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The scenario

Let’s say that you have created your eLearning modules using an author tool such as Adobe Captivate and now you need to track students’ progress. As Canvas is not scorm compliant you have to think of other ways to achieve that.


Possible solutions:

  • Link to scorm cloud
  • Link to an LRS
  • Try the following workaround


Explanation of the workaround

There are two main steps here:

  1. Create the module
  2. Upload the content into Canvas


Create the module


1.     Create the module and count manually the 25% 50% 75% and the 100% of the content.

My example is a scorm module with 15 pages.

Total pages


% content visited











2.     Go to the pages identified previously and create an interactive object that is able to collect data such as a button. This button will be responsible for sending information to to Canvas

So once the student arrives at a certain point -i.e 25% 50% 75% and 100%- the module sends this number to the LMS. In this example I’m in page 4 and I’ve created a button that does the following:

  • Has an action to go to the next slide
  • Properties > Reporting
    • Include in quiz
    • Points 25
    • Add to total
    • Report answers
    • Interaction ID


3.     Go to Window > Advanced interaction and confirm that the scorm content will report 100 points

4. Go to File > Project Info > Quiz

Here the most important fields are:

  1. Enable reporting
  2. Data to report
    • Points
    • Interaction data

5.     Go to Files > Publish


Upload the content into canvas

1. Upload the content inside canvas following the steps provided here How do I import SCORM files as an assignment?

2. Once imported select “Import as graded assignment” and hit “go”

3. Now you can view the content in “Assignments” but you have to do some adjustments

    1. You can add additional text to introduce the learning contents
    2. Select “Display grade as points”

4. Save & publish

5. The content will appear in "Grades"


Limitations of this approach:

  • You have to force students to click to an interactive object to track students’ progression. In this example I used a button.
  • When you upload the content as a scorm package in canvas you cannot update the file afterwards. You have to delete the content and upload as a new package. If you have a lot of courses with the same content bear in mind that if you need to update something it will be time consuming. So plan ahead to guarantee that the content is the definitive one before uploading it.

On our current LMS we are able to use as much external CSS and JavaScript as we dare to use, which has enabled us to do some nice things that haven't converted so well to Canvas. In transitioning to Canvas we decided to ditch the HTML and go with Pages which will be much easier to maintain and support, but we have had to find some workarounds. We also don't like to rely on external tools unless we have to.


I'd like to share what we are using as a solution to a basic slideshow, it could be an image gallery as well of course. It isn't fancy or perfect but it is easy to adapt with a little bit of basic HTML knowledge. One plus is it should match your branding, but you may need to switch some colors around (the ones on line 3 of the code snippet). Huge thanks to the Canvas Community, I've learned so much recently from here, including some of the style guide use in this example, and experienced a ton of creativity.


Here is what it looks like:


Here is a short code snippet, you can copy and paste as many image section as needed, sizes and colors can all be changed easily in the code.

<!-- Setup the Container and Title -->
<div class="img-rounded" style="overflow-y: scroll; height: 390px; width: 447px; float: right; background-color: #rgb(136, 0, 0); border: 0px solid black; margin: 10px;">
<h4 style="color: #000; background-color: ##f7f7f7; text-align: center; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Slideshow Title</h4>
<div id="cc-homepage-announcements" style="height: 357px; overflow-x: hidden; overflow-y: auto; padding: 1px; text-align: center;">

<!-- Time to Add Slides. If you need more slides, copy and paste a section, but make sure you increment the div id and the href ids for the buttons-->
<!--Slide 1 -->
  <div id="img1">
  <img src="/courses/###/files/####/preview" width="425px" alt="Alt Text" />
  <!--Next Button -->
  <div class="btn btn-primary"><a style="color: #fff" href="#img2">Next Slide</a></div>

<!--Slide 2 -->
  <div id="img2">
  <img src="/courses/###/files/####/preview" width="425px" alt="Alt Text" />
  <!--Previous Button -->
  <div class="btn btn-primary"><a style="color: #fff" href="#img1">Previous Slide</a></div>
  <!--Next Button -->
  <div class="btn btn-primary"><a style="color: #fff" onclick="return false" href="#img3">Next Slide</a></div>

<!--Slide 3 -->
  <div id="img3">
  <img src="/courses/###/files/####/preview" width="425px" alt="Alt Text" />
  <!--Previous Button -->
  <div class="btn btn-primary"><a style="color: #fff" href="#img2">Previous Slide</a></div>

<!-- Close those Divs -->
<!-- End Slideshow -->

Are you thinking of ways to gamify your eLearning modules? Are those modules created with Articulate, Captivate or Lectora?

If you have answered yes to both questions, then these posts will be useful for you. I found them in blog and it explains how to include a leaderboard within your eLearning modules.

It requires a Google sheet, one of the authoring tools mentioned above, a bit of coding and a bit of patience. ;-)



The purpose of this blog is to collect strategies from the schools that are using Canvas Commons as a master course repository and to attempt to centralize already-existing Community resources in a single easily-accessible place.


Since the launch of Canvas Commons, Canvas teachers and admins from around the globe have generously shared their resources and have leveraged Commons to create master courses that teachers, instructional designers, and administrators can use to populate single or multiple courses with content. So tell us more about how you're using Commons in the comments section:


  • What are the strategies you employ to leverage Canvas Commons for master courses?
  • If you’re creating your courses via SIS import, how do you incorporate Canvas Commons master courses into the process?
  • Can you share any reasons or use cases where people still use an exclusive master course that is not shared to Commons?


I’ve searched the Community for similar discussions already underway, and you’ll see the early results in the table below. Our goal is to use your contributions to the blog to build this table of resources and develop it into a comprehensive document that encompasses all Community discussions and resources pertaining to using Commons for master courses.


Link to the resourceThe tl;dr
Updating Resources with Commons (Infographics)An awesome infographic that depicts how updates to a master in Commons populate the "child" courses.
Commons Roll-Out KitGetting started with Commons.
How do you want to share resources in Commons?How different schools are using Commons to share resources.
Ideas and Uses for Canvas CommonsCommons as a personal and general learning repository.
Course Shells- That's so 2014InstructureCon video (28:59): How Springfield Public Schools streamlined the course creation process using Commons.
How do I share a folder of images to Canvas Commons?Tips for sharing images.
Canvas Commons for Course TemplatesHow updates to Commons course templates are accomplished. Progress report on Commons API.
Sharing Department Content to CommonsAligning sub-accounts with departments to organize course content.
Friday in Five - Canvas Commons - YouTubeVideo (6:52): importing content from Commons.
Canvas Commons REST API DocumentationDocumentation describing the Canvas Commons REST API for accessing and modifying data externally from the main application in your own programs and scripts
Important note: It is not recommended to use the API to run updates throughout the semester on an entire course. Because Commons is based on the Common Cartridge functionality and how Canvas translates that, if you were to changed an assignment and the teacher had independently made changes, those changes would be overwritten, or student activity might be erased. Accordingly, we do not recommend using Commons for that specific purpose.
Copy to multiple courses

Commons API/User Interface, currently under development. Follow this feature idea for status updates.

Update: As of May 19, 2016, resources can be imported into multiple courses using the Resource Details page. Refer to Commons Release Notes (2016-05-19) for more information.

Hammer of the Gods: Content Distribution for Non-CodersInstructureCon video (26:50): OK, technically, this video is not about Canvas Commons. Chris Weisbart and Jason Betrue of Pasadena City College explain how to use the Canvas API, in conjunction with Postman, to populate multiple courses with content. You would think Commons would complement this nicely, wouldn't you? (Let us know in the comments section if you've tried this!)

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