Connecting your Canvas Course to Various Publisher Tools

If you are using a publisher website for materials and assessments in your course, you may be able to connect your Canvas course to the publisher course site and/or integrate publisher-provided tools so that students can connect to the publisher resources from Canvas without a separate login. Some publishers also allow for ‘deep integration’ (or ‘deep linking’) between your Canvas course and the publisher site, so that assignments and quizzes are individually accessible in your Canvas course and also integrated with your Canvas grade book.

NOTE: When you adopt a third party tool for use in your class, it is your responsibility to ensure it is compliant with state and federal regulations and MiraCosta policies. Please carefully evaluate the tool for issues such as accessibility and student privacy. Contact Jim Julius, faculty director of online education, if you have any questions about this.

Enabling a Pre-Installed Global Publisher LTI in Canvas at MiraCosta College

The following publisher tools (aka “LTIs”) are currently pre-installed globally in MiraCosta’s Canvas environment.

Cengage Learning MindLinks/MindTap
McGraw-Hill Connect & Campus
McGraw-Hll SIMnet
Pearson My Lab & Mastering

To connect a Canvas course to any of these, go to your Canvas course, click Settings in the course menu and the Navigation tab at the top. This enables you to alter your course menu:

Canvas Navigation

Scroll down, and you will find hidden items that can be added to your course, including the publishers listed above. If your publisher is listed, drag it up to your course menu, or click the button at the right and then the +Enable option to add it to your course. Then be sure you click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

Navigation Add a publisher

Cengage Learning MindLinks/MindTap

Cengage NowMind Tap Logo

Cengage has numerous products that integrate with Canvas, such as MindTap, CourseMate, Aplia, and CengageNOW.

See their Digital Course Support for Canvas site for documentation on using these and other Cengage tools with Canvas.

McGraw-Hill Connect & Campus

McGraw-Hill Connect

McGraw-Hill Connect is another popular publisher being used by many instructors. When using McGraw-Hill Connect with Canvas, there are a few significant differences from the process of using Pearson with Canvas. One is that you must copy your course on the McGraw-Hill Connect site before pairing it to your Canvas course. You cannot create a copy of the course while pairing, like you can in Pearson.  A second difference is that after pairing, you need to ‘deploy’ your assignments on the McGraw-Hill site in order to enable deep integration with your Canvas course. And third, when copying your course for another semester or section, McGraw-Hill has an option to “Re-link assignments from copied course”, which takes care of the duplication issue that Pearson has.

Here are some resources on using McGraw-Hill Connect with Canvas:

McGraw-Hll SIMnet

SIMnet LogoSIMnet works similarly to Connect, but the deep integration works a little differently.  First enable the McGraw-Hill SIMnet navigation link in your course by going to Settings and then the Navigation tab (as pictured at the top of this post), and then see:

Pearson MyLab & Mastering

Pearson My Lab / Mastering Logo

Pearson MyLab & Mastering has tools and resources for a number of different disciplines, and luckily they all use the same interface for deep integration with Canvas.

Rick Snyder at Valencia College made a handout on the integration of Pearson publisher materials with Canvas.  Note the caution about copying courses, which may end up with duplicate Pearson deep links if you are not careful.  See also these resources:


W.W. Norton LogoW.W. Norton primarily does books, but they also have tools like InQuizitive.  See:

Is your publisher not on this list?

Many LTIs can be installed at the course level by a faculty member. Contact your publisher for more information and directions on how you can install their tool at the course level. And please keep in mind the note at the top of this page about faculty responsibility for compliance of third-party tools with state and federal regulations and MiraCosta policy.

Requests for the installation of Global LTIs must be made to the Online Education department through your department, and will only be done when multiple faculty are using the tool. We are not able to add global LTI’s on demand. Adequate evaluation and testing is required prior to installation of Global LTIs. As mentioned above, individual faculty may independently install publisher LTI tools in their Canvas courses.

Some individual publishers can be found in the Canvas App Center, which is the mechanism for individual Canvas users to add LTI tools into their courses. Here are a few guides to the Canvas App Center.

FERPA Compliance and Student Interaction in Merged Canvas Course Sections

Faculty may request to merge Canvas courses when they are teaching multiple sections of the same course in order to more efficiently share the same content across course sections, freeing up time for other instructional activity. This must be done prior to the start date of the course sections.

However, according to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, students cannot have access to student information (including the fact of their enrollment) of students in course sections other than their own (with the exception noted below). Because of this requirement, students are not allowed to interact within a Canvas course with students from another course section.

Canvas limits the visibility of students from other sections in a merged Canvas course. However, this does not cover all Canvas tools, so if you request to merge Canvas courses, you’ll need to take additional steps to protect your students’ privacy, as outlined in this document.

NOTE: FERPA restrictions do not apply to a merged Canvas course if students physically meet in the same classroom at the same time (i.e. “true cross-listed courses”). Course sections that meet simultaneously typically are combined in Canvas by default, and this document is not relevant for those merged courses.

Handout: MiraCosta FERPA and Merged Canvas Courses (.docx ) (.pdf)

What Canvas Does for You

In Canvas courses merged upon faculty request, students are prevented from seeing students in sections other than their own in

  • the full roster view of the People tool,
  • and the Inbox (Conversations).

What You Must Do to Maintain FERPA Compliance

Click Settings in your course menu and:

  • Under the Navigation tab, be sure that the Chat and Conferences items are hidden from students. If they are active (appearing in the top grouping of navigation items), drag them to the lower grouping or click the gear icon at the right of each and click Disable. Be sure to scroll down and click Save at the bottom.

  • Under the Course Details tab, scroll down and click more options. Make sure that each of the following are NOT checked:
    Let students create discussion topics
    Let students organize their own groups
    Disable comments on announcements

    Click the Update Course Details button at bottom.

If/when you create Discussions

Ensure that each section has its own separate discussion:

  • For graded discussions, restrict each discussion to an individual section using the Assign to option. See Canvas guide for details. See further details on section restriction under the What You May Do section below.
  • For ungraded discussions, use the Post to option (immediately below the discussion description) to select an individual section for the discussion.

  • Note – if you want each section to engage in discussions about the same topics, simply Duplicate the original discussion and modify it so it is available to a different section of students.

If/when you create Groups

Select the option to Require group members to be in the same section when creating a group set. See Canvas guide for details.

If/when you create Collaborations

Be sure to add students to Collaborations who are enrolled in the same course section. The Collaboration setup screen doesn’t display section information for students, so you will need to refer to the People area.

If/when you send a Canvas Inbox message to students from multiple sections

Select the option to Send an individual message to each recipient. This will send a separate copy to each recipient and hide the names of the recipients in the message header. You may also compose messages addressed to all members of a specific course section.

What You May Do: Setting Calendar Events and Assignment Due Dates by Section

Note: This section is not required for FERPA compliance but may be helpful for managing a merged course if you would like to create differentiated events/activities for different sections.

The following Canvas Guides will help you create Canvas activities/assignments specific to a particular section within a merged course:

(Discussions must be separated by section – see notes in the What You Must Do section above.)

Note that when creating events/activities that are differentiated by section, you will need to select the section name in the Assign to area, which displays only a few options and is not scrollable. If your desired section is not displayed as an option, you will need to type in the section name until it shows up as an option to select.

Section names can be seen if you click Settings in the Course Menu and then the Sections tab. You may also click People in the course menu to see which section each enrolled student is assigned to.

Sections with students have names ending in -SURF; to include your test student account in any differentiated activity in a merged course, you would also need to include one of the -OTHER sections available within the merged course.


Portions of this document are adapted from material originally developed by Seattle University and modified by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district. Additional portions are adapted from material developed by Indiana University and modified by Cornell University.

Embedding Google Docs in Canvas

If you are embedding a Google doc for content purposes (ie you aren’t having students edit the document), I recommend the trick of replacing the end of the Google doc URL from the last forward slash to the end with preview?pli=1

Here’s an example.

Here’s the standard URL of a Google doc set up with permissions for others to be able to view it:

I change the final part after the last slash

from:  edit?usp=sharing
to:      preview?pli=1

So now the URL is:

When editing in the Canvas rich content editor where you want to embed the Google doc, click the button at upper right of the editing window that says HTML Editor.

Then you need to add code that looks like this:

You can just copy this code for future use, and substitute the URL in the code with the URL of your Google doc.

You can also adjust the width and height to your preference, but these seem to work well.

Personal Pronouns in Canvas

Setting your Personal Pronouns in Canvas can help classmates, faculty, and people in the MiraCosta community learn to address each other the way each person would like to be addressed. That information will be available to instructors, students, and anyone who has access to Canvas courses, to enable inclusive and respectful conversation. 

Available Pronoun Options at MiraCosta College

  • He/Him/His
  • They/Them/Their
  • She/Her/Hers
  • (F)ae/(F)aer/(F)aer
  • Use my name
  • Xe/Xim
  • Ze (or Zie) / Zir (or Hir)
  • Per/per/pers
  • Ve/ver/vis
  • E/Ey/ Em/Eir

Submit a Request for Another Option

If you use pronouns that are not currently listed as options, please fill out the Pronoun Addition form and return it according to the instructions on the form.

Faculty Directions

Personal pronouns display after your name in various areas in Canvas as an instructor, including:

  • Assignment Creation Menu
  • Assignment Peer Review Page
  • Comment Fields
  • Course Sections List
  • Discussions
  • Inbox
  • People Page (Course and Groups)
  • SpeedGrader
  • Student Context Card
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Profile Page
  • User Settings Page


  • LTI tools, such as New Quizzes and Analytics, do not currently support displaying pronouns.

Student Directions

Personal pronouns display after your name in various areas in Canvas as a student, including:

  • Comment Fields
  • Discussions
  • Inbox
  • People Page (Course and Groups)
  • User Navigation Menu
  • User Profile Page
  • User Settings Page


  • LTI tools, such as New Quizzes and Analytics, do not currently support displaying pronouns.

Summer 2020 MiraCosta Online Ed Updates & Opportunities

Hello everyone, and happy summer! Please look over the following carefully. It’s full of important info and opportunities for all MiraCosta faculty!

Jim Julius
Faculty Director, Online Education

PROJECT Online Teaching Foundations – June 8-12

As I announced last week, MiraCosta will hold an online teaching institute the week of June 8-12. You can review daily topics, and respond to the interest survey if you haven’t yet done so (thanks to all who have!). This is a collaboration between the CTeaching & Learning Center, Online Education, and PDP. PROJECT stands for PROfessionals for Joy, Equity, and Community in Teaching!

Canvas updates

Canvas End of Term

After June 1, your spring Canvas classes go into read-only mode for you and your students. If you wish to remove access to any of your course materials for your current students beyond this semester, you need to do so by June 1. Review our Canvas end-of-term guide for details.

Canvas Studio is now a permanent tool

The Studio tool within Canvas allows you to create screencasts, turn videos into discussions, and even embed quiz questions into videos. It’s no longer a pilot – AIS has made a commitment to fund it on an ongoing basis. Check out our local introductory page or jump straight to Canvas’s full set of Studio tutorials

Combining course sections in Canvas – still not available, but progressing

The moratorium on combining multiple course sections into one Canvas site due to FERPA concerns is nearly resolved, but for the summer we remain unable to combine such sections in Canvas.

Support for pronouns in Canvas

The NameCoach tool is no longer being supported by state funding and will be removed from Canvas prior to the summer term. However, the good news is that Canvas itself now supports pronouns in the People area (class rosters) and all Canvas users will be able to select their pronouns in their settings. Look for more info on this soon.

New in Canvas: Ally – Providing course material options

Starting this summer, files you upload into Canvas such as PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoints will be automatically available to students in multiple fully accessible and mobile-friendly formats. This tool is being funded by the chancellor’s office through the end of 2020. Look for more info on this soon.

Zoom app/client update needed by May 30

If you are a ConferZoom user, you should have received a message from CCC TechConnect directing you to update Zoom on all your devices. If you don’t, you will be forced to starting June 1, which could delay your access to a Zoom meeting. Please do so now if you haven’t already done so.

Summer Student Orientations to Online Learning

I’ll be offering nine Student Orientation to Online Learning student workshops in the first two weeks of the summer term – dates and times are posted on the TASC site. Student attendance at these sessions is available to you in SURF if you are teaching a summer class and wish to incentivize student participation. Learn more about the Student Orientation to Online Learning.  

Open Educational Resource (OER) and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) reminders

Knowing that your classes will continue to be taught mostly or entirely online might get you rethinking your course materials. Be sure to consider OER and library options! The MiraCosta OER/ZTC disciplinary resource site includes recommended OER and library materials organized by discipline.

Teaching a Zero- or Low-Textbook Cost summer or fall class?

If you are teaching any summer or fall classes that have course material costs of $0 (zero) or under $40 (low), please be sure to designate those classes as such in SURF. This enables your class to receive a special denotation in SURF and also to be listed on the ZTC/LTC pageSee directions here.

Want support to bring down course material costs for your students by adopting OER?

We still have grant funds available that can provide stipends, support for student workers, instructional design expert assistance, and more, if you are undertaking work that will save students at least 30% over current course material costs through adoption of OER. Contact me to learn more.

Interested in getting involved in statewide OER work?

The statewide Academic Senate’s OER Initative (ASCCC OERI) is looking for faculty to serve in a wide range of capacities, from reviewers to discipline leads to regional leads, during the next academic year. If you are interested, please complete both the ASCCC OERI Application and the ASCCC Faculty Application for Statewide Service.

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