This page is a curated collection of Canvas tutorials for users at the University of Notre Dame, compiled by Notre Dame Learning and the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) Teaching and Learning Technologies unit. These tutorials provide quick directions on how to add content and utilize the tools in your course.
Contact Canvas Help directly at any time using the blue Help icon found in the bottom left corner of the global navigation menu within Canvas. Doing so will give you the option to connect via live chat, a hotline, and more helpful resources. Contacting Canvas directly this way with any issues or questions will be most efficient. From there, Canvas will escalate items to our friends in OIT as needed.
For pedagogical questions and considerations, please contact Notre Dame Learning at email@example.com.
Getting Started with Canvas
Canvas boasts a robust collection of documentation and resources to support its users. Below are some to consider bookmarking.
- Canvas Instructor Guide: A collection of tutorials for instructors using Canvas.
- Canvas Student Guide: We recommend sharing applicable tutorials from this guide with students in your course to help them optimize the user experience from their perspective.
- Canvas Community for Instructors: A place for Canvas users to ask questions, share, collaborate, and more.
- Panda Pros Consultations: Sign up to meet with Canvas consultants to discuss course design.
Video and Other Resources:
Canvas Instructor Video Guide: A collection of video tutorials for Canvas instructors.
CanvasLMS on YouTube: Frequently added livestreams, demos, and more.
The CanvasCasters Podcast: Co-hosts Eddie and Marcus believe that behind every educator’s journey for great technology, there’s also a great story. Listen as they help tell these stories with the backdrop of a great community of Canvas LMS users from around the globe. The unofficial podcast of Canvas LMS.
Using the global navigation menu
|What navigation features will be most useful?||Why would I use that feature?||How do I use the global navigation features?|
|Account||You may want to edit your user settings (add a profile picture, display name, language, etc.) or change the default notification settings.|
|Dashboard||The dashboard is a landing page where users can view their courses, a to-do list, and more.|
|Courses||This tab allows you to see courses without being at the dashboard. You can also customize your course list.|
|Calendar||Canvas automatically creates a calendar with due dates, events, etc. Add events to your personal calendar and events to classes like major deadlines, midterm dates, end of term, special events, etc. for students to view. When you create an assignment it will automatically populate on the course calendar.|
|Inbox||See “Communicating with Students in Canvas” section.|
Edit course navigation to maximize accessibility. Suggested navigation links have already been set up in your course and displayed as they are below.
|What pages are already enabled?||Why have this page?||How do I use it?|
|Home||This is a landing page for the students in your course to view important contact information, a schedule, etc.|
|Announcements||Update students with announcements weekly or before or after each class meeting.||See “Announcements” in the “Communicating with Students in Canvas” section below.|
|Assignments||Students will be able to view all course assignments.|
|Discussions||Students will be able to view all course discussions.|
|Grades||All grades are visible here and can be arranged in a few different ways for students to view.||
|Library Reserves||Access to the university library reserves if applicable for your course. Add the Library Reserves tool to your site for access to the Hesburgh eReserves page.|
|Modules||Your course can be organized by week, topic, class meeting, etc. for students to work through. Use modules to take advantage of more content release features.||See “Modules Items” in the “Adding Content” section of this document.|
|People||A list of others enrolled in the course.|
|Quizzes||Create and manage all quizzes for your course.
We recommend using Quizzes when possible. Canvas offers a tool called New Quizzes, but it has not reached parity with the current Quizzes tool, particularly in regards to question banks. If you are unsure about which quiz function to use, please contact OIT by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Syllabus||Upload or embed your syllabus for students to view and any other helpful resources. Canvas creates a full listing of all course due dates on this page. It is a helpful way for users to stay organized.|
Publish vs. Unpublish
Not quite done making edits or there’s something you do not want students to see right away? Leave it unpublished. Similarly, remember if you want students to see a page, assignment, discussion, etc. make sure the green “published” button is illuminated. Publish or unpublish with ease.
Using the rich content editor
If you do not find a resource below, you can access more information about the Rich Content Editor using the link below.
|What are some elements I can add besides text?||How do I use that feature?|
|Images and Videos||
Use the built in Accessibility Checker as a starting point for adhering to accessibility standards.
Using the Modules Index Page
|Once new modules are created you can add to it, edit it, rearrange, etc. Canvas makes it easy to drag and drop entire modules and module elements.|
|What can I add to a module?||Why would I use that feature?||How do I use that feature?|
|Assignment||Use assignments when you want students to submit a product to Canvas.||See “Assignments” in the “Course Navigation” section.|
|Quiz||A built in quiz / testing feature for assessments.||See “Quizzes” in the “Course Navigation” section.|
|File||Upload and attach files for students to use as resources.
*Files can be disabled from the course navigation so students cannot see a file unless it is in a module.*
|Page||Create a page with content for students to view and work through. Great for presentations and videos.||
|Discussion||Host and facilitate discussion boards.||See “Discussions” in the “Course Navigation” section. .|
|Text Header||Keep modules organized with additional text headers|
|External URL||Instead of including a URL in a page, you may want to have a URL on its own. Consider using this for frequently used websites or helpful resources.|
|External Tool||Integrate popular apps like Panopto, Turnitin, Zoom and more.|
Communicating with Students in Canvas
Canvas has a few built in ways to stay in touch with your students without cluttering your email inbox.
Video Resource: How to Use Canvas to Communicate with Students (35 minute webinar)
- Video Segments Timestamps
- Creating an announcement (2:15 – 4:16)
- Example of users engaging with announcements if commenting is turned on (4:40 – 5:40)
- Inbox messaging with built in media recorder (6:15 – 9:50)
- “Message students who” from Gradebook (11:03 – 13:23)
- Authentic feedback with media recorder in SpeedGrader (19:06 – 21:26)
|What communication features are available?||Why would I use that feature?||How do I use that feature?|
|Announcements||Push announcements out to all users. You can schedule an announcement for a later date by delaying the posting date.
Not ready to post, but want to save what you have? By delaying the posting date you can come back and edit whenever and update the posting time accordingly.
|Inbox||Inbox is a built-in messaging center. If you do not wish for students to communicate with you this way, please make sure that is explicitly stated in your course syllabus so they know to default to your gmail.|
View and Grade Student Work
Use the Gradebook and SpeedGrader to view student work, provide feedback, and input grades.
Video Resource: How to Use SpeedGrader (20-minute webinar with some great university examples)