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Go to Canvas
Last updated on 9 November 2023
Canvas is the online learning management system (LMS) of the VU. Canvas occupies a central place in the virtual learning environment (VLE) of VU Amsterdam. Almost every lecturer and student regularly uses a Canvas course to support their education.

Canvas provides basic educational functionalities and is therefore the core of the VU's digital learning environment. Through Canvas, announcements are made, documents are made available, assignments are created, assignments are handed in, assignments are checked, provisional grades are maintained, tests are created and taken and more.

Canvas Announcements

  • Broadcast a message to all students in your course
  • Send messages to specific student sections
  • Add files or links to your messages

Canvas Groups and Sections 

  • Send information to specific Sections or Groups
  • Issue assignments to specific sections
  • Make your own Groups

Canvas Assignment 

  • Assign tasks and collect the student work
  • Easy to turn into a peer review assignment
  • For individual and group assignments
  • Use rubrics for grading
  • Includes Ouroriginal plagiarism check
  • FeedbackFruits has more advanced features

Canvas Speedgrader 

  • Grade submitted assignments
  • Grade anonymously
  • Use rubrics for grading
  • Provide general comments and detailed feedback
  • FeedbackFruits has more advanced features

Canvas Discussion Board 

  • Easy to set up
  • Start and follow discussion threads
  • Use at least one for Q&A
  • Enable notifications to get updates via e-mail
  • Actively moderate a Discussion Board when you use it

Canvas Quizzes 

  • Develop Tests directly in Canvas
  • For Quizzes (not exams)
  • Various Question Types incl. open ended
  • Very flexible and automatic feedback
  • Full Psychometric Analysis

More about Canvas

  • How do I get access to Canvas?

    Log in with your VUnetID and password at You can also approach Canvas via VUnet. Employees or guests of the VU who do not have VUnetID can apply for a Canvas account via the Canvas Supporter of the relevant faculty. 

    Note: access to Canvas is not possible in the following countries and regions: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and the Crimea region. This is due to American law enforcement that Instructure, the parent company of Canvas, has to meet.

    Supply conditions
    The Code of Conduct for computer and network use applies.

    More information and FAQs about Canvas training and support

  • Support for students

    VU Canvas Student Guide is available for students. In this Student Guide, students find all the information they need to work optimally with Canvas.

  • Training and support for teachers and employees

    Getting To Know Canvas for Teachers
    An online course has been set up in Canvas called 'Getting To Know Canvas for Teachers' (GTKC). This online course about the (basic) functionalities of Canvas is available for all teachers and employees on their Canvas Dashboard. The course can be consulted at all times and remains in development.

    Practice Course
    all teachers and employees have their own 'Practice Course' on their Dashboard, in which they can try out functionalities. This course is always available.

    Teacher support by faculty administrators
    The faculty administrators of the faculties are responsible for the support of Canvas. You can find their e-mail addresses by clicking on 'Where To Go For Help?' In the homepage of the online course 'Getting To Know Canvas for Teachers'. Ask your faculty whether face-to-face training is offered.

    Read more about support for teachers for didactic, educational and ICTO questions on this page.

    Support students
    Students have access to the VU Canvas Student Guide where the most important aspects of Canvas are highlighted. Videos and manuals are also available on Canvas's help page.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    The Frequently Asked Questions (Canvas) about Canvas are included in the 'Getting to Know Canvas for Teachers' course. You can find these FAQs by clicking on 'Frequently Asked Questions' on the start page of this course under 'Quick links to important information'. On the page with the FAQs you will find the answers to common questions and you can also click directly to the relevant page within the 'Getting to Know Canvas for Teachers' for further explanation on that topic.

    Canvas Example Course
    In the 'Getting to Know Canvas for Teachers' course you will also find the link to a Canvas Example Course. Here you can see how a good basic course has been built up. The blue boxes in the course explain why certain functionalities and structure were chosen. The link to this course can be found in the Syllabus and on the welcome pages of the modules.

  • Important information about publishing grades via the Canvas Gradebook

    The Canvas Gradebook allows you to publish grades and comments on these grades per individual student. Students will only see their own grade for privacy.

    Each column in the gradebook contains information about the grades of each student assignment, test, or other work submitted in Canvas.

    You will find the gradebook within each Canvas course. Click on grades in the left menu. To work offline, it is possible to download each student's grade in a CSV file. 

    Note: The Canvas Gradebook is not the official channel for publishing final grades; this is done via SAP. 

    Important: Do not publish files (e.g. Excel, Word or PDF) containing student grade information in Canvas. Students are not allowed to see each other's grades.

    More information about using the Gradebook can be found on the 'Grades' page in the online course 'Getting To Know Canvas for Teachers'. If you do not yet have access to this course, please see above under Training and support Canvas for teachers and staff.

  • Terms of delivery, privacy and cookie policy, terms of use

Additional apps - VU Digital Learning Environment

In addition to Canvas, the VU offers more specialised educational applications and tools which are usually integrated into Canvas. Examples include the plagiarism detection system Ouriginal (formerly known as Urkund) or FeedbackFruits. View the overview of all applications and tools available at VU Amsterdam's digital learning environment.