How to Add External Links to your Canvas Course


In a previous video, the Redirect Tool was demonstrated for adding links to your left navigation using the example of Adobe Connect meeting rooms. This video will demonstrate how to add external links within the modules page in Canvas.

Sync Session links are essential to every course we offer and teach, and for that reason must be placed in a global position, such as the left navigation.Other times, however, we want to provide links to external resources that are useful to all students, but don’t command the same high-level position in our course’s navigation.

Lets take a look at how these links are added.

If your course is set up in Modules, as you see here, then you can add External links or URLs, using the Add Items menu.

Navigate to the the Module in your course where you would like to add the URL, then click on the Add Item button on the right hand side.

Choose External URL from the drop-down menu, and you’ll notice there is a variety of items you can add to your course in this way.

Next, enter in or paste an external URL into the URL Field, and enter a link title under Page Name.

In this instance we will check the box to Load in new tab, ignore the Indentation option, and finally click Add Item.

Notice that the new external link fell to the bottom of the list. This is the default position for all new items added to a Module. Hovering to the left of your link, you’ll notice a change in cursor indicating that you may click, drag, and drop your link anywhere else in the Module. You can even move your link into a different module. In order to make this link active, or even visible to students, you will need to publish the link by clicking on the cloud icon on the right hand side.

Quickly, let’s take a look at an example link that is not set to Load in a new tab. As you can see the destination URL is loaded within the Canvas framework.

Depending on the content and the complexity of the landing page, this might suit your needs just fine.

If, however, your landing page requires complex interaction or continued navigation within the window, you will most likely check the box for loading in a new tab.

Earlier, you were asked to ignore the indentation option in the Add Item menu, so let’s look now at how this can affect your link.

On the right hand side of any item in a Module, there is an items settings drop down with an option to increase indent. And in the case of already indented items there is an option to decrease indent.

Knowing now how the indentation affects the items place, feel free to use the indentation option, knowing that you can always update and adjust any items indentation.

Thank you for watching. Please be sure to visit often for tips and tricks on how to enhance your course-building skills using Canvas.