What is Canvas?
Canvas is a modern and intuitive Virtual Learning Environment, provided by Instructure, an educational technology company founded in 2008. Canvas will be replacing Blackboard from August 1st 2020.
Why was Canvas chosen?
Consultation with staff and students began in November 2017 to identify what features and functionality were expected for any future VLE provision at Newcastle.
How do I get access to Canvas?
All students have access to Canvas and you can log in at https://canvas.ncl.ac.uk
Your login details will be the same as for other University systems and will use the Office365 login mechanism you use to access your emails.
What browsers are supported in Canvas?
A list of Canvas supported browsers and requirements can be found at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1284
How do I access Canvas from my mobile device?
You can access Canvas through the Canvas app on a number of mobile devices. Instructure offers a free mobile app for both iOS and Android. When opening the app for the first time you will be asked for school or institution.
Enter Newcastle and select Newcastle University
Learn more about connecting to various mobile devices here:
When did the change to Canvas happen?
Canvas became the University's centrally supported VLE from August 1st 2020.
How do I change how often I get emails from Canvas?
You can change how often you get notifications from Canvas:
- Select Account on the left navigation
- Select Notifications
IMPORTANT Note: We strongly recommend that you keep Announcement and Conversation Message notifications set to “notify me right away”. Many lecturers will use these for primary communications with the class.
Why do I not see my courses on the dashboard?
If your module leader has not published the course it will not appear on your dashboard.
If you have a lot of courses on your dashboard, it may be hidden.
To view all courses:
Click on Courses in the left navigation
Click on All Courses to see all of the courses you are enrolled on.
Migration from Blackboard
What happened to existing Blackboard content?
All Blackboard content from the last three years was migrated into Canvas for reference and students were given access to this once the courses had been reviewed and published by module teams. If you can't see your 19/20 courses from the 24 July, then please get in touch with your lecturer.
It will not be possible to access your previous assignments in Canvas. If you wish to keep your assignments or any feedback, you should have downloaded them prior to Blackboard becoming unavailable (31st July 2020).
From 5pm on July 31 2020, you will lose access to the Turnitin assignments that have been submitted through Blackboard.
Is ReCap affected?
ReCap is integrated with Canvas so current and future recordings will continue to be accessible to students.
ReCap recordings from the 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years will be available in Canvas.
Training and Support
How do I get help using Canvas?
The Canvas 24/7 help is available to all staff and students 365 days per year to answer any 'How do I ' questions you may have. You can use either live chat or phone support via the help menu in Canvas.
Canvas support will be able to help with Canvas queries but not with login issues, ReCap or Turnitin so in these cases you may be redirected to the University's IT Service Desk.
Can I use Office365 in Canvas?
Yes, you will be asked once to give Canvas permission to link to your Office365 account.
Is there a training course for Canvas?
Canvas is designed to be easy and intuitive to use and you won't need any formal training sessions but the Canvas Implementation Team have developed a 'Getting to Know Canvas' online course which you will see on your Canvas dashboard or in your Courses list. This takes you through the key areas of Canvas including platform navigation, setting your notification preferences, accessing content and submitting an assignment.
In addition to these FAQs you can also access Canvas student support guides which are all available on the Canvas community. Please be aware not everything will apply to how we are using Canvas at Newcastle.
You also have access to the Canvas 24/7 support via live chat, phone or email from the Help menu in Canvas.
I have a question about how Canvas is used on my course. Who should I speak to?
You should speak to your tutor or course administrator. Please do not contact Canvas as they cannot help with course-related inquiries.
How do I access Assignment Feedback?
For guidance on accessing and downloading assignment feedback in Canvas, please see the Student Guide to Accessing Assignment Feedback.
Ally: What is Ally?
Ally is a tool that is integrated into Canvas which enables you to download alternative formats of your course content so that you can access the information you need in the way that you need it.
Ally: What alternative formats are available?
The formats available include:
- Tagged PDFs
- Electronic braille
- Audio (MP3)
- Beeline Reader
While some formats meet very specific accessibility needs such as electronic braille, others may be useful in particular situations. For example, if you are on the go or have a lot of course materials to read you may prefer the audio version. If you like to read using a mobile device then the HTML or ePub version for use with eBook readers may be more suitable for you.
Find out more about the alternative formats available including a useful table to help you decide which format to download.
Ally: How do I download an alternative format of a course file?
Go to your course content and click on the down arrow next to the title of the content and a menu will appear. Click on Alternative Formats and this will open up a modal window with the formats that are available. Choose the format you require and click Download.
Watch this quick First Steps video which demonstrates the steps above.
Ally: How do I download an alternative format of content on a Canvas page?
It is now also possible to download alternative versions of content that your lecturer has created on a Canvas page and not just the files that have been uploaded to the course.
To download page content in an alternative format look out for the A symbol next to a page title. Click on this and choose from one of the available options.
Immersive Reader: What is Immersive Reader?
This is a really useful tool to enhance your reading experience:
- Click the Play button to hear content read out loud and see the text highlighted at the same time. The Voice Options allow you to change the voice and the speed of the narration.
- Use the Text Options to change the text size, font, spacing and the background colour of the content.
- Use the Line Focus option to narrow the focus of your reading to 1, 3 or 5 lines of text.