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Canvas :: Canvas - Overview (UW-Madison)

This document outlines resources for instructors on how to get started with Canvas at UW-Madison.

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Credit-based courses in Canvas

All credit-based courses from the UW-Madison Course Guide (sometimes referred to as "timetable" courses) are available in Canvas prior to the start of each academic term and can be accessed at For details on the Canvas automated creation schedule each term, refer to Canvas - Automatic Course Creation Schedule. For information on how courses and sections are created, based on the configuration in the Student Information System (SIS), refer to Canvas - How Automated Course and Section Creation Works.

Currently UW-Madison does not remove past Canvas courses or restrict instructor's access to to past courses. This policy may be revisited in the future as needs change. 

Non-credit courses in Canvas

In addition to traditional credit-based courses, Canvas can be used to deliver non-credit courses. This includes the following:

  • Continuing Studies/lifelong learning "L3" (enrichment or ongoing education) courses for external audiences
  • Compliance or institutional training courses primarily for UW-Madison employees and/or students

To use Canvas for these purposes, you must request a Canvas course (see the next section).

Request a Canvas course

Credit-based courses are automatically generated prior to each term. Canvas courses for other purposes can be requested through the Canvas Non-Credit Course Request form.

There are a number of reasons you may want to request a Canvas course:

  • For a sandbox course to experiment with Canvas and/or develop content outside of an official course
  • To deliver a Continuing Studies/lifelong learning "L3" course
  • To deliver a compliance or institutional training course for UW-Madison employees and/or students
  • For a course to house supplemental materials related to a Course Guide ("timetable") course or for-credit program
  • For a Blueprint template course for sharing course components across multiple courses

You will need to indicate your reason for needing a course when you complete the form.

Canvas support and training

Technical support of Canvas at UW-Madison is provided by the DoIT Help Desk. So if you have questions about Canvas, or are experiencing issues with Canvas, the Help Desk is the best resource.

For information on available Canvas training, please see Canvas - Training Resources (UW-Madison). For the latest updates about Canvas, please see the UW-Madison Canvas Information website.

For general questions about delivering a Continuing Studies/lifelong learning "L3" course for external audiences to Canvas, please contact:

For questions about using Canvas to deliver employee/staff and training courses, large-scale training and compliance courses for employees, and compliance courses for students, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.

Canvas system requirements and supported browsers

Note: Based on feedback from UW-Madison users, Canvas functions best when used with Chrome or Firefox. Safari is not recommended.

Canvas release schedule

Instructure releases updates to Canvas monthly. Please see "Canvas Release Notes" for information on new releases. New releases also generally contain a short video summarizing changes in a release. Check the release notes often to stay informed on bug fixes or new features coming to Canvas.

Topics Map > LMS > Canvas
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No.Document TitleIDUpdatedHits
1 **** Canvas - Faculty Center Grade Prep Tool and Final Grade Preparation
2 *** Help Desk - Which video conferencing or webinar tool should I use? Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Google Hangouts Meet, Cisco Webex , Microsoft Teams, Zoom
3 *** Canvas - Upload and embed a new Kaltura Mediaspace video in a Canvas page
4 *** Canvas - Importing Content from another Canvas Course
5 Learn@UW - Service Status Pages for Learn@UW Tools
6 Atomic Assessments - Accessibility & Usability Guide for Instructors
7 Kaltura - Ordering machine captions for media in Kaltura MediaSpace
8 Kaltura - How to edit captions in Kaltura MediaSpace
9 Canvas - Getting Started with New Analytics
10 Canvas - Course Roles and Permissions
11 AEFIS - Syllabus - Working with the AEFIS Syllabus
12 Canvas - AlcoholEdu Course
13 Canvas - How to Use Your Laptop or Desktop Computer to Get Video Into a Canvas Discussion Reply (UW-Madison)
14 Canvas - Crosslisting/Merging a Canvas Course (UW-Madison)
15 Canvas - Student Tech Modules in Canvas Commons
16 Canvas - Examining the Grade Posting Policy
17 Canvas - Honors Optional Course Sections
18 Canvas - Best practices for delivering online quizzes and exams in Canvas
19 AEFIS - Eval Results - Viewing Survey Response Rates & Results (TA)
20 Canvas - Parent App

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