Canvas FAQ

When a student submits a paper and it is not the correct submission, or they update the file, the best work around is to have the student submit the new submission and name it with the word “final” or something similar in the file name.  At this point in time incorrect submissions cannot be deleted.

It is important that you change your settings in your favorite web browser to accept 3rd party cookies because some features of Blackboard, Canvas and Sakai will not work unless they are enabled.  Also, make sure you are regularly updating your browser and using a recent version. The way to enable cookies is different for every browser and changes between version types and can be different between Mac and PC as well. So the following guide may only apply to the latest versions of the web browsers.

For Firefox version 31.0 browser on a PC:

  • Click on Firefox settings icon that has 3 horizontal lines in the upper right hand corner.
  • Click on the “Privacy" tab at the top
  • On the dropdown menu for History: Firefox will: Click the dropdown menu and change it to use custom settings
  • Click the box for Accept cookies from Site and change "Accept third-party cookies" to "Always".

Here is what that should look like on the Firefox options page:

For Firefox on a MAC computer Version 28.0: Getting to this menu is a little different. You click on “Firefox” and then “Preferences” and then follow the same instructions as above.

For Google Chrome Version 36.0 on a PC:

  1. First find your settings icon in the upper right hand corner. It’s a series of horizontal lines like this:

Note: If you are a Sakai user (as opposed to Blackboard or Canvas) we’ve heard reports that Chrome is not the best browser for Sakai so we recommend using Firefox instead.

For Safari Mountain Lion operating system on a Mac:

  1. Open Safari if it is not already open.
  2. Choose Safari > Preferences, and then click Privacy.
  3. In the “Block cookies” section, specify and change "Block cookies and other website data" to "Never".


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It's a new term, and you want to use material from your old Canvas coursesite into this term's new site. You can copy material, but you'll need to be "instructor" in both sites.

 Important! **Please note that as a general rule you should only perform a course copy once even if you think it didn’t work the first time. If you think it did not work or it worked improperly, please contact us at Report a problem or 346-1942 prior to attempting to do it again. Copying things more than once can create a lot of clean-up work that could otherwise be avoided.

Copying a whole coursesite or most of one:

  1. Go to the new course shell.
  2. Once in that course, click on Settings on the left navaigation bar.  Next click on Import Content into this Course, located on the right navigation bar. 
  3. On the resulting page, in Course Content, click on the arrow to select from a dropdown list.  Select Copy a Canvas Course.
  4. Next on the Search for a course menu, select the course you want to copy from.  You'll get a list of all of the courses you're an instructor for, and will be able to click to select the one you want – please note this could be a very long list. Be sure that you are selecting the right year and term as this is a common mistake people make.
  5. Select the radio button Select specific content.
  6. Select Adjust events and due dates. Then click on the Remove dates radio button.
  7. Next, click on the Blue button that says Import.
  8. A dialog box appeas providing you with all the areas of course content.  Click on the tiny arrows to expand each category.
  9. Click on each item you want to copy.  Be selective, so you don't get things you don't need.  It is important to copy both modules and files! Without files, the modules will be empty.
  10. Once everything is selected, click on the Blue button, Select Content.
  11. Your request will be queued and then processed. When it is complete, there will be a green button that says Completed.  If it is Black there were some issues with the copy.  Click on the issues link to see what didn't copy.
  12. Finally, check Modules, Files, Assignments to make sure everything look as it should after the copy.

You can use this procedure to copy individual items, or a complete course. 

For more details see the Canvas Instructor's Manual.

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They don’t get sent reminders automatically.  When instructors put in Due Dates on Assignments in Canvas, those dates show up on the Calendar.  Any items with Due Dates will also show up on the students’ Dashboard in Canvas, and on the Course Home Page.  The instructor can send a reminder to students who have not yet submitted their assignment by going to Grades and in the Assignment title cell, click on the arrow and it will show a menu. Select Message students who…” Here the instructor can select several options including Haven’t submitted yet.  There isn’t an automated reminder, but the Calendar, To Do list, and Message students who provide some options for the student and instructor to stay on top of due dates.

Create a new Assignment Group and name it Extra Credit.  Assign it a percentage that makes sense for the course. This will be above and beyond the 100% already set up in Assignments and Grades. Keep it unpublished until the end of the term when you want the extra credit to show in Grades. Add the grades, adjust the weight of the group as necessary, and publish the Assignment Group.

When I post announcements I had to keep asking my students whether they had seen the announcements, and I didn’t receive my own announcements.

You and your students can get a notification from Canvas when announcements are posted in your course. Go to your Account and click on Notifications. Under Course Activities you will see Announcement and Announcement Created by You. Both the instructor and students should have these options turned on. They should be set to ASAP, at the end of the day, or the end of the week. Remember Announcements will always be visible on the tile for your course on the student’s dashboard. They will also see them on the Course Home Page if the Course Home Page is set to the Course Activity Stream. 

When creating the Assignment, use the Rich Text Editor to frame the assignment for the students, including requirements, due date, how it will be graded, etc. You can also create or use an existing Rubric for grading, and the students will see it as they read the Assignment description.  The Submission Type is set on the same page.  The options include No Submission (could be a grade for attendance or participation), Online (submitted through Canvas), On Paper (an in class quiz or homework)In addition under Submission Type, VeriCite Submissions can be enabled.  Be sure to, when framing the Assignment for the students, explain how VeriCite will work when assignments for VeriCite review are submitted.

In Canvas, a column in Grades is created when an Assignment is created.  This is very helpful as the name of the Assignment coincides with the name of the item column in Grades.  There is then no confusion, no duplication of grade items, etc.

To request a Canvas course merge, please fill out the course merge request form (linked below) for the corresponding academic term to submit your request. Course merge forms are available when the course shells for the next term have been provisioned which occurs when the official course offerings for that academic term have been published. This survey will organize and prioritize course merges more quickly. We can do a course merge; however, there are restrictions by the registrar to protect student information. You will be asked to provide us with the CRNs, as well as meet/agree to these requirements: 

  • The courses must be the same (BA 101 with another BA 101 (not BA 102). 
  • Also, we do have to hide/disable the use of discussions, people, conferences, and collaborations that may compromise the student information. 
  • Also, you must agree to if you send emails, that you will send them by section (which will be created when the two courses are merged) and not as a whole entire class. 

It is recommended that you begin adding content/creating your course right away, but be sure to let us know which CRN you are using within the request form so we do not delete all of the content during the merge.


To request a course merge, please navigate to the Canvas Updates page to fill out the most current course merge request form.


In Canvas one can copy course components, and do so in a very granular manner.  That is, if one wants to copy only one or two assignments, it can be done.  Go to Settings in the course that the assignments will be copied to.  Click on Import Content into this Course, located on the right side of the page (or at the bottom on narrower monitors/screens.  Then under Content Type select Copy a Canvas Course. Next, select the course from which the assignments are to be copied from.  Click on the Content – Select specific content radio button.  Then click on the blue Import button.  This will add the course copy to the Current Jobs list.  Click on the blue Select Content button.  Click on the tiny arrow next to Assignments. This will show a list of Assignments to copy. Put a check in the checkbox next to each assignment to copy.  Then when all items have been selected click on the blue Select Content button.  This will then start the copy process.  When it is complete there will be a green Completed button under Current Jobs.

Often instructors need to allow students with Incompletes access to the course after it has finished, to complete missing work.

If access to a Canvas course is needed for a student with an Incomplete, the instructor should send an email to containing the students’ names, the course name and number, CRN, and how long the students will need access to the course site.   A Canvas admin will contact the instructor and set-up student access as needed.



VeriCite is now integrated. The option to check to make an Assignment a VeriCite assignment is in the Submission Type section of the Assignment settings.  The SpeedGrader interface now shows the reliability score for Vericite assignments, and allows for annotation of the documents in the SpeedGrader as well. This eliminates the need to create two assignments.


The Due Date is the date by which the assignment must be turned in, or it will be considered late by Canvas. In grades the Assignment Grade will be in a cell with a pink background if it is late. Those that are on time will have a white background in Grades.  If the Available from and Until dates are left blank the assignment can be submitted at any time, but will be marked late if it is submitted after the Due Date.  The Available from date is when the students will see the assignment in Canvas. If they try to look at it before that date, they get a message that the Assignment is locked until the Available from date.  The Available Until date is the date when the Assignment can no longer be submitted to Canvas.  The Until date can be the same as the Due date, and will not allow late submissions after the Until date.

New in Canvas, when an Assignment is Late, a red oval with the word "Late" in the oval will apper in Speedgrader and the item in Grades will have a pink background in the cell.

Past Enrollments in Canvas: Limiting student access to the course

Please review this document that explains how past enrollments function in Canvas and how you can control access to your course after the term ends. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!


Please review UO's Incomplete Policy.

When a term ends, the courses in Canvas are automatically converted into a "read-only" state for up to one year. All students are able to access the course but can no longer actively participate or submit assignments. If an incomplete grade contract has been developed between the faculty member and student, that involves the student having participatory access to the original course in Canvas, then our team can provide temporary access to the student to complete the agreed-upon work. 

Please note as per UO's Incomplete Policy: 

  • A student cannot be added to any other course besides the one they were originally enrolled.
  • Students cannot be granted access beyond a one-year time frame.

To request access for a student completing an incomplete, please open a ticket through the service portal with the following information

  • Course & CRN (ex: WR 121:23544)
  • Term (ex: Spring 2016)
  • Student & DuckID/Email (ex: Puddles Duck -
  • Time frame for access: (ex: please provide Puddles access to the course until June 30th, 2017). 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please don't hesitate to ask a question through the service portal or call 541-346-1942.


Remember Assignments create items that contribute to the structure of Grades. A best practice is to create Reading assignments in Modules on a Content Page.  That page can be used to frame the assignments for the week or unit.  Then any assignments that are graded are created using the Assignment Tool and added to the same module as the Content Page.

Canvas course shells are created by Banner when the official course offerings for that term are published by the Office of the Registrar. Generally, course offerings are made available on the Friday of Week 5 of the previous term. For example, Spring term course offerings will be published on the Friday of Winter term's Week 5. When course offerings are published, courses will be provisioned in Banner and course shells are initiated in Canvas. Typically by Monday, of Week 6, the next term's course shells will be ready to go! 

Please find course shells in the "All Courses" menu in Canvas. If by Week 6, you are not finding the Canvas course for next term, please ensure you are listed as the official instructor of record for that course by viewing If you are not listed as the instructor, please talk to your department, once you are listed and provisioned in Banner, you will be added to the Canvas course in approximately half a day.

Please review upcoming course offering dates in UO's Academic Calendar.