TEXT ON SCREEN: Organising and embedding course Learning Materials into Canvas
[Voice over Nicky Callinan]
Learning materials can come in a variety of mediums, from your online Collaborate Ultra sessions/recordings, session notes and slides, to book and article readings, videos, podcasts, links to websites, micro-credentials, and downloadable documents.
In this video we’ll show you how to embed some of these learning materials into your Canvas course and how to validate the links so you can seamlessly roll your course into news shells.
VISUAL: Screencast of setting up a file structure in Canvas.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Organising course content and file structure
It’s important to have a good file structure within in Canvas to organise your learning materials. Especially if the course content is being duplicated to use in other shells and being shared with other teachers. This can turn into chaos very quickly causing content to disappear and links to break.
To get started we’ll look at setting up some folders in the file section on Canvas.
To create a new folder
click ‘Files’ and
click the folder button
Then give the folder a name.
It's really going to depend on your course as to what folders to include. But some folders you probably want to include are an images folder, a folder for student hand outs and a folder for video transcripts. If you have a particularly larger number of learning materials in your course, you might even want to organise these folders to match your module structure.
Don’t include files like Teacher guides or assessment guides. Even when these are unpublished, they can be accessed by students.
Now that the folders are set up you can start embedding content into your course.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Adding documents
To add a document, go to files. Select the folder for where you’d like to store the document in and select upload a new file. This will create a link where your cursor is on the Canvas pate.
You can also highlight a word first, then upload the document. The word will then become a link to download the document.
Don’t forget to provide instruction for the student around how they’re expected to interact with the document.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Link outs
If you need to create a link to an external website, first, copy the url for the page that you need to link to, then on your Canvas page highlight the text that will become the link, select this chain icon at the top and then paste the URL and select the insert link button.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Adding images
To embed an image into your Canvas page, select the image tab the far right and then select upload a new image.
Locate your image from your computer.
Give the image some alternative text. This is important for accessibility. Here you should provide a clear enough description so that the student understands what the image is showing if they’re unable to see it.
If the image is just for decoration, then just check decorative image and leave this blank. But for all images that are informative, do make sure to give it alternative text.
Then select the folder you wish to store it in.
This will then place the image on the Canvas page.
If you need to resize the image, the easiest way is to click the image, it will turn blue. You can then select and drag the corner and resize the image.
If you want to centre the image, select the image and then select this icon to align centre.
You may have noticed that there is also an icon here to embed an image. Don’t use as it can cause the links to break when you go to roll the course into a new shell. Just embed your images using this panel on the right-hand side.
VISUAL: Screencast demonstrating how to use the different tools within Canvas Studio
TEXT ON SCREEN: Video
There are a few ways to embed a video into Canvas. But the best way to do this is the use the Studio app within Canvas.
You can find this by clicking this V shaped icon and clicking studio. This will bring up the studio library.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Uploading a video
To upload a video select the add button. Then select the browse files button and locate the video file. This will be added to your library in Studio.
Then select the thumbnail
Uncheck allow comments
And select embed.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Embedding from Youtube
The easiest way to embed a Youtube video is to also do it through studio. Go to You tube and copy the url for the video that you’d like to embed. Then go back to Canvas, go to studio, select this add and copy and paste the URL here and select add. Then select the thumbnail and embed.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Creating a video from scratch
You can also record a video from scratch by selecting the record button.
If you want to do a screen capture, say you want to demonstrate how to use some software. Choose the screen capture option. If this is your first time using this, you might be prompted to download the application first. Once you’ve installed the software you will need close and reopen studio for it to work
Here you can choose if you just wish to record your screen, or web cam or both.
Here you can choose the recording size.
And here you can choose your audio settings.
To start recording, just select this record button in the bottom left hand corner. And to pause the recording, select this pause button.
When you’ve finished recording your session select done.
You will now be able to trim the clip. Give it a title and description and select upload.
If you want to edit it further, you can select edit. You will now have options to add background music, and it opens up more editing features here. We won’t go into those details in this video but you will find plenty of detailed tutorials on how to use these features at Canvas help pages.
Once you’re happy with the video, select upload and then wait a few moments for the video to publish.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Embedding audio
You can add audio the same as adding video by using Studio. In studio select add and then select browse files and locate your audio file. Once it’s uploaded into your library, select the thumbnail and then uncheck the allow comments option. Then select the embed button.
It’s also possible to embed audio from third party apps like Soundcloud. However, a lot of these applications don’t meet the accessibility requirements as they often don’t provide transcripts or closed captions.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Accessibility
When choosing content such as audio and video, you need to make sure that it meets accessibility requirements. RMIT requires a minimum standard of WCAG 2.1 Level AA for digital content. You can find more information about these requirements in the Digital Accessiblity Framework. You can find a link to this below. It’s also worth looking at the definitions and standards at www.w3.org.
Therefore, with any audio or video content you embed, you need to make sure there is either closed captions or a transcript available.
If you’ve created your own video and uploaded it into studio, you can generate closed captions within studio. To do this go to studio on the far left hand side menu
Select the video you wish to add captions to
Select ‘English’ in this dropdown menu
And select the request button
Wait a moment for the captions to be generated
The captions are about 80% accurate so you’ll need go through them, have a listen and fix up any errors.
You can create captions for just audio as well.
You need to be mindful about generating closed captions or transcripts for content that you haven’t created yourself as this can infringe on copyright.
If you’re unsure about any media content, and if it meets copyright and accessibility requirements, Library resources have dedicated teams that can check this for you. In fact, they can help source the right content and resources to fit your course. We highly recommend that you reach out to them for this. You can find a link for this below.
Once you’re done adding in all of your content, you’ll want to check that your links are working. To do this go to settings and select validate links in content. You might need to wait a few moments for this to work depending on how big your course is. Once it’s done, you’ll see a list of all of the links that need attention. I’ve just done this on a template so you can see that I’ve got a bit of work to do here! But got through each link to make sure it works and that everything is published.
It’s also a good idea to run through your course in student view at the end. To do this go to settings and select student view. Run through the pages and check that everything is still working as expected.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Contact us email@example.com
So that concludes our video on how to orgnaise and embed learning materials into Canvas. If you have any questions or wish to give us some feedback you can contact us at VEDT@rmit.edu.au
The following instructions will assist you to control the video player using the keyboard.
Starting and stopping the video
- Use the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination to navigate the video player controls.
- Navigate to the Play button using the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination.
- Press the Spacebar or Enter key to toggle between play and pause.
- Navigate to the closed captions button using the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination.
- Press the Spacebar or Enter key to open the closed captions menu.
- Navigate to the preferred close captions option using the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination.
- Press the Spacebar or Enter key to activate the close caption option.
- Navigate to the volume slider using the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination.
- Press the left or right arrow to decrease and increase the volume.
- Navigate to the full screen button using the Tab or Shift + Tab keyboard combination.
- Press the Spacebar or Enter key to toggle between full screen video and normal size.