IDEA Courseware Team Support
Online assistance for Canvas and Learning Tools from Wharton Computing

Getting around in Canvas

Getting to Penn Canvas

Using your PennKey username & password, log in to Canvas at:

See Accounts and Access to obtain an account or if you need help logging in.

Once you've logged in, you'll see your Dashboard, which contains one "card" for each of your current course sites along with To Do, Coming Up, and Recent Feedback in the right sidebar. Look for whether a count is shown next to the megaphone icon on any course tile; this count indicates Announcements you haven't yet read. Click the megaphone to go directly to course Announcements.

Navigating a Canvas Course Site

Here's an example of a course site home page:

As you can see, the page is split into several different sections.

Section A is the Global Navigation Menu, from which you can access many Canvas features. Here you can get to your account (where you can change your preferences or adjust your notification settings, etc.), access Calendar, find a list of your past and current courses, and open your inbox.

For quick reference, you can always find a complete list of past and current course sites by visiting:

If you are based in a time zone other than Eastern Standard Time, be sure to set your preferred time zone in Account > Settings. This will ensure that due dates and other events are displayed in a time appropriate to your location.

Section B is the "breadcrumbs bar." If you find yourself a few layers deep in a site, you can always use the links here to go up or return to the course home page. You can click the "hamburger" (parallel-lines icon) to hide Section C on narrow screens, or show it if it is usually hidden (for example, in the Grade Book).

Section C is the Course Navigation Menu. This menu allows you to navigate through the various sections of a course site—People, Files, Grades, etc.

Section D is the main content area. This is where the material contained in the Canvas site—such as announcements, assignments, or files/folders— will appear.

Section E is the sidebar. While not needed on every page, when provided it will help you find certain features or catch up on what you need to do next for a course. On the course Home page, depending on instructor preferences, the sidebar may include To Do, Coming Up, and Recent Feedback sections. Your c

Help with using Canvas

For general questions, try the Canvas Guides or Ask the Community. Click on the Help link (question mark icon) in the "Help Corner" in Canvas to launch a popup with links to these resources. Our website and contact information is available there as Wharton Courseware Support.

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