grades


Queen’s Digital Learning Solutions Team are currently in contact with the UK User Group to understand what has been requested as part of this feature.

Once designs have been completed, these are typically shared to provide feedback.



The tool will be the new Canvas Quizzing tool in the future and will replace the current functionality. This quizzing tool will offer new functionality to Canvas such as ‘hotspot’ question types. This tool  however does not currently include a variety of questions available in the current Quizzing tool such as; surveys, multiple responses, drop down lists, likert scale, etc. Other current limitations include; cannot export, doesn’t work with student view, no accessibility checker, does not work with Respondus LockDown browser.

General Availability (GA) work completed. Due to current limitations in using this new feature, feedback has been provided to Instructure for development improvements. This feature will be re-assessed for release, once further development has occurred.

GA Complete
7 Restrict anon marking on/off permission


This request is part of the Anon & Moderated Marking feature. The UserGroup would like the ability to restrict the setting to turn on/off Anonymous Marking through a permission in Canvas. This permission can be set to particular user roles.

This is a new request and has not yet been explored further with Instructure.

8 Page renaming updates


Queen’s Digital Learning Solutions Team are currently in contact with the UK User Group to understand what has been requested as part of this feature.

This is a new request and has not yet been explored further with Instructure.

9 Content management - sections and dates


Queen’s Digital Learning Solutions Team are currently in contact with the UK User Group to understand what has been requested as part of this feature.

This is a new request and has not yet been explored further with Instructure.

10 Quickmarks


As part of the UK UserGroup, we would like the option to have the possibility of building a bank of feedback that can be used to insert regularly/commonly used feedback when marking assignments.

As part of the discovery phase, Instructure will gather requirements for the ‘Quickmarks’ feature.


Canvas Global Community Ideas

The Canvas Community has a range of ideas across Global Educational Institutions. Get involved by voting for your favourite ideas here.