Get started with Canvas

At the University of Auckland


On this page:
Your Canvas account
Course access 
Course setup 
The Canvas interface 

Your Canvas account

Log in to Canvas at the University of Auckland

Your Canvas login

Canvas is integrated with the University’s single-sign-on system. To log in to Canvas, visit the Canvas website and enter your University username and password.

Visit Canvas.

Your assigned Canvas role

The features and content that appear and the tasks you can do in Canvas are affected by your assigned Canvas role and its accompanying permissions.

Read more about Roles and permissions.

Course access

Learn how staff and students are added to courses at the University of Auckland

Staff access

Each faculty, school or department (area) has a nominated course access authoriser who can grant staff access to courses within their area. This authorisation applies to all courses that are created on Student Services Online (SSO), not manually created courses.

Canvas course shells are created for all timetabled courses each semester or other teaching term. Once a course has been created, designated course access coordinators add appropriate teaching staff to the course.

Your past Canvas courses remain available to you in read-only format. They are listed under Concluded courses in the Canvas course lists.

Read more about Course types and access.

Student access

Canvas is integrated with Student Services Online. Students are automatically added to their enrolled courses in Canvas. They cannot be added manually.

Canvas courses remain available to enrolled students in a read-only format after the semester (or other teaching period) has finished. They are listed under Concluded courses in the Canvas course lists.

Course setup

Learn how to set up a standard University of Auckland course

Timetabled course shells

Canvas course shells are created for all timetabled courses each semester or other teaching term. Before the start of each semester you will need to either import a previous course you have taught in Canvas into the new course shell for the upcoming semester or create content from scratch in this new course shell.

If you are starting a course from scratch and don’t yet have access to the new course, you can create a new course draft, design the course and import that into the course shell.

Note: When two or more courses are managed through one primary course in Canvas, this is called cross-listing.

Read more about cross-listed courses.

Course structure

The University has a set of requirements for all standard Canvas courses. All standard courses at the University require a minimum amount of information to be made available to students.

These basic requirements are:

  • Syllabus (Home)
  • Assignments
  • Course structure (e.g. through the use of Modules)
  • Talis reading list

See also:

Canvas Commons templates

The University has a basic course template hosted on Canvas Commons, titled “UoA Syllabus/Homepage and settings template”. If your faculty/department/area does not have its own Canvas course template, we recommend you use this template to automatically apply the University’s preferred settings, including the correct grading scheme.

Important: Import the template into Canvas before you add any content into your course.

Read more about Canvas Commons.

Set up a standard Canvas course (PDF)

The Canvas interface

Find your way around Canvas


Canvas has two main navigation menus: the global navigation menu and the course navigation menu.

The global navigation menu is present as a left sidebar on all Canvas pages.

When you’re in a specific Canvas course, a course navigation menu appears to the right of the global navigation menu. This menu is specific to the course you’re in.

Read more about Navigation menus.