Knowledgebase: Canvas
Canvas: General FAQ
Updated: 26 August 2020 10:44 AM

What version of Canvas does OCAD U run?

OCADU runs the Community Version (CV) of Canvas and recently launched Canvas Cloud. We refer to our old CV version as Canvas (Legacy). There are several differences between the two versions.

All new courses will be offered on Canvas Cloud.

Feature Canvas CV
Canvas Cloud
Mobile App No Yes
Hosting Location On-Premise at OCAD U Cloud
Rollcall Attendance App No Yes
Update Schedule Every Three Weeks* Every Three Weeks
Cost Free Annual License Cost


What is the Course Outline Builder?

The Course Outline Builder is a tool built by OCAD U IT Staff and hosted on-campus. Its purpose is to facilitate consistency and AODA compliance of Course Outlines across the University. The content created by faculty that is populated into Course Outline Builder is considered “user content”. Learn how to use the Course Outline Builder.

Am I required to use the Course Outline Builder?

The guidance provided by the Office of the VP Academic is that it is recommended, due to the fact that it simplifies and harmonizes the format across Faculties so that students can digest the content easily, and it is AODA compliant, and thus supports WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance. If faculty are choosing not to use the Course Outline Builder, it is incumbent upon them to ensure the format of their Course Outline is WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant.

If I post my content on Canvas, am I giving away my Intellectual Property Rights to my content?

You retain your IP to content that you create. Your intellectual property rights are protected by the Intellectual Property Rights Policy for content that you create. Canvas has a per-course IP setting: courses by default are “Private (Copyrighted)”.

However, you can explicitly choose to open-source your content using a Creative Commons license for your content instead of the default Copyright. More on this at the Canvas Community: 

Who has access to Canvas? Why?

Course Roles

  • Students in a course can post to Discussions, see People, submit Assignments, send Messages and view course content.
  • Teachers can do almost anything within a course, except add or remove students or course sections. Faculty can also add TAs, Designers, Observers and other Instructors.
  • TAs can do most things Teachers can, except Publish Courses, Learning Outcomes, Moderate Grades and they cannot add or remove TAs or Teachers (which Teachers can do)
  • Designers can edit most course content, but cannot communicate with students, or view grades.
  • Observers have the fewest permissions: they can view course content, but cannot edit course content, send messages or view grades
  • Studio Technicians have access to class lists, can view course content, and can create announcements. 

Read more about roles in the Canvas Community

Account Roles

  • IT Services Staff have two different levels of permission in Canvas. Account Admins can view and modify almost all content. IT Help Desk Staff have limited read-only privileges: they can view courses and content, but cannot interact with courses in any way.
  • Academic Support Staff are provided very limited read-only access to Canvas courses in order to assist faculty. Academic support staff enable faculty professional and course development, troubleshoot problems and enable services that units provide. This includes the Faculty Curriculum Development Centre, Centre for Students with Disabilities and some Library staff.
    • Faculty Curriculum Development Staff are often added to courses as Designers to courses they are developing with a faculty member. 
    • The CSD can add other Observers to courses so Notetakers can access course content.
  • Faculty Offices are provided very limited read-only access, with some write permissions to Canvas courses in order to assist faculty. Faculty Office staff provide training, assist faculty with course outlines and troubleshoot minor problems when requested. Faculty Office staff may request a report of faculty requiring assistance with grades or course outlines.
  • Studio Technicians have access to courses within their program area. The use class lists to grant access to facilities and equipment, and they communicate to students information regarding studios.