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Faculty Resources



Located on the lower ground floor of McGuinn Hall, the Social Work Library supports the teaching and research needs of the Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW)


Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) designed to help faculty share course content, administer and grade assignments, and manage asynchronous interactions such as online discussions. A course site is provided for every course at BC, and students and instructors are automatically enrolled. 

You can access Canvas through Agora, by clicking on "Canvas Learning Management System" under the "Academics and Courses" section, or directly by typing into a browser. If your course does not appear on the Dashboard, click on "Courses" in the left-hand navigation pane, and then click on "All Courses," at the bottom of the screen. 

If you have taught your course before, you can import course content from a previous semester to your new Canvas site. 

Get Help

Library staff are available to help both you and your students with any Canvas issues or questions. Please contact Emmanuel Sosa Alvarado for assistance. 

The homepage is the first page that students see when they open up your Canvas site. By default, the homepage is a blank text box, but you can also set the homepage to display a different part of your site. It is generally recommended to include, at a minimum, the following information on the homepage:

  • Professor bio and contact information
  • Basic information about the course
  • Downloadable link to the syllabus

Announcements allow you to share important information with the students in your course directly through Canvas. Professors often use announcements for short messages and reminders. If students have the mobile Canvas app on their phones, they can access announcements there.  

Pages allow instructors to create and store interactive content directly in Canvas. A page can include text, images, videos, links to other parts of your canvas site, and links to external resources.

Modules are a tool for organizing course content, including files, external links, and assignments. Many professors choose to create a module for each week of class, which includes the assigned reading, powerpoint slides, and other supplemental materials. Modules differ from pages in that they are best used for collecting and linking to a variety of resources, without the need for images or large amounts of text.

Assignments include quizzes, graded discussions, and online submissions (i.e. text entry, file upload, video recording). Instructors can assign due dates, include directions for students, specify a submission format, and determine a grading scheme for each assignment. The assignments feature also integrates with Canvas's grading tools.

The quizzes tool allows students to take timed assessments directly in Canvas. There are multiple question types to choose from, including essay and file upload. Quizzes can be graded (e.g. midterm or final exam) or ungraded (e.g. anonymous survey).

The Canvas "Grades" function allows instructors to input, manage, and release grades to students. The Gradebook will automatically have your class roster in it, with a column for each assignment created in Canvas. Speedgrader is a tool that integrates with the Gradebook and allows you to view and grade student submissions directly in Canvas and add feedback for students in the form of comments and annotations.

Panopto allow instructors to create recordings of classroom lectures, including audio, video and screen content, and share them with students in Canvas. Instructors can also share videos saved on their computer by uploading them to Panopto, and students can use Panopto to submit video assignments.

Published vs. Unpublished

In Canvas, both individual pieces of content (e.g. pages, modules, assignments) and the course as a whole need to be published before students can view them. Until the course as a whole has been published, students will not be able to access any of its contents (even if they have been individually published). Once a course is published, only individual items that have also been published will be visible to students.