Canvas Support FAQ

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Canvas Support FAQ

On this page, you find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about Canvas and the use within courses at Maastricht University.

We hope your question has been answered!
If not, please contact us.


Access to Canvas

Will Student Portal remain after the transition to Canvas?


Student Portal will continue to be the main portal for students. In Student Portal students will see their courses and be able to access the courses of next academic year in Canvas. Older courses will remain accessible via Student portal in Blackboard.

How long will Blackboard be accessible after the transition to Canvas?

As of 4 August 2020 Canvas will be the official UM Learning Management System. Full Blackboard License stops mid September 2020 but Blackboard will remain accessible until at least January 2022 as an archive system; both teachers and students still have access to Blackboard but only to access and download material. No new material can be added to Blackboard

General  Canvas questions

Are messages sent by to be trusted?

Yes, is the address Canvas uses to send messages, e.g. notifications.


How can I set my notification preferences?

General notifications can be set in your Account, in the global menu on the left. Furthermore settings can be adjusted for each individual course. On the course homepage is a button Course Notifications in the upper right corner.


Can I make sure students receive notifications of an announcement?

In Canvas students can set their own notification preferences and a teacher cannot make sure a student receives a notification. In Student Portal students will see a list of all notifications.


How to use Canvas for online education?

Canvas offers several tools to facilitate online meetings with your students.


Additional tools

Can I use student view with additional tools, like FeedbackFruits?

No, student view does not work with additional tools.

Does Canvas offer the same easy access SA-report overview as EleUM?

In Canvas Ouriginal is available as plagiarism tool. Unfortunately, the Canvas integration of Ouriginal does not offer the same option as Safe Assign does in Blackboard, where you can sort on matching percentage. In the grade book, however a coloured tab icon indicates for each student whether the score is high (red tab),  medium (amber tab) or low (blue tab). This enables the teacher to see which reports need to be checked.

Will Zoom be integrated in Canvas?

Yes, Zoom is already integrated in Canvas. It is available in the menu of the new courses. If it is not visible, it can be made available via Settings>Navigation then drag the Zoom option to the upper block of items and click on save.​

Is Keylinks Learning Resources integrated in Canvas

Yes, Keylinks Learning Resources is integrated in Canvas, this means that in all courses of the faculties that are using Keylinks lists, a link to their list is available on the Resources page. If you have created a reference list in Keylinks and the list is published by the University Library the list is directly accessible through this link.


Can I make an assignment available for a section or one student?

Yes, when you edit an assignment you can select one or more sections or individual students with Assign to. Sections and students will be listed there but you can also start typing the name.

What is a group assignment?

A group assignment can be assigned to a group set and will be available for all groups in that group set. With a group assignment the submissions are made for the whole group, so the teacher and each member of the group will see the same submissions. It is not possible to assign an individual assignment to a group.

Building a course

What is the maximum size of a Canvas course?

The maximum course size is 1 GB.

What does the UM course template look like?

Maastricht University faculties agreed to use the same Canvas course template for all bachelor and master courses. If you teach a bachelor or master course, you will be working with it. Find out what the UM course template looks like.

What tips do you have to ensure that my Canvas course is as digital accessible as possible?

Did you know that ten percent of our students have a disability, which creates an obstacle to studying and following education? Read the news item for easy-to-apply recommendations regarding digital accessibility when creating your course in Canvas.

Is it possible to copy a page?
Yes, go to the page you want to copy, click on the three dots next to the Edit button, and select Copy to, then search for the destination course. You have to be enrolled with sufficient permissions in both courses to be able to do this.
Is it possible to copy a course?

Yes, you can copy a course in Canvas to another one, e.g. last year’s course to the version of this year. Please read the manual for more information.

Is it possible to copy and paste a course from Blackboard to Canvas?

There is no simple option to copy paste a course from Blackboard to Canvas. It is possible to export a course from Blackboard and import it in Canvas but this is certainly not a real copy paste option since it involves a lot of editing and structuring afterwards. Only in exceptional individual cases (courses with extreme amounts of information and documents to be transferred) this option might be considered. The project team strongly advises manual transition.

Courses in education

When is my course available to students?

New courses are by default unpublished, not accessible for students. When you want students to be able to access your course you can publish it with the Publish button in the top right corner of the homepage.

What about the course start and end date>

You don’t have to do anything about the course start or end date.The start date is by default set on a date a few weeks before the start of the relevant academic year and the end date 2 months after the end of the academic year. If the course is published, students have access to the course between those dates. After the end date the course will change to concluded which means that it is read only for students and teachers.


Is it possible to make content available at a specified time in the future?

Yes this is possible. A whole module can have availability settings within a course, opening up to students at a specified time. Also, items like discussions, assignments, quizzes, files and announcements can have their own specified time regardless of the module settings. This is not possible for the item ‘pages’, those can only be specified within a module.

Is it possible to restore accidentally deleted content to a course?

Yes this is possible. Go to the course homepage and type /undelete behind the url  (it looks like: You can now see and restore deleted items to your course.


How can I change the total grades from percentage to points?

The total grade can only be changed from percentage to points if you don’t use weighted assignment groups in your course. It is done with the three dots in the column header. Otherwise the only option is to work with a grading scheme which assigns a point value to a range of percentages, e.g. 0-10% -> 1 11-20 % – > 2 etc. If you want decimal points you have to use even smaller ranges.

For more information see and​ 

Is it possible to add a (weighted) column to the Grade book?

It is possible to add columns to the Grade book, but not calculated columns. You can make a Non-Submission assignment to add a column to be graded manually. If you want to make a weighted column, you have to work with Assignment Groups. You can add different weights to each assignment group. If you want to have the assignments within a group to have different weights you have to give them different total points. 


Some cells in the Gradebook are coloured, what do the colours mean?

The Gradebook has five statuses for grades:

Late, Missing, Resubmitted, Dropped and Excused. These statuses are represented by different colours. It is possible to change the colours. Open de menu View and select Status.


What are dropped grades?

Dropped is one of the possible statuses of a grade. The other options are, Late, Missing, Resubmitted and Excused.

In an assignment group it is possible to drop either the highest or the lowest grades. Dropped grades will not count towards the result of the assignment group and consequently not towards the final grade. A grade that has been dropped in this manner is given the status dropped in the Gradebook.





Can the Total grade be hidden from students' view?

Yes, the Total grade can be made (un)visible to students in the course settings, general settings>more options.


Is it possible to show students' ID numbers in the Gradebook?

Yes, to show students’ ID numbers select Grades in the course menu. Click on the three dots behind the title of the first column (Student names). Then Select Login ID under Secondary info.


How will final grading be done? At the moment coordinators get an excel table from the examiner's office that they have to fill. Will there be some more convenient approach with Canvas?

For the time being the workflow in Canvas for the final grading will be the same as the one used in EleUM, teachers still have to fill an excel sheet from the examiner’s office.

Learning analytics

What is the difference between New Analytics and Course Statistics?

Course statistics is accessible through the menu in Settings and provides an overview of the number of assignments, submissions and active students in a course. For more information:

New Analytics is accessible through the course menu and provides an overview of all grades and activities in the whole course either for all students or for a specific section or individual student. For more information:


Can a tutor see the whole course?

A tutor has access to the content of the whole course but can only see and interact with the students is his own section(s). There might be a misunderstanding about what is meant by whole course. But if a tutor needs to be able te see all students it is possible to give him that permission without changing the role.

Can teachers add other teachers or tutors to their course?

Yes, they can if the teacher or tutor already has a Canvas account. Do not add tutors and teachers that are officially teaching/tutoring the course, their enrollments should be registered in SAP and Syllabus. Only add colleagues who want to have a look at your course for other reasons.


Can teachers add students to their course?

No, students are enrolled automatically. If a student is not enrolled in a course this should be corrected in the course registration.


Sections and groups

How to create subgroups within a pbl section without a teacher having to switch screens to find the names of students who make up the pbl group?

Subgroups for 1 PBL group have to be created manually. Tutors see only their section(s) but coordinators see all students.

Are sections for tutorials made automatically and are students added to them automatically?

Yes, sections for pbl groups are created automatically and students are added to these sections. Teachers don’t have permissions to edit sections. If a student is not enrolled correctly this should be corrected in the administrative system and not in Canvas.

Can you create student subgroups randomly and automatically (but still within one tutorial group)?

You can create groups automatically but this is always for the whole course. When choosing the option Assign students randomly, you can check the option Require students to be in the same section, unfortunately this option does not work for tutorial sections because students are not only enrolled in their tutorial section but also in the section of the whole course.

If a tutor needs subgroups for his own section they have to create the groups manually and assign students to the groups manually.

Author:  UM Library



This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.


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