Faculty FAQ

This page has answers to frequently asked questions asked by Sonoma State faculty.

General FAQs

  • How do I log in to Canvas?
    • Login to SSU Online Services (requires SSU username and password), then click on the Canvas button
    • Use a Chrome or Firefox browser for best functionality
  • How do I access my course in Canvas?
  1. Once you log in you will be directed to the Canvas Dashboard
  2. Select your course by clicking on the course title
  3. This will navigate you to the course home page and content
  • How do I learn more about navigating Canvas?
  • Who do I contact with questions about Canvas?
    • For login challenges, contact IT Help Desk (Schulz 1000, helpdesk@sonoma.edu, 707-664-4357)
    • 24-hour Canvas Instructor Support for all other support needs 833-263-0708
    • Within Canvas, click on the Help icon and select a help option: chat, phone, guides, support request
    • For consultations, contact the Faculty Center (Schulz 2009, faculty.center@sonoma.edu, 707-664-2659) during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
  • Will I see all of my courses in Canvas?
  • How do I publish my Canvas course to grant access to students enrolled in the course?
    • To publish your Canvas course, click on the Publish button under the Status section of your Canvas course. Modules and individual content items may also be hidden, please make certain they are also published.
  • How do I publish (unhide) modules in my course to enable students to access them?
    • To publish all the items in a module at once, click on the circle with the diagonal line to the right of the Module name. When published, a green dot with a checkmark will appear.
  • How do I publish (unhide) individual content items or activities in my course?
    • To publish individual content items or activities, click on the circle with the diagonal line to the right of the item. When published, a green dot with a checkmark will appear.
  • Are Meta-courses available in Canvas?
    • Yes, similar to Metacourses in Moodle, faculty may manage several sections from a single course by "cross-listing" them. If you are a faculty member and would like to request a meta-course, please submit the request by completing the Course Request Form.
  • How do I request a Sandbox in Canvas?
    • Most faculty will have an automatically-created Sandbox in Canvas, however additional sandboxes may be requested by completing a Course Request Form
  • How do I request an imported copy of content from a legacy class in Moodle?
    • The legacy courses may have already been imported, please check first before submitting a request for them.   Select "Courses" from the Canvas global navigation, then click "All Courses". Some legacy courses from Moodle have been migrated from the last two years (2016-17 and 2017-18).  These are ONLY available to instructors of record and contain no student information from previous terms. If you wish to request a legacy course which is not listed, please complete a Faculty Get Help Form.
  • How do I enroll staff that will be supporting me? (i.e., librarians, TAs, assistant faculty, etc.)
  • How do I configure a new external tool (aka third party or LTI tool) within my course?
  • How do I change my notification preferences in Canvas? 
    • From the Global Navigation, on the left-hand side blue bar, click the Account link, then click the Notifications link. Each notification is set to a default preference. To change a notification for a contact method, locate the notification and click the icon for your preferred delivery type.
  • Where do I submit grades at the end of the term?
  • What if I still have more questions not addressed here?

FAQs by Topic

Course Tools

  • How do I publish my course?
    • Publishing your course will allow students to view and interact with course content
    • Select the Global Navigation Menu > Courses link > select Name of course
    • In the Sidebar, select the Publish button. You will receive a confirmation message
  • How do I leverage Modules?
    • Modules allow instructors to organize content to help control the flow of the course
    • Modules are used to organize the course content by weeks, units, or a different organizational structure
    • Modules can contain files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials
    • The Modules link is the default Course Home Page in Canvas courses


  • Pages store content and resources that are part of a course or group but don’t necessarily belong in an assignment
  • Pages can include text, files, links, videos, and media and may be used as a collaboration tool for the course or group wikis



  • Discussions can be created as a graded assignment, or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events
  • Discussion topics can be a focused or threaded discussion
  • Discussions can be created by both instructors and students (if enabled)


Assignment Groups

  • Instructors can weight final grades based on Assignment Groups
  • Initiating Assignment Groups assigns a weight to each assignment group, not the assignment themselves
  • Within each Assignment Group, a percentage is calculated by dividing the total points a student has earned by the total points possible for all assignments in that group

Course Import Tool

  • The Course Import Tool makes it easy to extract course content, assignments, and quizzes from previous terms and quickly import them into existing courses
  • The same tool is used to import course materials from different Learning Management Systems (i.e. Moodle)
  • Course materials may also be exported using the Course Export Tool



  • View and grade student submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric
  • Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and URLs as assignment submissions
  • Some document assignments can be annotated for feedback directly within the submission
  • Feedback can also be provided to students with text or media comments

Students and Student View


Student View

  • You can view a course the same way that your students view your course through Student View
  • Enabling Student View creates a Test Student in your course
  • You can activate Student View in your Course Settings
  • Who do I contact if I experience problems with logging into Canvas?
    • Faculty teaching a course on Canvas should contact the SSU Help Desk for login issues.
    • For instructional design help, please contact the Faculty Center by using the Get Help form.
    • For technical help or troubleshooting, you may contact the Faculty Center front desk (707-664-2659) or contact Canvas 24-hour support outside the Faculty Center normal hours of operation (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).
    • You can access Canvas 24-hour Support from the Help menu on the Canvas global navigation which includes: chat, phone, Canvas self-help documentation, and an option to submit an online support request.
  • Who do my students contact if they are experiencing problems with logging into Canvas?
    • Login and basic support provided by SSU IT Help Desk (Schulz 1000, 707-664-4357, helpdesk@sonoma.edu)
  • My classes are listed both on Moodle and Canvas, will that be confusing for my students?
    • Yes, it can cause confusion for students, therefore please use either Moodle or Canvas and clearly communicate with your students as to which system you will use for each course section.
  • How do I enroll students in my Canvas course?
    • Students officially enrolled in courses will be enrolled in Canvas automatically. If a student adds or drops a course, they will be enrolled/un-enrolled accordingly with the nightly sync with PeopleSoft.
  • If my students need help with Canvas, who do they contact?
    • Login and basic support SSU IT Help Desk (Schulz 1000, 707-664-4357, helpdesk@sonoma.edu)
    • 24-hour Canvas Student Hotline, call 833-263-0709
    • Within Canvas, students may click on the Help icon and select a support option: chat, phone, search guides, or report a problem
  • When will my students have access to my course?
    • Instructors must publish a course to grant enrolled students access. Please also remember to publish any individual modules, content items, or activities you wish visible to students from the onset of the course. To learn how to publish your Canvas course or any other information please refer to the Canvas User Guide