Adding Canvas Studio Video to a Module

Filed in Announcements by on May 17, 2019

Once you’ve uploaded video to Canvas Studio, you will want to share it with your students.

Videos are shared individually, in modules. This blog post will show you how to add an Arc video into a module.

  1. Add a module item. Find the module to which you want to add your video and click the plus button.


2. Choose Module Item Type.

Clicking the plus button brings up a window that is basically asking you to determine what kind of module item you want to add. The kind of module item is External tool.

3. Choose the External Tool.

As soon as you click the external tool item type, your external tool options appear. Choose Studio. Then click Add Item.

4. Choose the video.

The next pop up shows you all the videos you’ve uploaded to your Canvas Studio collection.

Select one.

5. Embed the Video.

Once you select the video you want, you’ll be able to Embed the video by clicking the Embed button on the bottom right.


You’ll notice the embed options. You can either keep the comments enabled them or disable them with the Allow Comments toggle switch.

6. Confirm Add Item.

Now that you’ve selected the kind of external tool item and picked your video, click Add Item again. This moves the video into your module as an item.

But wait – there’s more. It moves it into your module with the name of the External Tool type. You’ll want to edit that module item and give it a new name – the name of your video.

7. Rename the Module Item. 

Click the column of three dots and choose edit.


Here, you can input a new name for the video. Click update.


8. Publish!

Lastly, don’t forget to publish the video by clicking the circle to the right with the line through it and making it green!

If you have any questions about sharing your video using Canvas Studio, feel free to email

Canvas Studio: Recording and Sharing

Filed in Announcements by on April 26, 2019

Interested in recording instructional video for your students? Canvas has a built in tool for doing just that. It’s called Studio.

If you click on the Studio button on the left hand menu of your course site, you’ll be taken to the Studio “home”.


Here is where your Canvas Studio videos will live and from which you can create and add new ones. The top right has the Record, Add and Search buttons, which are self-explanatory.  Record opens up the recording application and add opens up an upload window into which you can drop video files.


Canvas Studio is useful for creating screen captures (videos of you narrating a powerpoint, for example). It also has a drawing feature, in case you need to write equations while you talk.

When you’re done, choose to upload or cancel the recording. Once uploaded, you can share these videos out to students via modules or pages. Videos aren’t available in clusters, like they are in other applications. Videos have to be shared individually as you build modules or pages.

To share a Studio video via a module, first click on Modules on the left side menu in Canvas. Then you can add a module item. The type of module item you want is External Tool.

Once associated with a module or page, you can see who has watched the video and when. These heatmaps give you interesting information about your video and the viewing patterns it generated.

If you have any questions about using Canvas Studio to create videos for your course, please email

Below are some helpful links to get you started.

Creating new videos

How to Upload Videos

How to record new webcam video

How to record new screen capture video

How to edit your videos

How to add captions

Sharing and embedding in Canvas

How to get public link or share video

How to use Studio through Rich Content Editor

How to embed Studio video in Canvas

Using Canvas to collaborate, create and grade Assignments

How to add video comments or replies

How to manage video comments in Canvas

How to add an Studio video assignment in Canvas

How to grade Studio video assignments

For Students

How to submit an Studio video as a Text Entry assignment

How to submit an Studio video as a File Upload assignment

Video Sharing: From Powerpoint to Canvas

Filed in Announcements by on April 8, 2019

Since narrating Powerpoint files is a common way to create videos for courses, this blog post will illustrate two workflows for how to do this and then share with your students.

The Production Stage: Powerpoint

The first step is to create your slide presentation in Powerpoint.

Then, when you’re ready to record, click on “slide show” and then “record slide show”. If you are creating the video for the first time, select the option to record from the beginning.

Powerpoint will give you a three second countdown and then you may begin narrating your presentation. On the top left you’ll see the recording controls, and at the bottom you’ll see tools like the pen and highlighter. Your markings will be recorded.

You’ll see I underlined the word “video” – which was the best I could do since my circles are rather squiggly.

One you’re done, click on the stop button.

If you need to re-record over a certain slide but don’t want to re-record the entire presentation, you can choose to record from the current slide. This will replace the audio that currently is stored there with new audio.

Now that you’ve recorded your slide show presentation, save it.  Next, we’ll prep it for sharing by exporting it as a video.

The Sharing Stage

To create a video file from your recorded narration, go to the file menu and choose Export. Then choose “Create a Video”.

This creates a video file. Now, you have three choices. You can upload the video file to Echo360, to Canvas Studio, or to Ensemble.  From any one of these video platforms, your video can be connected to Canvas.

I’m going to go through the steps for sharing the video via Echo360 and then also for Canvas Studio. Why choose one over the other? Well, you might choose to use Echo360 as your video liaison if you use WPI’s lecture capturing service, or if you already are an Echo360 user. Or, you might choose Canvas Studio if you want a system that integrates easily with Canvas and allows for comments and questions.

Sharing with Echo360

Here are the steps for sharing your file with students using Echo360. Remember, these are for videos that you’ve produced through Powerpoint or some other production system.

First, login to Canvas. Navigate to your course. Now, click on Echo360 on the left menu.

From here, click on the Echo360 logo on the top left.

This brings you to your Echo360 “home” page. From here, you can upload the video.


But wait – there’s more! This uploads the video to your Echo360 library. That’s great – but it doesn’t mean that the students can see it. To enable the students to see it, you must remember your rules of kindergarten and SHARE it with them.

Once the video has finished processing in Echo360, click on All Content on the left side menu. This will show you thumbnails of all the videos of which you are the owner. Hover over the video you want to share and then click the blue box on the bottom right of the thumbnail.

This releases a drop-down menu. Choose share. When you click on share, you’ll see options to share to an individual, generate links or share with a class.



To create a link that you can post as an External URL content item in a module in Canvas, choose links.


And that, in a nutshell, is the Powerpoint to Canvas pipeline via Echo360.

Sharing with Canvas Studio

To share your video through Canvas Studio, first click on the Canvas Studio button on your Canvas site.



This brings you into your repository for all the videos you have already created or added to Canvas Studio, which is a video content management/creation system embedded in Canvas. Here, you’ll see the ability to add a  video.


Once the video is uploaded to your Studio repository, you can insert it into a module by following these steps.

In the modules section, add an External Tool item into a module. You’ll see the option to add an Studio item.

Click Add Item. A window opens showing you your Studio video collection. From here, select the video you want. Decide if you want students to be able to leave comments at specific points in the video. And then click Embed.


And that is how you move video from Powerpoint to Canvas via Arc!

I hope this blog post has been helpful in teaching you how to create a video from your Powerpoint slide presentation, convert it into a video, and share it with your students.

If you have any questions, or ideas for a future blog post, please email




Your Echo360 Library has a New Look

Filed in Announcements by on January 24, 2019

If you use Echo360 to capture your lectures either from a classroom or from your own computer then you might be familiar with your “personal library” on Echo360. This is a place in the Echo360 “cloud” where all of the videos that you own can be found.

You might even go into the Echo360 personal library from time to time to pick out one of the videos you’re produced in the past and re-deploy it to a current course. You can also upload videos directly to this space.

But now if you attempt to access your Echo360 library through the Canvas integration, you might be somewhat disoriented. Why? The design has changed – slightly.

First, if you access Echo360 through the left side menu in your Canvas course, it looks like the below. You still see a list of your class videos.


But to get to your library of videos, now you need to click on the Echo360 logo on the top left (pardon the bumpy circle please) as shown in the image above.

Clicking on the logo gets you to your library, which looks like this:


So now you see a thumbnail for all your video content that you’ve accumulated over the years. You can filter this content according to the options on the left. You can also sort it by date and title.

You’ll notice if you click the small blue box on the lower right side, with the three dots, a drop down menu appears. Here, you can do things like share the video to a class or change the name of the video. Explore. But just don’t press delete!

The view option is where you can publish the video to any class for which you are the registered instructor.

You can also create a link that is viewable by the public by clicking on Sharing instead of Publishing.

Don’t forget the upload button! If you create a video file and want to upload it directly to the Echo360 system yourself, you can do so with the blue upload button on the top left.

Then you can share that video accordingly.

So, yes, change is good, change is weird, but in this case it’s mostly good and it makes sense. You can organize you content better with this new design while keeping all of the functionality of the Echo360 personal library that you’re used to.

If you have any questions about Echo360 or lecture capturing in general at WPI, feel free to email me at




Downloading the Latest PCAP

Filed in Announcements by on January 9, 2019

At this time of year, many people express interest in recording short videos for their courses. Sometimes they already know how to use Echo360 personal capture (aka PCAP) and sometimes they’ve never used it before. Whatever the situation, the first step for everyone is to download the latest version of the software, if they don’t already have it. This post will cover how to do that.

To begin, go to your Canvas course site.

Click on the Echo360 button on the left side (mine has two – yours will have one).

Now, you’re in the Echo360 platform, within Canvas. It’s kind of like a room inside a room.

At this point, you should see an Echo360 menu ribbon with a gear wheel on the right. When you click on it, a dropdown menu is released. Choose downloads.


Voila! Here were have installers for Universal Capture: Personal and Personal Capture. What is Universal Capture? It’s the replacement for Personal Capture. has tested it on a Mac and found it reliable. But the windows version is still in beta. That’s why EdMedia still recommends Personal Capture (PCAP) to everyone first. When it’s time to go to Universal Capture, we’ll let you know.

So for now, just choose the flavor of PCAP you want, Windows or Mac, and install.

Happy Capturing! As always, if you have any questions about the topic of this blog, or about educational media in general, email



Your Personal Library

Filed in Announcements by on December 14, 2018

Haven’t you always wanted a grand English country house with a dedicated library? Well, now you’ve got one! A dedicated library, I mean. The dedicated library I’m referring to is your personal library on Echo360.

The personal library on Echo360 is a repository for all the videos “owned” by you. This includes lecture captures recorded in a classroom, your personal capture recordings, or any other video file you may have uploaded to the system. All users of Echo360 have their own library and since Echo360 is licensed for the community, if you are in instructor, student or administrator,  you too can have your own library.

The library shows a thumbnail of each video along with the title and date of creation in a grid fashion. You can search the library through referencing the video’s title or by using one of the filters.


But the beauty of the library is what you can do with the videos after you’ve found the one you want. You can share it. By clicking on the chevron on the top right of the thumbnail, you can access options.


If you choose share, you can share it with a course.

The form allows you to choose which of your courses you want to share it with. After you’ve picked that, tell it you want this video to constitute a new “class”. (Echo360 basically thinks of videos as classes.) Give the “class” (aka your video) a name, then you can ignore the start date/time/duration if you just want the video to be available now.


Clicking “publish” at the bottom of this form (not pictured) makes it available in your course site.

Sharing is just one of the fun things you can do in your personal library. You can also download, edit and rename your videos. But stay tuned! In early 2019 the personal library is getting a makeover.

My favorite aspect of this make-over is increased searchability of your videos. (Hey – some of us have a ton of videos in there!) Soon, finding the video you need will be even easier.

If you would like to learn more about your personal library, please come to the Educational Media Community of Practice meeting on December 18th at 10am in the campus center. As always, if you have any questions please let us know by emailing Happy Capturing!

Engaging Viewers During a Live Stream

Filed in Announcements by on August 24, 2018

WPI had more than 6500 lectures recorded over the past year, at least 3600 of which streamed live.

Live streaming is one way to share your classroom lectures with students who may be remote. This is particularly helpful for online instructors whose students may be all over the world. It also helps instructors whose students are at home, watching the lecture in their pajamas. 

In today’s world, it’s not enough to simply deliver lecture content: best practices call for engagement. One way to make this happen is through the Q/A tool in Echo360.

Echo360 is the lecture capture system in use at WPI. It’s deployed in multiple classrooms on campus and can be used as a media creation tool from instructor’s personal computers. But live streaming only happens from classrooms at WPI.

To access a live stream, students log in to their Canvas site. They click on the Echo360 button on the left-side menu and then navigate to the day’s class. A class that’s streaming live will be designated by a green “LIVE” button, as shown below.

Once a student has joined the stream, they can access the Q/A tool on the top of the player window. It looks like a thought bubble with a plus sign.


Adjunct Teaching Professor Christopher Wood, of Fire Protection Engineering, has been utilizing the Q/A tool for several years. Wood teaches both online and face to face sections of courses.

“I don’t generally have a lot of students physically in class, so I look to get ‘live’ feedback about my teaching with regards to whether I’m successfully communicating my intended message,” he wrote in an email interview. “Having the online students comment or ask questions helps get that live feedback so I can address it while I’m still capturing the class.”

Wood started to use question/answer interaction tools while streaming in order to build more community. The Q/A tool in Echo360 compliments the way he uses the discussion board in Canvas.

“I think it’s very easy for online students to feel isolated and I want to break that down as much as possible,” he wrote.


To use the tool, professors and students can click on the bubble + icon, as shown in the picture above. A text entry window opens on the right of the video stream.

Live participation, in radio or tv, typically involves a screener who decides whether a question or comment is fit to go out live. While the Q/A tool has no such function, Wood has never had any problems with inappropriate questions or answers.

According to Wood, if a student were to post something inappropriate he would simply shut off the projector in the room, thereby disabling the visual part of the stream.

“I don’t think this is too much of an issue,” he wrote. “but again, I’ve never had the problem and wouldn’t avoid doing this (Q/A  tool) just because of that minimal risk.”

For more information about using the Q/A tool during your live stream, email

The Art of the Chunk

Filed in Announcements by on July 31, 2018

When recording an educational video, many of us know how to click the start button better than we know how to click stop. But WPI’s instructional designer Caitlin Keller is here to offer guidance on this issue.

“As the average person can only hold 4 – 7 bits of knowledge in working memory at a given time, it is important to break new material down into chunks that are digestible,” she notes.

Beth Wilson, Adjunct Teaching Professor for WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education, says she tries to keep her videos under the 10 minute mark.

“I have to really convince myself that the material can’t be condensed or partitioned to run over,” she says.

Wilson, who teaches Computer Science and Systems Engineering, creates an average of 4 videos per module for each course. “I could read an hour course overview, but I think the sections help the students digest the pieces better,” she says.

Keller agrees. “The act of chunking video is a great step in helping students stay focused on specific content,” she says.

Brent French, Director of Finance and Operations and Adjunct Teaching Professor at the Foisie Business School, says that for him, 20 minutes is a “sweet spot.”

“Over the past six years I’ve taught (about) 35 sections of graduate students with professional experience, and 20 minutes of presentation seems to coincide with what they are used to in a workplace setting.  For undergraduates who are accustomed to longer lectures, 20 minutes might be too short, but for working professionals 20 minutes fits.”

One trick that helps keep videos to a digestible duration is writing a script. In her Online Faculty Institute, Keller advocates for script writing as a part of pre-production planning for curricular content that is delivered via video.

Wilson, a former student of Keller’s, found this technique particularly helpful. Wilson was initially interested in this technique as a way to make her videos hearing accessible. Students could download the script if they could not listen to the audio.

But in addition to accessibility, Wilson found that creating a script helped her stay on track. “When I write a script, I am less likely to detour on a story that is fascinating but irrelevant,” she states.

In 2014, researchers at MIT analyzed data from 2.5 million EdX video viewing sessions. The analysis showed that students were the most engaged with videos of 2.5 minutes in duration. At WPI, educational videos range from about two minutes to three hours, with the instructional design and technology team encouraging the shorter end of the range.

But length is not the ultimate determinant of a video’s efficacy.

“I judge the quality of my videos by how well the students do on the related assessment,” writes Wilson. French echoes that thought. “If they watch videos it’s apparent in their work on papers and exams,” he states.

For information on how to create and share educational videos at WPI, feel free to contact or call 508-831-5220.

Echo360 – WYSIWYG

Filed in Announcements by on November 9, 2017

Many of you are familiar with the old processes involved in sharing your videos. I wrote about them here. But things have changed. Now the process for getting your videos into Canvas modules is easier, thanks to the new Echo360 WYSIWYG button.

When you create a new page, you can see the WYSIWYG button. It looks like this.



This new feature enables you to share a video within a content page without going anywhere else to create a public link or grab embed code.

So now, if you want to include video in a content page you’re making, you just click on the WYSIWYG button and from there you can browse through the videos you’ve created on Echo360’s cloud platform. These are all the videos for which you’re considered the “owner”.


Choose one, and decide how you’re going to share it: your choices are embed code or link.


Here’s what your content page looks like with the video embedded at a 640×360 size. The name of this module, as you can see, is Echo360 WSYIWYG. Why is that? Because I always mess up the S and the Y when I’m typing this acronym.


And here’s the content page with the video link. The video is called Sophie Test Video.


There are some finer details which this post doesn’t get into – like a toggle for requiring people to authenticate (type in their user name and credential) and autoplay. You can also set the video to start at a time other than the beginning. You don’t really need the authentication option. Students are already authenticated by the time they get to your course site in Canvas.

I hope this whirlwind tour of the Echo360 WYSIWYG editor was helpful! As always, if you have any questions, please email


Helpful Resources for Educational Media at WPI

Filed in Announcements by on August 29, 2017

Greetings, Educational Video Producers at WPI!

Here is a list of blog pages and a wiki site that might help you in your media production endeavors.

Viewing and downloading videos in Canvas

Viewing + downloading Echo360 videos in Canvas

Lecture Capturing – Getting Started

Choosing how to display your videos in Canvas

Wiki for Educational Media workflows in Echo360, PCAP and Ensemble

At WPI we primarily use Echo360 and Ensemble to create and share videos, although other options are available. Feel free to email to ask any questions or make suggestions.