Canvas Policies

Canvas Login/Access

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

Automatic Course Shell Creation

Course shells for each term are created from Peoplesoft course data.  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.

Rough Annual Timeline of Course Shell Creation

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

Summer term – early January

Fall term – early April

Winter term – late September

Spring term – 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.

Automatic Instructor Assignment to a Course Shell

If available in PeopleSoft, instructor information will be used to enroll instructors in their 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. PeopleSoft data is sent to Canvas every two hours between 6 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

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).

Intellectual Property

The content added into the courses 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).

Personal Sandbox or Organization Course Shells

Requests for a non-instructional course shell, such as a personal sandbox or a shell for a campus organization/club, can be made to

Canvas Enhancements

Numerous technology tools can be intergrated 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. 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

Automatic Student Enrollment

On the first day of registration for a term, enrolled students will start to be added into the Canvas course shells. Any dropped students will be removed from the Canvas roster.  The enrollment data in your Canvas Shells will be updated every two hours between 6 am and 6 pm Monday through Friday to keep up with adds/drops, name changes, etc. Courses 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.

Student Course Access & Duration

All enrolled students will automatically be added to the corresponding Canvas course shells. Once the instructor has published 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-only. It is not possible to 'unpublish' a course if any student activity has taken place in the course.

Please note: OAT does not regulate student access to courses automatically by term dates. All course access is determined and controlled solely by the instructor.

Removing Dropped Students from Canvas Rosters

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

Non-Stan State Users

If an instructor wishes to add someone from outside the Stan State community to a 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.

Canvas Data Export

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

Storage Allotments and Upload Limits

Each Canvas course is alloted 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/uploads into a Canvas assignment or file "attachments" added to a post in a graded Discussion. These items will not count against the course limit. However, files (e.g., images) that are embedded into the main body of a graded Discussion post will count against the course limit.

Every Canvas user is limited to 100 MB of personal file storage. 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.

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.