Driving Efficiency and Enabling Deeper Insights with AI in Instructure Products


The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education is no longer a distant prospect – it's our present reality. At Instructure, we believe that this technology offers immense potential to revolutionize teaching and learning when it is implemented with thoughtful care and understanding. When used safely, generative AI has the potential to save educators time and engage students like never before, and we are working hard to embed intuitive AI flows into our platform and enable third-party tools that integrate with our ecosystem. To get started, we have focused on deeply understanding the needs of institutions and focusing first on the solutions that will help most.

Over the past school year, we've been working closely with our customers to ensure we implement AI in the most impactful, appropriate ways possible. Based on feedback from our user base, we're honing in on these key areas for AI applications:

  • Efficiency and time-saving: By using AI, educators can bypass tedious tasks and focus more on engaging directly with students. Shortcuts across search, discussions, course creation, and more will enable teachers to save valuable time and energy otherwise spent on repetitive tasks.
  • Educational efficacy: We see the potential for AI to make education more effective – by equipping educators and administrators with the insights they need to make more informed decisions, by personalizing learning experiences for students, and by making it possible to implement best practices that were previously too expensive, challenging, and time-consuming.
  • Edtech ecosystem: There is already a vast ecosystem of edtech tools applying AI in cutting-edge ways. We are working to support our partners using AI, expanding their capabilities with new LTI launch points and APIs, and ensuring transparency and safety.

We're excited about the responsible introduction of AI within Instructure products, where it can positively impact the teaching and learning happening there every day. I'm excited to share two new limited beta features in service of the above goals, with plans for a broader release in late 2024 through early 2025.

Feature Spotlight: Smart Search for Efficiency & Timesaving


Example of Canvas LMS Smart Search Feature


We've heard from educators and students alike that finding the content you're looking for in Canvas can be challenging – especially if you don't remember the exact keywords or phrases in the content you're trying to find. That's where Smart Search comes in – it taps into AI's ability to understand query context, thus providing more accurate and relevant search results. This feature facilitates faster content discovery for both teachers and students by finding content from course pages, discussion prompts, and assignments. Currently in limited beta for higher education institutions in North America, we plan to make this available more broadly in Canvas LMS later this year. Ask your Customer Success Manager if you'd like to join the beta. 

Feature Spotlight: Ask Your Data for Deeper Insights


Example of Canvas LMS Ask Your Data Feature


For many administrators, building reports and insights can be time-consuming, confusing, and challenging. Now, administrators can more easily make data-informed decisions with the new “Ask Your Data” feature, which allows them to query data using natural language and questions. Currently in limited beta with a small group of customers, this feature will be available as part of a new enhanced analytics solution that will be offered as an add-on to Canvas customers in the coming months.

As we continue this exciting chapter of the evolution of educational technology, we're dedicated to maintaining the trust our users have placed in us. We’ll continually be learning, iterating, and improving along the way, ensuring that our AI initiatives remain aligned with the needs of learners, educators, and institutions and continue to offer the same protections for student and institution data that our customers expect. In that spirit, we plan to evolve our AI marketplace to a more robust product library that includes the “nutrition facts” on any AI tool accessible via Canvas LMS.

The future of edtech is not just about technology—it's about deploying that technology ethically, responsibly, and strategically in ways that truly enhance the learning journey. We’re thrilled to play a part in shaping that future and can’t wait to continue doing sotogether with youthrough Canvas LMS and beyond.

Stay tuned for monthly AI updates from us leading up to some big reveals at InstructureCon 2024 in Las Vegas

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