Canvas Orientation for Students

This document will provide you with a quick tour of the Canvas digital learning environment.

Getting to Know Canvas

Before getting started on your course in Canvas it can be helpful to view the Canvas Overview video. This will provide a quick tour of the learning environment and introduce to you some commonly used Canvas terminology. While this will provide you with some basic information about Canvas, you can always access the Canvas Student Guides for a more detailed description of the tools and how to use them or self-enroll in the Canvas Student Introduction Course.

For a brief overview of the Canvas digital learning environment watch the Canvas Overview video below.

200 - Canvas Overview for Students from Canvas LMS on Vimeo. (3min 58sec)

Communicating with your Instructor and Peers

There are multiple ways to communicate with your instructor and your peers from within the Canvas learning environment. Your instructor will likely utilize one or more of the following tools: 

Announcements: When you access your Canvas course you will see the three most recent announcements listed at the top of the course Home page. To see additional announcements, click on the Announcements link on the course navigation menu. 

Discussions: Many instructors require full-class and/or small group discussions. Often times, instructors will create an "ask the instructor" style discussion topic which allows you to ask your instructor and your peers for clarification about such facets of the class as assignments, due dates, and other course-related questions. Links to individual discussion topics should be available from the course Home page. Graded discussions will also appear in the Assignments tool.

Inbox: You can send email-style messages to your classmates and instructor by using the Inbox tool. Messages will be retained in Canvas and sent to your campus email account. The Inbox can be accessed through the dark gray bar, called the global navigation menu, along the left-hand side of the screen. 

For a brief overview of the Announcements, Discussions, and Inbox tools watch the Communication video below.

211 - Communication from Canvas LMS on Vimeo. (5min 43sec)

Managing due dates and Submitting Assignments

Calendar: You can use the Calendar tool to keep track of your due dates throughout the semester. From the Calendar tool, you will see all of your assignment due dates and upcoming events for each of your classes in one convenient location. You can also change your calendar view to see events by day, week, month, or agenda list.

Assignments: The Assignments tool is where you will find quizzes, graded discussions, and online submissions (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.). Links to individual assignments should be available from the course Home page. You can access them directly through the Assignments tool or the Syllabus tools from the course navigation menu.

For a brief overview of the Calendar and Assignments tools watch the Assignments Overview video below.

213 - Assignments Overview from Canvas LMS on Vimeo. (2min 38sec)

Getting Help with Canvas

You can click on the Help icon in the global navigation menu and request help directly from Canvas 24/7. Through the Help icon, you can submit a problem report, start a chat session, and locate the technical support phone number. This is a great new service, and we hope you will take full advantage of it.

If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or

Keywords:canvas   Doc ID:85292
Owner:Jennifer H.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2018-08-28 12:06 CDTUpdated:2019-06-14 09:08 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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