Canvas FAQ

These are UBC-specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Canvas—the learning management system that will be gradually replacing Connect at UBC.

Jump to a section: Initial Setup | Transitioning from Connect | Features and Tools | Training and Support

Initial Setup

Go to and log in and your account will be created! Please note that we're currently in the soft launch phase, so some Canvas features and tools have yet to be added.

Your courses won't be automatically associated with your account until we've finished integrating Canvas with the UBC Student Information System (SIS). Courses that you want to start developing in Canvas now can be manually added to your Canvas account.

For UBC Vancouver, please contact your faculty's Instructional Support Unit or contact us here at the Learning Technology Support Hub, and we can assist you with getting your courses created in Canvas. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance (

Canvas offers a number of roles—including Student, TA, Teacher, and Designer—each of which is associated with its own permission settings. This chart shows the permissions granted for each Canvas role.

You can also view how Canvas roles are assigned to UBC instructors and TAs, based on their teaching duties as identified by the Teaching Assignments & Section Management (TASM) duty mappings.

Transitioning from Connect to Canvas

The transition from Connect to Canvas will be gradual. Each faculty is determining when courses will begin to be offered in Canvas, with the first wave of courses being offered in Canvas in September 2017. Please talk to your Department Head or Director about your faculty’s timeline for transitioning to Canvas.

UBC selected Canvas in June 2017 and will be transitioning from Connect to Canvas gradually over the 2017/18 academic year.

Implementing Canvas is a complex project, and as anticipated, the integration of Canvas with UBC systems and with the external learning tools that are currently offered in Connect is still a work in progress. Given this project’s gradual implementation timeline and the diverse ways that instructors use learning management systems, each faculty has developed its own plan for transitioning to Canvas. Some faculties have chosen to move a significant number of courses to Canvas in September 2017, while others have decided to delay until a future semester for the majority of their courses. However, all faculties will have moved to Canvas within one year. As of September 2018, no courses will be offered in Connect.

When compared with other large R1 research universities that have implemented Canvas, UBC is undergoing this transition relatively quickly. This approach was chosen in an effort to reduce the amount of time that students and faculty use two systems and to ensure that the community can benefit from Canvas—a system that’s expected to better meet their needs—as soon as possible.

You have the option of moving your Connect course material to Canvas or building a course from scratch in Canvas. Faculty members have access to Canvas training and support that can help you with either approach.

We also highly recommend getting in touch with your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning at (UBC Okanagan) for assistance throughout this process

We’ve heard from other institutions that have transitioned from Connect to Canvas that building a course in Canvas often results in a better experience for students. Newly built courses can take full advantage of the unique features offered in Canvas.

If you would like to rebuild your course in Canvas, we recommend that you first contact your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning at (UBC Okanagan). They can assist you with the rebuild or point you to resources that will guide you as you rebuild your course.

Each faculty has a different strategy and timeline for rolling out Canvas and moving over content from Connect. In general, most faculty members will need to submit a request to their Instructional Support Unit to have Connect content moved to Canvas.

If you’re based at UBC Vancouver, we recommend that you contact your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit to learn more about when and how your faculty plans to move course content to Canvas. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, you can contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance (

If you aren’t sure who to contact about having your course content moved to Canvas, please get in touch with the LT Hub. We can point you in the right direction.

Yes, you can! If you’re based at UBC Vancouver, please contact your faculty's Instructional Support Unit for support with this process. At UBC Okanagan, you can contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning ( The Learning Technology Hub can also help you move your course content to Canvas.

The Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology offers Canvas training sessions focused on moving your course from Connect to Canvas, as well as an introduction to Canvas basics. You may also wish to review the Connect to Canvas migration guide to learn more about which content can and can’t be imported into Canvas.

Reorganizing and removing unneeded content in Connect can also help you make a smoother transition to Canvas. The Spring Cleaning Connect course can help make that process more efficient.

Some items in Connect will import to Canvas better than others, and you might have to manually transfer some files and rebuild other content. Imported content will need to be reorganized in Canvas.

We’ve compiled a Connect to Canvas guide that explains which Connect content can be transitioned to Canvas and how it will appear in the new system.

No courses can be taught in Connect as of September 2018. However, at the present time no date has been set for the decommissioning of Connect. We will notify the UBC community prior to decommissioning Connect to ensure you have access to any course content that you may wish to save.

We’re currently working on a plan to address this issue. Rest assured that in the meantime, you will continue to have access to your course content on Connect.

Features and Tools

Canvas comes with numerous internal tools that will expand teaching options for your courses:

  • SpeedGrader allows you to view, score, and provide audio, video or written feedback on submissions.
  • Updating your notification preferences allows you to control how often you receive notifications from Canvas.
  • A syllabus is automatically generated for each course, based on assignments and events within that course.
  • Conversations function like email within Canvas.
  • Chat allows students and teachers to interact in real time.
  • Pages are used to store course content and other educational resources.
  • Modules allow you to organize course content, creating a one-directional linear flow that guides students through the path they should take in your course.
  • ePortfolios allows students to collect and document educational projects, submissions, experiences, and other work. This content can be made public or private.

Adapted from

Yes! There are currently no plans to decommission Blackboard Collaborate, and Collaborate can continue to be used independently of Canvas. Please contact the Learning Technology Support Hub if you require access to Collaborate.

Integration of Blackboard Collaborate with Canvas may also be possible in future.

Canvas does not include the internal blog and journal tools offered in Connect, and some tools you’re familiar with from Connect will function differently in Canvas. The ''Connect to Canvas guide outlines some of the differences between the features offered in Connect and Canvas.

Some third-party apps will not be fully integrated with Canvas until after September 2017. These include the LTI tools Piazza, LTI Blogs, edX, peerScholar, iPeer, and WeBWork. Integration of Canvas with textbook publishers’ online content will also be added after September 2017.

If you rely on any of the above these tools, we recommend contacting your Instructional Support Unit or the Learning Technology Support Hub to discuss your needs and whether it may be best to delay your transition to Canvas until these tools are ready.

Yes, there is! Faculty and students can download Instructure’s Canvas mobile app from the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android devices). For more information about Canvas apps, please see Instructure’s mobile app guides. Look for ‘The University of British Columbia’ when adding your school.

Canvas uses responsive design, and can also be used on your mobile device without an app.

Yes, Canvas is cloud based. This means the storage and access of your course data, information, and material is performed over the internet rather than on your own PC, Mac, or mobile device. Information and material that you and your students add to Canvas will be 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).

Training and Support

UBC is offering Canvas training throughout the year, including in-person and online training on a variety of Canvas topics, as well as open studio time hosted by Canvas experts. If you’d prefer to explore Canvas on your own, you can also access Canvas guides and video tutorials online.

Canvas at UBC, UBC's Canvas website for instructors, provides Canvas news, project updates, information about Canvas tools and links to in-person and online training and support.

Throughout the 2017/18 academic year, the UBC community will also have 24/7 access to phone, email, and chat support, which can be accessed through the Help menu in Canvas.

Students who are new to Canvas will want to check out A UBC Student's Guide to Canvas. This guide includes a blog written by students on our very own Learning Technology Environment Renewal Team, as well as an FAQ, a list of courses that will be in Canvas this September, and links to the Canvas help guides.

UBC has also contracted for 24/7/365 telephone, email, and chat support from Canvas for one year, which will be available to both faculty and students from within Canvas. Students can also contact the IT Service Centre.

If you’re based in Vancouver and have questions about Canvas, the implementation timeline, or technical issues, we recommend contacting your faculty's Instructional Support Unit. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance (

Instructors and students can access chat, email, and phone through the Help menu within Canvas. Support is provided by Canvas representatives. UBC has also hired Canvas Tech Rovers to support instructors with the transition to Canvas.

Yes, you can! If you're based at UBC Vancouver, please contact your faculty's Instructional Support Unit or contact the Learning Technology Support Hub, and we can assist you with getting a Canvas sandbox. If you’re located at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning (

What if I still have questions?

We recommend reaching out to your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit (UBC Vancouver) or the Centre for Teaching and Learning (UBC Okanagan) if you have questions about using or transitioning to Canvas.

All faculty and staff are also invited to call, email, or visit us at the Learning Technology Hub. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about using Canvas and would love to hear your comments or suggestions.

Contact the Learning Technology Hub


UBC Vancouver


UBC Okanagan



UBC Vancouver

UBC Okanagan


UBC Vancouver

IKBLC Room 2.27

UBC Okanagan

SCI Room 200

Weekday Hours

UBC Vancouver

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

UBC Okanagan

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.