How does a student upload an image from their computer so that they can embed it in a Canvas discussion?
Corrected a link in the third paragraph of my response. Thanks James Jones for catching that!
Hi there, Teresa Cunniff Welcome to the Canvas Community. Thanks for posting your question. Here are a handful of Guides that should help you:
How do I attach a file to a discussion reply as a student? (As this Guide indicates, you would need to have the option for "Let students attach files to discussions" enabled at the course level: How do I set details for a course?)
How do I embed an image in a discussion reply as a student? (As this Guide indicates, the image must first be uploaded to the user's "Files" area...per this Guide: How do I upload a file to my user or group files?)
I hope this information is helpful to you, Teresa.
The student first adds the image as an attachment in the discussion reply and presses Post Reply. Then they can Edit the reply and select the Embed icon. A dialog box appears. The student selects the Canvas tab, then follows the path to My files > Submissions > Course. Here they select the image they wish to embed and then presses Update to exit the dialog box. The image appears in the discussion reply. Student presses Post Reply to post.
I'm glad you found a round-about way to make it work for your class. I would suggest not using it, though, and using the updated directions that Chris provided.
Your approach is dependent upon enabling a couple of options that many faculty choose to disable: the ability to upload attachments and the ability to edit a discussion post.
I have both of them disabled in my statistics course this semester because I want to force them to embed the image so that other students can see it without having to click on another link. Students with embedded images get more views, more likes, and more replies than those with attachments. In the past, I've allowed attachments and students end up either embedding the image or attaching the image, but not both. I have edits disabled because I require them to post first before they get to see what others have done and in the past I've had a few students who either post something trivial to get in to see what others have done or completely revise their initial post after seeing what others have done. Canvas does not keep track of the revisions, only showing the final result with an "Edited" note.
While your approach may work for your course, there is a good chance that it won't work for some other courses and then the students will have to learn the right way to get the files loaded. If they accidentally use your approach in another course where attachments are allowed but edits are not, then they're unable to fulfill the assignment for that instructor. Consistency across courses is good for students and for learning.
Very few people would argue that the current approach is user-friendly. In fact, there's a feature request on Product Radar to change the way it happens: Upload an image directly to a discussion as a student that may benefit from your thoughts.
I would urge you to have your students learn and use the way that is going to work for every course rather than taking the easy way out that potentially hurts the students in the long run.
Agreed. I tell my students that they must think of the viewer of their posts and make their post easy and enjoyable to read. Downloading and opening image attachments can be annoying and often their peers don't bother. The readability of posts are much improved with embedded imagery.
I'd like to throw in one more guide that is found as a link in the ones that Chris offered, but is easily overlooked: How do I upload a file to my user or group files?
That's the first step and it's the same whether it's a discussion or any other place you have access to the Rich Content Editor that has the embed image button.
Also, don't feel bad about asking -- this is a frequent source of frustration for students. So much so that many of us who want students to embed images in discussions write our own instructions. Some make videos to walk through the process and I even took a portion of class to walk students through it (and then repeated the process a week later since they were still struggling).
Thank you for catching that, James Jones! I had meant to include that link, but I didn't realize I had pasted in the same link twice in my original reply. I've edited my response to include the correct link now.
Chris, we all have days like that. Thanks for updating your post so correct and all in one place.
I wish there was an easy way to save good answers because you would use this one a lot. The whole embedding-a-file-from-your-computer-into-a-discussion is a multi-step process that must be conducted in a specific order, but it's treated as disjoint events in the guides with just notes, which are easy to miss, to tie them together.
Teresa, the students in my humanities classes often needed to embed images in their discussion posts, so I created this step-by-step guide for them and included it in my course materials: How students upload images into their discussion posts.
That's a tree? I thought it was a mountain. Just goes to show why I dislike icons, I can't even figure out what they are, let alone what they mean.
James, your eyes are not failing you, and that shows how long it's been since I first created those instructions; the icon used to be a little tree in a box, and is now a little...mountain? mountain-with-sun?...in a box. (I updated the instructions to reflect the UI change.)
Nice set of directions. I made a short video that my students say is pretty easy to follow- https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cDhtbJi1RX
Thanks for the thread.
I have been long considering this because I think that a discussion, which is verifiable, can forthrightly substitute for "essay questions" etc. and also a written hand in.
However the problem is not ME posting a discussion or ME posting a picture....it really IS about how the student can post a picture...
VERY NICE THREAD!!!
To that end, I posted this in my hybrid class today:
HiThis discussion has two parts so that I can consider whether or not to "have discussions".A) I really would like to hear what YOUR results are about the oxidation activity with the iron wire.B) So, post what you saw in text form if you wish, you do not have to so do. It would be nice though.C) IF YOU HAVE A PICTURE, I ASSUME..that you have it on your smartphone so then we meet this situation.i) if it is on your smartphone OR a tablet and you are interacting with this and you are able to upload the picture in your reply I would VERY MUCH like for you to POSSIBLY AS BEST AS YOU CAN describe the steps that you went through to get the image into the discussion.I am fully aware that you may have a HUGE image and one of the things about this is "how Canvas handles a LARGE smartphone image".ii) if you are on a desktop computer I assume that you will somehow get it onto your computer and then would you please outline, as best as you can, how you got that image into the discussion.This is all volunteer just for me to get it in my very small and feeble mind the trouble that you may have to go through IF we did discussions.Thanks ahead of time! jts
This discussion has two parts so that I can consider whether or not to "have discussions".
A) I really would like to hear what YOUR results are about the oxidation activity with the iron wire.
B) So, post what you saw in text form if you wish, you do not have to so do. It would be nice though.
C) IF YOU HAVE A PICTURE, I ASSUME..that you have it on your smartphone so then we meet this situation.
i) if it is on your smartphone OR a tablet and you are interacting with this and you are able to upload the picture in your reply I would VERY MUCH like for you to POSSIBLY AS BEST AS YOU CAN describe the steps that you went through to get the image into the discussion.
I am fully aware that you may have a HUGE image and one of the things about this is "how Canvas handles a LARGE smartphone image".
ii) if you are on a desktop computer I assume that you will somehow get it onto your computer and then would you please outline, as best as you can, how you got that image into the discussion.
This is all volunteer just for me to get it in my very small and feeble mind the trouble that you may have to go through IF we did discussions.
Thanks ahead of time!
So ..i shall wait with 'bated breath!
and, again, if anyone has a question please ask!
Well I was greatly disappointed that no students had made the attempt.
But between lecture and lab several students made the attempt but could not actually
ACCESS their pictures on their phone. Could not get AT the pictures.
But, they could get access to their Flickr(tm) account.
one of them said....probably a security thing.
That got me to thinking....
I can actually get at my pictures from my phone but then I am "an administrator". A teacher.
Flickr(tm) already does screening for trojans, viruses, etc. Now, it does not screen for vulgar images but...
It may be that the college, or Canvas has, without saying it, decided to offload the security concerns to Flickr(tm).
Not a bad idea really.
Howwever.....another student, who is enrolled at another college and for some reason taking my class which is 30 miles away said...
They have the same thing going on there in an English class. There are discussions in the discussion thread but.....they then have to e-mail, through the Microsoft(tm) cloud. The students do NOT like to have go around their elbow to get at their chin but they have no choice in the matter and the teacher has not discussed it. Again, it may be they have offloaded the security thiing to the cloud.
So the "solution" then is that the students will have to get used to uploading pictures to Flickr(tm) that means that they have to get an account, and then they can easily attach in the Canvas discussion part.
Dunno.... Stephen Levy may have thought that hackers were good people but they certainly have created a whole host of unintended consequences decades later.
So, it would seem that this thread can be closed unless there are others with differing information.
And, thanks for the kindly information!
I teach photography and art so we are constantly sharing images. Inserting a picture from the smartphone into a discussion through the Canvas app is much easier to do, just an option.
We go this app route a lot in my classes. When the students are on their laptops, this brief video tutorial I made is included in all discussion activity directions. They get the hang of it pretty quickly but I do wish for an easier way... hopefully coming soon in a future release
Then I think that it might be that my college has made a decision to not allow students to access "phone pictures"...possibly because a student may inadvertently or apurpose upload some kind of malicious file....knowingly or not. sooo ...ok. it is, to me, not a bad idea....better to err on the side of safety.
BUT this has been a very nice discussion and I have valuable information about how I can interact with my students "going forward'.
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