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Canvas - Instructor Quick Steps to get started

Here are some basic instructions on how to get started in your Canvas course if you don't know where to begin.

Create New Announcement

Course > Announcements > + Announcement
  1. Access a Canvas Course
  2. Click the Announcements link in the Course Navigation.
  3. Click the Add Announcement button.
  4. Add a title to the Announcement.
  5. Add text in the content window.
  6. Click the Save button.

Create a Module

Course > Modules > Add a New Module > [Name] > Add Module
  1. Access a Canvas Course.
  2. Click Modules on the left side of your screen.
  3. Click the + Module button at the top right corner of your screen.
  4. Give your Module a name. Examples of Module names: “Course Information”, "Week 1", "Lesson 3: Fractions", "Chapter 5: Spreadsheets", etc.
  5. Click Add Module. Your new module will be added to the Modules page. Any additional modules you create will be added below existing modules.

Add Content to Module

Course > Modules > Add an Item > [Name] > Add Item
  1. Choose a designated course, click the + button to the right of your named module to add content. The Add Item window will display.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select the type of content you want to add to your module (Assignment, Quiz, File, Content Page, Discussion, Text Header, External URL, or External Tool).
  3. Find and select your item (name if necessary).
  4. Click Add Item. Your item has been added to your module.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for any other content you want to add to this module Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning

Upload a File

Course > Files > + Upload
  1. Access a Canvas Course.
  2. Click Files from the course navigation on the left side of screen.
  3. To upload, click the Upload button.
  4. Browse for your desired file or folder and click Open
  5. (Optional) Navigate to the folder to which you want to add the file. If you do not specify a folder, Canvas adds the file in the main Files directory.
  6. Select the file, and then click Open. In some browsers, you can drag and drop the files from your computer to Canvas.
Note: To add a new folder, click Add Folder on the right and type a name for it. Click outside of the box to enter the name.

Hide Unused Course Navigation

  1. Prior to publishing a course, it is recommended that any unneeded navigation links at the left are hidden from the student so as to simplify their navigation and direct them. Hiding a link does not disable the tool, it just hides it from student view.
  2. Access a Canvas Course.
  3. Click Settings within the course navigation on the left side of screen.
  4. Select the Navigation Tab at the top.
  5. Drag and Drop unused menu items from the top section to the bottom section.
  6. Click Save.

View Course as a Student

  1. Prior to publishing a course, it is recommended that you view the course under Student View in order to test it fully before it is published.
  2. Access a Canvas Course.
  3. Click Settings within the course navigation on the left side of screen.
  4. Click the Student View button.
  5. Preview the course as a student, click on all items to fully test the course. You can take quizzes, view grades, access all links as a student.
  6. Click on Leave Student View at the bottom right when done with the preview.
Note: Items that are unpublished, locked or made unavailable by the instructor throughout the course will not be available in the Student View. This means that they will also not be available to enrolled students.

24/7/365 Canvas Support is available through the help icon in Canvas, by calling the phone support for faculty, staff and students or email us directly at

Keywords:announcements, modules, files,   Doc ID:98780
Owner:Stephanie S.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2020-03-12 13:43 CDTUpdated:2021-04-01 11:27 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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