Canvas Update: Item Banks in Course Navigation and Item Bank Sharing Tweaks

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With the latest update, Canvas has simplified how some aspects of New Quizzes work. They’ve added Item Banks to your course navigation, and they’ve also adjusted some of the sharing settings.  

Item Banks in Course Navigation  

We’ll look at the first item well…first. We’ve talked before about the hoops to jump through to add or edit questions in New Quiz Item Banks. That method is still valid, but Canvas has added a new way to jump to Item Banks quickly – a link directly in your course navigation (if you can’t see it there, check the Navigation tab of your course settings to make sure Item Banks is enabled).  

When you access Item Banks from your course navigation, you’ll see all the item banks you’ve created as well as all the item banks you have access to. There’s an “add” button at the top right so you can add new item banks. You can use the search field to help find a particular bank quickly, and you can click on a bank’s name to access the questions page where you can add or edit questions for that bank.  

Since all your banks can now be accessed more easily than ever, we recommend making sure you name them clearly, including your course code in the name, so you can find them quickly using the search function. That way, you won’t have to flip through multiple “Chapter 1” banks to find the exact one you need.  

Item Banks Sharing Settings 

Previously, item banks were owned by an instructor and could only be shared to other instructors. If you were co-teaching a course and wanted a bank to be editable by the other instructors, you’d need to share it with them individually. Now, Canvas allows you to share an item bank with courses – and all instructors in that course will have access. Canvas also lets you set the level of access you want to give to those you share the bank with. While you’re going through the sharing process, you can choose whether you want to give “view” or “edit” access.  

To share a bank from the new Item Bank screen:  

  1. Find the bank you want to share. 
  2. Click the “share” icon in line with the bank name (the icon is three dots connected together like a sideways “v”).  
  3. In the window that pops up, start typing a course or instructor name in the “share with” box.  
  4. When Canvas fills in the rest of the name, click that filled-in name.  
  5. Choose the level of access – view or edit – from the “access” dropdown.  
  6. Click “add.”  
  7. Repeat for any others you want to add to the bank.  
  8. When you’ve finished, click “done.”  

At any point, you can change the access levels for individuals on that same “share” page, and you can even remove access entirely.  

Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out by commenting below or emailing us at  

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