What is Canvas?

Canvas is the official learning management system (LMS) of SLCC developed by Utah-based Instructure. Canvas is the LMS used by all USHE institutions. Canvas easily connects instructors and students and is used to monitor grades, manage active enrollments and assignment submissions, share course documents, facilitate message correspondence between students and instructors and contain course and institutional syllabus information for all to access. 

Why should I use Canvas?

There are two primary reasons to use Canvas at SLCC. They include institutional requirements with regard to accessing grades and course information, as well as communication between students and instructors. The other is the benefits that Canvas offers. Please see below for more information:

1. SLCC's Institutional Usage Requirements

Since the Fall 2018 semester at SLCC, all faculty are required to use Canvas at a minimum, implement and use the following tools:

 - Canvas Gradebook (Grades)
 - Post a Syllabus
 - Inbox/Conversations

IMPORTANT - Please read the following official statement concerning the usage of Canvas at SLCC:
Official Learning Management System
Last month (or as of April 2018), SLCC Executive Cabinet approved Canvas as the official learning management system for SLCC. Canvas must be used for all face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses. Discussion Team has determined that the minimum expectations for faculty using Canvas are to post the course syllabus, respond to Canvas messaging, and use the grade book. Beginning Fall Semester 2018, faculty will be able to post grades from within Canvas, which will then import automatically into BANNER. This will eliminate the need for faculty to re-post final grades from Canvas to BANNER. Training for Canvas use will be provided via Faculty Development.
This requirement is consistent with the college’s practice of designating officially approved technology platforms for official, college-wide internal communication to faculty, staff, students, and administration.  For example, Outlook and Bruinmail are the official email systems for SLCC internal communication. Banner is another fundamental technology at the institution. 

R. Adam Dastrup, President, Faculty Senate
Clifton Sanders, Provost for Academic Affairs

As you use Canvas you also help SLCC achieve some of its goals and maintain national standards, which include:
  • Department Requirements: Most SLCC departments require faculty to maintain a Canvas site for each course section. At a minimum, each course site should include a course home page, current grades, the course syllabus, and instructor contact information. 
  • FERPA Compliance: Canvas secures all correspondence between students and teachers, whether it's one-on-one or group interaction. Canvas maintains the privacy of each student's grades, too. 
  • Eco-friendliness: Keeping your documents and assignments within Canvas saves paper and ink, saving money and resources for you, your students, and your department. Canvas makes assignment submissions as easy as attaching a document to an email—no more printing!
  • Continuity: Courses can be reused easily. Copy last semester's course, make some edits to the new version, and you have your updated course. This allows instructors to share course materials quickly,  maintain course consistency, and simplify preparation. Old courses remain archived for record-keeping so that old assignments and communication with students can be retrieved if needed, regardless of instructor availability.

2. Benefits of Using Canvas

Canvas tools enhance your teaching power and the student's learning experience, saving more time and effort and allowing greater focus on other priorities.

  • Grading Control: Students always know where they stand in your course because the Gradebook in Canvas is always available. Canvas makes grading assignments fast and simple, saving you time. Canvas maintains assignment integrity by enabling uploaded submissions, time-stamped entries, auto-graded assignments, instant feedback, annotations, automatically weighted assignments, and much more. This will eliminate hauling around stacks of student papers and preventing debates about lost assignments.
  • Automated Tasks: Canvas Assignments use due date settings to trigger reminders to students so they're less likely to miss assignments.
  • Cloud-Based Course Content: Your Canvas course can organize and store all related materials in one centralized and secure location in a way that is easy for your students to locate and self-serve, which helps limit unnecessary correspondence. Uploading files limits or replaces unnecessary administrative tasks in preparing handouts. Students can access them 24/7 from anywhere.  
Communication tools in Canvas can help maximize your interactions with students in numerous ways. 
  • Inbox (Messages & Conversations): The Canvas Inbox functions like an email account that helps you communicate with your students in all courses. You never have to deal with managing email addresses for your students.  
  • Calendar: The global navigation menu displays a Calendar feature populating all of your class assignments to help you stay current and prevent missing out on completing an assignment for students or grading one for instructors.
  • Conferencing: Conferences make it easy to conduct synchronous (real-time) lectures for all of the students in your course, allowing you to broadcast real-time audio, video, demo applications on your desktop, share presentation slides, or demo online resources.
  • Chat: The Chat tool gives you another option to keep virtual office hours and hold live conversations with students to answer their questions.
  • Discussions: Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions, allowing both instructors and students to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions can be graded (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or ungraded (such as a forum about current events).
  • Collaborative Spaces and Groups: Canvas can provide a virtual space for students to work on collaborative documents and discussions, which are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users is immediately visible to everyone.
  • Announcements: All your students can get important updated information instantly, without having to go through your email accounts or multiple channels outside of Canvas.
  • Notifications: Instructors and students can get alerts via email, text message or social media. 
  • To-Do List: On the course homepage, the To-Do list reminds students of upcoming assignments.
  • Assignment Feedback: Instructors can easily give feedback on assignments so so students know what is expected.
The Canvas interface is customizable and intuitive, aggregating all the elements of a virtual classroom:

  • Navigation: Adaptable navigation and menu options help you navigate in a way that's most important to you.
  • Dashboard: A dashboard page quickly summarizes assignments, announcements and other relevant information across course sites.
  • User Profile: Canvas provides a personal area in the course so students can know more about each other.
  • Accessibility: Canvas is accessible to students with disabilities and meets universal access goals when materials are properly prepared.
For more information, see SLCC's Canvas Support & Resources webpage and the following Canvas Guides:

Support and Resources

Instructure (Canvas) Support

If you have questions about Canvas please contact the Canvas Hotline below: 

24/7/365 Canvas Support:
  • Hotline: 801-957-5125, Option 1 (Students)
  • Hotline: 801-957-5125, Option 2 (Faculty)
  • Email: support@instructure.com

SLCC Support

If you are a student and have questions or need assistance personal assistance, please use one of the options below
SLCC Online Student Support
If you are an instructor and have course questions or need assistance improving your content, please use one of the options to schedule an in-person consultation
F2F Canvas Course Faculty Support
Important: Our services are limited to school/business hours usually between 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday; however, you can always contact the 24-hour Hotline through Instructure (from the previous page) and they may be able to help you out with the majority of emergency or urgent issues if needed.

REV EZ 08/18/2021