Canvas: Validate Links in Content - Interpreting Your Results

What is the Link Validator Tool? 

The Validate Links in Content tool (in Canvas) checks all links in your course to ensure they are still working. The “link validator” searches through your course content and returns a report of invalid or unresponsive links. 

However, some links will appear in your report because they are inaccessible by the Canvas tool, not because they are actually broken. If the link’s destination is behind a login, the Link Validator tool cannot verify that the link is active and working. These links will be flagged by the Validate Links in Content Tool and must be checked manually. Read below for the types of links that will appear in the report and how to test them.

What types of links come back as broken and how to check them 

One St. Thomas Links 

One St. Thomas links may be listed in the report since the Canvas tool cannot log in to One St. Thomas. To check these links, simply click on the link and verify it goes to the desired location. 

Textbook Links 

The error reads, "External links in this resource were unreachable."

Links to textbooks, publisher content, and course packs will come back as broken. Click on the link and verify that it goes to the correct materials. 

Library Links 

Links to library materials may come back as broken. (Note: If your library materials are in a Resource List, they will not be checked by the Link Validator tool. These links are handled through the library.)  Click the link to verify it is accessible.

Links to Other Canvas Courses 

Sometimes, a link isn’t broken, but it’s going to another Canvas course. The report will tell you that, "links to other courses may not be accessible by the students in this course."

Error reads, "Links to other courses in this resource may not be accessible by the students in this course."

The link may go to a community site, in which case the students do have access. The link may go to the Tommie Tech sites (and students have access to these). The report is simply flagging the fact that you are linking to another course. Check each of the links to verify they go to the correct destination. 

Sometimes, the link is pointing to a previous term or to another professor’s course. This likely happened because the item was copied/pasted instead of imported. When you click on the link, verify the course number is the same. The course number comes directly after the word "courses" in the URL.

The course number comes directly after the word "courses" in the URL.

It's important to use the Course Links tool (instead of pasting in a URL) when you update a link. When you use the course links tool, that link will automatically update the next time you import this course content. This tutorial will help you fix links so they point to your current course:

Links Buried in the Code 

One of the most frustrating errors on the report is when the tool finds a link buried in the HTML. In this case, you might have clicked on every link on the page but they all go to the correct destination and/or verified students have access to them. 

If you are familiar with HTML, you can access the HTML and delete buried links. See below for other options if you need assistance. 

Links to Unpublished Content 

This is a frequent error on the report. The report is simply telling you that there is a link (likely on a page or assignment) that goes to an unpublished item. Students won’t be able to access the link’s destination because it’s unpublished. 

How do you get help to fix the problem? 

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Article ID: 138184
Wed 9/29/21 9:07 AM
Mon 10/24/22 9:58 AM

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