Please scroll down to review the most frequently asked questions about Canvas. 

Don't see the answer to your question? Search the Canvas Instructor, Student, or Video Guides, or email us at 

How do I access Canvas and other frequently asked questions
You can access Canvas from the tile on your Okta dashboard or directly from this link:
Click here for information about adding people to your Canvas course.

You can get help with Canvas by clicking the Help button in the Global Navigation Menu (on the left while logged into Canvas). This opens a link to the Canvas Guides or you can submit a support ticket that will go to Educational Technology. You can also reach out directly to

Should you prefer to learn Canvas on your own see the Canvas instructor guide. Canvas also offers a Course Setup Checklist from within your Canvas course. There are Canvas training webinars that faculty have access to, and CanvasLIVE online events open to the public. You can also search for answers to any questions you may have on the Find Answers page in the Canvas community site.

You need to use "Student View." Click the "Student View" box on the upper right of the desktop version of Canvas. For more information refer to this Guide: How do I view a course as a test student using Student View?

There are templates in the Canvas Commons, and instructors can import templates into a course and modify them to fit their needs.

We encourage faculty to meet with an Educational Technologist when building a course from scratch or making significant modifications to an existing course.

To use another professor's materials from a previous course the other professor must authorize access to their course materials. Educational Technology can add instructors to concluded classes with permission from the original instructor.  

A Canvas sandbox is an empty course space which you can use to play around with and learn Canvas or build a course before copying it over to the actual course space. Contact to request a sandbox. 

Canvas is compatible with current major browsers and devices. We recommend Chrome or Firefox. Refer to What are the browser and computer requirements? for a specific list of browser versions and minimum computer requirements for Canvas.

You can access Canvas using your mobile phone's web browser, but there are also Canvas apps for Android and iOS primarily designed for students. Not all features will work on your phone. 

Teachers can use the Canvas Teacher app for Android and iOS. You can find documentation for mobile apps in the Mobile Documentation page.

Only if the course is "Published" AND you have unchecked the course setting: “Restrict students from viewing course before start date.” See How do I restrict student access to a course before or after the course dates? for more information.

The course setup checklist is a feature available in all courses. It reminds you to do things such as import content using the Course Import Tool, add Assignments, select the links to display in the Course Navigation, choose a layout for your Course Home Page, add events and Assignments to your course Calendar, and Publish the course.


You can post an announcement in your course that will go out to your students, or click the People link in your course to contact a student individually. However, if a student has adjusted their default notification settings they may not be immediately notified when you post an announcement.

By clicking the Inbox link on the left navigation panel you can compose an email to your class (or any of your students) using the Conversations tool in Canvas. How do I use Conversations as an instructor? has more information.

Cross-listing allows you to move section enrollments from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course and only want to manage course data in one location. Instructors can allow students to view users in other sections or limit them to only view users in the same section. Section names do not change when they are cross-listed; the section is just moved to another course.

Cross-listing should be done after students are added (two weeks before classes start) and before courses are published. It is important not to cross-list after courses are underway, because coursework is retained with the course, not with the section enrollments. If a published course is cross-listed after students have submitted work, all cross-listed enrollments may lose any associated assignment submissions and grades. For more information please refer to How do I cross-list a section in a course as an instructor? or ask for assistance. 

Faculty can copy course content from previous Canvas courses into existing courses. They only have access to copy content from courses in which they are enrolled as an instructor. 

  • Importing a course more than once may have unintended consequences. If you import content into a new course, edit the content in the new course, and later import the previous content again, the imported content will override the existing content.
  • If you copy all content or include course settings in selected content, the grade posting policy from the original course will override the grade posting policy in the new course. Additionally, imported assignments and quizzes will retain their assignment posting policy and dates from the original course. 

Course imports may not include all content. For more details, please see the import content section in the Canvas Basics Guide, follow the steps on this page, or ask for assistance. .

In Canvas, you can remove, hide, or reorder the links in the left-hand navigation menu of a course. If a link has an icon to the right of it which resembles an eyeball with a slash through it, it means you can view it, but students can’t. How do I reorder and hide Course Navigation links? has more information. Use Student View to double check how your course and navigation appears to your students.

There is a feature called the Redirect App that can create custom links on your course page. Email for more information. 

The global navigation panel (far left) cannot be customized.  

To hide a course it so it doesn't show on your dashboard, find the course tile on your Canvas dashboard. Click the 3 dots on the upper right of the tile, then click Move > Unfavorite >Submit.

When you "unfavorite" a course it will still be available by navigating to Courses > All Courses from the main menu.

To rearrange courses on your Dashboard, click a tile and drag it to your preferred location, or click the 3 dots > Move. 

Pages are static web pages. They are meant to hold content, like text, embedded videos, links to outside resources, etc. Modules let you sequence and organize your content and activities. A module might contain one or more pages, plus an assignment, a pdf file, a quiz, and so forth. With a module, you can set the sequence and whether or not students are required to view or complete an item in a module. Modules help students understand what they need to do in your course.

Here are different examples of ways to organize a module.

When editing text in Canvas, click the square root icon in the rich text editor toolbar to open the math editor and insert math equations and chemistry formulas. You can click on 'Switch View to Advanced' in the math editor to paste in LaTeX. For more details and examples, see How do I use the Math Editor in the Rich Content Editor?

Additionally, Canvas quizzes have a type of question called Formula Question that lets you enter variables and formulas that will be varied from student to student, to handle homework copying. See How do I create a Simple Formula quiz question? and this video presentation: Using Mathematical Formulas in Canvas Quizzes to Improve Formative Assessments.

If you click on Quizzes in the navigation for your Canvas course, you can then click on the settings gear icon on the top right and select "Manage Question Banks" to see the test banks. See also How do I create a question bank in a course? and Creating and Using Question Banks.

And if you bookmark a question bank, it will be accessible in other courses. See How do I bookmark a question bank in a course?

You can add more than the maximum points to an assignment in the gradebook or SpeedGrader (example: 105/100). If you use assignment group weighting, however, and you create a zero point 'bonus' assignment, make sure it is in a group with at least one other non-zero point assignment, or the bonus points will not be counted (because zero points times percentage weight equals zero).

See How do I give extra credit in a course? for more details and more techniques for bonus points and extra credit.

See Example Courses by Subject for some sample courses. You can also enroll in public Canvas courses (MOOCs) on or import and test out courses from the Canvas Commons repository.

You can also search and find several Canvas course templates and resources in the Canvas Commons repository, including:

  • University of Puget Sound has two templates, a Modules- based template and a Pages based template.

  • Humboldt State has a detailed 16 week course template (preview) aligned to their Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) Best Practices: download template in Canvas Commons

  • Oregon State University also has a Canvas Template (preview): download template in Canvas Commons

  • This Visual Design in Canvas course has some tips on creating your own visual page and module designs.

Canvas has an Accessibility Checker to the Rich Content Editor that will check your pages and other text for accessibility issues such as images without alternative text and insufficient color contrast. See How do I use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor?

The General Accessibility Design Guidelines page has tips for making your Canvas content and pages more accessible, such as:

  • Adding alt tags to images

  • Checking color contrast

  • Captioning videos

  • Making Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents accessible

Accessibility within Canvas describes how the Canvas interface itself is accessible, including MathML support with the equation editor.

Join the Accessibility Canvas Community group for more tips and resources.

Canvas updates their production version regularly. Here are the notes for each Canvas release on the Canvas Community site. Click the Follow button on the top right to subscribe to release notes.

You can join and follow several groups on the Canvas Community site, such as groups dedicated to Accessibility, Canvas Migration, etc. To follow and contribute to the site, you need to be logged in with your Canvas account. For more information visit How do I log into the Community with my Canvas Account?