Basic Course Creation
Never created a Canvas site? Below are the first ten steps to getting up and running (Students can visit First Steps for Students).
We recommend using the Chrome browser (See minimum system requirements). Instructor Canvas apps are available for iOS and Android.
A 17-minute overview of the content below
1. Log in and view Dashboard
After logging into Canvas, instructors will see their courses in the Dashboard. Unpublished course shells are created automatically in Canvas a few weeks before the start of each quarter and instructors, TAs, and students are added based on their affiliation in Axess. If you are an instructor and don’t see your course in the Canvas dashboard, verify you have been added in Axess, then contact the Canvas team for help.
2. Update Profile and Notifications settings
Click Account and introduce yourself to students by updating your Profile. You can also change your account notification preferences and your course notification preferences (this doesn't affect students' notification preferences, just your own).
3. Import course content
Select Settings > Import Course Content to import selected components of old courses if they exist, including Announcements, Files, and Assignments.
4. Add and manage files
Add files one by one or in bulk then set usage rights and publish them. You can also set access rights and visibility.
5. Add Syllabus
Adding your syllabus to the Syllabus tool in Canvas automatically publishes it to syllabus.stanford.edu even if your Canvas course is currently unpublished.
6. Get to know your students
Your students are visible in Roster Photos, which can include their preferred pronouns and name pronunciation, if they've provided it (Students can select preferred pronouns and record name pronunciation in Axess).
Note: To print, choose the Name Only or Photo Only options, since pronouns can't be printed.
7. Choose a Home Page
Set your Course Home Page to the style that matches your course:
- Course Activity Stream to show Announcements and Assignments
- Syllabus if you've added a robust syllabus
Modules and Pages – Front Page are also options you can learn more about in Next Steps.
8. Add and remove navigation links
Hide items in the Course Menu that you don’t intend to use (e.g., Chat) by going to the Navigation tab in Settings. There you can also add hidden tools to the Navigation. After changes, be sure to save at the bottom of the page.
9. Publish content
Publish Files (along with Modules, Assignments, Quizzes, Pages which you will learn about in Next Steps).
Because your course is unpublished by default, students won't see these and no course notifications will be sent.
10. Preview and publish course
Use Student View to see how everything will look to students, then go to your Home page and click Publish Course to make your course available to students or see Next Steps for more you can do before publication.
Next Steps: Manage and organize your course
Still need help?
Visit the Instructors section of this site to learn about additional resources or Contact the Stanford Canvas Team.