Below you’ll find a list of issues you might encounter when working with Canvas and what to do to resolve them.

Getting Help

I need to know how to…

For general questions about how to use Canvas, contact 24/7 Canvas Support. Canvas offers technical assistance 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. When logged in to Canvas, click the Help button on the Global Navigation to call or chat with Support.  You may also contact your School Canvas Administrator.

The Canvas Student Guide is also available for reference. It provides step-by-step instructions and on-demand videos about how to use and navigate Canvas.

I can’t log in to Canvas.

All students are required to enroll in 2FA (two factor authentication) for all WUSTL key enabled applications, including Canvas. If you have not enrolled, visit the Information Technology website for step-by step directions. If you have enrolled and are still experiencing issues, follow the steps below:

  1. Check to make sure your WUSTL Key is working by logging on to
    1. If your WUSTL Key is NOT working contact visit the WUSTL Key website for more information
    2. If your WUSTL Key IS working go to Step 2.
  2. Make sure you are logging on to the correct version of Canvas.
    1. Most WashU students access courses via the main WashU instance of Canvas
    2. MD program students access courses via the WUSM MD Program Canvas.
    3. MAGEEP Students access courses via the MAGEEP Canvas.
  3. If your issue is not resolved in steps 1 or 2 above, contact the Help Desk at 314-933-3333 and explain the issue.
A course missing from my Dashboard.

Check your complete course enrollments.

In the Global Navigation Bar, click Courses and then All Courses.  All courses

  1. If the course is unpublished (“No” displays in the Published column), contact your instructor.
    Not published
  2. If the course is published, check WebSTAC to ensure you are truly enrolled in the course.
  3. If it has been less than 24 hours since you registered for the course, it might take until the next day to appear in Canvas.
  4. If it has been more than 24 hours since you registered, contact 24/7 Canvas Support via the Help button.
I want my name to display differently.

Canvas displays the “preferred name” you provided to WashU. If you haven’t already, submit a preferred name according to the Preferred Name Policy.

Who is my School Canvas Admin?

Refer to the list of contacts in the “School-Level Support” page of this website.

What training is available?

A variety of training opportunities are available, including webinars, Demo Courses, and a “Welcome to Canvas” course. Visit the Training page for a complete list of options. You’ll also find a collection of helpful videos and guides on the Tools and Resources page.

Courses – General

How long should courses be accessible after the end of the term?

Generally, courses will be available for 365 days after the end of the term. Note: Instructors or admin can make changes and end access sooner or keep them accessible longer, if needed. Refer to the Canvas Community to learn how to change the start and end date for a course.

Canvas – General

How do I suggest a Canvas feature enhancement?

Canvas welcomes ideas from participants of the Canvas Community and routinely incorporates submitted ideas into the company’s product development plan. Ideas may be submitted by instructors, system administrators, and educational leaders like you. For details, read the article Canvas Feature Development Process.

How do I request a new organization?

If you think you need an organization in Canvas, run the Organization Wizard. It will present a short series of questions and recommend an appropriate software alternative, based on the answers you provide.

Assignments and Grades

What is the process for submitting grades from Canvas to EGrades?

Click to access the Canvas EGrades Quick Guide.

How do I adjust assignment due dates for an individual student, such as when a student hasn’t completed a course or needs an extension?

Instructors can extend an assignment due date for one particular student that works separately from the dates for everyone else in the course.  Learn more about assigning an assignment to an individual student.

How do I use Turnitin?

Visit Turnitin for step-by-step instructions.

What is Turnitin’s Similarity Report and how is it interpreted?

To understand how Turnitin works and how it benefits the grading process, we recommend you read the Similarity Report and how to interpret the report.

Preparing and Migrating Content

Can I build a future course in my Demo Course?

Yes. If you have a Demo Course, we encourage you to use it to build a future course for which you don’t yet have a course shell. After you’ve built the course in your Demo Course, you will be able to easily copy from there to your future course shell(s). If you make a mistake and need to start over, you can “reset” a course to wipe out all data and return the course shell to its starting condition. For future reference, here’s the page on how to copy a course within Canvas.

Merging Course Sections

I want to merge multiple sections of a course.

Canvas course sections may be merged into a single Canvas course of your choice using the Canvas cross-listing feature. However, a cross-listing MUST be completed before the courses/sections are published and before students submit course materials. Find out more about cross-listing and how to cross-list.

If you have Instructor permissions in each of the courses/sections to be merged, you are able to complete a cross-listing on your own. If you need help completing the cross-listing, contact 24/7 Canvas Support, available via the Help button in Canvas and/or watch this video demonstration.

If you do not have Instructor permissions in each of the courses/sections to be merged, contact your School Canvas Administrator for assistance.

After sections have been merged, students will only see the course number and title of the chosen course in Canvas (to which you added the merged sections), although individual section groupings are retained in the background. You will want to notify your students of the merged course number and title so they will know what to expect. For example, you might send an email explaining how the course title and number will appear in Canvas.

If at any point you decide you need to undo a course merge, please contact 24/7 Canvas Support for assistance.

How is merging sections different from cross-listing courses?

At Washington University, courses are cross-listed by the registrar’s office, while sections of a course may be merged by a school or instructor to accommodate instruction. However, in Canvas the feature used to merge sections is Cross-list. Read more in the FAQ How do I merge sections of a course. Official cross-listing of courses still must be managed at the registrar’s office.

How do I unmerge sections of a course?

Instructors cannot unmerge sections of a course. If you need to unmerge, please contact 24/7 Canvas Support for assistance. For details, see the FAQ How do I contact Canvas Support?

Student Access

A student is missing from my course. What do I do?
  1. Verify that the student is now showing up on the People tab in your course.
  2. Check WebFAC to verify the student is officially enrolled in the course.
  3. Verify that the student did not enroll TODAY; enrollment may take up to 24 hours to process.

If the person IS NOT on the People tab and IS enrolled in the course AND did not enroll today, contact your School Canvas Administrator.

I need to add someone to my class.

Generally, course roles are added by school registrars via WU Course Listings, as described in the Canvas Roles & Permissions Summary. The registrar links the individual to the course in SIS, and then the role will flow through to Canvas. Contact your school registrar to add the person to your course in SIS.

To add an Observer, Guest, or Guest Student, complete the request form.

Students can’t access my course.

Verify the course is published. See How do I publish a course? 

Students can’t access a course file or component. (e.g., They receive an “unauthorized” message.)

Contact your instructor. You may have discovered a broken link. Include details about what you attempted to access.

Blackboard Retirement

When will Blackboard be retired?

Blackboard was retired on December 31, 2019. 

How can I access my Blackboard course materials after Blackboard is retired?

From January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020:
By request only, past Blackboard courses will be available in a format that can be imported into a Canvas course (e.g., demo course or other active course). Contact your School Canvas Administrators to submit your request. Requests will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Allow up to 3 business days for processing.

After June 30, 2020:
Only Blackboard archive files will be available by request through School Canvas Administrators.  The format of the archive files is NOT one that can be imported into Canvas. Instead, it will be delivered to you in a format that can be used only to view grades and student submissions, but it can NOT be imported into Canvas.

What historical Blackboard data will I be able to access?

Archive files will be available for the 7 years spanning Spring 2012 to Spring 2019.  School Canvas Administrators will be able to access the archives and send a file containing student submissions and grades to instructors, based upon request.