Set up Your Canvas Course Site

Teacher figure in front of a laptop with the Canvas logo displaying with a classroom and tools icon on the side

Canvas is the University of Minnesota learning management system. You can use Canvas tools to deliver your course content and learning activities. 

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Set up your devices and software

Make sure you have:

Find your Canvas course site

  1.  All academic courses taught at the University of Minnesota have a Canvas course site that is automatically created. Even if you don’t use Canvas, your course site is available to you, and your students are automatically enrolled in the course site. 
    Canvas: Find Your Course Site
     
  2. The Canvas Dashboard displays all the course sites associated with you. Find the name of your course and the appropriate term (i.e., PSY 1001, 2021 Fall).
    Canvas global navigation on left, Dashboard with example Canvas course cards in center
    Example Canvas Dashboard
  3. When you first enter your Canvas course site, you will see an blank site.
     

    Canvas global navigation on left, course menu, option to create module in center, contextual menu on right.
    Empty Canvas course site
  4. Several online resources provide you with easy access to fundamental Canvas information.
  5. For further guidance, use the Resources page on this site for information on Accessibility, Assessments, Communication, and much more! 

Update and upload your syllabus

Your course syllabus sets expectations for the course teaching and learning experience.

Publish your course site

Welcome your students

Before the semester begins, send an email to your students and TAs providing a description of how the course will proceed. 

  • Use this letter template to send an email to your students.
  • Keep in mind that this initial communication should be sent through your University Gmail account and NOT through the Canvas Inbox. Some students may not yet have access to the course site and therefore would not receive it.
  • You can find your class list and download the roster from MyU.umn.edu.
    1. Click your Teaching tab.
    2. Find your class and click on the Class List link.
    3. Follow the instructions for Option 2: Download a class email list.
  • Remember to include the Canvas course site URL.