Students: Tips for a Better Canvas Experience

The Office of Distance Learning's Technical Support group is dedicated to helping FSU students with their online learning needs. Contact us any time you have a question, a problem, or any feedback. We are here to help you have the smoothest experience possible!

If you're having trouble with Canvas, you do not necessarily need to contact your instructor regarding simple technical issues! If it is something more serious, our ODL Technical Support specialists will let you know when it is important to contact your instructor.

Quick links:

  1. Logging in to Canvas
  2. When do I see my courses in Canvas?
  3. I'm getting an unauthorized error message
  4. How to contact ODL Tech Support
  5. How do I adjust my notifications settings in Canvas?
  6. How do I find instructor feedback in Grades?
  7. I submitted my assignment, but I'm not sure if it went through. How can I confirm that it submitted successfully?
  8. Why is my weighted group total out of 200% instead of 100%?
  9. Tip: I can't find the submit button for my assignment!
  10. Tip: Typing in assignments and discussion posts
  11. Tip: Canvas's To Do Calendar
  12. Tip: Download Canvas's mobile app
  13. Tip: Subscribe to Canvas Support Center Alerts mailing list

1. Logging in to FSU's Canvas

To access Canvas, simply log in to my.fsu.edu and then click the Canvas icon under "myFSU Links." When you're done working in Canvas, make sure to log out of both Canvas and myFSU!

2. When do I see my courses in Canvas?

The following conditions must be met in order for you to see your course in Canvas:

  • You must have registered for the class in myFSU. Canvas syncs up with your class schedule Sunday through Friday every few hours between 5am and 9pm. Learn more about how course enrollments and access work in Canvas.
  • If you have used Canvas's "favorites" option to customize which courses display on your Canvas Dashboard, then you will need to go to CoursesAll Courses to access your course. You will also need to adjust your "favorite" courses each term if you are customizing your Dashboard. Learn more about customizing the courses that display on your Dashboard.
  • Your instructor must have set up and published a Canvas course site for your section. Some instructors may choose not to use Canvas, so if you cannot find your course in Canvas, check with your instructor to find out whether they are planning to use Canvas to share course materials. However, make sure to check your CoursesAll Courses page to see if you're able to access your course site that way.
  • The instructor must have published the Canvas course to you and your classmates. All courses in Canvas begin as unpublished.

3. I'm getting an unauthorized error message

If you are trying to access a file, page, or any other item in your Canvas course and you run into the error message below, don't panic! This message usually indicates that your instructor has not published that item, so your classmates are also unable to access it. Please contact your instructor to let them know that you are unable to access the item.

Unauthorized: It appears that you don't have permission to access this page. Please make sure you're authorized to view this content. If you think you should be able to view this page, please use the "Help" link to notify support of the problem.

4. How to contact ODL Tech Support

Our office is open from 8am to 5pm (EST), Monday through Friday except during FSU holidays. Ninety-five percent of the time, we respond in less than two hours.

  1. Create a support ticket. If you're not in a huge hurry, this is our preferred method of contacting us. Click the "SUBMIT TICKET" button at the top-right corner of this website, or type "https://canvas.campus.fsu.edu/new" in your browser at any time.
    OR
    You can submit a support ticket from inside Canvas! Simply Click on the Help icon on the garnet global navigation menu, and then select the Submit a Ticket link.

    You can also access our Canvas Support Center website (Knowledge Base link in image above), Canvas's video guide, and several other helpful resources from the Help menu in Canvas.
  2. Email canvas@fsu.eduWe know: Emails are super convenient. Go right ahead! But, please use your University email account for any account- or course-related matters.
  3. Call (850) 644-8004If you need a response in less than two hours, this is the way to do it. Don't worry, you won't have to talk to a machine. We take the "real-people, real-support" approach.

5. How do I adjust my notifications settings in Canvas?

See our Canvas Notification Settings Guide. If you are using an email address other than your @my.fsu.edu address to respond to emails, then it is important to add that email address to your Canvas account. If you do not add that email address to your Canvas account, then you will not be able to successfully reply to a Canvas email notification using that account. This means that your instructor and fellow students will not receive your response unless you add this email address to your Canvs account.

6. How do I find instructor feedback in Grades?

You can access your instructor's feedback on your assignment by clicking into the Canvas course and then clicking the Grades link on the course navigation menu. On your Grades page, you will see an icon that looks like two speech bubbles appear to the right of your grade for an assignment. Click on this icon to access your instructor's feedback. Alternatively, you can click on the assignment name itself to view both your assignment submission and your instructor's feedback side-by-side.

7. I submitted my assignment, but I'm not sure if it went through. How can I confirm that it submitted successfully?

For regular Canvas assignments:

  1. Click into the course site that contains this assignment.
  2. Navigate to the assignment submission link (you will need to click on either Modules or Assignments on the course navigation menu).
  3. Click on the assignment submission link.
  4. Depending on the device you are using, you will see the "Turned in!" message with clickable links on either the right-hand side of the assignment's submission page or at the bottom of the page. This message displays the date and time that you submitted your assignment. You can double-check to make sure that you submitted the correct file by clicking the download link located here.

For Turnitin assignments, see Students: How to submit a Turnitin Assignment in Canvas. We strongly recommend downloading your Turnitin digital submission receipt for every Turnitin assignment you submit.

8. Why is my weighted group total out of 200% instead of 100%?

If your instructor uses a weighted grading scheme and also implements extra credit opportunities, you may see that your weighted grade total reads 200%.  Please see the article "Students: Why is my weighted group total out of 200% instead of 100%?" for more information.  

9. Tip: I can't find the submit button for my assignment!

Has the class started yet? Most instructors don't let their students submit anything until 10 days before the semester begins; some don't allow submissions until the first day of the semester.

Or, try another web browser. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge browsers seem to present more display issues, so we do not recommend using these browsers to access FSU's Canvas. Instead, use Google Chrome or Firefox. 

10. Tip: Typing in assignments and discussion posts

If you are typing in a long assignment or discussion post, always type it in a word document or notepad and save your changes periodically. Then, copy that text and paste it into the submission text box in Canvas. This will ensure that you don't lose your work due to a network connectivity issue.

11. Tip: Canvas's "To Do" Calendar

Do not rely on the To Do calendar in Canvas to tell you everything you need to do - not everything is listed there. Make sure to check each course for information and refer to any syllabus and course schedule that you instructor provides.

12. Tip: Download Canvas's mobile app

Canvas's mobile app can help you to stay up-to-date and complete some tasks in Canvas on-the-go! However, you can't do everything in the mobile app. If you can't access something in the mobile app, then use a computer or try the internet browser on your phone instead. We don't recommend taking a high-stakes exam on the mobile app.

12. Tip: Subscribe to Canvas Support Center Alerts mailing list

Receive Canvas system announcement notifications (the messages that display on your Dashboard) in your email inbox so that you can stay in the know on the go!

  • 962
  • 03-Oct-2018
  • 6243 Views