Strategies for delivering your course materials in Canvas

Filed in Canvas, didyouknow, HowTo by on September 16, 2016

When moving to a new system, there’s always going to be a few things that don’t quite match up one-to-one with the way they worked before.  One example in Canvas is Modules.  Our myWPI system had a structured folder system where you could have folders within folders within folders, but unfortunately in Canvas- this is not easily replicated.

A common question the TTL team has been getting this term is “How do I set up sub-modules in Canvas?” The short answer is- you can’t.  But we’ve got a solution!  Below I’ve provided one easy way to make access to the myriad of PDFs, PPTs, and web links that you provide for your students easy for you to deploy- and easy for your students to find.

Create Pages to add to your Modules

canvas page screen shot

One way to display your files for students is by creating a Page within Canvas and linking directly to the files that you’ve uploaded. (How do I create a Page?) (How do I upload files?)

Once the Page has been created, simply add it to the corresponding Module. (How do I add a Page to a Module?)

The benefit of this is that it keeps your Modules page short. Instead of adding individual files and links to your Modules, the student sees one page listed that contains many materials.  This is similar to creating an “Item” in myWPI and attaching several file uploads to it.

Another benefit is utilizing Canvas’ “Preview” tool.  Students can preview your documents directly in the web browser without having to download the file to their computer.

Lastly, you can link to ANYTHING in a Page- not just files and web links.  Do you have an Assignment that you want to remind your students about? Or a Quiz that is due later on? Or want to remind them to participate in this week’s discussion?  You can do that. (How do I use the Content Selector?)

Please note:  If you make an update to any of the linked files and need to re-upload, make sure they retain the same filename and extension, or else you will need to re-attach the file to the page.  Canvas identifies files by the filename and extension, the file on the page will no longer be accessible if you change them.

As always, any questions- feel free to reach out to the TTL team anytime at 

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