Quick answers

Portrait images in Canvas

When you upload Portrait images to Canvas, are they presenting as Landscape?

The problem may be the EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) data within your file.  This is a standard for storing information in image files.  It controls information about the image in the image file itself, like how an image is supposed to be rotated.

Most new iPhones or Android cameras observe the EXIF standard but older digital cameras and phones may not.  If an image does not have the EXIF data and is opened in a web document, It may not display as intended.

There is an easy solution to resolve this issue.

Before uploading your image to Canvas, open it in Photoshop or your standard image preview software on your computer.  These programs will add the EXIF data to the file automatically so you will not have to rotate the image yourself.  Save the file from this program to your desktop. When you upload the file to Canvas, it should now present as a portrait image.

I have a crosslisted course, why is the content in the secondary course not updating?

If your course is crosslisted it means that one or more student cohorts have been enrolled in a single Canvas shell. You may also have access to the other Canvas shell but it will not update, the students do not appear listed in it and cannot see it. You don’t need to do anything further in that course shell.  Your student cohorts will appear in the active shell as different sections.

For more information about how to manage sections in your course, see Note: Using sections in Canvas

Why do I get a “Flash required for recording video” error message when I try to use the Record Video function?

Often if you’re using Chrome the Record Media comment tool will show a spinning circle with a note saying “Flash required for recording video”.

This usually means that Flash is not enabled for this Canvas site by default.
To fix this:

  1. To the left of the browser’s URL bar you’ll see a lock icon with Secure in green. Click this.
  2. Select Site Settings

  3. Next to the Flash icon, select Allow from the dropdown menu.

  4. Now refresh your browser view by clicking the Reload button presented, or the arrow next to the URL bar.

Can I give students individual feedback on a group assignment?

When you set up your assignment you can select to Assign grades to each student individually, and thus give students individual grades and feedback. Or, if this is not selected, you can still provide individual feedback on a group submission by going to Grades, clicking the cell with the student’s score for the assignment, and then clicking the comment icon in the right corner of the cell.

Comments in Gradebook

How do students submit group assignments?

In the student view, group assignments are identical to other assignments. Like with other assignments, a Submit Assignment button will be visible when the assignment is available. However, after one member of the group submits something, the button will display Re-submit Assignment.

When students submit or re-submit files to a group assignment, a read-only copy of the file is saved to their Group area in Files > Submissions.

How do I adjust a table width in the Syllabus page?

Go to the page that contains the table you wish to adjust.

  • Click Edit
  • Click once on the table border to select it

    (click for a larger view)
  • Click the table icon in the menu bar

    (click for a larger view)
  • Select Table Properties
  • In the Width field remove any numbers and replace with 100% (including the percentage sign)
  • In the Height field remove any numbers and leave blank

    (click for a larger view)
  • Click OK
  • Click Update Syllabus

How to we deal with duplicate names (different students with the same name) when assigning students to groups?

Canvas can’t display students by their student ID number but you can use the group set-up page search field to search by their ID number.

How do I see the whole student name on the assigned students group set-up list? 

If you’re working on a small screen (laptop), part of the student’s name might be obscured. To expand the buttons, you can minimise the course menu by clicking the hamburger menu icon next to the breadcrumbs.

hamburger icon

When in a student group, can students see a teacher’s email address? 


Staff view

Student view


Can I post to Twitter from Canvas?

No, you can’t.   As an instructor, you will only be able to connect your Twitter account to your Canvas shell.  Students will be able to see your tweets as you post them.  For more information on connecting your Twitter account to your Canvas account, click here.

How do I communicate with individual groups in Canvas?

You can use the Conversations (Inbox) function to communicate with the individual groups in your course.  When composing a message, click on the arrow next to Select course, and then select the group from the list.  To learn more about conversations, refer to How to: Use conversations in Canvas.

Can I import a question bank?

Yes, you can import a question bank into Canvas, however, there is a caveat.   You can only import questions from programs that create QTI files. QTI defines a standard format for the representation of assessment, content, and results.  This means that the questions to be imported must be contained in a QTI Package.

Is there a web-conferencing tool?

Yes, there are two.

You can use either Collaborate Ultra, or BigBlueButton which is listed in the course navigation as Conferences. BigBlueButton has a simpler interface and is easy to get around, but the recordings are only kept for two weeks. It’s a good option for online consultation times or any other quick web conferencing experience that doesn’t need to be recorded or kept. If you need to retain the recordings, best to use Collaborate Ultra.

To learn more about Collaborate Ultra read Collaboration and Canvas: Blackboard Collaborate: Ultra experience

To learn how to set up a conference, visit How to: use Conferences in Canvas.

Can I delete multiple files?

Yes, you can.

Go to Files in the course menu.

To select the files you would like to delete, roll the cursor over the left hand side of the file icon until the line is highlighted blue, but the cursor remains an arrow. Click and a blue bar should appear next to the selected file. To select multiple files in a row hold down the shift key and repeat the action for the last file in your selection. To select multiple files that are not in a row, hold down the Ctrl key (PC) or the Cmd key (Mac) and select every file you wish to delete. When you’re done there should be a red bar next to every file you wish to delete. Scroll to the top of the screen and select the delete button.

How can I bulk delete files?

In the files area use one of the following methods:

  • Multiple files – Ctrl click to select multiple files, then click delete
  • Multiple sequential files – Shift click top file then bottom file, then click delete
  • All in a folder – Click one file then Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on Mac)

Bulk deleting options within Files?

Adding a link to a Youtube video

If you want to add a link to a Youtube video without generating a thumbnail video:

  1. Click the YouTube icon in the text editor
  2. Search for the desired video
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Embed button.
  4. Select Return Link
  5. Highlight link and select the link icon in the text editor
  6. Select the Disable Inline Previews for this Link box
  7. Click update link.

Can I import templates into my course?

Yes, you can. Canvas provides to all users access to Canvas Commons, a repository of learning objects that can be imported into any course shell. To learn more about Canvas Commons read our How to: Using Canvas Commons post.

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