Instructor Getting Started Resources
Below are some general questions and answers about Canvas, the Teacher role, and links to resources to help you be comfortable with Canvas. Visit the Instructor Guides to learn more.
What is Canvas?
Canvas is a Learning Management System. To learn more about Canvas terminology and definitions, visit How does Canvas define the terms used to describe its features and functions?
Because Canvas is a web-based system, it doesn’t need to be installed on your computer. However, you’ll want to make sure that your computer and web browser meet the basic requirements to run Canvas.
What is the Instructor/Teacher role?
In Canvas, the Teacher role is used to enroll users responsible for course creation, instruction, and management. Teachers are also referred to as instructors in Canvas. In general, users with the Teacher role have permissions that allow them to moderate a course, view course data, and direct daily course communications. However, these permissions may vary among institutions.
Canvas for Elementary
Canvas for Elementary is a Canvas setting that displays a simplified interface and experience designed for young learners. Your institution may have this enabled for your course(s).
Course Structure Resources
- Resources from Instructure’s Instructional Design Team
- Canvas Enrollment Status Comparison
- Canvas Course States Comparison
- Higher Ed Canvas Users Group
- K12 Canvas Users Group
- Getting Started with Canvas in 10 Steps (Faculty)
- Teacher Quick Start Guide
For a visual representation of how to get started with Canvas as an instructor, view the Getting Started with Canvas as an Instructor Flowchart.
For a visual representation of what students can view and access course content, view the Student Course Visibility and Participation Flowchart.
To watch a short video series on setting up a new Canvas course, view Set up your Canvas course in 30 minutes or less.
The Canvas Instructor Guide has over 600 articles that each answer a question that relates to using the Canvas interface as an instructor. Each article also includes Next and Previous links so you can easily navigate to related content.
User Account Setup
Before you can do anything in Canvas, you'll need an account and the URL for your institution's Canvas website. View the articles below for help with setting up your account, logging in, and managing your user settings.
Use QR Code to Log In
Theres a very simple way to log in to the Canvas Teacher app. In the web version of Canvas, if you click the Account link in the Global Navigation menu, you'll see a QR for Mobile Login link. After opening the Canvas Teacher app on your mobile device, scan that code. You will be instantly logged-in, without having to worry about connecting to your school and retyping your information.
Canvas has four main areas: Canvas Dashboard, sidebar, Global Navigation menu, and course interface. The articles below show you how to navigate Canvas and use a few of the tools that link across all your courses.
- How do I use the Dashboard as an instructor?
- How do I use the Global Navigation Menu as an instructor?
- How do I view all my Canvas courses as an instructor?
- How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor?
- How does Canvas work as a supplement to face-to-face courses?
- How do I embed a Guides article inside a Canvas course?
- How do I manage my Canvas notification settings as an instructor?
- How do I use the Inbox as an instructor?
- How do I use the Calendar as an instructor?
- How do I get help with Canvas as an instructor?
Canvas provides several tools that allow you to create a course and add content for your students. View the articles below for information on setting up your Canvas course.
Each course includes various features where you can share course content, hold discussions, assign coursework, grade student submissions, and much more. View the articles below for some of the basics of Canvas courses.
- How do I create an assignment?
- How do I assign an assignment to everyone in a course?
- How do I use the Course Navigation Menu as an instructor?
- How do I use the Syllabus as an instructor?
- How do I create a discussion as an instructor?
- How do I use Files as an instructor?
- How do I use the Gradebook?
- How do I add a module?
- How do I create a new page in a course?
- How do I add users to a course?
- How do I edit user roles in a course?
- How do I create a quiz with individual questions? (Classic Quizzes)
- How do I create a quiz using New Quizzes?
- How do I add and modify text in the Rich Content Editor as an instructor?
- How do I get to SpeedGrader from an assignment, quiz, or graded discussion?
- How do I use SpeedGrader?
Learn more about Canvas features in the Canvas Basics Guide.
Canvas on Mobile Devices
Canvas Teacher App
- How do I download the Teacher app on my iOS device?
- How do I log in to the Teacher app on my iOS device with a Canvas URL?
- How do I log in to the Teacher app on my iOS device with a QR code?
- How do I use the Teacher app on my iOS device?
- How do I download the Teacher app on my Android device?
- How do I log in to the Teacher app on my Android device with a Canvas URL?
- How do I log in to the Teacher app on my Android device with a QR code?
- How do I use the Teacher app on my Android device?