Canvas Commons Resources

Canvas Commons is live!

Do you have a Canvas role of Teacher, Teaching Assistant or Course Designer? Join us for Faculty Fridays to learn about Canvas Commons, a new tool that will enable faculty to share learning resources with other users at BGSU and to import learning resources shared to Canvas Commons from hundreds of other institutions.

Instructional Videos

An Introduction to Canvas Commons (3:25)

Frequently Asked Questions

Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. A digital library full of educational content, Commons allows Canvas users to share learning resources with other users as well as import learning resources into a Canvas course.

The first point of contact is the TSC help desk at 419-372-0999. For in person assistance, contact the Instructional Designers at the CFE or the faculty librarians at University Libraries as listed below:

Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE)
103 Olscamp Hall

University Libraries
Library Teaching & Learning Department

152 Jerome Library
Eileen Bosch / 372-7903
Vera Lux / 372-7897

The Canvas Commons link is located in the global navigation menu on the left side in Canvas (View the guide, How do I use Commons) . You must have a Teacher, Teaching Assistant or Course Designer role in at least one Canvas course at BGSU in order to access Canvas Commons.



You can share a variety of content to Canvas Commons including the following: courses, modules, assignments, quizzes, discussions, pages documents, videos, audio, and images.

Content must first reside in an existing Canvas course shell in order to share it to Canvas Commons.

  • Open the course you wish to share.
  • In course navigation, click the Settings link.
  • In the sidebar, click the Share to Commons button.
  • Select a sharing option.
  • Select your content license from the Copyright and License drop-down menu.
  • Enter resource metadata and add an image thumbnail.
  • Select the appropriate grade level(s).
  • When you are done, click the Share button.

NOTE: When sharing an entire course, we recommend that you add a Credit and Attribution page to your module and make it visible. This reminds users of the terms of use and licensing conditions of your work.

  • Open the course that contains the item/learning object you wish to share.
  • In course navigation, click the feature area where your resource is located (e.g. assignments, files, pages, modules, etc.)
  • Locate the resource you’d like to share within the feature area page, click the Settings icon, then click the Share to Commons link.
  • Select a sharing option.
  • Select your content license from the Copyright and License drop-down menu.
  • Enter resource metadata and add an image thumbnail.
  • Select the appropriate grade level(s).
  • When you are done, click the Share button.

Yes. A module can contain multiple learning objects including Canvas pages where you can embed videos or text content, files, assignments, quizzes, etc. Resource authors should provide as much descriptive information about the contents of the module when filling out the Canvas Commons metadata page to ensure discoverability by others searching through Canvas Commons.

Yes, you can share a quiz, but we highly recommend that you DO NOT update an imported quiz during the semester. This may cause issues for anyone who has downloaded the quiz from Commons into their course.

Use the search engine to identify relevant content. You can search by grade level, resource type, institution, and keyword. Click the name of the resource you wish to use then follow these steps:

  • Click Import into Course
  • Select your course where you want to import the resource.
  • If you imported a resource other than a course, navigate to the feature area (e.g. modules, assignments, quizzes, etc.) to view the item.

When an update is available, it will appear in the updates page, in the notifications center, and in the resource detail page. Updates will only be available for items directly imported from Canvas Commons. They will not be available for Canvas Commons content downloaded as files and then imported or Commons content that has been imported previously and then copied. For example, if you import a module into one course and then copy that module to your other courses, you would only receive an update for the first course.

You can re-share modified content to Canvas Commons. The existing content in Commons will be updated when you modify a resource in Canvas that was previously shared to Commons. (View the guide, How do I update a resource I previously shared to Commons).

No, there is currently no way to link to a material within Canvas Commons.  However, Canvas Commons offers robust searching. Using detailed and consistent descriptions and tags will help users find your Canvas Commons material. Using BGSU as a search term will return BGSU created materials in the Commons.

Yes and no. Yes you can preview images, audio files, video files, and documents that are shared in Canvas Commons by clicking on the name of the item you would like to view. The image, audio file, video file, or document will appear in the middle of the screen.

Unfortunately, you cannot preview whole courses or modules within Canvas Commons. Instead you will need to import it into an existing Canvas course.

Commons does not currently provide any method of reporting on content imports. Users can leave feedback and ratings of content on your resource description page.

The standard Canvas import quota limit is 500 MB.

Not all files supported in Canvas Commons are supported in Canvas.

Supported Document Type

  •  .doc
  • .docx
  •  .ppt
  • .pptx
  • .pdf
  • .xls
  •  .xlsx
  • .rtf
  •  .txt
  • .odt
  •  .odp
  •  .ods

Supported Image Types

  •  .jpg
  •  .png
  • .gif
  •  .svg – not supported in Canvas

Supported Video Types

  • .asf – Windows Media
  • .mov – Apple Quicktime
  • .mpg – Digital Video Format
  •  .avi – Digital Video Format
  • .m4v – Digital Video Format
  • .wmv – Windows Media
  • .mp4 – Digital Video Format
  •  .3gp – Multimedia Mobile Format
  • .flv – Flash Video

Supported Audio Types

  •  .mp3
  • .wav – not supported in Canvas
  • .mp4 – not supported in Canvas
  • .aac – not supported in Canvas
  • .aif – not supported in Canvas
  • .ogg – not supported in Canvas
  • .webm – not supported in Canvas


This is entirely up to you. When you share material, you will have the option to share the following ways:

  • All of BGSU
  • Select group (if you choose to set one up-see the following question for an explanation of groups)
  • Public (any Canvas Commons user)

NOTE: Canvas Commons is available to all BGSU Canvas users who have one of the following roles in a Canvas course site: Teacher, Teaching Assistant, or Course Designer. Students cannot access or see the contents of Canvas Commons.

You can limit access by managing a group in Canvas Commons. Canvas Commons users can request the creation of a group by submitting a request on the Request Commons Group page.

After creating the group you can choose to share your resource with that group. See the Canvas Commons Guide for more details on groups.

Note: We recommend that you set up a Canvas course as a development shell if you plan on regularly sharing content to Canvas Commons or if you have multiple people contributing content in your area. This will help a program/department manage shareable content from a central location. For example, the Librarians have set up a Canvas course specifically for the content and modules they plan to share in Canvas Commons. This way they can keep track of the source content, make necessary changes and reshare the updates to Canvas Commons. To request a development shell, use the form on the Request Course Template page.

This is a great way to access and contribute to an Open Educational Resource repository. The content in this repository may also be used as alternatives to textbooks. Also, any time an author makes a change to the original resource that is shared to Canvas Commons, an email notification is sent to anyone who has imported the shared resource.

The Web Accessibility Guidelines page contains information to help you create accessible materials to share within Canvas Commons and your courses.

Still have questions? Consult the Canvas Commons Guide or contact one of the CFE or Library Faculty members listed in "Where can I go for help with Canvas Commons" above.

Visit the Canvas Commons Community to stay informed on recent updates, release notes, and more.