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Commons Overview (Admins)

Commons Overview (Admins)

In this video, you will learn about the Admin settings in Commons.

Last updated 2023-06-02


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Video overviews reflect current feature functionality in Canvas; they are updated based on workflow changes, not on minor or non-functional interface enhancements. Depending on your institution's Canvas theme, the Canvas interface may display differently than shown in this video, but the functionality is the same.


Commons Overview (Admins) Video Script

In this video, you will learn about the Admin settings in Commons. Commons is a learning object repository where instructors can share and import educational resources. Canvas account admins are automatically added as Commons account admins.

To open Commons, click the Commons link in Global Navigation. To open the Commons Admin page, click the Admin link in Commons navigation. From the Commons Admin page, you can view and manage Account Settings, Groups, Consortiums, and Managed Resources. You can also view Commons usage data for your account.

In the Account Settings tab, you can manage content and learning standard settings. To allow approved content, enable the Allow Approved Content toggle. By default, approved content is denoted with a checkmark icon. To customize the approved icon color, click the Select background color option. To upload a custom approved content icon image, click the Change image link. If you want Commons to display approved content at the top of search results, select the Prioritize approved content in search results option. As an admin, you can designate non-admin users to manage approved content. Click the Add users drop-down menu. Type in the user’s name or email address to search for the user. Commons will auto-generate search results as you type. Click their name or press the Return or Enter key to add them to the list.

By default, users can choose to publicly share their uploaded Commons content and they can view publicly shared content. To disallow users from sharing resources publicly, disable the Allow users to share to public account toggle. To disallow users from viewing and importing public resources, disable the Allow users to view publicly shared content toggle. To disallow featured content in Commons, disable the Allow featured content toggle.

To configure default search results for all users, enable the Configure default search filters toggle. You can select default search filters which will automatically filter content for users in your account. You can select search results to display approved content, associated grade level content, and content shared publicly or in your institution’s Commons space. Please note that users can still modify search filters when they search in Commons. By default, resources with associated learning standards will display those standards on the resource details page. To hide standards and outcomes on the resource details page, disable the Show Common Core Standards and Show State Standards options.

In the Groups tab, you can create and manage user groups. Groups allow users to share content with other users in the group. To find a group, type the group name in the search field. To remove a group, click the remove icon. To create a new group, click the Create a new group field and type the group name. Then press the Return or Enter key. Add users to the new group by searching in the Search field. Locate the name of the person you want to add to the group, then press the Return or Enter key. To make a user a group manager, enable the Manager toggle next to their name. Group managers can add or remove users from the group or delete the group. To remove a user from the group, click the remove icon.

In the Consortiums tab, you can create and manage consortiums. Consortiums allow you to share content between institutions in a consortium. To delete a consortium, click the remove icon. To create a new consortium, type the consortium name in the Name your new consortium field and press the Return or Enter key. To disable your institution from contributing resources to the consortium, disable the Allow my institution to contribute to consortium toggle. You can invite other institutions to join your consortium by searching in the Search institutions to add field. Press the Return or Enter key to add an institution to your consortium. Manage which institutions can contribute resources to the consortium with the Contributor toggle. To remove an institution from the consortium, click the remove icon.

In the Managed Resources tab, you can manage resources shared by users in your account. To remove a resource from Commons, click the remove icon. To edit the details of a resource, click the resource title then click the Edit Resource link. You can edit resource sharing settings, mark the resource as approved content, change the license, edit the metadata, and modify the grade level. When you’ve finished editing the resource, click the Save Changes button. Note that while you can edit resource details, you cannot replace the resource content. Only the user who shared the resource can edit resource content.

In the Stats tab, you can view statistics about all resources shared by users in your Commons account. The Stats page displays a table with information about shared resources, including the name of the resource, the resource author and email address, the approved status, the number of times a resource has been favorited, the number of times a resource has been downloaded or imported, and a link to the source file in Canvas. You can sort the table to display resources by resource name, approved status, favorites, or downloads. To sort statistics, click a column header to sort by descending or ascending. To view the commons resource, click the resource name. Resources shared privately by a user do not include a link to the resource. To view the author’s Canvas profile, click the author’s name. To send the author an email, click the author’s email address. To view the source file in Canvas, click the Canvas Source link. You can search for, sort, and filter resources using the search bar, sort by menu, and the filter button. To download a CSV file with all shared resource data for your account, click the Download CSV button.

You've now completed this overview video on Commons. For additional information on this or any other topic about Canvas, please visit You can also ask questions and engage with other Canvas users by visiting

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