Quick Start in Canvas
Canvas Quick Start Instructions For Faculty
Visit CSULB Canvas Faculty Support and Training for a comprehensive listing of resources for CSULB instructors.
Before Summer 2023, notify your students in advance that you will be teaching in Canvas by posting an announcement in your activated BeachBoard course to direct them to your Canvas course instead. Use this sample BeachBoard Announcement [PDF] and adapt it as needed for your course.
Each semester, a live Canvas course (shell) is automatically created for all courses in the Schedule of Classes and is populated with the student roster. Instructors use this blank shell to develop their content and then publish it for student access before the semester begins. Faculty may also request a Canvas Sandbox or Development Course from ATS to experiment with new tools and become familiar with the platform.
To access your Canvas courses:
- Log in to Canvas via Single Sign On (SSO) or access the BeachBoard and Canvas Login website.
- Select the Canvas icon to access your Canvas Dashboard.
- In your Dashboard, you may find different types of courses. Visit Canvas Course Types for a full description of these courses and how to use them.
Get started on your course development:
- Import one of the optional CSULB Canvas Course Layouts and adapt it to your content. Note: Importing a layout will not override any content you already have in your course.
- Use the Canvas Quality Assurance Checklist [PDF] to ensure that you've included recommended course elements that meet established online course standards.
- Publish your course when it's ready for student viewing.
The tools below can be used to communicate with your students in Canvas:
Send an email through Canvas with the Inbox:
- The Inbox is a messaging tool used to communicate with a course, a group, an individual student, or a group of students. You can use the Inbox to communicate with others in your course.
- Users display in the Inbox once they have an active enrollment in the course, and users cannot join a course unless it is published.
- Once a course has concluded and its term date has passed, you can no longer message students in that course.
- Get step-by-step instructions for using the Inbox to send emails.
Post announcements and updates on Canvas:
- Announcements allow instructors to communicate with students about course activities and post interesting course-related topics.
- Designed to allow instructors to broadcast information out to all course members or to all members of sections within a course.
- Students may be able to reply to announcements, but replies are not considered to be a conversation and will not appear in the Inbox.
- Instructors should post announcements on BeachBoard if they are teaching on Canvas.
- Get step-by-step instructions for using the Announcement tool.
Stay connected with the Canvas Discussion Tool:
- Post question prompts or topics to start a discussion with your class. Instructors and students can read and reply to comments from others in each thread.
- Create a "General Questions" thread for students to share their concerns about miscellaneous topics.
- Get step-by-step instructions for using the Discussion Tool
- View these tutorials to learn more:
Use Zoom for live meetings or to record lectures:
- Consider using Zoom to hold virtual office hours and to keep appointments with students.
- Chat with students via Zoom (disable the video camera if you choose not to be on screen).
- Get written instructions for using Zoom.
Upload course materials with the Modules tool:
- Upload and organize course materials such as documents, images, media files, URL links, syllabus, and more in Modules.
- Get step-by-step instructions for using the Modules Tool.
- View these video tutorials to get started:
Source LinkedIn Learning to build your skills and your content:
- Although not a Canvas tool, LinkedIn Learning has a generous library of online courses and tutorials to support digital skill-building.
- Modules on personal and career development are also available to share with students as a supplement to your course materials if desired.
Using recorded lectures and announcements helps students maintain a sense of instructor presence and connection with the course.
Use Zoom to deliver a live lecture or record a lecture:
- Be creative! Zoom can be used in many ways. Try virtual advising, short video announcements, live class discussion or chat (with the camera off, if you prefer)
- Get written instructions for using Zoom
Create media in Canvas with Kaltura Express Capture:
- Kaltura Express Capture is a tool available through the Media Gallery that provides an easy method of creating your own videos, presentations, and podcasts directly on Canvas.
- Everything captured is uploaded to your Canvas Media Gallery and available for you to share with your students.
- Get step by step instructions for using Kaltura Capture
Use Camtasia to capture presentations:
- Camtasia is an easy-to-use tool for screencasting/recording interactions on your computer.
- Record and import PowerPoint presentations and turn them into videos.
- Download Camtasia from the CSULB Software Depot; Camtasia is not integrated with Canvas, but files can be exported and uploaded to Canvas.
Upload media to your course with the Canvas Media Gallery:
- Upload, and organize video/audio files into a dedicated, secure space called "Media Gallery." Students do not have access to your Media Gallery.
- View these video tutorials and articles to get started:
Organize student assignment submissions with the Assignment Tool in Canvas:
- Set up Assignments on Canvas where students can upload their assignments.
- Track the day and time when assignments are submitted.
- Provide feedback on student assignments
- Get step-by-step instructions for using Assignments
- Learn more about Assignments from these articles:
- Using the Assignments Index Page
- Publish or unpublish an assignment
- Create an assignment
- Enter grades for an individual assignment
- Set a default grade for an assignment
- Difference between assignment due dates and availability dates
- Creating an assignment Using Turnitin
- Difference between assignment due dates and availability dates
Set up Quizzes on Canvas:
- Use the Quizzes tool to create, manage, and grade your assessments
- Watch these videos and articles to get started:
- Find additional resources on the Canvas Community about Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes
Manage and share grades with students using the Grades in Canvas:
- Share individual student grades and comments.
- Show class averages and feedback.
- Share final grades
- Learn the basics from these quick videos
- Find more step-by-step instructional guides about Grades in the Canvas Community