Student Training and Support

beachboard and canvas combo login button

Welcome to Canvas! Canvas is a new learning management system replacing BeachBoard in Summer 2023.

Start Learning Canvas!

  • Passport to Canvas is an optional, self-paced, comprehensive overview course that takes you on a tour of the platform from a student's perspective. This course is available to all students on their Canvas Dashboard.
  • Getting Started with Canvas as a Student Video Series: Learn to use Canvas in under 30 minutes!  Just enough info to get you started.
  • Canvas Student Video Guides: Additional videos relating to Canvas from a student's perspective.
  • Canvas Student Guides provide all the information you'll need to master the new platform. Toggle through them using the keywords.

Here's a shortlist of some of the most important features in Beachboard and how they appear in Canvas.  Follow the links to learn more about how to use these features in Canvas.

Feature Comparison Beachboard vs. Canvas
Beachboard Canvas
BeachBoard Home Dashboard
Content Modules
Assignments Assignments
Not Available Calendar
Quizzes Quizzes
Announcements Announcements
Grades Grades

Canvas Basics

Add an Email Address

In Canvas you can add contact methods to receive notifications. By default, your CSULB email is added to your Canvas account. Contact methods allow you to select how you want to be notified when various events occur within a course. Notifications are applied to all courses in Canvas. 

  1. To add more Contact Methods, click on Account from the Global Navigation.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose the +Email Address link to add another email.
  4. When finished, select the Register email button.
Adding Email Screenshot

Set Your Notification Preferences
Once you have set up your contact methods, you may choose your notification preferences for each of the Contact Methods in your Canvas Account. Notification preferences apply to all Courses that you are enrolled in at an institution and allow you to choose what reminders you want to receive and how often. To view details for a notification, hover over the notification name.

A different notification frequency can be chosen for each contact method you have added to your Canvas Account.

  • Click on the frequency icons in the column below each contact method.
  •  There are four frequencies for email notifications:
    • Notify me right away -These notifications may be delayed by up to one hour in case an instructor makes additional changes, which prevents you from being spammed by multiple notifications in a short amount of time.
    • Send a daily summary - You will receive a daily notification via email./p>
    • Send a weekly summary -The date and time of your weekly notifications are posted at the bottom of the notifications page.
    • Do not send me anything -If you do not want to receive a notification choose this option.
  • For push notifications used on a tablet or phone where the Canvas Student App is installed,  choose from two notification preferences:

    • Notify me right away
    • Do not send me anything

Recommended "Notify me right away" notifications: Announcements, Conversations, Grades, and Due Dates

To reply to a discussion, follow these steps:

  1. To post to a discussion, click on "Reply." Use the Rich Content Editor to compose your discussion post.
  2. Click "Post Reply" when you are ready for other users to view your answer.
    • ​​If enabled, you may be able to reply to a classmate’s post through a threaded reply.
    • Your instructor may require that you reply to the discussion before seeing your classmates' posts. You will see the following statement, "replies are only visible to those who have posted at least one reply" if this setting is turned on. 

To submit assignments in Canvas, click the "Submit Assignment" button on your assignment page. Submission options will appear below the instructions.

File Upload

One option to submit an assignment is by doing a file upload (see below). You can upload a file from your computer, or you may also see the options to submit a file from your OneDrive. 

  1. Select the "Submit Assignment" button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select "Choose File."
  3. Find your file in the pop-up window.
  4. Select "Open," then click the "Submit Assignment" button.

To upload multiple files, click on the choose a file to upload.

Canvas Assignment Submission Type

There is also a space to leave a comment for your instructor.

Assignments can be re-submitted until the last availability date that your instructor has set for the assignment. Once submitted, you cannot delete your submission. 

  1. Select the "Submit Assignment" button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Be sure the Text Entry tab is selected.
  3. Click in the space below the Rich Content Editor bar and begin typing.
  4. Select the "Submit Assignment" button.

  1. Click on "Grades" in the course navigation bar.
  2. You will see a list of your assignments, the due dates, the status (Late, Excused, Missing), the score assigned by your instructor, and the total points possible.

The Canvas Inbox allows you to easily communicate with your instructors and classmates. NOTE:  Confirm with your instructors that this is the preferred method of communication before relying on this method.

  1. Click on 'Inbox' from the Global Navigation menu.
  2. Then, click on the 'Compose a New Message' icon.
  3. Select the course from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose the name of your instructor from the list.
  5. Add a subject and message, then click the 'Send' button.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 do I submit assignments?
For assignments, you will see a "Submit Assignment" button on your assignment page. Submission options will show up below the instructions once you click the Submit Assignment button. One option may be to upload a file. You can upload a file from your computer, or you may also see the option to submit a file from your Microsoft Office 365 drive. 

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

Where do I find calendar and deadline information?
Calendars in Canvas can be turned on or off for both your personal and Course calendars. The Calendar is a great way to view everything you can do for all your courses in one place.

  1. To open the Canvas Calendar, select 'Calendar' from the Global Navigation menu.
  2. In the sidebar, click the color box next to the name of the calendar to turn a calendar on or off. When the color box next to the name of a calendar is empty, the calendar is off. Both events and assignments will be hidden.

How do I take a quiz?
Navigate to Quizzes in the left navigation bar then select the name of the quiz/exam. You can click on it to view additional details and instructions before starting it.

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.

Is there a discussion area? 
There are several areas where you can open a discussion. Please note that some of these areas may not be turned on by your instructor. The most common locations to view a discussion are from the Calendar, Modules, or Discussion Index page.

  1. Begin by clicking the title of the Discussion Topic.
  2. Discussions will have a due date and availability date. The due date is when the discussion must be completed before you are marked as late. The availability date is the start and end date of when you can participate in the discussion.

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!

Download the Canvas Student Mobile App from the Google Play or Apple Apps store.