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Best Practices for inline content when copying courses

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What are the best practices for linking to inline course content?  I thought using course files would be the best, keeping all content with the course, but this seems to produce issues when copying a course.

I use a lot of images in course pages and question banks and so far have always used the file storage for those images.   I then make a  backup of the master course and copy each course for each semester and section that I need the course.  When I copy the course, all the underlying links for those images are referring back to the original course.

The course looks fine to me as the instructor, but because the students don't have permission to view content in a course for which they are not registered, images are blocked.  This also happens if I include links in pages to other pages:  When a student clicks a link in a page, they get an error that they don't have permission to view this content.

So I would prefer the content be copied AND the links be updated to refer to the files in their current course.   If Canvas is unable to do this then I have two problems to solve:

1) Do I need to move the images off of Canvas to a service like Flickr?   And if after spending hours relinking all the course content to Flickr, will I have permission issues again?  And if this DOES work, are there any recommendations for which image store service works best/easiest?

2) How can I link to page files within a course page that won't be broken when the pages are copied to another course?

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23 Replies

Hey, Don. There are many approaches to working in Canvas.

In addition to the approach Lawrence describes, many people use a cloud service to store and serve content to Canvas. For instance, you can store your files in Google Drive (with copies on your machine if you use the app). Once you have a file in Google Drive, you can link / embed into as many Canvas courses as you want, and you only have to update once. SoftChalk CLOUD​ is a paid service that adds interactivity and inline quizzing that syncs with the  Canvas grade book in case you are interested in that route.

For quiz banks, I use an empty Canvas Class to house all of my banks. By bookmarking the banks, I can link a question group to a bank to serve up questions for all my classes from a centralized repository. If I need to make corrections, deletions, revisions, or whatever, I can make them in one place and automatically update every quiz in every class linked to that bank: Quiz Bank Repository - YouTube.

This is how I'm managing banks it as well, but if you want to copy any quiz referring to bookmarked question banks, they will lose their links to banks when copied.  The only way to do this is to copy both the quiz and the question banks (which defeats the purpose of having bookmarked banks).   I DID talk to tech support about this and they verify this is how it works.


This is the final answer from tech support as I understand it:  When you copy content from course to course, all links are automatically updated to reflect the files in the new course EXCEPT for questions in question banks because "this is intended".  They will always link back to the original course.   So if you plan on copying courses, I recommend creating a sandbox course from which you can always copy.  It might be a good idea to consider an external image hosting service as well.  Then be sure to never delete or edit that course unless you intend all future copies to be changed as well.

At one point I asked if they could put this in as a bug with a request to fix, but I never got an answer to that question.

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I've gotten really good at manually creating question banks.   I posted some of my solutions like DEFINITELY host your images offsite at this discussion: