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Getting Started With Canvas | Digital Education and Innovation

Getting Started With Canvas

The University of Minnesota started to migrate Moodle courses to Canvas in the Fall of 2017, all courses using a learning management system will need to be transitioned to the new system.  This page has all the tips and tricks you need to get started, from a simple list of ten major aspects to make a great course site, to an in-depth tutorial of Canvas that allows you to be a student in an actual Canvas site.  If you are unsure how Canvas may work in your course, look over these materials or schedule an appointment with, we will help you get used to the new system.

More Than Conversion: Ten Easy Steps to Canvas Success


What reading should be done prior to a quiz? When does a discussion take place? Which weeks of the course are busy with reading? Use the Modules view to lay out your course by weeks or in logical segments.


Speedgrader and features of the gradebook like categories and weighting allow for grading ease. Need a column in your gradebook? Just add an assignment without a student submission. It’s that easy.


Has it been mentioned already?  With good reason. Assign due dates to activities and not only will they automatically appear in the course calendar, but also on the Syllabus page, the To Do and Coming soon lists.


Configure your notifications to receive updates about what’s happening in your course as quickly (or not) as you desire!

Google Docs

Use Canvas Collaborations to integrate Google docs into your course with ease!

Peer Review

Easily and automatically match students for peer review and assign multiple due dates for sharing and review.


Pace and manage student progress during the semester.

Delayed Postings

Not going to be around to send your students an important announcement?  You can do so before you leave!

Video Creation

Want to record an introduction to the current topic but don’t have fancy software? Use the Canvas editor to both record a video and automatically display it in your course for students to view.

Canvas Apps

Canvas apps for teaching and learning on the go!

Canvas – In Depth

Want to learn more about Canvas and see what it is like to be a student in a Canvas site?  The following Canvas course site not only provides you with valuable comprehensive information on how to use the system it also allows you to try out some of Canvas’ many features.


No More Course Site Requests Necessary

Course sites are auto-generated in Canvas.  This means if you intend to use a course site for your course there is no need to request it. If you don’t intend to use the site, don’t worry, it remains hidden from students until you decide if and when you wish to publish it.  You will be able to access your course site/s through using your University user id and password.   After successfully logging in, you should see your course site(s) listed.  Again, the sites are not visible to students until you publish them.

If you haven’t used Canvas and have not requested conversion assistance and wish to teach from this site, you must populate the content, you can:

When you are ready for students to access the site you can publish it by clicking the publish button in the upper right-hand corner of the site. Not sure if you are ready?  You can use this Start of Term Checklist t to doublecheck.  We recommend after publishing the site, you also notify students about your choice to use Canvas this semester via email, in your syllabus or as an announcement in class.


Have a question about Canvas?  DEI will have the answer, please contact us at





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