Technology Center

Add Content to Your Course Site

Students will use your Canvas course site to access course information, like an up-to-date schedule of course activities and assignments, engage with instructional content, like readings, recorded lectures, or instructions for a group activity, and read course-related announcements and other communication. Content can be added through creating and editing Pages and uploading Files. Then, these Pages and Files can be added to the appropriate Modules, so that students understand the content’s context and intended order.

Upload Course Files

To upload your course files, like worksheets, graphic organizers, visual aids, readings, or activity instructions, you’ll use the Files content area, accessed from the left-hand course navigation menu. In order to easily link to these files in course Pages or add them to Modules, it’s best to add all course files first. You can add files to your course file folder structure at any time. 

From the Files area, you can upload files from your computer and organize them into folders. If you’re using Modules, it’s best practice to hide the Files list from your students. You’ll find instructions for hiding items from the course navigation menu in this page. 

Create Course Pages

Pages are web pages that display information (text, images, links, files, etc.) within the course site, and Pages can link to other Pages. When you create and edit a Page, you use a menu called the rich content editor to type and format text, add links to other Pages, downloadable documents, or external websites, and insert multimedia content like images and videos. For more information about creating content, read this Canvas instructor guide to using the rich content editor or email edhelp@uw.edu.

Embed Multimedia Content

You can add video and audio materials to any Canvas content area that is edited using the rich content content editor (like Pages, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes). Media can be uploaded or recorded, or linked from an external source, and all of these methods allow students to view or listen to content without leaving Canvas.

Provide a video or audio file download link

To add audio clips or video files that you have on your computer to your Canvas course site, you’ll follow the usual steps to upload files to your Canvas course filesAfter the file has been uploaded to course files, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Edit on the content area where you want to add the download link.
  2. Move your cursor to the spot in the rich content editor where you’d like the download link to appear.
  3. Click on the Files tab of the Content Pane.
  4. Select file you want to add to the rich content editor. A link will appear.
  5. Click “Save.” For video files, a thumbnail will appear below the download link.

Insert or embed an external video (from YouTube, Vimeo, Microsoft Stream, etc)

  1. Click on the “Insert/edit media” button in the rich content editor. 
  2. Copy the link to the video (from YouTube, Vimeo, Microsoft Stream, or some other video streaming platform).
  3. Paste the link into the “Source” field in the General tab.
  4. Edit the dimensions if you want the video frame to be larger or smaller.
  5. Click “Ok.”

Insert or embed a video file from your computer

  1. Click the “Media” button in the rich content editor.
  2. Click the “Upload Media” tab.
  3. Choose the “Select Video File” button.
  4. Select the video you want to upload and click the “Open” button.
  5. The status bar will show you the progress of your video upload. Once the progress bar is full this window will automatically close.
  6. Review the uploaded video and click “Save.”

Reach out to edhelp@uw.edu to learn more about incorporating multimedia content into your Canvas course.

Add your Syllabus Page

In Canvas, the Syllabus is a Page with a few special features, and students are able to easily access it via the left-hand course navigation menu.

Follow these steps to add your syllabus to the Syllabus page in your Canvas course site:

  1. Copy the content of your syllabus.
  2. In your Canvas course, in the left-hand navigation, click Syllabus.
  3. Click the Edit button, found on the upper right of the screen. This opens the rich content editor. 
  4. Paste your syllabus content, and then click Update Syllabus.

It’s also a great practice to include the download link to the digital copy of your syllabus document. Follow these steps: 

  1. In your Canvas course, in the left-hand navigation menu, click Syllabus.
  2. Click Edit Syllabus Description.
  3. In the right-hand Content Pane, click the Files tab.
  4. Click Upload a new file, and then browse for your syllabus file. 
  5. Click Upload. A link to the syllabus file will appear in the rich content editor.
  6. Situate the cursor in the place on the page where you want your syllabus link to appear.
  7. Select the syllabus file. The file title and link should now appear in the rich content editor.
  8. Below the rich content editor, click Update Syllabus.