For Staff: Key Information about UC Davis Canvas for Fall 2016

General information

  • The Move-to-Canvas project team is focusing on instructional support this fall. 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
  • 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 does. Our instructional technologists at will be happy to help instructors 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 . TAs can also obtain a sandbox by contacting
  • 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 shells 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 a 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 faculty members’ offices to help them learn Canvas and set up their Canvas courses. To schedule an appointment with an ET Partner, please send request to

Students and courses

  • It will be important for the instructor to communicate clearly to their students whether they are using Canvas or SmartSite for their 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). This is the same as in SmartSite

To learn more

  • If you have questions about how or when to start using UC Davis Canvas, contact us.

Looking ahead

  • Instructors who are not using UC Davis Canvas this fall should think about when they want to start, and consider attending a “getting started” workshop at
  • 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 sites will be ready as soon as the Registrar releases course information to its Class Search Tool and Schedule Builder