This article provides an overview of working with Files in Canvas.
There are three ways you can distribute course materials via Canvas:
- Files: Use this for class notes, slides, material produced by the instructor, publicly available articles.
- Study.Net: Use this for copyrighted materials, such as business cases (see below for more details).
- Course @ Penn Libraries: Use this for copyrighted materials already in the Library's databases.
You can use as many of these as you like, but a specific item should be shared by only one means. Example: An article should not be shared both in Files and through Study.Net.
Course files can be viewed and downloaded by everyone in the course, but only instructors and TAs can add materials. You can move and reorganize or rename materials in Files, and preview them in the browser window without downloading.
Files can be downloaded in three ways:
- In preview mode: Preview a file by clicking on the file name and then use Download in the upper right.
- Without previewing: Hover over a file to show the three dots icon at the far right. Click on the 3 dot icon and choose Download.
- Multiple files or folders: Select your files and folders by clicking to the right of the file/folder names. Use Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac) to select multiple files or folders. You can also select all files by using Ctrl-A (Command-A). Then click the grey Download button near the top. Multiple files/folders will be downloaded as a .ZIP file.
Press Upload to upload one or more files from your computer.
- If uploading a .ZIP, Canvas will ask whether to extract the files individually or to simply upload the .ZIP by itself.
- You can also drag and drop to upload files; Canvas will prompt you to drop the files while hovering over the right panel of Files.
Note: Students are not automatically notified when new material is added to Files, but you can use an announcement for this purpose.
Be careful with replacing any files that may have been linked to assignments. To replace a file without breaking any links, make sure the replacement document has the same name and is in the same folder. You'll be asked if you want to replace the existing file; if you do not confirm this, existing links will no longer work.
Be careful with deleting any files that may have been linked to assignments.
Restricting Access to Files and Folders
Unpublish files or restrict files to prevent student access. Scheduling files to become available on a certain date is the best way to hide files for exams, as it does not generate a notification for students who have file notifications enabled.
Note: If you upload a file or create a folder within an unpublished or restricted folder and then move the file or folder to a published folder or main files structure, the file or folder will take on the publishing status of its new location. To prevent this, update the publishing status of each file or folder before moving it.
- All the content in an unpublished folder is unpublished, but a published folder can contain a mix of published and unpublished content.
- You can designate files and folders to automatically become available on a certain date.
Linking to Files
You can create a link in a page, assignment, or elsewhere in your course site, to material stored in Files.
To link to a document you uploaded to Files:
Although students access Study.Net materials through Canvas, Study.Net is a separate service that manages the delivery of copyrighted materials. Learn more about using Study.Net.