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Related work

Canvas Collections seeks to address long-term limitations in Canvas. Limitations to which others have responded. Below is a small sample organised broadly along the features of Canvas Collections. The following table summarises the work. Click on the links to see more.

Features Description
Collections Group or filter a Canvas modules
Representations Modify the visual appearance of Canvas modules
Objects Add additional information about modules
Navigation Improve navigation within the contents of Canvas modules
Other Canvas work Other related work from within the Canvas community
Earlier work Earlier work from outside the Canvas community


Module compactor

The Module Organiser (aka Compactor) is a Chrome extension that offers various capabilities to better organise Canvas module. Some of these capabilities are similar to those offered by Canvas Collections, including:

  • Organising modules by Tabs (v0.9 of the Organiser) is similar to collections.
  • Tagging modules is one way of adding more (meta-)data to a module.

Filter modules

Module filters - blog post - JS (from another instructure employee) to filter items on Modules page. Has some discussion about adding this type of functionality. github. Doesn't appear to worry/handle dynamic loading of Module content


Work to modify the visual appearance of modules can be said to come in two flavours:

  • supported - software helps improve the representation.
  • manual - a person has to do the work.


Cards or tiles

Other modifications

  • Collapse all modules thread on instructure community around some code shared by an Instructure employee that helps manage collapse all modules
    • Canvas Modules Compactor - YouTube video showing a browser extension for collapsing individual modules based on indentation
  • Quick Module Navigation - JS to enable click on button (on home page) to go directly to appropriate module with other modules collapsed


This typically involves hand-crafting HTML and CSS - whilst working within the constraints of the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) - in a Canvas page.

Objects and meta-data

Not currently aware of anything that does this.

Module Navigation

Other Canvas Work

  • Canvas unpublish hack

    Small blog post outlining a bit of JS to solve an issue with Canvas. Useful as an example of promises etc.

  • Module Ids with JS

    Canvas community post that includes small JS code example using promises etc.

Earlier Work

  • Card Interface - direct inspiration for Collections. Javascript that modifies Blackboard Learn pages to add a card interface.
  • Blackboard Tweaks - in turn the inspiration for the Card Interface. Earlier work using Javascript to improve Blackboard Lean.

Academic Literature

Jones, D. (2019). Exploring knowledge reuse in design for digital learning: Tweaks, H5P, CASA and constructive templates. In Y. W. Chew, K. M. Chan, & A. Alphonso (Eds.), Personalised Learning. Diverse Goals. One Heart. ASCILITE 2019 (pp. 139–148).