Arc Video Notation

Arc is a new beta platform for teaching and learning with video developed by Instructure, the company powering Canvas. Arc offers a standard set of features, much like YouTube, but it also provides a private video channel for use in a Canvas course and includes interactive in-video commenting or discussions tied to the timeline. This means comments are pinned to specific timestamps within a video clip. Arc is perfect for instructors who use or would like to use video assignments in their classes.

Arc presents two clear use cases for classes: video-as-content and video-as-assignment.

  • Video-as-Content: Arc makes it easy to add, organize, and share videos among instructors and students. Videos can be placed virtually anywhere inside a Canvas course and video can be discussed and analyzed in place.
  • Video-as-Assignment: It’s also easy for students to upload video assignments, and instructors can provide specific feedback right inside the timeline of the video, making the reference point for each reaction perfectly clear. Instructors may also want to consider having students use the One Button Studio in 1 South of the Northwestern Library for creating their videos.

Partnering with Instructure means Northwestern has been able to try Arc for Canvas classes in a variety of disciplines, including foreign languages, physical therapy, and broadcast journalism. Instructor feedback is helping to shape this new product.

The more testers, the better! If you’re interested in joining the Arc pilot, please contact Matthew Aron, Blended Curriculum Lead at or 773.467.0886.