Canvas FAQ/Faculty Training

Canvas Training Resources

Instructure provides many excellent resources for learning about Canvas. Please explore the following sites for training and information:

Canvas Student Orientation

Students can get a quick introduction to Canvas through the Canvas Student Orientation course by clicking on the Help button in the navigation bar in Canvas.

Online Training for Faculty

To complete Canvas training at your own pace, log in to Canvas and look for the course called New Faculty Canvas Training. If you do not have access to the course, please contact us at

Once you complete the course, you will be given full access to Canvas within 24 hours, after which you can begin building courses. If you have any questions about enrolling in or accessing the training course, please contact us at

In-Person Training

If you prefer to meet with CRIT staff to train, please email us at

General Questions

What is Canvas?
Canvas is a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS). It provides tools to help faculty manage curricular resources and communication with students. Canvas will be your central resource for distributing all of your course materials such as syllabi, assignments, readings, quizzes, surveys, videos, and other media.

How do I log in to Canvas?
Visit Canvas at and log in using your SAIC username and password. You can also use the SAIC Canvas link from the student, faculty or staff dashboard. Canvas supports all major desktop and mobile browsers. You can also use the Canvas app for iOS or Android. When connecting via these apps, our domain URL is

Where can I get help or training for Canvas?
Students can get a quick introduction to Canvas through the Canvas Student Orientation course by clicking on the Help button in the bottom-left corner of Canvas.

Training for Faculty and Staff

To complete Canvas training at your own pace, log in to Canvas. If you are faculty, you have been pre-enrolled in an orientation course called SAIC Canvas Online Training. If you prefer to meet with CRIT staff to train, please email us at If you are staff, you can become enrolled by contacting us at

Are faculty required to use Canvas?
No. However, Canvas is the only learning management system provided by SAIC, and the only course management tool that is supported by CRIT.

Intellectual Property & Copyright: Who owns my content?
Under the Intellectual Property Policy‌, faculty and students generally own the copyright in their academic and artistic works, including course content, unless they have some other agreement with the School or a third party. Here is a pertinent passage from our MSSA agreement with Instructure, which supersedes the standard Canvas Terms of Use and states very clearly that Canvas makes no claim of ownership of your content, either. The referenced sections 3(a) and 4(b) further refine this, and add protection under FERPA:


a). Customer Owned Content. All information, data, results, plans, sketches, texts, files, links, images, photos, videos, audio files, notes, or other materials uploaded under Customer's account in the Service remains the sole property of Customer, as between lnstructure and Customer (Customer Content). Subject to the terms of this Agreement, including without limitation sections 3(a) and 4(b), Customer grants Instructure the right to use the Customer Content solely for purposes of performing under this agreement.

Can I use Canvas for non-academic groups?
If you're interested in using Canvas for non-curricular purposes, please contact us at to discuss your options. We have recently rolled out Google Groups at SAIC, and they might be just right for your needs. To request a Google Group for your non-academic group.

Is Canvas down right now? It seems slow and/or does not seem to be responding.
Canvas has a very good uptime record, but can occasionally experience periods of slow response or even rare outages. You can confirm the current status at the Canvas status page. Instructure also posts status updates and other information on Twitter at @canvaslms.

Using Canvas

How do I create a course in Canvas?
PeopleSoft automatically creates courses for you. Once faculty complete the required Canvas training,  CRIT will update your enrollment (within 24 hours) to edit and publish it, making it visible to students.

How do I communicate with my students in Canvas?
You can communicate with your entire class or individual students in Canvas by using Announcements and Inbox Conversations. The Canvas Inbox is distinct from your SAIC email, and you do not send email using Canvas. When you send a message through the Inbox, or post an announcement in your course, a notification is sent to students. Teachers and students have the ability to decide how, and how often, they want to receive notifications. Canvas can send notifications to your SAIC email, a personal email address, text message, Twitter, Facebook, or other services.

Please note that your course must be published before you can use Canvas to communicate with your students.


If you want to send a message to everyone in your course, announcements are a good way to do this. Students can always find them on the Announcements page in your course, and you are the only one who can delete them. Students can reply to announcements, which works similarly to a content thread on an article. Replies are visible to everyone in the course. You can choose to disable comments on announcements.

How do I make an announcement?
How do I disable comments in announcements?


You can use the Inbox to send a message to everyone in your course, or to individuals. Student replies to your Inbox messages are visible only to you and that individual student, unless you make it a group conversation with multiple students.

How do I compose a message?
How do I send a message to multiple individuals?
How do I send a message to an entire class?

When will my courses appear in Canvas? Some are missing!
This depends on if you are faculty or a student.

  • Faculty: Courses are added to Canvas when the course schedule for a semester is finalized, usually several months before a semester begins. However, courses are invisible to students until you publish them.

  • Student: If you are a student and some of your courses appear to be missing in Canvas, it may be because your instructors have chosen not to publish them. You can check your complete course schedule in SAIC Self-Service.

Can I add students to my course?
No. SAIC Self-Service automatically adds students to courses based on enrollment. If you wish to add a TA or Observers, please follow these instructions.

How do I add a teaching assistant or observer to my course?
You can add a TA or observer to your course by following these instructions.