Canvas created Free-for-Teacher accounts for anyone who wants to teach online—for free. Free-for-Teacher accounts offer all the standard features to help you in your educational pursuits using both synchronous and asynchronous tools.
To get started, you’ll need a Canvas account. Canvas accounts are always free! Visit our Try Canvas page and select the Get a Free Canvas Account button. Complete the account information fields and you’ll be on your way! Watch your inbox for a confirmation email.
For a walkthrough of the signup process, follow the steps under the Create Your Own Account section in How do I sign up for a Canvas account as an instructor?
Let’s take a quick tour of our Free-for-Teacher accounts! Once you’re signed in and ready to go, the Dashboard is your first look into Canvas. It’ll be blank to start, but you can fix that soon enough! Click the Start a New Course button to open your world of opportunity:
Make sure you give your course a great name (but you can change it later).
If your course name is long enough, another text field will display asking for a course short name. Using the first letters of your course name is a common technique.
Now you’ve got a blank slate, starting with the Modules page for the home page. But you don’t have to use this layout.
Where to go from here?
Check out some helpful Canvas video tutorials to get a course set up in under 30 minutes. Or, if you’re interested in a specific topic, the following are some quick-reference guides you may find helpful, depending on your needs:
- Import a Canvas course provided by another instructor
- Search and import resources created by other instructors
- Create an new online assignment
- Create a new discussion
- Create a new quiz
- Create a synchronous online conference
- Upload files to a course
- Change your Course Home Page
- Hide Course Navigation links
- Add an external app (LTI) to a course
- Create user groups
- Set up the Gradebook
- Build course Modules
- Create course outcomes or create course rubrics
- Create a new course page
- Publish a course
- Add users to your course
- Use the Inbox to message students
- Grade student assignments in SpeedGrader
- Change the settings for a course
Once you get your feet under you, bookmark and refer to the full Canvas Instructor Guide, especially if you have additional questions about Canvas functionality!
Once your course is up and running, you can use the Canvas Teacher App to stay current on the go. View how-to guides for Canvas Teacher iOS and Canvas Teacher Android. Both include instructions about how to download the app as well.
Creating a course in Canvas may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Feel free to visit the Canvas Community at any time. It’s one of the ways you can easily get help in Canvas, and hundreds of like-minded people are ready and waiting to help you find success. Asking a question is only a click away in the Free-for-Teachers user group.