Using Canvas for Students

This Fall semester, instructors may be using the new Canvas learning management system (LMS) to host course content; therefore, students need to know how to access Canvas and use the new LMS. The Academic Technolgy team has put together some resources to help students succeed using Canvas.  

How to Log into Canvas

Students can access Canvas from the Cal Maritime Home Page under the Log In tab. There you will find the Canvas link on the left. 

Log in to Canvas!


Start learning to use Canvas with the following resources:

Canvas Self-Paced Course 

This course, Passport to Canvas, provides everything students need to know about using Canvas in their class(es). This course will help students fully understand how to use Canvas, students can self-enroll by using the link below.


Canvas Guides for Students

This guide provides students with the resources they need to successfully use Canvas. The course includes videos, guides, and detailed instruction covering the following topic: (1) Getting Started with Canvas (2) Assignments Discussions, Quizzes, and Grades. 

Canvas Guides

Getting Started with Canvas as a Student Video Series: Learn to use Canvas as a Student in under 30 minutes! Just enough information to get you started.

Canvas Student Video Guides: Additional videos relating to Canvas from a student's perspective.

Canvas Student Guides: Step-by-step instructions for using the features in Canvas. Toggle through them using the keywords.


Canvas Basics

Just a few tips on basic interactions in Canvas that students want to know:

Language Preferences
Canvas supports a wide variety of languages. More information on this can be found here: Canvas Language Support.

Add an Email Address

In Canvas, you can add contact methods to receive notifications. By default, your CSUM email is added to your Canvas account. Contact methods allow you to select how you want to be notified when various events occur within a course. Notifications are applied to all courses in Canvas.

  1. To add more Contact Methods, click on Account from the Global Navigation.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose the +Email Address link to add another email.
  4. When finished, select the Register email button.

Set Your Notification Preferences
Once you have set up your contact methods, you may choose your notification preferences for each of the Contact Methods in your Canvas Account. Notification preferences apply to all Courses that you are enrolled in at an institution and allow you to choose what reminders you want to receive and how often. To view details for a notification, hover over the notification name.

A different notification frequency can be chosen for each contact method you have added to your Canvas Account.

  • Click on the frequency icons in the column below each contact method.
  • There are four frequencies for email notifications:
    • Notify me right away- These notifications may be delayed by up to one hour in case an instructor makes additional changes, which prevents you from being spammed by multiple notifications in a short amount of time.
    • Send a daily summary- You will receive a daily notification via email.
    • Send a weekly summary- The date and time of your weekly notifications are posted at the bottom of the notifications page.
    • Do not send me anything- If you do not want to receive a notification choose this option.
  • For push notifications used on a tablet or phone where the Canvas Student Mobile App is installed, choose from two notification preferences:
    • Notify me right away
    • Do not send me anything

Recommended "Notify me right away" notifications:
Announcements, Conversations, Grades, and Due Dates

With the Canvas Student Mobile App, you can:

  • View grades and course content
  • Submit assignments
  • Keep track of coursework with to-do list and calendar
  • Send and receive messages
  • Post to discussions
  • Watch videos
  • Take quizzes
  • Receive push notifications for new grades and course updates, and much more!

Find the Mobile App in the App Store or Google Play:

Click on "Find my school" and type in Cal Maritime. Select CSU Cal Maritime then follow the steps to log in with your campus e-mail and password.

Calendars in Canvas can be turned on or off for both your personal and Course calendars. The Calendar is a great way to view everything you can do for all your courses in one place.

  1. To open the Canvas Calendar, select 'Calendar' from the Global Navigation menu.
  2. In the sidebar, click the color box next to the name of the calendar to turn a calendar on or off. When the color box next to the name of a calendar is empty, the calendar is off. Both events and assignments will be hidden.

There are several areas where you can open a discussion. Please note that some of these areas may not be turned on by your instructor. The most common locations to view a discussion are from the Calendar, Modules, or Discussion Index page.

  1. Begin by clicking the title of the Discussion Topic.
  2. Discussions will have a due date and availability date. The due date is when the discussion must be completed before you are marked as late. The availability date is the start and end date of when you can participate in the discussion.

To reply to a discussion, follow these steps:

  1. To post to a discussion, click on "Reply." Use the Rich Content Editor to compose your discussion post.
  2. Click "Post Reply" when you are ready for other users to view your answer.
    • ​​If enabled, you may be able to reply to a classmate’s post through a threaded reply.
    • Your instructor may require that you reply to the discussion before seeing your classmates' posts. You will see the following statement, "replies are only visible to those who have posted at least one reply" if this setting is turned on. 

To submit assignments in Canvas, click the "Submit Assignment" button on your assignment page. Submission options will appear below the instructions.

File Upload

  1. One option to submit an assignment is by doing a file upload (see below). You can upload a file from your computer, or you may also see the options to submit a file from your OneDrive.
  2. Select the "Submit Assignment" button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Select "Choose File."
  3. Find your file in the pop-up window.
  4. Select "Open," then click the "Submit Assignment" button.

To upload multiple files, click on the choose a file to upload.

There is also a space to leave a comment for your instructor.

Assignments can be re-submitted until the last availability date that your instructor has set for the assignment. Once submitted, you cannot delete your submission. 

  1. Click on "Grades" in the course navigation bar.
  2. You will see a list of your assignments, the due dates, the status (Late, Excused, Missing), the score assigned by your instructor, and the total points possible.

Students can access the Inbox located on the navigation panel in Canvas. It is an internal messaging system that allows students and instructors to communicate with each other through the platform.

NOTE:  Confirm with your instructors that this is the preferred method of communication before relying on this method. Your instructor may provide other means to communicate when the class begins.

  1. Click on 'Inbox' from the Global Navigation menu.
  2. Then, click on the "Compose a New Message" icon.
  3. Select the course from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose the name of your instructor from the list.
  5. Add a subject and message, then click the 'Send' button.