Introducing Deep Embeds: An Easier Way to Show Videos in Canvas

You’ve probably heard that Panopto, Emerson’s video-hosting platform, underwent a major update this summer. Now you can simply embed Panopto videos in Canvas, and students will automatically be able to view them! Here’s more about what this change means for your teaching.

What you don’t need to do anymore

In the old days (prior to July 2018), for students to see a video, you’d have to edit its sharing settings and add your whole “class group” to the video before finally embedding it in Canvas. To add to this delightful complexity, you had to add the version of your class labeled “viewers” (students) rather than “creators.” The cherry on top: if a student hadn’t yet clicked the course menu’s Panopto button, the video would STILL be unwatchable. Rather than displaying a helpful error, the video would prompt the student to “request access,” sending an email to the confused instructor who couldn’t do anything but pass on the request to ITG, who would tell the student to click the button and try again.

Fun, right?

How it works now

Now, there’s no longer any need to change sharing settings for videos you’re placing in Canvas. Even better, there’s no longer any need for students to click the Panopto button before attempting to view videos. I’d say the new steps to show video are as easy as 1-2-3, but they’re actually even easier:

1)    Upload your video to Panopto (or record a new video).

2)    Embed the video on any Canvas page (or assignment, discussion, etc.—anywhere there’s a rich text editor) using the green embed button above the text editor. It looks like a recycling symbol:

The Panopto embedder button above the Canvas rich text editor.

That’s it! Any member of your Canvas course will be able to view the embedded video in the place where you embedded it.

This works for students, too. Students can easily embed videos into their discussion posts for the whole class to see. Or, they can embed video in their submissions to assignments that accept “text entry,” so you can privately view and grade them in Speedgrader.

Some caveats

  • You can also make videos visible to students in Canvas by uploading them to the Panopto course folder (the one with your course’s name), then directing your students to the Panopto section of Canvas. We don’t recommend this method: if you ever teach the course in a future term and want to copy your previous content, you’d have to move or re-upload your videos to the new course folder. When you embed videos instead, those embeds are carried over to future copies of the course. No need to redo your work!
  • The ONLY way to make this work is to use the green button in Canvas’ rich text editor to embed your video. Using the embed code found in a video’s sharing settings will NOT make the video visible to students, nor will placing a link to the video in Canvas.
  • If you want to display your video OUTSIDE of Canvas—say, on a WordPress page—you’ll still need to change its sharing settings to make it visible. Deep embeds only work in Canvas.

For a detailed guide with screenshots, check out this support page. And as always, ITG is happy to provide Canvas and Panopto training whenever you’d like. If you’d like to start using videos in your teaching and need some help, email or call us at (617) 824-8090.

The Latest in Teaching Tech at Emerson

Panopto + Canvas

If your Panopto video is embedded in a Canvas page, anyone who has permission to view that course in Canvas will be able to view the videos!

In the past, faculty had to manually update sharing settings for their videos each semester, and students had to click on the Panopto button in each of their Canvas courses in order to view the course’s videos. Now all students enrolled in a course will automatically have permission to view all videos embedded in that course.

This upgrade has made the process of adding videos to Canvas much simpler, but for it to work, all Panopto videos that were embedded in Canvas before July 2018 will have to be re-embedded. We’ve sent out an email with more detailed information to the faculty who will need to re-embed, and ITG will handle re-embedding for all online courses.

New Canvas Dashboard View Available to Students

In the List View, graded items from the To Do list appear automatically, instructors can add non-graded item to the to-do list, and students can create their own items.

Each item on the list includes a link for easy access to the To Do item. The Dashboard loads to display the current date, though previous and future dates can be viewed by scrolling up and down the page. Graded items are marked as completed when they are submitted. Non-graded items must be manually marked as completed by the student and are updated when the page is refreshed.

Students can enable the Dashboard List View by selecting the List View in the Dashboard options menu (at top right of the Dashboard next to “View All Courses”). If students switch to the Card View, the global To Do list sidebar no longer displays the number of all items outstanding. Instead, the bottom of the list displays a Show All link, which links students to the List View dashboard.

Easy Module + Assignment Duplication

Entire modules can be duplicated within a course. The duplication option is located in the Settings menu for every supported module item. Assignments can also be duplicated within a course. This option is located in the three-dot-button menu to the right of each assignment on the Assignments page.

New Canvas Scheduler

Instead of going to a separate “scheduler” tool, you’ll see an Appointment Group tab when creating/editing an event. Students see a Find Appointment button on their calendar only when the course offers future appointments. Appointments instantly appear on your calendar. Use an appointment slot’s Group Details button to edit the group or see a summary of its sign-ups. Filled student appointment slots also appear in the Agenda view of your calendar.

Student View Button Now on Course Home Page

The Student View button allows instructors to see what course content, assignments, quizzes, and other activities look like from a student’s vantage point. Previously, the “Student View” was only located on the settings page. With the current update, the Course Home Page includes a Student View button.

Assignment updates

Individually Graded Group Assignment Comment Options

When an instructor creates a group assignment with individual grading, the group assignment includes specific options that clarify how to send submission comments. Previously if a student didn’t select the option to send the comment to the entire group, instructors were not able to view the comments in SpeedGrader.

Anonymous moderated grading

Anonymous Grading is allowed in Canvas. The workflow to enable this feature can be found here:

  1.  Turn on “Anonymous Grading” in your course’s Settings > Feature Options
  2.  Set up assignments with the “Anonymous Grading” option

Non-scoring Rubrics

Rubrics can be created without point values to create a non-scoring rubric. This feature promotes learning engagement by helping students focus on assignment feedback instead of point values. 


Ally (PDF) works within Canvas to automatically convert files to other versions (PDF), so that students can download the format that works best for their learning. It will also help walk you through the process of making your course and its materials even more useful for students. Ally is active in all online and First Year Writing Program courses, and is available by request for all other courses.


Quizzes.Next is the new version of Canvas Quizzes. It is available but not required yet. Instructors can enable Quizzes.Next in course Settings > Feature Options > Quizzes. Quizzes.Next Feature Comparison explains the current differences between classic Quizzes and Quizzes.Next. Current Canvas quizzes will need to be migrated to Quizzes.Next.

Mastery Paths – Individualize Learning

Mastery Paths are designed to customize the learning path students take based on their grade on an initial assignment. Instructors can set up the content for each path that is conditionally released once the students receive their score.

Mastery Path inspiration:

Identify Online Tools for Teaching and Learning

Online educational tools provide engaging environments for students with various needs. However, exploring new tools can be time consuming for students without any advice on how to select the appropriate learning tools. It is better for instructors to provide the resources as much as we can to help students best utilize the low costs online tools and do their own evaluations.

Here are some examples of where to find free online tools:

The following prompts may help you locates the appropriate tools faster:

  • Which tools might help your students achieve their learning goals?
  • Which tools might help you enhance your teaching?
  • Which tool do you want to use for course activities? Why? What will be your approach to learning how to use this tool?

To evaluate a learning tools or to compare similar learning tools. We need to know what criterions we should look into.

  • Privacy: Whether the user can decide what personal information (e.g., email address, name, location) to share and how that information is used or shared with others? Whether the privacy policy clearly states how the information is used or shared?
  • Ease of Use: Whether the user can quickly learn how to use the tool with relative ease. How much instructions are needed for learning how to use the tool? Are there any tutorials and FAQ information available if the user runs into an issue with the tool?
  • Impact on Student Learning: Whether the tool supports students in acquiring or developing skills (e.g., collaboration, karate, synthesis of information, self-directed learning), knowledge (e.g., content knowledge), or attitudes (e.g., growth mindset)?
  • Cost: Does the tool require any money to use? Does it sell user data or embed advertisements in the tool?
  • Power & Bias: Does the tool empower, favor, or marginalize certain groups of people? Does it present biased (e.g., one-sided perspective) or deceptive information?
  • Access: Can the tool be used on any device (e.g., tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop) and any browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Safari)? Does the tool require separate plug-ins or components that need to be downloaded in order to use it (e.g., Flash)? Can the tool be used with minimal bandwidth?
  • Accessibility: Can the tool be used by anyone, regardless of physical or learning disability?

Those criterions can help you evaluate the tool and determine whether to use it in your practice. Here is an example includes a wealth of information about a specific tool (evaluations, description of the tool, innovative ways to use the tool for teaching and learning).

Upload, Share, and Embed Panopto Videos: Staff Edition!

Are you a staff member who has recently recorded a lecture, performance, or other feat of Emersonian greatness for your department? Why not upload that video to Panopto for use on a departmental website (or other web page)? Here’s how!

1. Request a folder

Contact and ask us to create a departmental Panopto folder for storing your video(s). Let us know if you wish to give anyone else permission to upload to this folder.

2. Upload

Go to and log-in with your Emerson credentials.

You can use the Browse section of the left-hand menu to navigate through your Panopto folders; click Browse to expand the folder menu, then click a folder’s name to view its contents. Find the folder ITG created for you and click on it.

The Browse dropdown in the Panopto portal.

Once inside, click on the purple Create button and select Upload media.

The upload button in the Panopto portal.

You’ll be prompted to upload a video. Once the video has finished uploading and is “processing,” you may close the upload window. Your video will appear in the Panopto folder that’s open in your browser.

NOTE: All videos uploaded to Panopto must be compressed for streaming (H.264/MP4).

3. Share

Hover over the video and click the Share button that appears:

The share button underneath a Panopto video.

A window with sharing settings will appear. If you want your video to be publicly viewable, click under “Who has access.” On the dropdown menu, click “Public on the web.” Then click Save Changes.

Choosing Public on the Web in the Panopto sharing settings.

4. Get the Shareable Link or Embed Code

At the top of the sharing window, you’ll find a shareable link. You can copy this link and share it with whomever you wish. Or, click Embed (to the right of Link). An embed code will appear. Copy it in its entirety, then paste it into the HTML editor of the desired webpage. After saving that page, your video should appear and be publicly viewable.

Finding the Panopto embed code for a video.

OPTIONAL: After ITG creates your departmental folder, you can add members to it yourself. Access the folder and click the Share button at top-right (it looks like two figures). Under Invite people, start typing a person’s name. Click the desired name. Designate invitees as either those who “Can create” or “Can view.” Creators can upload to this folder and view videos in it, while Viewers can only view. When you’re done adding people, click Save Changes.

For further assistance, please contact