Canvas - Using the Canvas Student App


The Canvas Student App allows students to view class material and deadlines on their phones. Do not use the app to submit assignments or quizzes because it is not as robust as a computer.

Canvas is Virginia Tech's learning management system (LMS). Students use Canvas to access learning materials, like assignments, quizzes, feedback, and grades.

The Canvas Student Guide has full instructions on using Canvas. These instructions are specific to Virginia Tech. To see other Canvas topics, please see Using Canvas at Virginia Tech (for Students).




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Setting Up the App

Installing the App
  1. Open your device's app store.
  2. Search for Canvas Student.
  3. Open the app description and tap Install.
  4. Tap Open once the app is downloaded and installed onto your phone.


Logging in
  1. Open the app.
  2. Tap Find my school

    Find my school button circled in center of screen

  3. Type and select Virginia Tech.

    Virginia Tech partially typed in . Full name appears in drop-down

  4. Sign in with your PID and password.

  5. Verify with 2-factor Authentication.

    Second factor options circled

  6. You will be directed to the dashboard.


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Changing Users

To log in to Canvas as another person: 

  1. Tap the menu icon.

    App dashboard

  2. Tap Change User.

    Change User circled in global navigation

  3. You will be logged out and redirected to the log in screen.


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Changing Settings 

  1. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner.

    App dashboard

  2. Tap the gear icon.

    Gear circled in global navigation


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Changing Profile Information

See How do I manage my profile settings in the Student app on my Android device?

Editing Username
  1. From Settings, Tap Profile Settings.

    Profile settings circled in settings

  2. Tap Edit Username.

    Edit username circled in profile settings

  3. Enter the new name.
  4. Tap Ok.
Editing Profile Photo
  1. From Settings, tap Profile Settings.

    Profile settings circled in Settings

  2. Tap Edit Photo.
  3. Take a photo or choose one from your gallery.

    Edit photo pop-up in Profile Settings

  4. Canvas will update and display this as your profile picture.


Creating Panda Avatar
  1. From Settings, Tap Profile Settings.

    Profile settings circled in Settings

  2. Tap Create Panda Avatar.

    Create Panda Avatar circled in Profile Settings

  3. Choose the head.
  4. Choose the body.
  5. Choose the feet.
  6. Tap [...] to save it or set it as your avatar

    More options circled in Panda Avatar


Managing Push Notifications
  1. In Settings, Tap Push Notifications.

    Push notifications circled in Settings

  2. Scroll to the notification type you want to receive.
  3. Tap the slide bar.

    Push notification options

  4. The slide bar for notifications that are turned on will appear in maroon.

    Image of the above instructions.


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Using the Dashboard

Editing Course Nickname and Color
  1. Tap [...] next to the course name.
  2. Tap Edit nickname or Edit course color.

    Edit options in the dropdown on the course dashboard
Editing Displayed Courses
  1. From the Dashboard, tap the pencil icon in the top right corner.

    Edit circled in top right of dashboard

  2. Tap the star icon beside any course you want on your Dashboard.

    edit courses page

  3. Tap the star again to remove it from your dashboard.


Seeing All Courses
  1. From the Dashboard, Tap See All.

    See all circled on course dashboard

  2. Tap on the course to open it or Tap [...] to edit it.

    All courses page


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Using the Calendar

  1. Tap the Calendar icon (second icon on the bottom).

    Calendar tab circled at bottom of app

  2. Tap [...]
    • Tap Select Calendars. Pick up to 10 courses to display on the Calendar.

      First course selected in pop-up

    • Change views by month, week, and day.
    • Tap Create New Event.

  3. Swipe left on the calendar to view upcoming events.
  4. Swipe right on the calendar to view past events.
  5. Tap the calendar icon to return to today's date.

    Calendar date

  6. Tap the arrow icon to hide the calendar.

    Month/Year circled at top


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Using the To-Do List

Accessing To-Do List
  1. Tap the To-Do icon at the bottom of the screen. 

    To Do circled in bottom bar


Filtering Actions
  1. In To-Do, tap the funnel icon in the top right.

    Funnel circled in top right of TO Do page

  2. Choose how to filter - by course or assignment type. 
  3. Tap Ok.

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Viewing Notifications


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Using Inbox Messaging

Viewing Your Inbox
  1. Tap the Inbox icon on the bottom far right of the screen. 

    Inbox tab circled in bottom bar

  2. You can open, send, and delete conversations.


Send a new message
  1. In Inbox, tap [+] in the bottom right.

    Plus button circled in Inbox

  2. Choose the course or group.
  3. Add a subject.
  4. Type your message.
  5. Tap the paperclip icon in the top right to add an attachment.
  6. Tap the paper airplane icon to send.

    Message options circled in New Message


Replying/Forwarding/Deleting Messages
  1.  In Inbox, open the message.
  2. Tap [...] next to the sender.
  3. Tap ReplyForwardDelete.

    Message options circled in drop-down


Filtering Messages
  1. In Inbox, tap the down arrow below All Courses.

    All option circled in Inbox

  2. Select from All, Unread, Starred, Sent, and Archived.

    Options circled in Inbox

  3. Tap the funnel icon in the top right to filter by course.

    Filter option circled in top right of inbox. Courses pop-up

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Managing Files 

Accessing Files
  1. Tap the menu icon in the top left.

    Menu circled in top right of dashboard

  2. Tap Files.

    Files circled in global navigation


Searching Files
  1. From Files, tap the magnifying glass icon.

    Search icon circled in top right of files

  2. Type in the name of the file.
  3. Tap on the file.


Creating Folder
  1. From Files, tap [+].
  2. Tap the folder icon.

    Folder button circled in Files

  3. Type the name for the folder.
  4. Tap Ok.
  5. Open the folder then upload files in the folder.


Uploading File
  1. From Files, tap [+].
  2. Tap the upload icon.

    Upload button circled in files

  3. Choose where to upload from.

    File options circled in Upload Files pop-up

  4. Tap the file.
  5. Tap Upload.


Downloading, Renaming, and Deleting Files
  1. From Files, tap [...] next to the file name.

    More options circled next to selected file

  2. Taping on any will immediately start the process.

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Using Bookmarks (Android Only)

Viewing Bookmarks
  1. Tap the menu icon in the top left.

    App dashboard

  2. Tap Bookmarks.

    Bookmarks circled in global navigation

See: How do I view Bookmarks in the Student app on my Android device?

Adding Bookmarks
  1. From Bookmarks, open the page you want bookmarked.
  2. Tap [...] in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap Add Bookmark.
  4. Create name.
  5. Save.

    Add bookmark pop-up

See: How do I bookmark content in the Student app on my Android device?

Adding to Home, Editing, and Deleting Bookmarks

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Getting Help

  1. In Settings, tap Help.

    Help circled in Settings

  2. Select how to report a problem

    Help options


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