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 https://canvas.usask.ca.
  2. Click the button in the Canvas PAWS channel.

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 https://students.usask.ca dedicated to student Canvas information and resources. There is also a self-guided training course specifically for students that is accessible from the Training and Development Catalog in PAWS.

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

Through the USask Sites platform, it is possible to get each student in your class set up with their own WordPress blog. Before doing this, you should have already got in touch with DEU (via deu.support@usask.ca or through this webform) and told them that you are wanting to set up blogs for your class; they will assist with setting up a WordPress home site for your course. See the DEU Blog for case studies and info on Syndicated WordPress Blogs in USask courses.

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 (gmctl@usask.ca) or Distance Education Unit (deu.support@usask.ca).

The Course Development Toolkit provides templates, samples and checklists to support a basic online course design and development process prior to offering a course. Templates include a Course Design Plan for brainstorming and blueprinting your course to an online format and a Module Template to organize weekly content and activities for online presentation.

If your course is available to students via banner, it will be automatically created for you once students can register, and show up when you log in to Canvas at https://canvas.usask.ca/.  It will appear as a tile with your course name, along with any other courses you teach as an Unpublished Course in your Canvas Dashboard.

If you are looking for a “test” course to do some early design and development in or you want to make something that does not require registration, you need to request a new course by submitting this form and selecting the 'Creating a course' option.

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

Follow our step-by-step guide for importing your Blackboard content into Canvas. 

If you have Panopto videos from your Blackboard course that you'd like to bring over into Canvas, please follow the instructions below:

Teaching Assistants (TAs) in Canvas

A USask TA Training course is available in the Training and Deelopment PAWS Channel. It is a self-guided course that TAs can self-enroll in.

TAs are welcome in any of the professional learning sessions being offered for instructors as well.

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.