Getting Started – Overall

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


We recommend using an updated version of Firefox or Chrome. In-depth Guide on Supported Browsers.  

First-time Login 

  • You can access Canvas using your JHED and password through Canvas at JHU main page. If you need help logging in for the first time, follow the Canvas log in guide. If you need help logging in, contact the IT help desk: Report a problem online or call (410) 516-HELP. 
  • When you first log in to Canvas, you will see a pop-up.  You can accept the conditions, and then complete your log in. 


  • The Dashboard is the first thing you will see when you log into Canvas. The Dashboard helps you see what is happening in all your current courses. 
  • In-depth Dashboard Guide. 

Navigation – Global Navigation 

  • The global navigation menu is located at the 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.  

Profile Photo 

  • Images should be square in size to prevent your picture from being resized or distorted. Files can be any type (.jpg, .png, .gif) or size 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. 
  • In-depth Profile Photos Guide. 


  • 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 to 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.  
  • In-depth Notifications Guide. 

Navigation – Course Environment 

  • The Course Navigation Menu is a series of links on the left side of your course that help you and your students access different course areas. The Course Navigation Menu is always visible on its respective pages. 
  • In-depth Video for Navigation

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.  
  • Note: 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. 
  • In-depth Time Zones Guide.