Embedding content in Canvas can be an easy way to add more interactive and engaging elements in a course. What is embedding? How do you do it? What kinds of activities and interaction can be embedded in Canvas? Read on to learn more!
What is Embedding? A Window to Another Website
Embedding is a way to stream content from a different location so that it appears in an interactive format within your course pages. It uses HMTL code to create an “inline frame,” or in HTML language, an iframe, that contains content from another web location.
What about Copyright?
How to Embed
You can certainly use the special tools for youtube and Films on Demand to embed that content. You will find the tools for these under the plug icon in the menu. If you don’t see the item there, click “view all” to find it in an alphabetical list of special tools.
Finding the Generic Embed Tool in Canvas
Locating the Embed Code
Putting it Together: Steps to Embed
- Locate the embed code.
- Copy the embed code.
- Go to Canvas > Insert menu and choose “Embed.” Paste the embed code.
- Review your page to ensure the item looks right on your page.
- Embed Canvas how-to videos for students.
- Go to the Canvas Video Guides
- Click the little airplane “embed” symbol in the upper right corner
- Copy the embed code and paste it in the Embed field in Canvas
- You just added video help for your students on how to use a tool.
- Note: Canvas allows all help guides to be embedded, but other Canvas content (such as release guides) may not allow you to embed the video to share it.
Presentations & Graphics
- Prezi: an alternative for presentations
- Adobe Spark: free to educators for video and other dynamic presentations
- Microsoft Sway; has a nice accessibility option as well as alternatives for presenting
- Canva: make graphics or presentations that can be embedded
- Interactive Map based on Google maps
- Google Calendar Google has posted these instructions online covering how to obtain your Google calendar’s embed code.
- Google Charts
- Qualtrics Surveys Qualtrics is an institutionally licensed survey tool that faculty and students alike can use. You can embed Qualtrics surveys into your Canvas course to collect info and embed reports that show word maps or charts of the survey outcomes.
- GoConqr Free Mind Map tool.
- Twine a freeform nonlinear storytelling tool for humanities
- Google Arts & Culture Tours feature art, music, and other humanities and social science topics
- Interactive/Dynamic timelines make a timeline with information about your subject
- Social Explorer uses maps and census data to explore various social science questions
- Interactive Simulations here STEM based topics (physics, chemistry, math) are made interactive
- Math Tools from Desmos include embeddable mapping calculators and scientific calculators
Games & Other Interactive Elements
- Here are a bunch more: Embedding Web 2.0 Tools in Canvas (a Canvas Community Post)
Some Caveats about Embedding
These are but a few of the wide world of embeddable tools. External tools are great but there are a few things to check or ask before using an embeddable tool.
What are the Limits of “Free”?
Is it Accessible?
Does it meet FERPA?
- Does this tool collect information considered personally identifying about the student? Who can see it? Most tools built for education do not, or to the degree they do, they have privacy policies that protect that information. If you use a tool that was not designed primarily for education, it may be less sensitive to these requirements. This is especially important if the tool requires a sign-up or login or if it collects any grade information. We advise that grade information is best shared within Canvas rather than through external tools.
- Does this site sell information? Again, tools developed for education are generally aware of the need to meet FERPA but it is good to make sure that the tool will not collect and sell the students’ information.