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How do I access Canvas?

  1. Go to and log in using your employee email address and password.
  2. If you do not know the password to this account, you can reset it by visiting
  3. Click on Canvas once you are logged in.

How do I find my course on Canvas?

  1. When you log in, you should be on the Dashboard page. If you are not, click on Dashboard.
  2. Click on the square that represents your class (e.g., Covenant Theology (FA-20 ST300.C)).
  3. If you do not see your class on the Dashboard, click on Courses on the left side.
  4. If you still do not see it in the list that appears on the left side of the screen, scroll down and click on All Courses.
  5. When you find your class, click on the link to go to the course site. 

How do I add courses to/remove courses from my Dashboard?

  1. Click on Courses in Canvas, then scroll down and click on All Courses.
  2. To add a course to your Dashboard, click the star next to the course you want to add (the star should turn orange).
  3. To remove a course from your Dashboard, click the star next to the course you want to remove (the star should turn white).

You cannot add courses to the Dashboard from most past semesters.

How do I update my Notification Settings?

  1. Click Account (under the picture icon on the left).
  2. Click Notifications.
  3. Choose the notification settings that fit your preferences:
    1. The checkmark means immediate notifications.
    2. The clock symbol means you’ll get once daily notifications, around 6pm Central Time.
    3. The calendar symbol means you’ll get notifications on Saturdays between 11am and 1pm.
    4. The x symbol means you will never receive notifications about a particular item. 

Some recommended settings:

  1. Announcement Created By You: click the checkmark for immediate notifications. (This way, you will know whether your announcement was sent out successfully.)
  2. Invitation: click any option except the “x” to be notified about any invitations you receive to join classes.
  3. Discussion and Discussion Post: click either the checkmark or the clock symbol, so that you are notified when a student creates a discussion and/or posts in a discussion.
  4. Conversations Message: click the checkmark or the clock symbol to be notified about messages students send you.
  5. Conversations Created by Me: click the checkmark for immediate notifications. (This way, you will know whether your message was sent successfully.)
  6. Global Announcements: click the checkmark or clock symbol to be notified the same day about global announcements that apply to you. (“Global” typically means an announcement sent by Academics or IT; these are rare, but when they are sent, they are important.) 

How do I email my whole class in Canvas?

NOTE: If you want to email specific students, please see How do I email specific students in Canvas?

  1. Go to your class in Canvas and click on Announcements on the left side.
  2. Click the blue +Announcement button in the top right corner.
  3. Give your announcement a title.
  4. Write the body of the message in the larger text box.
  5. Include an attachment, if you like (though the Announcements tool only allows one attachment at a time).
  6. You can also add links to various Canvas pages within your announcement.
    1. To do this, find the buttons that say LinksFiles, and Images over on the right side (or, if your browser is not maximized, it could be down at the bottom of the page).
    2. You can put a Link to various items (pages, assignments, quizzes, announcements, discussions, modules, course navigation). 
    3. If you click on Files, you can link to any document that is already posted within Files.
    4. If you click on Images, you can link to any images you have uploaded to that Canvas course already. You can also upload a new image directly from this page.
  7. Once your announcement is written, scroll down to the options at the bottom.
    1. Of note are the options to Delay Posting (you can choose at which time you want your announcement to go out), Allow Users to Comment (if you choose this, please take the time to check for student comments!), and Allow Liking (which is certainly not necessary, but might help you gauge how many are reading your announcement within Canvas).
  8. Once you’re ready, click Save at the bottom. This will send the announcement to students, auditors, faculty, and staff who are listed in the course (or, if you’re delaying posting, will put it “in the queue” to send at the time you selected). 

How do I email specific students in Canvas?

Note: if you want to email your entire class, please see How do I email my whole class in Canvas?

  1. Go to Canvas and click on the Inbox tool on the left side. 
  2. Click the pencil icon at the top center of the page.
  3. Select the course the student(s) is/are taking.
  4. Type the student’s name in the “to” box (it should show up there).
  5. Type the subject of your email.
  6. If you want each student to receive an individual message, check the box for this option.
  7. Type your email. (Note that the Inbox tool does not allow for any text editing, such as bold, italics, or underlining).
  8. If you want to send your students a video comment, you can do this by clicking on the button with the arrow in the bottom left corner of the message box. You will need to allow your browser access to the camera and microphone if you would like to do this. Click Start recording, and record your message. You can also upload a video using this tool.
  9. If you would like to attach a file from your computer, you may attach up to ONE file using the paperclip icon.
  10. Click Send. You may receive a copy of the message you sent if your notifications are set up for this. (Note: if you want to check your notification settings, please see How do I update my Notification Settings?). 

How do I set up my Canvas gradebook and assignments?

Setting up the weighting of groups (i.e., categories) in the gradebook

  1. Go to your course in Canvas, and go to Assignments.
  2. If you have never built an assignment in this course, please click on the three dots next to +Assignment.
  3. Click on Assignment Groups Weight. 
  4. Then check the box next to Weight final grade based on assignment groups, and click Save. 

 Creating the groups (i.e., categories)

  1. Go to your course in Canvas, and go to Assignments.
  2. At the top, click +Group.
  3. Type the name (e.g., “Reflection Papers”) and the percentage that this category takes up (e.g., 20%).
  4. Click Save.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

Note: Canvas will not auto-check your math to be sure your percentages add up to 100% - please be sure to check your math!

Creating Assignments

  1. Click the +Assignment button in the top right corner.
  2. Type the title of the assignment.
  3. Include instructions if applicable.
  4. Specify the number of points the assignment is worth.
  5. Choose the appropriate Assignment Group (e.g., Reflection Papers).
  6. Choose the Submission Type:
    1. For most situations, you will choose “Online.”
      1. When you choose “Online,” you will need to specify a method of submission. This will typically be “File Upload”. If you like, you can also specify the type of file you want students to upload by typing, e.g., docx, but it is not necessary to specify file types.
    2. In the rare instance that you will be collecting papers in person, choose “On Paper.”
    3. If students will not be turning anything in (e.g., for a participation grade), choose “No Submission.”
  7. If your assignment requires students to complete a Peer Review process, check the box beside Peer Reviews (for more on this, see How do I set up a Peer Review process for my assignment?).
  8. Specify a due date for your assignment.
  9. If you do not want your assignment to be available indefinitely, specify a time when you want it to become available (under Available From) and when you want it to stop being available (under Until). If it does not matter when the assignment becomes available and stops being available, please simply leave the Available From and Until fields blank.

    Tip: Make the Until date at least a few days after the due date of the assignment. This allows for extenuating circumstances, and for assignments to be turned in late.

  10. Click Save and Publish if you are ready for students to view your assignment. If you are not ready for them to see it yet, click Save, but do not click Publish until you are ready. 

Creating Quizzes and/or Exams

Setting up the Quiz Format

  1. Go to your course in Canvas, and click on the Quizzes tab.
  2. Click +Quiz at the top.
  3. Type a title for your quiz.
  4. Type instructions for your quiz, if necessary.
  5. Choose the correct Assignment Group.
  6. If your quiz needs a time limit, type in the number of minutes needed.
  7. You can Allow Multiple Attempts if needed by checking the box beside this.
  8. The next box controls whether/how/when students see their quiz results.
  9. There is also an option to show one question at a time, if you check the box here.
  10. You can choose a Due date for your quiz (though this is optional).
  11. The Available from and until dates control when your quiz becomes available to students and when it stops being available to them, respectively. These dates are also optional.

    If you choose to use these dates, it is recommended that you set the Until date a few days after the Due date, to allow for late submissions. 

  12. Click Save. (Or, if you’re ready to publish your quiz, click Save & Publish.

Adding Questions

  1. Click on the quiz to which you want to add questions.
  2. Click Edit at the top. 
  3. Click on the Questions tab.
  4. You can click + New Question to add a question. 

    Note: If you add a question group, Canvas will automatically shuffle all of the questions within the group.

  5. Be sure to Save often as you are adding questions!
  6. Finally, when you are finished with your quiz, be sure to Publish it so that students can see it. 

Setting the grade release settings (important!)

  1. In your Canvas course, click on Grades.
  2. Click the Settings wheel in the top right corner.
  3. Click the tab called Grade Posting Policy.
  4. Click the button beside Manually Post Grades.
  5. Click Update. 

    Note: if you do not do this setup, students will receive an email any time their assignment score is changed—therefore, we highly recommend enabling this setting, so that you can release everyone’s grades once you’ve graded all of your assignments.

How do I grade assignments and quizzes in Canvas? 

Grading Assignments

  1. Click on Assignments in your Canvas site.
  2. Click on the Assignment you want to grade.
  3. In the upper right corner, click SpeedGrader.
  4. There are several grading tools available to you here (these are covered below, moving from left to right):
    1. If you want to download the assignment, you can press the download arrow on the left. (This is NOT recommended, because then you will have to re-upload the graded assignment.)
    2. You can choose which page of the assignment you’d like to see by entering a number or by using the arrows to move forward or backward in the assignment.
    3. You can rotate the file if needed with the arrow pointing in a circle, near the middle of the toolbar.
    4. You can zoom in or out using the + or – signs near the middle of the toolbar.
    5. You can make the assignment fullscreen with the line button (the arrows point both ways).
    6. The next button to the right is the arrow—it is probably already selected, and functions just like a mouse pointer.
    7. You can leave a comment bubble with the next button (it looks a bit like a hot air balloon).
    8. You can highlight text with the next button.
    9. You can type a text box with the capital T button.
    10. You can strikethrough text with the crossed-out S. I recommend that you leave a comment for students if you do this, so they understand why you have crossed out their text.
    11. You can draw freehand with the paintbrush button.
    12. You can create a larger text box with the square-shaped button.

      With many of these tools, you can choose the color you’d like it to be in the top left, right under the toolbar.

  5. When you are finished grading, please enter the final score in the right-hand column (in the box under Assessment). This grade will save automatically.
  6. You can leave a comment if you like, as well. You can type a comment in the box, attach a file, make a video comment, or leave an audio comment. Whichever you choose, please click Submit when you are finished to save the comment. 
  7. Release grades to students when you have graded all of the quizzes (see Setting the grade release settings). 

Grading Quizzes

  1. Click on Quizzes in your Canvas site.
  2. Click on the Quiz you want to grade.
  3. In the upper right corner, click SpeedGrader.
  4. Enter the appropriate number of points for each question.
  5. To save your work, even if you are not finished with grading, scroll to the bottom of the quiz and click Update Score.
  6. Once you’re finished, you should also click Update Score.
  7. The overall score should show in the right-hand column. 
  8. You can leave a comment if you like, as well. You can type a comment in the box, attach a file, make a video comment, or leave an audio comment. Whichever you choose, please click Submit when you are finished to save the comment.
  9. Release grades to students when you have graded all of the quizzes (see Setting the grade release settings). 

Other tutorials and resources

Here are a couple of brief videos made by Dr. Robert Kim about how to grade papers in Canvas.

How do I release grades and assignment comments to students? 

  1. Before following these instructions, please do the setup outlined in Setting the grade release settings.
  2. Go to Grades.
  3. Hover over the assignment title until you see three dots appear. Click the three dots.
  4. Select Post Grades.
  5. You will be asked whether you want to post grades for everyone or only for everyone graded.
    1. Posting grades for everyone is a good idea if all of your assignments are graded.
    2. Posting grades only for those graded is a good idea if you have a few late assignments that haven’t been turned in yet, but you’d still like to release grades for everyone else.
  6. Click Post.

How do I set up a Peer Review process for my assignment? 

Set up peer-review

  1. Click the Assignments tab on the left side of your screen.  Scroll down to find the assignment for which you want to add a peer review. Click the Edit button (with a picture of a pencil) on the top right of your screen. You will see a page of options.
  2. If the peer review will be graded, set the points under points and how you would like to display the grade.
  3. If the peer review will not be graded, make sure to set the points at 0 and display the grade as Complete/Incomplete. Click the square next to Do not count this assignment towards the final grade. You will see a checkmark in the square when it is selected.

    You must enter something in the Display Grade as section in order for the Peer Review option to appear. If you put Not Graded, the peer review will not appear as an option for you.

  4. Choose the submission type. Usually this is “online” and “file uploads.” This will allow students to upload their assignment for peers to view. Canvas will automatically make the file available to the peers you have chosen to review the assignment once the file is submitted.

  5. Under the Peer Reviews section, click the square next to Require Peer Reviews. You will see a checkmark in the square when it is selected.

Assign peer-reviews

Now that peer-review is set up for an assignment, you can customize how you assign them.


If you would like to automatically assign peer reviews, Canvas can do this for you. You should click the automatically assign peer reviews option. You will not want this option if you would like to separate groups by time zone or according to other pre-assigned or student-selected groups. Also, Canvas does not seem to recognize which students are auditors, so if you have auditors, this option would assign them peer reviews.


If you would like to manually assign peer reviews either to groups you have selected or to groups the students have self-selected and informed you about, click the manually assign peer reviews option.

Assign Peer-Reviews
  1. In the Assign section of your assignment editing options, make sure Everyone is selected and set the due date for the day the DRAFT is due.  Students will submit their draft on this assignment and then review the assignments of peers after this date.
  2. Click Save at the very bottom of your screen.
  3. After you have saved the editing you did for the assignment, the next screen that appears shows the assignment directions as saved.  Now, you should see on the very right side of your screen a list of Related Items. One of these items should say Peer Reviews in bold. Click on Peer Reviews to set the groups for the peer reviews.
  4. If you chose to automatically assign peer reviews, on the right side of your screen, you will see Automatically Assign Reviews and a box with the number “0” reviews per user.  In this box, enter the number of reviews you want each student to complete. Then, click Assign Peer Reviews.
  5. If you chose to manually assign peer reviews according to student-selected or teacher-selected groups, you will need a list of these groups.  If groups have previously been set up for this course in your People tab, you may want to print out a list of groups from this tab (see below).

To assign the peer reviews, you will see the blue words, Give __STUDENT NAME__ another submission to assess+. Click these words. A tab that says [Select Student] will appear. Click the tab to scroll down through the list of students.  Find the student whose work you would like this student to review, and click add. The name of the student whose work they will review should appear under their name. Add any additional reviews this way. Then, do the same for each student.

Auditors will also appear on this list, so you will want to be aware of which students they are so they do not receive review assignments.

 When you have entered reviews for each student, click the grey box Assign Peer Reviews on the right of your screen. The review assignments are complete! Click Back to Assignment or another tab to exit.

What happens after peer-reviews are assigned?
  1. Students will submit their drafts.
  2. The drafts will automatically become available to their assigned peers. They can find these under the assignments tab when they click on the draft assignment. The drafts will be available to view or download. Their assigned peer drafts will also appear on their Dashboard on their home screen to-do list. They should click their classmate’s name which appears in blue.  A page will open which will allow them to view or download their classmate’s assignment and comment. 
  3. On the right side of the screen, they will see Add a Comment and a text box under that. They may add one or more comments here and click Save. They may also attach a file of their comments by clicking the blue Attach File option underneath Add a Comment.
  4. Once at least one comment is added, this will be shared automatically with their peer, and the review assignment will show as completed.
  5. The student will need to repeat this process for the work of each assigned peer.

It may be helpful to create a separate Assignment with no submissions or grade with the due date for the Review. This will remind the students to complete the reviews by the due date and will appear on their Dashboard and to-do list as a reminder. Otherwise, they will receive a reminder only of the draft due date but not of the review due date.

Printing Peer-Review Groups

On the left side of your screen, you will see the tab People. Click this.   Then, look toward the top middle of your screen and click the tab next to Everyone that says either Groups or Project Groups. You should be able to see your groups.  If you see only group names with no student names under them, click the small triangle to the left of each group name, and the student names will appear. To print, right click any white space on the page with your mouse and select print.

 Frequently asked questions about grading

What if I want instructor/TA comments to be anonymous?

This is possible! But you have to enable this setting first. To do so, go to Settings, and then Feature Options (at the top). In the list that appears, Anonymous Instructor Annotations is the fourth button from the top. Toggle the button to turn on this feature. Then, go to your specific assignment, and check the box beside “Anonymous Instructor Annotations.” Then click Save. Comments will now appear as anonymous, rather than showing your name or your TA’s name.

How do I enter a numerical grade in SpeedGrader?

You will enter the grade in a box on the righthand side of the screen, above the comments box. Be sure to click Submit to save the grade.

I remember in Sakai, I used to have to download assignments. Do I still have to do that in Canvas?

No! Thankfully, you can do all of your grading right within Canvas. See How do I grade assignments and quizzes in Canvas? for more information.

Do I need to email the papers to my students to return them?

No! Please see How do I release grades and assignment comments to students? for more information on that topic.

My question is not listed

If your question is about using the technology itself (Canvas, Zoom, Panopto, or Calendly), you may email Alissa Cline at with your question. If you're having trouble with logging in, or if you're having computer/browser problems, please contact IT at 

How do I copy content from a different Canvas site?

  1. Go to the new Canvas site into which you want to copy content.
  2. Click on Settings on the left side (at the bottom of the list).
  3. Click on Import Course Content (on the right side).
  4. In the box next to Content Type, select Copy a Canvas Course.
  5. Type the course name (the old course which has the content in it) in the box next to Search for a Course.
  6. Select either All Content or Select Specific Content.
    1. If you choose All Content, everything will be copied over.
    2. If you choose Select Specific Content, you can choose what will be copied (this is useful if, e.g., you only want to copy certain files, or a quiz, or you want to exclude certain categories such as Announcements from being copied over).
  7. You may opt to Adjust Events and Due Dates if you wish, though this may not change all dates you want to be changed.
  8. Click Import.
    1. If you chose Select Specific Content, click the button that appears that says Select Content.
    2. Put a checkmark in the box next to what you would like to copy. If you want to specify certain content within a category, click the arrow next to the category to expand it.
    3. Once you have selected everything you want to copy, click Select Content.
  9. Wait for the content to copy. It should take no longer than two minutes.

How do I build Modules in Canvas?

Online classes often use Modules to organize weekly content and assignments; however, Modules can be a great way to organize content in general. Here's how you can build modules and add content to them.

Building Modules

  1. Go to your class in Canvas and click on Modules.
  2. Click the blue +Module button at the top of the page.
  3. Name the module (e.g., Week 1: 1/25-1/30).
  4. Click Add Module.
  5. Repeat for as many modules as you need to build.

Adding Content to Modules

  1. Click the + at the top of the relevant module, on the right (it's gray).
  2. There will be a dropdown menu at the top showing you your options (to access the menu, click on Assignment):
    1. Assignment: choosing this option allows you to select an assignment to add to your module. After you choose Assignment, you can then choose which assignment to add by clicking on it in the larger box below Assignment.
    2. Quiz: choosing this option allows you to select a quiz to add to your module. Click on a quiz to select the one you'd like to add.
    3. File: choosing this option allows you to link a file directly into the module. This is useful if you want students to read an article during a particular week, refer to a particular document while watching a video, etc. Click on a file to choose the file you'd like to add to the module.
    4. Page: choosing this option allows you to link a Page to the module. You may not have any pages created; if you don't, you can disregard this option.
    5. Discussion: choosing this option allows you to add a link to a previously created discussion to the module (e.g., Week 1 introductory discussion). Click on the discussion you would like to add to the module.
    6. Text Header: choosing this option allows you to type headings within your module to set certain sections apart from others (e.g., "Lectures," "Zoom link," "Assignments," etc.).
    7. External URL: choosing this option allows you to add a link to a site outside of Canvas. You can also use this to add a link to your Zoom meetings. After you select this option, you will need to copy the link in the URL box and the text you want displayed in the Page Name box.
    8. External Tool: There are several options here (recommended options are in italics).
      1. Arc: this is the software we USED TO USE for video recording. Please DO NOT USE THIS.
      2. Attendance: this is Canvas's attendance tool for residential classes. It requires the professor to call the roll each day, so we do not recommend using it at this time.
      3. Chat: this creates a space where students can chat with one another.
      4. Google Drive: this allows you to link Google Drive documents to your module.
      5. Library (EBSCO): this allows you to link a library resource from our own library's database into your module! 
      6. Office 365: this allows you to link an Office 365 document into Canvas (all faculty, staff, and students have an Office 365 account through Covenant Seminary).
      7. New Analytics: this allows students to see their course activity (and only theirs). We have not used this yet at Covenant Seminary.
      8. Panopto Video: this is Covenant Seminary's platform for video recording, whether inside the classroom or at home. You can insert a video housed in Panopto using this link.
      9. Quizzes 2: this is a new Quizzes tool that is still in beta-testing within Canvas. If you're interested in enabling this in your course, please contact Alissa Cline.
      10. Vimeo: you can link a Vimeo video with this link.
      11. YouTube: you can link a YouTube video with this link.
  3. IMPORTANT: After choosing what you want to add, click Add Item. 
  4. To enable your students to see the item, you will need to Publish it - you can do this by clicking in the white circle to the right of the item so that it turns green and has a checkmark in it.
  5. Repeat by adding the other items you would like to the module.


  • Don't forget to publish your module. You can do this by clicking the white circle with a line through it to the right of the module title. If the module itself is not published, nothing in it is visible to students (even if those items themselves are published!).
  • You can leave modules and/or items unpublished if you don't want students to see them just yet. This is especially useful if you need to get your Canvas site published, but don't have all the material ready just yet.
  • You don't have to only arrange modules by weeks (though we do recommend the weekly structure for online classes, as it adds an element of structure to a high-challenge environment)! You can have a module at the top with course information (syllabus, etc.) so that the syllabus is always right there for students to access.
  • You can duplicate modules as you are building them. One great way to use this feature is to build one module, add in the needed text headers (Discussions, Lectures, Zoom Meetings, Assignments, etc.), and then duplicate the module. This will cut down on the time it takes you to get your class set up.

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