Integrating Zoom into Canvas Justin Hodgson | Associate Professor | IU Dept. of English

This spark page is designed to guide faculty and staff at Indiana University through the process of integrating Zoom meetings into Canvas. Though it is specific to IU, it may be applicable for many other institutions using similar setups.

There are, of course, any number of ways of scheduling and sharing the video conference meeting information with students, but with the totality of the IU campus moving online for the next few weeks, the easier we can make it for students to find our course meeting information, the better. To this end, the basic process is to schedule a meeting in Zoom (for the specified class time), copy the URL of the created meeting, and then create a module in your corresponding Canvas course, add a content item to that module, and post the link there. But there are a few subtle, but important steps in the process that I break down below.

Step 1: Open Zoom. Schedule a Meeting.

Figure 1: Zoom Application Menu

This is a a pretty straightforward step, but to schedule a meeting, users have to click the "Schedule" button (red arrow).

Step 2: Set Schedule Information. Click "Schedule."

Figure 2: Zoom - Schedule a Meeting Menu

In the 'Schedule a Meeting' menu, users should:

  • give their meeting a name (e.g., ENG-R211)
  • set the date and time (duration) of the meeting (green arrow)
  • select a calendar
  • click "Schedule" (red arrow)

Additional considerations in this section are the desired meeting ID (I use my personal meeting ID for all recurrent meetings with students), whether or not to set a password, and set the default video/audio settings (I strongly encourage the Telephone and Computer audio option, as it will allow students to access the audio via either option).

Step 3: In Calendar Event, copy meeting URL.

Figure 3: Zoom Meeting - Google Calendar Event Details

While the example above is from Google Calendar, and so there may be variation based on the different calendar options, the key step here is copying the URL for the meeting room (red arrow).

  • Of particular interest to many may be the Telephone dial-in options (see red arrow - Figure 4 below). Depending on where students are and/or the access to the internet (and the corresponding speeds of that internet service), they may not be able to access the Zoom meeting via computer. As such, having the dial in option can be critical for greater accessibility.
Figure 4: Google Calendar - Event Details - Zoom Mobile Dial-In Information

Step 4: Go to Canvas. Choose Course. Select Modules.

Figure 5: Canvas - Course Interface

Go to Canvas. Select the appropriate course for the Zoom meeting that was just schedule. Click Modules.

  • In order to place a meeting like a Zoom video conference in Canvas, the module is the currently the preferred option, as it allows for linking to an external tool.

Step 5: Create a new Module.

Figure 6: Canvas - Modules
Figure 7: Canvas - Modules - Add Module

Click Create a new Module (red arrow). Then, in the "Add Module" window, give the module a name (green arrow ) and click "Add Module" button (blue arrow).

Step 6: Add Item to Module.

Figure 8: Canvas - Modules

To add an item to the created module, click the "+" button (red arrow).

Step 7: Create 'Zoom Meeting' item for Module.

Figure 9: Canvas - Modules - Add Item to
Figure 10: Canvas - Modules - Add 'External Tool'
  • Select the Add submenu (red arrow) and change the selection from Assignment to External Tool.
  • Scroll through External Tools and click Zoom
  • Paste previously copied meeting URL into URL box (green arrow).
  • Add name for item/event to Page Name.
  • Click "Add Item" (blue arrow).

Video below provides quick (20 second) walkthrough

Step 8: Publish Module.

Figure 11: Canvas - Modules - Unpublished
Figure 12: Canvas - Modules - Published

To finish the module, it needs to be published. So, click the 'unpublished' icon (red arrow) to make the content published and viewable/accessible by the students in the course. If the content is successfully published, the icon should switch to the green checkmark (red box - Figure 12).

Step 9: Share, Communicate, Link.

Once you have completed the steps above, the module can be shared just like pages, files, or other similar elements on Canvas. Two such approaches I use if (1) via announcements, where I put a link to the Zoom Meeting module in the announcement itself, and (2) via the syllabus (adding meeting links in the course calendar, which also serves as my Canvas Course homepage).


I hope the above guide has been helpful. If interested in additional materials/guides, you might check out my Zoom-to-Rush guide for recording videos in Zoom and editing them in Rush. That how-to is part of Episode 2 of the Making the Jump: Innovations in Digital Higher Education video series (links below).

Justin Hodgson | @postdigitalJH | JH@LinkedIn | Last Updated: 3.16.20

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Justin Hodgson


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