Canvas FAQs

We are constantly adding new FAQs regularly as we learn more and hear from you! If you have questions not addressed here, please email canvas@csulb.edu.

FAQs For Faculty

What is Canvas?  
Canvas is an LMS developed by a company named Instructure. This platform allows faculty and instructors to build and manage courses online. 

Why is CSULB Moving to Canvas? 

  • Canvas is a well-established company and its LMS platform is used by more than 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world.
  • In California, many higher ed institutions including other CSUs, the UC System, and Community College campuses are using Canvas; instructors who teach at multiple schools will be familiar with it.
  • With CSU system-wide adoption, using Canvas provides an economy of scale for use at an enterprise level.   
  • Canvas is known for being customizable, adaptable, and reliable.
  • Canvas aligns with Beach 2030 to provide better access for students: A top-rated mobile app is available for both teachers and students.
  • The Canvas system offers better compatibility with integrated tools and provides advanced analytics. 
  • Enhanced assessment and accessibility features are available.

Is it mandatory for faculty to use Canvas?  
BeachBoard will no longer be available after June 15, 2023. Canvas will be the official Learning Management System starting in Fall 2023.

Since BeachBoard and Canvas will both be available during the transition, will they have the same level of resources available, or will BeachBoard support slow down as more courses move to Canvas?
ATS will be supporting both BeachBoard and Canvas until Summer 2023. Virtual support, in-person, email, and phone support will continue to be available for both systems.

We encourage faculty to access Canvas Support by clicking the "Help" button in the Canvas navigation bar. You will have access to Live Chat with Canvas Support, Canvas Support Hotline (562-247-3970), and Report a Problem by submitting a ticket to Canvas. Any issues that faculty cannot resolve will be escalated to our team accordingly.

How long will courses remain on Canvas in the future? 
We are not planning on deleting or archiving any courses. However, they will be read-only once the semester ends. You can adjust the term if modifications are needed.

Do you recommend that I migrate my BeachBoard (D2L) courses to Canvas on my own?
We caution against migrating BeachBoard (D2L) courses at this time because certain components may not transfer smoothly. However, if you request a sandbox course, you are welcome to experiment with the export/import process.

Are there any examples of orientation courses in Canvas?
Yes, you can access the Commons link from the Global Navigation Menu to search for orientation courses that are publicly available on any subject. Feel free to peruse ATS' Online Learning Success Course for students new to online learning.

How will my courses and materials be migrated from BeachBoard to Canvas?
CSULB is working with a third-party vendor, to migrate the last 2 years of BeachBoard courses into Canvas. All other courses will be archived and remain available to instructors upon request. 

No specific preparation is required of instructors prior to the migration. For more information, please visit our Canvas Migration page.

Will I need to rebuild everything in Canvas? 
Course content has been fully copied from Beachboard to Canvas. See the migration processing status for the specific timeline.

What content cannot be migrated?
Migrated courses do not contain student data, such as enrollment information, grades, submitted assignments, and quizzes, etc. However, student data from the last five years will be held separately in an archive and available upon request from ATS. Visit Course Types, Archived BeachBoard Courses for more information.

Can faculty get a Canvas "development course"?
Yes. A development course is a staging area where you can build and modify your course content entirely and then copy it into your live course when released each semester. Complete the Development Course Request Form. Visit Canvas Course Types for a full description of the different types of courses in Canvas.

If we teach on another campus, can we import our class into our Canvas course at CSULB?
Depending on the LMS, you can transfer course materials from another campus to Canvas at CSULB. While we do caution against migrating courses at this time, please be aware that some course materials and content may not copy over correctly.

Will grade settings and rubrics in BeachBoard be transferred to Canvas?
Grade settings and rubrics in Canvas are different from BeachBoard (D2L), so they will not be transferred.

Will all BeachBoard Organizations be migrated to Canvas?
Organizational sites will be migrated by request. Note there are two types of organizations: Manual and Auto. Auto-orgs are configured to automatically enroll users based on declared degrees daily. Manual organizations will require "teachers" in the org to manually enroll users. 

  • To request that your Manual Organization be migrated to Canvas, please complete this form: Manual Organization Request
  • Note that these migrated organizations will not contain any results or user data (i.e. surveys/ballots). 

If you have an Auto Organization you would like to migrate, please contact canvas@csulb.edu

Do migrated courses include pre-designed layouts? 
No, the migration process preserves as much of the original formatting as possible. However, layout elements can be pulled into migrated courses and used at will.

Layouts will also need to be imported in their entirety. This means that the entire course content will be copied over. However, please contact ATS-InstructionalDesign@csulb.edu if you would like to use a part of a layout course. We can re-publish individual elements for you.

Do migrated courses have layouts in them? 
No, not unless they already had previous BeachBoard templates embedded. All courses from BeachBoard migrate exactly how they are, with nothing added. Layouts are designed for courses that are being built from scratch with no content, rather than for previously migrated courses that already have content.

Where can I find my "BeachBoard Migration" courses?
Use our Course Migration Job Aid [PDF] for instructions to copy your migrated BeachBoard course content into the Canvas Live course in which you will be teaching. 

Tools that don’t exist in Canvas include:

What is included in a migrated course?
A migrated course from BeachBoard to Canvas will include materials from News, Content, Quizzes, Dropbox, Discussions, and Grade items. It will not include student data. In addition, not all tools and features will import cleanly or at all into Canvas.

  • Content: Sub-modules will not be imported.
  • Groups: Any assignment that includes Groups will not be imported from BeachBoard (D2L) to Canvas. This includes Group Discussions and Group Dropbox.
  • Discussions: Topics will be imported, but not Forums. Discussion descriptions will not be available.
  • Quizzes: Missing question types include Ordering, Arithmetic, and Multiple Short Answer. These are imported into Canvas as Fill in the Blank questions. Quizzes that were previously generated from the Question Library will also need to be rebuilt.
  • Grades: Items will be imported as Assignments.

Can I request courses to be migrated beyond 2 years?
If you would like to migrate a course that is older than Summer 2021, please email canvas@csulb.edu and include your BeachBoard URL in your request.

Will Canvas have the same features as BeachBoard (D2L)? 
Not all features will be available. Review the D2L Migration Guide from Canvas to see which features will be available. 

Will "Course Merge" be available in Canvas? 
Yes, there’s a cross-listed option in Canvas like BeachBoard’s course merge.  Students are not able to see across the sections in the ‘People’ tool, but there is an option to enable them to interact using the discussion board.

How can I edit the items on the Global Navigation Menu?
The Global Navigation Menu cannot be altered. However, you can edit or change items in the Course Navigation Menu by clicking on Settings within a course then click on the Navigation tab. You can then drag and drop items to reorder or hide them. 

Are there examples of Homepages for courses? 
The equivalent of "Homepages" on BeachBoard (D2L) is "Pages" in Canvas. We recommend that you use Canvas Commons to look for various templates and copy them into your courses. 

Will we get course templates in Canvas?
Yes! ATS has developed optional Canvas Course Layouts (a.k.a. "templates) that instructors can import into their courses to get started quickly.  

Will I be able to use Respondus 4.0 (Quiz Import Tool) in Canvas?
Yes, you will be able to use Respondus 4.0 in Canvas. Just like in BeachBoard (D2L), you can import quizzes/exams into Respondus from a file and have them transferred into your courses. In addition, you can also export quizzes/exams from Respondus to a file.

Will book publisher content (Pearson, Mcgraw Hill, etc,.) also be made available like it is in BeachBoard and who do I contact to coordinate?
Yes, this service will continue to be provided by the Bookstore via the VitalSource platform and can contact D1DA@csulb.edu to coordinate this material into the Canvas course.

Will our Canvas environment enable the New Quizzes experience?
You can enable the New Quizzes option by clicking on "Settings" and selecting the "Feature Options" tab to turn on New Quizzes.

Will there be QM templates for Canvas? Do we have to use the templates? Can we organize our content while addressing QM? 
We recommend you use our Canvas Course Templates. These do help you organize your content while also addressing some QM standards.

When is it better to use Canvas Announcements versus Inbox messages to communicate with students?
Announcements are generally better for course-wide messages, while messages are appropriate for more specific messages or two-way communication.

How do we know students are seeing course announcements?
There is currently no way to check in Canvas if students have read announcements. However, students will receive them as email notifications by default. If they are not receiving them, then they have probably turned off announcement notifications or were not checking the student email address. We recommend that you send an email at the start of the semester advising students to make sure they are receiving announcements by checking their Notification settings.

Alternatively, you can show recent announcements as part of your Course Home Page and set the number of announcements that should be displayed.

How can I see my students' course activity?
Instructors can use the New Analytics feature to view summary of student course activity and participation. Note that this currently does not include seeing which students viewed a specific page.

How can I see if a student viewed a specific page?
You can view the course access report for an individual user in the People section of your course. The course access report shows a summary of user participation in your course.

You can view the full specific report for a student by viewing student analytics.

You can also view your specific interactions with a student in the student interactions report.

How do I get notifications for Global Announcements on Canvas?

Global Announcements notifications are enabled by default. To check if you are receiving immediate notifications, we recommend the following:

  1. From the Global Navigation menu, click on Account then select Notifications.
  2. Make sure that Settings for is set to "Account" then scroll down to "Global Announcements" and click the notification bell to select "Notify Immediately."

Note: Global announcements notifications will only be sent to users with active enrollments in the current term, regardless if courses are published or not. This means that when users are not enrolled in at least a course in Canvas, they will not receive announcements.

Why can’t I enroll people in my past Canvas courses?
The read-only status will prevent you from editing your past Canvas courses, including any attempts at enrolling new people. If you want someone to have access to your course, please contact canvas@csulb.edu.

My course has disappeared from my Canvas dashboard, how can I access it?
In Canvas, at the end of the semester your "old" course sites may disappear from your dashboard and your current courses list. This happens once a course is completed and the term has ended. Your course has not been deleted from the system but the course has been moved to "Courses." Select "All Courses" and navigate to "Past Enrollments" to view your courses from previous semesters.

Do I need to activate/publish courses in Canvas in order for students to view them?
Yes, courses must be published in order for students to view them. Instructors can utilize the time when a course is initially not published to set up their course for the semester.

How will new and continuing students be introduced to Canvas? 
New students will learn about Canvas through the campus SOAR program. Continuing students will learn about Canvas through direct communications from ATS via BeachBoard Announcements and various media campaigns.  Faculty are encouraged to share Canvas resources with students. Visit Canvas Student Training and Support for resources. 

Will ATS offer Canvas training for students to help with this transition to another LMS?Students are automatically enrolled in the "Passport to Canvas" self-guided orientation course available in their Canvas Dashboard.

Will there be any training to help faculty with their courses to Canvas?
Yes. Academic Technology Services will provide faculty training and support resources throughout the transition. Keep an eye on BeachBoard News and the ATS Twitter account for announcements.

Will you take suggestions on what can be improved in Canvas?
Please send feedback or comments to canvas@csulb.edu.

How do I appropriately add extra credit assignments to the Gradebook?
There are multiple methods of adding extra credit to a Gradebook, and directions with screenshots are available in the following resource: How do I give extra credit in a course? 

  • If you would like to add extra credit to an assignment, you can simply award more points than the designated point value of an assignment. You can do this directly in the Gradebook; using a rubric with more points than the assignment value, or in the grade box in SpeedGrader.
  • To add extra credit to a quiz, use 'fudge points' in SpeedGrader.
  • If the extra credit is a separate grade, create an assignment worth 0 points and award any extra points to students on this assignment.
  • If you have weighted assignment groups AND have the extra credit assignments in their own assignment group (bringing the total weights over 100%), 0-point assignments will not work. In that specific case, please carefully read this additional resource: Extra credit using weighted assignment groups.

Can I sync the chat and calendar between courses in Teams and Canvas? 
No. However, you can subscribe to the Calendar Feed in Canvas and import it to Microsoft Outlook. The calendar feed will contain events and assignments from all of your Canvas calendars, including reserved Scheduler appointment slots. Once you have subscribed to the calendar feed, you can remove the calendar feed at any time from Outlook.com by clicking the more options icon and selecting the remove option from the menu.  Visit Calendar Feed for more information. 

If I set up my office hours on the calendar, is there a way to make it repeat every week? Or do I have to add office hours each week?
If you want to create the same event multiple times for a course in the Calendar, you can create a duplicate event. Duplicating events creates multiple copies of the event every day, week, or month. Click on the More Options button and select Duplicate. If you want to change the repeating event to daily or monthly, click the Week(s) drop-down menu and select your preferred time range. If you want to change the number of additional occurrences, enter the number in the text field. The calendar event supports up to 200 additional occurrences. For more information, please view this article: How do I add and duplicate an event in the Calendar as an Instructor

What is the preferred method of communication with students in Canvas? Is the Canvas inbox the default setting for students to receive notifications?
Faculty should establish a baseline on how to approach communication with their students, whether it be through announcements or the Canvas inbox. It's recommended that instructors set expectations on how students should configure their account notifications for specific courses.

How do I message my students in a Canvas course before the semester starts?
In order to send a message to all course users before the semester starts, you will need to publish your course. If the course is not published, you will get an invalid error.

What are Fudge points in quizzes? How can you use fudge points as opposed to extra credit?
Fudge points allow you to manually add or remove points from a student's overall quiz score. Fudge points are a form of extra credit for quizzes specifically. Refer to the webpage: How do I adjust the point value for an entire quiz using fudge points in SpeedGrader?

Does Canvas allow you to edit the quiz and also give you the option to apply these changes in the Question Library like in BeachBoard?
In Classic Quizzes, any changes you make to a question in the quiz will not be reflected in the question bank and the opposite is also true—changes to question bank questions will not be reflected in your course quizzes. If you are using New Quizzes, however, you will be able to simultaneously edit the question in the quiz and question bank.

Can we request the functionality to shuffle answers at the question level from Canvas? 
You can shuffle or randomize questions by using "Question Groups" in Classic Quizzes. Refer to the webpage: How do I create a quiz with a question group to randomize quiz questions?

New Quizzes has a Settings menu that allows instructors to shuffle or randomize questions across the entire quiz. More information can be found on the webpage How do I manage settings for a quiz in New Quizzes? 

Is there a difference between LockDown Browser on Canvas and BeachBoard?
The only difference between Canvas and BeachBoard is that students need to launch LockDown Browser first, log in to the course, then locate the exam and click to open if it is a Classic Quiz. If a student tries to access quizzes/exams using a regular browser, they will encounter a message indicating that they must download LockDown Browser. For more information, please read this article: Respondus Lockdown Browser The Student Experience

How do I migrate quizzes from "Classic" to "New Quizzes"? 
To migrate a quiz from Classic Quizzes to New Quizzes, click on the three vertical dots then select Migrate. While New Quizzes migration supports all question types, you should still review your quizzes before assigning them to students. By default, migrated quizzes are unpublished. For more information, please read this article: How do I Migrate a Canvas Quiz to New Quizzes 

Why do I have access to the LockDown Browser link in the navigation bar but my students do not?
Students do not have access to LockDown Browser in the navigation bar because it directly links to the LockDown Browser Dashboard, which only allows instructors to enable the tool for specific quizzes/exams. For students, they will need to go to Quizzes and click on the quiz or exam that has LockDown Browser enabled. Here is a video that explains the student experience for LockDown Browser in Canvas

In Discussions, where are the metrics for student posts? In BB it was “View topic statistics” where I can quickly see who posted on a topic, replied, read, and how many times. Is this feature available? 
This feature is not available in Canvas. However, they do have a Student Interactions Report that provides you with the last time they interacted with the course, their current score, final score, and a list of any ungraded assignments. View this Student Interactions Report guide to see how to access this information for your course: How do I view a summary of all of my interactions in a course

How can I assign two due dates in Discussions, specifically one for peer review and another for students' initial responses?
You must assign a peer review due date AFTER the discussion due date. This will provide students with two due dates—one for the initial response and the other for peer review. If you leave the peer review due date blank, the assigned due date will be used instead.

What are the features of the mobile app?
With the Canvas Student Mobile App, students can:

  • View grades and course content
  • Submit assignments
  • Keep track of coursework with a to-do list and calendar
  • Send and receive messages
  • Post to discussions
  • Watch videos
  • Take quizzes
  • Receive push notifications for new grades and course updates, and much more!

Find the Mobile App in the App Store or Google Play:

How can I locate CSU Long Beach on the Canvas Mobile App?
Click on "Find my school" and type Long Beach. Select CSU Long Beach then follow the steps to log in with your campus e-mail and password.

On the Canvas Mobile App, I noticed there are two instances -one for instructors, and one for students.  Is there a way to display both student and instructor courses in one app?
Canvas intentionally created three versions of their mobile app for different roles/groups: Teachers, Students, and Parents. There is currently no way to combine them into one. For more information on the different mobile features in each version, please view this article: Canvas Mobile App.

 

 

FAQs For Students

Why are we moving to Canvas?

  • Canvas is a well-established company and its LMS platform is used by more than 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world.
  • In California, many higher ed institutions including other CSUs, the UC System, and Community College campuses are using Canvas; instructors who teach at multiple schools will be familiar with it.
  • With CSU system-wide adoption, using Canvas provides an economy of scale for use at an enterprise level.   
  • Canvas is known for being customizable, adaptable, and reliable.
  • Canvas aligns with Beach 2030 to provide better access for students: A top-rated mobile app is available for both teachers and students.
  • The Canvas system offers better compatibility with integrated tools and provides advanced analytics. 
  • Enhanced assessment and accessibility features are available.

How will I be notified when my Canvas course is ready? 

Once your instructor publishes your course, you will be able to access your courses.

How will I communicate with my instructor in Canvas? 
Students can access the Inbox located on the navigation panel in Canvas. It is an internal messaging system that allows students and instructors to communicate with each other through the platform. Your instructor may provide other means to communicate when the class begins.

When will I be able to access Canvas?
The Canvas tile is now available on SSO. Visit the BeachBoard and Canvas Login site for quick access. Please note that not all instructors will be teaching on Canvas before the official transition date of June 15, 2023.

How can I learn more about Canvas?
Students are encouraged to take the "Passport to Canvas" self-guided course. This has been automatically added to your Canvas Dashboard.

Will Canvas Login be available as SSO/MyApps Tile?
The Canvas tile is now available on SSO. Visit the BeachBoard and Canvas Login site for quick access.

Do I have to authenticate the login to Canvas?​
Yes, students must be authenticated to access Canvas.

Where will we find our courses in Canvas? 
From your Canvas Dashboard, click on Courses to view all of your classes. Alternatively, you will also see "tiles" for the courses you are enrolled after logging in.

Where will I find the course content?
In Canvas, the content is organized under “Modules” You can select Modules from the Course Navigation Menu.

Does Canvas support languages other than English?
Canvas supports a wide variety of languages. More information on this can be found here: Canvas Language Support

What are the features of the mobile app?
With the Canvas Student Mobile App, you can:

  • View grades and course content
  • Submit assignments
  • Keep track of coursework with to-do list and calendar
  • Send and receive messages
  • Post to discussions
  • Watch videos
  • Take quizzes
  • Receive push notifications for new grades and course updates, and much more!

Find the Mobile App in the App Store or Google Play:

How can I locate CSU Long Beach on the Canvas Mobile App?
Click on "Find my school" and type in Long Beach. Select CSU Long Beach then follow the steps to log in with your campus e-mail and password.