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Submitting a Video Assignment



If you will be using Canvas to submit a video recording, there are a number of ways to record and upload your file, depending on your equipment and preferences. Possible scenarios fall into 2 general categories: recording outside of Canvas and uploading later, or using Canvas to launch your recording. Unless your recording is very brief, we strongly recommend recording outside of Canvas and then uploading the file.

Helpful hints

  • In our experience, if you plan to record a long segment, it is safer to record your video outside of Canvas and upload the file when you’re done.  We cannot emphasize this strongly enough Canvas does provide for ‘on-the-fly’ media comments with mobile devices and within browsers. However, these recording methods are less robust - if you lose your wireless connection or experience some other problem, your video can be lost. This may not be an issue for a 10-second audio comment, and sometimes the convenience simply outweighs the risk. If, however, you are preparing and recording a lengthy presentation, we strongly recommend that you record it outside of Canvas first, and then upload it using the Canvas interface.
  • If you’ve never used your iOS device to create a video, you may wish to consult Apple Support.
  • If you’re using a computer, make sure you’re running a supported browser with the most recent version of the Flash plug-in.
  • If you’ve never used your device to make videos, it’s worth doing a few tests. iPads and iPhones, for example, will take a video in portrait mode if the device is held vertically, and generally, videos look better filmed in a landscape orientation.
  • You can always resubmit your video if you upload it and later find something you want to correct; if you upload multiple files, your instructor will see the latest version by default. If you need to do this, navigate to the assignment and look for the option to resubmit.
  • If your video is long, try to upload it with a wired connection instead of a wireless one. The upload will be faster, and there is a lower likelihood of a dropped connection and interrupted transmission. For long videos, you will have better results if you try to limit your file size to 500 MB or less.
  • If you are able to choose the file type that your device creates, we recommend .mp3 for audio files and .mp4 for video files. These media types generally offer good sound and resolution at a reasonable file size. This is not a requirement, however. A complete list of acceptable media files can be found in the Canvas Guides.

If you have an external camcorder or recording device, or a computer with a webcam

Make sure the file type your device will create is supported in Canvas. If possible, choose a format that makes sense for file sharing. For example, many camcorders can create high definition videos, but the file will also be large, and large video files are unwieldy for online viewing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to record your video, and if necessary, to transfer it to a computer. Then submit your video file to the Canvas assignment.

If you have an iOS device

Typically, videos recorded on iOS devices will be stored on your "Camera Roll." This location is accessible from the Canvas interface when you upload a video.

Submitting your completed video

Depending on how your professor has configured your assignment, you may have one, two, or three choices for submitting videos.

  1. If your instructor wants you to upload a file, you will be able to browse to and upload your video file, the same way you might upload a Word document.
  2. If your instructor wants to you to put a copy of your video on a service like youTube, they might only provide space for you to enter a URL.  In this case, you will need to upload your video elsewhere, and then come back to Canvas to provide the URL.
  3. Finally, your instructor might enable media submissions.  Media submissions give you a choice: submit a file you've already created, or record a video or audio file at that moment.  As mentioned above, we strongly recommend you submit a file that has already been created.  This means you would be "choosing" a file instead of "recording" one.  Here are detailed instructions on submitting assignments with various devices:

Submitting an assignment in Canvas (on a computer)

Submitting an assignment in the Canvas app on an iOS device

Submitting an assignment in the Canvas app on an Android device


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