Canvas FAQs

Canvas FAQs

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1. How do I log into Canvas?

2. Why can’t I log in with my iPad?

3. Can I have Canvas open in multiple tabs or windows?

4. How do I post a link in a Discussion?

5. How do I manage my profile?

6. What do the different notifications mean?

7. How will I know if my assignment was submitted?

8. What if I submitted the wrong assignment?

9. How do I check my grade on an assignment?

10. How do I add my TA or other additional users?

11. Should I make my course publicly viewable?

12. How do I embed a YouTube video in a Page?

13. How do I manage my calendar?

14. Can I sync my Canvas calendar with my Google Calendar?

15. I can see an assignment posted, but I can’t access it. Why not?

16. I want to message someone in my class, but I can’t remember their name. How can I get in touch with them?

17. As a student, how do I add a course?

18. Can I use Canvas to create a student group to work together on a project or studying for an exam?

19. How can I manage my messages in Conversations?

20. How do group conversations work?

21. What is an ePortfolio?

22. How do I make an ePortfolio?

23. How do I access OCRA links and films?

24. What is the maximum number of people in a Conference?

25. I stopped receiving email notifications, what happened?


1. How do I log into Canvas?

        Go to brown.instructure.com and enter your Banner username and password.

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2. Why can’t I log in with my iPad?

Check the status of the Shift key (up arrow key) on the iPad on-screen keyboard before entering your username and password in the text box of the login screen. iPad tends to force a capital letter as the first letter in a text box. If your username or password begins with lower case, be sure the Shift key (up arrow key) is not lit.

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3. Can I have Canvas open in multiple tabs or windows?

        Yes!

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4. How do I post a link in a Discussion?

a. Choose to create a new entry or post a reply. When the text editing window opens, look in the menu editor bar for the little icon that looks like a chain, or chain links. (Get it? Links!) That is the tool you will use when you’re ready to add a link.

b. Craft your discussion post (either a new entry or a reply), and when you are ready to add a link, click the link icon (the chain).  Then, a new window pops up. Paste or type the URL of the link you want to share, then click the Insert Link button. The link will appear where you last left your cursor in the text editing window.

NOTE: This method inserts the full URL into the page. If you wish to further customize how the link will appear on the page, consider this alternative method:

a. Enter the text you want to be displayed as your link, such as, ‘this is where my link will go’. ‘Click here’ is not recommended; instead, use a more relevant and informative term or phrase such as ‘my resume’ or ‘my creative writing assignment.’

b. Highlight the text you want to be displayed as your link, then click the link icon.

c. Enter the URL and click the Insert Link button.

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5. How do I manage my profile?

Click on the Profile link on the top-right corner of the main Canvas page.

You can view your current settings and click the Edit Profile button to make changes.

You can also select other web services to add to your Canvas account. We recommend that you add your Brown.edu Google Docs account so that you can use the Collaborations tool and work with other students on a shared document. Adding Facebook will authorize Canvas to send course notifications to your Facebook account. Remember, these settings are not permanent — they can be changed later.

After viewing these options, click the Notifications tab on the left side of the screen.

Here, you see a long list of notification types, each having a variety of settings. To add your cell phone number or another email address, click the Add Contact Method button on the right portion of the screen.

You may elect to be notified through different mediums, such as email, text messaging, and Facebook. You may also select the frequency with which you will receive different notifications: right away, daily, weekly or never. You must have at least one ‘right away’ preference.

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6. What do the different notifications mean?

‘Conversations to which you are added’— You will be notified when you are are added to an already existing message thread

‘Alert notifications’

‘New announcements’— You will be notified when an instructor posts a new announcement

‘Calendar changes’— You will be notified when the parameters of an event are changed

‘New conversation messages’— You will be notified you are sent a message in Conversations

‘Changes to course pages’— You will be notified when your instructor changes any course pages, such as embedding a video into a page

‘New topics’— You will be notified when a new discussion topic is posted

‘Topics I’ve commented on’— You will be notified when someone posts a comment on a topic that you have previously commented on

‘Due date changes’— You will be notified when your instructor changes the due date of an assignment

‘New files’— You will be notified when a new file is posted to a course

‘Course grading alerts’— You will be notified when your instructor has entered a new grade for an assignment

‘Course grading policy changes’— You will be notified if your instructor changes a grading policy, such as making an assignment worth more points

‘New invitations’— You will be notified when you are invited to join a course

‘Membership Update notifications’— You will be notified with updates on group membership

‘New email messages’— You will be notified when you receive a new message on Canvas

‘Reminder notifications’— You will be notified with reminders before assignments are due

‘Comments on assignment submissions’— You will be notified when a peer reviewer or your instructor comments on assignments you have submitted

When setting your notifications, keep in mind the frequency with which you want to receive emails from Canvas. Certain activity—such as changes to course pages, comments on topics, and new messages—may happen frequently, so it is recommended that you elect to receive such notifications on, at most, a daily basis. Other notifications—such as calendar and due date changes, invitations to join courses, new grades, and changes to grading policy—are likely to be less frequent but more urgent messages, so it is recommended that you elect to receive such notifications right away.

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7. How will I know if my assignment was submitted?

Immediately after submitting an assignment, look on the right side of the window to find a box with your submission status. If it displays ‘Submit assignment’ then it hasn’t been submitted. If it dispays ‘Turned in!’ then it has been submitted. You can return to any available assignment through the Assignments page to view its status.

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8. What if I submitted the wrong assignment?

If you wish to submit an updated version of the assignment, select ‘Re-submit Assignment’ and submit the version of the assignment that you want your professor to grade.

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9. How do I check my grade on an assignment?        

You will receive a notification when new grades have been entered. The notification that the assignment has been graded will also appear on the ‘Recent Activity’ feed and the ‘Recent Feedback’ listing on the main Canvas page. To access your grade, click on either of the links provided by this notification.

Alternatively, select the course from the ‘Courses’ dropdown menu. You will be directed to the course’s home page. Then select ‘Grades’ from the sidebar. This will direct you to a page where you can view your grades for all assignments completed for the course.

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10. How do I add my TA or other additional users?

        Fill out a request to add additional users. You will be notified once users are added.

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11. Should I make my course publicly viewable?

This could be beneficial because it leaves the course open to non-Brown views. However, you will be unable to reliably track access statistics. To make a course public:

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12. How do I embed a YouTube video in a Page?

a. Copy the URL for the YouTube video and inside Canvas, click on the Edit button for your page.

b. Paste the URL into the Page wiki editor where you’d like the display the video.

c. Highlight the URL and click on the “Insert Link” icon from the editor menu bar.

d. Paste the URL again into the pop-up box and click the Insert Link button.

A confirmation that your URL will be embedded as a video will appear.

e. Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the Page editor. Your YouTube video will display as a thumbnail and, when clicked, will play the video within Canvas.

Alternatively, click the Switch Views button above the menu editor bar on the right hand side. The menu bar will disappear. Paste the embed code — which can be found by clicking on the Share button under the video on YouTube and then clicking on the blue Embed button — into this box. Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the Page editor. The initial view of the video, as it would appear on YouTube, will appear on the page. Users can click the play button to start the video.

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13. How do I manage my calendar?

You can access your calendar through the ‘Calendar’ link at the top of your page. Your calendar will show events and assignments for all of your courses, as well as your personal calendar. As a student you can only view events and assignments from each of your courses; you will not be able to add or alter them. You will only be able to structure your personal calendar, denoted by your name. All of your calendars are listed on the right side of the screen. To remove one of the calendars—either your personal calendar or a calendar from one of your courses—from your main calendar view, uncheck the box to the right of the calendar. You can add it back to your main calendar view by re-checking the box.

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14. Can I sync my Canvas calendar with my Google Calendar?

Click on the ‘Calendar’ link at the top of the page. On the right side of the page, underneath the small calendar and the list of courses, select the ‘Calendar feed’ link. A box will appear in the middle of the screen with a URL. Copy the URL and then navigate to your Google Calendar. On the left sidebar, under the small calendar, click the arrow icon to the right of ‘Other calendars’ and select ‘Add by URL.’ A box will appear in the middle of the screen. Paste the URL from Canvas into the box.

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15. I can see an assignment posted, but I can’t access it. Why not?

Your instructor can post assignments for the course ahead of time and lock them until they want to allow students to begin work on them. Contact your instructor if you think an assignment should be unlocked.

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16. I want to message someone in my class, but I can’t remember their name. How can I get in touch with them?

Click the ‘Inbox’ link in the upper right side of the screen. This will direct you to Conversations. Look at the ‘To’ field in the ‘New Message’ box on the right side of the screen. Select the person icon on the right side of this field. A list of your courses will appear in a dropdown menu. Select a course, and then select whether you want to message a teacher or a student. You can then scroll through the list of names that appear and select those that you wish to message. If you want to get in touch with multiple people on the list, check the box next to their names as you scroll through the list.

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17. As a student, how do I add a course?

You must wait for your instructor to invite you to join the course. You will receive the invitation to join the course via email, and when you log in to Canvas you will see an invitation window, reminding you that you have been invited to join the course. Click the Accept Invitation button once to enter the course, and then click it again once you are inside the course. If you have not been invited to join a course for which you are registered, contact the instructor.

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18. Can I use Canvas to create a student group to work together on a project or studying for an exam?

Canvas allows you to create student groups within a given course. Navigate to the course for which you would like to create a group, and select ‘People’ on the sidebar. Click the View Student Groups button on the right side of the screen. On the new page, click the Start a New Group button on the right side of the screen. This will direct you to a list of students and instructors that you can select to join your group. A dropdown menu will allow you to select whether other course members will be free to join, other course members can request permission to join, or other course members may join by invitation only.

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19. How can I manage my messages in Conversations?

Access Conversations by clicking the ‘Inbox’ link in the upper right side of the screen. You will be directed to a page that displays your Inbox on the left side of the screen and a field for beginning a new message thread on the right side of the screen. Click on the ‘Inbox’ heading to view a dropdown menu that allows you to choose which messages you would like to see— unread conversations, color-labeled conversations, archived conversations, or discussion replies. To forward or delete messages within a conversation, open the conversation and select the messages by clicking on them and then checking the box that appears to the right of the text. Then select the appropriate button— either forward or delete— which will appear at the top of the screen. To remove yourself from or otherwise organize a conversation, open the conversation and select the gear icon to the right of the text. The dropdown menu that appears will allow you to mark the conversation as unread, color-label the conversation, unsubscribe from the conversation, archive the conversation, or delete the conversation.

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20. How do group conversations work?

You can send a message to multiple people by entering their names individually in the ‘To’ field as you compose your message, by selecting multiple individuals from the dropdown menu, or by selecting an entire group or course from the dropdown menu. If at some point you wish to privately respond to an individual within the conversation, select the conversation and scroll to the message that you wish to individually respond to. Hover your mouse just to the right of their name and click the ‘New message’ link that appears. You will be redirected to a messaging field that allows you to privately respond to them.

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21. What is an ePortfolio?

An ePortfolio allows you to compile a series of assignments and papers from within a class into one folder, or to compile a variety of assignments and papers from across multiple courses to showcase your best work. In this way, ePortfolios can be a great way to use coursework to help you transition to life after Brown. You can choose to make your ePortfolio public, allowing free Internet access to people outside of Canvas. This can be a good tool if you want prospective employers or admission officers to find a portfolio of some of your best work from Brown if they run an online search of applicants. If you choose to make your ePortfolio private, you can allow others to access it through a URL that you provide them. Alternatively, you can download your ePortfolio into a compact file that you may then share with others.

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22. How do I make an ePortfolio?

You can access your ePortfolios by clicking on your name in the upper right corner of the screen and then selecting ‘ePortfolio’ from the sidebar on the left. You can then create an ePortfolio by clicking on the Create an ePortfolio button in the center of the screen. You will be redirected to a page where you can name your portfolio and choose whether you want to make it public or keep it private. If your portfolio is public, anyone on the Internet will have access to it. If your portfolio is private, others will only have access to your portfolio with specific permission from you. To allow others to view a private portfolio, you will need to provide them with a URL found on your ePortfolio. After you create an ePortfolio, a screen will appear that offers you a variety of options for how to proceed.

Clicking on the ‘Getting Started Wizard’ link opens a window on the bottom of the screen with various tools for helping you begin the process of creating your ePortfolio. The ‘Go to the Actual ePortfolio’ link redirects you to a page where you can view your portfolio as it currently exists.

If your ePortfolio is private, a link will be provided under the ‘Your ePortfolio is Private’ heading that will be necessary for others who wish to access your portfolio.

Under the ‘Recent Submissions’ heading, there will be a link to automatically add assignments that you have recently submitted on Canvas to a new page in your ePortfolio.

The ‘Download the contents of this ePortfolio as a zip file’ link allows you to download your ePortfolio as a file. If you select this link, you may have to wait a moment as the resources from your ePortfolio are collected. A box will then appear that allows you to name your ePortfolio and save it on your computer.

The ‘Delete this ePortfolio’ link allows you to remove ePortfolio. If you select this link, a Delete ePortfolio button will appear under the link. If you wish to continue, click the button. If you change your mind, click the red ‘Cancel’ link to the right of the button.

If this is your first ePortfolio, the ‘Getting Started Wizard’ link may provide a useful tool. If you select this link, the following list of options will appear on the bottom of the screen.

Selecting the different tabs will offer you basic information about how you can organize, add to, and edit your portfolio, which will appear at the bottom of your screen to the right of the ‘Getting Started’ menu. Whenever you see the blue ‘show me’ link in parenthesis in the description, you can hover your cursor over the words and that aspect of the ePortfolio will be highlighted in yellow.

Alternatively, you can delve right into creating your ePortfolio. The sidebar on the left side of the screen will list the different sections within your portfolio. The sections allow you to organize your ePortfolio.

To add a section, select the ‘Organize sections’ link. An ‘Add Section’ link will appear. Select this link and enter the section name in the field that appears above.

You may continue to select the ‘Add Section’ link to add additional sections.

To delete a section, select the X to the right of the section name.

To change the order that sections are listed, click on a section name and drag it up or down within the sidebar to its desired location.

To finish organizing your sections, select the Done Editing button under the ‘Add Section’ link.

To edit a section, select the pencil icon to the left of the section name. This will direct you to a screen where you can comment on or edit a page. The following box will appear on the right side of the page.

If you select the ‘Organize/Manage Pages’ link or the ‘New Page’ link, you will be redirected to the same screen. Select the Edit This Page button. This will direct you to a screen where you can name the page and select Comments settings.

You can choose whether you want to allow others who view your ePortfolio to offer feedback. If you choose to allow comments, you will then be able to choose whether you want others to be able to see those comments or whether you want them to be only visible to you.

The following box on the right side of the screen will allow you to add content to your page.

Select ‘Rich Text Content’ to open the Rich Content Editor box.

This allows you to add text, insert links, write equations, and embed videos.

Select ‘HTML/Embedded Content’ to open a box that allows you to paste HTML code to embed content into your page.

Select ‘Course Submission’ to open a box that allows you to embed an assignment that you have submitted for a course on Canvas.

Click the Select Submission button in the bottom corner of the box to choose your content from a list of course submissions.

Select ‘Image/File Upload’ to include an image or file on your page.

Click the Choose File button in the middle of the box to select a file from your Desktop and upload it to the page.

If you wish to delete any of these boxes, hover your cursor over the top-right corner of the box. A trashcan icon will appear. Select the icon, a box will appear that allows you to confirm the removal of the box.

If you wish to reorder your boxes, hover your cursor over the top-left corner of the box you wish to move. A double-arrow icon will appear. You can then click and drag the box up or down on the page to reorder your content.

Once you have finished adding content, you can select the Preview button at the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to view the content on the page as it will appear in your ePortfolio. Once you have previewed your page, you can select the Keep Editing button at the bottom of the screen to return to the previous screen and continue adding and editing content. If you are finished with the page, you can instead select the Save Page button. This will direct you to your page within your ePortfolio, where you can view the content as well as any comments that have been submitted.

If you do not wish to begin by organizing your ePortfolio into sections, you can instead simply begin adding pages under the default ‘Home’ through the box on the right side of the screen

Select the ‘Welcome’ link to create an introductory page welcoming viewers to your ePortfolio. This will direct you to a screen where you can comment on or edit the page.

Select the ‘Organize/Manage Pages’ link to add other pages under this heading. An ‘Add Another Page’ link will appear under the ‘Welcome’ link. Select this link and enter the page name in the field that appears above.

You may continue to select the ‘Add Another Page’ link to add additional pages.

To delete a page, select the X to the right of the page name.

To change the order that pages are listed, click on a page name and drag it up or down within the sidebar to its desired location.

To finish organizing your pages, select the Done Editing button under the ‘Add Section’ link.

To edit a page, select the pencil icon to the left of the page name. This will direct you to a screen where you can comment on or edit the page.

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23. How do I access OCRA links and films?

        From the Course Calendar,

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24. What is the maximum number of people in a Conference?

Between 20-25 users in a Conference session

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25. I stopped receiving email notifications, what happened?

It’s possible the email notifications are being sent to your Spam folder. Try searching your mail for messages from “Instructure Canvas”.

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