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 their Middlebury username and password by visiting go/canvas

Creating a Site

Faculty can create Canvas sites from the Course Hub. Please note that Canvas sites created through the Course Hub will NOT be available students until the site is published. (see: Setting up a Site below)

1. Once logged in to the Course Hub, click on the "+ Resource" link at the bottom of the course listing.

2. You will see a menu of resource types. The first resource type is "Canvas Resource". Click on the blue linked "Canvas Resource" to begin steps to add it to your course.

3. Next, you will see a configuration page for the Canvas resource. Settings here are optional and should only be changed if you have a specific purpose for doing so. Scroll down and click "Save". It will take a moment for the course site to be created. Wait until you see a link to the Canvas server on your Course Hub page.

4. By default your Canvas site will be created as unpublished to give you a chance to add content before students can see it. The default link to the resource will be "Canvas Site".

Once you are ready to give students access, you can publish the Canvas site by navigating 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.) You can verify the visibility of your Canvas resources by using the Student View function.


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:

  1. One instructor will create the Canvas site via the Course Hub as described above.
  2. They will then go to the Class site.
  3. 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.
  4. Note the id of the Canvas site -- it is the number at the end of the Canvas site's URL. E.g. http://middlebury.instructure.com/courses/123
  5. 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.

Copy Content from One Canvas Site to Another

  1. Create a new site. See "Create a New Canvas Site with Course Hub" directions above.
  2. Review this Canvas Guide with steps to import your Canvas content from a previous term into the Canvas site for a new term.

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.

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.

Request a Canvas Site for Co-curricular, Administrative, or Other Purposes

If you need a Canvas site for a co-curricular program, workgroup, or other purpose, submit a custom Web Help Desk request. You will be prompted to include the following information in ticket details:

  • Request Type: Academic Technology & Software > Canvas Co-Curricular Site
  • Subject: [co-curricular Canvas site for...]
  • Request Detail: [enter any important information or notes, including timeframe for when site needed]
  • Academic Program / Department field: [enter requesting program or dept.]
  • Desired name for Canvas Site: [enter Canvas site name including term; e.g.
    “2019-20 Sustainability Working Group”
  • People in addition to yourself who will require access to the Canvas site field: [enter names of people with Middlebury emails who should have editing access]
  • Term or Duration of Canvas site field: [enter academic term (e.g. Spring 2020) or start end dates if any for site]

Teaching with Canvas

Need Help?

In addition to this article and help available through the help button in Canvas, the following resources are available to you:

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