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Canvas Guide

Learn how to set up your account for the first time by watching this video.

All students are automatically enrolled in the Canvas Student Orientation course. This course will help you familiarize yourself with the Canvas interface. You may also add the course with this add code "J78P6B" or at this link

Canvas Student Tutorial Canvas is an online tool used in both our on-campus and online courses for class announcements, syllabi, and specific assignments. Star Academics (SA) and Torrey Academy (TA) on-campus students will find Canvas to be a valuable resource for their courses. All TA students in core classes (Inklings, Foundations, and Faith) and SA online students will use Canvas as the primary platform for coursework. TA online students will also use Canvas for real-time conferences during their class meeting times. This tutorial covers the basic features your canvas course will utilize, including connecting to your new account, navigating the canvas interface, and interacting within your course. Before you begin, please review our computer requirements.


First, you will need to create your account.

  1. You will receive a canvas course invitation in your BYA assigned gmail account. Click the blue button at the bottom of the email that says "Get Started" (fig. 1)*

    Canvas invitation email
    Figure 1
  2. Then click "Create My Account." If you already have an account, click "I have a Canvas Account."
  3. Be sure to use your BYA issued gmail to register. Using an incorrect or personal email will result in you not having proper access to your classes.
  4. Select your appropriate time zone (Pacific Time if you live in CA)
  5. Once you have created your account, accept your BYA course invitation on your Canvas home page.

*Note: You must use the "Get started" link. If you navigate to Canvas in another way, you will be asked for a join code.
Once you have an existing account, login to Canvas by opening your web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and going to (fig. 2)

If an error message appears that says, "Incorrect user name and/or password" check that you have entered your email and password correctly (make sure your caps lock key is off). If you don't remember your password click the "Don't know you password?" link. Enter the BYA issued gmail associated with the canvas account to receive reset password link in your email.


From the Dashboard you can quickly access your courses, assignments, and main Canvas menu.

Changing Your Password

If you forgot your password or cannot gain access to your account, follow the Canvas Guide for reseting your password.

Once logged in you can change your password from within your account.

Changing your password can be done through the Account settings:

  1. Click the Account link on the left menu and then click Settings.
  2. Click the Edit Settings button located on the right of the page. (fig 4)
  3. Click the Change Password check box to create new password.
  4. Don't forget to click the Update Settings button to save your changes.


Once in the Canvas classroom, you will be able to browse several menu items from the left hand menu SA classes will use Home, Announcements, Discussions, and Modules , while TA students should login to their Google account for class information and to get course questions answered.TA and SA online and select SA on-campus classes will use additional Canvas options, such as Conference and Collaboration.

  • Home - The Home tab will display the course title and a short cut to the Modules tab. You can also find a link to the Course Stream in the top right corner, which will list recent discussions, grading updates, private messages between you and other users, etc.
  • Announcements - The Announcements tab allows instructors to make course-specific announcements and updates including upcoming assignments, quizzes, projects and events. Depending on your notification settings, you should also receive these announcements, you will not be able to open it in the email. You will have to login to Canvas, go to the announcement and then access the file.
  • Discussions - In the Discussion tab, you can ask questions, continue conversations from class, and more. Your instructor will create Forums to help focus your discussion. You can view the purpose of each Forum by reading the Description next to its name.
  • Modules - Modules is the main place where you will interact with course content. Under Modules you will find the Course Syllabus, Policies, Handouts and any online test or quizzes that are assigned.

Conference Tool

For TA and SA Online and Select SA On-Campus Students Canvas offers a way for instructors, tutors, and students to interact with one another.

When you first enter the conference you will be asked how you want to join (fig. 6). Choose "Microphone". "Listen only" will disable your ability to broadcast audio.

Second, Canvas will prompt you on how to give your browser permission to share your microphone.

Next, test your mic and headphones by speaking when prompted. Click yes when you can hear yourself.

Once you are in the conference, you can click the headset icon in the top left corner on and off to mute audio (fig. 8.1) and you can mute and unmute your mic by clicking the mute button (fig. 8.3). To turn on your web cam click the camera button (fig. 8.2).

The Users box (fig. 8.4) displays the users currently in the conference. Your name will be labeled in blue. Your microphone will turn dark grey when you are speaking. If your tutor sets you to presenter, the presentation icon will appear next to your name.

To the right you will see a window labeled Chat. This is where users can communicate with one another and the tutor or instructor. You can also create a private chat with another conference user by clicking the "Options" and selecting a user name. Navigate back to the class by clicking in the "Public" tab. (fig. 9) Once the tutor or instructor starts the presentation, you will see it in the middle of the screen. You can see where the instructor is pointing by the red dot on the screen. If you are made a presenter you will have the ability to use the selector, pencil, shapes and text tools. (fig. 10)


Collaboration uses apps like Google Docs to allow multiple users to take shared notes and interact with the same document simultaneously. In some online courses, this tool will be used in addition to the Canvas Conference tool.

Additional Resources

For more in depth Canvas tutorials visit Canvas’ Student Guide or Canvas’ Getting Started Guide. For further technical assistance contact Tech Support online or call (562)903-4705.

Parents on Canvas

Parents can use Canvas as an “Observer" of their students. BYA uses a free version of Canvas and cannot issue parent accounts. Set your student’s Canvas up first, since you will need a pairing code generated from your students account.

When creating your parent account use the "Need a Canvas Account?" link on the login page to create your free account. Here is the full guide on how to setup and use the feature: Canvas Observer Guide.

Screenshot illustrating the location of the link
Create a parent account by clicking "Need a Canvas Account?"