Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Table of Contents


Canvas course files is a place that collects all the outside files uploaded into a Canvas course. It can be a convenient place to center course content, since it requires little time to put together, but is also less accessible to students.

Course modules allow you to organize all the information in your course and present it in a way that is easy for students to access and use. Professors can choose to organize their modules by class day, unit, type of assignment, or another method. This page explains how to set up your course modules.

ETM is committed to making Canvas courses as accessible to students as possible, so we recommend using course files as a secondary means of organization, with modules as the main place for course content.


Modules is the ideal way to organize course files. The modules list has larger, more contrasting font than the files list and can be organized in an outline format, and so is more accessible to students than the files page. Files can easily be uploaded into modules and organized such that students can find them quickly. You can even make the modules page your course home page, so that it is the first thing students see when they log into Canvas.

Create Modules

  1. Select the +Module button in the upper right-hand corner of the Modules tab.
  2. Name your module. At this point, you can also choose to lock the module until a certain date or set a prerequisite module.
    New module pop-up window with options to name, lock, and set a prerequisite for the module
  3. To add content to a module, click the + icon to the right of the module name.
    1. Choose the type of content you would like to add to your module.
    2. You can choose to either create new content or link to content you have already created.
    3. Indentation levels allow you to set up your module like an outline. For example, if two files are relevant to an assignment, you can put the assignment as "don't indent" and the files as "indent 1 level".
      pop-up window that allows you to choose the type of content and specific piece of content, and indent content
    4. You can drag and drop to re-arrange content within your module, and also re-arrange the order of the modules themselves. 
  4. Publish Module

Canvas allows you to publish components of a module individually, but they will not be visible to students until the module itself is published. Select the grey cloud icon to the right of the module name to publish it. You can double-check what students can and cannot see in your course with the student view setting.


The files page of your course should be organized to reflect your modules, so that students can quickly find the files they need. You can create folders and sub-folders to organize files by unit and day, or any other method that fits with how the course is taught.

To create a folder, select the +Folder button that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the files page, name the folder, and fill it with the appropriate files.

New Folder options

Organizing Folders


In order to organize the folders or to place them in sub-folders:

  1. Click on the settings icon located towards the end of the folder name.
  2. Select the "Move" option in the down-bar.
  3. Select the location or folder and click the "Move" button.