Creating Course Content

Content can be added to Canvas in a number of ways. On this page, we'll cover how to:

As a work flow, eLearning recommends that if you have files that need to be uploaded into the course, that those files are uploaded first before creating the content pages. That way, the files will already be there and available to link into the content where needed.

Adding and Managing Files


There are three types of Files in Canvas:  

  • User Files located in your Canvas account (click Account beneath the Miami 'M' on the left).
  • Course Files located in your course (click Files from your course navigation).
  • Group Files for student group users only.

Here, we'll focus on the second type of Files - your course files. In Canvas, Files work in a similar way to computer folders.  You can organize the Files folder by modules, week, unit, and/or by functional categories, such as folders for readings and images.

For detailed instruction on how to move and organize files:

Edit Canvas Files

Add a New Folder

  1. Click Files on the left navigation.
  2. To add a new folder click on the +Folder in the upper right corner.
  3. Type the name of the folder in the Name box, then press Enter (Return).

Add a New File to a Folder

  1. Click Files on the left navigation.
  2. Find and open the folder where you want to upload the file.
  3. Click on Upload in the upper right corner of Files.
  4. Select the file (or zip file).
  5. Depending on the browser, click Select or Choose. If uploading a zipped folder, click Expand It, and the file will be added to and unzipped in the Course Files in Canvas.

Move a File to a Folder

  1. Click Files on the left navigation.
  2. Type the file name in the search box, then click the search icon or press Enter (Return).
  3. Drag the file from the section on the right to the appropriate folder on the left. Alternately, you can click the three option dots (the "vertical ellipsis") to the right of the folder/file name, size, etc. and select Move.

Rename a Folder or File

  1. Click Files on the left navigation.
  2. Find the folder or file you want to rename (you may have to click on a folder and open it to find your file).
  3. Click the three option dots to the right of the folder/file name and select Rename.

Creating Modules


After creating a course module, you can add items to that module in order to create what we call the module shell. It can be helpful to add all the items that belong in a certain module and then go through and fill in the content afterwards.

Create a Module

  1. Log into Canvas using your Miami unique ID and MUnet password.
  2. Click Modules on the left navigation. It may be grayed out, but you can still use it because your role type is Teacher.
  3. Click on +Modules in the upper right corner. Type a name for the Module.
  4. Click Add Module.

Add a Content Item to a Module

  1. Click Modules on the left navigation. It may be grayed out but you can still use it.
  2. Click on + to the right of the module title.
  3. Select a content type from the Add drop list to add a placeholder for your content.
  4. Click on New [this will change for each type].
  5. Type a name for the content placeholder. Click Add Item.
  6. Your content placeholder item will appear under the module. Click on the title of content placeholder name to open the item.
  7. Click Edit to open the Rich Text Editor. Add the text or other materials to your content placeholder by typing in the text (or by copying and pasting from a word processing document).

Creating Content Pages


Instead of linking to files, you can also put your content straight into a Canvas page. This is the best way to ensure accessibility as Canvas HTML pages are compatible with almost all screenreader technology.

If you are using modules, use the + sign to the right of the module titles to create your content page. If you create the content in the module, you save a step of having to link to it later.

If you are not using modules, create your content pages using Pages on the left navigation.

Here are directions for creating a new content page in Canvas.

Understanding Publishing

Be sure that if you want student to have access that you've check that the item is published at the course level, the module level, and the item itself is published.