Part 8: Fall 2018 Labs

147 File Organization in Canvas – 12.07.2018

In the December 7, 2018 Active Teaching Lab, participants shared tips for file organization in Canvas to keep the Canvas space from becoming a digital junk drawer. Attendees discussed pitfalls to avoid as well as approaches that have worked well for instructors and students alike given only 1GB and a limited file structure. 


  • Canvas courses have a 1GB storage limit, so organizational tricks are important. Embed documents to streamline access, organization, and updating of your course. Learn more about the Canvas file storage quota in this KB document.
  • Iframes enable embedding of Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Folders, but always check sharing permissions (can students view, comment, or edit?) before pushing Google Docs/Slides/Sheets/Folders out to students. To easily embed Google Folders and Docs into your Canvas course, try this easy Google Drive Resource Embedder
  • The Canvas Redirect tool is useful to personalize left-hand navigation tabs, but be aware of its limitations (i.e. try it first) on mobile devices and in pushing out Canvas blueprint courses.
  • Help students focus on course objectives by minimizing the cognitive effort of locating materials and instructions. Reduce visual clutter by hiding unused Navigation bar options. For each class, use a single page that includes directions, embedded materials, and a summary of what they should have learned.

For more ideas on organizing files within Canvas and embedding how-tos, visit the session’s activity sheet.


Part 1

Part 2 (continuation after Part 1 audio loss)

The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm (room 302) and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am (room 120) in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.) during fall 2018. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

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Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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