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Online Resources & Canvas Integrations

Learn more about accessing VCU Libraries collections remotely and how they can be integrated in course sites.

Use Permalinks

When using library resources in course sites, it is important to use permalinks to ensure that access is as seamless as possible. When using library content, URLs copied from address bars are unique to users and how they are accessing the collection (e.g. on or off campus) and will often break or result in errors. Permalinks point directly to the intended resource. In the image below, you may note the difference between the URL in the address bar and the permalink available in the record for a journal.

To find a permalink, open the catalog record for the resource you want to use, scroll to the "Send to" options and click the "Permalink" button with the link icon. You now have a link suitable for using in course sites.

library search showing the difference between a URL in the address bar and the permalink available in the record

Use Embed Codes

Instructors often wish to embed media content rather than just having a link to the resource in their course site. Accessing embed codes varies across the collections available at VCU Libraries, but the process of locating them is similar. 

An example from our Alexander Street collection serves as a good model. When you have found multimedia content you would like to use from the library collection, select from the "View Online" options in the catalog record to access the media. This will generally result in the media being opened in a new page with several options. Look for options similar to the "Share" button (1) in the image below. In addition to the permalink, an embed code is made available (2). By copying this embed code, you can display the media in your course site using the rich content editor in the Canvas LMS by following these instructions.

accessing an embed code by selecting "share" and copying code provided

Use Apps & LTIs

Canvas integrates with many external apps and LTIs to enrich course content and interactions. Some apps can be synced with collections available at the libraries.

Contact the Online Learning Librarian for shared secrets and consumer keys and guidance on manual app entries for integrations at the course level. 

Add Research Guides

Linking to a VCU Library Research Guide in your course site helps students connect directly to library instructions and detailed guidance on researching within your area of study. You have three options when linking to a Research Guide in Canvas; you may use the Redirect Tool app to add the guide to your course navigation, add as a Module link, or simply add the permalink as an external URL on a Page.

For each option, use the URL from any guide you have wish.

Adding a Guide to Course Navigation (Redirect Tool)

  1. From the course navigation, click on “Settings.”
  2. Click on the "Apps" tab across the top.
  3. Search for "Redirect" in the search bar provided.
  4. Click on the “Redirect Tool" that appears once the search is complete.
  5. Click the “+ Add App” button that appears
  6. Enter the “Name” for the link. This is the word/phrase that will appear in the course navigation.
  7. Enter the URL/permalink.
  8. Adjust the settings as needed:
    Open in a new tab – This is the appropriate setting for an external URL/permalink
    Show in Course Navigation – This puts your link within the course navigation bar.
  9. Click the “Add App” button
  10. The link now appears in the course navigation at the bottom. You can go into your navigation settings to rearrange it.

redirect tool add app dialog box redirect add app with example name and URL

The images above show the dialog box presented in step 5 first and example inputs for steps 6 to 8 next.

Adding a Guide as as an External URL in a Module 

  1. From an existing module, click the + icon
  2. From the dropdown menu, select to “External URL”
  3. Paste the permalink into the URL box 
  4. Name the page 
  5. Select “Load in New Tab”
  6. Click “Add Item”

add ebook to module example

The image above shows the dialog box presented when adding module content in Canvas with the example inputs for adding an ebook, it is the same process to add a guide.

Adding a Guide as an External URL on a Page

Using the permalink, use the same method for adding external links using the Rich Content Editor on a Page of your choice.

insert link box in Canvas

The image above shows the dialog box presented when adding a link in Canvas.