Canvas is Northwestern’s learning management system (LMS), which replaced Blackboard as of Summer 2015. Use the resources below to better understand Canvas and how it can be used in your courses as a tool for organization, collaboration, and more.

Visit Canvas at:

Canvas Quicklinks

Canvas Learning Center

The Canvas Learning Center, built by NUIT, is full of useful resources for learning about Canvas, including workshops, sample courses, and more. (Opens in new tab.)

Instructor Guide

Use the Canvas Instructor Guide to learn about how to build and maintain your course(s), as well as for answers to most FAQs. (Opens in new tab.)

Start of Quarter Checklist

Use this checklist to ensure your Canvas course is properly set up before the quarter starts.

End of Quarter Checklist

Explore your options for closing your Canvas course; if you do nothing, students will still be able to access all course materials in a read-only format.

Canvas Community

Check out the Canvas Community to see what other instructors and schools are doing, request new features, and find answers to your questions. (Opens in new tab.)

Canvas Consultation

Need more personalized assistance? Schedule a 1:1 consultation with NUIT’s Faculty Support Services.

New to Canvas?

In addition to browsing the content above, you may want to consider attending a Canvas workshop or setting up a consultation to learn more about Canvas functionality, including assignments, grading, discussions, and messaging.

Canvas Blog Posts

Using Course Wikis to Promote Peer-to-Peer Learning

One of the hallmarks of any good classroom is peer-to-peer collaboration and learning. Many researchers believe students can actually learn more from interactions with peers than they can from listening to expert (professor) lectures or other passive forms of content...

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Student Moderated Discussion Boards

There are many ways to use discussion boards to facilitate connection, inquiry, and interaction outside of the classroom. Used in the right way, these discussions can increase student learning outcomes, interpersonal connection, and metacognitive skills. One method that is often overlooked or passed over for one reason or another are student led/moderated discussion forums. Having students lead discussion forums requires them to take charge and thereby focus on meaning, rather than superficial qualities…

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Anonymous (“Blind”) Grading

Anonymous grading is the practice of hiding the identity of a student to the person who is assessing their work. While anonymous grading may not be appropriate for every assignment, there is some evidence that the practice can help in eliminating both actual and...

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Canvas Course Settings

There are a few 'hidden' settings within your Canvas course that you should be aware of. You can find all of these settings (and more) by clicking on "Settings" from your course navigation, then "Course Details" (instructions for accessing/editing course settings...

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How do I log in to Canvas?

You can log in to Canvas at using your Northwestern NetID and password.

I'm teaching the same course I taught in a previous quarter. How can I copy my content into the new course?

You can import content from a previous Canvas course in your course settings (step-by-step instructions here).

I'm teaching two sections of the same course, how can I combine them into one Canvas course?

Request a course combine here to cross-list your sections.

How do I customize the emails I receive from Canvas?

To adjust the number and type of email notifications you receive from Canvas, you will want to change your Notification Preferences under “Account” (instructions here).

How early before the the quarter can I access my Canvas course(s)?

Canvas courses are created in conjunction with the release of course information by the registrar. Courses typically become available approximately 8 weeks before the quarter begins. If you would like to begin preparing a course sooner, you can request a prep site to start building out your materials.

How do I know what my students see in my Canvas course?

While you have access to all of the content within your Canvas course, students will only be able to see the items that you have “published”. To check what your course looks like for your students, you can turn on “Student View” in the course settings (instructions here).