Use Broadcast to distribute files to students in your Canvas course

The Broadcast tool in Canvas gives you the ability to automatically distribute copies of files, folders, or large data sets to each student in your course.

You have two options for distribution. You can copy a folder from your Microsoft OneDrive at IU account to the Microsoft OneDrive at IU accounts of all of your students; the folder you broadcast will appear in each student's OneDrive account inside a new top-level folder called "My Courses". Or, for large data sets and extremely large files (such as GIS or statistical applications) that perform best when hosted on a file server, you can copy a ZIP archive to private folders on an IU file server for each of your students.

Add the Broadcast tool to your course

Broadcast is hidden by default.

To add a hidden tool to your course navigation menu, see How do I manage Course Navigation links?

Use Microsoft OneDrive at IU to distribute files to students in your course

Broadcast lets you place a copy of a folder from your OneDrive account into the OneDrive accounts of all students on your course roster. The folder you broadcast will appear in each student's OneDrive account inside a new top-level folder called My Courses.

Note:
Broadcast folders are not collaborative folders; each student gets an individual copy of the broadcast folder and its contents. Students have read/write permissions for their own copies of the broadcast folder, but cannot see the copies belonging to others in the course.

To distribute a folder in your OneDrive account to the students on your course roster:

  1. Access your course in Canvas, and then click Broadcast on the left.
  2. Click Select from OneDrive to open the file picker; log in as necessary.
  3. Click the radio button for the folder you want to broadcast, and then click Select.
  4. Enter a new name for the folder or keep the existing name (this is the folder name your students will see).
  5. Click Start Broadcasting.

Your students will receive a link to the broadcast folder in email; you will receive email confirming the folder was broadcast successfully.

Notes:
  • To send copies of a previously broadcast folder to new students who have been added to your course roster, run Broadcast again on the same folder (leave Overwrite existing folder unchecked).
  • If you accidentally broadcast the wrong folder, use Broadcast to select the appropriate folder, give it the same name as the previously broadcast folder, and then select Overwrite existing folder (if present). Clicking Start Broadcasting will overwrite every file in every copy of the previously broadcast folder.
  • To add new or updated files to a previously broadcast folder, first update the contents of the source folder in your OneDrive account, and then, in Broadcast, either:
    • Use the same broadcast folder name, but select Overwrite existing folder (if present) before clicking Start Broadcasting. This method will overwrite all files in the previously broadcast folder.
    • Append something to the broadcast folder name (for example, Updated or Part 2) to indicate that the content of the broadcast folder has been updated, leave Overwrite existing folder (if present) unchecked, and then click Start Broadcasting.

Use a file server to distribute a zipped data set to students in your course

Large data sets and extremely large files (such as GIS or statistical applications) perform best if they are located on a share on a file server in the IU Bloomington Data Center, rather than broadcast using OneDrive. Once you have identified the appropriate place for your data files, Broadcast takes care of all of the configuration.

Note:
When you use Broadcast to send files to a file server, each student receives an individual folder containing the files. The student has read/write access to that folder but can't see the folders of any of the other students in the course. Whenever the student logs into a virtual environment (IUanyWare), the student will have access to these files as though they were on a separate drive with a corresponding drive letter.

To distribute a data set to students in your course using an approved file server:

  1. Use a zip utility to zip the folder containing the data you wish to distribute.
  2. Access your course in Canvas, and then click Broadcast on the left.
  3. If you have access to a file server, you'll see a dialog box allowing you to send your files either to OneDrive or to an approved file server. Choose To an approved file server for all users in this course site.
  4. Select the appropriate file server. Optional file servers may also appear for specific applications (for example, ArcGIS Data). You can choose as many optional file servers as you need for your applications.
    Dialog box listing available file servers for sharing files
  5. Click Choose a .zip file, and use the file picker to find your zipped file on your computer.
  6. Rename the folder if necessary. For details about the Overwrite existing folder checkbox, see above.
  7. Click Start Broadcasting.

Your students will receive a link to the broadcast folder in email; you will receive email confirming that the folder was broadcast successfully.

This is document bffi in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-09-22 13:09:05.