Canvas student guide

At the University of Auckland


On this page:

Your Canvas account

Canvas navigation menu


Your Canvas account

Log in to Canvas at the University of Auckland

What is Canvas?

Canvas is the University of Auckland’s Learning Management System. Here you can access information, assignments, grades and resources, related to your University of Auckland courses.

Logging in

Which browser should I use?

Canvas does not support Internet Explorer but supports the current and first previous major releases of other browsers.

Please download and install the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. 

If you have issues with a specific browser, please try an alternative before contacting support. If the issue works in one browser but not another, please report this to staffservice@auckland as a browser issue.

If both browsers are causing issues, please notify your lecturer.

Canvas navigation menu

Learn how to navigate in Canvas

To the far left of your screen you will see the Canvas navigation menu

Your Account

To view or edit your account information

  • click on Account in the top left of your Canvas page.


Your profile contains your Preferred Name as well as your Canvas Avatar. You can create and upload your Avatar. This can be viewed by all in your course. Your Preferred Name and email address are not editable in Canvas

Your email address with be either your student email address (**** or staff email address (


    • User files include uploaded assignment submissions and other files uploaded to your personal Canvas file storage area. By default, each user has 50 MB of storage space in Canvas. No other users can view files in your user files.
    • You may have access to files (documents, images, media, etc.) in three different feature areas:
    • User files, located in your user account
    • Course files, located in each course where you are enrolled (if your instructor allows you to view Course Files)
    • Group files, located in each group where you are a member.


You can set up how, and when, you receive notifications via Canvas.

At the University of Auckland, we recommend that you receive your notifications right away so that you do not miss out on important information.

Your Dashboard

The Dashboard is your landing page in Canvas. Your Dashboard lists all courses in which you are enrolled.

At the University of Auckland, your Dashboard will default to Card View.

  • To change your view click on the Options Menu.
  • Card View: displays course cards for quick access to all your favorite courses (the same courses display in the Courses link from the Global Navigation Menu)
  • List View:displays all course to-do items in an agenda view
  • Recent Activity View: displays all recent activity for all courses

Each course card lists announcements, assignments, discussion posts, and files. Anything new will have a number above it indicating how many types of that item there are.

Your Calendar

Use the Calendar to view course activities which include assignment due dates, test and exam dates etc.

You can also create your own calendar activities, reminders.

  • To access the Calendar click on Calendar.

Your courses

If you don’t have all courses displayed on the dashboard:

  • Click on Courses and All Courses to show all courses you enrolled in.

  • Click on the star to favourite the course and add it to your Dashboard.

If you cannot see any courses on your dashboard, and you have verified that you are successfully enrolled in Student Services Online please contact Student Contact and Support.

Getting Help

  • Click on Help to view a range of Help options.

Course Navigation menu

Navigating within a Canvas course

Course navigation menu

The navigation panel to the immediate left of your course content shows all activities available for the course. Your lecturer can customize what activities display for a particular course.

Activities may include:

  • Announcements: all emails from your lecturer and GSM staff will be posted here
  • Syllabus: course information overview
  • Modules: course resources are organised by lecture week and topic
  • Reading Lists: course readings if available
  • Assignments: find a list of assignments and deadlines for the course
  • Discussions: allowing both you, other students and lecturers to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired.
  • Grades: find your assessment grades here
  • Files: use this space to store files.

Canvas app

You can download the Canvas Student app to your mobile device

Not all Canvas features are available on the Mobile app.