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Canvas is the University of Illinois' official learning management system (LMS). This state-of-the-art, user-friendly platform provides students and instructors with one central location where they can easily access their course syllabus, assignments, announcements, grades and anything else that is pertinent to their course. (NOTE: Some niche programs may use a different LMS that is tailored to their specific needs.)

Learn more about Canvas by:


If you're new to Canvas, here are some steps to take to help you get started:


Canvas is known for its intuitive tools and features. Here are a few:

  • Attendance lets you easily take attendance based off a class list or seating chart.
  • With Syllabus items listed in the Course Summary are automatically hyperlinked to content. The Course Summary provides an organizational view of the course based on due dates and calendar events. New assignments and quizzes automatically are added to the syllabus tool. If your gradebook uses weights, this is automatically updated.
  • Collaborations allows faculty and students to easily integrate things like Google Docs and Microsoft Word documents directly in the course. (NOTE: Availability of specific items, including Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365, will be determined by campus administration and are not yet available.)
  • SpeedGrader is similar to Blackboard's online grading feature but includes additional features that allow you to annotate submissions by adding comments, highlighting text, and drawing; grade with Canvas Instructor App; record audio and video feedback for student submissions; and use speech-to-text to give feedback (in Chrome).

Learn about more tools and features in Canvas.


Below are some of the most common questions encountered by the Instructional Support Team and a quick first step from them:

  1. How do I get a site for my upcoming course?
    1. Requesting a course site is a manual process. Go to https://canvasspacerequest.illinois.edu/request/space_type/ . Almost all courses will be Registrar-Affiliated. Follow their instructions for ordering your course site. Note that adding content, such as the material used in a previous course, is also a manual process. The IST is happy to assist you in that work.
  2. How do I provide an extension on an assignment for a student?
    1. Canvas provides considerable flexibility for assignment extensions, please look at this article: https://answers.uillinois.edu/124843.
  3. How do I create groups, such as for my discussions?
    1. This article in Instructure’s support is a great introduction into how groups work in Canvas: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/What-are-Groups/ta-p/16.
  4. How do I finalize my grades for submission to Banner?
    1. This article in the Knowledge Base provides a good overview of the grade submission process and other grading matters in Canvas: https://answers.uillinois.edu/118141.
  5. Why aren’t my TA’s in the course?
    1. The TA staff must be manually added, since they aren’t part of the academic roster provided by the registrar. Go to the People tab in the navigation and then to the “+ People” tool to enter the information for your TA staff.

There are several assistance options for the Canvas learning management system. If you prefer to approach your questions on your own, Instructure (Canvas’s parent company) provides support via the Help button located at the bottom of the navigation bar of every Canvas course site. That button leads to options for using their chats, a phone support option, and links to support materials created here at UIUC. The following link will direct to the Tech Services Knowledge Base, which is structured with topical information as well as allowing for direct questions: https://answers.uillinois.edu/illinois/page.php?id=112312.

CITL’s Instructional Support Team is also available for questions via our citl-info@illinois.edu email. We are very happy to meet with you in person or online to assist you with your Canvas questions and needs. Additionally, we provide open office hours every Thursday from 11am until noon on Zoom, accessible via https://calendars.illinois.edu/list/5064.


CITL's Instructional Support Team provides Canvas training and assistance, including helping to migrate existing courses.


For Canvas technical support, contact the Technology Services Help Desk. Help Desk hours are:

  • Monday — Friday: 8 am — 9 pm CST
  • Saturday — Sunday: 12 pm — 5 pm CST

Contact the Help Desk at consult@illinois.eduor 217-244-7000