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Commons Overview

Commons Overview

In this video, you will learn about Canvas 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 Video Script


In this video, you will learn about Canvas Commons. Commons is a learning object repository that allows instructors to share and import educational resources.

To open Commons, click the Commons link in Global Navigation. In the Commons navigation menu, you can search for resources, view resources you have shared, view resources you have imported, view any updates to imported resources, and view resources marked as a favorite. 

You can share most Canvas content types to Commons, including courses, modules, assignments, quizzes, discussions, pages, documents, video and audio files, and images. To share a resource from your Canvas course, click the Share to Commons link. The link or button may vary depending on what type of resource you are sharing. If this is an update to an existing resource, select the Is this an update to a previously shared resource toggle. To share the resource to Commons, click the Share button. Then, select the sharing settings for the new resource. Sharing settings determine which users can find and import the resource. Select a license for your resource from the License drop-down menu. Enter the Metadata for the resource, including the title,  description, and applicable tags. To select a cover image for the resource, click the Click to change button. You can upload an image from your computer or select one using the image search. Select the grade levels for the resource.

To find and import a resource from Commons, type a keyword into the search bar.  Use the Sort by drop-down menu to sort search results. You can filter resources by approved resources, resource type, Grade or level, or by sharing settings. Click the resource title to view resource details. You can preview the resource and view resource details and version notes, if applicable. You can also view the number of times a resource has been favorited and imported or downloaded, the date the resource was shared or updated, and license information. To import or download the resource, click the Import/Download button. To download the resource to your computer, click the Download button. To import the resource, click the checkbox next to a course or multiple courses. You can search for courses using the Search field. Then, click the Import into Course button. Canvas will begin importing the resource into the selected course. Note that imported resources count toward course storage quotas. Depending on the size of the file, the import may take some time to complete.

Resources you have previously imported may be updated by the user who shared the resource. Click the Updates link in the Commons navigation to view any available updates. To update the resource in your course, click the Update button. If the resource was imported into multiple courses, select the courses in which you want to update the resource, then click the Update selected button. To ignore the update, click the Dismiss or Dismiss selected button.

You can keep track of your favorite resources by adding resources to your Favorites list. On the resource details page, click the Add to Favorites link. On the Favorites page, you can view and manage your Favorite resources. Favorite resources can be viewed and imported using the Commons tool in the Rich Content Editor in Canvas. Click the Commons button and find a resource using the search field and filters. Click the resource to import it into the Rich Content Editor. Note that only documents, audio and video files, and images can be imported into the Rich Content Editor. The resource will also be imported into your course files.

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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