Recent Updates

  • For easier grading, you can sort the student list by student name [alphabetically], the date they submitted the assignment, or by submission status.

  • If your institution has enabled student context cards, you can click a student's name anywhere in Canvas and view a summary of the student's progress in the course. Context cards do not apply outside a course, such as in the Conversations Inbox.

    Student context cards provide insights and context about the student. Context cards are meant to be a simplified overview of a student’s progress. The context is generated from grades in the Gradebook and standard page view and participation activity in course analytics. Mobile data is not included unless a user accesses Canvas directly through a mobile browser, or if a user accesses content within the mobile app that redirects to a mobile browser.

    Context Card Users

    Context cards only apply to users with student roles; they are not supported for user names where the user is not a student (e.g. observer, TA, or other instructor). Clicking links for non-student roles will always direct to the user’s details page or profile page (if your institution has enabled the Profiles feature).

    Currently, student context cards do not display for inactive students or students with pending course invitations. The pending status displays in the People page, while the inactive status can be displayed in Discussions, Announcements, the Gradebook, and SpeedGrader.

    Context Card Link Locations

    This lesson shows how to view a context card for a student from the People page. Other areas where student names display in courses include announcement and discussion replies, the Gradebook, and the Moderate page for moderated assignments. Current exceptions include links that direct to group context (such as clicking the name of a group leader) and student links in the Course Analytics page, which link to the student’s individual analytics page.

    Note: The Student Context Card is currently an account opt-in feature. If a context card does not display for a student's name, your institution has not enabled this feature.

  • People shows all the users enrolled in your course, either added by your or your institution via SIS import.

  • As an instructor, you can access the Grades page for a student in your course. This Grades page shows you how a student views his or her grades in the course and also allows you to add individual comments to group submission assignments. You can choose to restrict options in the grades page to students, such as hiding grade summary totals and grade distribution graphs.

    You can also view the grades page for a generic student in Student View.

    Notes:

    • The student's grades shown in the Grades page may vary from the grades shown in the Gradebook. The student's Grades page is affected by muted assignments, outstanding manually graded quiz questions, and weighted assignment groups. The Gradebook always contains the most current and accurate information about a student's current grade.
    • Student Grades can also be viewed from a student's user details page.
  • Canvas allows you to manually bulk create users, accounts, terms, courses, sections, and enrollments through the Admin interface.

    This document references the SIS Import CSV Format API page, where the majority of the CSV information is located. Each CSV file is symbiotic with another and tell Canvas how to manage all information for the account. View an SIS relationship diagram.

    Each step in this lesson provides sample CSV files with descriptions of each required and optional field. You will also find a link to download each file if you want to take a deeper look at the formatting. Download a zipped package of all sample files.

    You should practice importing data in your Canvas test environment before importing any content to your production environment.

    CSV File Format

    In order to bulk upload data into Canvas, you must create one or more CSV text files.  CSV files can be generated by many programs. Student Information Systems (SIS) often have a method for generating reports in CSV format that can be modified to fit the format Canvas requires. If you do not know how to save a file in a CSV format, please check the documentation for the program you are using to create your CSV file (e.g., Excel).

    When using the Instructure format for importing files in the SIS Import page, you may import an individual CSV text file or you may compress multiple files into a single ZIP file to bulk import data. If you are manually uploading individual files, the files must be uploaded in the order shown in this lesson.

    CSV Field Formatting

    The first row of your CSV file (header) must include the complete field name for each file. The order of the columns does not matter but having the rows ordered properly is crucial for files like the accounts.csv. When any of this data is modified in the User Interface (UI), Canvas will set the new values as "sticky." When a new basic upload is performed, the data existing in Canvas will remain "sticky" and any imported data that would attempt to update that data will be ignored. Learn more about sticky fields.

    An import can override UI changes only if the proper options are selected when using the SIS Import tool.

    API Documentation

    CSV files only include a specific set of fields. Canvas contains additional values that are available through each individual API. After running the CSV files for your institution, standard practice for a majority of institutions is to upload all SIS CSV files and then use the Canvas API to update full account and course attributes. For more information, view the Canvas API documentation for Users, Accounts, Terms, Courses, Sections, Enrollments, and Groups.

  • Updated on: Jun 05, 2024

    How do I use the Inbox as an observer?

    Conversations is split into two panels and displays messages chronologically. You can view and reply to conversations and sort them by course or inbox type. Conversations itself does not have any file size limits; however, attachments added to a conversation are included in the sender's personal files.

    Notes:

    • If you right-click or option-click on the Inbox link, you can open your Conversation Inbox in a new browser tab to keep it handy while you are doing other tasks in Canvas.
    • Users display in Conversations once they have an active enrollment in the course, and users cannot join a course unless it is published.
  • Depending on how your Canvas account was created, you may be able to make changes to your name, default email, language, time zone, and password.

    • Setting a chosen language will override any default language settings across your institution; however, any language set in a course will override your user language.
    • Your institution may take care of updating or changing your password by using the password associated with your login credentials for Canvas.
    • Users associated with a SIS ID cannot delete their own account.

    Note: Some settings may not be available to you. If you are not able to edit your user settings, you will need to contact your institution to change this information.

  • Updated on: Jun 05, 2024

    How do I use Files as an observer?

    As a student, Files allows you to store files and assignments within Canvas. You can upload one or multiple files, view all details about your files, and preview files. Files is built with responsive design to adjust for browser scaling. The folder navigation window, file displays, and even file names adjust to the width of the browser window.

    View a video about files.

    You may have access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different feature areas:

    • User files, located in your user account
    • Course files, located in each course where you are enrolled (if your instructor allows you to view Course Files)
    • Group files, located in each group where you are a member