Looking for Canvas templates, like those provided by the Office of Digital Education? Visit our Templates page, where you can find the relevant files as well as instructions on how to install them.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is the online learning management system (LMS) used at Temple. In addition to serving as a central repository for course materials, Canvas provides a broad palette of tools for collaboration, communication, assessment, and feedback that help instructors achieve their learning goals beyond the confines of the class session. Canvas can enhance student engagement with course content, streamline the grading process, enrich teacher-student and student-student interaction, and promote positive learning experiences and outcomes in both face-to-face and online learning environments.

The CAT is Here to Help You!

Whether you are using Canvas for the first time or you are an experienced Canvas user looking to explore some of the more robust Canvas features, we at the CAT are here to help! We offer a host of resources, workshops, trainings, and support services to help the Temple community get the most out of Canvas. We look forward to sharing how Canvas can be used to create the best teaching and learning experience possible for you and your students.

A Challenge, but also an Opportunity

If you are new to Canvas, think of the process of building a Canvas course as a chance to take a step back and evaluate your course and how you teach it, starting with a “blank canvas.” Think about your learning goals: what skills and knowledge you want your students to develop and gain from your course, and in turn, what kinds of assessments and activities do you want to employ to achieve those learning goals? Explore how some of the tools that Canvas provides might help you to build upon what has worked for you in the past, leave behind those things that perhaps did not, and devise new ways to push your teaching forward in pursuit of your learning goals.

Get Started with Canvas

The information on this page will point you toward resources, materials, and support services available to help you set up your Canvas course. We are continually developing new ways to help faculty learn Canvas, so visit this page often for new training opportunities, information, and announcements.

When planning and preparing your course, it is important to maintain student privacy and follow copyright regulations. Click here to read privacy and copyright guidelines for online material.

Find Help and Support

Canvas 24/7 Support

Canvas Tier 1 support is available to the Temple Community.  You and your students will have access to this service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

Help Desk

The Computer Services Help Desk is staffed by professional consultants who are trained to assist you and your students with technical issues.   You can contact the Computer Services Help Desk in a variety of ways: 

  • Website: Use the Request Help tab on the Computer Services home page.  
  • Phone: 215-204-8000.
  • Walk-in: The TECH Center, Room 106.
  • Live Chat: Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday/Sunday: noon to 4:00 p.m.
  • E-mail:

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT)

The CAT team are looking forward to showing you how to design your Canvas course to meet your course goals and the needs of your students. A variety of services are offered:

Get Started with Canvas

First Steps

Start by cleaning your LMS closet. Before you set up your new Canvas course, take a critical look at the content in your current course materials and also how you'd like students to navigate them. Is the content still relevant to your learning goals, or do you need to think about new additions to your course? Is it easy for students to find what they need in your course? Have you provided opportunities for communication and collaboration? Is your content accessible? If not, this is a great opportunity to think about making PDFs and PPTs accessible. Once you’ve reviewed these materials, start with a blank Canvas shell and start building your new learning experience.

What’s Next?

Learn How To Use Canvas

Canvas How-to's

A complete Table of Contents of How-To Guides provided by Canvas.

Design and Customize your Canvas Course
  • Design an Accessible Canvas Course.
  • Set Up your Canvas Menu for Course Navigation.
  • Use Course Settings to view and edit course details and to setup the way students will navigate your course.
  • Add your preferred contact methods and set your Notification Preferences.
  • View and use Global Navigation to provide quick access to your course content and features, set up Notifications to your students, and more.
  • The benefits of the Course Calendar to add events and assignments.
  • Publish your Canvas course to make your course visible to your students.


Organize your Course Content in Canvas


  • Organize your course content using Modules to control the flow of your course, organize your content, and to create self paced instruction.
  • Learn the differences between Canvas Pages and Modules and find out which feature to use for your specific course needs.
    • Create Modules to organize your course content assignments, and activities in one single convenient location.

Create and Add Content

  • Find out how Pages store content and educational resources that include text, video, and links to files and other course or group content.
  • Use Canvas Files to house course assignments, syllabi, readings, or other documents.
  • Use the Rich Content Editor to add and format your course content.
Work with Students and Participants
  • Use Student View to see how everything will look for students before publishing.
  • Find and add students to your Canvas course.
  • Use the People page to view and manage students who are enrolled in your course
  • Publish your Canvas course to make your course visible to your students.
Facilitate Student Communication and Collaboration in Canvas
  • Create Discussions to encourage online asynchronous discussions among your students.
  • Enable multiple students to work together on the same document using Collaborations.
  • Set up Groups to enable your students to collaboratively work on assignments and projects.
  • Share important news will all of your students using Announcements.
    • Tip:  Use Delay posting Announcements if you’d like work on a draft version.
  • Interact with your students in real time using Chat.
  • Use Inbox as an instructor to send messages to students or groups from within Canvas.
Assess, Grade, and Monitor your Student Work


  • Monitor Student Activity Performance using Analytics.
  • Create Assignments to obtain student work online.
    • Tip:  Set due dates in your Assignments to .enable the Canvas Calendar and Notifications to commuicate timely information to your students.
    • Tip:  Mute Assignments to hold student grades until all assignments have been graded, and then release grades (Unmute) to all students at the same time.
  • Enable Peer Review in Assignments to let your students provide feedback to one another
  • Create a Rubric to set criteria and share your expectations with your students.
  • Create student Outcomes in your course.

Grading and Monitoring

Tests and Quizzes

What do I need to know about student privacy and copyright law?

As you are creating or updating your online classes, it is important to follow policies and guidelines for sharing Zoom Recordings and uploading content to your online courses.

We've collected some guidelines and tips to help you follow best practices around student privacy and copyright restrictions. You can read them here.

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