Distance Learning & Instructional Technology

Use the Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas is UNTD’s official Learning Management System. Content should not be posted to any other sites in order to protect student privacy, copyright and other compliance issues.

Accessing Canvas

How to log into Canvas.

As a semester scheduled is being finalized, the Office of the Registrar communicates with the Office of Distance Learning and course “shells” are automatically created for all courses. Course creation is based on courses listed in Class Search for a given semester and is an automated process. This is done regardless of whether the course is face-to-face, hybrid, or fully online – all courses have a course shell. A course “shell” is a blank website that is for your course only. It starts completely empty of any content.

Once logged in, you should see a listing of current semester courses on your Dashboard. If you don't see the course you are looking for, select "Courses" then scroll down and select "All Courses" for a complete listing of courses you have access to.

Faculty enrollments in Canvas and Canvas courses are automated based on assignment to a course as the instructor of record with the Office of the Registrar.

Faculty enrollments in Canvas and Canvas courses are automated based on registration in a course as the student  with  the Office of the Registrar. This enrollment process takes place one week prior to semester start.


Information provided to students accessing Canvas

Courses will be available on the scheduled start day of the course at 12 AM. Please login and verify your course(s) are listed on the first day the course begins. If you do not see the class listed, notify your Professor first to insure the course has been published and can be accessed.

IMPORTANT: Complete the online Canvas Student Orientation found at http://bit.ly/UNTDCANVAS prior to beginning you course(s) to better understand how to navigate Canvas. As an additional resource, refer to the Canvas Student Guide for help documentation found by clicking “HELP” on the left-hand navigation in Canvas.

Course still Not Showing after the semester begins?

  • Make sure that you are officially enrolled in the course with the Registrar Office.
  • Contact the Professor to make sure the course has been made available to students.
  • Select Courses then select All Courses to find the complete course list.


Identifying Key Tools and Functions within Canvas

If you are new to using Canvas, this basic introduction to key Canvas tools and functions will help.

Announcements: Instructors can create class Announcements which students will see when they enter the course. If students opt to receive notifications of Announcements, they will receive an email or text notification. The benefit to using Announcements is that the messages are archived in the course Canvas site.

How To Get Started

Syllabus: The Syllabus in Canvas makes it easy to communicate to your students exactly what will be required.

How To Get Started

How to Upload your Syllabus

Option 1: Upload Directly to Files Using Replace

When you upload a file via the right sidebar content browser the file resides in Files section of your course. When it comes time to make revisions to the document you can either find the local copy on your computer or download the file from files. DO NOT change the file name. Make your revisions and save the document to your local drive with the exact same file name. Then in Canvas upload file directly to Files section of the course. Be sure to select the same folder where the file is in the Files section of your course. A dialog prompt will appear. Choose the replace option. Everywhere the file is linked it will be updated. Please note if you upload the file via the right sidebar content browser, this dialog prompt WILL NOT appear. A duplicate of the file will be created. The file must be uploaded directly to Files Section in the same location where the file is stored.

Option 2: Copy and Paste Text in Rich Content Editor

Open your Word document and copy all the text of your document. In Canvas go to the syllabus page of your course. Click Edit to display the rich content editor. In the editor box paste the text. The paragraph structure will remain but you may need to reformat text where necessary.

Option 3: Use a Web Service to Store Your Syllabus 

With this option you can use a service such as GoogleDrive or Microsoft OneDrive to link or embed your document. See the following resources for more details. 

FilesInstructors can upload key course documents, like the syllabus, readings, and Power Points and link these items in course Modules or on course pages for clear, easy to manage course navigation.

How To Get Started

Assignments: Instructors can create space for students to upload submissions, from informal reflections to formal written assignments and projects. Instructors can select the grading approach within the assignment. Assignments are best for instructors who wish for the students’ work to only be viewed and assessed by the instructor.

How To Get Started

Calendar: The Calendar in Canvas is a global feature that allows all Canvas users to view assignments and events from all courses in one place.

Pages: Instructors can create content for students to read or access that is not already created in a separate website or in a Word Document or other kind of document. These Pages are then easily be linked to Modules for easy access adding to the consistent course flow and navigation.

How To Get Started

Discussions: Instructors can create threaded, written discussion forums for students to engage in written (or audio/video) dialogue with each other and respond to written prompts.

How To Get Started

Groups: Groups are a small version of a course and used as a collaborative tool where students can work together on group projects and assignments.

Quizzes: Instructors can create quizzes or exams to access student learning. These quizzes would be completed online and can easily be linked to Modules for easy access adding to the consistent course flow and navigation.

How To Get Started

Modules: Instructors can organize course content into several chunks or groups of learning content, which is best practice and highly recommended in the online environment. The pieces of information that students will access, including the syllabus, assignment sheets, activity descriptions, and outside links and resources, can be grouped together in the order that students might access those resources during a synchronous or asynchronous class session creating a consistent, easy to follow course navigation. Modules can give students access to readings, activity descriptions, outside links, and assignment submission links all in one place.

How To Get Started


Pedagogical Recommendations

  • Set up a discussion for students in Canvas. Use specific, structured questions, and let students know expectations for their responses and participation.
  • Share links to outside resources. Encourage students to watch videos, read articles, etc. Make use videos offer captioning and/transcripts for ADA/Accessibility requirements.

Accessibility Suggestions

  • Create and annotate your PowerPoints with notes and save as PDF and share this with students using Canvas or email. PDF is easier to access and read on mobile devices. Refer to How to Create Accessible Content.
  • Create transcripts of video or voice over presentations in Word and save as PDF and share this with students using Canvas or email. PDF is easier to access and read on mobile devices. Refer to How to Create Accessible Content.