Canvas: Download Course to PDF

There may be an instance where you need to share your course syllabus. In this day and age of digital learning management systems (LMS) some instructors use the online course page(s) as their syllabus. Some of these systems can make it more difficult to capture the appropriate content in a meaningful way. Thankfully, Canvas has a way that an instructor can export their course to an ePUB file, and then with free online tools, convert it to a PDF.

To do this:

  1. Open a course.
  2. Navigate to Settings>Feature Options and turn on ePub Exporting.  (You will need to repeat these first two steps for each course you wish to export.)
  3. Next, navigate to your Account (far left column, Global navigation).
  4. Select Settings>Download Course Content

A page will open that shows the course with the option to download as an ePUB file.  After downloading you can convert the ePub to a PDF using any online file converter. One option is (This site does other conversions. This link is specifically to the ePUB to PDF conversion.)

Thank you to Peter Peregrine for discovering and sharing this option.

Canvas CSM Webinar – Reusing and Sharing Content in Canvas

On Thursday October 27, our Canvas Success Managers (CSM) team presented a webinar on how to reuse and share course content. There were a number of points that I think are pertinent and helpful to faculty using Canvas.

Here is a list of specifically helpful points:

  • Course Copy (7:15) – you can use this to copy course content from one course into another. You might use this to copy course content from one term to the next.
  • Course Export/Import (10:52) – You can use this to share course content with other instructors. See our FAQ about this.
  • Adjust assignment due dates (8:55; 10:14*) – Canvas provides two ways to change assignment due dates. This is a handy feature when copying course content from one term to the next. *The method shown here may be the better option imho.
  • Direct share (Copy To/ Send To)
    • Copy to (15:50) – This allows you to copy a module or specific content within a module from one course to another without copying/the entire course. You can use this to copy an assignment you created in one course to another/future term.
    • Send to (22:00) – This allows you to send a single piece of course content to another Teacher without creating a course export. You can use this to share an assignment, page, quiz or something else from your course for another Teacher to use.

You can access the notes/resources and video of the webinar at:

Workshop: Create a Canvas Course Home Page

Do you want to create a visually dynamic course home page?
Do you want more design flexibility?

If so, you are invited to participate Create a Canvas Course Home Page workshop. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be guided through a set of steps that can be used to develop their own home page. 

The session date/time/location is:

Thursday, October 20
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Humanities Lab, Main Hall 108.

Please RSVP here and contact Jedidiah with any questions.

Canvas: Create a Course Home Page

Do you want to create a visually dynamic course home page?
Do you want more design flexibility?

If so, you are invited to participate in one of two workshops to create a Canvas course homepage. This will be a hands-on workshop. Participants will be guided through a set of steps that can be used to develop their own home page. 

There will be two sessions. The same content will be presented in both. The session dates/time are:

  • Tuesday, September 27, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 28, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Both sessions will be held in the Humanities Lab, Main Hall 108.

Please contact Jedidiah with any questions, or if you are interested in the topic, but unable to attend.

[UPDATE May 25, 2022] Canvas: New Quizzes

A couple months ago I shared a note about New Quizzes – a new quiz engine being developed in Canvas. In that post I share a couple known issues. One of those was that manually graded questions were not appearing on the Dashboard in the To Do list for instructors.

I am pleased to share that the Instructure development team has implemented this capability for New Quizzes. It is now possible to receive a to-do notification for manually graded items within quizzes. You can see an example notification below.

A notification link to grade a New Quizzes quiz question.
New Quizzes To Do List item

Another update Instructure shared relates to the Fill In the Blank question type. It is now possible for instructors to use the rich content editor as they create fill-in-the-blank questions. The provides more formatting options and the ability to integrate formulas into the questions. This video (2:22) demonstrates the expanded capability.

Canvas: Pages Plus

I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop focused on a couple more advanced page editing options. We investigated how to create responsive tiles and creating tabbed pages. The purpose of these options is to create a visually engaging, responsive, and accessible page. The code to create tabs is based on what I found on this page. The code to create the responsive tiles was created through experimentation based on information gathered across many pages and forums.

Six rectangular tiles arranged in two rows of three. Each has a title with white text and blue background. Below each title is a grey card containing the text "Placeholder." This is followed by filler text.
Tile/Button example.
A Canvas Page containing tabs for different content on each tab.
Tabbed page example.

Code Examples

A snippet of the tiles HTML code for the tiles/buttons is below. I have separated each element with a line break to see each more clearly. This is followed by an explanation of what each piece is doing.

<div id="container">

    <div id="button1" style="width: 32%; height: 300px; float: left; min-width: 300px; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; padding: 0px; border: 1px solid #dddddd;">

        <h2 style="width: 100%; background-color: #004987; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 0px; font-size: 1em; text-align: center; color: #ffffff;">TITLE 1</h2>

		<p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><img id="315178" style="width: 100%; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" alt="placeholder_360x150.png" data-api-endpoint="" data-api-returntype="File" /></p>
		<p style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Lollipop macaroon candy bonbon bonbon caramels wafer chupa chups.</p>


The first div serves as a container for all of the tiles or buttons, which are each their own div. The id allows us to give each div a name as a reminder of its function.

Each tile or button uses the same structure:
div – an opening div tag to define the button structure.
h2 – a heading to contain the button title.
p – a paragraph to contain an image.
p – a paragraph to contain a link and/or description for the button destination.
div – a closing div tag.

The width of the div is set as a percentage of the total page width. You can change this based on how many buttons you want to be tiled horizontally based on the overall page width. You can edit the height as you need/want. The min-width, margin-right, and margin-bottom allow the divs to tile correctly as the page becomes smaller (or on mobile). I recommend leaving these as they are. You can elimiate the border if you want by setting the width to “0px”. You can also change the color of the border if you want by entering a different HEX color code.

The h2 creates a heading for the button. You can remove this line if you do not want it. You can edit the background and/or text color by changing the HEX color code for the “background-color” and/or “color” element.

The first paragraph tag contains the button image. The “p style” allows the full image to be displayed without any space between it and the h2 heading. The image styling (display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;) centers the image in the paragraph.

This last paragraph contains the link to a page or other course element. The “text-align: center” style centers the text in the paragraph.

These are followed by each of the closing div tags.

Let’s turn to the tabbed pages. Here is the code:

<div class="enhanceable_content tabs">

<li><a href="#fragment-1">PUT TITLE FOR TAB HERE</a></li>
<li><a href="#fragment-2">PUT TITLE FOR TAB HERE</a></li>
<li><a href="#fragment-3">PUT TITLE FOR TAB HERE</a></li>

<div id="fragment-1">PUT THE CONTENT FOR THE FIRST TAB HERE</div>
<div id="fragment-2">PUT THE CONTENT FOR THE SECOND TAB HERE.</div>
<div id="fragment-3">PUT THE CONTENT FOR THE THIRD TAB HERE</div>


Make sure to edit the tab titles in HTML mode and not in the rich content editor. Doing the latter may introduce display issues with your page. You can add more tabs by copying and renaming each list (li) item. Make sure you copy from the opening li tag through the closing li tag. You will also need to make sure to add a corresponding content area.

Recommended workflow – create separate pages in Canvas for each tab content. Once the individual page is complete, copy the HTML from that page into the “PUT THE CONTENT FOR THE NTH TAB HERE” location. This will allow you the flexibility of more easily working in the rich content editor with the content and preserve the page structure within this code


Text files and placeholder images may be found in this folder.

Canvas: New Quizzes

What is New Quizzes?

Classic Quiz has been the quiz engine in Canvas for a long time. New Quizzes is a new quiz engine that will replace Classic Quizzes. The Canvas guides state, “New Quizzes is a quiz engine that integrates with Canvas as an LTI tool and replaces the classic quizzes functionality currently existing in Canvas. Instructors can use New Quizzes to create quizzes using a variety of questions types.” New Quizzes offers some new question types and efficiency for setting accommodations. But there are limitations as well. New Quizzes does not support ‘quiz-as-survey’ in the way that Classic Quiz did. What follows is a summary of the timeline for transitioning from classic to New Quizzes, recommendations for migrating from Classic to New Quizzes and resources to help you in this effort.

Classic Quiz – New Quizzes Timeline

We need to prepare ourselves to use the new quiz engine. Classic Quizzes is scheduled to be sunset June 30, 2024. So we have a little bit of time, which is good. Instructure is still actively developing New Quizzes. There is some new functionality and previous functionality that is yet to be available. More on that latter point in Known Issues. The other positive side of this is that we have time to practice using New Quizzes and migrate content from Classic Quiz to New Quizzes.

LU Plan for NQ

What follows are the options we have available to us and how we plan to roll out New Quizzes. Instructure has provided three levels of sitewide settings to assist with migration from Classic Quizzes to New Quizzes.
They are:

  • New Quizzes migration during course import/copy
    Enabling this will provide instructors the option to migrate all quizzes in a course to New Quizzes when they import or copy a course.
  • New Quizzes migration enabled by default
    This means that the option to migrate all quizzes in a course will be selected by default, but may be deselected.
  • New Quizzes migration required
    This setting will force all quizzes to be migrated upon import.

Our plan is to enable the first option at the end of Winter term. This will give those preparing for the Spring term who want to try New Quiz the opportunity to migrate current quizzes to New Quizzes. Once these settings are enabled it will also be possible to migrate individual quizzes. Next, on July 1, 2022 we plan to enable the second option to make migration enabled by default. Forced migration will be enabled on July 1, 2023.

The timeline in short is:

  • New Quizzes migration during course import/copy – March 14, 2022
  • New Quizzes migration enabled by default – July 1, 2022
  • New Quizzes migration required – July 1, 2023

What’s New with New Quizzes?

There are a number of new features or enhancements that come with New Quizzes. A list of some of them may be reviewed below.

Creating a Quiz with New Quiz

Creating a quiz with new quiz looks a little different than Classic Quiz. You can follow this link to see how to create a New Quiz. There are a few things I would like to point out about some of the specific differences.

The first difference appears when you decide to create a quiz. If you create a quiz from the Quizzes page you will presented with a pop-up asking you to select your desired quiz engine.

The "Choose a Quiz Engine" pop-up window presenting options to select Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes.
The “Choose a Quiz Engine” pop-up.

From here you can choose which quiz engine you desire to use. Please be aware of the Remember my choice for this course button. If you make a selection by mistake you can reset your quiz engine choice from the Quiz Options menu at any time.

The same choice of quiz engine is available if you create a quiz from within a module.

Instructors may choose which quiz engine they choose when creating a quiz in a module.
Quiz engine choice when Creating a quiz in a module.

After choosing the New Quizzes engine you will see a screen similar to Classic Quizzes for entering the quiz settings such as name, points, due date and such. One difference on this page is the presence of the Build button located in the lower right.

Save options on the quiz settings page. The buttons are listed horizontally left to right in the following order: Cancel, Save&publish, Save, and Build.
New Quizzes Build button.

Clicking the Build button will allow you to add questions to your New Quiz.

New Quiz Build main screen.
New Quiz Build main screen.

This page allows you add a title and over all quiz instructions. There is also a collapsible question navigation menu on the left (expanded in the image below).

New Quiz Question Navigator

Next is Settings. This page allows you to choose from the following options:

  • Shuffle Questions
  • Shuffle Answers
  • One Question at a time
  • Require a student access code
  • Time limit
  • Filter IP addresses
  • Allow Calculator
  • Allow multiple attempts
  • Restrict Student result view
New Quiz Settings pane.
New Quiz Settings

Next, is Reports. There are currently two available: Quiz and Item Analysis and Outcomes Analysis.

New Quiz Reports pane.
New Quiz Reports

Lastly is the Moderate pane. This provides you access to accommodations for students and monitoring attempts. One benefit of New Quiz is that you can set accommodations for a student across all quizzes in a course versus having to set these for each quiz. Please note that this will not apply if you subsequently create a Classic Quiz. You will still need to set the accommodations for each Classic Quiz.

New Quiz Moderate pane.
New Quiz Moderate pane

You can set an accommodation by clicking the pencil icon located in the ‘Accommodation’ column for each student.

Migrating Classic Quizzes to New Quizzes

Instructure is providing a couple different ways to migrate classic quizzes to New Quizzes. Please note that instructors cannot revert from New Quizzes to Classic Quizzes.

Please Note: Quizzes imported into Canvas from a Moodle course backup file will be converted to Classic quizzes and not New Quizzes. If you want those to be New Quizzes you will need to follow the steps in the Migrating an Individual Quiz section below.

Migrating on Course Import/Copy

It is possible to migrate all quizzes from Classic to New Quizzes during a course/Copy or Import. Unless you choose to select specific content all quizzes will be converted to New Quizzes. All Classic quizzes will be removed from the course.

Canvas Course import options containing choice to import existing quizzes as New Quizzes.
New Quiz Migration on Import

Once the import completes you will receive a message containing the following infirmation:

Your Classic Quizzes have been migrated to New Quizzes!
Please note:

  • Text No Question has moved to a Stimulus; please add a question so it can display within the quiz.
  • Classic Quizzes with New RCE audio/video may not have moved completely; these will need to be rebuilt.
  • LaTex equations are currently migrated as images, and the questions should not be edited.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we continue to improve the migration experience!

Migrating an Individual Quiz

If you do not want to migrate all your quizzes at once it is possible to do so one at a time. This may be done by clicking the kebab menu to the right of the desired quiz and then select Migrate.

Quiz edit option showing the Migrate option.
Migrate link in the quiz edit menu.

Choosing this option will only migrate that single quiz. Additionally the originally Classic Quiz version will remain in the course. In this way you could make multiple copies of a quiz if desired.

Question Bank vs. Item Bank

Classic Quizzes can make use of Question Banks. New Quizzes can make use of Item Banks. There currently is not a way to convert a Question Bank into an Item Bank. Canvas is working on a bulk migration option, but currently items must be added to an Item Bank individually. This must be done from within a New Quiz. The steps to do so are below.

  1. Open the quiz and click the Build button.
  2. Click the pencil icon to edit a question.
  3. Expand the Item Banking area.
  4. Click the Add to bank link.
  5. Add the question to an existing or new bank.
Adding a question to an Item Bank, steps 1-4.
Add Item to bank pop-up, step 5.

Known Issues

While there are some benefits with New Quizzes there are also some limitations. Hopefully these will be addressed soon by the Canvas development team.

  • Manually graded questions do not appear in To Do.
    The issue means that essay questions do not appear in an instructors “To Do” section of their Dashboard page. This issue has brought a fairly large outcry from users, but has yet to be integrated. Please feel free to add your voice.
  • Questions must be added to Item banks manually.
    My understanding is the developers are working on a tol to batch import from question banks into item banks but this has not been completed. Items must currently be imported individually. The best way to do this right now is to add all questions from a question bank into a quiz and then migrate the quiz. This will allow an instructor to add them to an Item bank.


[FIXED] Canvas Studio – Assignment Issue

A little over two weeks ago I posted about an issue with assignment file submissions and Canvas Studio. A fix has been developed and pushed to production.

Students can now successfully submit media through Canvas Studio for assignments configured to allow File uploads as the submission type. The student interface for such assignments appears as:

The submission page for a Canvas assignment showing the options to upload a file, submit through Canvas Studio, and more.
Assignment – student file submission page

Students can click the Studio button to access their Studio Library and select the media they wish to submit. Once the assignment has been submitted the instructor may view the media in Speedgrader.

Canvas – Make Sure Your Browser is Up-To-Date

It would be a shame if you entered grades and came back later to find them gone. this scenario was recently reported to me. The word from Canvas support was that an out-of-date browser (Firefox in this case) was the culprit.

Regardless of the browser you use please make sure you keep it up to date. This is important as Canvas is a web-based tool.

Contact the Helpdesk if you need assistance updating your browser(s) on Lawrence-owned computers.