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      Canvas for Students

      What is Canvas, and What do I Need to Know?

      Diamond Schuler, communication studies, ‘18

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      Ready for Canvas

      Starting in Fall 2018, Campus Cruiser will no longer be used for academic or course purposes. Now is the time to switch to Canvas.

      Widener University has switched from running course websites in Campus Cruiser and Web Study to a new product called Canvas.

      Starting next academic year, Widener courses that previously used Cruiser will use Canvas instead. As many students are finding out, some faculty are already making the switch this semester. Students may be wondering how to use it, what the benefits are, and when the switch will be mandatory.

      To break things down, here is what you need to know about Canvas:

      How do I access Canvas?

      Logging onto Canvas is as simple as visiting homepage and clicking on the "Canvas" link located at the top of the page next to WUMail and Campus Cruiser. You will be prompted to enter your login.

      Can I access Canvas from my cell phone?

      Not only is Canvas mobile friendly, but there's also a student app. Yes, you heard it right, there's an app. Go to your app store and search "Canvas Student" for a free download for both Apple iOS and Android devices.

      What's going to happen to Campus Cruiser?

      Starting Fall 2018 Campus Cruiser will no longer be used for academic or course purposes. Campus Cruiser will exist solely as the platform for access to campus wide resources, such as your committees, offices, WebAdvisor, and Student Planning.

      Why should I be excited about Canvas?

      It's simple and user-friendly. Canvas allows instructors to customize their courses accordingly and students to personalize their accounts. Through personal settings, students can change how they want to receive notifications and how often, including the option to get messages via text, if that is what works for you. There is a single color-coded calendar feature that lets you see clearly when assignments, projects and other deadlines are coming up for all courses. There is also a "What-if" feature in the gradebook that allows students to calculate grades based on different scenarios.

      Why else should I log-in to Canvas now?

      Canvas can easily connect to third-party plugins that faculty and students frequently use, such as Office 365 and Zoom. The module feature also allows instructors to outline the course week-by-week, including documents, assignments, and files for that specific week all in an organized chronological format. Students can also go to an inbox that contains all the messages and announcements from each course, so there is no more tracking down announcements from two weeks ago.

      When will Canvas become campus wide?

      Over 165 courses are up and running on Canvas, but by Fall 2018 all courses at Widener will be managed through Canvas. For more information, check out the transition timeline.

      What if I have a question about Canvas?

      There is a 24/7 support line through phone or chat that can be accessed by students and faculty that have issues with Canvas. Whether it be problems logging on, learning how to navigate through Canvas, or any other general questions, this Canvas specific support line is open for Widener students and faculty around the clock. There is also a Widener project team working to help make a smooth transition to Canvas. You can contact them with any feedback or questions at


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