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What is Canvas?

Canvas is an open-source Learning Management System, built on a modern web framework and offered as a fully supported cloud-based application. The Canvas user interface is attractive to both faculty and students, and Canvas has many options for interoperability with other systems and services through its open-source API (Application Programming Interface). You may access Western's Canvas site at or through myWestern.

How Do I Get Started with Canvas?

ATUS is conducting training on a regular basis. Find upcoming sessions on the training website under the category of Academic Technology & User Services. 


·       Accessing Canvas: Either log into MyWestern and find the blue Canvas icon at the top or go directly to

·       Instructor Cheat Sheet: This is an instructor "Cheat Sheet" that may be helpful to print out and have on hand.

·        Canvas Training on campus:  The WWU Training website lists, under Academic Technology & User Services, all the workshops currently being offered.

·        Canvas Instructor Training (CNVS 102) - Demo I: This is the first in a series of three videos that introduces basic Canvas functionality to instructors. (~ 90 min.)

·        Canvas Instructor Training (CNVS 102) - Demo II: This is the second in a series of three videos that introduces basic Canvas functionality to Instructors. (~2 hours)

·        Canvas Student Orientation (CNVS 100): This is a public video course designed to help students learn how to use Canvas effectively. Instructors can link to this course OR import its contents into their own courses (1-save this file: download student orientation, 2-import into your Canvas course).  In some cases, instructors might find it helpful to place this module near the top of their Modules page during the first few weeks of class. 

·        Cross Listing Courses in Canvas: This is useful for courses with multiple sections.

·       Link to Request any Non-CRN Course (sandbox accounts, clubs, committees)

·       Moving your files from Blackboard to Canvas: CLICK HERE

Canvas Guides:

·       How do I set my Notification Preferences?

·       How do I create a graded discussion? (video, 5 min.)

·       What are Pages? (videos)

·       Example - Academic Writing Wiki

·       Quizzes – here are the search results regarding quizzes

·       How do I grade with Rubrics? (video)

·       How does the SpeedGrader work? (video)

 Web 2.0 Assignments  – Canvas does not have some of the specific assignment types that Blackboard did, but here are some useful strategies:

·       Creating a Reflection Journal in Canvas

·       Using Canvas' Wikis and Collaborations for Interactive Documents

·       Podcasting Multimedia Content in Canvas 

·       Blogging and Canvas



Where Can I Find More Info?

• More information about Canvas can be found at the Instructure Website.

• More information about the University of Washington pilot of Canvas can be found on the UW Canvas FAQ.