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Getting Started

Step 1: Logging In

To begin using the Canvas - click the "Canvas Login" button (above). Log in using your SMU ID and password.

Step 2: Access Your Courses

Your list of available courses will be listed under the "Courses" menu in Canvas. Faculty may begin to add content to any or their existing courses or may request a demo course for training purposes, content development, or testing. If you experience any login issues, please contact the IT Help Desk at (214) 768-HELP (4357).

Step 3: Getting Help & Support

There are many ways to get help with Canvas. For most basic "how to" questions, we encourage all of our users to contact IT Help Desk. For additional information about Canvas support, please visit our Canvas Help pages. We also have several upcoming opportunities for Canvas training on our IT Training page.


How Participants Are Enrolled in Canvas

The process to put participants and courses into Canvas is an automated one; information from my.SMU is automatically exported into Canvas for use by students and faculty. Several designations in my.SMU define how participants are linked to correct courses and correct roles (ie, Instructors, Co-Instructors, TAs, students, etc).

All students, Instructors, secondary instructors, observing (supervisory) instructors, and students are enrolled in every couple of hours throughout the week when my.SMU data flows directly one-way into Canvas.


To add or modify participants to your course, like additional Instructors or TA’s, please contact your departmental admin (the same individual that created your course in my.SMU) to add the additional participants to your course, and they will show up in Canvas. (follow the guide below)


my.smu Designation

Main or only instructor (evaluated)

Primary Instructor (PI)

Secondary instructor (evaluated)

Secondary Instructor (SI)

Co-instructor (evaluated)

Secondary Instructor (SI)

Teaching Assistant (not evaluated)

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Supervisory Instructor (not evaluated)

Supervisory Instructor (SU)

Mentor (not evaluated)

Supervisory Instructor (SU)


If your “course” is not an official catalog course of record, please contact the IT Help Desk, and we will assist you in adding proper participants into proper roles of your course.

The new Canvas WalkMe provides real-time guidance that is easy to follow. WalkMe simplifies the user experience by providing on-screen, step-by-step guidance at the moment of need so that our instructors can complete any task successfully. This makes learning specific Canvas tasks more efficient and boosts SMU’s overall productivity.

The Player Menu is accessible via the Canvas WalkThru widget, the button positioned in the corner of your browser screen, in Canvas. Clicking on this widget opens the Player Menu, which allows instructors to view and search through a list of available WalkThrus. When a WalkThru is selected, it will immediately launch step-by-step guidance seamlessly overlaid on your site.

Instructors can access the WalkMe Player Menu, inside Canvas, using most modern browsers including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Without any software download or installation, instructors can access WalkMe in real-time as a SaaS application right inside their course.

         WalkThru WidgetWalkMe Widget Opened

Simply click on the Canvas WalkThru menu and type in a question or task, then follow along as WalkMe shows you where to click, what settings to choose, and explains the options.

Currently over 100 tasks are available through the Canvas WalkThru menu. More tasks will be added through the semester. For any task not covered by the Canvas WalkThru, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-HELP or your area’s Academic Technology Services Director.

Documentation and Training

Canvas Guides

For Students:

For Instructors:

In-Person Training for Instructors

A list of Canvas training opportunities can be found on the IT Training site at

Video Tutorials Canvas Video Guide Learn Canvas 2016 with Oliver Schinkten

SMU Training-On-Demand: Canvas: An Introduction & Managing Modules

About Canvas

Canvas is a cloud-hosted learning management system from Instructure. Canvas is in use at several universities including University of Texas, University of Washington, University of Maryland, and by more than 1,600 other universities, school districts, and institutions around the world. Canvas Logo

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