Canvas Student Brochure

How Do I Access Canvas?

A link to Canvas is provided from the Current Students page on the SWOSU web site, or you may go to All students receive a Canvas user account when they are admitted to SWOSU. Before logging in, please click on the System Check link to make sure that you are using the correct browser and have the appropriate plug-ins.

How Do I Know What My Username and Password Are?

Your Canvas username is your ‘DawgTag’.  Your ‘DawgTag’ will be comprised of your first initial + last initial of your legal name + your SWOSU ID #. Your initial password is your SWOSU default password. You will be required to change the password the first time you log in to the Canvas system. If you have problems logging in, be sure to double check your username. If you are still unable to login, call the ITS Helpdesk at (580)774-7070 for assistance.

How to Navigate Through Canvas

  • When you log in, you will see the My Courses widget in the center of the homepage.
  • Click the plus sign (+) on the semester (Fall 2008 for example) to reveal the departments and click on those plus signs (+) to reveal your courses.
  • You may or may not see courses listed when you log in, depending on if your instructor chooses to use Desire2Learn or not. Any course you are officially enrolled in may appear in your course widget weeks before classes begin. Instructors can change this to be earlier, later, or remove the course entirely if they choose.
  • To access the course, simply click on the title of the course and you will be taken to the course homepage.

NOTE: When you enroll in a course, it may be the next business day before you appear in that course in Canvas.

Navigating Through Your Courses

  • Each course may appear different because instructors may customize the layout of their courses.
  • The main area where most classes will have course related links is the area below the SWOSU logo that by default starts with “Course Home”. Most course related links are found here, such as links to their class content, grades, quizzes, etc.
  • Content will generally contain all the files your instructor wishes you to access such as lecture notes, syllabus, handouts, etc.
  • Discussions are where you interact with one another by posting messages to topics, and reading and replying to messages posted by others.
  • Dropbox is where you can submit (upload) your assignments.
  • Quizzes are where you can take online quizzes.
  • Classlist is where you can see who is in the course as well as the Instructor. You can check the box to the left of a name and choose the email icon to send them an email (through the SWOSU email system).
  • Grades are where you would check your grades in the class.


  • To take a quiz/test, click on Quizzes on the navigation bar. Click on the name of the quiz you want and read the instructions for taking the quiz.
  • When you are ready to begin, click on Start Quiz. A pop-up window will appear with information; read it, and then click OK to start the quiz.
  • As you are taking the quiz, be sure to save your answers. A grey Save button is located after each question (recommended) or a Save All Responses button at the bottom of the page. When taking a quiz with multiple pages, the answers will automatically save each time you click the directional arrow to go to the next page.
  • When you are finished taking the quiz and all answers have been saved, click on Go to Submit Quiz.
  • The screen will change and ask you to confirm. Click Submit Quiz. A pop-up will appear, click OK.


You can use Canvas to send email to your instructor and fellow students’ SWOSU email addresses. Just look for the Email link found in each course. Because D2L email is sent through your SWOSU student email account, it is imperative that you check your SWOSU account often, or forward it to another email account that you use regularly. However, if you choose to forward to an outside account, keep in mind that SWOSU cannot guarantee that you will receive email if problems occur.

Using the Dropbox

  • The dropbox is used to submit (upload) assignments for a class. To upload an assignment:
  • Click on the Dropbox link from the navigation bar.
  • Locate the assignment folder to upload your assignment to and click on the folder name.
  • Now click Add File, then Browse and locate the file on your computer. Select the file and click Open. NOTE: If you have previously uploaded files into the Locker you can place them into the Dropbox by choosing My Locker instead of My Computer.
  • Once you locate the file and it appears in the window, click the Upload button. If you have more than one file to upload, click the Add button to select another file.
  • You can add a description if you need to give the instructor more information about your file. Finally, click Upload to send the file to your instructor. You will see a Results screen showing you that it was loaded, the date/time, and the size.
  • You can choose to Upload More Files or simply click on the Folder List to be taken back to the Dropbox area. Now you will see the column Submissions and there should be at least one file noted (or more if you uploaded more).

Need More Help?

If you need further assistance, User Guides with help on specific tools are located inside each course.

Cnavas FAQs for Students are located on the web at the following address:

The ITS Helpdesk is available to answer Canvas questions at 580.774.7070, 8am - 5pm, Monday thru Friday. Walk-in support is also available in the ITS Office located in Stafford 246.