Commons Best Practices

Commons accepts all learning objects from Canvas, from full courses to specific modules, quizzes, assignments, discussions, pages and documents. Rubrics can be shared if they are attached to assignments.

Users can share resources with other Canvas Commons users, with users and groups from within the University of Iowa, or keep files in Commons in a private state for personal use only.

Suggested ideas on useful content to include in Commons:

  • Syllabus template
  • Course template (for colleges, departments, or programs)
  • Home page template
  • Module template
  • Accessibility Module or Page
  • Orientation Modules
  • Summative assessments

Important to remember:

  1. When searching for resources in commons you can filter your results by type, level, or rating. You can also search for only University of Iowa generated content. 
  2. You may want to import content into a sandbox/development site to preview it before adding it to a course with your students. 
  3. Resources you upload to Commons can be restricted to just yourself, a group at the University of Iowa, all of the University of Iowa, or anyone who is a Canvas Commons user.
  4. You will need to request the creation of a group to restrict sharing to selected University of Iowa users.
    1. Contact the ITS Help Desk via phone: 319-384-4357 or Email:
  5. There are six different licenses to choose from when sharing content to Commons.
  6. Adding a description and tags to your content will help other users locate it.
  7. Include attributions/citations for any re-used content, as per the CC license.
  8. Don’t share fake content into Commons. Delete any practice content that is not real.
  9. Don’t share anything that includes teacher or student identifiers.
  10. Don’t share copyrighted content to Commons.
Article number: 
Last updated: 
June 5, 2017