Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas 24/7 Support:

Caltech instructors, TAs, and students have access to 24/7 support from Canvas. Login as described below and find the "Help" navigation in the far left side navigation bar in Canvas, identified by the (?) icon, for chat, phone, and web-based support. NOTE: Chat and phone are recommended for fastest response.

Information for Instructors:

Log in using your access.caltech credentials, either at, or by finding Canvas in the menu at Information on browsers supported for use with Canvas is here.

Sandbox courses:

  • Faculty and instructors receive a "Sandbox" course to use for experimenting and trying out features without student enrollments
  • You may copy material from your Sandbox course into your official course shell with a few clicks using these instructions. It is necessary to use official term course shells because those are synched with the Registrar systems for student and TA access. Sandboxes remain available for experimentation and exploration of new features.

Official course shells are set up using information from the Registrar's Office; faculty, instructors, TAs, and students are automatically given access in Canvas, with dynamic updates.

  • Instructors gain access to their upcoming term course shells six to eight weeks in advance of the start of the term, provided the course has been established with the Registrar's Office.
  • Student enrollments are synced and updated starting one week before the term begins.
  • Students seeking access to course material in Canvas should register for the course in REGIS.

Moodle (Caltech's previous course management system):

  • Moodle is available for the 2020-2021 academic year only for instructors to access, export, and refer to past course materials only; new courses are using Canvas.
  • Moodle courses from the 2018-19 and 2019-2020 academic year have been migrated to Canvas in bulk. To find these migrated courses in Canvas, please open the "Courses" icon/item in the far-left navigation bar, then open "All courses," and scroll down to "Past enrollments." For more details, including how to copy migrated courses within Canvas (e.g., to your Sandbox for editing, or to an official course shell for teaching), please use these Caltech Canvas to Canvas course copy Instructions.
  • For courses taught using Moodle in the 2017-18 academic year or earlier, instructors can export their own Moodle courses and import them into Canvas at any time: please follow these Caltech Moodle Export - Canvas Import Instructions. The first part of those instructions also show how to export and keep a backup file of your Moodle course material for yourself.

Minimum Canvas content: As per this communication to faculty and fall 2020 instructors, in order to ensure that students are able to access fall courses materials while learning remotely, Caltech asks that instructors post publish in Canvas at minimum:

  • A syllabus with course policies
  • A course schedule with due dates
  • Links to any other websites or resources students will need to use.

Course Settings:

  • The course start and end dates must remain blank in each course's settings area; please do not fill in any dates and do not check any boxes below the dates fields that restrict student access.
  • To limit student access to course content before or after the term, unpublish the course or specific items within it (though please continue to allow access if you have students with incompletes so that they can finish the course). Students will automatically gain access to published courses in which they are enrolled during the term, and be set to read-only status after Add Day of the following term, except for students with incompletes, who will remain active until a final grade is posted in REGIS.

Publishing course content:

  • Please note: Once you have worked on your course, be sure to publish course elements, and then publish the full course, so that students will be able to access it (if you don't publish, they won't see it).
  • A good practice is to click on "Student View," available in the right side menu in Canvas, to see what is available to your students.

Resources for Instructors and TAs:

  • How to Get Started with Canvas - short intro and overview - Video | Slides
  • Getting Started with Canvas - training course within Canvas (view-only or login for full access)
  • Caltech Canvas Training Series - Getting the Most out of Canvas; Admin Training - YouTube Playlist -
  • Course Checklist: Student-Ready & Published - steps to getting your course ready for students - Canvas guide
  • Moodle to Canvas Self-service Instructions:
    • How to copy and use Moodle course material already imported into Canvas - PDF guide (for 2018-19 and 2019-20 courses)
    • How to export your course from Moodle and import it into Canvas - PDF guide (for courses before 2018-19)
  • Canvas Studio (Multimedia Tool) - how to upload and use video/audio (recommended for performance and storage if uploading multimedia files to Canvas) - PDF guide

Here is a preview of Caltech's Canvas instance:

A screen image preview of Caltech's Canvas instance, showing a landing page for a Getting Started with Canvas course for instructors and TAs