This is a quick overview of logging in to Canvas, finding your course sites, and adjusting notifications.
Before You Start
You need the following:
- An active PennKey account (or authorized email address)
- Enrollment in a current course site
Log in to Canvas with your PennKey at https://canvas.upenn.edu.
Please visit PennKey Support if you encounter difficulty with your PennKey login.
If you are a Canvas user without a PennKey, click "Using email to log in?"
This method will not work for those who have PennKeys.
Finding active course sites
If your instructor is using Canvas (not all faculty do), you can find the course site by viewing your course list.
Note: There is a slight delay between registration and access to Canvas, and you cannot access any course site until the instructor has published it.
If you are unofficially auditing a course, or if you want access to a site before you enroll, you will need instructor permission. Please forward any emails of permission to the Courseware team, who can enable your access to the course site.
Finding concluded course sites
Old course sites remain available, in a read-only state, for up to five years after they began.
To access them, select Courses in the left navigation bar, and click All Courses. Past course sites will appear beneath Past Enrollments.
Course sites may close earlier than five years after concluding, and class recordings, Study.Net, library reserves, and other licensed materials typically expire within 1-2 months, even if the Canvas site itself remains available. Therefore, it is wise to download desired materials from Canvas as soon as possible.
After you graduate, you will use alumni computing services, many of which will continue to use your PennKey. Be sure to sign up for the PennKey Recovery Service so that you can easily reset your PennKey password after graduation.
Adjusting your notifications
Use Notification Preferences to tell Canvas when to notify you – ASAP, daily, weekly, or never – about course events.
The following notification settings are recommended.
- Course Activities → Due Date: Daily or ASAP
- Course Activities → Files: Daily
- Course Activities → Announcement: ASAP
- Conversations → All Categories: ASAP
- Scheduling → All Categories: ASAP
Note: The grading notification preference "Include scores when alerting about grade changes" does work at Penn. Grade information will never be sent through insecure channels like email.