Additional Settings and Features

Importing and Migrating Courses

Each instructor receives a Canvas sandbox in addition to a course shell for each of their classes. Use the sandbox as a temporary holding area for content imported from Moodle. Modify the imported Moodle content before importing pieces of the course into your other course shells. 

How do I select specific content as part of a course import?

When teaching two or more sections of the same course, consider building your course in one course shell, then copying into other course shells. 

How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell?

Dashboard - Access your Courses

View of Dashboard with Account Navigation and Blurred Classes

Courses in Canvas are created by the communication between Canvas' systems and our GET systems. This process is much more synchronos and therefore faster than in Moodle. Once in GET, enrollments and courses should be created within 24 hours and therefore be available to you. From there you will access your course through an interface Canvas call the Dashboard.

The Dashboard is your "home base" in Canvas. All users, students or instructors see their personalized Dashboard once logged in. The Dashboard's main interface are items called your Course Cards. These colored blocks will have your course's names, nicknames, and a few other alert information.

In Canvas once the semester is finished and grades have been turned in, the course will go into past courses and become read only. Courses will go away from your dashboard and put themselves into the all courses area.

  1. Select the Courses button on the left of your page in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click on the All Courses link.

      3. You may need to scroll down to see all of your courses

View of Dashboard with Account Navigation and Blurred Classes

The Card View on your Dashboard displays course cards for your active and favorited courses. Thought these, you can nickname your course or assign it a different color, which will sync with your Calendar and how it displays this course. You're also able to move a course card to a different part of the Dashboard. For more information on course cards, explore these Canvas guides:

How do I view my favorited courses in the Card View Dashboard as an instructor?

How do I add an image to a course card in the Dashboard?

To Do

The Dashboard also has a display on the right of your screen for Global Announcements,a To Do List, and Coming Up. These alerts serve as a one-stop-shop for immediately due assignments, quizzes, and other content, as well as a place to keep organized.

You can customize this interface by: Giving Course Nicknames, Changing the colors of the Course Cards, Applying images to the Course Cards, and setting favorites for your courses. For detailed steps on how to customize further use the Dashboard, explore these Canvas Guides:

How do I use the Dashboard as an instructor?

How do I view course cards in the Dashboard as an instructor?

How do I use the To Do List and the side bar in the Dashboard as an instructor?


In your Global Navigation, click the Courses link, then click the All Courses link.

Once all your courses are displayed, to favorite a course, click the star next to a course. Courses with filled stars show the course is a favorite.

In the Dashboard, any courses you have with an instructor role will be listed first, followed by TA roles and any other custom instructor-based roles. Your courses with student roles are listed last.

Note: When you favorite at least one course, the Dashboard will only display favorited courses. Canvas will also continue to automatically favorite new course enrollments.

Moving Cards

In your Global Navigation, click on the Dashboard link.

Once all your Dashboard courses are visible, you can click and hold onto your desired Course Cards and move them by dragging and dropping them to your desired location in the Dashboard.

Canvas Commons and Course Templates

Canvas Commons is the Canvas home-grown share and share alike, Open Educational Resource (OER). That means the materials in Commons are available for anyone to use, edit, remix, repurpose, etc. They are great places to find ideas, get resources, and to quickly find ways to build out your course. As a bit of a buyer beware, remember these items are free and any University, College, K-12 school, or company that uses Canvas as an educational LMS can share their content here for anyone to use. 

For more of an overview of the Canvas Commons, try these guides:

What is Canvas Commons?

How do I use Commons?

In our effort help you build faster, best-practice informed content in Canvas, the CETL team has made a series of templates for you to use. 

To see a list of what we've made, explore our Commons Template Descriptions & Summary document.

For an overview of how to access Commons and bring over our templates, please click on Canvas Commons Import Guide, or watch our short video: Using Commons (6:01).


Use New Analytics to:

What is New Analytics?

Starting Spring 2020 you will be able to access the new analytics tool using the New Analytics button in your course. You can enable this feature currently by going to your course Settings and toggling the option under the features tab.

Canvas Mobile Apps

Canvas has taken the time to create Mobile Applications for both Instructors (Teachers) and Students! There's even apps for parents, but we won't go there. You can download the apps either for iOS or Android devices from their respective app stores. Instructors can use the apps to view and grade assigments, do minor edits, and post announcements and discussions. 

In your app store, type Canvas Teacher App in the search browser and download it! It's free!

Follow steps below to set up your app:

  1. Select the App on your smart device and open it.
  2. The launch screen will prompt you with a Find My School Button, select it. 
  3. As soon as you begin typing in CalStateLA, it will populate suggested fields, when you see CalStateLA, select that option.
  4. You will then be prompted with the very familiar My Cal State LA login portal, use your normal credentials there and select Login.
  5. Your first course Welcome page will ask you to Add Courses or See All. Adding courses to the app at this point will designate them as your favorites, which will translate them to the only ones you see when you are logged into your desktop version of Canvas. It's recommended you select See All, that way you don't miss out on the desktop feature.
  6. Your final screen should land you on a mobile version of the Dashboard. Your course tiles as you've set them in Canvas will appear here for you to navigate through. 
Canvas App for Teachers Find My Institution Interface  Canvas App for Teachers typing out Calstatela in find my school interface
Canvas App for Teachers Find My Institution Interface  Canvas App My CalstateLA identity sign in page
 Canvas App Landing Page Asking to set up your classes
Canvas App Landing Page with Course Titles set up

The Canvas Student App has a little more function, in the sense that students can take quizzes, submit assignments, view modules, and check their grades. The set up for students is exactly the same as for Instructors, their logo for the App, however, is red and says Student underneath Canvas' Logo and name. 

Canvas App for Students Find My Institution Interface
Question mark support logo

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