Skip to content

Canvas Setup Guide

This guide is intended to be a quick reference crash course on getting a Canvas site up and running.

Log into Canvas

    1. Open an updated web browser on your computer and navigate to (We do not recommend using the mobile app to set up your course).
    2. Enter your Dartmouth security credentials.
    3. After login, you will be redirected to your Canvas course dashboard.

Customize Homepage

Method I - Syllabus Homepage

There are lots of ways to customize your homepage. To create an inviting home page that communicates key quick links and dated items in the course, we recommend using the Syllabus home page type.

    1. From the course homepage, click Choose Home Page.
    2. Select Syllabus as homepage type.
    3. Click Edit to change the contents of the top of the home page.

Note: Assignments or calendar events in the course will appear on the bottom of the page organized by due date. If you will not be creating assignments in Canvas or if you don’t want to see the list of assignments, use “Method II” to create your homepage.

Method II - Pages Homepage

    1. From the course homepage, click Pages.
    2. Click +Page in the upper right corner of the window.
    3. Create and save a page that you will use as your front page (use the rich content editor to add images, etc.).
    4. Click “Publish” in the top right corner of the newly created page.
    5. Select the 3 dots in the upper right of the page and select “Use as Front Page”

Setup Grade Categories

Prior to putting in assignments, it is a good idea to setup your grade weighting and categories (ex. Essays - 20%, Quizzes - 20%, etc.).

    1. From the course homepage, click Assignments.
    2. Click on +Group to create an assignment group and enter the percentage for each grading category (ex. Papers, Participation, Quizzes, etc.).
    3. Click Save once you have entered the group name and percentage.
    4. Create the number of groups and percentages you need to add up to 100%.
    5. Use directions below to create assignments within each of the groups.

Create Assignments

    1. From the course homepage, click Assignments.
    2. Click on + symbol to the right of your assignment group heading (created above).
    3. Select the type of assignment from the drop-down menu - you will choose “assignment” most often.
    4. Type in a name for the assignment (ex. “Critical Essay #1”).
    5. Assign a due date.
    6. Assign points for the assignment.
    7. Click More Options to fine tune the assignment. Here you can write up directions for the assignment; choose how you want students to submit, etc.).
    8. Click Save to save a draft that you will come back and finish later. Click Save and Publish if your assignment is complete.
    9. From the course homepage, click Choose Home Page.
    10. Select Pages Front Page as homepage type.

Add Files to Files area

    1. Start at the Course Home Page, click Files on the left-hand side of the page
    2. Create folders to match your classes organizational structure (for ex. Week 1, Week 2; Topic 1, Topic 2)
    3. Click on the folder’s title to open the folder
    4. Drag files onto the folder window to upload them to Canvas.

Post a File to a Page

    1. Create or locate a document on your computer or in Files
      Open the page to which you will be adding the linked file
    2. Using the Canvas Content Editor, place the cursor where you would like your file to be placed. Type in a descriptive title for the link such as View Course Syllabus.
    3. Highlight the text you just typed for the descriptive text for the link and on the upper right menu select Files > +Upload a new file > Choose File > locate the file on your computer.
    4. Click once to select the File. Select Open.
    5. Click Upload to complete. You will notice that the screen will flash yellow where the link has been placed and the title you created and highlighted will look like a link.
    6. When you are done, select Update Syllabus (if you are using the Syllabus homepage) or Save (if you are using Pages).

Publish Your Course

From the course homepage, click the button titled Publish Course. Note: any individual unpublished materials (files, assignments, etc.) within the course will remain unpublished until you publish these.

Post an Announcement to your Class

Once your course is published, you can send out group communications to the class via Announcements.

    1. Begin from your course homepage.
    2. Click Announcements on the left-hand menu.
    3. Click + Announcement to create a new message
    4. Type in your Title and the message to students
    5. Choose an option to Delay posting until some time in the future - OR -
    6. Click Save

Note: Canvas defaults to sending a copy of the announcements to a student’s Dartmouth email, however, if a student has turned off this option they may not be receiving these notices. If you choose to send out announcements in Canvas, instruct students to set their notifications to send mail to their Dartmouth account.


Subscribe By Email

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.