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Canvas is a next-generation learning management system with a lot of advanced functionality, and when instructors first approach the system, we find that they want to use Canvas for the same things they did in EEE: hosting course information like a syllabus and some readings, and keeping a gradebook.

There are many differences between Canvas and the EEE tools you’re used to, perhaps none bigger than the paradigm shift involved in moving from EEE to Canvas. Where previously you might have created only an EasyWebsite and a DropBox on EEE, when you create a Canvas course space all the tools Canvas provides are activated for it. That means a lot of stuff is ready to be used right away — even some tools/options that you don't plan on utilizing. That doesn’t mean you have to use all of it, or even most of it! In fact, this whole guide was specifically designed to reinforce that concept: all the sections are independent of each other, so you can focus only on the things you want to do with Canvas.

To get started, the first thing we will need to do is create a Canvas course space.

Create your Canvas Course Space

The very first thing you’ll need to do is create a Canvas course space. To do that, visit a tool called EEE+ GrandCentral at

  1. Click the "+Create Canvas course space" button.
    Click +create course space
  2. Check the boxes to indicate which section(s) you wish to include in this course space.
    NOTE: Though in this example we are creating a single course space containing a single section, there is the option to combine multiple sections into one combined Canvas course space. If you would like to know more about the different Canvas course space models, please take a look at this help document.

    Check the box next to a section and click next

  3. Review the course space to be created. If you’d like, you can click the "Edit" button to change the title of the course space to something friendlier (e.g., Statistics 10, Fall 2018). This title can be changed from within Canvas at a later time.
    review the space title and click Create course space
  4. Wait approximately one hour for the request to be processed.
    (You will receive an email notification when the course space is ready)Queued request for course space creation

Accessing Your Canvas Course Space and Getting Oriented

Once you have received the email letting you know that your course space is ready, you can follow the link in the email to go straight there, or you can find it by visiting and locating it on your Canvas Dashboard.

You will also find links to the course space in GrandCentral in both My Canvas Course Spaces and the My Courses areas.

click course name to enter course space

However you get there, we know that the default view can be a bit jarring to instructors who are new to Canvas, as there is little information on what to do next. Let’s break down the interface to help you get oriented.

areas of a default course home page

1) Course Navigation Menu: This area provides links to the different areas and tools within your Canvas course space. You will notice that some of the links are greyed out. This is Canvas’ way of telling you that those tools are not in use. Students won’t see those items at all when they view your course space.

2) Course Status: This area shows the publish state of the course space, which is set to Unpublished by default. This means the course is inaccessible to students. You can keep the course space unpublished until you are finished setting it up. Once you are ready you can click on the Publish button to grant students access.

3) Modules: This is where you are now. By default, it’s the Home page of Canvas courses, but we’ll be ignoring it for now. Later in the transition guide will show how to switch the Home page to the Syllabus area.

Next Steps

Now that you have your Canvas course space created, you are ready to move on to the rest of the Canvas Transition Guide. To reiterate, the guide is not written in any particular order, so feel free to start with whatever interests you most.

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