Technology FAQs

Looking for answers or solution for technical issues? Check out our Canvas IT Support Knowledge Base index pages for students and faculty members.

Accessing Canvas

There are 2 options:

  1. Navigate directly to
  2. Click the button in the Canvas/Blackboard PAWS channel.

You can access Canvas directly by going to A link to Canvas will be added to PAWS as we approach August 2020, when Canvas will begin to be used in live courses.

It is not possible to move student data between Blackboard and Canvas, and as such once a course has begun it is not possible to transition partway through a term. Furthermore, we are providing a carefully designed support and learning plan to help you be as successful as possible in Canvas, and this plan begins well in advance of the first term in which you’ll begin using Canvas so that you can adequately prepare and fully leverage all the tools that Canvas has to offer.

When a term ends, courses on Canvas are maintained and remain accessible to both instructors and students. Courses remain on Canvas for four years after the term ends.

For more information, visit our knowledge base

Using Canvas

We have a separate page on dedicated to student Canvas information and resources. Additionally, we have a blog written by a student to share interesting or useful information about using Canvas.

Please note that the Instructor for the course must Publish the course before communications will function for the course members. See our article on publishing and un-publishing in Canvas here.

View the article on sending a message using Canvas Inbox

Watch our video about using Canvas Inbox and responding to Inbox messages using your email

There is no dedicated Blog feature in Canvas. Instead of a formal blog feature, you can create a page for your students and give them permission to edit the page, allowing it to serve as a blog.

If you require a publicly accessible blog for each of your students please contact to discuss your needs.

There are a number of ways to integrate open educational resources (OER) into Canvas, without concerns about copyright that normally go along with the use of commercial resources. You can:

  • Put links to OER within your course
  • Embed all or sections of an open textbook into Canvas
  • Embed other types of OER such as images, rubrics, or activities into Canvas

For more information about using OER with Canvas and potential funding to support your use of OER, please contact the Gwenna Moss Centre ( or Distance Education Unit (

We have created a USask Default Template that you can use as a starting place as you design/build your course content. Information about this template can be found at the link below.

There are 17 different courses listed on our Supported Learning webpage. Acknowledging that it can be difficult to know the order in which to attend these sessions, we've created a helpful graphic to guide you.

Test courses are courses created for individuals to explore and use the features of Canvas for the benefit of their own learning. It is a safe place for you to try new things without having to worry about reverting the changes or otherwise unintentionally making changes you don't intend to make in a live course. Test courses are typically not used to build real content for courses, although they can be used in this way if you like.

By contrast, your actual courses will have enrollments managed automatically based on student course registration in Banner. Changes you make in those courses will be seen by students, and so you should not experiment in a live course in a way that may adversely affect student learning or have other unintended consequences.

Canvas has a useful import tool to do precisely this! Please see the Canvas documentation for copying content to learn how to do this.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Canvas

A USask TA Training course is available for TAs' Dashboards. Email with the TAs' NSID and we'll add the them to the TA Training course.
TAs are welcome in any of the professional learning sessions run by the Move to Canvas Team. They can register on the Canvas Professional Learning registration site
You can now add people directly to your own courses in Canvas.  Start by navigating to the course you want to add someone to, then:
  1. Go to the People menu item and click the green +People button.
  2. Select Login ID and type the NSID of the person/people you want to add.
  3. Select the desired role for the person/people, then click Next.
  4. Verify the names of the person/people you are adding to your course, then click Add Users.

Using the Canvas Mobile App

Canvas has three mobile apps, all three of which are available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Android. The Canvas Teacher app is designed for course instructors, including features that allow you to post content, review content, grade assignments, and more – all on the go. Teaching assistants are equivalent to instructors for these purposes, and they should install the Canvas Teacher app.

Students have a separate app called the Canvas Student app. This will allow students to view course content, make discussion board posts, check in on their Canvas To Do list, message their instructor, and more – all from within the app.

There is a third app – Canvas Parent. This is intended for Canvas’ K-12 customers, and isn’t used by their higher education customers, like USask. Please ignore this app, as parents will not be able to use this to get information about a student’s progress.

You can do nearly everything in the Canvas Teacher app that you can do sitting at your computer, although the physical screen size may limit how effective certain features are. Still, the app is formatted slightly differently to make better use of a smaller screen to ensure that it is still overall a pleasant experience. If there is any feature that the mobile app doesn’t have, it will open a web browser on your phone where you should be able to complete that task. Here are some examples of things you can do with the Canvas Teacher app:

  • Grade student assignments using Speed Grader and markup the assignment to give students feedback
  • Send a message to your students quickly and easily
  • Post pages in your course
  • Add files to your course
  • Read and post in your class’ discussion boards

Canvas uses a responsive design, meaning it will automatically format Pages to make the best use of the screen. To take full advantage of this, it’s best to paste content into Canvas directly whenever possible, rather than posting files as PDF or Word documents. Also, when you’re giving instructions to your students in Canvas, try not to mention specific attributes of items – for example, a button that is blue in the web version of canvas may not be blue in the app. Similarly, a button that appears in the bottom-right of a screen in the desktop version may not be in the same position in the app.