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Temporary Online Teaching and Learning Guide: Developing Course Content with Canvas

Developing Course Content with Canvas

As students and instructors bring varied levels of experience and access to online learning, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with asynchronous tools in Canvas, like Discussion, Assignment, and the Group Home Page (for group work). These will likely offer the most inclusive and accessible learning experience for your students, but they will only be successful if you take the time to explicitly communicate your subject-specific expertise, assignment expectations, and other communications in an online format.

Essential tools and how-tos

If this is the first time you have used Canvas as an instructor:

  1. Log in to find out if you have a course shell already set up for the class you are teaching
  2. If not, contact or call (540) 568-5312 to request a course shell. Include your course number (e.g. EDUC 630) and title.

Once your course is set up, these resources will help you learn about using Canvas:

For more information, visit the Canvas Instructor Guide

If you would like help from experts at JMU Libraries, please request a personal consultation with Libraries’ experts.

As a JMU faculty member, you can also request a account to simulate a "real" student view of online course content, such as WebEx meeting or training sessions, view of Relay recordings/videos, and view course content on the class Canvas site. Request your account by emailing the JMU IT Help Desk at

After your Dukes account is set up, log in as shown in the screenshot below. 

JMU Faculty Sign in Canvas with acounts