What is Canvas?

Canvas logo

CANVAS is California State University Fullerton's (CSUF) web-based Learning Management System (LMS).

CSUF faculty can use CANVAS to manage their online presence for traditional face-to-face, blended learning, flipped, completely online courses, and remote teaching (synchronous via Zoom, for example), as well as other e-learning projects and faculty collaborations.

CANVAS provides a user-friendly environment with multiple tools that faculty and students can use to learn, share information, and interact with each other. 


Interacting with Students



You can view all your course announcements on the Announcements page. As an instructor, you can create announcements and modify announcement settings. An announcement will be sent to all enrolled students within the course.


The Syllabus in Canvas makes it easy to communicate to your students exactly what will be required of them throughout the course in chronological order (Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, etc.). Add your syllabus information to this webpage. Canvas will automatically add a Course Summary based on assignment due dates and events within a course. All assignments (unpublished and published) are listed in the syllabus for instructors. Students only see published assignments.


Quickly take attendance using the attendance tool (Roll Call).


The Gradebook helps instructors easily view and enter grades for students. Depending on the grade display type, grades for each assignment can be viewed as points, percentage, complete or incomplete, or letter grade.



Rich Content Editor

Canvas has a simple, yet powerful, content editor that is available anytime for creating new content. The Rich Content Editor is used in features that support the editor (Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, or Syllabus).

Canvas Studio

Canvas Studio is a communication tool that allows instructors and students to actively interact through video and audio media.




Canvas includes quizzes, graded discussion, and online submissions in Assignments. As an instructor, you can create an assignment, modify assignment settings, and assign to only groups or individuals if desired.


When you create a quiz, you have a variety of options to choose from, including whether to use it as an ungraded or graded survey, a practice or a graded quiz.


Discussions allow for interactive communication between two or more people; users can participate in a conversation with an entire class or a particular group. Discussions can be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. 

Every student can have a voice and provide a well-thought-out response to the instructor's prompt. Every student participates without the pressure of other students in the face-to-face classroom. 


Collaborations are web-based tools to work collaboratively on tasks like taking notes or group papers (like a Wiki or other pages where group members may contribute to the final product). For example, Instructors and students can link to Google docs and provide input on those documents.


There are several options available for getting assistance with your course in Canvas.

Canvas Support

Canvas help page

Canvas support offers the following options:

  • Guides and and LMS Community where you can find some answers to your questions
  • Chat with Canvas Support for Faculty - you will need to log in to Canvas to participate in a support chat
  • Canvas Support Hotline - this phone number is only available if you log in to Canvas.
  • Report a Problem - email support where you can report any issues that you have with your course.

Log in to Canvas in order to click on the link to one type of support.

LMS Admin team

The LMS Admin team can assist with issues of components of Canvas not working as they were meant to. They can also assist with faculty or students not being properly enrolled in the course.

Faculty Development Center

The FDC's Canvas Consultants can advise and assist you in implementing best practices for teaching online. They also offer support for connecting external tools to your course, such as ShareStream, VoiceThread, SoftChalk, H5P, Turnitin, and Zoom.

Currently the best way to contact them is via email: [email protected].

College-based Instructional Designers

Each College on campus has an assigned Instructional Designer who can work with faculty to help them implement best practices in teaching online. Go to the ATC website to see the list of instructional designers.