Skip to content

Using Embedded Pressbooks in Canvas

Sharmaine RegisfordAuthor:

Sharmaine Regisford, she/her, Continuing Education Specialist, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle campus





Project Question

Learners often ask for list of resources from the course or how long they will have access to the material. How can I create “evergreen” course materials that learners can reference even after they complete the course?


This course intervention takes place in course 1 of 4-course certificate in e-learning and instructional design. The courses build upon each other and culminate in a capstone project. Learners have requested a list of course resources to refer to in successive courses.

Using UW Pressbooks, we provide the course content (not the assignments) openly on the web. Pressbooks offers book navigation features and search function in a mobile and assistive technology friendly interface.


In Year 1, created a PDF list of resources to share with students.

In Year 2, updated the course resources so the list was now obsolete.

In Year 3, updated the resources but also started a UW Pressbooks version of course content with all the resources and introduced to the course near the end (week 8) of the quarter.


After revealing the course pressbook to learners, I was asked by one if he would continue to have access to it after the end of the course. I reassured him that all learners have access to the course materials even after their NET ID course access expires (typically 2 quarters after certificate completion).

Updating the Pressbooks version of course content allows the course to be “evergreen” whether embedded in Canvas or used stand-alone.

In addition, Pressbooks supports social annotation with Hypothesis and interactive widgets using H5P. Learners are encouraged to create an account and begin annotating the course text with a “sign-in” entry.

Use of the course pressbook is still in the early months of creation; the course pressbook has been accessed after the completion of the autumn quarter class from search engine visitors seven times and from the original course itself three times. These search engine and course visitors are not from the
instructor/pressbook author and represent continued use of the resource.


Instructors in other disciplines can also create UW Pressbook for their course content, including necessary course readings with citations. After the initial time spent in setup, maintenance is easy.

UW Pressbooks can also be password protected and use Hypothesis for social annotation.

Additional Resources

Using UW Pressbooks embedded in Canvas is a new innovation in my teaching practice and I hope to encourage others to use this method to keep their course materials current and open to learners for continued use.

Ask a question or leave a comment


Back to the Showcase