Canvas Media Submissions - Best Practices for Instructors


Best practices for instructors when using the Upload/Media tool in Canvas and alternatives tools to record video.



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? 

Help Students be Successful Using the Upload/Media tool

  • 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.

Set up the Assignment

  • 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), when using the upload/media tool.

Alternative Recording Tools - Recommended for Students

  • Microsoft Stream: Students can record (up to 15 minutes), upload media, and create shareable links. All staff and registered students have access to Microsoft Stream (on SharePoint)
  • Adobe Express: Students can easily add video clips, sound, photos, icons and narration. 

Learn more 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. 

Submission Types in Canvas

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.



Article ID: 139357
Thu 11/11/21 9:51 AM
Thu 6/27/24 8:31 PM

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