Now that you’ve added all of your course content to Canvas, you may realize that PowerPoint files can often use up a big portion of each Canvas course’s size limit of 500 MB. Depending on the kind of PowerPoint that is being used, there may be other storage options to consider, which don’t take reduce your storage quota and may even provide a better experience for your students.
PowerPoint Exported as a PDF
One of the best ways to share your PowerPoint presentation content with your students in Canvas is to export the presentation as a PDF. Since a PDF version will be a much smaller file size, doing this will minimize the storage space you’re using within your course and allow students to view or download the file easier. A PDF version of a PowerPoint shows the content to students page-by-page, rather than slide-by-slide.
It is important to remember that audio and video won’t play on the PDF, so if your presentation includes those features, you may want to consider an option below or provide a link for the student so they can view the audio/video another way.
Advantages to Exporting as a PDF
Compact file size that makes the file more accessible for the student
Easy to read document with a page-by-page layout
File be stored in OneDrive or stored in your local Canvas files
The student receives the option to download the PDF or preview the file within Canvas without having to download anything (good for those with slower internet speeds)
Disadvantages to Exporting as a PDF
Will not play audio or video from the presentation
Loses the presentation effect that PowerPoint presents (looks more like a document)
PowerPoint as a Video File
When you want to include transitions, animations and GIF’s in your PowerPoint presentation, you should consider exporting your PowerPoint as a video file. This works great as a self-paced tool, as all of the slides are on a set timer when the video is rendered. The video can be exported to the one of the two video file formats, mp4 or mov.
Advantages to exporting PowerPoints as a video file
Your students do not need a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint to view your presentation
Video content is easy to access and understand—even for users who may have no knowledge or understanding of PowerPoint
Your students will not have to download the file to view it (they would instead stream the video)
The video can be stored in Canvas Studio instead of within the course files – which does not count against your course’s storage quota
Disadvantages to exporting PowerPoints as a video file
Each slide in your PowerPoint has to be pre-set, whether by setting your slide transition time to a uniform amount or setting rehearsal timings
Any videos or sound clips that are embedded in your PowerPoint will not be included in the video file
PowerPoint in OneDrive
At FSCJ, faculty have a wonderful Cloud Storage option called Microsoft OneDrive. You can upload all of your PowerPoints to OneDrive regardless of their file sizes, because each user has 1 TB of storage within their OneDrive (that’s room for a whole lot of PowerPoints!) Once the presentations are uploaded to your OneDrive, you may add a link to the file in OneDrive within your Canvas content areas.
Advantages to using OneDrive to store your PowerPoint presentations
All audio and video content is able to be played as intended
All transitions, animations and GIF’s are still active
The presentation can be linked with the Office365 tool directly into Canvas
Does not contribute to your Canvas Course capacity
Practically an unlimited amount of available storage space (1 TB)
When a file is updated in OneDrive, it will update within any linked content as well
Disadvantages to using OneDrive to store your PowerPoint presentations
Possible download issues for students with slower internet if the PowerPoint is large
Adding PowerPoint files in Canvas
Although this isn’t our most recommend practice, simple PowerPoints can be small in size and therefore do not cause any download concerns or impact Canvas course capacity by much. If this is the case, you can opt to upload a PowerPoint presentation in the Files section of your Course. By doing this you can upload the file to any content area of your course without have to export it as a different type or use an external tool such as Studio or OneDrive.
Advantages to Storing PowerPoints in Canvas
No external tools needed
The student can still download the presentation
You can directly link the presentation from the Files tab in Canvas
Disadvantages to Storing PowerPoints in Canvas
Larger files can quickly reduce a course’s storage capacity of 500MB