This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page covers Canvas setup, the transition from Connect, Canvas features, and Canvas training and support.

Initial Setup

Go to canvas.ubc.ca and log in and your account will be created!

For new courses: All course sections in the UBC course calendar will be automatically created in Canvas approximately two weeks after the course calendar is published. If your course has been added to the UBC calendar but does not appear in Canvas, please contact the Learning Technology Hub for assistance.

Labs, tutorials, and courses offered through UBC’s Affiliated Colleges (e.g., Carey Theological College, Regent College, Vancouver School of Theology) need to be created manually in Canvas. Please contact your faculty's Instructional Support Unit or contact us here at the Learning Technology Support Hub for assistance with getting course sections added to Canvas. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance (ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca).

Accessing previous courses: At the end of each term, Canvas automatically sets courses to concluded and converts them to a read-only archival state. At UBC, courses are set to concluded eight weeks after the last day of class.

If your courses was not "starred" or favorited before it was concluded, it will no longer appear on your Canvas Dashboard. However, you can view all your concluded courses by navigating to your list of Past Enrollments on the All Courses page in Canvas (Courses -> All Courses -> Past Enrollments). Learn more about concluded courses.

We recommend using the most recent version of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari when accessing Canvas. If you prefer to use another browser, make sure it's been updated to the most recent version. Please see the Canvas documentation on supported browsers for more information.

Canvas offers a number of roles—including Student, TA, Teacher, and Designer—each of which is associated with its own permission settings. This chart shows the permissions granted for each Canvas role.

You can also view how Canvas roles are assigned to UBC instructors and TAs, based on their teaching duties as identified by the Teaching Assignments & Section Management (TASM) duty mappings.

Transitioning from Connect to Canvas

Instructors who have previously used Connect should be aware that UBC permanently decommissioned the platform at the end of August 2018. Connect is no longer available for teaching courses.

If you haven’t yet moved your Connect courses to Canvas and don't have a plan in place for doing so, please contact your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UBC Okanagan) for assistance.

Each faculty developed its own timeline for transitioning Connect courses to Canvas, with the first wave of courses being offered in Canvas in September 2017. UBC announced that Canvas would be replacing Connect in June 2017.

You have the option of moving your Connect course material to Canvas or building a course from scratch in Canvas. Instructors have access to Canvas training and support that can help you with either approach. We highly recommend getting in touch with your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning at (ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca) (UBC Okanagan) for assistance throughout this process.

For more information about downloading your Connect course content, check out our step-by-step guides to exporting course content from Connect and importing course content into Canvas.

We’ve heard from other institutions that have transitioned from Connect to Canvas that building a course in Canvas often results in a better experience for students. Newly built courses can take full advantage of the unique features offered in Canvas.

If you would like to rebuild your course in Canvas, we recommend that you first contact your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning at (ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca) (UBC Okanagan). They can assist you with the rebuild or point you to resources that will guide you as you rebuild your course.

Some items in Connect will import to Canvas better than others, and you might have to manually transfer some files and rebuild other content. Imported content will need to be reorganized in Canvas.

We’ve compiled a Connect to Canvas guide that explains which Connect content can be transitioned to Canvas and how it will appear in the new system.

Connect was decommissioned on August 31, 2018, and is no longer a production system. To ensure that you continue to have access to your Connect course content, we recommend downloading any Connect courses you would like to retain as soon as possible. For more information about how to do this, check out the step-by-step guides to exporting course content from Connect and importing course content into Canvas.

Please see this post for more information about the decommissioning of Connect at UBC.

This step-by-step guide takes you through the process of exporting course content from Connect, and this guide shows you how to import course content into Canvas.

UBC selected Canvas in June 2017 and made a gradual transition to Canvas during the 2017/18 academic year.

Given this project’s gradual implementation timeline and the diverse ways that instructors use learning management systems, each faculty developed its own plan for transitioning to Canvas. Some faculties chose to move a significant number of courses to Canvas in September 2017, while others decided to delay until later semesters for the majority of their courses. However, all faculties moved to Canvas within one year. As of September 2018, Connect is no longer available for teaching courses.

When compared with other large R1 research universities that have implemented Canvas, UBC completed this transition relatively quickly. This approach was chosen in an effort to reduce the amount of time that students and faculty use two systems and to ensure that the community can benefit from Canvas—a more user-friendly system that better meet their needs—as soon as possible.

Features and Tools

Canvas comes with numerous internal tools that will expand teaching options for your courses:

  • SpeedGrader allows instructors to view, score, and provide audio, video, or written feedback on assignments.
  • A syllabus is automatically generated for each course, based on assignments and events within that course.
  • Your Conversations Inbox functions like email within Canvas.
  • Chat allows students and instructors to interact in real time.
  • Pages are used to store course content.
  • Modules allow you to organize your course content, creating a one-directional linear flow that guides students through the path they should take in your course.
  • ePortfolios allows students to collect and showcase educational projects and other work. This content can be made public or private.

External tools such as iClicker, Kaltura, and Piazza are also integrated with Canvas. Please see the Canvas tool integration timeline for more information.

Yes! There are currently no plans to decommission Blackboard Collaborate, and Collaborate can continue to be used independently of Canvas. Please contact the Learning Technology Support Hub if you require access to Collaborate.

Integration of Blackboard Collaborate with Canvas may also be possible in future.

External tools such as iClicker, Piazza, UBC Blog, and iPeer are now integrated with Canvas. Please see the Canvas tool integration timeline for more information about the tools that have been integrated with Canvas. If you require a tool that has not yet been integrated with Canvas, we recommend contacting your Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver), the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UBC Okanagan), or the Learning Technology Support Hub to discuss your needs.

Canvas does not include the internal blog and journal tools offered in Connect, and some tools you’re familiar with from Connect will function differently in Canvas. The Connect to Canvas guide outlines some of the differences between the features offered in Connect and Canvas.

Yes, there is! Faculty and students can download Instructure’s Canvas mobile app from the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android devices). For more information about Canvas apps, please see Instructure’s mobile app guides. Look for ‘The University of British Columbia’ when adding your school.

Canvas uses responsive design, and can also be used on your mobile device without an app.

Yes, Canvas is cloud based. This means the storage and access of your course data, information, and material is performed over the internet rather than on your own PC, Mac, or mobile device. Information and material that you and your students add to Canvas will be securely stored in Canada by Amazon Web Services and managed by Instructure (rather than by UBC). This meets the requirements of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Training and Support

Students who are new to Canvas will want to check out A UBC Student's Guide to Canvas. This guide includes a blog written by students on our very own Canvas Project Team, as well as an FAQ and information about available Canvas support.

UBC has contracted for 24/7/365 telephone, email, and chat support from Canvas for one year, which is available to both faculty and students from within Canvas. Students can also contact the IT Service Centre.

If you’re based in Vancouver and have questions about Canvas, transitioning from Connect, or technical issues, we recommend contacting your faculty's Instructional Support Unit. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance (ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca). Faculty and staff can also contact the Learning Technology Hub for support.

Instructors and students can access chat, email, and phone through the Help menu within Canvas. Support is provided by Canvas representatives. UBC has also hired Canvas Tech Rovers to support instructors with the transition to Canvas.

Yes, you can! If you're based at UBC Vancouver, please contact your faculty's Instructional Support Unit or contact the Learning Technology Support Hub, and we can assist you with getting a Canvas sandbox. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning (ctl.helpdesk@ubc.ca).


What if I still have questions?

We recommend reaching out to your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UBC Okanagan) if you have questions about using or transitioning to Canvas.

All faculty and staff are also invited to call, email, or visit the Learning Technology Hub with any questions or comments you might have about using Canvas.