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Office of Information Technology


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Getting Started

Step 1: Logging In

To begin using the Canvas Learning Management System, visit and click the "Canvas Login" button. 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.

Interactive Tutorial

The help you get familiar with using Canvas, we've created this interactive tutorial. The tutorial will guide you through using Canvas Modules. Modules allow you to structure a course in much the same way as you would build a course outline and allows simple, but deep, presentation of content for easiest access.. After watching the Modules video, click on Files to learn about how to get files in and out of Canvas to use in your modules. Finally, click on Pages to learn about building rich content pages in Canvas utilizing files and, ultimately, presenting them in modules.

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 Up and Running with Canvas 2015 with Oliver Schinkten

Canvas Learning Management System

Starting in January 2016 and continuing through June 2016, SMU is transitioning from the Blackboard LMS platform to a new learning management system called Canvas. By fall semester 2016, all faculty using a learning management system will use Canvas. All SMU courses are now available for usage in Canvas.

This is a university-wide transition that impacts all modalities of courses taught at SMU: traditional face-to-face on-site, hybrid, online and continuing education courses.

About Canvas

Canvas Logo

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 News

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