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Building with Canvas - New Student Tutorial Course

Surveyor II
5 13 4,990
Most of us would probably agree, students don't "need" a tutorial on using Canvas. Students are following the lead of their instructor in terms of course design. However, it may not hurt to provide options for our students, especially when it comes to learning a new LMS.

That's why we've created a new Canvas student tutorial course, called Building with Canvas. Just like faculty have a training course in Growing with Canvas, this one is intended  for students.

Building with Canvas course card

What Is The Course?

This self-paced course is designed to help students learn how to use Canvas effectively in face-to-face classrooms AND within online learning environments. No prior Canvas experience is required. Students will earn four badges (using Badgr) to demonstrate their accomplishments. Badges are earned at the end of each Module.
course badge animated gif

How Can I Use It?

The course is published to the Canvas Commons to use and adopt at your institution! 
Building with Canvas - link to the course in the Canvas Commons (or just search for it in the Commons). If you need help using the Canvas Commons, check out this Canvas help guide - How do I use Commons? Alternatively, you can download the course file directly and import that into a new sandbox course in your Canvas instance.

The course is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License -- that means you are welcome to share it and edit it to meed the needs of your institution.

For Canvas Admins

This course includes a Canvas admin setup guide for you to easily deploy it at your institution. Take a look at the first Page inside the Introduction Module for information about setting up the badges for the course and how to deploy it to your students. 

Our design team at Lord Fairfax Community College have spent many hours designing every aspect of this course and we really hope it will help with student adoption and improve familiarity with Canvas. 

Please "Like" and share this resource if you find it useful!

Comments welcome below!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Nice work

And many thanks for sharing to Commons!


Surveyor II

Absolutely! Thanks for the feedback. Sharing is caring, indeed!  

Explorer III

Hi Gannon!

I tried clicking on the Canvas Commons link,  Canvas Commons 

but get a 404 error. Also I tried searching for the course title. Is the resource public on Commons?



Community Coach
Community Coach 

I would argue that students most definitely need a tutorial on using Canvas! We published our first one about three quarters after we migrated - the numbers of support requests during the first two weeks of the term dropped to almost nothing. I know many schools that now require student orientation to Canvas before they can start their Canvas courses. While Canvas is very simple from the student perspective, there are many activities that are not so simple, even for digital natives - it is much more challenging to upload a document as an assignment submission than it is to post what you had for dinner in social media.  Also, our orientation includes information on how to be a successful online student; rather than just how to use the LMS.

And then, I think you place way too much faith in online teachers - at least at schools that exercise minimum control over course design. Too few offer any in-course orientation, and too many employ very poor course-design methodologies, when they employ any methodology at all.

Our students need every opportunity to succeed! So, thank you for developing this resource and making it available to others.


Surveyor II

Well, I'm just learning that I don't have the ability to share content with "Public" in the Commons    but I'm frantically trying to get that resolved. In the meantime, you can download the course file directly and import that into a new sandbox course in your Canvas instance. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Surveyor II

That's great input, Kelley thank you for sharing!

Explorer III


Have a good one!


Community Member

I created one a few years ago and the students learned a lot of new things. As a teacher, I see students struggle to navigate in Canvas. Thank you for sharing!

Surveyor II

You're exactly right, Tina! That was our thought as well. A new LMS is a huge change and we want to do everything in our power to help make that transition easier. Thanks for your feedback!

Surveyor II

Just an update here...the course on the Commons is available to "Public" now!  


Thanks for this we are working on student courses at the moment and this might be a great solution.  I will give more feedback soon 

Surveyor II Is there a ballpark timeframe for how long this course takes for students to complete? I know the Growing with Canvas suggested about 1.5-2 hours per module for a total of around 6 hours.  Thanks!

Surveyor II

Hi‌ . Each module contains approximately 15-25 minutes of content. Students should plan on approximately 1 hour to review all 4 modules, watch the videos, and complete activities.