Canvas Learning Management System FAQ for Faculty

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This page is constantly being updated, if you find confusing or outdated information, please create a ticket for the Center for Teaching and Learning with the details and we’ll investigate. Thank you.

Canvas Basics

Your Canvas Profile and Settings
Emailing Students via the Canvas Inbox
The Rich Content Editor
The Canvas Dashboard and how to Personalize it

Building your course:

Start of Semester Checklist
Course Settings
External Apps and LTI Integrations
Course Navigation
Adding a Syllabus
Adding Modules
Text Headers
Managing Student Progress with Modules
Should I use Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes?
Building New Quizzes
Building Classic Quizzes
Moderate Classic Quizzes
Classic Quiz Reports
Respondus Lockdown Browser for Proctored Tests
Respondus Monitor
Creating Assignments
Google Apps Collaborations
Gradebook Settings
Weighted Final Grades
Turnitin Originality Checker
Creating and Moderating Discussions
Creating Content in Pages
Sharing files with students
Creating / Uploading videos in Canvas Studio
Canvas Studio Editing Tools –  to use before uploading
Editing a Canvas Studio Recording after uploading/Combining Videos from Different Sources
Creating and Assigning a Canvas Studio Quiz
Recovering a ‘lost’ Canvas Studio Recording

Teaching your course

Student view
Grading in Speedgrader
Entering Grades into the Gradebook
Late/Missing Assignments Grading Policy
Submitting Assignments on Behalf of a Student
Working with Groups
Adding People to your course – a co-teacher or TA
Dropout Detective
New Analytics / Course Participation
Course Evaluations
Synchronous Course Meetings in Zoom
Attendance & Seating Charts (Roll Call Tool)
Transferring grades to MyMBU

Managing your course

Copying your course to teach again
Cross-listing / combining enrollments for a course

Miscellaneous Questions

How can a student drop a course?
What web browser should I use?
How much file storage do I have?
How do I customize the left-had course navigation?

Helpful Videos:

Canvas Video Library for Instructors
Canvas Video Library for Students

Canvas Basics

Your Canvas Profile and User Settings

How do I edit my profile in my user account?

Notifications Settings

Notifications Settings tell Canvas which messages to send you, and to which destination. You can receive emails to your personal email address. You can block certain kinds of notifications.

Canvas Calendar

The Calendar is a great way to view everything you have to do for all your courses in one place. You can view calendar events by day, week, month, or agenda list. The calendar also includes access to the Scheduler, which is an optional scheduling tool in Canvas.


Announcements are emailed to students, but only if:

  • the student’s notification settings for ‘Announcement’ is enabled (the default is ‘Notify me right away’)
  • the course is published
  • the term start date and course/section start date  have passed

You can’t control what options your students have set for their Notifications. If you need to email your students before the course start date and/or before the course is published, you should email them via MyMBU, not via Canvas.

Emailing Students via Canvas Inbox

The Inbox is a useful feature of Canvas because there is a record kept of all communications between Professor and Student.  The Inbox is connected to your MBU email address; you can receive copies of your Canvas Conversations at the email or any Notification pathway and answer right from there. The Instructor can send messages to an entire course, a few students, a group, or a section.
You can reply to the message from your Mary Baldwin email, and it will send it back to the student via the Inbox. Note, however, the Inbox does not manage images. If you are adding attachments or images to a response, cc: the student’s MBU email address so they can see the image/attachment.

The Inbox is split into two panels and displays messages chronologically. You can view and reply to conversations and sort them by course or inbox type. The Inbox itself does not have any file size limits; however, attachments added to a conversation are included in the sender’s personal files.

If you right-click or option-click on the Inbox link, you can open your Inbox in a new browser tab to keep it handy while you are doing other tasks in Canvas.
Users display in the Inbox once they have an active enrollment in the course, and users cannot join a course unless it is published.
Once a course has concluded and its term date has passed, you can no longer message students in that course.

Inbox Video

The Rich Content Editor

Canvas has a simple, yet powerful, content editor that is available anytime for creating new content. The Rich Content Editor is used in features that support the editor:

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Syllabus

You can add images, files, record or upload multimedia content, and embed external tools such as YouTube, Khan Academy, and Grafton Library Subject Guides to enhance your pages and make more content more interactive. To add interactive content, use the appropriate icons. Once you select a link, image, file or media option, you will also be able to upload from your computer, the web, or from Canvas course files.

Anything that can be viewed in a web browser can be inserted into the Rich Content Editor content area. You can also input HTML content directly into Canvas using the HTML Editor link. There are more features such as Accessibility Checker and Word Count to help make the most of your Page content. Look for those at the bottom of your page.

More information from Instructure about the Rich Content Editor is here:

The Canvas Dashboard and how to Personalize it

The Dashboard is your landing page in Canvas. At MBU, your Dashboard will default to Card View. This view enables you to see your To Do list at the right hand side.

The To Do list will be at the far right  sidebar (or if you are viewing on a narrower display or phone, at the bottom).

The Dashboard will also show global announcements,. To remove (dismiss) the announcement, click on the Remove Icon (the X). Dismissed announcements can be viewed by clicking on Account (upper left) and then Global Announcements.

Course Settings

The Settings option in your course navigation menu allows you to set some standard options for your course.

In the Course Details tab, you can view the details of your course including its name, the Participation Dates (which are initially set to Term, but can be overridden by Course Dates), and the Grading Scheme. You can also view the course status. If the course cannot be unpublished, the hover text will notify you accordingly.

If you click on More Options at the bottom of the screen, there are other settings options, including the default number of Announcements to show on the Home Page.


If your class has assignments with different due dates for different groups of students, or if you have an Incomplete, you click on Settings, Sections to set up the Sections.

After you have set up the sections, follow the rest of the Incomplete Instructions here.


In order for this to successfully work, it is important to go through these steps carefully. Missing one small check box makes a big difference.

If you can no longer see your course on your Dashboard, click on Courses (book icon at the left), and then All Courses. Click on the Star icon next to your courses to pin them to your Dashboard.

  1. Add a Section from Settings, Sections. Call your new Section “Incompletes”
  2. Set the Section Start & End Dates
    Once the new section has been created, set the Start and End Dates for the Incomplete Section. Click on the title of the Section and then click on Edit. Add the new dates for the incomplete section.The Start Date should be the start date of the original COURSE, so that the student can see the work they submitted earlier in the semester.NOTE! Do not change the Course end date on the Course Details page. The Section End date overrides the Course End date.IMPORTANT: check the box that says “Students can only participate in the course between these dates.” Without this check box, the Incomplete section will not work properly.Without checking this box, students will not be able to submit work to the course. 
  3. If you need to, update Assignment Availability Dates
    Students can submit late work to any assignment, as long as you don’t have the Available until dates set. If you have assignments that use this feature, you’ll want to remove the available until date so students can submit their work. Go into each Assignment and Edit to erase or update the Available Until date.*Note: only students in the Incomplete section will be able to submit work. For other students, once the term/course date has passed, the course goes into read-only status.

  External Apps and LTI Integrations

Use the Feature Options tab to turn certain things on or off.

Course Navigation

Use the Navigation tab to hide navigation menu items that students do not need. This one step will make a HUGE difference in your student’s experience.

To control what your students can access, click on Settings and then the Navigation tab. Drag items to the top section to show them to your students, and the bottom section to hide them from your students. Then SAVE the settings.

Double check your Navigation settings from Student View.

Adding a Syllabus

Click on the Syllabus link on your Course Navigation Menu, then click on Edit. To upload a .doc or .pdf file as your syllabus, click on the Documents Icon and browser for your file. Click on Update Syllabus. Students will be able to click on the filename and preview your Syllabus or download it.

To automatically populate your Syllabus with the Assessments in your course, click on Show Course Summary.

It’s helpful for your students if you add a printable syllabus to the Syllabus page. (.doc or .pdf)

Adding Modules

Modules are ways to organize your course in time. All the content, activities and assessments that logically go together are placed within a module.

Click on the +Module button to Add a Module. At the top of the module (shaded area) click on the three little dots icon and Edit to Rename the Module and for other module management functionality.

To the left of the module name, click on the triangle icons to expand or collapse the view of the Module.

At the top of the module (shaded area) click on the + to add items TO the module. Click on the down arrow to choose the type of item (Assignment, Page, Discussion, etc) to Add – or to Create. You can Create a new item from the Add to Module dialog.

Click on the circles to the right of the Module itself, or the items within the Modules, to Publish them to your students.

Text Headers in Modules

You can add text headers to your module without adding any content. It enhances modules design and helps with module organization.

Open Modules

Open Modules

In Course Navigation, click the Modules link.

Add Content

Add Content

Click the Add Item button.

Select Item Type

Select Item Type

In the drop-down menu, select the Text Header option.

Add Text

Add Text

Type the text you wish to add in the header field [1]. Open the Indentation drop-down menu and select the level of indentation for the text header [2].

Add Item

Add Item

Click the Add Item button.

View Module

View Module

View the new text header in your module.

Text Header Video

Managing Student Progress with Modules

You can lock a module until a certain date. Click on the three little dots at the right of the Module and choose Edit. Click on Lock until, choose the date and then click on Update Module.

You can also add prerequisites and requirements to guide and control students to experience the course the way you planned it.

This is an example of course flow where Module 4 is not released until Module 3 is completed. Please note that although your students can see that they need to Complete One Item in Module 3 in order to ‘unlock’ Module 4, they cannot see which item it is. So your Module Introduction should make this clear.

1) Set up one or more module Requirement(s) (Module 3 is COMPLETE when….). Edit Module 3 and Add the Requirements. In this case, we have said the student must perform ONE of these tasks. In other cases, you may require the student to complete them all. Click on Update Module. 

2) To set the Module 4 Prerequisite (Module will not show contents until the Module(s) named as prerequisite have been Completed), edit Module 4 and click on Add Prerequisite and choose Module 3. Click on Update Module.

More information:

New Quizzes

New Quizzes is a quiz engine that integrates with Canvas and replaces the classic quizzes functionality currently existing in Canvas.

Instructors can use New Quizzes to create quizzes using a variety of questions types. New Quizzes display as assignments in the Assignments page and can be duplicated. Students can take New Quizzes quizzes within their Canvas courses.


Open Quizzes

Open Quizzes

In Course Navigation, click the Quizzes link.

Note: You can also access quizzes from the Assignments page.

Add Quiz

Add Quiz

Click the Add Quiz button.

Create New Quiz

Create New Quiz Assessment

In the Choose a Quiz Engine screen, select the New Quizzes option [1]. To save your quiz engine selection for this course, check the Remember my choice for this course checkbox [2].

Then click the Submit button [3].

Note: You can reset your quiz engine choice from the Quiz Options menu at any time.

Classic Quizzes

Classic Quizzes are Canvas’s original Quizzes. They have some advantages over Canvas New Quizzes, but New Quizzes also have many advantages. See the comparison here.

Moderate Classic Quizzes

Once you have published a quiz, the quiz sidebar shows the Moderate Quiz link, which allows you to moderate the quiz for each student in your course. On the Moderate Quiz page you can view the progress of student submissions and view the number of quiz attempts each has taken. You can also grant students extra attempts, grant extra time for timed quizzes, and manually unlock quiz attempts.


  • Depending on the size of your course, Moderate Quiz information may take a few minutes to update. You may have to refresh the page to view the most current data.
  • If you change the quiz settings while a student is taking a quiz, the new settings will not apply until the student has completed the current attempt.

Classic Quiz Reports

You can view quiz statistics for quizzes that have been published and have at least one submission. You can also download comma separate value (CSV) files to view Student Analysis or Item Analysis for each quiz question. For more detailed information about item analysis limitations and calculations, please refer to the Item Analysis resource document.

For optimum course performance in the Canvas interface, quiz statistics will only generate for quizzes with 100 or fewer unique questions or 1000 total attempts. For instance, a quiz with 200 questions will not generate quiz statistics. However, a quiz with 75 questions will generate quiz statistics until the quiz has reached 1000 attempts. Results greater than these maximum values can be viewed by downloading the Student Analysis report and viewing the CSV file.


  • Editing a quiz with student submissions may affect quiz statistics. If the Question Breakdown charts no longer correctly display the information you expect after you edit a quiz, the Student Analysis report can provide the correct data.
  • Media items do not display in quiz statistics.
  • How do I view reports for a quiz in Classic Quizzes?

Lockdown Browser

This is best used in proctored labs to prevent students using other resources on their PC during an exam, and to prevent printing test questions. It also prevents copying and pasting from another source. However, it isn’t much use in preventing cheating if the student is using it where they can also use their phone or another device (tablet, etc.).

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment in Canvas. When students use LockDown Browser to access a quiz, they are unable to print, copy, visit other websites, access other applications, or close a quiz until it is submitted for grading. Quizzes created for use with LockDown Browser (LDB) cannot be accessed with standard browsers. This helps eliminate cheating.

You can allow students to access a list of specified web domains during the test.
You can also allow instructors to provide students with a calculator or print function in the LockDown Browser toolbar.

Lockdown Monitor


This software will lock down the browser and also record audio and video of the student taking the exam. This prevents them from using their phones, notes, or other resources during the exam. This is an excellent solution for remote proctoring, ASSUMING:

  • The student has a computer and a webcam;
  • The student is an admin on the computer in question so they can install the software, or is using a lab computer with the software already installed.
  • The student has access to high speed internet connectivity.

There is an extra charge for the Respondus Monitor ‘seats’. Basically if a professor chooses the Monitor option on any test in a course, we are charged for all the students in that course.

The fee is not high, but if many professors chose that option, it would quickly amount to thousands of dollars per year, so we are asking for VP/Dean approval if faculty want to use Respondus Monitor.

THINGS TO NOTE: Lockdown Browser is slowly getting installed on campus. As of Oct 2021, you can find it in GRA105 and WEN401 on all student PCs. Lockdown Monitor cannot be used in GRA105 because there are no webcams. Lockdown Browser and Monitor are both available in WEN402.

Creating Assignments

Assignments include Quizzes, graded Discussions, and online submissions (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.). Assignments in Canvas can be used to challenge students’ understanding and help assess competency by using a variety of media. The Assignments page shows students all of the Assignments that will be expected of them and how many points each is worth.

Assignments can be assigned to everyone in the course or differentiated by section or user.

The Assignments page supports keyboard shortcuts. To view a window with a list of keyboard navigation shortcuts, press the Shift+Question Mark keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

Any assignment created and published in the Assignments page will automatically show up in the Grades, Calendar (if there is a due date), and Syllabus features so students can view them. Additionally, any assignments created in the Calendar will automatically show up in the Grades, Assignments, and Syllabus features.

Assignments should be placed in the appropriate Module.

When would I use Assignments?

Assignments can be used to:

  • Assess how well students are achieving course Outcomes
  • Set up online submissions that can be quickly graded in the SpeedGrader
  • Grade online as well as student work submitted “on-paper”
  • Create differentiated assignments for sections
  • Set up peer reviews
  • Grade Discussions, either by the whole class or student groups
  • Open Quizzes for a limited amount of time
  • Record attendance
  • Create ungraded activities that align with course Outcomes
  • Assess submissions with moderated grading and multiple reviewers

More information about Assignments:


Google Apps/Google Drive Collaborations

What are Collaborations?

Canvas leverages collaborative technology to allow multiple users to work together on the same document at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users will be immediately visible to everyone.

You can start a new collaboration using Google Docs in Canvas. Google Docs allows you to add up to 50 users per collaboration, and all users can view and edit a document at the same time. However, a Google file may be shared with up to 200 email addresses including viewers, commenters, and editors. To alert invitees about collaborations, you can create course events in the Calendar.

Google Docs collaborations are separate from Google Drive collaborations. If your collaboration options include Google Spreadsheets and Presentations in addition to Documents, your course has enabled Google Drive collaborations.


Gradebook Settings

Late/Missing Policy

You can set up a Late/Missing Policy and also let Canvas automatically assign 0s to missing assignments. This is particularly helpful as Canvas sends this information to Dropout Detective, and allows the professional advisors visibility of how they advisees are actually progressing. Use the Settings button in the Gradebook to access these features.

If you use the missing policy, make sure you remove it before you copy this course into a new semester. If you accidentally copy a course with a zero missing grade policy into a new semester and you don’t move the dates forward, all your students in the new course will be assigned zeros.

Overriding the Late Policy

  • Exempt a student’s assignment from the Missing Submission Policy:  If you want to keep your Missing Submission policy enabled but you want it to ignore a submission for a specific student’s assignment, you can:
    • Manually grade that submission with any grade of your choosing. Once a missing submission is graded, the Missing Submission policy will not affect it or
    • Open the Grade Detail Tray and mark the submission as something other than Missing, as the Missing Submission policy will only affect submissions with a Missing status.
  • Exempt a student’s assignment from the Late Submission Policy:  If you want to keep your Late Submission policy enabled but you want it to ignore a submission for a specific student’s assignment, you can:
    • Change the status for the submission to something other than Late in the Grade Detail Tray or
    • Set the interval (Day or Hour) to zero on the submission in the Grade Detail Tray.

Post Grades

To have ultimate control over what your students see, you can set the default for the Grade Center to “Manually Post” grades for assessments which will hide all of the grades by default.

With this setting, the grade and comments will not show until you are ready. Once you have graded an assignment, go into the Grade Center and for that assessment, click on Post Grades which will show the students their scores and your comments.


Weighted Final Grades

Your final grades need to match your syllabus, and also should allow your students to easily see how they are doing as they progress through your course. Weighted grades serve both purposes, as students can use the what-if functionality in Canvas to estimate what their final grade will be.

Weight final grades using Assignment Groups.  Selecting this option assigns a weight to each assignment group, not the assignments themselves. Within each assignment group, the grade that contributes to the total is calculated by dividing the total points a student has earned by the total points possible for all assignments in that group.

For example, if an assignment group included three assignments totaling 25 points, and a student’s scores totaled 15 points, the student would earn 60% for the assignment group (15/25). This percentage is then multiplied by the selected group weight. Each assignment group calculation is added together to create the final grade.

A more complicated example: An instructor creates three assignment groups (A, B, and C) weighted at 20%, 50%, and 30%, respectively. The total score equation for a course with three assignment groups would be (percentage A x weight A) + (percentage B x weight B) + (percentage C x weight C) = final course percentage. If a student scores 75% in Group A, 98% in Group B, and 87% in Group C, the final score would be calculated as (.75 x .20) + (.98 x .50) + (.87 x .30) = .901, or 90.1%.

The final score calculation is changed if there are no graded items in an assignment group and the Treat Missing Assignments as 0 option is not selected. In this case, all assignment groups with graded items will be divided by their combined weight, and the assignment groups without graded items are removed from the equation. If the previous example were adjusted so Group C contained no graded discussions, assignments, or quizzes, the calculation for final score would be [(.75 x .20) + (.98 x .50)] ÷ .70 = .9143, or 91.43%.

Multiple Grading Periods

If your course includes Multiple Grading Periods, you cannot change assignment group weights once an assignment group has assignments in a closed grading period.

When you use weighted assignment groups, separate assignment groups should be created for each grading period in the course. If an assignment group contains assignments that fall into multiple grading periods with different weighted percentages, grades may have unintended consequences.

Note: If an assignment group is weighted to zero percent, any course items added to that group will not count toward the final grade.

Open Assignments

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link.

Open Assignments Settings

Click the Options icon (three little dots) and choose Assignment Groups Weight

Click the Weight final grade based on assignment groups checkbox.

Enter the percentage weights for each of the different Assignment Groups you created [1]. The percentage weights you specify here will determine how Canvas calculates the final grade for your course. These percentages can be changed at any time and students will be notified when any changes are made. The weights will show up in the Gradebook for both students and instructors.

Click the Save button [2].


  • Assignment group weights can include decimals.
  • The total percentage of all assignment groups can be set above or below 100%.



You can add a rubric to an assignment to help students understand expectations for the assignment and how you intend to score their submissions. Occasionally, rubrics are added to assignments when you have an outcome inside of the rubric that you would like to use for alignment purposes. In addition to assignments, rubrics can also be added to graded discussions and quizzes.

Rubrics can be added by finding an existing rubric in one of your courses, or by creating a new rubric.


  • You can only add a rubric to assignments that use the Online, On Paper, or No Submission submission types.
  • Rubrics cannot be edited once they have been added to more than one assignment in a course.

Example of a Rubric:

Turnitin Originality Checker

Turnitin is an original content checker. It was enhanced in Spring of 2023 to not only catch similarities to other works, but also to detect AI content.

Features of Turnitin

  • Students and faculty can use a Turnitin report to ensure that students understand the concept of original work, and what would be considered plagiarism.
  • Turnitin can be used with Enable Grammar checking turned on, to help students improve their English grammar.
  • QuickMarks is a pre-set library of common mistakes and comments that you can insert directly into a student’s paper.
  • Use the exclusions to make your work easier – no more ‘false flags’ from commonly used sources, quotations or the assignment template.
  • You can use ‘exclude source’ to exclude a rough draft when you view the Originality report. This option lets you see what has changed between the rough draft and the final submission.

Adding Turnitin to an Assignment

  1. Ensure the Submission Type for the Assignment is Online
  2. Set Online Entry options to File Uploads. Require your students to upload a .doc or .pdf document
  3. Select Turnitin from the Plagiarism Review drop-down Menu
  4. Choose the appropriate options.

Assignment submissions must meet these criteria:

  • File size must be less than 100 MB
  • File must have at least 150 words of prose text in a long-form writing format
  • File must not exceed 15,000 words
  • File must be written in English
  • Accepted file types: .docx, .pdf, .txt, .rtf

More information about Turnitin:

Accessing the Similarity Report
Interpreting the Similarity Report
Similarity Score Ranges
Generating a new Similarity Report
Text-Only Similarity Report
Paper View Requests
AI Writing Detection

Turnitin Video

Creating and Moderating Discussions

Discussions are a place for course-level asynchronous communication. By the nature of the tool, these posts are visible to all members of the course.

Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions, allowing both instructors and students to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions allows for interactive communication between two or more people; users can participate in a conversation with an entire class or group.

Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. Discussions can also be created within student groups.

Discussion topics can be organized as focused or threaded discussions. Focused discussions only allow for two levels of nesting, the original post and subsequent replies. Threaded discussions allow for infinite levels of nesting.

Creating Content in Pages

Pages store content and educational resources that are part of a course or group but don’t necessarily belong in an assignment. Pages can include text, video, and links to files and other course or group content. Pages can also be linked to other pages. They can also be used as a collaboration tool for course or group wikis where only specific users can have access. Canvas keeps the entire history of the page to account for changes over time.

When creating pages, you can set page permissions as to who can edit the page: instructors (teachers), instructors and students, or anyone. You can also add a page to student To Do lists.


Sharing files with students

Files can house course files, assignments, syllabi, readings, or other documents, as well as profile pictures and user-specific files. Instructors can lock folders and files so they can only be viewed by direct links or only unlock on a specific date.

Files can be placed in Modules, Assignments, or Pages. Files and folders are put in alphabetical order and cannot be rearranged.

Canvas users will find access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different places:

  • Personal files, located in each user’s profile (students, teachers, and TAs)—View a video about personal files
  • Course files, located in each course (students, teachers, and TAs unless files are locked by the teacher)—View a video about Course Files
  • Group files, located in each group (students and teachers who are enrolled in groups)

For each file, you can view the name of the file [1], the date the file was created [2], the date the file was modified [3] and the name of the person who modified the file (if modified by another user) [4], and the size of the file [5].
Courses and groups may display a column for usage rights. If enabled, the column displays the user right (copyright) for the file [6].
You can also view the published status [7] for all files.
Files are sorted alphabetically. To sort files, click the name of any column heading.

Depending on the file area, files may contain several options to manage files:
Search for files [1]. Files is fully searchable by file name.
Add a folder [2]. Add a new folder to Files to store files. Folders can also house other folders.
Upload a file [3]. Upload a file to Files.
For courses and groups using usage rights, set the user right (copyright) for a file [4]. You must set a user right for a file before it can be published. Files that do not contain a usage right display as a warning icon.
Change the state of the file [5]. Files can be published, unpublished, or include a restricted status.

To select a file, click the name of the file. You can also select multiple files at the same time by holding the command (MAC) or control (PC) key.

When a file is selected, Files displays the file toolbar at the top of the window. Depending on the files area, the toolbar may contain several options to manage the selected file(s):

  • Preview the file [1]
  • Manage file to restrict access [2]
  • Download the file [3] (when selecting more than one file, option appears to download as a zip file)
  • Move the file [4]
  • Manage Usage Rights for the file [5]
  • Delete the file [6]

You can also manage some or all options for a selected file within the file’s Options menu [7].

Creating / Uploading videos in Canvas Studio

Canvas Studio is a communication tool that allows instructors and students to actively collaborate through video and audio media.  Both instructors and students can capture webcam and screens using the Studio, as well as upload and share YouTube videos and other videos.

Studio webcam capture is only supported by Chrome and Firefox browsers. If you use an unsupported browser, Studio may prompt you to switch browsers.


Adding videos from Studio to a page or assignment.
Click on the Studio Icon from the Rich Content Editor to choose a Studio Video to add to the page or assignment.

Canvas Studio Editing Tools –  before uploading

Editing a Canvas Studio Recording after uploading/ Combining Videos from Different Sources

This is a bit tricky but can be done. Use the technique described here:

1 – Download your published video
2 – Start a new recording
3 – Edit the new recording
4 – Insert your downloaded (published) video
5 – Delete the new recording portion from the beginning or end
6 – Edit and publish your video

Creating and Assigning a Canvas Studio Quiz

You can create a quiz that is embedded in your Canvas Studio Video and assign it in your Canvas course so that the points automatically update the gradebook. This is a two-step operation. 1) Create the Studio Video Quiz and 2) Assign the Studio Video Quiz

Recovering a ‘lost’ Canvas Studio Recording

Canvas Studio videos are saved to your local computer first before they are uploaded to Canvas Studio. Any videos that you may have “lost”, should be stored on the device you used when you recorded them. To recover the recording:

  1. Navigate to Canvas Studio
  2. Select Record.
  3. Select Screen Capture.
  4. Select Record and record a few seconds of video.
  5. Select Pause.
  6. Select Done.
  7. Select Back to Recordings from the top left corner of the window.
  8. You should now be at the location where all of your previous recordings are stored locally.
  9. Select the lost video and upload it to Canvas Studio.

Teaching your Course

Student View

Student view allows you to view and participate in your course as a Test Student. This allows you to verify that items are published and available the way you want them to be.
When you click on Test Student, a new user called Test Student is added in your Canvas gradebook. You can submit work as Test Student and use those student submissions to test the your grading and feedback to ensure you are showing the student exactly what you want them to see.

When you are in Student View, a bar will display on the bottom of your screen. You can click on Leave Student View to return to building/teaching your course.

Click on Reset Student when you need to clear out the Test Student data and start over.

Grading in Speedgrader

SpeedGrader makes it easy to evaluate individual student assignments and group assignments quickly.

SpeedGrader displays assignment submissions for active students in your course. However, SpeedGrader displays assignment submissions according to the current Gradebook settings for inactive enrollments and concluded enrollments. For instance, if the Gradebook settings show inactive enrollments, inactive student submissions also appear in SpeedGrader.

You can access SpeedGrader through: AssignmentsQuizzesGraded Discussions, and the Gradebook.

To access SpeedGrader from the Gradebook, click on the Cell where the student’s grade would go, then click on the little arrow pointing right and then SpeedGrader.

Entering Grades in the Canvas Gradebook

Most likely you will access SpeedGrader to enter grades. The grades will appear in the Gradebook when you are done. However, you can manually enter and edit grades in the Gradebook. This is especially useful if you have manual assignments or presentations to grade, so you have set the Assignment up to ‘no submission’ which creates a column in the gradebook for you to enter grades.

When an assignment score is entered as a letter grade in the Gradebook, the percentage score for the assignment is the upper limit of the range assigned to that letter grade in the grading scheme. If a final grade override is entered as a letter grade, the percentage score for the assignment is the lower limit of the range assigned to that letter grade in the grading scheme.

For example, your course grading scheme may designate a range of 86% to 89% for a B+ letter grade. Entering a B+ for an assignment would assign a percentage of 89% but entering a B+ for a final grade override would assign a percentage of 86%. To ensure students receive a specific percentage for an assignment or final grade, enter the assignment score or grade override as a number.


Submitting Assignments on Behalf of a Student

You can submit an assignment for a student ONLY IF the assignment has a ‘file upload’ option. This means that currently this option is not available for a Turnitin Assignment.

*If you are allowing a student to submit a second version of a Turnitin Assignment that is late, you need to make sure that ‘allow late submissions’ is checked off in the Turnitin Settings:

Working with Groups

Groups are a helpful way to organize and manage collective assignments in your course.  The following scenarios are ways in which instructors might use groups in their Canvas sites:

  • An instructor of a 25 student course is trying to organize group presentations on five topics related to the course.  The instructor has students sign up for topics of their interest, such that five groups of five students each are formed.  The instructor then accepts student work via online submission and submits one grade for each of the five groups.
  • An instructor wants to give students a place to collaborate on a year-long project for a small group seminar of 15 students.  The instructor creates 5 groups of 3 students, and students create group Canvas sites with Canvas Pages, videos and multimedia, and other content to describe their course content.
  • An instructor is teaching a course of both undergraduate and graduate students in the same course.  The instructor would like to make some content available to the graduate students without granting access to the undergraduate students.  The instructor creates two groups (undergraduate vs. graduate) and restricts access of some advanced readings under modules such that they are only available to graduate students. The instructor would also assign a subset of the assessments to each group.

Groups thus allow instructors to organize the work students complete, grant and restrict access to certain students vs. other students, and provide a space for student to collaborate in a password-protected online environment.

During the Add/Drop period, visit the People tab frequently to Drag & Drop Unassigned students into a Group.

Adding People to your course – a co-teacher or TA

Please note that you should never need to add students to your course. Students are automatically added from the Student Information System. However, in your Canvas course shell, you may add co-teachers, designers, observers or TAs to the course. To add a user, first go to the Left-hand navigation and choose People. Then click the Add Users button. You can add users by pasting their email address into the designated box. Make sure to choose the appropriate role for the user in the dropdown menu. Click Next and then Add Users to add them to your course. They will automatically receive an invitation to participate in your course.

Instructors can view the list of people in their course by clicking on the People Tab in the course menu. Even if you have customized your course menu and hidden the People tab from students, you always have access to it as a the instructor.

The people tab is also how you add students to Sections.

Dropout Detective

Dropout Detective is a program from AspireEDU that integrates directly with Canvas to provide a “risk index” of how likely it is that each online student will drop out or fail their online course(s). The program basically analyzes past and current behavior to predict future performance. In addition, this program pulls together the different reasons the student is at risk and makes it easy to quickly go through and look at what might be happening with this student and determine an intervention strategy.

You can keep an eye on student risk assessment with one click within your Canvas Course. Click on the Dropout Detective link in your course navigation menu to access your Dashboard. From there it will provide you with the following:

  • List of your Students- this defaults to your list of students enrolled in the course.
  • Risk Index Color –Red is most at risk, yellow is medium risk, and green is low risk.
  • Risk Index Number –the number is based on an algorithm developed by Dropout Detective and gives an indication (out of 100 –highest risk) of how at risk the student is of failing.
  • Trend – indicates whether the student’s risk index score has increased or decreased in the past 7 days, and by how much.
  • Last Contact –this is the last time you contacted the student.
  • For details about why a student is at risk, click on their name from the Risk Index page to view more information. Student Information tabs include Overview, Notes, History and Contacts. You can email your advisee from this page by clicking on the Send Message icon at the upper right.

Click on the Risk Index bar to see the details about the student.

Overview –  The Overview tab shows last login day and timecourse load and current standing in each course. It lists all of the courses in which they are in currently and their current grade, how many zeroes they have earned, how many missing assignments they have, when they last accessed the course, and when they last submitted an assignment.

Click on (show) to see the details of which assignments have been awarded zeros or are missing.

Notes  – MBU is not using the Notes function. We continue to use Student of Concern in MyMBU on the Faculty tab to report at-risk students..

History – review their trends over the last month, as well as a graph of their grades.

Contacts – provides a list of the instructor for each course and contact information if you need to connect with the student’s advisor. You can email ALL advisors/coaches to discuss your student’s status.

  • If you need to email an advisor regarding a high risk student, use the Contacts tab to locate their “Ally” (Advisor) and email them directly from the Dropout Detective dashboard.

Dropout Detective Video

New Analytics

New Analytics is available for Teachers within each course.

Data is refreshed for published courses in the New Analytics dashboard every 24 hours. Report data may be delayed by 24 hours; however, Course Activity Report data may be delayed by 40 hours. Only active and completed student enrollments are included in data for New Analytics. Deleted or inactive user enrollments do not generate data.


Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are completed via the  IOTA 360 Evaluation system.


Iota will send out emails, on behalf of Mary Baldwin University, advising you and your students when an evaluation opens and closes. Please pay close attention to these emails.  Your reminder to your students about Course Evaluations can help improve participation rates.


The Zoom LTI is built into Canvas, and you and your students can access Zoom via the Course Menu in each Canvas Course. If you copy over a previously taught course into your Canvas course, the updated settings might ‘hide’ the Zoom link. To restore it, go to Settings, Navigation, drag the Zoom Link to the top section and then click on Update Settings.

Faculty will click on the Zoom link to create sessions and students click on the Zoom link to attend the sessions you have created. There is no default ‘room’ associated with a Canvas Course.

Once you click on Zoom, click on the blue ‘Schedule a New Meeting’ button.

Fill in the meeting details. 

A Zoom “Waiting Room” provides the facility for the host to allow or disallow entry to the zoom meeting. 

In the meeting details you can set a recurring meeting, and you can unclick ‘passcode’ and ‘waiting room’ if you do not need these features of Zoom for your synchronous class meetings that are accessible from your Canvas course.

Faculty, staff and students will also be able to use their Zoom accounts to set up sessions for office hours or meetings outside of Canvas using the MBU Zoom Landing Page:  This Zoom Web Portal is where you set up/access advanced session features

Problems with Zoom?

If you get an error message when clicking on Zoom in your Canvas course, go to and log in using your MBU email and password. If that doesn’t work, contact OIT at 540-887-7075 or at so they can check it out. They are working to make sure everyone is in the correct zoom ‘group’.

If you are inviting a guest lecturer to your Canvas course, you can send the guest link.  This will show up after you Save your meeting. Your guest will not need to have MBU or Canvas credentials.

Zoom Recordings

Links to recordings that are made from Zoom sessions in your Canvas Course are stored in the “Cloud Recordings” tab. Recordings will be maintained until three weeks after the end of the semester. If you need to retain your recordings after that time, for future classes or to allow a student to finish an ‘Incomplete’, download your Zoom Recordings and save them in another media. Canvas Studio may work for this.

Zoom from the Classroom

Whenever you start a Zoom session from your Canvas course in the Classroom PC, the Zoom app will download and install itself. This only takes a few seconds.

It is easy to select which classroom microphone and camera you are using (if there are more than one). In the control strip at the bottom of the Zoom session screen, you can click on the up arrow next to the camera and microphone icons to see which camera and microphone are selected. You can click on other camera and microphone options to select them. 

You may install Zoom anytime on a personal computer or phone. To install zoom on a computer, go the Web Portal and scroll to the bottom. Under Downloads choose “Meetings Client”. To install Zoom on a phone, go to the App Store.

More information about Zoom at Mary Baldwin University is here.

Attendance and Seating Charts (Roll Call tool)

Canvas has a built in Attendance and Seating Chart feature that helps you keep track of your class. Click on the Attendance link in your class and navigate to the Class tab. Arrange students by their seating positions by dragging and dropping into the appropriate places. If you are teaching more than one section, or have split the class into Groups that meet on different days, space each group out so you can keep track of which students are in each group/section and where they are seated.

At both the account and course levels, the Attendance tool allows users to create attendance reports.

Transfer grades to MyMBU

A couple of tips about how to make transferring your grades to MyMBU easier:

1) Move the Total Grade to the front, so you can see it more easily

2) Show Student ID number in the Gradebook, to avoid name confusion. Your students’ preferred names are displayed in Canvas but you will be viewing their legal name in MyMBU.

3) If you have combined your course enrollments in Canvas, view the sections one at a time in the Gradebook to more easily transfer grades to MyMBU:

More documentation about the MyMBU Faculty Tab

Managing your course

Copying your Canvas Course

You can copy course content such as assignments, modules, pages, and discussions from previous Canvas courses into existing courses. You only have access to copy content from courses in which you are enrolled as a user with instructor permissions.


Crosslisting / Combining Enrollments for a course

Cross-listing allows you to move 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 either 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 must be done before courses are published and students begin work. Coursework is retained with the course, not with the section enrollments, so if a published course is cross-listed, all cross-listed enrollments will lose any associated assignment submissions and grades.

When cross-listing, always start from the child course. 

For instructions, please see the Canvas Documentation:


How can a student drop a course?

When a student student drops the course via the Registrar, they will be automatically dropped from your Canvas course. You may still see them in your People Tab, but they will be have a status of inactive, and will not be able to access nor receive notifications from your course.

What web browser should I use?

For the most recent browsers that Canvas supports see the Guide, Which Browsers does Canvas Support?

How much file storage do I have?

Each course in Mary Baldwin’s Canvas is allocated 1 GB of space. If you find that you’ll be needing more space, email
NOTE: Video and audio uploads to Canvas through the media tool can be up to 500 MB in size. If you have videos larger than this, you have two choices: 1. Load the videos through the Files area. Then bring them into the course pages using the Files panel on the right. 2. Find another way to host these videos. Here are some suggestions:

Load the videos to YouTube (you can keep them unlisted and out of the search indexes)
Use a 3rd-party service like Screencast
Store your videos in your Google Drive and allow your students to download them

The user file quota for Mary Baldwin’s Canvas is 50 MB. This includes both Instructor and Student users. Files like profile pictures, files loaded into your personal Canvas storage, or uploaded as part of assignments count against this quota. If a student has reached the quota, they will not be stopped from uploading further files as part of assignments, but further file storage in their personal space will be restricted. Files that an instructor loads to their course do not count towards their personal file quota.

Canvas Guide: What types of media files can be uploaded into Canvas?

How do I customize the left-had course navigation?

Please do not change the order of the left-hand course navigation menu. It is a great benefit to students if they don’t have to hunt around for those different link. If you need to show something that is not on the default menu, please put it at the bottom of the default menu.

To modify your course menu, click on Settings in the left-hand navigation and then click on the Navigation Tab. To “Show” links, drag them to the top section, to “Hide” links, drag them to the bottom section, and then click on Save. Note that some links that you have hidden from students will be grayed out but visible to you after disappear from YOU if you hide them, and other links will be hidden from you as well as your students when you hide them.