This short guide will get you started if your instructor has chosen to use Canvas for your course.

Accessing Canvas

  • Login to eLearning and find your course on your Dashboard. If you do not see it there, access your full list of courses, then select the courses you would like to see on your Dashboard. If you still do not see the course you are looking for, confirm with your instructor that the course should be available in Canvas.
  • For questions about e-Learning (Canvas) courses, contact the UF Help Desk at (352) 392-4357 or

Communicating with Instructors

  • Refer to your course syllabus and any announcements or recent messages from your instructor, and use the method(s) they prefer.
  • You can use the Canvas Inbox to message your instructor in Canvas. Remember that your instructor may prefer to use email or phone for direct communication.
  • As a student, you individually control notifications from Canvas, and these are applied universally across all of your courses.

Course Navigation

  • Depending on how your course is structured, you may follow different navigation paths to find content in Canvas. Generally, your Course Home Page will reference important information, and if assessments are available in Canvas they will be listed in the Syllabus.
  • Review the navigation options available in the sidebar navigation on the left within any course. If enabled by your instructor, these will take you directly to files,pages, modules, discussions, quizzes, and assignments.

Submitting Assessments

  • Make sure you don’t miss important due dates by regularly reviewing the Canvas Calendar.
  • If you are submitting assignments through Canvas, review the assignment submission process if you are not already familiar with it.
  • In addition to assignments, you may participate in discussion boards. Some instructors require an initial post to be completed several days before the due date to ensure that commenting on your classmates’ posts goes smoothly. Read the discussion instructions carefully to avoid late submissions and/or lost points.
  • Your instructor may include a rubric for an assignment or discussion board so you can evaluate your own work before submitting it. Be aware that the process for viewing rubrics is different for a discussion board and an assignment. If you do not see a rubric, it is likely your instructor did not attach one, in which case you should read the assignment instructions or the syllabus for the grading criteria.
  • Another common assessment type in Canvas is a quiz. A quiz can include many types of questions, including multiple-choice, true/false, matching, and fill in the blank. Before you begin, notice whether the quiz has a time limit and make sure you know whether you will be allowed multiple attempts. Take your quiz in an environment with a stable internet connection to avoid losing your work.
  • Some instructors may choose to have online quizzes proctored by a service such as Honorlock. If you have never used an online proctoring service before, familiarize yourself with the proctoring process and give yourself additional time to figure it out as well as make sure you are prepared with all appropriate technology. To learn more about privacy concerns, read the Honorlock Statements on Privacy.


  • Canvas has a Gradebook that allows instructors to assign and track grades. If your instructor transitioned your course to Canvas mid-semester, or if not all of your assignments in the course are in Canvas, your Grades will give you only a partial view of your course grade.
  • You can view Grades for a specific assignment by navigating to your overall Grades or to that specific assignment. You can also view specific assignment feedback and quiz comments if provided by your instructor.
  • Be sure to review messages from your instructor so you understand how Canvas will be used and how you will be evaluated.

To learn more about Canvas, refer to the Student Help FAQs on the UF e-Learning page.

Back to top button