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How do I actually create content?

Community Member
0 6 2,654

Howdy.  I apologize in advance if this is the wrong place to ask this.  How do I actually create content in "Free For Teachers"?  I have an existing Canvas account, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to actually create content there! I know I am missing some fundamental piece of information! 

Thanks in advance!

Lamplighter II

This depends on the type of course you are creating. Below is a brief overview. 

Choose your course home

Teachers can configure the course home as desired. The default course home is modules so you can start by creating modules. Teachers can also hide links in the course navigation. 

Add Modules

The default course home is modules so you can start by creating modules. 

Add Pages

You can add content using Canvas pages. The pages can be linked in modules. 

Add Files

If your content already exists as files you can add the files to your course. The files can be linked in modules. 

Add Assignments

Assignments can be created from the assignment page. Once you add assignments you will see gradebook columns in your gradebook. Quizzes and discussions can also be created from quizzes and discussion pages. Assignments can also be linked in the modules. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @sclancy , in addition to the amazing array of information provided by Susan, to start a course - that you can then add content to - there should be a "Start a New Course"  button on the bottom right side of the page. 

Hope this helps!

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @sclancy ‌

There are also some getting started types of video guides available that you might find useful at 

I am guessing that your school is not training users in Canvas, and that might be a good thing to lobby for at your school.


Community Member

Thanks, Kelley.

Canvas is relatively new to our campus. Previous to this we used a home-grown system. Training is currently done on more of an ad hoc basis, though we do have support persons in the campus-wide IT department. Good suggestion, though.

Community Member

Thanks Susan, and thanks to everyone else that responded.  I seem to have finally figured it out through combination of you suggestions, searching the web, watching YouTube videos and good old trial and error. I have been able to move my locally created Quizzes into Canvas commons and added persons outside of my organization to be able to preview and edit the content. This was my original goal.

To be honest, I'm not sure which of my actions actually accomplished this. I managed to create a course and then exported my Quizzes as ZIP files, and first tried importing them into the course as a plain ZIP file. All that seemed to do was dump the files into a folder.

I then tried importing the file as a QTI ZIP.  Eventually, after a few more false moves, I found the quizzes under "Quizzes" apparently all ready to go.

I was then able to add other users as Teachers from outside our organization and send them the invite. Once they accepted and created an account they were able to access them fully.

I think part of my confusion was the difference in functionality and appearance between my local account and the Instructure Commons one. I was also unsure if I needed to create a separate account to use the "Free for Teachers" and whether this was the same as a Commons account, etc., etc. I see that I'm not the only one who has been uncertain about some of this. One of the first discussions I came across was which still didn't help to clear things up for me.

In any event, I accomplished my goal thanks in a large part to the help given here!


 @sclancy Nice Work, I am so happy to hear you have been successful with your Canvas goals so far! I think you will find there will be little, if anything, that you can't accomplish with some determination and the help of the amazing people you are already meeting here in the Community. I am also really glad you were able to find this group. Just to pile on some additional resources, we also have a Getting Started‌ page that can be a good jumping off point for learning more.

A minor point about content items here in the Community; Blogs are used to share content around a subject and allow an open-ended conversation below. Discussions are another type of content that are good for questions that don't necessarily have a right or wrong answer. Questions are the best thing to use when you think there is a straightforward answer. Questions and Discussions also allow replies, but Questions can have a specific answer designated as Correct and place that answer within the original post, making it easier for other people to access. Typically, people will just ask questions in the Find Answers‌ space and share their question to a group such as this one (Free-For-Teachers‌) if they believe it is relevant and want to draw some additional attention from members of the group. There is no problem with this being a blog as is. I just thought you might appreciate knowing for the future.