ITS Online

#216 Distinguishing Content Delivery in Canvas

February 25, 2014

There are two tools available in Canvas for content delivery: Files and Modules.  Both have similar uses, but also have different features.



  • Organize documents in a folder structure.
  • Easy to upload or download content.
  • Sorting is restricted to alphanumeric title arrangement.



  • Organize documents into units based on class, week, unit, etc.
  • Can contain files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, links to websites and more.
  • Sort by dragging and dropping items.


Both tools also interact to a degree.  The Files tool contains all of your course files.  Any new document that is uploaded through the Modules tool will also appear in Files, but not vice versa. 


Essentially, Files should be used primarily to post documents and organize them in a folder structure, whereas Modules should be used to organize various forms of content in a linear progression.


For more information, please see this guide on Files, this guide on Modules, or email

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