Add a File or a Page

A little more about page editing:

Add a File


Now that we have the large-scale structure of the course correct, let's add some content.  Click on Start Here: Course Orientation to get to the Module view and find the course orientation and resources Module.  We want to add a syllabus right here. We'll start by adding a syllabus file. I'm going to click this thing to publish, make visible, the course orientation and resources Module. 

And then I'm going to click this plus sign. The plus sign lets us add an item to this Module. I'm not trying to add an assignment. I'm trying to add, not a quiz, there it is. I'm trying to add a file. I'm trying to add a brand new file. It asks me what is the file. It asks me where to find the file. If I click browse, the file that I need is here in the Downloads folder.  And there it is. There's the syllabus that I want to add to the course. And I click open and I click Add. Just that simply it adds the syllabus file to this Module. It's visible and when I say visible what I mean is it's published and visible to students.

Let's click it and see what a student would see If you click it, it will show the name of the file and, this is a very nice feature of Canvas, it will display this document directly inside of Canvas. Your students do not  need to click this file to download it and then open in Word, a laborious process. Instead Canvas will display it directly.

When we added that file to the Module note that also it gets added to the list of files that are in this course. Here in the course navigation if I click files I will see that inside this course now there is the syllabus for accessibility 1 a file. A document. A Word document. So the Module is a way to organize weeks but when you add a file to a Module that file will also appear in the list of files.

Add a Content Page


Let's go back to the home page now and let's go back to our course orientation and note that we still have the syllabus file here. Let's add a Content Page instead of a file. To add a Content Page click plus and we're not adding the assignment or a quiz or file it is a Content Page.

What goes into a Content Page? Well our course home page is a Content Page. Anything that is words and links and videos, a normal web page, that's what a Content Page is. I'm going to add, as a Content Page, a syllabus page. We've just added the syllabus as a document but actually a much better way to do a syllabus is to add it as a Content Page.

I'm going to click Add and ... notice when it adds ... whenever you add to a Module it always adds to the bottom and typically it's going to be not visible. That's good because there's nothing in this syllabus page yet, we don't, we wouldn't want students to be able to see it yet.

I'm going to click syllabus and get to the syllabus page and then I'm going to click to edit this page. This is a page very similar to the home page. You go to the page and click Edit when you want to put content into it. 

Put content from Word into a Canvas Content Page


Now the content that I want to put into here is the content of my syllabus document. I have to get that syllabus document. So I click, and here's the syllabus document. I'm going to go find it here in in Windows. If I open this document I want to select everything that's here ctrl-a and ctrl-c to copy and then I want to paste that into my syllabus Canvas page. So I will right-click and choose paste. Now Word has a whole bunch of content, a whole bunch of commands, behind the scenes and we want to get rid of those. Select everything with ctrl-a and come up here to this Tx, Clear Formatting, and get rid of all that behind-the-scenes stuff that Word adds. I click that and now all the behind-the-scenes stuff is gone and I have a syllabus here inside of a Canvas Page. 

It's no longer in a Word document. It's in a Canvas Page. It might need some cleaning up. There might be some extra spaces, for instance, that you can delete. So look around. (I'm going to undo that.) Look around and see what you can find. Here's here's some extra space. I'll click the backspace character and get rid of some of these extra rows.

You edit it as need be. It may not be perfect in copy and paste, but when you're done you have this lovely syllabus. I'm going to click here, save and publish, and I will return to the home page and back to our  course orientation Module. 

And here we have now both a syllabus document and a syllabus page. Notice the difference in the symbol. This is a symbol for a document that's a symbol for a page. If I click on pages, sure enough, and then view all pages, sure enough, our syllabus page is there. The course home page is the special one marked as the front page of the whole of course, but there is now a syllabus page. So in addition to it being in the Modules the page that we just added is also in the list of pages. I'll go back to home and back to course orientation. Now of course we have the syllabus in here twice, once as a document and once as a page. Does it make sense to have it in there twice? No you don't want it in there twice. You only want it once.

Which is better, the Canvas Page or the Word document?  


Which is better, the page, the page or the document? Well for a student, they're equally good. If you click on the syllabus document, a student would just see it display, and the student can easily download it. If I click Next here in the Module it'll bring me to the next thing which is the syllabus page and here we have the great syllabus page. They're both terrific for students. For students there's no clear benefit one versus the other. Let me click back to home and course orientation to get back to the page, the page and the document.

For teachers though there's one very clear benefit. The syllabus page is much better. Suppose you find a typo in the syllabus and you have the syllabus document. How do you fix the typo? Well Canvas is not Word. Canvas will not let you edit this thing. If you found a typo in here, you have to download it, open it in Word, fix it, save it, re-upload, delete the old one. That's a lot of effort to fix a single typo.

How difficult is it to fix a single typo if you have your syllabus as a Canvas page? Well if you see a typo you just click Edit and you fix it. So it's much much easier to fix problems in Canvas Pages than in Word documents or PDF files. So the conclusion is any kind of a document that you have where you're going to be editing that document with some frequency you would much rather have this be a Canvas page than a word doc or a PDF file.

There's more that you can do with the page than just putting in words and links like we have here. Let me go back to home and we'll go to this week one, Plate Tectonics. We're going to need an introduction to this
week. So let's click the plus sign and we're going to add a new Content Page and this page will be called "the week 1 overview" or "week 1 introduction". You'll always go to the bottom of the week and it'll be hidden. In fact we have both of these things currently hidden. I'll make them both visible. click the plus ... click the  cloud till they both turn green. And now we'll click the week 1 overview to get to the week 1 overview page, and we click the edit button.

Adding an Image to a Canvas Page


Notice all these options that you have across the top here. Of course we know that we can put in words and I want to point out pictures. If you want to embed an image in your course you click the embed image and it asks you where does the file exist? Is it ... do you have it in some URL some web place? Is it already in Canvas is it on Flickr? Well the answer is not in any of these things yet, so I'm going to cancel that. If you want to add a picture you come over here again. Remember this is the area that we use to link to anything that's in the course, any Page, any Assignment, any Quiz, any Module. You can link to anything that's
in the course. You can also link to any file that's in the course and any image that's in the course.

And here, if you want to, you can upload a new image. And you click browse to browse for all of the images that you have on your computer. Go navigate to where your picture is. I'll take that one, and open. And now it will ... and now over here after having browsed I have to click upload to tell if it I really want to use that file, that image. Here comes the picture.

Add Alternative Text to an Image


You can click the picture and grab its corner to make it bigger or smaller. Most importantly you click it and you come back to this icon. You need to give it some alt text to make this ... make this image accessible. It needs to have alt text that describes the purpose of the picture so that a visually impaired student who is reviewing this web page by having a screen reader read the web page to the student, the screen reader needs to know what to say about this picture. A screen reader can't read a picture. The screen reader will read whatever the text is that you put here. And I'll call it "plate tectonics map of the world" and click update. And now we have a picture inside of our page as well. You can use left adjust, left align, and right align, and indent, and all the other standard things that you can do in an editor. I'll click Save. We now have a lovely page and that's how you add pages and files to Modules in Canvas

A little more about page editing (2nd video)

We need to do a little bit more page editing. Here's the course homepage. We have all these yellow things that need to be fixed, and we need to insert the link to the course home page. I've already inserted the link to the course orientation, so we just need to remove those words. How do you edit the home page?  Well you just click "Edit".

Remove the yellow


While we're in the editor we will select "insert course name" and come up to this background color, click the down arrow, and click X to remove the yellow. Notice now the yellow is gone. Here you can type in the name of the course. Down here where you see more yellow you want to insert your email address. Get rid of the background color and put in your address. Now I should probably spell it right even though this is just a demo. This we've already taken care of so I can remove that link. Come down here we want to get rid of all of this yellow. You can select it all and click the X, and now I'll fix that. Okay it's all fixed.

Link to Course Syllabus, a picture


Now we need to insert the link to the course syllabus and remember our course syllabus is a page. You just click. That's a picture. It looks like words, maybe, but that is a picture of words. Click it and then come over to our handy link place, go under pages, and go find the syllabus page, and simply click it. And that turns this thing into a link to the syllabus. We can now get rid of this reminder to insert the link, and I can click Save. And now if I click "Course Syllabus" it brings me right to our syllabus page