Canvas

Canvas logo

Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) at Iowa State University. It is an online platform where instructors will keep important class information. Students will interact with Canvas regularly to access course resources, complete assignments and take tests.

Anyone with a Net-ID has access to Canvas at ISU. The first time you sign in to Canvas, your profile will be populated with your name, email address, and your ISU ID number.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) at ISU and should be used to communicate with students, post course materials and syllabus, set up course assignments, and submit final grades. Using Canvas in your course(s) helps achieve these goals and initiatives:

  1. FERPA compliance. Canvas meets specific security standards that ensure student information is protected.
  2. Consistency. Using Canvas means you and your students can find everything needed for the course in one place.
  3. Eco-friendliness. Providing digital resources via Canvas saves paper and ink, resulting in lower costs for you, your students, and your department.
  4. Transparency. Students always know where they stand in your course when assignments are submitted and graded through Canvas.
  5. Continuity. Courses can be copied from semester to semester, allowing you to build upon existing resources.

Features

  • Numerous learning tools such as:
    • Modular content presentation
    • Practice and graded surveys or quizzes
    • Assignments which can be assigned to a group or individual
    • Discussions and announcements can be used for regular class communication
    • Collaboration tools for group projects
    • Course Summary agenda with all due dates listed
  • Syncs directly to ISU’s student information system for automatic enrollment of Registrar data and for midterm and final grade submission.
  • Connects to thousands of learning technology apps. Approved apps can be found on the Learning and Teaching Technologies page.

Getting Started

Before using Canvas

There are a few checks you will want to perform to ensure success in your course(s):

Instructor Resources

Accessing Canvas at ISU

You will need to have your ISU Net-ID and password to log into Canvas. Then, open a web browser and navigate to Canvas in one of these ways:

  • Go to your Okta dashboard (https://login.iastate.edu) and click the Canvas button. You may need to click +Add Apps and search for Canvas the first time.
  • Type the Canvas web address directly into the browser’s address bar. The Canvas web address is http://canvas.iastate.edu.
  • Navigate to the Iowa State University homepage, locate the “Sign Ons” link found on the upper right corner (above the search box), and then select “Canvas” from the menu.

Mobile users can also access Canvas by download the Canvas Teacher app:

Note: If you have an issue logging in, visit the IT Accounts and Passwords website or contact the Solution Center at 515-294-4000.

Locating your courses

When you first log in to Canvas, you will be directed to your Dashboard. The Dashboard is an easy way to access current courses. These same courses will be listed in the Courses menu. See the Canvas guide to customizing the course list and viewing all courses.

Note: Course creation is not an automatic process at ISU. Instructors must create each Canvas course by following the steps below.

Creating a Canvas course

  1. Log in to Canvas.
  2.  If creating a course for the upcoming semester, follow the steps in the Start of Semester Checklist.
  3. To create a developmental course, use Global Course Administration to Request a New Course Shell.

Using Canvas

Search the Canvas Guides or browse the Instructor Guides by Canvas feature for detailed information on how to perform specific actions in Canvas. Additional resources are listed in the Online Documentation section below.

Creating Canvas groups to use with other tools

Within Canvas, instructors can create and assign students to groups which can then be used in other apps and tools. See the Canvas guide ‘How do I import groups in a group set?‘ for step-by-step instructions to:

  1. Create the group set
  2. Export a course roster
  3. Assign students to the group
  4. Upload the finalized file

Best Practices

Syllabus Statement

Add the statement below to the required technologies section of your syllabus.

This course will use Canvas for all course-related activities and communication. Visit the Canvas learning tool guide to view the terms of service, privacy policy, accessibility statement, and steps for getting started.

Student Resources

Accessing Canvas at ISU

You will need to have your ISU Net-ID and password to log into Canvas. Then, open a web browser and navigate to Canvas in one of these ways:

    • Go to your Okta dashboard (https://login.iastate.edu) and click the Canvas button. You may need to click +Add Apps and search for Canvas the first time.
    • Type the Canvas web address directly into the browser’s address bar. The Canvas web address is http://canvas.iastate.edu.
    • Navigate to the Iowa State University homepage, locate the “Sign Ons” link found on the upper right corner (above the search box), and then select “Canvas” from the menu.

Mobile users can also access Canvas by download the Canvas Teacher app. Note: If you have an issue logging in, visit the IT Accounts and Passwords website or contact the Solution Center at 515-294-4000.

Setting Up Your Profile and Notifications

Managing your visible courses

  • When you first log in to Canvas, you will be directed to your Dashboard. The Dashboard is an easy way to access current courses. These same courses will be listed in the Courses menu. See the Canvas guide to customizing the course list and viewing all courses
  • Note: Not all courses at Iowa State use Canvas. If you do not see your course on the Dashboard, contact your instructor first as they may not yet have made it available or may not be using Canvas.

Using Canvas for classes

Search the Canvas Guides or browse the Student Guides by Canvas feature for detailed information on how to perform specific actions in Canvas, a few common actions are listed below.

Additional resources are listed in the Online Documentation section below.

Online Documentation

Instructors:

Students:

Legal Information:

 Training

Interested in discovering new ways to use Canvas in your teaching? Or, want to learn best practices? Attend a CanvasLive session led by faculty/staff.

Licensing

All students, faculty, and staff members with an Iowa State Net-ID have access to Canvas at no charge. 

Support

Canvas is supported by Instructure. Use one of the following channels to connect with their 24/7 support:

  • live chat — open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click ‘Chat with Canvas Support’
  • ticket support — open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click ‘Report a Problem
  • phone support — call 515-294-4000, then follow the prompts for Canvas support

For problems with ISU AdminTools inside Canvas, contact the ISU Solution Center: solution@iastate.edu / 515-294-4000.