What to Do First in Your New Canvas Course

By Roberta Campbell-Chudoba

Canvas offers faculty and instructors an exciting online platform with efficient and effective tools to improve the teaching and learning experience, especially during this time of remote instruction. In mid-June of 2020, Canvas courses will be available to all those who elected to be ‘Early Adopters’ and faculty whose college, department or school is implementing Canvas across courses for Fall 2020 term.  

We’ve decided as a Canvas implementation team, not to reinvent the wheel and instead, point you to great resources Canvas has to offer!  

Most people want to get familiarized first with the look and feel of Canvas. So, let’s get started by accessing your Canvas Dashboard at (available in mid-June).

Canvas Global NavigationOnce you have logged in, just as you do with your PAWS account, you will immediately see your Dashboard, the place you can see all your current courses. You can access your Dashboard at any time by clicking the Dashboard icon in the Global Navigation menuThe Global Navigation menu is available from any page once you’re in your Canvas account, as it remains static on the far left of your screen. 

In Dashboard you might like to introduce yourself to your students. You can do this by completing your Profile. Find your Profile link by clicking on the Account icon in the Global Navigation menu. 

Find the grey Edit Profile button, in the upper right-hand of your profile screen to add to your Profile details. 

Here, you can complete your biography, add a profile picture and even enter custom links. Once your profile is complete, your students will know a little bit about you before they start your course. See this guide for help editing your Profile and look here for information about adding a profile picture to your account. 

If you’d like even more information about using your Dashboard, see:

 You’re Ready for More? 

  • Now, iyou’d like to leap ahead further, Canvas has a ‘Setting up your course in 30 minutes’ series of videos.
  • Another great option offered by Canvas is their app for mobile devices, best used for monitoring your courses and communicating with studentsFaculty and instructors can download the Teacher app and discover how to navigate the app and its capabilities. Canvas also has a Student app for students to access quick features like announcements, calendars, grades, and to-do items.

Places to Explore Further and Get Support for Canvas 

  • Everyone on our team is ready to help you with the transition to Canvas! Workshops for setting up your courses are available now for registration 
  • Canvas instructor videos and guides are available for those who prefer more independent learning or for those wanting to familiarize themselves with all the options. These guides are arranged by a Table of Contents at the top of the page, followed by video or guides for every Canvas topic you can imagine, alphabetically by category.  
  • For more information on technical and design support from our USask experts, or to contact Canvas help lines or live chats 24/7, please see Introducing Canvas on USask’s Training site. 
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