Laura Joseph

Video killed my Canvas page

Blog Post created by Laura Joseph on Nov 22, 2015

Demonstrations are key when teaching practical skills, so good video content is a must for online VET courses.


Embedding videos is also an easy way to make your Canvas page look fabulous.


However, videos can also change a page from the cat's pyjamas into a dog's breakfast faster than you can say "seventeen iframes" or "what's going on with those first two minutes?"


So don't be a vidiot. Use these tips to make sure your Canvas courses are Mondo Video.


Embed a video playlist


Embedded videos not only look great, but they also mean that students don't have to navigate away from the page.


But what do you do when you have so many great videos that putting them all on the page would create the dreaded scroll of death (by video)?


Embed them as a playlist!


Probably the easiest way to do this is by setting up a (or using your existing) YouTube account.

Once you've made or found your perfect playlist, select "Share" to get the embed code.


Then just copy and paste the code into the html editor on your Canvas page. Your students will be able to see a hamburger nav icon at the top left to track where they're at in the list, like in this screenshot (I've used an image, because while these instructions work in Canvas courses, they're not working in Community for some reason.)

panda embed.png


Make sure you include clear and engaging directions for your students (e.g. which videos cover which content, what they do particular well, anything they don't cover, how they relate to the real world skill and/ or assessment task, etc).


Also remember to include a text alternative if the videos don't have suitable captions (like, er... this one:


This very good advice was brought to you by the eminently sensible Caterina Mastroianni.


Use this "start at" hack


Have you ever needed to link to a specific part of a video on YouTube or Vimeo?


Say you found a really great step-by-step demo of the skill you're teaching, but the introduction is confusing and irrelevant.


You could let your students make their way through the intro and hope they persist to the useful part, or you could include a long explanation about where to start playing the video and why to ignore the first minute.


OR you could link straight to the relevant section. You can do this a couple of ways.


Say you want to share a youtube video at 0:40.


At the Share block, check the “Start at:” option and type the time you want your video to start.

Copy the Share URL


embed code start at.png


You can also add this start at code to the url.


Just modify the link by adding the following code to the end:

#t=[no. of]m[no. of]s


So, to start at 0:40, I would use #t=0m40s


Here is an example from youtube: Cat in Shark Suit Chases Ducking On Roomba(with musical score) - YouTube


And here's one from Vimeo: 100 - New Canvas User Interface Overview on Vimeo


Thanks to Rory O'Brien  Suzy Romanelli for this pro tip.