Questions about using Canvas:
Canvas provides 24/7 assistance via the Help Menu in your Canvas account. Login to Canvas using your access.caltech credential, open the "?" icon in the left-most navigation menu, and choose support via online chat, phone, or web form.

To contact all Caltech teams with questions about Canvas, email

All other questions:
Academic Media Technologies (AMT), Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO), Caltech Help Desk, Caltech Library, and the Registrar's Office are available M-F, 8 am – 5 pm PT.

Please email support requests to the following campus groups:

  • – how to use G Suite, Zoom, and lecture recording tools
  • – course design and teaching methods; teaching policies (e.g., FERPA , honor code); TA training; how to use Gradescope and Piazza with Canvas.
  • – platform access to G Suite, Gradescope, Canvas, and Zoom, including Zoom Pro and Zoom Webinar licenses and system requirements
  • – course materials, iPad and Apple Pencil student loaner program
  • – add/drop classes, add users in Canvas, course changes, enrollment/registration

A dedicated student support website is available at Please refer students there for complete information.

These support services are available:

  • The Hixon Writing Center will be conducting its one-to-one meetings with students online; you can find more information at
  • Deans tutors will continue to be available to support Caltech undergraduates. Students are encouraged to utilize whatever video chat apps they prefer in order to communicate most effectively with tutors, and tutors should continue tracking hours as usual. Information can be found at
  • Caltech Accessibility Services for Students will be continue to be available to support students with documented needs.
  • Counseling support continues to be available to students via telephone and the after-hours service. Telephone crisis consultation is available after business hours on weekdays, weekends, and holidays by calling the Counseling Services main line at (626) 395-8331 and pressing "2" when prompted.

Students facing challenges with internet accessibility related to financial need are encouraged to be in contact with the Deans' Office (

Zoom bombing is a phenomenon where uninvited people disrupt a zoom meeting. Keep Zoom invitations shared only with students (never publicly) and have screen sharing off for participants (now the default setting). More info here.

Both of these applications allow secure, FERPA-compliant exchange of assignments, feedback, and grades with students; they just have different features. Canvas allows streamlined hand-in, use of grading rubrics, feedback via typed or annotated comments, and voice/video feedback, and recording/return of scores. Gradescope has expanded functionality for problem sets and coding assignments, including batch grading of individual problems across an entire set of submissions and use of grading rubrics. We suggest exploring the documentation for Canvas Assignments, Canvas SpeedGrader, andGradescope a little to find out what might be best suited to your course. We also discuss different types of assignments here.

There are many platforms instructors can use to host video files during course instruction. The Video Storage Options page provides a comparison of the various types of recordings and the recommended workflows.

It is possible to use other applications; please exercise caution and consider carefully what kind of information is being shared via third-party applications. Find out more here.

We have set up a YouTube playlist with recordings from the Summer 2020 Caltech Adaptable Teaching Series, which include "How To" sessions on Canvas, Assignments/Exams, Discussion Forums, Digital Whiteboards, and discussions on a variety of remote teaching topics. In addition, this playlist of Caltech-made demonstrations and how-to's show technical demonstrations of various applications and technologies. The pages under Tech & Tools also contain links to support materials that also contain video tutorials.

Sure, we would recommend going through the pages in the Advice & Guidance section of the website, as these resources walk through key considerations and offer models for remote/online courses that have worked well at Caltech.

Under certain circumstances, auditing of courses by individuals with legitimate educational interests may be allowed. In certain instances, auditors may be charged a fee. Faculty and instructors are under no obligation to permit auditors.

Please consult information from the Registrar's Office about auditing in Spring 2021 for more details, including the categories of potential auditors and procedures:

  • Faculty send to their Division Chairs information about auditors (see link above for details depending on the type of auditor).
  • Once approved by the Division, that information will be shared with the Provost's Office, and with the Registrar's office to provide auditors with access to courses.
  • Note that giving auditors access to course materials may take several business days.

Please note that the following cases are not considered auditing:

  • Seminar series that function both as research seminars (open to investigators and the Caltech community) and seminar courses (with enrolled students), for which non-enrolled participants join live streaming Zoom sessions only and otherwise do not interact with enrolled students.
  • Faculty/instructors sharing course materials that contain no information about currently enrolled students (e.g., pre-recorded course videos made by instructors only; course notes or written materials).
  • Guest speakers/presenters contributing to course instruction.

Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, has customized the Acceptable Use Policy for the Canvas Learning Management System for Caltech, in order to clarify the ownership of the content. When you login to Canvas, you will be asked to agree to the terms shown here.