Project Description

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Canvas is Middlebury’s learning management system, and is used widely by faculty and students. Faculty who choose to use the platform can provision Canvas sites via Course Hub. Please note that Canvas sites are not created automatically.

Canvas allows you to:

  • Conduct online, asynchronous discussions with your students;
  • Collect assignments, provide feedback, and post grades;
  • Post links; upload documents, videos, audio files, and more;
  • Post deadlines and reminders through the calendar and announcements;
  • Manage group work assignments;
  • Integrate video conferencing with individual students, a whole class, or guest speakers;
  • Communicate easily with the whole class, specific groups, or individual students.


All Middlebury faculty, students, and staff can log into Canvas using their Middlebury credentials (just your username and password—no need for the entire email address unless you’re using a Middlebury guest account).

Logging into your account:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your Middlebury credentials

You can also access Canvas from your mobile devices via the Canvas app:

The Canvas Commons streamlines sharing and replicating learning activities through Canvas. With Commons, you can share the resources you create in Canvas with other Middlebury faculty. When you share a resource to the Commons, no student data will be included. Your colleagues can then download that content and use it in their own Canvas sites. You can share different levels of resources to the Commons, including:

  • a cool homepage you designed
  • an assignment with specific settings your colleagues might want to replicate
  • your entire course

If you don’t want to to design your Canvas site from scratch, DLINQ has created a template for you to use that is available via the Commons. The templates are aligned with the Middlebury Online Course Design rubric, so using the template means that you’ll have a head start on aligning your course with the rubric!

The template needs to be imported early in the course design process, before you start creating your content (otherwise, you may overwrite your content). Once you create your empty Canvas course in Course Hub, your next step is to import the template. Templates are available in the Canvas Commons.

To import the Middlebury College/Institute template into your course:

    • In your Canvas course, click the “Import from Commons” button in the right-hand menu. This takes you to the Canvas Commons interface.
    • In the search bar, type in Middlebury
    • In the search results you’ll see a course called Middlebury College/Institute 2021-2022 template. Click that link.
    • Click the blue “Import/download” button
    • Type your course name into the course search box and select your course from the results.
    • Click the “Import into Courses” button
    • Go to your course and you should see the template now in your course. (If not, wait a few minutes and then go to your course again.)

If you prefer to watch the process, this brief video shows how to import a template into a Canvas course.

Middlebury Canvas course sites include a new toolset called DesignPLUS that allows faculty to design their own templates, as well as enhance the visual design and usability of their courses without needing advanced computer coding skills. If you’d like to explore these tools within your Canvas site, you’ll need to first unhide them.

To display the Design Tools from within Canvas, select “edit” on a page, and then use the keystroke combo Alt + Shift + D. You’ll notice that a new toolbar will display on the righthand side of your screen. To ensure that the toolbar displays without having to use the keystroke combo each time, when you have the design tools bar displayed, select the gear icon (settings) in the upper righthand corner of the toolbar set. When the Design Tool Settings section displays, select the options to “Automatically launch tools” and “Show Launch button”. This will make it faster for you to access design tools as you work.

We also recommend adding the Multi-Tool to your Canvas course menu. The Multi-Tool includes three separate tools: the template creator, the module builder, and the due date modifier.  Add the Multi-Tool to your Canvas course menu by going to Settings > Navigation, and dragging “Multi-Tool” from the hidden navigation items in the bottom list, up to the top list. Don’t forget to click “Save” at the bottom of the page to then save your changes! The Multi-Tool should then be accessible from your Canvas course lefthand menu.

Resources for learning more about DesignPlus Tools for Canvas include:

  1. DesignPlus User Guide – Canvas course that walks user through different options in DesignPlus.
  2. DesignTools YouTube channel – Video tutorials to help you get started.
  3. University of Minnesota’s Design Tools for Canvas website – a variety of resources designed to help you find the support you need

Canvas integrations (LTIs) are a series of apps that can be used from within Canvas to extend the built-in features of Canvas. Middlebuy has licensed a number of integrations including, Perusall, Thinglink, Flipgrid, Zoom, LibGuides, and GoReact. For more information on how to use Canvas integrations, including a full list of currently available integrations, and information on requesting a new integration, please visit our Canvas integrations (LTI) page.

Permissions Student Observer TA Auxillary Grader Designer Teacher Assessment/Viewer
Add/remove other teachers, course designers, or TAs to the course X X X X X X
Add/remove students from the course X X X X
Manage course content X X X X
Post to discussions X
See a list of users X
View and Edit All Grades X X X
Send and Receive Notifications via Canvas X X

There are a number of situations where faculty want to add a person to a course or allow access beyond the standard semester dates. You might want to allow a colleague to see how you structure your course. You might have a student who needs access to a course that’s closed to deal with an incomplete. Here are some ways to help make that possible, and some privacy and security considerations to keep in mind.

Instructors and students are encouraged to download copies of their work at the end of every term. Work can be exported even after the Canvas site has been placed in a read-only state. Learn what steps you need to take to export your Canvas data.

Student Orientation to Canvas

  • This self-guided Canvas course is designed to help Middlebury students get to know Canvas. While Instructure—the makers of Canvas LMS—provides guides for Canvas users (both instructors and learners), this course provides a step-by-step tour of the most common learning management features.

Faculty Introduction to Teaching with Canvas

  • Follow this link to login to Middlebury Canvas and access this self-guided resource with a focus on teaching in the Canvas environment. Working through this Canvas resource is highly recommended for all faculty new to the platform. For those interested in Canvas’ pedagogical affordances, check out this blogpost.
  • Follow this link to access a library of video tutorials for Canvas for faculty and students. (Student videos can be helpful to see what your student will see based on different configurations in Canvas and can serve as support for questions they might have.)

For faculty tech support/trouble shooting, please refer to Instructure’s 24/7 phone [+1-833-890-4166] and real-time chat support available to via the Help tab when logged into Canvas.

Additional resources include:

You can also contact us with questions and/or request a one-on-one consultation with a member of the DLINQ staff.



Advanced Canvas Video Playlist

Review the full list of Canvas Video Guides available from Instructure

Review the full list of Design Tools for Canvas Video Guides available from Cidi Labs


Creating a Canvas Discussion Forum Video Playlist

  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: Creating a Discussion Forum in Canvas (Canvas video)
  3. Video: Ensuring Your Discussions Are Inclusive
  4. Video: Creating a Group Discussion
  5. Video: Grading a Discussion Forum
  6. Video: Creating a Peer Review Discussion Forum

Sample Course Site – Student-view Sandbox

The Canvas course site that is used in these videos as an example can also be used by workshop participants to get a student-centered view of different discussion forum options. Use this link to self-enroll as a student in the course.


Faculty Online Course Design Showcase Video Playlist

These videos were recorded during a live session on February 9, 2021. During the session, Dr. Jason Mittell (FMMC), Dr. Louisa Burnham (History), Dr. Katherine Punteney (IEM), and Dr. Louisa Stein (FMMC), shared the strategies they used to design their online and hybrid courses, and showed how these strategies were implemented in their course sites.

  1. Dr. Jason Mittell
  2. Dr. Louisa Burnham
  3. Dr. Katherine Punteney
  4. Dr. Louisa Stein

Additional Resources

Middlebury Online Course Design Rubric

Camp Design Online


SpeedGrader / Quizzes / Assessments Video Playlist

Additional Resources