Faculty FAQ

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

Canvas Introduction for Faculty

General Information

  • Q: 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
  • Q: 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
  • Q: How do I learn more about navigating Canvas?
    • Begin by watching this 6-minute Canvas Overview Video for instructors
    • Video Guides are available for any topic you would like to view
    • Written Guides are available for any topic you would like to view and provide step-by-step instructions with screenshots
  • Q: 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 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 1112, faculty.center@sonoma.edu, 707-664-2659) during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm).
    • LMS Project Inquires: lmsproject@sonoma.edu
  • Q: Will I see all of my courses in Canvas?
    • Summer 2018 Courses: No, only those faculty participating in the Extended Pilot will be able to see their Summer courses in Canvas. All other faculty should expect to offer their courses in Moodle for the Summer.
    • Fall 2018 Courses: Yes, all courses listed in the Schedule of Classes will be available for use in Canvas by August 6th. In the meantime faculty may request a sandbox.
  • Moodle > Canvas migration
    • Fall 2018- Implementation and testing of selected LMS begins. Canvas is available for faculty early adoption.
    • Spring 2019- Faculty are encouraged to adopt Canvas, and build/migrate in the new LMS. Instruction on Moodle ends at the conclusion of Spring 2019 (Moodle courses archived).
    • Summer 2019- All courses created on Canvas.

Course Tools

  • Q: How do I publish my course?
    1. Publishing your course will allow students to view and interact with course content
    2. Select Global Navigation Menu > Courses link > select Name of course
    3. In the Sidebar, select the Publish button. You will receive a confirmation message
    4. Publishing My Course
  • Q: 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
    • What are Modules?  


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


  1. Assignments include Quizzes, graded Discussions, and online submissions (i.e., files, images, text, URLs, etc.)
  2. Assignments can be assigned to everyone in the course or differentiated by section or user
  3. What are Assignments?


  1. Discussions can be created as a graded assignment, or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events
  2. Discussion topics can be a focused or threaded discussion
  3. Discussions can be created by both instructors and students (if enabled)
  4. What are Discussions?


  1. The Quiz tool is used to create and administer online quizzes and surveys
  2. Quizzes can also be used to conduct and moderate exams and assessments, both graded and ungraded
  3. There are four different types of quizzes: Graded quiz, Practice quiz, Graded survey, Ungraded survey
  4. What are Quizzes?

Assignment Groups

  1. Instructors can weight final grades based on Assignment Groups
  2. Initiating Assignment Groups assigns a weight to each assignment group, not the assignment themselves
  3. 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
  4. What are Assignment Groups?

Course Import Tool

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


  1. The Gradebook helps instructors easily view and enter grades for students
  2. Graded assignments, graded discussions, graded quizzes, and graded surveys display in the Gradebook
  3. How do I use the Gradebook?


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

Students and Student View

  1. People displays all the users enrolled in your course
  2. Create, organize, and manage student groups
  3. How do I use the People page as an Instructor?

Student View

  1. You can view a course the same way that your students view your course through Student View
  2. Enabling Student View creates a Test Student in your course
  3. You can activate Student View in your Course Settings
  4. What is Student View?