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What is Canvas?

Canvas is the official learning management system of OU Norman and Norman programs at OU Tulsa. Instructors can login at and find their current and previous courses. Below we've provided a Quick Start Guide as well as links to more in-depth Canvas Instructor Guides.

Official Canvas Instructor Guides

Canvas Quick Start Guide

How do I upload my syllabus and other course files?

You can add a file to your course by uploading a file. In Course Navigation, click the Files link. Click the Upload button. Click the title of the file you want to upload and click the Open button. A progress bar will appear at the top of screen tracking the progress of your file upload.

Read More: How do I upload a file to a course?

How do I make the course available to students?

You must publish a course before students can access it and its contents. Students cannot see unpublished courses and content. Additionally, instructors cannot send messages via Inbox unless a course is published. In Global Navigation, click the Courses link, then click the name of the course. In the Sidebar, click the Publish button.

Read More: How do I publish a course?

How can students submit work?

To receive course work from students on Canvas, instructors must first create an Assignment. As an instructor you can choose to have students submit work by uploading files, filling out a text box, or recording media.

Read More: How I can create an online assignment?

How do I grade an assignment?

Once an Assignment is published, a column will appear in the Gradebook. In Course Navigation, click the Grades link. Locate the student name and assignment where you want to enter a grade. To enter a points grade, enter the number of points in the cell and press the Return/Enter key.

Read More: How do I enter and edit grades in the Gradebook?

Instructors also have access to SpeedGrader. SpeedGrader makes it easy to evaluate individual student assignments and group assignments quickly. Once graded in SpeedGrader, the grades will appear in the Gradebook when you are done.

Read More: How do I use SpeedGrader?

How do I have a discussion?

As an instructor you have multiple options for discussions including the option to make them graded and allow threaded replies. In Course Navigation, click the Discussions link. Click the Add Discussion button.

Read More: How do I create a discussion an an instructor?

How can I split my class into groups?

Instructors can create groups for students to collaborate on group assignments, pages, collaborations, and more. Instructors can also allow students to create their own groups.

Read More: What are Groups?

Watch: Student Groups in Canvas

Can I email my students from Canvas?

The Canvas tool for communication is Inbox. Instructors cannot send messages via Inbox unless a course is published. In Global Navigation, click the Inbox link. Click the Compose icon. In the course drop-down menu, select the course where you want to send a message. Click the Address Book icon. When you are finished, click the Send button.

Read More: How do I send a message to all course users in the Inbox as an instructor?

Canvas Teaching Tips

Access more Canvas Teaching Tips from the OU College of Arts and Sciences Online Academics and Technology Services.

24/7 Technical Assistance Canvas Support

If you have questions or are experiencing trouble with this service, you can contact Canvas support directly by clicking on the Help icon in Canvas.

Support is provided through the following channels:

Library Resources in Canvas

The OU Libraries’ Course Materials Canvas tool is designed to help instructors incorporate library materials in their Canvas courses. Instructors can use the tool to build reading lists that include books and articles owned by the library, videos, web resources, and more.

Libraries personnel are available to help input course materials into Canvas; contact Reserves or your Liaison Librarian