Canvas Guides (en)CommonsCommons Guide All UsersHow do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?

How do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?

You can import courses, modules, assignments, quizzes, discussions, pages, or files from Commons into your Canvas course. Imported resources will retain their original published or unpublished status.


  • To enable Commons in your Canvas instance, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
  • Commons is available in all Free for Teacher (FFT) accounts. Free for Teacher users are limited to finding, importing, and sharing public resources.
  • Standard Canvas file storage limits apply.
  • Student data will remain private when sharing and importing resources.
  • Options/settings are retained in resource imports. All due dates will be removed.
  • Commons currently does not support sharing/importing question banks associated with a quiz.

Open Commons

Open Commons

In Global Navigation, click the Commons link.

Find Resource

Locate a resource by using the search field [1].

You can sort content by Latest or Most Relevant [2].

You can also filter search results by approved content, type of content, grade/level, and sharing settings [3]. Learn more about searching in Commons.

Open Resource

Open Resource

To view resource details, click the resource title.

Note: Resources can be opened in a new tab by pressing Command (Mac) or Control (PC) while clicking the resource name in the Search page, or, by right clicking the name of the resource.

Import Resource

Search for the course(s) into which you would like to import the resource [1], or select the course(s) from the list [2]. Then, click the Import into Course button [3].

To download the file to your computer, click the Download link [4].


  • Canvas users enrolled in a course as an Instructor, TA, Designer, or a custom role based on one of the previously listed roles will see the Import into Course list, provided that the course they are enrolled in is current.
  • If a course is set to override term dates and the Users can only participate in the course between these dates checkbox is selected, the course will appear in the course list if the course end date is not in the past.
  • If a course uses term dates, the course will appear in the course list if the term start date is not in the future and the end date is not in the past.

Import Warning Message

Import Warning Message

If you are importing a file that exceeds 500MB, Commons will generate a warning message notifying you that the import may not be successful.

Resource Pending Message

Resource Pending Message

If you try to import a resource that is still pending, the Import into Course button will be inactive, and Commons will display a message notifying you the resource is still processing.

Resource Unavailable Message

Resource Unavailable Message

If an error occurred when the resource was initially shared, the Import into Course button will be inactive, and Commons will display a message notifying you that the resource is unavailable for import.

View Import Notification

View the import status notification at the top of your screen. Please note that it may take a while to see changes in your course.

View Imported Resource

To view imported resources other than a course, navigate to the feature area (e.g., Modules, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Pages, or Files) in Course Navigation.

Import Status Notification

If the resource is still being imported, you will see a status notification when you open your course. Click the Import Status link.

View Import Status

The Current Jobs menu displays the imported resource as a Canvas Common Cartridge .imscc file. You can view the date and time the resource was imported. The import status menu will show the import status by color:

  • Gray [1]: Displays a queued status
  • Blue [2]: Displays a running status and progress bar with time remaining
  • Green/Orange [3]: Displays a completed status (orange indicates an issue associated with the import; click the issues link to view the list)

To correct any issue(s) that may have occurred with the import, you can use either the issues link next to the import or you can use the Course Navigation menu to move around the course and correct the errors.