Get Started

Questions about teaching online? Get support from UBC’s Learning Technology Hub:
Mon-Fri | 9:00-4:30 — LIVE virtual support for instructors »

Find step-by-step instructions for creating your online course in UBC’s main learning platform, Canvas, and other setup considerations for getting started with teaching online.

Create Your Online Course | Other At-Home Considerations

Create Your Online Course

Canvas provides a convenient and secure way to communicate and exchange materials with your students online. All UBC courses have matching courses in Canvas automatically created, with the enrolled students added, even if you have never used Canvas.

To use your Canvas course, you will first need to make it visible for students to find.

Set up a Canvas course

  1. Log in to Canvas from using your UBC CWL (Campus-Wide Login) name and password. This action will open your Canvas Dashboard.
  2. On your Dashboard, you will find all the courses you are teaching. Click any course to open it.
  3. Once inside a course, you can start adding content, creating assignments and assessments, and setting up discussions and communications. UBC’s Canvas instructor guide provides an overview of your options in Canvas.
  4. When you are ready, make the course available to students by clicking Publish, located on the course home page, in the right-hand sidebar under “Course Status”.
  5. If your course starts before the general term start date, publishing will not make the course visible to students. To give students early access, you will also need to follow these instructions:
    • Click Settings in the Course Navigation.
    • In the Participation section, click the drop-down menu and select Course.
    • Enter the date/time that you wish to make your course available as the “Start” date.
    • Enter the date/time that is eight weeks after the last day of class as the “End” date, so it aligns with UBC copyright requirements.
    • Scroll down and click Update Course Details to save your changes.

Tip #1:
Keep accessibility in mind as you teach online. Read the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology’s quick accessibility tips »

Tip #2:
You can make your course content available to download for offline viewing, which improves access for students with limited Internet connections. Click “Settings” in your Course Navigation, select the “Feature Previews” tab, and find the row for “ePub Exporting”. Click the icon in the “State” column of this row and select “Enabled”.

Learn more in Canvas’s instructor documentation »

Find your way around Canvas

This short, 6-minute video gives a good overview of using Canvas as an instructor:

More information on using Canvas

Back to top

Other At-Home Considerations

If you will be at home rather than on campus for the some or all of a term, keep these considerations in mind.

  • If you use a campus desk phone to log in to services using UBC’s multi-factor authentication, set up an alternate device or method to deliver your login code.
  • Ensure you have access to the following equipment at home:
    • Laptop, desktop computer, or mobile device you can use to teach
    • Microphone and headset
    • Webcam
    • Reliable Internet connection
    • Quiet room you could use to run live sessions or record
  • Read UBC IT’s Guide to Working Off Campus for other useful considerations.

Back to top

Learn more

Contact the Learning Technology Hub for hands-on assistance:
604 827 4775 | | LIVE Online Support (Mon-Fri 9:00-4:30)