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Start building your course in Canvas


New instructors frequently ask, "How do I add my course to the Canvas LMS?" The good news is that your course is already there waiting for you in Canvas - or at least the course shell is. When a new course is added to Banner, the course shell is created in Canvas ready for you to add your content. When students register for your course, Banner adds them to the Canvas course and they will appear on the People page. Occasionally, you may need to manually add a student to your Canvas course, but that should be a rare occurrence.

Note: Spring Semester course shells are added to Canvas in late-to-mid October. Fall and Summer course shells are usually added in late February. If you need your course shell created sooner, contact CIDI to get a build shell created.

Step 1. Log on to Canvas

All USU students, faculty, and staff have access to Canvas and can log on to Canvas at canvas.usu.edu.
 USU Login page
  1. On the USU Login page, type your A-Number and Password.
  2. Click Login.
    Quicklaunch_Sidebar
  3. On the sidebar, click Canvas.

Step 2: Find your course in Canvas

The Courses menu at the top of your Canvas home page lists all of your courses. If a course that you teach is not in the list, contact your department head first to make sure the course has been added to Banner. If the course has been added to Banner, then contact CIDI at 435-797-9506 for help. Please note that this service is only for Faculty and TA's.

Courses list

Step 3. Add content to your course

You can include the following types of content to your course:

    • Home Page

Add a Home page to your course. You can create your own personalized home or "welcome" page or choose from existing pages, such as the module or assignment list page.

    • Syllabus

Add your syllabus. Adding your syllabus to Canvas is a time-saving alternative to making numerous paper copies and handing them out in class.

    • Assignments

Create assignments in Canvas. Canvas provides multiple assignment type and a number of submission methods. You can grade assignments directly in Canvas.

    • Polls and Quizzes

Add Polls and Quizzes to your course. Canvas integrates with i>clicker and Reef Polling to make giving polls and quizzes to large classes more efficient.

    • Recorded Lectures

You can add recordings of your lectures. This allows students to view the lecture if they missed class or use the lecture as a study aid.

    • Discussions

Create class discussions by posting a discussion topic in Canvas and letting students respond to each other's comments. You can grade the discussion if desired.

    • Supplemental Reading Materials

Upload supplemental reading materials or provide lists a recommended reading.

    • Related Web Links and Videos

You can add videos and links to related web sites.


It is highly recommended that you contact the instructional designers at CIDI for recommendations and assistance in organizing your course and adding course content. You can contact CIDI at 435-797-9506. You can also find task-based instructions on most Canvas operations on the main Canvas page.

Step 4. Publish your course

Once you add your content, you must publish the course before students can access it. Note that students cannot access the course, even if it is published, until the first day of the semester.

To publish a course, click Publish on the home page or on the course activity stream page if you have not yet created a home page.


Course Status buttons