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kweiss
New Member

Managing Commons content with multiple users

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Many of the courses we offer are built using re-usable course content. Right now, when we build a new course, we import/copy the existing content directly from a master course, but maintaining all of those copies is a nightmare. We are trying to see if Commons can work as a solution, but I've run into problems that aren't addressed in the documentation.

I created a module in a Canvas course and I exported it to Commons, shared with everyone in our account. I then added that content to two separate courses in Canvas. When I made updates to the original content in Canvas, I was able to successfully update the module in Commons and sync those updates to the two other courses.

My problem is that there are two of us who current work at maintaining content (and we are likely to add a couple more in the near future), and it appears that only the person that created the original content in Canvas can actually update the content in Commons. When my colleague updates the content I created and tries to export the updates to Commons, she does not see the Update option that I see when completing the same task.

Is there a way to allow multiple users to export updates from a Canvas course to the same Commons module?

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Bobby2
Community Champion

Hi  @kweiss  Thank You for your question.

Congrats on the work around you have created so far.

How do I update a resource I previously shared to Commons?  states: 

Only the user who originally shared a resource to Commons can update resource content. However, administrators can edit resource details.

If this gets too cumbersome then it might be time to consider using Blueprints. Here is some information on that. 

 

How do I associate a course with a blueprint course as an admin? 

How do I enable a course as a blueprint course as an admin? 

Using Blueprint Courses as an Instructor 

How do I sync course content in a blueprint course as an admin? 

My Endless Love for Blueprint 

 

 

Sing out if you need a hand. 

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Bobby2
Community Champion

Hi  @kweiss  Thank You for your question.

Congrats on the work around you have created so far.

How do I update a resource I previously shared to Commons?  states: 

Only the user who originally shared a resource to Commons can update resource content. However, administrators can edit resource details.

If this gets too cumbersome then it might be time to consider using Blueprints. Here is some information on that. 

 

How do I associate a course with a blueprint course as an admin? 

How do I enable a course as a blueprint course as an admin? 

Using Blueprint Courses as an Instructor 

How do I sync course content in a blueprint course as an admin? 

My Endless Love for Blueprint 

 

 

Sing out if you need a hand. 

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Thanks for the reply.

We do already use Blueprints heavily, but they don't give us the modularity we want.

For example, we have a course on database design which is geared toward developers who will be administering databases. We also have software development courses where the learners only need a bare-bones understanding of relational databases and SQL. We would like to reuse only the first couple of modules from the database course in the developer courses. As it is now, when we import those two modules into the developer course, we create a copy that needs to be maintained in both places (for errata, especially). And then we have a client who wants to include the basic SQL module only with Linux, so we have yet another copy to maintain. Blueprints help reduce the number of copies we have to maintain, but it would be much easier if we had a single source of those modules that we can drop into courses as needed rather than multiple copies across Blueprints.

Commons would also be useful as a way of letting a SME see our existing catalog of content without having to enroll him/her in multiple courses to see modules on different topics. The SME could simply pick and choose the modules and we would build a Blueprint for that course using only the selected modules.

Associating Commons updates to a single user rather than to a role seems fragile to me, especially in the current climate. If I "own" content in Commons but I am suddenly not able to work for an extended period of time, someone else would have to use my login to make those updates. There should at least be an option at the account owner level to allow admins to update Commons content, rather than restricting all updates to individual users across the board. A workaround would be to create a Canvas account as "Commons owner" and allow multiple people to use that account to create and update content, but then we lose the ability to see which user made those updates.

Kim

Bobby2
Community Champion

Hi  @kweiss , looks like you have researched both options well.

It does appear that:

administrators can edit resource details.

If that is any help. Do you know who to contact at your institution who could support you? 

You make a good case though for submitting a feature idea. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-14904-75187841184 

I am an administrator for our account, but editing the resource details refers to Commons details like who can see it and what grade levels it is appropriate for. It does not allow another person to change the content in any way, even another administrator.

I agree with this comment. It would be hugely valuable if anyone with say an instructor role in the course the commons resource was created from could have the ability to update the relevant items in common. Not being able to update means there is a high risk of duplicate items in commons. It would also be really valuable if there was then a clear link between resources and their existing commons entry (eg full course, a module etc), to reduce the risk of a user accidentally selecting the incorrect resource when doing an update.