Canvas FAQ for Faculty

Getting Started in Canvas

How do I get an account in Canvas?
How do I log into Canvas?
What browsers are supported in Canvas?
How do I access Canvas from my mobile device?
I need to set up a course in Canvas. What do I do?
How do I copy content from an old Canvas course or test course into the course shell for this quarter?
How do I get a test site so that I can import or create course content for future use?
Can I combine course shells?
How much space do I have for my course materials? Can I get more?
How do I make my course available to students?
I don't want to use Canvas. How can I prevent students from seeing the empty Canvas course shell?

Using Canvas

Can I add people to my course site?
What are the different roles in Canvas?
How do I add my TA to my Canvas course?
I want my TA to be able to create and change course materials. How do I allow this?
How do I modify the left hand navigation in my course site?
How do I add a web link to the left hand navigation in my course site?
How do I record class participation and take attendance with Canvas?
How do I integrate i>Clicker for interactive participation in Canvas?
How do I give extra credit?
How do I access my Google Drive and share content in Canvas?
How do I add media to my course?
What is the difference between Announcements and the Inbox (Conversations)?
How do I send an email to my entire class?
How can I get a copy of emails and announcements I send?  I never see them.
Can I see a history of grade changes in the gradebook?
How do I get my grades from Canvas to my.ucsc.edu?
How do I give a student access to complete work after the end of the term?
What third-party applications are available in Canvas?
How do I add third-party applications to my course?
Can I change my name in Canvas?
How long do I have access to my course in Canvas?
I can't see the +People button in my course from a prior term. How do I give another instructor access?

Training, Help and Support

Where is the documentation from Canvas?
What is available for training?
What is available for help and how do I get it?



How do I get an account in Canvas?

Instructors, students, and most staff will have accounts already created in Canvas. 
Go to canvas.ucsc.edu and log in with your CruzID and gold password.
If your CruzID login does not grant you access, contact the FITC for assistance.


How do I log into Canvas?

Go to canvas.ucsc.edu and log in with your CruzID and gold password.
If your CruzID login does not grant you access, contact the FITC for assistance.


What browsers are supported in Canvas?

A list of Canvas supported browsers and requirements can be found at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1284


How do I access Canvas from my mobile device?

You can access Canvas through the Canvas app on a number of mobile devices. If you have more than one location for Canvas (such as our pilot site at UCOP and Canvas at UCSC), you can configure your device with a drop-down to let you choose between the two.

Learn more about connecting to various mobile devices here:


I need to set up my course in Canvas. What do I do?

Course shells will be automatically created for all courses in the Course Catalog when the catalog is released. If you are an instructor who is teaching next quarter, you can expect to see the course shell for your course right about the time that priorty enrollment opens for that quarter (see Academic and Administrative Calendar).

Student enrollments (roster) will be included in the shell. Each quarter you must use the course shell provided in order for the enrollments to be in place and managed. If you have existing course content, it can be copied into the official course shell. 

If you would like a Canvas course to begin preparing for a future quarter, or to experiment and learn about using Canvas, you can go here to request a Test course shell. Your course shell will be created and you will be notified of progress via the IT Request system.

See also:
Getting content from an existing Canvas course
Getting content from a Canvas pilot course at UCOP
Getting content from an eCommons course


How do I copy content from an old Canvas course or test course into the course shell for this quarter?

If you want to copy content from one course in UCSC's Canvas instance to another:

  1. Open the course shell that you are copying content into.
  2. Go to Settings. Select "Import Content Into This Course" in the right hand navigation.
  3. Select "Copy A Canvas Course" from the Content Type drop-down.
  4. Type in or search for the course you are copying from.
  5. Select whether to copy the entire course or only selected content from the course.

View a Step-by-step overview
Learn more about Copying Content between Canvas Courses

See also:
Getting content from a Canvas pilot course at UCOP


How do I get a test course shell in Canvas so that I can import or create course content for a future quarter?

Use this form to request a test course shell. Your test course shell will be created and the link sent to you. Use the methods described above to copy course content from another course, or create a new course.

Test course shells are where you can create course materials and experiment for future quarters. Once the official course shells are available for that upcoming quarter, you will copy the materials from your test course shells into the official course shell with roster.

Test course shells are not for live instruction. DO NOT enroll students into a test course shell or combine test course shells with live instruction sections.


Can I combine course shells?

You may have more than one course shell created for you when you would prefer to use one. In these cases you can cross-list the sections of enrollments from one of the course shells into the other, and use just one shell to hold your course content and host your student enrollments.

Cross-list to:
Combine undergraduate and graduate sections into a single course shell
Combine classes that meet different days / times into a single course shell
Combine classes where two or more instructors wish to share a single course shell

Note that for courses that share the same course number but are offered in different departments there will be only one course shell created. 

To cross-list to another course shell:

  1. Click on the section you wish to cross-list.

  2. Select Cross-list this section in the right navigation.

  3. Search for the course to cross-list into.

Note:
Cross-listing must be done before students submit any work. Cross-list before you publish your course.
Only cross-list between official course shells. DO NOT cross-list sections of enrollments to Test or development courses.
Only cross-list within the same term. DO NOT cross-list sections of enrollments between courses offered in different terms.
Each course created from the Course Catalog includes a section with the instructor's enrollment in it. Do not cross-list this section. If 2 instructors are sharing a course shell. the instructor in the course shell that sections are shared into can add the second instructor.

Learn more about Cross-listing Sections
View the Cross-listing video


How much space do I have for my course materials? Can I get more?

Each course is allotted 500MB of space, which does not include student submissions. You can quickly see how much space your course materials are using through the Files tab or in Settings under Course Statistics > File Storage in the right hand navigation.

If you are running low on storage, contact the FITC to request that the allotment is increased.


How do I make my course available to students?

Students will see an entry in their list of courses for any course that they are enrolled in, but they will not be able to open the course or view its content until the course is published and until the term has begun.

When you are ready to have students see your course contents, click on the green Publish button in the upper right corner of the home page. 

To adjust the start and end dates for access to your course materials:

  1. Change the Starts: and Ends: fields under Settings > Course Details.
  2. Check the box for "Users can only participate in the course between these dates".
  3. Update Course Settings with the blue button at the bottom of the page.

Be sure that the course and materials you wish to make available are published.

Note that Canvas at UCSC only sends invitations to join a course when a user is manually added. Since enrollments are entered automatically through connection to the Reigstrar's system, students do not receive invitations to join your course.

Learn more about Publishing courses

Learn more about Setting course start and end dates


What will students see if I don't publish my course in Canvas?

The official Canvas course shell cannot be deleted, and student enrollments will stay in the shell. Students will see the course as Unpublished in their list of courses. If you are not using Canvas, it is helpful to put information in the course shell and publish it to direct them to the location of your course materials. 

Learn more about Publishing courses


Can I add people to my course site?

Add people to your course site using the +People button on the right side of the screen under People in the left navigation. Be sure to select the correct section and role.

  • You may only add people who have a vaild @ucsc.edu email address.
    • If you wish to add someone who does not have an @ucsc.edu email address, you will need to sponsor a Sundry account for them. 
    • Once they have received their Sundry account, you must provide the account information to canvas.help@ucsc.edu and request that a Canvas account be created for that user.
  • If you attempt to add someone and receive an error message, the person most likely does not have a Canvas account. Contact canvas.help@ucsc.edu to request that a Canvas account be created for that user. 
  • When adding students who are waitlisted or auditing, be sure to select the role "Student Auditor".
    • Be sure that any student auditor that you add is also given a code to register with the Registrar's office.
    • If you select the role "Student", they may be deleted from the enrollments by the automated feed.
    • Do not add students using the Concurrent Student role - this is reserved for students enrolled by University Extension.

Learn more about Adding people to a course


What are the different roles in Canvas?

Click here to see a table of the roles in Canvas and what they can do.


How do I add my TA to my Canvas course?

TAs that have been included in course information are added by the Registrar in week 3 or 4 of each quarter. To add a TA prior to their enrollment by the registrar, use the +People button under the People link to add them to the course roster. Be sure to use their correct CruzID email. If the user is not found, do not add them. Contact canvas.help@ucsc.edu for assistance.

Learn more about Adding people to a course


I want my TA to be able to create and change course materials. How do I allow this?

The role of "TA" allows the user to grade submissions, but not to change or add course materials. The role of "TA - Site Manager" allows the user to create and edit course materials, in addition to grading submissions. If you wish to give your TA the extended permissions of the TA - Site Manager role, follow these steps:

  1. Click on People
  2. Click on +People in the upper right
  3. Type in your TA's CruzID email
  4. Select the Section that is the same as the name for your course
  5. Select the role "TA - Site Manager"
  6. Click on "Add Users" to add them to the course
If the TA is already enrolled, these steps create a second role for the TA, which is the desired result. It is important to add the role, rather than editing the existing role. If you simply edit the role from TA to TA - Site Manager, the role will be overwritten by the automated feed from AIS and the TA will revert to not having the permissions that you wish.
If the user is not found, do not add them. Contact the FITC for assistance.

How do I modify the left hand navigation in my course site?

Select the Navigation tab under Settings. Drag the items you do not want students to see down to the inactive area, drag active items to reorder them.

If you move the People tab to the inactive area, you will still see the link, but students will not.

Items that appear greyed out in the left hand navigation are not seen by students. Items with no content will be greyed out.

We recommend that you move the Conferences link to the inactive area. Conferences are not supported. We recommend using Zoom instead.

Learn more about Navigation


How do I add a web link to the left hand navigation in my course site?

Add a link to the left hand navigation using the Redirect tool.

Go to Settings > Apps and select the Redirect tool.

Enter the name to appear in your navigation and the link that you wish to go to.


How do I record class participation and take attendance with Canvas?

Use of tools to measure class participation and attendance is entirely optional and at the instructor’s discretion.

Available tools:

i>Clicker REEF Polling
Can be used for in-class polls, quizzes, and counting for presence
Students must purchase REEF Polling account

Learn about i>Clickers at UCSC and setup

Roll Call Attendance
Can be activated in the course navigation by dragging Attendance into the active navigation
Requires instructor or TA to interactively identify students present in each class

Learn more about Using Roll Call Attendance


How do I integrate i>Clicker for interactive participation in Canvas?

Can be used for in-class polls, quizzes, and counting for presence
Students must purchase a REEF Polling account

Learn about i>Clickers at UCSC and setup


How do I give extra credit?

There are a number of different ways to give extra credit:

To create an assignment that may be submitted for extra credit:

  1. Create a new assignment
  2. Assign a value of 0 points
  3. Choose whether or not students are required to submit something to receive the credit
  4. Publish the assignment
  5. Grade the assignment using Speedgrader or manually enter the value in the gradebook

Note that if you are using weighted assignments you must put any 0-value assignments into an unweighted assignment group.

You can also directly add extra points to an existing score in the Gradebook, add Fudge Points to a quiz, or use a rubric to assign extra points.

Learn more about Extra Credit in Canvas


How do I access my Google Drive and share content in Canvas?

Authorizing your Google Drive in Canvas
Google Drive is automatically available for all instructors and students in the UCSC instance of Canvas.  Information on how to setup your Google Drive in canvas is available at Canvas Guides Google Drive Setup.

Creating an Assignment using  Google Drive
You can create cloud assignment using Google Drive.  The information on how to setup Cloud Assignments with Google Drive is available at Canvas Guides Create Cloud Assignments.

Creating create a hyperlink or embed a file from Google Drive

You can link or embed pretty much any Google drive file using the Rich Content Editor in Canvas. The information on how to create a hyperlink or embed file from Google docs is available at Canvas Guides Link or Embed From Google Drive.


How do I add media to my course?

Use Google Drive or YouTube to host media files that you can embed or link into your course.

Learn more about Serving video in Canvas at UCSC


What is the difference between Announcements and the Inbox (Conversations)?

Although they might look similar, Announcements differ from messages sent from the Inbox (or "Conversations"):

  • Announcements can be created by Teacher, TA-Site Manager and Designer roles in a single Canvas course site. They are automatically sent to every member of a Canvas course site, and posted in the Announcements activity stream for future review.

  • Any Canvas user can send a Conversation message from their Inbox regardless of their role. These messages can be sent to an entire course, a course section, a student/sub-group, or an individual. These messages will only be sent to the recipients, and are not posted (publicly or otherwise) on any Canvas site.

As a general rule, we recommend using Announcements to share time-sensitive, urgent information that does not necessarily require a response (e.g. a class cancellation, or a new Assignment posting), but should be received by every student/member of the Canvas course site. Conversation messages, however, can be used for lengthier, sustained exchanges between instructors and their students (e.g. questions about a class discussion, or something that should only be shared individually). Messages sent from either of these options are delivered to the recipient’s preferred email account

Learn more about Announcements
Learn more about Conversations
Learn more about Assignments


How do I send a message to my entire class using Conversations?

To send an email to your entire class:

  1. Click on the Inbox
  2. Click on the paper and pencil icon to compose a new email
  3. Select the class
  4. Click on the icon at the far right of the To field
  5. Select All, Teachers, or a specific section

NOTES: 

  • You cannot send a message to your students unless the course is published.
  • Messages are sent within Canvas. Students will also get an email sent to their email address listed in Canvas unless they have turned off their notifications.
  • There is a limit of 200 students. Send the conversation by sections to work around this limitation.

Learn more about Sending messages using Conversations


How can I get a copy of emails and announcements I send?  I never see them.

Announcements and Conversations default is set to never send a copy to the sender. 

Change these defaults in your Notifications:

  1. Click on Account
  2. Click on Notifications
  3. Look for "Announcements Created by You" and "Conversations Created by Me"
    (ignore the fact that they did not use parallel structure ...)
  4. Change the settings from "Do Not Send Me Anything" to the checkmark for "Notify Me Right Away".

You will receive an email notification when you send an Announcement or Conversation.

Learn more about Notification settings.


Can I see a history of grade changes in the gradebook?

You can view the history of all Gradebook changes in your course using the Gradebook History page. Gradebook History is a read-only log that allows you to see who graded each assignment. Options are available to filter grading history by student, grader, assignment, and date. More information can be found here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13024-415295585


How do I get my grades from Canvas to my.ucsc.edu?

There are three steps to get your grades out of Canvas and into my.ucsc.edu:

  1. Export your grades from Canvas. Click here for the export instructions.
  2. Format the downloaded file. Click here for file preparation instructions - see page 1.
  3. Upload the file to my.ucsc.edu. Click here for grade upload instructions - see page 2.

Notes:
The column in the export file called SIS ID is the column that will become the “id” column in the upload file.
Although the example shows multiple columns the file requires minimally an “id” column and a “Grade” column.


How do I give a student access to complete work after the end of the term?

Adjust the end date for access to your course materials to specify the day and time you wish to have the student's access end:

  1. Change the Ends: field under Settings > Course Details.
  2. Check the box for "Users can only participate in the course between these dates".
  3. Update Course Settings with the blue button at the bottom of the page.

Add a specific due date for the individual student to any assignments or quizzes that are needed:

  1. In the Assignment or Quiz, use the "+Add" button under Assign To to create a new due date assigned to just the student who needs access.
  2. Save the Assignment or Quiz.
  3. Notify the student that the course is available to them.

Learn more about Setting course start and end dates
Learn more about Assigning to an individual student


What third-party applications are available in Canvas?

We are currently supporting the following third-party applications in Canvas. Some of the applications will appear under the Apps tab, some are applied across the account, some are available upon request. 

These apps cover the same features that have been available during the UCOP pilot phase. If you do not see an app that you have been using, contact the FITC for assistance. A process for identifying and approving new third-party apps is in development.

ALEKS – math adaptive learning
Cengage Learning WebAssign – textbook publisher
Google Apps
– Google Drive Integration
i>Clicker, i>Clicker Cloud – classroom participation
iMathAS – math assessment tool for delivery and automatic grading of math homework
Intermediate Microeconomics Video Handbook 
– Video handbook for Economics from UCSD
Khan Academy 
– library of instructional video that can be embedded
Macmillan Learning – textbook publisher
McGraw-Hill Connect – textbook publisher
Pearson MyLab and Mastering
– textbook publisher
Piazza
– interactive discussions
Playposit [PILOT] -
interactive video quizzing
Redirect – add links to your course navigation
Roll Call Attendance – optional tool for tracking who is present
SuiteC [PILOT] – collaboration tools including collaborative Asset Library and Whiteboards, Engagement Index
TED Ed – library of video that can be embedded
YouTube – library of video that can be embedded
Vimeo – library of video that can be embedded
Zoom – video conferencing (using Redirect)


How do I add third-party apps to my course?

The steps to add a third-party application vary from application to application. Here are the basic groups of apps and how to add them:

Immediately available, no action required

Google Apps - You will see your Google Drive in the left navigation of your course shell. Clicking on the link opens your Google Drive, once you authenticate using the blue Authorize button at the bottom of your screen.
When using the Rich Text Editor in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the Google Apps logo (multi-colored triangle). Clicking on the icon allows you to embed or link to documents in your Google Drive.

Add from Settings > Apps, see them in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) and Modules > External Tools

YouTube - Adding this application will add YouTube as an option in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) When in the RTE in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the YouTube logo. Clicking on the icon allows you to search for and embed or link to public videos on YouTube. 

Vimeo - Adding this application will add Vimeo as an option in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) When in the RTE in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the Vimeo logo. Clicking on the icon allows you to search for and embed or link to public videos on Vimeo.

TED Ed Adding this application will add TED Ed as an option in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) When in the RTE in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the TED Ed logo. Clicking on the icon allows you to search for and embed or link to public videos on TED Ed.

Khan Academy Adding this application will add Khan Academy as an option in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) When in the RTE in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the Khan Academy logo (green leaf). Clicking on the icon allows you to search for and embed or link to public videos on Khan Academy.

Quizlet Adding this application will add Quizlet as an option in the Rich Text Editor (RTE) When in the RTE in Assignments, Syllabus, Pages, Tests and Quizzes, etc. you will see the Quizlet logo (blue Q). Clicking on the icon allows you to search for and embed publicly available questions and answers for studying and testing.

Add from Settings > Apps

Redirect - When you add this app, it will offer you the option to provide a name (replace "Redirect" with the name you wish) and a URL. The link will appear in the course navigation when the page is refreshed. Redirects can be to internal Canvas pages or to external sites. You can add as many redirects as you wish to a course.

Add from Settings > Navigation

The following apps are available in your course navigation settings. Drag the app up to the preferred location in the active navigation, save, then refresh your page to see the item in the left-hand course navigation.

Attendance (Roll-Call) - Learn more about Using Roll-Call Attendance
Macmillan Learning - use to access Macmillan Learning Tools Launch Pad
M-H Connect (McGraw-Hill) - use to access McGraw-Hill textbook and homework sites using MH Connect 
MyLab and Mastering (Pearson) - use to access Pearson MyLab and Mastering textbooks and homework
Piazza -  used to access Piazza interactive discussion tool. Learn more about Piazza from this Piazza Quick-Start Guide.
Whiteboards, Asset Library, Engagement Index (SuiteC) - ** These applications are part of a pilot program. By enabling these applications you agree to provide feedback to the pilot program, and you acknowledge that the pilot may not continue past the end of the current quarter. ** Learn more about SuiteC.

Add to a course Module or Assignment using External Tool

Add the following third-party apps directly into a module by adding an item to a module (+ inside the module) or creating an assignment (+ under Assignments) and selecting External Tool:

ALEKS - Connect to ALEKS via MH Campus
Chat - Add Chat to  your module
Playposit - Add an interactive video quiz to your assignment or module. ** This application is part of a pilot program. By enabling this application, you agree to provide feedback to the pilot program, and you acknowledge that the pilot may not continue past the end of the current quarter. ** Learn more about Playposit.

All other external tools added to your course are also available through the External Tools drop-down in Modules and Assignments.


Can I change my name in Canvas?

Identities in Canvas are controlled through AIS, and must remain consistent across the systems. However, you may request a Professional Name from the Registrar, and that name will be used in Canvas. Find out how to Request a Professional Name.


How long do I have access to my course in Canvas?

Instructor access to course materials does not expire. Access will change from Edit to Read-Only after 1 year plus 1 quarter. For example, a course that is held in Fall of 2020 will become read-only at the end of Fall 2021.

TA access becomes Read-Only 1 day after grades are due in the quarter the course is offered.

Student access becomes Read-Only at the end of the term (end of the last day of finals) or the end date specified in the "Ends" field in the Settings page when the box "Students can only participate in the course between these dates" is checked.


I can't see the +People button in my course from a prior term. How do I give another instructor access?

If you can change the end date for the course in Settings, this will restore your access to the +People button. If you cannot change the end date for the course in Settings, contact canvas.help@ucsc.edu to request that access be opened so that you can add a user. Be sure to restore the course end date to the original end date once the other instructor has been added.


Where is the documentation in Canvas?

Selected Canvas Guides are linked in the right hand column of this page.

The home page for Canvas documentation is at https://guides.instructure.com.


What is available for training?

Visit the Canvas Faculty Training page for more information.

What is available for help and how do I get it?

  • 24x7 support directly from Instructure.
    Click the "?" at the bottom of the grey navigation panel to open the HELP menu and access links to connect by phone, email, or chat.
  • The UCSC Canvas website at its.ucsc.edu/canvas Access information about the Canvas project and the Canvas product, including this Faculty FAQ, Canvas Guides, Tours, and Tutorials, UCSC Canvas documentation.
  • Consultations and problem resolution from the FITC.
    Drop-in at 1330 McHenry Library
    Call 9-5506
    Click the “Contact the FITC” link in the Help menu or send an email to canvas.help@ucsc.edu to create a help request.