Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the transition to Canvas. Some answers also include links to additional information in the TWU Knowledge Base. FAQs will be added as more information about the Canvas transition is made available.

How do I locate Canvas?

There are multiple ways to locate Canvas. The My Courses page is the best location for Students. There are several links to My Courses from the TWU home page, including under Info For Current Students, Academics and within the page footer. You can also go directly to Canvas using the A-Z Index.

Related Knowledge Base ArticleHow to find out if my course is in Canvas and Login

How do I log into Canvas?

Currently, Canvas logins are limited to active Canvas participants. Only instructors and students with designated Canvas courses will have Canvas user accounts. All others will receive an error message, if they attempt to log in. Active Canvas users will log in with their Pioneer Portal username and password.

Related Knowledge Base ArticleHow to find out if my course is in Canvas and Login

How do I request a sample course shell (Sandbox) in Canvas?

Canvas Sandboxes are available to instructors to design and develop your courses. Instructors may request a Canvas Sandbox for every course they teach. One or more sandboxes may be requested by submitting a ticket to the Technology Service Desk or completing the Canvas Sandbox Request form [sign-in required]. Please include the course numbers, for example ENG 1013, NURS 4612. 

You will receive an email message when your Canvas Sandbox course is available. To access the Sandbox course:

  1. Log into Canvas
  2. Click the Courses icon in Global Navigation
  3. Click on All Courses
  4. Add the Sandbox course to your list of favorite courses by clicking the Star icon to the left of the course name.
  5. Click the Dashboard icon in Global Navigation.

Related Knowledge Base ArticleHow to request a Canvas Sandbox course

How do I get help with Canvas?

If you encounter a technical issue with Canvas, please contact the Service Desk. They may be reached by phone (940-898-3971), email ( or live chat (

If you would like assistance with developing your Canvas course, please contact an Instructional Designer.

Related Knowledge Base ArticlesCanvas Help and Getting Started with Canvas (Instructors)

How do I embed files from my Google Drive into Canvas?

You can create a document, slide presentation, or spreadsheet using Google Drive and then embed that document anywhere you can use the Rich Content Editor in Canvas. The Rich Content Editor is used in features that support the editor (Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, or Syllabus). When embedded, Google slide presentations default to presentation mode.

For embedded files, any time you edit the Google file, it will be automatically updated in Canvas.

Related Knowledge Base ArticlesCanvas Help and Google Drive and Canvas

How to send a message to students in Canvas before the class starts.

Announcements can only be sent if the course is both published and available to students. An email message (conversation) can be sent to students if the course is published and still unavailable to students. The procedure is:

To send a message to students in your Canvas course before classes begin:

  1. The Canvas course must be published. Open the course and follow this process to publish the course while being unavailable to students. This is done by setting a Start and End date for the course and allowing users to participate in the course between these dates. The details are included in How do I change the start and end dates for a course?
  2. Once the Canvas course is published, click on Inbox and compose a message to students in the course. The details are included in How do I send a message to all course users in Conversations as an instructor?

What resources are available for Canvas?

Official Canvas documentation is available through the Canvas Community within the Canvas Guides. The Canvas community makes it easy to find the content you're looking for, providing a user friendly search option as well as a table of contents for each guide. The Canvas Instructor Guide is the best place to start for your most common questions.

Related Knowledge Base Articles: Canvas Help and Getting Started with Canvas (Instructors)

Will I have to build my Canvas course from scratch?

A new Learning Management System is a wonderful opportunity to take a fresh look at your courses and consider a redesign that better meets your needs and those of your students. However, you will be able to transition much of the content you currently have in Blackboard to Canvas. Materials may be exported from Blackboard and imported into Canvas. However, since the two systems do have different architecture, you will want to spend some time re-organizing your materials. This may generally be accomplished through a simple drag and drop. We strongly recommend first time users attend a Migration training, offered by Teaching & Learning with Technology.

Does Canvas have a mobile app?

Yes. In fact, Canvas has multiple mobile apps an instructor may find useful. To learn more about them, please view the Canvas Guide for Mobile Apps.

If this is your first time to log into a Canvas Mobile App, you will need to access the TWU account:

  1. Type to enter the school information.
  2. Log into the Canvas Mobile App by entering your TWU UsernamePassword, and tap the Login button.

Related Knowledge Base Article: Canvas Mobile Apps (Instructors)

Will 3rd party tools like Campus Pack and Turnitin be available in Canvas? 

We are working hard to make as many current 3rd party tools available in Canvas as possible. At this time, the following tools are actively integrated with Canvas:

  1. Campus Pack
  2. Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Panopto
  4. Respondus LockDown Browser
  5. Turnitin

Will I be able to teach multiple sections from a single course shell?

Yes. To combine enrollments from two or more course sections in Blackboard, we have the Roster Merge tool, which creates a new Blackboard course with the combined enrollments of all selected course sections. Canvas has a native tool for this process. It is referred to as Crosslisting. Crosslisting allows us to identify one course as the primary course for content and allow students from other course sections access to that content. When a course is Crosslisted in Canvas, the students and Teacher for that course only see the course with the content. Students from each section Crosslisted are easily identified in the course with the content.

What content is available to add to your Canvas course to help students get started using Canvas?

Getting Started with Canvas – Canvas is a web-based application which allows instructors to put class materials on the Internet. It provides a variety of tools to facilitate teaching and learning. The basic tools used in a Canvas course include a syllabus, learning materials (documents, videos, etc.), discussions, calendar, email, announcements, grades, exams, and assignments.

Note: You may place this information into your course and reference the Knowledge Base article link below to direct students to the Getting Started with Canvas information.

Related Knowledge Base ArticleGetting Started with Canvas

Page last updated 8:28 AM, May 1, 2019