Canvas Media Submissions - Best Practices for Instructors


Setting up an Assignment to allow for audio or video submission is the same as other online assignments other than one setting, ensure you have the Submission Type as Online > Media Recordings. If you are new to setting up an online assignment, view How do I create an online assignment as an Instructor? 

Tips to help students be successful

  • Show students how to use the Upload/Media tool, you can use Student View to walk them through the process.
  • This will ensure students will be successful and if there are any issues you can address them before they submit a graded media assignment.

How can my students be successful with media submissions using the upload/media tool?

  • Within the Assignment, ensure to check the Submission Type to Online and check Media Recording.
  • An audio recording is recommended over video, they are smaller in size.
  • Speaking time should be ~ 1-5 minutes.
  • The Canvas Student mobile app could be used for recording video on their device. Keep in mind, media files cannot exceed 500 MB. Often they can exceed this limit, and it produces problems for students to submit an media submission.
  • Students must use a supported browser, Google Chrome or Firefox (latest versions), the browsers Safari and Microsoft Edge do not function well with the upload/media tool.

Alternatives for media submissions without the upload/media tool. 

  • Within the Assignment settings, set the Submission Type > Online > Website URL enabling this submission type allows student to paste the link to the video as their assignment submission.
  • Microsoft Stream: Students can record a their screen, themselves, or both. Record, upload, and share videos with others, all staff and registered students have access to Microsoft Stream.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video: Students can easily add video clips, sound clips, photos, icons or record their voice, great for narrating a short video. See Alternative Online Tools below.

The above tools Canvas, Microsoft Stream, and Adobe Express are offered each semester for staff at

Common issues that can prevent recording and uploading media.

  • The video file is too large, the video cannot be any larger than 500 MB.
  • The user has poor or no internet connection.
  • The file format of your video is not supported. View the supported file formats for media uploads.
  • Ad Blockers and browser extensions could prevent the media from being uploaded.
  • The browser is out of date, supported browsers are Google Chrome and Firefox, they must be the latest two versions. Check your browser version to see if its up-to-date.
  • The browser being used is not supported, such as Safari it doesn't function well.
  • The permissions in your browser are not enabled, such as using the microphone or camera.
  • Uploads fail without notice to the user, uploads fail silently, there is no error message that displays on your screen. 


Selecting multiple submission types. An assignment with multiple submission types allows for only one submission type per assignment ensure that you include that in your Assignment instructions. 

Be flexible with how you allow media submissions, give your students options. There are many options for an assigning a video project, ​​​​ensure to have the Assignment set to Submission Type > Online then select as appropriate:

  • Website URL - allows students to paste the video link to their file
  • Media Recordings - allows students to use the upload/media tool in Canvas
  • File Uploads - allows students to upload a file directly or from their OneDrive.

Alternative online tools to record a video

  • Microsoft Stream (record, upload, and share videos with others at SVSU)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video (create short videos, graphics, and single-page websites) 
    • Visit 
      • Click Sign in, click Log in with school account,
      • Type in your SVSU email address, click Continue.
      • Click Company or School Account, your account will be authenticated with Multi-Factor Authentication.
      • After your account is verified you will be logged into Adobe Creative Cloud Express.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express is an free online design app that allows users to create graphics, single-page websites, and short videos. All staff and students have access to Adobe Creative Cloud Express Premium.


Article ID: 139357
Thu 11/11/21 9:51 AM
Fri 2/3/23 12:52 PM

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Adobe Express is a free online design app available from our Adobe Enterprise Licensing. Adobe Express allows staff and registered students to create graphics, single-page websites, short videos, and more. Explore the possibilities of what you can create for a class assignment or just for fun!
Canvas is the learning management system used at SVSU. Canvas allows instructors to organize their courses and course content so students can find the materials they need quickly and easily. Canvas includes tools for announcements, assignments, quizzes, grades, discussion and more.
Stream is a video tool part of Microsoft 365 – where staff, faculty, and registered students can create, upload, and share their video content in Canvas or with anyone with an SVSU email address. Stream has a basic video editor and transcript editor. We recommend MS Stream for students to record (e.g., biographies, presentations, and other projects) There is a 15-minute recording limit.