PNG 520
Phase Relations in Reservoir Engineering

About Canvas


Following is information about Canvas, Penn State's Learning Management System (LMS). In Canvas, registered students may consult course calendars; communicate with instructors, teaching assistants, and fellow students; submit assignments; receive feedback from the instructor and teaching assistant; take online quizzes and surveys; and check assignment scores and course grades. A link to Canvas appears on every page.

Quick Guide for Students

If you are new to Canvas, it is strongly recommended that you complete the PSU: Canvas Student Orientation.

You may also want to review the Canvas Student Guide to acclimate yourself further, and watch the following video:

Video: Canvas Overview (3:30)

Credit: Canvas Overview for Students from Canvas LMS.

Click for Transcript of Canvas Overview

In this video, you will learn how to navigate your Dashboard, courses, and Global Navigation Menu in Canvas.

When you log in to Canvas, the first thing you see is the Dashboard, which provides a high-level overview of your current courses. The Dashboard can be displayed in three different viewing options.

Card View displays a course card for each of your favorite courses. Each card can include clickable icons for Assignments, Announcements, Discussions, and Files. List View displays an agenda view of graded items from your courses, as well as any non-graded items your instructors designate for a course To Do list. You can also add your own items to the agenda.

Recent Activity View displays a stream of recent notifications from all your courses, including announcements, conversations, assignments, discussions, and peer reviews.

You can also access the course grades page from the Course Card and Recent Activity Views by clicking the View Grades button. The Grades page displays grades for all of your courses. To view grade details for a specific course, click the name of the course.

To view a course, click the Courses link in Global Navigation and click the name of the course you want to view. The course opens to the home page set by your instructor.

You can use the Course Navigation links, breadcrumb navigation, or the sidebar to navigate to different areas of the course.

The sidebar includes a To Do list that displays links to announcements and other items that require action in your courses, such as assignments, quizzes, discussions, and pages.

If your course includes student groups, you can view a list of your groups in Course Groups. Click the group name to view the group homepage. View recent assignment feedback in Recent Feedback. Click the assignment name to view feedback in the Submission Details page.

Canvas displays a Global Navigation Menu that gives you direct access to your courses and other areas of Canvas.

Click the Account link to log out of Canvas, specify your notification preferences, upload and view personal files, modify your user settings, manage ePortfolios, obtain a QR code to log in to the Student app, view global announcements, and enable a high-contrast user interface.

Click the Dashboard link to return to the Canvas Dashboard. Click the Courses link to quickly access your favorite courses and view a list of all your courses. Click the Groups link to access groups in which you are enrolled or view a list of all your groups.

Click the Calendar link to view your personal calendar and course calendars. Click the Inbox link to view and send messages to your instructors and peers within Canvas. Click the History link to view a list of course content and content areas you have viewed within the last three weeks.

Click the Help link to access help resources for your institution.

Thanks for watching this Canvas overview video. To learn more about Canvas, ask questions, or engage with other Canvas users, please visit

Supported Browsers and Computer Configuration

The Canvas Help Center provides extensive, up-to-date documentation on making sure your computer is configured properly for Canvas. Failure to follow these recommendations may result in significant issues while viewing materials, taking assessments, and using drop boxes. Use of unsupported browsers is at your own risk.

Your Canvas Profile and User Settings let you control your personal information in Canvas. Take a few minutes to personalize your Canvas profile and set your Notification Preferences, by following the instructions below.

Setting Up Communications

Task Instructions
Personalize your Canvas Profile
  • Go to Canvas.
  • Click on the 'Account' link.
  • Click on the 'Profile' link.
  • Follow the instructions on the Canvas Profile and User Settings page to customize important aspects of your profile including, but not limited to your preferred e-mail address(es) and text (SMS) contact method for course notifications, your time zone, and your profile picture.
If you use PSU OneID

Students who are enrolled with OneID will not receive emails automatically from Canvas due to not having PSU email access. We advise that students set up a personal email address for notifications.

  • Log into Canvas
  • Click on the "Account" link
  • Click on the "Settings" link.
  • In account settings, add a personal email address on the right-hand side.
  • Go to Account>Notifications to set specific notification settings, as described in the next section.
Set your notification preferences

You have the option to select how, when, and for what information you would like to receive notifications. This can be very helpful when keeping track of items such as discussion posts, assignment due dates, and exams. Visit Canvas Notification Preference Support and follow the instructions for setting up your notification preferences. The video below this table provides additional information.

To ensure that your Canvas Inbox messages forward to your regular e-mail account immediately, check the "Notify me right away" option (the checkmark) for each item under "Conversations" in Notification Preferences.

Set your timezone
  • Go to Canvas.
  • Click on Settings in the Course navigation menu.
  • The Course Details page will open.
  • In the Time Zone drop-down menu, select a time zone for your course.
  • Scroll down and click Update Course Details.

Download the Canvas App For information on using the app by device, please see the following:

Video Tutorial: Canvas Notification Preferences (2:56)

Click for Transcript of Notification Preferences in Canvas

In this video, you will learn about managing your notification settings for all courses and for an individual course.

To get started, click the Account link in the Global Navigation menu.

Then click the Settings link.

To add an email, click the Add Email Address link.

Enter your email address in the field and click the Register Email button.

After your email has been registered, you will receive a confirmation email. To complete registration, click the link provided in the email.

To manage notifications for all your courses, click the Notifications link in the User Navigation menu.

You can also access your notifications from anywhere in Canvas by clicking the Account link and clicking the Notifications link.

Notification settings are divided into sections including: Course Activities, Discussions, Conversations, Scheduling, Groups, Conferences, and Alerts.

Each section includes notification categories. You can view what triggers each notification by hovering your cursor over the category.

Contact methods linked to your account and push notifications for the Canvas apps are listed in individual columns.

To change how often you receive notifications for a specific category and contact method, click the corresponding notification icon.

You can receive notifications immediately, receive a daily or weekly summary, or turn notifications off completely.

Instructors, students, and observers can also manage notification settings at the course level. To open a course, click the Courses link in Global Navigation and click the name of the course.

In the Course Home Page, click the View Course Notifications button.

You can choose to enable or disable notifications for your course using the Enable Notifications toggle button.

If notifications have been enabled for your course, you can specify how often notifications are sent to a contact method for a specific category. Course notification sections and categories may differ from those available at the account level. However, course level settings will override notification settings at the account level for that course.

To manage how often you receive notifications for a specific category and contact method, click the corresponding notification icon. Then click how often you'd like to receive the notification.

Thanks for watching this Notification Settings overview video. To learn more about Canvas, ask questions, or engage with other Canvas users, please visit