Canvas For Faculty

Getting Started in Canvas
Third Party Integrations
Hosting Course Materials
Hosting Non-Academic Materials in Canvas


Canvas is the campus learning management system (LMS), used by iinstructors and students as the online hub of instructional activity. Instructors use it to organize and present class materials, assign and view homework, assess submissions, provide grades, and communicate with their students. Students use it to manage their course requirements, find course materials, submit homework, assess their course progress, and communicate with instructors and classmates about course assignments and requirements. Canvas can be used to supplement in-person lectures, or to manage blended/hybrid or fully online courses. It is hosted in the cloud, and works comfortably on mobile devices.

All courses offered at UCSC are provisioned for instructors to develop through Canvas, and are made available to instructors on or before when priority enrollment begins.See the Academic and Administrative Calendar for priority enrollment dates. See the table below for Canvas course provisioning dates for the next few quarters:

Table denoting the Canvas provisioning dates
Quarter Provisioning Date
Spring 2024 2/21/2024
Summer 2024 3/14/2024
Fall 2024 4/1/2024

If you do not see a course that you are scheduled to teach, work with your department to ensure that your appointment is recorded in thee appropriate systems. Once your appointment is recorded, it will automatically be reflected in Canvas. Contact the Instructional Technology team if your department has confirmed your appointment and you do not see a course that you are scheduled to teach.

Getting Started in Canvas

Third-Party Integration Requests

If you required the integration of a third-party application in your course, please send details to canvas.help@ucsc.edu for assistance. Be sure to provide the required key and secret so that the integration can be completed. A 3-week minimum is required for reviewing new integrations.


Hosting Course Materials

It is important that students have a consistent location and interface for finding their course information and materials. We encourage faculty to use the course shells provided in Canvas to host course materials. However, if you choose to host your course materials outside of Canvas, we encourage the use of Canvas as the initial location where students will interface with courses. You can then choose to link out from there to other materials and sites if you choose.

Canvas automatically includes a course shell with enrollments for each course, so students will see your course in their Canvas list of courses whether you publish the course shell or not. Populating and publishing the course shell in Canvas will put your course front and center on each student's dashboard, and you can easily link out to other materials from within Canvas. Canvas also provides easy tools for communicating with individuals, sections or groups, or all of your students. Contact the Instructional Technology team for help in linking your external course materials and sites through Canvas.

Hosting Non-Academic Materials in Canvas

Canvas can be helpful in organizing and presenting materials and activities for groups of all kinds. But there are also cases where Canvas is not the optimal solution. Click here for a chart that provides guidance on where to host different types of content.

Canvas is generally reserved for academic course content, curricula, and certain types of certifications. Other options as illustrated in the chart above include Google options, Faculty WordPress, and UC Learning Center.  Contact the owners of these services or Instructional Technology if you have questions, or if you wish to use Canvas as a new home for your project site, contact canvas.help@ucsc.edu.