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Canvas (Faculty)

Canvas is the University’s Learning Management System. It is used by instructors to publish course materials, create assignments and quizzes, foster interaction, etc. Review our information below and visit our new MSU Canvas Faculty Orientation course.

Log into Canvas
How do I log into Canvas?
You may log into Canvas with your Montclair State NetID and Password.
How do I access my courses?
Courses you register for on NEST are automatically populated to your Canvas dashboard. Courses are automatically added to your Canvas dashboard every 24 hours.

While IT makes all courses available 3 business days prior to the start of the semester, all instructors reserve the right to publish and unpublish courses on their own.

Are Canvas Guides available?
Yes. Both the Canvas Instructor Guide and Canvas Student Guide are available at See below for access to our MSU Canvas Faculty Orientation.
Is there a Canvas Community?
Yes! You may access the Canvas Community at When logging in, select “” if you are not logged in automatically.
Can I record and host my own videos on Canvas?
Videos produced by instructor can be uploaded to Pantopto and easily shared with Canvas.
Is Canvas Support available on campus?
Yes! The IT Service Desk is available to assist with Canvas. Call (973) 655 – 7971, option 3 to be forwarded directly to a Canvas representative. Help is also available via email at
Can I receive Canvas training?
Yes! Canvas training is available both in both face-to-face and online formats. Consult the ITDS Course Registration website to view and register for workshops. We also have an MSU Canvas Faculty Orientation course available to all faculty.
What version of Canvas are we on?
Canvas does not use version numbers. All Canvas customers are always on the current version of Canvas. Canvas receives vetted updates every three weeks. For in-depth release notes, visit the Canvas Release Notes page for more information.

Features and Services


According to Instructure, “ensuring an accessible and pleasant experience to all users, regardless of disability, is a key focus of Canvas. The Canvas platform was built using the most modern HTML and CSS technologies, and is committed to W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and Section 508 guidelines.”

While the Canvas platform itself is accessible, it is important that the content that you create is also accessible. You may use the Canvas Accessibility Checker to review your own HTML content. For information on making your file uploads accessible, it is highly recommended that you review the Digital Accessibility Initiative website and Instructure’s General Accessibility Design Guidelines.

In addition, Ally for Canvas is embedded in all University Canvas courses and automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative accessible formats. Ally also guides instructors on how to improve the accessibility of course content.

Navigating the New Canvas Gradebook

The New Canvas Gradebook is an improved version of the current Gradebook, which includes a more flexible and intuitive grading experience. Starting Spring 2020 all Canvas courses have been upgraded to the new Gradebook.

Extended Time for Quizzes and Exams

Canvas offers faculty the ability to modify the time needed to complete an exam or quiz. Particularly for accessibility reasons, instructors can give extra time on quizzes and exams for students who need it. Review the Documentation on Extended Time for Canvas Exams and Quizzes for more detailed information.

Canvas Commons

According to Instructure, “Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. A digital library full of educational content, Commons allows Canvas users to share learning resources with other users as well as import learning resources into a Canvas course.”

For more on Commons, refer to the Canvas Commons Guides.


BigBlueButton is the web conferencing tool that is seamlessly integrated into each Canvas course. This conference tool makes it easy to conduct synchronous (real-time) online class meetings to all students enrolled in your course.  BigBlueButton can be also used to conduct web meetings outside of Canvas. If you are interested in having access to BigBlueButton outside of Canvas for academic or departmental purposes, please contact Terry Steckowich at

Benefits of Canvas Conferences:

  • Connect with your students for online office hours or study sessions.
  • Connect with your colleagues for professional development webinars.
  • Practice presenting online. Students can set up practice presentations for their Groups.
  • Invite special guests to your classroom by adding them as a student or observer.
  • Broadcast a live event or lecture to the students that can’t be onsite.
  • Record your conferences so students can view them at a later date.

Canvas Conferencing Documentation for Faculty Conferencing FAQ’s (Big Blue Button)

LockDown Browser

Respondus Lockdown Browser creates a restricted test-taking environment. The Respondus LockDown Browser does not allow other windows to be opened during the quiz and helps prevent cheating. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. This is particularly helpful for tests/exams in supervised classrooms or lab environments.

Additionally, LockDown Browser integrates with the Canvas Learning Management System. Faculty can create quizzes that can only be accessed using LockDown Browser. For more information about implementing, using, installing, and finding LockDown Browser, please consult the documentation below:



  • LockDown Browser is installed on the following lab computers:
    • University Hall 5007 desktops
    • University Hall 5008 laptops
    • Sprague Library loaner laptops
  • Download and install LockDown browser on your personal computer