Canvas is Lund University’s shared learning platform and one of the digital tools that you’ll probably be using the most throughout your years of studying.
It’s usually on Canvas that course material is distributed, assignments are submitted, and ongoing course information is communicated. The mail function in Canvas is often the easiest way to send messages to your teachers.
Sometimes, an entire programme is gathered on a single Canvas page that is updated over time, sometimes you will get access to a new Canvas page for every new course – it depends on how your programme is structured. But regardless of the unique structure, you have all the material from your studies gathered on Canvas and you can go back to previous courses and rehearse when necessary.
Canvas has plenty of functions, but teachers usually don’t use all of them. In some courses, large parts of the teaching and examination is carried out on Canvas, in other courses it’s just a place where you see your schedule and can download the teacher’s presentations. Which functions you’re able to see on a specific Canvas page depends on what settings the teacher has decided to use. This means that Canvas doesn’t always look the same for all courses.
If you need help getting started with Canvas, here is a guide made for students:
You can use Canvas on your computer and download an app on your phone.
Working in groups in Canvas
Everyone in your class has a shared page on Canvas and your teacher decides what it will look like. But if you join or get divided into a group on Canvas, you will get your own group page that only the people in your group and the teacher have access to – not the other people in your class. It's sort of like a Canvas course page but in miniature form. On this page, you can share files with each other, send messages, discuss and create pages together. Perhaps you may want to communicate in other ways throughout your group project, but your own Canvas course page is good in the sense that everyone has access to it, so the communication is on equal terms.
Hand-in assignments and quizzes in Canvas
In most courses, you will be required to submit assignments on one or more occasions in Canvas. How you find the assignments depends on how your teacher has decided to build your specific course in Canvas. Teachers will often link the assignment on a relevant page or module in Canvas but you might also have to click your way forward through “Assignments” in the menu inside of a Canvas course.
Handing in a group assignment works in the exact same way as handing in an individual assignment. One person in the group hands in the assignment, but it will count as handed in for everyone who is a part of the group.
It’s possible that your teacher will want you to upload your assignment in a specific file format. If so, you might have to download Word or scan a hand-written text. You can find information about how to do this on the link below.
Some assignments you write are not only handed in on Canvas, they are carried out entirely on Canvas, for example using the quiz function. Sometimes you can choose to create a quiz in order to test yourself and sometimes quizzes are created for a specific time, where you only have one chance to answer and are required to enter a password to log in. The quiz might consist of multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions.
In Canvas, there are test environments where you can try creating quizzes and handing in assignments as many times as you like without anything being visible to your teacher. Especially before an exam or important assignment, it can be good to test the tools you will be using in advance so that you can focus on studying for the exam without worrying about the technology. Click on the link below and choose to join the course in order to gain access to the test environments.
If your hand-in assignment requires you to record or upload a video or audio file, you can read more about how to do that on the page about Studio, Canvas’ own video tool.
Information about Studio
Accessibility tools and Disability Support Services
For those of you who have been granted learning support and have the right to extended time when writing exams or assignments, you might have a deadline on Canvas that differs from the one that your coursemates have. You can read more about how this decision is made on the website about the Disabilities Support Services.
In Canvas, there are also functions that allow you to listen to material instead of reading it or to convert course material into different file formats. The functions are called Ally and Advanced reader and are adapted primarily for those of you who have a disability, but anyone can benefit from varying their reading and absorbing content in different formats. Read more about accessibility in Canvas in the student guide.
If you have a mentor from Disability Support Services, they can get access to your course in Canvas. Write an email to digital [at] education [dot] lu [dot] se stating the affected course/courses, your name and the name of your mentor.
Feel free to also read more about the accessibility tools that Lund University offers to all students.
Grades and feedback
You might receive grades or feedback directly in Canvas – in the form of a written comment, an attached file or a video comment – but it’s also possible that your teacher gives feedback in other ways, such as via mail or in the classroom. If you’re unsure of whether or not you have received feedback or if you don’t know where to find their comments, it’s always best to ask the course teacher directly.
Teams is a tool that is integrated in Canvas and which can be used for chatting and to hold digital meetings. It can also be integrated with other Office 365 tools in order to create a collaboration space for group works, that is to say a place where you can keep files and store notes that everyone in the group has access to.
You can continue reading Canvas’ student guide to find out how to proceed if you’re invited to a Teams meeting or if you want to create a meeting yourself using Canvas' text editing tool.