Getting Started with Canvas: Student FAQ's

The following resources will assist you in preparing to use Canvas for the first time.

What do I need to know about the overall transition?

What to keep in mind during the Canvas LMS transition:

  • You may be required to log in to Canvas for one or more classes beginning in Fall 2017. Only a small portion of instructors will adopt Canvas in Fall 2017, but we expect a dramatic increase in use in Spring 2018.
  • Starting in Spring 2019, ALL instructors will be using Canvas course sites.
  • You will lose access to all of your coursework in Blackboard on January 1, 2019. Before you lose access, we encourage you to retrieve any course syllabi and submitted work that you think you might need before your Blackboard courses end. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, we recommend that you save as much Blackboard coursework to your own computer as you can because you may need this information later. (Note: In your Blackboard courses, you can access your submitted work by going to Student Tools then My Grades.)
  • You are going to love Canvas! Canvas is much more user-friendly than Blackboard. It is much easier to navigate and use, and we will make it as simple as possible to go back and forth between Blackboard and Canvas during this transition period.
  • Be sure to set your notification preferences in Canvas. Otherwise, you may miss important course announcements.

How do I know if I have Canvas courses and how do I log in?

You can log in to My Sac State at  to see if you have Canvas course, Blackboard courses, or a combination of both. (Note: Your instructors should also tell you if they plan to use Canvas or Blackboard.) Alternately, you can access Canvas directly by visiting

Canvas uses your standard Sac State username and password.

Canvas automatically enrolls you into an orientation course so you can view all the great features Canvas has to offer students.

Once you're in Canvas, you can customize your course dashboard! Learn more about customizing here.

When do I see my courses in Canvas?

The following conditions must be met in order for you to see your course in Canvas:

  • You must be officially registered for the class within the last 2 hours to sync with our enrollment process. Canvas syncs up with your class schedule multiple times per day.
  • Your instructor must have set up a Canvas course for your section. Not all instructors will use Canvas, particularly early on in the transition, so if you cannot find your course in Canvas, make certain to check for it in Blackboard (either through My Sac State or
  • The instructor must have published the Canvas course to you and your classmates. All courses in Canvas begin as unpublished.

How do I get quick help with Canvas?

The Academic Technology Center is here to help you every step of the way! Canvas has a vibrant online community where you can answer most questions with a quick search and Canvas's Student Guide can also be helpful. You can always create a support ticket, email us at or visit us in AIRC 2005.

Core Canvas Introductory Videos

Additional Canvas Introductory Videos

Getting Started Guide

Navigating Canvas

Customizing Canvas

Course Participation

More Help