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Canvas: Student FAQ's

Canvas is GSE's Learning Management System. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Canvas from students. Additional answers to common Canvas questions can be found on the Canvas Guides website at http://guides.instructure.com/m/4212.

If you have questions about Canvas that are not addressed here, please contact us.

On This Page:


How do I login to Canvas?

You can access Canvas by going to canvas.upenn.edu and logging in using your PennKey. You’ll find a list of the courses that you are enrolled in under the “Courses” or "Courses & Groups" link, along with any groups of which you are a member.

When can I access my courses?

You typically will not have access to your courses in Canvas until at least a week before classes begin. You do not need to request access to courses, as you are automatically enrolled after registration in your Canvas course(s). If you register on the first day of class or after that date, it may take one business day before access is available as we update the information periodically, not instantaneously.

Why don't I see all of the courses I'm registered for listed in Canvas?

Canvas course sites are not accessible to students until the site is made available or "published" by the instructor, so it is normal to not see all courses listed in Canvas.

How do I customize my profile and set preferences for the notifications I receive from Canvas?

Please see this tutorial on how to customize the notifications or alerts you receive from Canvas so that you don't receive too much email or other alerts from Canvas. By clicking on the Profile link in the upper-right corner of the Canvas interface, users can:

  • change their display name
  • add a profile photo
  • adjust notification preferences--what kinds of activities in Canvas will prompt it to send you messages, and how you prefer to receive those messages
  • upload files
  • create ePortfolios
  • input or change phone numbers, social media information, notification preferences, and other profile information in Canvas.

You can link your accounts from Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google, LinkedIn, Diigo, and Delicious to Canvas, and you can choose to receive alerts on your cell phone from Canvas too.

How do I upload files for my Assignments?

Here's an online tutorial from the Canvas Guides to show you how to turn in an assignment.

How do I get help using Canvas?

For questions or issues regarding Canvas, please contact us. We also recommend that students check out the tutorials in Canvas' YouTube channel and the information in the Canvas Guides. The Canvas student's manual is posted online in the Canvas Guide for Students -- scroll down and look for the link to download it at right.