Quick Start Guide to Canvas

This article is intended only for CommonLit customers with access to Canvas as a part of CommonLit School Essentials PRO package.

With the Canvas integration, you can import your Canvas classes, link CommonLit assignments to Canvas, and automatically pass grades from CommonLit to your Canvas Gradebook. Follow the instructions below to learn how to get started using the CommonLit and Canvas integration.

Access CommonLit from Canvas

CommonLit can currently only be accessed through a Canvas assignment. To access CommonLit on Canvas (as a teacher), click Assignments on your Canvas course navigation.

Then, click + Assignment.

On your Assignment form, select External Tool under Submission Type. Then, click Find and select CommonLit.

Step 1: Connect your CommonLit Account to Canvas

To use CommonLit on Canvas, you will first need to connect your existing account or create a new account linked to Canvas. On the "Authorize Your Account" page, click Yes.

Then, sign in to your existing CommonLit account or create a new CommonLit account if you don't already have one. 

Step 2 (Optional): Import your Course from Canvas

Once you've connected your CommonLit account to Canvas, you can begin linking assignments in your existing CommonLit classes to Canvas. However, if you want to import your Canvas class to CommonLit, you can do so! This will import your students to your class. 

Please note: at this time, CommonLit imports all sections in a Canvas course into one CommonLit class. If you want to see those sections split up on CommonLit, you can import your class from Canvas and then have students join additional classes you create in CommonLit. You can then link any additional classes' assignments back to Canvas.

If your course is published and available to import, click Import Class.

Select the grade levels and subjects associated with your class, then click Import.

CommonLit will automatically import your class and any students and co-teachers enrolled in this class on Canvas. Click Create/Add Assignments to start creating assignments in this newly imported class.

Step 3: Create an Assignment for your Class in CommonLit

To link an assignment to Canvas, you must first create the assignment on CommonLit. Click "Go to CommonLit" to access CommonLit’s Library and create your assignment.

Step 4: Link your Assignment to Canvas

After you’ve created your assignment, return to Canvas by clicking on your Canvas tab.

If you just imported your class, then click Link Existing Assignment. Scroll down to your assignment and click Add to Canvas.

If you did not just import your class from Canvas, you will be prompted to choose which class in CommonLit you want to select an assignment for. Choose the desired CommonLit class, then choose your assignment in that class.

The CommonLit iframe will close and you will see the external tool window again. Click Select.

It is optional to change the "Assign to" fields to only assign to specific sections in your class. If you have CommonLit classes for each section in a Canvas course, you must create a Canvas assignment for each section in the course, as they each link to different CommonLit assignments. Uniquely label your Canvas assignment with the section name and change the "Assign to" field from "Everyone" to the specific section you’ve linked to on CommonLit.

It is optional to choose the Available at and Due dates for your assignment on Canvas. Note that CommonLit assignments are available at 12:00 AM ET on the start date and due by 11:59 PM PT on the due date. 

Then, click Save or Save & Publish.

Your assignment will now be linked to Canvas.

If you choose the option “Load the tool in a new tab," then you will see a final button after publishing to “Load Assignment in a New Window.” You must click this final button to finish linking your assignment to Canvas.

Step 5: Grade Students' Assignments

After students have submitted their assignments, you will need to grade their assignments from CommonLit. If you're viewing the assignment from Canvas, click Go to CommonLit to grade your assignment.

Then, on your Assignment Dashboard page, click the Grading Page option to grade your assignment. (Note: Assessments do not require grading.)

Step 6: Release Scores to Pass Grades to Canvas

Once you've graded an assignment, go to your Assignment Report page and click Release Students' Scores.

CommonLit will automatically send scores back to your Canvas grade book.