Canvas,  Copyright,  Educational Technology,  Open,  Remote Teaching

Canvas Commons Opens New Ways to Share Materials With Colleagues, and Beyond

As part of our move to the Canvas LMS, the U of S gains the use of the Canvas Commons. The Canvas website describe it as:

Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. A digital library full of educational content, Commons allows Canvas users to share learning resources with other users as well as import learning resources into a Canvas course.

As an instructor who is a Canvas user at USask, you will be able to find materials in, and share materials to the Canvas Commons. In addition, there are institution-wide documents, such as a U of S Canvas template available in the Canvas Commons.

Using Materials From Canvas Commons

You can access the Commons from within any of your Canvas courses, allowing you to add materials that others have shared from the U of S or other institutions. To learn how to search for and preview a resources in Canvas Commons, see the guide How do I use Commons?

You can search Canvas to find resources that may be useful for your course. You may find an entire course that might have some resources you would like to use, or you there may be individual modules, assignments, or other smaller parts of a course that you’ll find useful. 

Sharing Materials in Canvas Commons

In addition to using materials created by others, you can share materials from your courses to the Commons. You may share any educational materials that you create in their entirety, are adaptations of openly licensed materials, or you have explicit permission to share in Canvas Commons. You may not share any copyrighted materials unless you are the sole copyright owner of the materials. This includes images, slides, photocopies of journal articles or pages in a book, or other such materials that may have been created by a commercial publisher, student, or others who have not given you permission to share the material in Canvas Commons.

You and your colleagues can share resources developed within your unit or are openly licensed within Canvas. This may be easiest within a Group. For information on how to set up and use a Group in Canvas Commons, please see Can I share content I create in Canvas with just a small group of colleagues?

To add a module, assignment, or quiz from one of your own courses in Canvas to Canvas Commons see this guide from Canvas – “How do I share a resource to Commons?” 

To add individual files, such as an image or document from one of your own courses see – “How do I share a document, image, video, or audio file to Commons?” 

Using the Commons With Students

If students in your course are creating new materials such as posters, or are adapting existing open educational resources, those materials can be shared to the commons, with the permission of students. If shared with the USask in Canvas Commons, the students would have access to those materials as long as they are students at USask. If you share it with the wider Canvas Commons community, students can access the materials beyond their time as students at USask by creating a free Canvas Teacher account.

Getting Help

If you have questions about using Canvas Commons please email If you would like to request a Group be set up to share resources with your colleagues, please submit it as a General IT Request.

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