Instructor Getting Started Resources

Below are some general questions and answers about Canvas, the Teacher role, and links to resources to help you be comfortable with Canvas. Visit the Instructor Guides to learn more.


What is Canvas?

Canvas is a Learning Management System. To learn more about Canvas terminology and definitions, visit How does Canvas define the terms used to describe its features and functions? 

Because Canvas is a web-based system, it doesn’t need to be installed on your computer. However, you’ll want to make sure that your computer and web browser meet the basic requirements to run Canvas

What is the Instructor/Teacher role?

In Canvas, the Teacher role is used to enroll users responsible for course creation, instruction, and management. Teachers are also referred to as instructors in Canvas. In general, users with the Teacher role have permissions that allow them to moderate a course, view course data, and direct daily course communications. However, these permissions may vary among institutions.

Canvas for Elementary

Canvas for Elementary is a Canvas setting that displays a simplified interface and experience designed for young learners. Your institution may have this enabled for your course(s).

Course Structure Resources

Additional Resources


For a visual representation of how to get started with Canvas as an instructor, view the Getting Started with Canvas as an Instructor Flowchart.

For a visual representation of what students can view and access course content, view the Student Course Visibility and Participation Flowchart.


To watch a short video series on setting up a new Canvas course, view Set up your Canvas course in 30 minutes or less.

Canvas Guides

The Canvas Instructor Guide has over 600 articles that each answer a question that relates to using the Canvas interface as an instructor. Each article also includes Next and Previous links so you can easily navigate to related content.

User Account Setup

Use QR Code to Log In

Theres a very simple way to log in to the Canvas Teacher app. In the web version of Canvas, if you click the Account link in the Global Navigation menu, you'll see a QR for Mobile Login link. After opening the Canvas Teacher app on your mobile device, scan that code. You will be instantly logged-in, without having to worry about connecting to your school and retyping your information.

Course Setup

Canvas provides several tools that allow you to create a course and add content for your students. View the articles below for information on setting up your Canvas course.

Canvas Feature Options Functionality

Canvas Instructor Resource Documents

Resource documents offer visualizations of information as well as deep dives into various feature or data areas in Canvas. Below are commonly accessed resource documents.