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Faculty Resources: Canvas

Site providing training and tutorials for services provided by Innovative Instruction and Technology.

First time logging into Canvas

  • Setting up your Profile
    • Your profile in Canvas gives you a place to add a biography, contact information, and most importantly, a profile picture that will be seen throughout Canvas.
  • Setting up your Notifications
    • Canvas can send you notifications in a variety of different ways that keep you up-to-date with what's happening in your courses. You can receive notifications in real-time or ask for a daily summary.
  • Global Navigation Bar
    • The global navigation bar appears on the far left of your screen in Canvas and never changes no matter what screen you're on in Canvas. In this video, learn more about what you'll find and what you can do from the global navigation bar.​
  • The new Rich Content Editor is the heart of adding content to Canvas. It can be found from Announcements to Quiz questions and everywhere in between.

In-person and online training opportunities

Canvas offers live online webinars almost every day. You will need to register for webinars in advance. When signing up for the webinar website make sure to use your GCC email address.

You can complete the "Growing with Canvas" course. This is a Canvas course that will not only teach you how to use Canvas but will also give you first-hand experience on using Canvas as a student.

Please see the Workshop Schedule for in-person training opportunities.


Modules are the cornerstone of course design within Canvas. Modules will contain all of your content, including presentations, discussions, assignments, and tests.

Not sure how to best implement Modules? Don't get mad at Modules, get "Mad about Modules"! The "Mad about Modules" video explains many different ways you can design your course using Modules.


In the Grades area of Canvas you will see a spreadsheet few of your students and graded items. You can type directly into the Grades area or use the SpeedGrader to see more information about what the students have submitted to you.

Gradebook overview video

Canvas speedgrader shortcuts: J- Next student, K- Previous student, C- add comment, G- Change grade, R- use rubric

Common Canvas File Extensions


Acrobat (PDF) .pdf   Rich Text .rtf
Microsoft Word .doc .docx    OpenOffice .odt
Microsoft Excel .xls .xlsx   Images .jpg .png .gif .bmp
Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt .pptx   Videos .mp4 .avi
Notepad .txt      



You can communicate in Canvas through Discussions, Chat, and the Inbox.


The Calendar in Canvas shows all of the due dates for your courses and allows you add events and to-do dates that can be used as reminders for your students and yourself. You can also set up scheduling blocks for appointments that your students can reserve.

Manage People


Badges allow you to award your students when they complete certain items or reach certain thresholds in your course.

Mobile Apps

Canvas offers both a Student and an Instructor app. These apps are available for Apple iOS (version 10+) and Google Android

Online Course Accessibility

VCCS Accessibility Guidelines

VCCS Course Accessibility Checklist

Canvas Accessibility within Specific Features

Several areas within Canvas have been specifically improved for accessibility. Other features may be limited at this time. This section highlights several feature areas and accessibility behaviors.

Rich Content Editor

The Rich Content Editor includes an accessibility tool that checks common accessibility errors within the editor. Learn how to use the Accessibility Checker in Canvas.

Canvas Studio

Canvas Studio is a communication tool that allows instructors and students to actively collaborate through video and audio media. Learn how to add closed captions to Canvas Studio videos.

Course and Content Copying

Course Link Validation

Before you copy a course, verify all external links throughout your course to ensure they are valid. You can check these links using the course link validator, which searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive external links in both published and unpublished content. 

Course Copy

You can copy course content such as assignments, modules, pages, and discussions from previous Canvas courses into existing courses. You will be able to select specific content areas such as assignments, settings, and files so that you don't import the entire course.

View-Only Course and Restricting a Course

Read-only Course

Setting a start and end date allows instructors to make their course read-only to students. Students can only participate in the course between the course dates, and the course will be in a read-only state outside the course dates.

Restricted Course

Setting a start and end date allows instructors to make their course restricted to students. Students can only participate in the course between the course dates, and the course will not be visible to students outside the course dates.