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Changes often force us to adapt in ways we’ve never experienced, which can be a major driver of personal (and even professional) growth and development.

Course Storage Options

All Canvas courses are set to the maximum of 2GB, just like PolyLearn-Moodle courses were. 

Course Storage  |  User Storage

Course Size & Files

Uploaded Video

The process of creating alternative teaching environments in Canvas this Spring has been challenging; many of you are likely creating content week-by-week. When using Zoom to create videos for your courses, or to deliver live lecture presentations, please make sure to store all Zoom videos in the Zoom cloud. This creates a fully accessible video that includes automatic captioning to support all students’ needs. You can then provide a link to your video in Canvas. PLEASE NOTE: All video files (MP4, MOV, and AVI) uploaded to Canvas will not display captions, and therefore the videos are not accessible. These video files need to be removed from your course shells and stored on one of the cloud hosting sites: Zoom, Screencast-O-Matic, YouTube, Vimeo or Microsoft Stream. We are all working together to create an inclusive campus at Cal Poly, and you have a vital role to play by making sure your videos are accessible. 

Faculty using Canvas automatically have 2GB of storage in each course, which will suffice for most courses. In addition, 5TB (5,000 GB) of additional space for (non-video) course materials is available to faculty within OneDrive. Files can easily be linked within Canvas for students to access.

NOTE: if you course exceeds 2GB, then you will NOT be able to import that course into next quarter. You will have to delete files to be able to reuse the course at a future date. 

OneDrive  |   Stream   |   YouTube   |   Google

Course size does include student participation, but students will always be able to participate (upload files, take quizzes, type in text boxes, etc) in a course even if it is full.

If you have large files or videos, it is best to use outside storage spaces like OneDrive/Google Drive/Office 365 Stream/YouTube to host the files and link them to your courses for your students to access. 

Once the course is full, faculty will not be able to add more content.
Faculty can check their course space in two locations:

  • Course menu, Files. Scroll to bottom to see % used
  • Course Menu, Settings > in Side Bar – Course Statistics > File Storage tab.

If you Imported a PolyLearn backup (MBZ) course into Canvas, you will have many extra files that you do not need. You can review your Files from the course menu and delete any of the unwanted files to free up space. Learn more about files in Canvas

Canvas files

Storage Options

Linking to Office 365 - OneDrive

In addition, 5TB (5,000 GB) of additional space for (non-video) course materials is available to faculty within OneDrive. Files can easily be linked within Canvas for students to access. 

When you "Attach file" within Canvas to your OneDrive file...the file will be viewable in the Canvas course to your students even if the file is "Private" in your account. You do NOT have to "share" the files within OneDrive. 

Create a Page and add the links within the text...

  1. Click on the Add External Media button.
    External Media option
  2. Click on the Office 365 option.
  3. Log in.
    NOTE: When you login to your Cal Poly account (, you are accessing your resources to share a folder or file.
    Office Login
  4. Choose the file you want to link.
    NOTE: this is the only file your students will see on your course. They will not have access to the other files. 
  5. Click on the Attach File button.

Embed Video from Office 365 - Stream

In addition, 5TB (5,000 GB) of additional space for audio/video is available to faculty within Stream. Files can easily be linked within Canvas for students to access. 

Once you have uploaded your audio/video into Stream, you can link to the video in your Canvas course.

Stream provides automatic captions, learn more about enabling auto-generated captions for your video

  1. Log into Office Email/Calendar, then choose the Applications menu on the top left, then click on the All apps link.
    Office applications
  2. Scroll down and choose Stream.
  3. Find the video you want to link into your course. Click on the Share button.
  4. Click on the Copy button to copy the URL.
  5. Within Canvas, select the text you want to create a link for, then click on the Link to URL button. 
  6. Paste the URL into the box and click on the Insert Link button.
    URL paste

Embed YouTube Video

Do not upload audio or video content to Canvas courses. Instead, provide links within your courses to the materials on the Zoom or Screencast-O-Matic cloud storage. You may also place links in Canvas to other trusted online audio/video storage locations, like YouTube.

Learn more about YouTube accounts, requesting longer video time, and uploading your unlisted video

To ADD YouTube to your course:

Create a Page and add the video within the text.

  1. Place your cursor where you want the video to appear, then click on the YouTube button.
    YouTube button
  2. Find the video and click on the Embed button.

Discussion Attachments

Each student only has 54MB of user storage. This is space you can store your files in Canvas under Account > Files. But, Cal Poly already has OneDrive and each student has 1TB of space. If you asked your students to attach a file in a Discussion...that uses the user storage in Canvas. Students can instead link the file from OneDrive, Google, Box, or other cloud option.
NOTE: This is only a Discussion Attachment issue. When a student submits to an Assignment - User Storage is not used. 

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