This page articulates various protocols for how Canvas is used and deployed at Stan State.  These protocols are in a constant state of development, but they are created through collaboration between the Office of Academic Technology and the Academic Technology and Learning Committee.

All users (Stan State faculty, staff, and students) login to Canvas through the My CSU Stan portal ( Only Stan State users and authorized external users can access Canvas.

The first time a university member accesses Canvas, an account will automatically be created for them using data pulled in from PeopleSoft.

Canvas users have the ability to edit nearly every facet of their account.  By default, Canvas uses the Preferred Name that is in PeopleSoft when a user is created.  However, users may still edit their name (or just change the "Display Name") in their Canvas account if desired.

A user's Canvas name is transmitted for use in any External Tool connected to Canvas, thus preserving any unique Preferred Name information across systems.

Canvas users do not have the ability to remove their official CSU Stanislaus email address from their Canvas profile, though they can add additional email addresses and configure notifications for those addresses.

Canvas users have the ability in their user settings to 'opt out' of using Canvas's built-in messaging Inbox tool for internal Canvas communication.  Opting out will send all messages from other Canvas users directly to email without being stored in the Canvas Inbox.

Every course section in a PeopleSoft term automatically receives a corresponding Canvas "course shell".  A course shell is a course website without any content, which is available for instructors to use. Login to Canvas through the portal and add content to the course shell.

Informal Yearly Creation Timeline

Please note: the timelines given here are very fluid and depend on the university registrar and enrollment services.

Canvas Course Creation Timeline
Campus Term Canvas Creation Date
Summer Early January
Fall Early April
Winter Late September
Spring Early October

Additional Information

Students are added to the rosters of the Canvas shell as soon as they register for the course.  However, students will be unable to view or access the course until the instructor makes it available (Publish).

If the instructor is teaching a cross-listed course, or is teaching multiple sections of the same course, and only wishes to use one of the course shells, the instructor can combine the rosters into a single shell.

Canvas relies entirely on data coming from PeopleSoft to assign permissions to course shells.  If available in PeopleSoft, instructor assignment information will be used to enroll instructors in their Canvas shell(s). If the courses are not accessible to you from Canvas and the instructor of record is not set, contact your department to update PeopleSoft. Updated PeopleSoft data is sent to Canvas every hour, 24/7/365.

If you are team-teaching a course, the first instructor listed in PeopleSoft will be assigned to the Canvas course and that person will need to add and change the role of the other co-instructor(s).

The content added into a Canvas shell by the instructor of record (and others the instructor has added with the same role) remains that instructor's intellectual property. If the instructor would like to provide access to their own intellectual property in Canvas, the instructor can enroll users into their course or email for help. Due to the nature of the course intellectual property, OAT staff are unable to provide access to course content without the written permission of the owner (instructor of record).

Beginning in August 2022, users who are an instructor in at least one Canvas course have the ability to create new Canvas course shells for any non-academic purpose, such as a personal course development 'sandbox', research projects, a holding space for campus organizations or departments, a site for faculty development cohorts, etc. Users can be added to these shells by the creator at any time.  For more information, review the Canvas documentation.

Numerous technology tools can be integrated with Canvas to expand functionality, such as those offered by textbook publishers or exam monitoring.  Several tools with are already available for use in any class, such as TurnItIn, VoiceThread, Zoom, Panopto, and apps for the major textbook publishers.

As a matter of protocol, instructors do not have the ability to add new 3rd party apps (e.g., via LTI) directly into a Canvas course. To discuss installation of a new app, contact

At the same time that course shells for a term are first created by OIT, any enrolled students will be added into the shells. Any dropped students will be removed from the Canvas roster.  The enrollment data in each Canvas shells is updated every hour, 24/7/365 to keep up with adds/drops, name changes, etc. Course content will not be visible or available to students until the instructor publishes the course.

At any time, instructors can manually add wait-listed students until they are officially enrolled in PeopleSoft.

All enrolled students will automatically be added to the corresponding Canvas course shells. Once the instructor publishes the course, the student will have access to that course until it has been closed by the instructor. If you do not want your students to access the course after the semester has been completed, then you must set to read-onlyIt is not possible to 'unpublish' a course if any student activity has taken place in the course.

Please note: For housekeeping purposes, OAT concludes each Canvas term one calendar year from the official end of the term and disables student access to those courses.  For example, Fall 2022 courses will be concluded in mid-December 2023.  At that point, courses are set as read-only, but their content can still be copied into future terms.  Instructors may also close their courses at any time before then.  For assistance reopening a course for special needs, contact

If a student has dropped a class or withdrawn from the class in PeopleSoft, the student will be removed automatically from the Canvas roster the next time Canvas syncs with PeopleSoft. Instructors do not have the ability to remove or delete a regularly enrolled student from a Canvas course roster. For help with unusual situations, contact

Academic Courses

If an instructor wishes to add someone from outside the Stan State community to an academic Canvas course, the instructor must fill out the Exernal LMS User Request form. Once that request has been processed, the Canvas administrator will contact the new user with their access information and the instructor may add the user at that time.

Non-Academic Courses

To request outside accounts for access to non-academic courses, please contact

Canvas courses can be backed up and saved. Canvas courses can also be placed in the Commons for personal or shared access. 

Canvas Commons
Export Canvas Course

Course Allotment

Each Canvas course is allotted 2 GB for files stored directly in the course shell, not including files submitted by students in graded activities (see note). There are many ways to keep course content below that cap, such as storing files in other tools (Panopto, OneDrive etc.) and adding a link from there into the course. Contact if you need help in this regard.

Note: "Graded activities" refers to file submissions and uploads into a Canvas assignment or file "attachments" added to a post in a graded Discussion. These items do not count against the course limit. However, files (e.g., images) that are embedded into the main body of a graded Discussion post do count against the course limit.

User Allotment

Every Canvas user is allotted 100 MB of personal file storage within Canvas. As such, OAT recommends that users rely on their OneDrive storage for personal files.  OneDrive offers 1 TB per user, or 10,000x the storage amount in Canvas.

Upload Size Limit

The maximum size for an uploaded file in Canvas is 500 MB for all users in all situations.  This limit is a hard limit set by Canvas and cannot be adjusted by OAT.

Updated: November 14, 2023