Canvas FAQ

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page covers questions about how to get started in Canvas and about UBC’s transition from Connect (our old system).

If you have a question about using Canvas that’s not answered below, you can access the Help menu within Canvas for 24/7/365 support or search the Canvas Guides. If you experience technical problems while using Canvas that seem more UBC-specific (for example, you can’t log in), please contact the UBC Information Technology Service Centre for assistance, using their online form.

How can I access Canvas?

To access Canvas, please visit canvas.ubc.ca and enter your CWL.

If you need to retrieve your CWL username or reset your password, please visit myaccount.ubc.ca/myAccount

How is my personal information managed in Canvas?

Protecting student privacy is a top priority at UBC. The Canvas & Privacy FAQ provides questions and answers explaining UBC privacy policies with regard to Canvas. If you have any questions related to Canvas and privacy not covered in the FAQ, please contact the Learning Technology Hub.

Why aren’t my classes showing up in Canvas?

There are a few possible reasons why your course may not be showing up in Canvas:

  1. Not all UBC courses are associated with an online course. You may wish to check with your instructor to see whether they have created a Canvas course.
  2. Your instructor may be using a different platform to deliver course content, such as UBC Blogs. (If that’s the case, check out our tips for staying organized while using multiple learning platforms.)
  3. Courses are made available in Canvas only after they’ve been published by the instructor. Your instructor may choose to publish your Canvas course after the first day of class.
  4. If you have “starred” or “favourited” a course, your other courses will not appear in your Canvas Dashboard until you “star” those courses as well. To view all your Canvas courses, please select “courses” in the left-hand navigation menu and then click “all courses,” or visit https://canvas.ubc.ca/courses. From here you can view all your courses and add/remove starred courses.

If you know that your course should be available in Canvas but it’s not showing up, please contact the Information Technology Service Centre (ITSC) for assistance, using their online form.

Where can I find all my grades?

From the Canvas Dashboard, click View Grades in the top right corner of the page to view your grades for all classes that have a Canvas course. You can also find your grades by logging into Canvas, going into your course, and clicking on ‘Grades’ in the right-hand menu.

Your final grade will be posted in the Student Service Centre (SSC). To view your final grade, log into your SSC, hover over ‘Grades & Records, and click ‘Your Grades Summary.’

How can I hide my recent grades from the Canvas Dashboard?

By default, Canvas displays students’ recent grades under the Recent Feedback section on the Canvas Dashboard. At the moment, Canvas doesn’t allow you to simply switch this off. However, you can hide your grades from the Dashboard by changing your Dashboard settings from Cards to List View.

On the Canvas app, grades can be hidden from the Dashboard, but changing this setting in the app will not make any changes elsewhere — grades will still be displayed on the desktop version of Canvas (unless you’ve switched to list view).

Why am I receiving so many notifications from Canvas?

New Canvas accounts are configured with the default setting for Canvas notifications. To change your notification setting, click on ‘Account’ in the left-hand side bar, and then ‘Notifications.’ From here, you can update how often you receive notifications from Canvas. Learn more about setting your notifications in the Canvas Guides.

Please note that your Canvas notification settings will apply universally to all of your Canvas courses.

Something went wrong while I was taking a quiz in Canvas. Can I make another attempt?

Any additional attempts for online assessments will need to be approved by your instructor. Please contact your instructor to let them know what happened, and they will decide what options are available.

To help make sure your quizzes go smoothly, check out our top five tips for taking Canvas quizzes.

Which browsers are compatible with Canvas?

We recommend using the most recent version of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari when accessing Canvas. If you prefer to use another browser, please make sure it’s been updated to the most recent version. See the Canvas documentation on supported browsers for more information.

Is Canvas mobile friendly?

Yes, Canvas is mobile friendly! You can access Canvas either through the browser on your phone or tablet or by downloading the mobile Canvas app through the iOS App Store/Google Play Store.

Still have questions? Please visit the Canvas mobile guide.

Why does Canvas seem slow at times?

A number of factors contribute to your experience with Canvas. Some of these include your wireless connection strength, shared usage or the bandwidth of your internet connection, how many applications you have open, your internet browser, and the speed of your computer.

If Canvas seems slow, try the following: close other applications and browser tabs; restart your computer; move closer to the wireless router/access point; disconnect/reconnect from your wireless network.

You can also check for any issues with Canvas itself by going to status.instructure.com.

Where is Canvas data stored?

All information and materials that are added to Canvas are securely stored in Canada by Amazon Web Services and managed by Instructure (rather than by UBC). This meets the requirements of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

Why did UBC move to Canvas?

In 2016, instructor- and student-led teams facilitated consultations at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan to help define the future of UBC’s learning technology environment. The ultimate goal was to find a replacement for Connect, our previous online learning platform.

Through these consultations, usability and convenience were found to be the top priorities for both students and faculty members. Students and instructors who tested Canvas overwhelmingly reported that it met these criteria: In addition to providing an intuitive, user-friendly interface, Canvas is mobile-responsive — and there’s an app!

Canvas also offers other benefits that were requested by students, including improved reliability and a more consistent experience across courses.

Who can I contact if I have other questions or problems while using Canvas?

UBC has contracted for 24/7/365 telephone, email, and chat support, which is accessible from within Canvas in the Help menu. Students can also contact the IT Service Centre for assistance, using their online form.