Canvas FAQs

Student-Centered Learning


Why a new Learning Management System (LMS)?

Canvas, utilized by many of our peer R1 institutions, will provide faculty an opportunity to reimagine courses and practices in support of our strategic direction, Next Lives Here, as we work to elevate our strong commitment to academic excellence. 

Why Canvas?

Canvas offers increased collaboration, communication and engagement. There are many features in Canvas that can help enhance teaching, but here are a few tools to start with: 

Online Discussion Forum– Can be used to increase student participation and provide feedback, while allowing for further discussion of a topic.

Peer Review—Allows for anonymous or non-anonymous peer reviews. Assignment rubrics can also be used by the peer reviewers.

Speedgrader - Allows for a variety of types of feedback on student work from annotating a document, to submitting general comments, or using the audio/video feedback feature.


How is Canvas different from Blackboard?

View the Blackboard-Canvas Feature Comparison Chart.


Who is using Canvas?

There are over 1500 Fall 2019 courses published in Canvas.

In addition to many of our peer R1 institutions, including Indiana University, University of Michigan, Yale and Stanford, 60 UC faculty and nearly 3,000 UC students have piloted and adopted Canvas.


Will I have to manually enroll students, create a new account or request a Canvas course?

No. The process will be similar to the one we used with Blackboard. Your Canvas course shell is created each semester. Your roster will be added to your Canvas and synched with enrollment updates, so enrolled students will be able to see the course after you publish it. 


Can I import final grades from Canvas to Catalyst?

Starting in Spring 2020, instructors will be able to import their Canvas grades directly to Catalyst. A guide and template for this process are available here: Entering Grades from Canvas to Catalyst.


Can I create my own Canvas course?

No. Canvas course shells are created automatically. However, you can begin building your course in one of your Sandboxes. You will be able to copy your Sandbox content into your course shell, once it is available.


When are Canvas courses created?

The Canvas Courses and Enrollment KB article has links to relevant information regarding the creation and enrollment of Canvas Courses and Final Grade entry. IT@UC publishes a Knowledge Base article that includes Canvas Maintenance Dates and Deadlines.


How do I request a Canvas account, sandbox or course shell?

All instructors and academic support staff should have a Canvas account and three sandboxes. At this time, course shells will be created at the request and with the permission of the home college only.  

If you find you do not yet have an account or sandbox in Canvas, or if you would like to have an additional sandbox added to your current account you can make your request by submitting an IT@UC Portal Incident Form. To do this, go to IT@UC and click "Report an Issue." After logging in, complete the following information on the form: 

1. Insert the subject: “Canvas Account/Sandbox Request” 

2. In the Description field: 

  • Include the desired course name. 

  • Include a brief description of what the course will be used for. 


Is there a recommended browser for Canvas?

Yes. We recommend using the Chrome browser. See this guide for more information about operating system, browser and device requirements.


Are there mobile apps for Canvas?

Yes. There is a Canvas App for Instructors and a Canvas App for Students.


Was my Blackboard course migrated to Canvas? 

As part of the university’s transition to Canvas, IT@UC automatically migrated most Blackboard courses taught between Fall 2017 and Spring 2020 to Canvas.  These migrated courses can be found in Canvas under your “Past Enrollments.”

To find your “Past Enrollments,” open Canvas and go to the “Courses” tab on your Global Navigation menu. After that, click on “All Courses.”

Once you are in the “All Courses” section of Canvas, scroll down to the bottom of the screen. You will find your previous courses in the “Past Enrollments.” section.  The Blackboard imports will all start with (Bb Import) and followed with the year, semester and name of the course.

While you cannot edit the content in these courses, you can copy content form these imported courses to a live Canvas course or a sandbox.  Additionally, here is a short video showing how to find your imported Blackboard courses in Canvas.  


I used a “Metacourse” in Blackboard. Does Canvas have a direct equivalent?

No. There is no direct equivalent in Canvas. Canvas does allow you to associate multiple sections of a course with one another, but this functions slightly differently than a Metacourse. In Canvas, you have one course site, where all the course content is housed, with different sections—or subdivisions of students—associated with it. This does allow you to offer section-specific options, such as varied due dates for assignments, discussions, and quizzes. However, it does not allow for each section to have a widely different course site. You can view a more detailed explanation of sections in the Canvas Guide on the Hierarchical Structure for Canvas accounts. You can also view our guide on how to manage multiple sections of a course where you are the instructor for all of the sections you want to associate. If you are not the instructor for all of the sections or you have additional questions, please contact Canvas Support via live chat or phone (855) 745-4414. 


Can you provide a Canvas overview for us at our department/faculty meeting?

Absolutely!  We’d love to give a Canvas overview at your department meeting. Please contact us with some possible dates, times and locations. We’d be happy to tailor our presentation to your needs if there are any particular Canvas features or functionalities you’d like to learn more about. 


Is face-to-face Canvas training available?

Please see visit Faculty Development One Stop for a list of upcoming Canvas workshops. 

How can I get help with Canvas and learn more?