Canvas 101

Are you ready to start a class? This series of tutorials is intended to introduce students to the basics of using Canvas effectively.

Being able to access course materials, submit assignments, take exams, and collaborate with other students are essential skills for your learning in a Canvas course. Be familiar with the basic navigation to kick start your learning!


1. Use updated internet browsers to avoid issues. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are recommended.

icons for google chrome, microsoft edge, and mozilla firefox

Use Safari? Recent changes have caused issues with loading Canvas in Safari for some users. Please use Chrome or Firefox as an alternative if you have trouble.

Download Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers

Update Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers

* Please note: If you use ReadSpeaker within Canvas for accessibility, please opt to use Google Chrome or Firefox web browsers instead of Safari to avoid known issues. 

2. Canvas Student App is useful for receiving notifications and quickly checking the course content. However, some of the tools may not be supported. You will be able to complete these activities on the browser version of Canvas.

Canvas Student App

Download Canvas Student App on your mobile device. Google Play | Apple Store | Canvas Student App Help Page

3. Some classes require access to the publisher content such as Cengage, Pearson, and/or McGraw Hill. Please contact each publisher's technical support for troubleshooting.

Click to view how to...

Log into Canvas

How do I log in to Canvas as a student?

  1. Click on the Student Login link at the top of any COCC website page
  2. Click on the Canvas icon
  3. Login using your COCC Single Sign On account information

Customize your courses list: View your enrolled courses and mark courses as favorites
Set Canvas Notifications
Locate and Download your Syllabus
  1. Login to Canvas using your COCC Single Sign On account information
  2. Click on the Courses icon from the left-hand menu
  3. Click on the name of your course
  4. Depending on your class: either click on the Syllabus link from the left-hand course menu OR click on the Modules link from the left-hand course menu and locate the syllabus within the course content


Submit Assignments - use appropriate file type (Pages, Open Office, Google Doc are not accepted)
How do I know when my assignment has been submitted?
Video Creation For Students In Canvas Using Kaltura

View Feedback on your Submitted Assignments
View Rubrics and Rubric Feedback on your Assignments
Use Discussions in Canvas


Quizzes in Canvas
Email your instructors in Canvas
Work in Groups in Canvas
View Grades in Canvas
How to use the Calendar
Scan a Document


View Alternative Formats for content items

Panorama is a tool that assists with making online course content more accessible. It is embedded into the Canvas Learning Management System. When you click the Panorama icon, you can download alternative formats of instructor content directly from your course. These alternative formats benefit everyone! 

Select the Download Alternative Formats icon wherever you see it to download the content in a different format:

The Accessibility Icon is highlighted for a document.

Choose the version of the content that best fits your needs. 

Alternative formats menu.

  • Source File: View the document in its original format, suitable for download viewing.
  • PDF: View the document in PDF format.
  • Text File: View the document in a pure text format without any formatting styles.
  • Immersive Reader: Allows for customizations to text preferences, grammar options, and reading preferences while following along with the audio playback. 
  • Gradient Reader: Enhances visual word recognition when reading by providing a guiding color gradient. 
  • EPUB: View the document in the ebook format.
  • Braille: View the document in a downloadable braille format (a braille reader is required).
  • Audio Podcast: Audio playback for documents, suitable for both online and download listening.
  • Enhanced HTML: HTML documents can be displayed in a dedicated tab to customize the document's appearance using the Website Accessibility tool.

Visit the Panorama website for more information on Accessing Alternative File Formats in Panorama and their Guide for Getting Started with Panorama for Students.

You may also want to check out our Accessibility Tools for Everyone webpage for other accessibility tools!

Course Evaluations FAQs
Have the page read to you! Use ReadSpeaker in Canvas

ReadSpeaker is a text to speech program that uses technology to speech enable websites, online documents, and forms. Preconfigured into Canvas, this tool allows text written in the user interface menus, headings, text input by users, and compatible documents to be read aloud to users. Users can read the whole webpage or document at once, or listen to selected sections.

To use ReadSpeaker anywhere within Canvas: Look for the play button tab:

readspeaker start button

click on it, and the function tool bar will appear near the top of the webpage:

readspeaker play button

You can move the tool bar by clicking and dragging it around the webpage. Users can configure reading speed, text color, highlighting by sentence and words, zoom or use a reading ruler. 

Watch these two short videos to learn more about how to use this tool:

Check out our Accessibility Tools for Everyone webpage for other accessibility tools!

Canvas Student App


Canvas To Do list

Support Resources

Canvas Student Support - COCC informational webpage

Want to take 100% online classes? Check out this page for more info on the required Online Orientation.

How do I get help with Canvas as a student?

View Canvas Student Guides

Tour a sample online course

Canvas Training for COCC Students Course

Technology Skills and Requirements


If you need further assistance, please email or call: 541-383-7785