Canvas,  Educational Tools,  Teaching & Learning

Adding External Tools to Your Course

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve previously talked about how to use Ensemble for screen capture and webcam recording. We’ve also talked about how to add annotations, edit, and upload your video. But once you’ve uploaded your video, how do you get it into Canvas? 

Ensemble is integrated with Canvas as an external tool, so it’s a simple process to add media to your course. We’re going to use Ensemble as an example here, but you’ll follow the same initial process to add any external tool to your course. 

Add an external tool to a module

If you want your video or other item from an external tool to be available directly from the modules page, you’ll follow this process. 

  1. Go to the “modules” page in your course
  2. Click the “plus” button for the module where you want to add the external tool
  3. Select “external tool” from the drop-down
  4. Select your external tool from the list. You’ll then get more options to choose the exact items you want from the tool (if applicable). 
  5. Click “Add Item.”

To view this process with screenshots, check out the Canvas article “How do I add an external tool as a module item?

Add an external tool to a page, announcement, or anywhere else with the rich content editor

If you want your video or other item from an external tool to be embedded in an announcement, page, discussion forum, or some other location in Canvas, you’ll want to follow this process. 

1. Go to the location you want to add the item. You can add an external tool to anywhere that uses the rich content editor.
Note: Not all external tools can be embedded in the rich content editor. If your tool connects to the gradebook, it must be added to a module. 

Screenshot of the new rich content editor with a box around the button for adding an external tool

2. In the ribbon for the rich content editor, click the “external tools” button. If you do not see the button, click the “three dots” button to view the hidden menu items and click the external tools button there.

3. Select your external tool from the drop-down and follow the steps in the pop-up window to add your item.

  1. For Ensemble, scroll through your library until you find the media you want. If you aren’t certain which item you need, click the “preview” button under a thumbnail to view the content. 
  2. Click the “choose” button under the video thumbnail to select it. 
  3. Choose how you want to add your media: a video link requires an extra click from the students, but it also tracks more data related to views. The video player is embedded in the page, so it does not track the same data the video link does. 
  4. Once you’ve chosen the link method, click the “save” button
  5. Your external tool is now linked into your page (or other location you selected). 

If you get stuck while working through either of these methods, Canvas support is always available to answer your questions. You can access chat support through the “help” menu in Canvas, or you can call the IT Help Desk at 937-766-7905 and press 1 to access Canvas Support. 

Editor’s note: edited January 4, 2021 to update the screenshot and instructions for adding an external tool using the content editor to align with the New Rich Content Editor

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