Getting Started for Faculty

The following information is a summary to help you get started in Canvas. 

Quick Links


First-time Login 

  • You can access Canvas using your JHED and password through the main Canvas at JHU login. If you need help logging in for the first time, follow the Canvas log-in guide or contact the IT help desk: Report a problem online or call (410) 516-HELP. 
  • For new instructors, we recommend making sure you have already set up your JHU email account prior to accessing Canvas to make sure you receive vital notifications. All Canvas notifications are sent from [email protected].
  • When you first log in to Canvas, you will see a pop-up message.  You can accept the conditions, and then complete your log in. 

Getting Help

Canvas Mobile App

The Canvas Teacher mobile app allows faculty to facilitate their courses on the go, both inside and outside the classroom. Through Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes, this app provides quick access to grading, communicating, and updating—three of the most frequent course facilitation tasks for faculty. Canvas Teacher is available for both Android and iOS devices. 

  • Follow the mobile guide for faculty to install the Canvas Teacher App. 
  • Do not use the mobile browser for viewing courses.  
  • Explore the Canvas Community’s in-depth mobile guides for Android and iOS


  • The Dashboard is the first area you will see when you log into Canvas. The Dashboard helps you see what is happening in all of your current courses. 
  • Resource: In-depth Dashboard Guide. 
  • The global navigation menu is located on the far left-side of the screen and is visible from all pages. It contains links to your Account, Dashboard, Courses, Calendar, Inbox, History, and Help. Depending on your role in Canvas you may see additional links on the menu.  
  • Resource: In-depth Global Help Menu
  • You can manage what courses show on your dashboard by following the Canvas guide on customizing my Courses list for Instructors.

Profile Photo 

  • Images should be square in size to prevent your picture from being resized or distorted. Files can be any size or type (.jpg, .png, .gif) as long as you have room in your personal files to store the file. Canvas recommends that your profile picture be as small as possible. 
  • Resource: In-depth Profile Photos Guide. 

Chosen Name

  • Your chosen name needs to be set in myJH portal and then it will update in Canvas.
  • For more information on updating your name, visit the JHU’s Chosen Name page.


  • If you have updated your pronouns in your directory information on myJH, they will update in Canvas in most cases.
  • When setting up your pronouns in your directory information, if you selected “other” and typed your pronouns, they may not be shown in Canvas. You can then set your pronouns in Canvas directly. Despite this limitation, it is still recommended that you set your pronouns in the directory since they will update in numerous systems.


Canvas includes a set of default notification settings you can receive for your courses. However, you can change the default settings by setting your own notification settings. These settings only apply to you; they are not used to control how course updates are sent to other users.  

  • Notifications from Canvas come from [email protected], and they often show up in the “other” or “updates” area of your inbox.
  • Resource: In-depth Notifications Guide. 

All Canvas notifications are sent from [email protected].

Time Zones 

All dates and times throughout a course are displayed according to the course time zone. Courses automatically default to the account time zone. As an instructor, you should not change the time zone of your course without consulting with your division’s Teaching and Learning Center.  

Users can specify a time zone in their User Settings, which does not have any effect on the course time zone. If users have set a specific time zone in their User Settings, all course dates and times will display in their local time, but if they hover over the date and time, they can also see the course date and time.  

Course Site

There is typically no need to request an Academic Course site in Canvas. Faculty can check SIS to confirm where and when their course is being taught.

Course Enrollments

For academic courses, student enrollments for your course are populated from SIS to Canvas. It can take up to 24 hours for new enrollments added in SIS to populate or drop from your Canvas site. You can not add students to your academic course, but you can add TAs and other roles.

Adding a TA to your course site

Even if you have added TAs to your course in SIS, they must be manually added to your Canvas course sites.

Resource: Add the TA to your course

Course Availability to Students (i.e., Publishing)

In order for students to view and access your course, you must publish it. You may also unpublish a course if you want to hide it from students. Once your course contains a graded submission, you cannot unpublish your course. Note that each semester, a term date is set. This date should not be changed. Even if you publish your course early, students will not be able to view it before the term date.

Course Merge Request

If any of your academic courses need to be merged in advance of term start, please contact your division’s teaching and learning center.

Important Note: Any existing student work in a published source course will be lost once merged. Request merges before courses open to students whenever possible. Unmerge requests must be done through a special request through your division’s teaching and learning center. 

Copying Course Content from STAGE to a SIS Academic Course 

Depending on your division’s policy, you may or may not need to move your content from your “STAGE” (staging course) to your SIS academic course. Contact your division’s teaching and learning center if you have questions.  

  1. Start in the destination course (i.e., your academic section).  
  2. Then follow this course import guide.  

Course Navigation

The Course Navigation Menu is a series of links directly on the left side of your course that help you and your students access different course areas. The Course Navigation Menu is visible on all course pages. 

Resource: In-depth Video for Navigation

More Questions?