Canvas is the campus-wide learning management system (LMS) for publishing instructional information online at U-M. It is highly interactive, offering instructors a central online resource to provide students with access to all of their course-related materials (e.g. assignments, lecture recordings, quizzes/exams). It also offers a robust set of features including simple site design, the ability to send announcements or hold discussions, easy incorporation of media, accessible learning analytics, and online grading capabilities.
Canvas External Tools
In addition to the built-in features, there are a number of external tools (also called LTIs or apps) available that extend the functionality of Canvas. Some tools may require licenses and/or have an associated fee, and instructors may need to contact the tool provider for additional details. A full list of external tools in U-M Canvas is available on the ITS Canvas External Tools page.
How to Access Canvas
Canvas can be accessed by any U-M instructor by visiting canvas.it.umich.edu. Canvas sites are automatically created for all U-M courses prior to the start of each term. After logging in, instructors should see a list of their available course sites in the central dashboard, and be able to immediately start adding content.
New to Canvas?
If you’re seeking to begin or improve your course in Canvas, start with the Course Evaluation Checklist.
Our full list of articles is also available in the Canvas for Instructor’s knowledge base, but here are our Top 10 tips for getting started:
Ten Things Instructors Should Know When Using Canvas – Handout Version (pdf)
My Learning Analytics
ITS has recently launched a new feature called My Learning Analysis (or MyLA), which can be added to Canvas. This tool is now available for both faculty and student use, and enables users to view performance metrics per student course participation. Read more here: https://its.umich.edu/academics-research/teaching-learning/my-learning-analytics
Canvas Video Tutorials
Listed below are videos provided by Canvas that offer a broad overview of various components within the Canvas LMS.
Welcome to Canvas
Creating a Course
- Course Creation
- Importing Content from a Previous Course
- Cross-Listing Sections
- Course Homepage
Content in Canvas
- UDOIT – Course Accessibility Checker
- Check your course for accessibility issues with UDOIT (2021 Canvas Virtual Summit)
- Canvas Content Management and Accessibility
- How do I use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor as an instructor?
- Canvas Content Accessibility
- Library: Digital Accessibility
ITS manages Canvas for the University, so questions or problems with using the service can be addressed directly by their Service Center. In addition, they offer an extensive set of online documentation, including a Quick-Start Tutorial for U-M Instructors. Introductory workshops are also scheduled throughout the term, and are available to all U-M faculty and staff (registration will be required). Information on all upcoming Canvas workshops around campus, including links to register, are available on the Teaching and Technology Collaborative website.
Nexus, Michigan Engineering’s online and professional education program, is also well qualified to support Engineering faculty using Canvas. Refer to their Canvas Course Setup for Online Learners document, and their video tutorial: