Getting Started with Canvas
Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) that has been in use at Middlebury since 2016. Also see:
Logging into Canvas
Midd faculty, students and staff can log into Canvas with the Midd username and password.
Creating a Site
Faculty can create Canvas sites from the Course Hub. Please note that sites created through the Course Hub will NOT be available students until the site is published. (see: Setting up a Site below)
1. At the Course Hub log in and click on the manage resources button to the left of each course listing.
2. Click on the add a resource button:
3. Choose Canvas from among the different options available:
4. By default your Canvas site will be created as unpublished to give you a chance to add content before students can see it.
Once you are ready to give students access, you can publish the Canvas site by going to your Canvas site and clicking the publish button in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Please note that you will also need to publish the components that you are using (for example: Modules, Quizzes, Pages, etc.)
Sharing a Site between multiple sections (aka Connecting Canvas sites)
If desired, Canvas sites can be shared by multiple sections. (Sometimes referred to as "connecting" sites or sections.) For example an introductory language course may have three lecture sections that are being taught in tandem and wish to share assignments, quizzes, and all other course content. A shared Canvas course is easy to set up:
- One instructor will create the Canvas site via the Course Hub as described above.
- They will then go to the Class site.
- Click the People menu item on the left hand side of the screen and add the instructors of the additional sections as "Teachers" of the Canvas site.
- Note the id of the Canvas site -- it is the number at the end of the Canvas site's URL. E.g.
- Have the other instructors go to their Course Hub sites. On each of their Course Hub sites they will add a Canvas resource and enter the Canvas site's id in the "Connect to an Existing Canvas Site" field before saving the resource.
When the additional sections' Course Hub sites are connected to the existing Canvas site the Course Hub will automatically add their rosters to the shared Canvas site. Each Course Hub site will synchronize its own roster and add/remove students as they add or drop the section.
Reusing (importing) a Canvas site from a previous semester
We recommend the following process for reusing course content from Canvas sites in previous semesters:
- Go to the old Canvas site and use these instructions to export content from the old site.
- Follow the instructions above, titled "Creating a Site." (You want to create a new Canvas site, not connect to an existing one.)
- After the Canvas site has been created, follow the link to the new (empty) Canvas site.
- Go to "Settings" and click the button on the right hand side of the screen titled "Import Content into this course"
- Follow these instructions to import the course content.
Using the "Import" process will allow you to use the same content as a previous semester but without the old student data (grades, forum posts, permissions, etc).
Accessing a Course Site
Both faculty and students can also access existing course sites from the Course Hub. The owners of a Course Hub site (i.e. the instructors of the course) can decide whether links in the Course Hub to Canvas sites are visible to the public, to the Middlebury community or only to members in the class.
It is also possible to access Canvas course sites from the Canvas dashboard page, which shows a list of all the courses a given user is a participant in.
Adding Participants or Co-Teachers to a Site
When a Canvas site is created via the Course Hub, all registered students are automatically added to the site as participants in the role of students. As additional students register for the course or decide to drop the course, the Course Hub will update the Canvas site participant list.
Please note: Students who audit a course must register as auditors before they can get access to the course site. If you would like to add an auditor to a Moodle site, consult I_have_a_student_who_is_auditing_my_course_but_s/he_cannot_access_the_Moodle_course_site. in our Moodle FAQs.
Participants in the Canvas site that have the role of "Teacher" (i.e., faculty) can add additional participants to a Canvas site by following these instructions.
- NOTE: Not everyone in the Middlebury community will be listed in the Canvas directory, only people who have logged into Canvas at least once. If your search for someone do NOT find that person, contact them and ask them to log into Canvas. Once they have logged in, they can be found in the directory and assigned roles.
Adding Audio and Video to a Site
The best way to add audio and video files to Moodle is to use MiddMedia. For step-by-step instructions, see: Using audio/video from MiddMedia in Moodle
YouTube, Vimeo, Kanopy and other hosted video
- Visit the site for the video you would like to embed in Moodle.
- On locate the embed code (often listed under a "share" option). You may be able to customize the video size and settings as desired.
- Copy the video's embed code.
- In your Moodle course, turn editing on.
- In the week or section where you would like to the video to appear, click Add an activity or resource.
- Select Page and click Add.
- Fill out the page name and add a brief description.
- Under Content, in the Page content toolbar, click the Edit HTML Source icon (looks like two angle brackets < >).
- In the HTML source editor, paste the YouTube embed code and click Update.
- Click Save and return to course.
In addition to embedding a video by creating a new Page resource, you can also paste the embed code of MiddMedia, YouTube, Kanopy Streaming, or other online videos into any content field in Moodle that has an editing toolbar, such as Forum posts, Assignment descriptions, and Quiz questions.
Important Note: If you embed a Kanopy streaming video from Middlebury's collection and the user attempts to access the link from a non-VPN connection off campus they will need to login via EZ Proxy to see the video. This is because Kanopy streaming videos are limited to members of the Middlebury College community.
Participating in Activities on a Site
Moodle sites may include activities such as forums, assignments, quizzes. Many of these activities are set up by faculty for students to participate in as part of their course work. Generally instructions for how to participate in the activity are included on the site itself.
Your Moodle Experience
Customize the kinds of email notifications you would like to receive:
- Log into Moodle.
- At the top right, click on your name.
- From the Administration block, click Messaging.
- Customize your notification settings as desired.
- Click Update Profile.
Moodle has extensive inline documentation which is available whereever you see a "?" icon. Click on the icon will pop up a window with documentation of that particular feature/function
In addition to this article and the inline Moodle documentation, below are links to additional documentation sites:
- go/lynda (Lynda includes short, instructional, video tutorials for both Faculty/teacher role and Student roles. Select tutorials for Moodle version 2.8. If you haven’t used Lynda before, start at this page for login advice: go/lyndainfo.)
- Curricular Innovations @ Midd: Sign up for Moodle Users Email Group (right-hand side)