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Canvas – Learning Management System

What is Canvas?
How to access Canvas
Canvas Procedures to be aware of
Merging Courses
Extending Access Beyond the Semester
The Basics 
Beyond the Basics Canvas 
Ideas on incorporating Canvas in course
Research on Using Learning Management System (LMS) in Courses
How to Get More Help and Training Opportunities

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) that provides instructors with the ability to distribute course materials and much more. It includes assessment and communication tools, student and teacher apps for mobile access, and analytics for monitoring usage.

The Cool Things You Can Do with Canvas - Video

How to access Canvas

  1. Go to
  2. Use your UNO NetID (Username and Password)

If your primary home campus is UNMC or UNL use this link to access UNO Canvas.

Important Canvas Procedures

  1. Each semester your college or department will update MavLINK with the courses you will be teaching. Once this is completed Canvas will be updated (overnight) and your course(s) will appear in the Canvas Dashboard as well as the Courses link. The week before the start of semester and the first week of classes this update happens twice a day. Canvas is populated with upcoming semester courses on the following schedule:
  • Fall Semester - April 1st
  • Spring Semester - November 1st
  • Summer Semester - March 1st 
  1. As of May 2017 courses will be kept within Canvas for 10 semesters. If this procedure needs to be altered Information Technology Services will partner with Faculty Senate before any changes are made. This procedure was put into place due to Federal Financial Aid rules. 
  2. A month after semester is over students will only have read access to your course. Students will no longer find courses on the Dashboard. Students and instructors will need to look within the Courses icon under past enrollments.
  3. Incompletes: If a student has an incomplete and needs access to one of your courses contact the Technical Support desk at 402.554.4357 or Information needed is students name and NUID along with the course number, section number, and term.
  4. There is a Federal Law on documenting student activity in course if student receives financial aid and then drops the course. The UNO Financial Aid office will contact you to complete a form. The student becomes inactive within Canvas when they drop the course, but you can go back and check activity on this student. The steps in Canvas are:
    1. Select People.
    2. Find the student in the list that has the Inactive button.
    3. Select the vertical ellipses on the inactive student and the select User Details.
    4. A new screen appears and select User Activity and Student Grades.

Check out this video to watch these steps

Merging Courses

UNO has set up an option within Canvas Help for instructors to merge courses. Click the ? Help icon and select UNO Canvas Utilities.  Then select Merge Courses and Sections and follow the prompts on the screen. The primary course you select will be the course you see in Canvas. The other course sections will not be viewable by you or your students.  Video Demostration.

The merge function can only be done during the first four weeks of the semester. This is due to trying to merge when you have assignments and grading in the courses causes major problems for you and the students. Once course is merged, here are two important items related to People and Gradebook functions:

  • Select People from within course and a listing of students appears. There is a column showing the course/section the student enrolled in. You can also view by course/section within the grade book.

  • Gradebook will list all the students from the merged courses. To display students from one of the merged courses select Showing All Sections. This option may assist if you are teaching an undergraduate and honors class and need to give different assignments to students.

Extending Access Beyond the Semester

Students normally lose access to participate within a Canvas course about two weeks after the semester ends.  If students need access for a longer amount of time, such as if they have taken an incomplete for the semester, access to the Canvas course can be extended for select students.  In Canvas click the ? Help icon and select UNO Canvas Utilities.  From the list select Extended Course Access for Select Students and follow the prompts on the screen. Video Demonstration.

Note: this process is only for extending access to a course in Canvas not an official process related to a student taking an incomplete grade.  Policies related to incompletes should be referenced on the UNO Registrar's web site.    

For Students

Access documentation, videos and FAQs to help you use Canvas as a student.

For Faculty

Access documentation, videos, events, workshops and FAQs to help you use Canvas as an instructor.

For Visitors

For Visitors

Learn more about accessing Canvas using a visitor account.

Canvas @ UNO History

Learn more about why we are looking at Canvas and what we accomplished with the Fall 2016 exploration project.

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For a complete list of support resources, visit our Support page.