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Getting started for faculty

1. Complete the Canvas Faculty Orientation by taking the quiz

2. Log in to Canvas to access your quarter course sites and build your content

3. Publish your site

All Canvas questions need a Request Center ticket for a quicker resolution.

Learning options

Workshops and walk-in help:

eLearning & Media Center

The eLearning & Media Center located in the Library Media Center, Room D140, has walk-in help available for your Canvas courses. If you need help designing your course, please set up an appointment with the Instructional Designers on the eLearning Team.


The Training room in A109 offers workshops and walk-in lab time for you to get help with technology training. Peer to Peer faculty support for migration of Canvas sites, will be offered only during the week before the start of the quarter. Hours will be limited so check the Training website.

Canvas Help Center

Instructure, the company that owns Canvas offers an online help website with guides, videos and a user community where you may connect with faculty from other colleges to share ideas.

Bellevue College Commons Blog

The Bellevue College Commons is a blogging platform for faculty and staff open to any topic of interest to other employees and/or the public at large. It’s free, all you need is your username/NetID and password to get started! It is a great platform for anyone who would like to share thoughts on current events both on and off campus and is the best place to go for more long-form comments, thoughts and ideas.


Use the Faculty/PartTime and the Faculty/Fulltime listservs to share Canvas knowledge and tips. Access to both listservs is thru your Outlook email.

Use the BC-FYI to share information with all college employees.

Faculty Commons

The Faculty Commons is designed to provide, facilitate and support faculty-guided innovation and adaptation of curriculum and pedagogy as well as other forms of faculty professional development that contribute to student success and to the educational mission and goals of the College.

Workshops offered by the Faculty Commons

Technical help

BC Technology Service Desk

The Technology Service Desk is your first stop for getting help with technical issues with Canvas.  Actually, if you’re reading this—you’re already on the Service Desk website.  Options for getting help are available from this page—just look to your right. You can the search for Canvas help in our Knowledge Base or if you’d like one on one help, submit a ticket and someone will follow up with you.

Tech Cafe

Tech Cafe is a new drop-in help service we’re offering every quarter during the first week of the quarter. It’s an additional option for more personalized technical assistance with Canvas if you or your students need help.


Where can I find new Canvas feature releases?

Instructure provides a releases for all the upcoming features in beta and production.

Is there any self-paced Canvas training?

Yes. this link will direct you to the self-paced training. It is unmonitored, so you do not have to complete the modules. It is self learning on the basics of Canvas.

I am new hire but cannot access Canvas? Why?

Once you get a SID and PIN, you will create your Bellevue College email. You need to wait for 24 hours before accessing any system on campus including Canvas.

Your department chair will add you to your assigned course in the HP registration system/Class schedule. The HP script then connects with Canvas and creates a Canvas shell. Unless that is done you will not be assigned any courses in Canvas and you will also need to wait for your  enrollment of the Online Faculty Orientation.

If your hire date is in the future you will get access to Canvas on your hire date and not before.

What are the user roles in Canvas?

We have 5 user roles in Canvas – ( Teacher, Associate Teacher, Observer, Class Assistant and Student). To be added as an Associate Teacher, Observer or Class Assistant you need to send a Request Center ticket. Students and Teachers are assigned by the system.

What’s this I hear about mandatory Canvas use?

No one will be required to use Canvas, other than those teaching online or hybrid sections. Those wishing NOT to use Canvas will be required to post a message on their Canvas course site stating that it will not be active.  Instructions and a short tutorial on how to do this will be provided; the actions needed to do this take no more then five minutes.

When will access to my new quarter course sites be ready?

Upcoming Canvas sites are ready 60 days before the quarter start for Winter, Spring and Summer and 150 days for Fall.

All faculty have access to their upcoming quarter course sites.  If you are new to the college and if you don’t have access, you need to complete the Canvas Faculty Orientation and pass the quiz.  As soon as you’ve completed that step, your quarter course sites will show up in your Canvas Courses menu.  Allow for 3-4 hours from the time you complete the quiz before your course titles appear. Review the step by step instructions on how to complete the orientation and quiz.

After the completion of the Quiz if you courses do not show, please check with your Program Admin.

Can I create a Canvas site for NO Canvas use?

All courses will have a Canvas class site. This site needs to be published and students need to be informed that the site will not be used for Canvas. Publishing all sites is important so students logging into Canvas will know if there is an available class site in Canvas for their course. For steps on how do that view the faculty guide for Creating a Canvas site for NO Canvas use.  These steps will ensure students that the Canvas site will not be active and there will be no communication with the instructor using the Inbox tool inside Canvas.

Can I create a Canvas site for limited class use?

Yes.  All you need to do is hide the Instructor tools that you will not be using, Create a Home Page and add a Welcome note for your students. Add the Syllabus button and add your Syllabus. Publish your Canvas site. For steps on how do that view the faculty guide for Creating a Canvas site for a class that will be MINIMALLY using Canvas.  These steps will ensure that the students know that the Canvas site will be active for the quarter, but will not be used extensively for course content.

Is Canvas is 508 compliant?

Yes.  View the information on Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

My class roster in Instructor Briefcase doesn’t match the student enrollment numbers/names in my Canvas site. Why?

Answer: It’s likely that some of your students have not yet created their NetID which is required to log in to Canvas.  The term NetID is an abbreviation for network account.  Your roster inside Instructor Briefcase lists the correct enrollment data.  Please inform your students to sign up for their BC NetID as soon as possible. This is a requirement for them to gain access to the course site.


  • If a student already has their NetID (log-in credentials) and they just registered, the delay in them appearing in your Canvas enrollments should ideally only take about 3-4 hours.
  • If a student registers but hasn’t yet signed up for their NetID, it could take up to 24 hours for them to appear in your Canvas site enrollments.  It may not take this long but 24 hours is generally the maximum delay time it takes for all of their services to be set up. These other services include logging in to MyBC, BC email, and access to computers labs or classrooms, etc.

Instructor Briefcase should always be the most accurate roster you can refer to verify registration—this data is coming directly from the enrollment system (HP).

I log in to Canvas but don’t find my class.

Answer: Here are few good troubleshooting questions you can ask yourself before assuming something is wrong.

  1. Did you score at least 11 correct on the Canvas Faculty Orientation? This is required before your course sites will be provided.
  2. Has it been at least 3-4 hours since you completed and passed the quiz? There is a short waiting period before your course sites are completely set up.
  3. Do you know for sure that you have been assigned to the correct Summer quarter course and is included in the Class Schedule? If you are not sure please contact your Program Admin. If your Summer quarter course does not exist in the HP, even if you take the Canvas Faculty Orientation, you will not receive a Canvas course site.  Sites are only granted to courses fitting in one of the categories mentioned above.

If you’ve answered yes to all three of these questions, it’s likely there is something not working properly and you should definitely submit a ticket to the Technology Help Desk.

Will someone copy my course content from a previous Canvas course to my new Canvas site or will I need to do that myself?

With Canvas, content import tools are built-in. Locate the new Canvas site and then copy content from a previous site. Use the Settings button on the left navigation and the use the Import Course Content button on the right pane. Choose what content you wish to import.  You have the control to do this yourself.

If you need help, our training workshops and drop-in sessions in A109 are intended to help you work through these issues.

If I’m not familiar with Canvas, how can I begin learning to use Canvas now?

You may take the Faculty Canvas Orientation any time.  Once you have the sandbox site, you can start building content.  You may request a free test site directly at to begin trying out the site features immediately.

We also have walk-in help and workshops available in the Technology Learning & Connections Center located in A109.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is an online platform (called a learning management system) that allows teachers to build and maintain a secure web space in which they can share course content, communicate with their students, provide online learning activities and assessments, and keep track of their students’ progress. It is also one of the only commercial open source systems on the market and one of the first to implement open standards for integrating third party tools and content. Canvas is licensed across the country by higher education institutions ranging in size, from small to large. It is also growing in popularity among K-12 institutions and corporate entities, and was recently named as the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges’ choice for replacing Angel course management software in the next few years.

Why did we change to Canvas?

We were required to change.  Blackboard announced that the “end-of-life” for their product, Blackboard Vista the beginning of fall 2013. BC was required, by the terms of the license, to stop using Vista then.  In reality, our courses must be off Vista and migrated to Canvas because of a variety of college business rules. We need to allow time for incompletes and grade appeals to play out after the completion of the final Vista course offered, and that can take a year or more. What this all means is that if we start right about now, we’ll only just make the deadline to stop using Vista by fall 2013.

Who chose Canvas for Bellevue College?

A team of BC faculty members led the research and evaluation of replacement solution for Blackboard Vista during the 2011-12 academic year. This group evaluated several solutions available but felt Canvas was the best solution for our college


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