Getting Started with Canvas for Faculty

Here, you will find a thorough guide to help you become acquainted with Canvas and prepare for the upcoming semester. 

1. Log in to Canvas

There are many paths to accessing Canvas. Choose the one that works best for you. 

  1. In myHill, click on the Canvas button. 
  2. Bookmark in your web browser.
  3. On, navigate to the For You button in the top-right corner. 
    • Select Faculty under the For You heading, then choose Canvas from the For the Classroom heading. 

When prompted, sign in with your Stonehill email address and password. 


2. Access Your Course

When you log in to Canvas, you will see the Course Dashboard, which displays all your Published and Unpublished courses as Course Cards.

  • Migrated courses from fall 2020 through spring 2023 will display here. 
    • On July 31st, the migrated courses will be removed from your Dashboard.
    • Migrated courses will be accessible via the All Courses link under the Courses tab in the Global Navigation Menu. 
    • View the eLearn to Canvas Migration page for more information.
  • Fall 2023 Course Shells have been created and are accessed via the Dashboard.
    • We recommend that you import course content from a migrated course into the new course shell and then work on editing your content, quizzes, assignments, and due dates. 
  • Click on the course name within the Course Card to access your course.


3. Import Course Content or Start Fresh 

A new course shell gives you a blank canvas to build your online course content and assessments. There are essentially two paths you can take when building your course

1. Import Course Content

  • If your content hasn't changed much and you need to adjust the due dates for assignments and quizzes, we recommend you import course content from a previous semester into the new course shell.

2. Start Fresh


4. Upload a Syllabus

Canvas has a built-in Syllabus tool where you can include pertinent course information using the Rich Text Editor. This method ensures the content is accessible and viewable on mobile devices. You can also upload your Syllabus in the recommended PDF format.

  • Access the Syllabus course tool within the course menu at the left.
  • To edit the Syllabus, click the Edit button.


5. Select a Homepage Layout

The Course Home Page is the first view your students will see when they enter your course.

  • For the Course Home Page, you can customize a page from your course Pages and display it as the Course Home Page.
    • If you want to change the Course Home Page to a custom page, you must first set the page as the Front Page using the Choose Home Page button. 
    • The Front Page is a designation that shows Canvas which page can be used for the Course Home Page.
      • This page displays a welcome message, links, images, or other information.
  • We recommend either of the following options for the Course Home Page:
    • Pages Front Page
    • Course Modules


6. Structure Your Content

Modules are recommended to structure (and/or control access) your course materials by weeks, units, or topics in a guided learning experience. Learn more about Designing Learning Modules

Pages allow you to use images and links to resources within one area. In most cases, we see an effective combination of both, where Modules create structure and Pages provide rich content linked within Modules.

Course Templates help give you a starting point as you build your courses. You can edit and remove anything that you are not interested in using in your course.


7. Add Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

Click on Assignments in the course navigation to access the Assignments Index page where you can manage and add Assignments and Assignment Groups (gradebook categories).

Click on Quizzes in the course navigation to manage and add classic quizzes, practice quizzes, surveys, and new quizzes.

Click on Discussions in the course navigation to manage and add discussions


8. Customize Course Navigation

Before publishing a course, it is recommended that any unneeded navigation links at the left are hidden from the student to simplify their navigation and direct their learning.

  • Access Settings from the Course Menu to the left.
  • Select the Navigation tab in the top center.
  • Drag items/tools you want the students to view to the top list and items you wish to remain hidden to the bottom list.
    • i.e., Zoom

Note: Hide as many navigation links as possible to simplify the student view.  

  • Hiding a link does not disable the tool;
    • It just hides it from the student.
  • If you have the links to your Quizzes, Assignments, and Discussions within your Modules;
    • It makes sense to hide these from the navigation to direct students to sequentially access materials in the Modules.


9. Customize Your Profile & Notifications

Profiles allow you to view a user's name, preferred contact methods, and any custom URLs added to the user's account. Users can edit their profile from the User Navigation Menu.

Notifications in Canvas tell the system WHAT information you wish to be sent outside of Canvas, HOW OFTEN, and WHERE it is sent.  Check your Notifications the first time you access Canvas so that you can customize the messages you may be receiving from Canvas.


10. View the Course as a Student

Student View lets you view the course, post, reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, and view the calendar.

If students report they cannot access course content, enable Student View, and Publish course content as necessary. 


11. Publish the Course

Publish the course after you have completed the design process to make the course available to students

Please note:

  • Publishing a course does not publish content designated as “draft” or unpublished.
  • To publish content, assignments, modules, etc. you must click the publish icon next to each item.
    • Published items are designated with a green check mark.
    • Unpublished items are represented by a gray circle with a strike-through.


12. Communicate with Students

Inbox is a messaging tool used to communicate with students in your course. 

Announcements share important information with all users within your course and with users in sections of a course

Chat can be used for real-time conversation with course users. Any user in the course can participate in a chat conversation and view all chat content.


13. Support

Canvas Support Chat and the Canvas Support Hotline at +1 (833) 200-1062 are available 24/7 with the helpful team of live human beings at Instructure. 

The Stonehill IT Service Desk provides tier-one support for Canvas support calls, and if they can't answer your question, they will route your ticket to someone who can. 

Educational Technology Consultations let you schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your educational technology questions and meet with an instructional designer to discuss course design ideas and delivery strategies, student engagement, assessment, online course development, and more as you consider your online, in-person, or hybrid courses. 


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Article ID: 148131
Wed 12/7/22 11:52 AM
Thu 7/13/23 10:58 AM