Canvas FAQs

When can I start using Canvas?
Canvas is open now.  You can choose to start teaching in Canvas in Spring, Summer or Fall of 2013, however by Spring 2014 USF will use Canvas for all courses.

How do students access Canvas while we’re in transition?
Until the shift is complete you will need to post an announcement in your Blackboard course with a link directing your students USF Canvas.  Until Spring 2014, the URL for Canvas will be Starting in January of 2014 Canvas will be moved over to  Also, make sure the content areas in Blackboard are unavailable to students, so they only see Announcements.

How are my courses created in Canvas?
During the transition your courses will be populated in both Canvas and Blackboard through Banner.

How do I enable my course so students can see it?
In Canvas the default courses are created as “under construction”, so you can build them without students viewing them. When you are finish designing them remember to publish them.  Visit the tutorial from Instructure to learn more about publishing your course.

What is my username and password for Canvas?
Your Canvas login credentials will be the same as your Blackboard credentials.

How do rubrics work with Assignments and the SpeedGrader?
To create a rubric for use with your Assignments, click on the Outcomes button, then Manage Rubrics.  Then at the right, you’ll see the option for adding a new rubric.  For a tutorial on creating and editing a rubric, please click here.  Please watch this video tutorial to understand how rubrics work with the SpeedGrader.

How do I add a course cartridge to my Canvas course?
Textbook publishers commonly provide “course cartridges”, “e-packs” or other supplementary materials.  Since Canvas is still a fairly new LMS, you may have to ask your publisher if they are producing supplementary materials in a Canvas-readable format. This page from the Canvas wiki documents known compatibilities and possible workarounds for different publisher materials.  First and foremost, faculty should ask the publisher if they can or will provide a Canvas-compatible course cartridge.  Even if you know they don’t have one, this kind of feedback may encourage the publisher to embrace Canvas.  If a Canvas cartridge is not available, try to import a Blackboard format cartridge into your Canvas course with the Course Import Tool, as Canvas supports both of these course package types already.  You can also ask the publisher if a “Common Cartridge” format package is available.  Common Cartridge is a global format for learning materials packages and Canvas accepts Common Cartridge.

How do I see ALL my Canvas courses?
Canvas displays up to 12 courses in the Courses drop-down menu. Once users have more than 12 courses, they may customize the drop-down menu to choose which courses will display.  Click here for a tutorial on how to do so.

How can I view my Canvas course as my students do?
Canvas has a “student view” feature that you can use to view your course as a student, including even taking tests!  Click here for a tutorial on how to launch the student view.

What is the Course Setup Checklist?
The first few times you create a new course in Canvas, it can be a challenge to remember all of the steps required.  The Course Setup Checklist is designed to help you remember what you need to do before your course goes live.  Here’s video tutorial on using the Course Setup Checklist.

Why is Canvas sending me so much email?
Canvas will contact you as part of its Notifications feature.  Please see this tutorial on how to customize the notifications or alerts you receive notifications from Canvas in the amount and frequency that is right for you.

How can I add or change a profile picture?
Here’s a tutorial on adding or changing your profile picturein Canvas.  Where does this profile picture display?  Next to your discussion posts and in course rosters, for example.

What are some of the more popular features of Canvas?