Using Canvas Tools

Getting Started

Canvas basics

Lecture Capture with Studio and Panopto

Zoom Web Conferencing

Groups are like a smaller version of a Canvas course site. They're used as a collaborative tool for students working together on group projects and assignments.

Creating Student Groups and adding students

Publish each Module, Quiz, Assignment, Page, File, and Discussion, as well as your course site

In Canvas, you will publish your course site to make it visible to students, and you must also publish any modules, quizzes, pages, assignments, files, and discussions in your course site. To publish these items, click the little gray circle icon to toggle it to green.

Publishing content toggle

Enabling and hiding tools

You can choose which tools are visible to students in the left navigation menu.

  1. Click Settings at the bottom of the menu.
  2. Click Navigation along the top. 
  3. Drag items between the upper and lower lists to hide (disable) or make them visible (enable) to students. 
  4. IMPORTANT:  Click Save.  You may need to scroll down to see the Save button.

Navigation links in blue text are displayed to students. Navigation links in gray text are hidden from students.

You can also change a feature’s position within the menu: click an icon to the right of a feature and then use the “Move” up-down arrow.  Then click Save.

More about reordering and hiding tools

Canvas tools

Tool by tool in alphabetical order


Announcements allow you to communicate with your students about course activities and post course-related topics.


Assignment creation sequence: add an assignment group, create an assignment shell, edit the assignment details, and add content.


The Calendar automatically syncs with other features in Canvas, such as Assignments, Syllabus, and Grades.


The Chat tool allows students and teachers to interact in real time.


Conferences are used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and student groups.


Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions.


Doc Viewer is a tool in the Speedgrader that allows the instructor and peer review annotations on online assignment submissions.


The Files feature is where you upload course files, syllabi, readings, or other documents. Instructors can lock folders so students cannot access the files.

Grades and the Gradebook

The Gradebook stores all information about student progress in the course, measuring both letter grades and course outcomes.


Modules allow you to organize your content to help control the flow of your course.


Pages are where you can put content and educational resources that are part of your course but don't necessarily belong in an assignment, or that you want to refer to in multiple assignments.


With Quizzes, you can create a graded or ungraded quiz, exam, homework assignment, or survey.

Rich Content Editor

The Rich Content Editor allows you to create new content (assignments, announcements, discussions, blogs, etc.) within Canvas. It supports embedding any video content, math formulas, and other rich media.


Rubrics are a way to set up custom or outcome-based assessment criteria for scoring.


SpeedGrader allows you to quickly access and efficiently grade student work. You can view, annotate, comment on, and grade submissions without downloading and re-uploading files, all from a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Anything graded in SpeedGrader is automatically recorded in the grade book.

Student View

The Student View allows instructors to see the course as a student views it.


The Syllabus has three parts: description, calendar and table.

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