In each of our courses, you can find the Online Course Resources tab on the course navigation bar, which will take you to a library of helpful documents about Canvas. Here are a few quick and dirty highlights from that library along with our recommendations to get you started.
Your profile is a helpful tool for establishing your presence in Canvas. It will remain consistent across the UW System—regardless through which campus you take a course. We recommend you include the following in your Profile:
- Contact information
- Short bio
- Professional organizations
- Links to your LinkedIn profile or any other professional website
- Good quality, professional-looking photo (square is best to avoid stretching the photo)
- How do I edit my profile in my user account as a student?
- How do I add a profile picture in my user account as a student?
Set up notifications to stay on top of the course.
You can choose whether to be notified via email or text (text is only available for Grade- and Announcement-type notifications). The Canvas Mobile App is another way to receive notifications.
You can also choose the timing: right away, once a day, once a week. Keep in mind that the two digest options (once a day and once a week) may not display the content of the message posted in the course. For example, a submission comment in a digest email will just say there was a comment left on your submission; notification right away would tell you what the comment said.
We recommend setting at least these items to Notify me right away.
- Submission comment
- Discussion post
- Added to conversation
- Conversation message
- Conversations created by me
Discussions are often a major part of our Canvas courses. The platform offers ways you can personalize the experience and make it work best for you. For example, you can view and sort discussion replies or even search for replies by a specific student.
You can subscribe to whatever discussions you like. We recommend at least subscribing to the Ask the Class discussion so you can stay on top of any questions and answers about the course.
By default, discussion posts are automatically marked as read as you scroll past them, but many students prefer to change their settings so they manually mark them as read. This allows you more control; for example, perhaps you want to mark as unread discussion replies to come back to later.
- How do I view and sort discussion replies as a student?
- How do I subscribe to a discussion as a student?
- How do I change discussion settings to manually mark discussion replies as read as a student?
- How do I mark discussion replies as read or unread as a student?
The Grades tab will show you your grades and any comments the instructor has left for you. Be sure to check it often so you can monitor your progress in the course.
Each of the icons in the Grades tab means something important, so make sure to check out the guide below.