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UNF Center for Instruction and Research Technology

Support Document

Canvas / External Apps

This advanced article speaks to the viewing, installing, and using of the different types of Apps available to instructors in UNF’s instance of Canvas. For a more general introduction to Canvas Apps & Integrations, please see the Support Collection on Canvas Integrations

Summary

This article covers the process of installing and using Canvas Apps (sometimes called Integrations or LTIs) in UNF’s instance of Canvas.

Understanding the Terminology

Depending on where you are looking in Canvas, you may see different terminology that refers to Canvas Apps as either Integrations or External Tools.

Essentially, these terms refer to the same thing; they are Canvas extensions that have been (or can be added) to a vanilla Canvas installation. In other words, these terms refer to the ways in which new and interesting features can be added to Canvas.

Some apps are not preconfigured at the institutional level but are available for you to install at the course level, and they are referred to as whitelisted apps

  • Installed apps are ready to be used within your course content areas or from the course menu.
  • Whitelisted apps require you to configure them for your course before they are available.

Viewing Apps in Canvas

Not all Apps appear on the Course Menu and some need to be selected as an external tool when creating a new assignment or Page.

Course Placements

If you are unsure on how to access an App in your course, its Course Placements information may provide you some insight on where to go.

  • Placements are locations in the course that App can be accessed from such as; Course Menu, Assignment Selection, Editor Button, Link Selection, and more.
Course settings menu, Apps tab is circled.

The External Apps page displays all of the whitelisted and installed apps for UNF.  To get to the app’s Course Placements click the View App Configurations button and a list of only the installed apps appears.

Course settings menu, Apps tab, View app configurations button is circled.

Click the i icon to the right of the app name and a pop-up window will appear with the placement information.

Canvas Commons. Information button is circled.
App Placements: assignment selection, editor button, link selection. Close.

In some cases there will be no placements listed, but this does not mean it is not accessible.  For example, VeriCite shows no placements but it is accessed from the External Tool Assignment Type when creating a new Assignment.

Using Apps in Canvas

Not all apps are accessed the same way, and where and how you add/access them in your course will vary greatly.  Viewing the App placement is a good starting point, but on some occasions no placements are listed.  In those situations you just need to think how this app is used and where it would likely be located in the course, for example if the app requires student submissions you would want to look under External Tools when creating a new Assignment.

Demonstrated in these examples are some of the different ways External Tools can be accessed in your course based on the App placement option.

Enabling Apps In Your Course Menu

If the App has a Course Navigation placement that means it can be made available from the Course Menu.  Follow these steps:

Canvas course navigation menu with Settings circled.
Click the Setting menu item from the Course Menu.
Course settings menu with the Navigation tab circled.
Click the Navigation tab at the top of the page.
Select MyLab and Mastering from the list and drag to the top to enable.
From the list of “hidden” menu items at the bottom of the page drag the App you want to make available from the Course Menu and then click the blue Save button.
Canvas course navigation menu with MyLab and Mastering circled.
The app will now be available to access from the Course Menu.

Use an App for an Assignment

If the App does not have a Course Navigation placement and provides some sort of assessment functionality to your course you will most likely add it as an External Tool from the Assignment Type.

Create a new assignment or edit an existing one. From assignment options page select the Submission Type drop-down menu. Select External Tool.

Assignment Submission Type screen with External Tool selected from dropdown menu.
Select External Tool from the Submission Type drop-down menu.
Enter or find an External Tool URL screen with Find button circled.
Click the Find button
Configure External Tool screen with VeriCite circled on list.
Locate the App from the Configure External Tool list and click Select.

If the App does not have a Course Navigation placement and provides some sort of lesson or media content you will most likely add it as an External Tool when adding new content to a Module.  The steps for selecting the app from the External Tool list is the same as for an Assignment. These instructions focus on how to add an External Tool to one of your course Modules.

Adding and External Tool to a Module

Module header with plus sign circled to add a module item.
From the module where you want to add the App to click the plus button to the right of the module name.
Add Item to Module screen with External Tool circled from add dropdown menu.
Click the drop-down menu and select External Tool.
Add item to module screen with YouTube circled.
Locate the App from the Add Item list and click the blue Add Item Button.

Depending on the App you may be required to provide additional information. Otherwise, it will add the App link to the module immediately after clicking the Add Item button.

Information & Tips

  • Some Apps can be added as an External Tool for Assignments as well as in Modules, and the functionality of the App will be different depending on where you make it available.
  • Some Apps may require additional information at the time you enable it in your course. Some examples include publisher apps requesting you to log in to their system, or the YouTube app which requires you to search and select a video before it is added to the module.
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