For Instructors: Key Information About UC Davis Canvas for Fall 2016

General information

  • SmartSite will remain available for teaching through spring 2017
  • Tasks done with SmartSite course sites can also be done with UC Davis Canvas course sites, but the process might be different, because Canvas works differently than SmartSite Our instructional technologists at will be happy to help you decide how to accomplish tasks while using Canvas
  • As we transition from SmartSite to Canvas, we will continue to discover differences between the systems. This Knowledge Base article, “SmartSite to Canvas Functional Mapping” (, maps some of them. If you find areas where Canvas functions differently than you expect, please let us know. If our team does not have a solution, we want to catalogue these cases so that we can find the right solutions
  • Faculty who want a “sandbox” course shell in Canvas, to practice or to develop a future course that is not yet created, can obtain one by emailing their request to
  • If you schedule courses or assign instructors in Banner, please be sure to assign the the instructor of record in the Student Information System (SIS/Banner). This automatically enrolls the instructor in the Teacher role in his/her UC Davis Canvas course shell

Basic setup for this fall

  • Course sites for fall courses now exist in UC Davis Canvas. The final grading tool is enabled (it was not available for summer session 1)
  • UC Davis Canvas has baseline features this fall. Some third-party tools have been integrated, and more will be. This website lists apps that are available, pending, or requested
  • To combine all of your course’s sections in one site for fall term, contact UC Davis Canvas support at 844-303-8285

Getting help

  • UC Davis Canvas support is open 24 hours every day at 844-303-8285. You can also get help via chat; log in at, then go to “help” and click on “Chat with Canvas Support”
  • Educational Technology (ET) Partners are available to come to your offices to help you learn Canvas and set up your Canvas courses. To schedule an appointment with an ET Partner, please send your request to

Students and your course

  • It will be important to communicate clearly to your students whether you are using Canvas or SmartSite for your courses
  • As with SmartSite, through the drop/add period, students should have access to their Canvas courses within about 18 hours of when they enroll (or no longer have access if dropping the class)

To learn more

Looking ahead

  • Course shells and rosters will be available:
    • October 1 for winter term classes
    • November 1 for spring classes
    • March 1, 2017, for fall 2017 classes
  • Generally, for future terms, course shells will be ready as soon as the Registrar releases course information to its Class Search Tool and Schedule Builder

We are focused this fall on instruction. If you have a project site in SmartSite that you want to re-create in UC Davis Canvas, please hold off for now. We will begin to address project sites in winter term