Canvas tips for students

Written By Mollie Page ()

Updated at June 15th, 2020

Canvas Expectations for Students

  • Check canvas daily

  • Use Canvas messaging to communicate electronically with teachers

    • Respond to messages from teachers promptly

    • Communicate formally and respectfully

General  Tips

  • Use Safari, Chrome or Firefox (not Edge or Internet Explorer – not all features will work)

    • If something isn’t working in one browser, try it again in an incognito window or use different browser

  • Set notifications to ensure you receive timely updates

    • You can receive notifications via email or text

    • You can set how often you want to receive notification

    • Click on Account and Settings to set your email address and/or phone number

    • Click on Account and Notifications to set your notification preferences

  • Canvas has a free app for both Android and Apple

    • Download from the app store on your phone or tablet

    • Pros – Convenient, often easier to use than web version, custom notifications

    • Cons - Not all features are fully functional in the app

  • Use the Help button if you need help doing something in Canvas

    • You can search the Canvas guides for help with problems such as submitting an assignment, viewing events on your calendar, etc

    • You can also report Canvas problems and submit a help desk ticket to get assistance from someone in the tech office

Using the Calendar 

  • Only the title of assignments and events shows in the calendar view

    • Click on the assignment to see the details, scroll down to read it all

    • Click on the title of an assignment to view the entire assignment

  • All your science assignments suddenly missing? Check the colorful boxes on the right side of the screen. Any grey boxes are not being displayed

    • Click on the box next to the course to display it on the calendar.

      • The box should change to a color and assignments will appear on the calendar

    • If your calendar is overly cluttered, you can turn classes on and off to have a less cluttered view

      • Be sure to turn them all back on when you are done!

  • You can add your own events and assignments on your calendar.

    • Double click on the date and type the title of your event

    • You can set a time and location

    • Need to include more details? Click on More Options buttons

    • Be sure to hit Submit to ensure your event saves

Submitting Assignments

  • Always save copies of your Word documents, PowerPoint slides, etc before uploading

    • Use a file structure so that it is easier to find things (for example, have a folder called 9th grade. Inside that folder have a folder for each course.)

    • Use descriptive names for assignments

      • The file name “Homework” will not help you find a misplaced assignment

      • Use a file name that is specific: “Night Thesis statement – 1st draft”

    • Save and close your work before uploading.

    • Posting a longer discussion post or comment? Write it in Word and copy and paste it into Canvas. If something goes wrong, you will not have lost your work.

  • When uploading an assignment, WAIT to close the browser window until you have confirmed the assignment is properly submitted.

    • Look for the  Turned In! and the Re-Submit Assignment button to ensure your assignment is submitted

    • Check the file name to ensure you uploaded the correct file.

    • Been having internet trouble or difficulty submitting? Take a screenshot of this screen to show your teacher.

    • Uploaded the wrong file? Press the re-submit button to upload the correct one. Include a comment explaining why you have multiple submissions.

Reviewing feedback from your teacher

  • To see electronic feedback from your teacher, click on grades.

    • If electronic feedback is available, you will see icons on the far right of the assignment row

    • Click on the  to view comments from your teacher

    • Click on the  to view the rubric feedback

    • Click on the assignment name to see feedback on the actual document

      • It will take you to a new page and you then click on the  button to review all the feedback

    • Click here to see more details on viewing/printing your feedback

Viewing your grades

  • Grades are available on Canvas by clicking on the Grades link.

    • Your grades are private and should not be shared with other students

    • If you do not understand why you received a grade, schedule an appointment with your teacher.

  • Teachers may “hide” grades meaning you cannot see them

    • Depending on the teachers overall averages or individual assignments may only be visible at certain times

    • Ask your teacher if you are unclear about your performance in the class

  • Grades are constantly in flux, so keep your overall performance in perspective

    • Check grades over longer intervals – every 2 weeks or once a month.

    • If you are feeling stressed about your grades, see your teacher or advisor to discuss your performance and ways to improve.

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