Getting Started with Canvas


1.     Go to, and sign in using your SFU credentials.

2.     On the right-hand navigation panel, click on Start a New Course.

3.     You will then want to select Create a Course for Myself.

4.     Click continue, and once you do this, you will be prompted to select a type of course. Select credit course.

5.     Once you do this, the course form will provide you a list of suggested courses. If you see your course there, you can check the box next the course name and select the Create Course button.

If you do not see your course listed, you will need to search for your course by term and course name. Once you have located and selected your course, you need to check the checkbox that appears to the left of the course name below the search field. Once you select this, it will appear in your list of Selected Courses and you can then click the Create Course button.

6.     Students will automatically be added to your course shell within a few hours. This will be synched from the SIMS roster.


1.     Click the People link in the course navigation sidebar.

2.     Click the Add People button in the right hand corner.

3.     You will have the option of using an email address, login ID, or SIS ID if it is a current SFU student or employee. You will want to use their login (computing) ID to add them to the course.

Chose the role you want to add, choose the section, click next in the bottom right corner of the window.

4.     Click add users in the bottom right to add the user, or start over if you change your mind.


Once you have opened up your Canvas shell (Clicking into the course), there are a number of functions that are detailed in our full documentation. These are just the basics to get you up and running as fast as possible.

Creating an announcement

1.     Click announcement in the navigation column on the left.

2.     Click the + announcement button.

3.     Enter subject and description.

4.     Click save.

Creating a Discussion

1.     Click discussions in the navigation column on the left.

2.     Click the + discussion button.

  1. Enter your topic title in the topic title field.
  2. Use the Rich Content Editor to format your content.
  3. You may attach a file to your discussion.
  4. Create a threaded replies by clicking the Allow threaded replies checkbox.
  5. Create a graded discussion by clicking the Graded checkbox.
  6. Make your discussion available on a certain date by filling out the Available From and Until fields.
  7. Click the save button to publish the discussion.
  8. Click the publish button.
  9. If you want to edit the discussion, you can come back to the discussion button of the navigation tab, selecting your discussion, click the edit button, and the editor will pop up for you to make edits.

Creating Modules to Organize Your Content

1.     Click on Modules link in the course navigation sidebar.

2.     Click the + Module button.

3.     Enter the module name, and click the Add Module Button.

Adding Content to Modules

1.     Click the icon on the top right.

2.     Choose the item you want to add from the drop down list. Then click the Add Item button in the bottom right.

Creating Assignments

1.     Click on the Assignments link from the Course Navigation sidebar on the left.

2.     Assignments are categorized into Assignment Groups which are created by instructor. Using Assignment Groups allows you to organize the assignments in your course and to weight the final grade based on groups.

Clicking on an assignment name will give you more details about the assignment.

3.     On the Assignments page, click on the Add icon in an assignment group header to add an assignment to an existing group. 

4.     Set the Assignment type by selecting the type drop-down menu, enter the Assignment title in the Name field, click the Calendar icon to select a due date, or manually enter a due date, and enter the number of points for the assignment in the points field.

5.     Click the Save button. If you want to edit the assignment details now, click the More Options button

6.     Alternatively, you can click on the Add Assignment button and specify the group later. This will enter you straight into the assignment details.

Editing Assignments

1.     On the Assignments page, click on the assignment name.

2.     Click on the edit button.

3.     Edit assignment details in the corresponding fields.






Instructor inquiries

Contact IT Services:

Support for traditional distance courses (sections C100, C200, C300, C400):

Continuing Studies/Lifelong Learning:

For more help with your class, please contact the Centre for Educational Excellence