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Biola Canvas | A Guide to Navigating Canvas at Biola University

Canvas is a powerful learning management system (LMS) used by many educational institutions to facilitate online learning, and Biola University is no exception. Biola's adoption of Canvas has made it easier for instructors and students to engage in online courses, access course materials, and collaborate in a virtual environment. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to get started with Canvas at Biola University.

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Logging in to Canvas

To access Canvas at Biola, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the Canvas login page at http://canvas.biola.edu and bookmark this link for future access.

  2. Log in using your credentials:

    • Username: Your NetID, which is typically your first name followed by your last initial and possibly a number.
    • Password: Use your NetID password, which is the same as your MyAccount.biola.edu and Biola email password.

If you encounter any issues with your NetID or password, refer to the I.T. web page for guidance on resetting your password.

Navigating Your Canvas Dashboard

Once you've successfully logged in, you'll land on your Canvas Dashboard, which provides an overview of your current courses. Alternatively, you can click on "Courses" to access a list of all your courses, including past and future ones. To streamline your Dashboard, consider favoriting a course by clicking the star icon next to its name for quicker access.

By default, Canvas displays courses in "Card View." If you prefer this view and it's not enabled, click the vertical ellipsis menu on the far-right and select "Card View."

Enabling Your Email Address

As a new user, it's crucial to enable your email address within Canvas. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the "Account" icon on the left side of the page.

  2. Select "Settings," and if you see an exclamation point next to your email address, click on it to confirm your email.

  3. You'll receive an email in your Biola inbox. Open the email and click the "Register" button to confirm.

  4. Click "Edit Settings" to customize your language, time zone (default is US English and Pacific Time Zone), and additional contact methods or email addresses if desired.

Setting Up Your Canvas Profile

Enhance your Canvas experience by updating your profile:

  1. Click the "Account" icon on the left side of the page.

  2. Choose "Profile" from the list.

  3. Click "Edit Profile" and enter the information you want to share with your peers.

  4. To add or change your profile photo, click the bottom right corner of the picture image and select "Upload a picture." Aim for a clear, square image of around 300 pixels.

  5. Explore "Settings" to connect your Canvas account to Google Drive, add your mobile phone number, or include an alternate email address (all optional).

  6. Navigate to "Notifications" to configure how and when you receive notifications for course-related events.

Keep in mind that the profile information you provide and your profile photo will be visible to everyone within your classes but won't be visible outside of Canvas on the public internet.


Canvas offers a range of notification settings to keep you informed about course-related activities. While the default settings are suitable for most users, you can customize them to your preferences:

  1. Click "Notifications" on the left sidebar.

  2. Adjust the frequency of notifications for various event types. You can choose to receive notifications by email, text message, Twitter Direct Message, and more.

  3. Set preferences for account-level notifications that apply to all your courses or configure settings for each individual course.

Remember that you can turn notifications off if you prefer to check for updates when you log in to Canvas.

Finding Missing Classes

If you find that a course is missing from your Canvas account, follow these steps:

  • For Students: Ensure you're officially enrolled in the course. Updates to Canvas can take up to 6 hours to reflect changes. Verify your class list at MyAccount.biola.edu. If you're looking for a past class, click "Courses" and then "All Courses."

  • For Instructors: Confirm that you're officially listed as the course instructor by checking the Biola University course schedule. If you encounter any discrepancies, contact the Course Scheduler in the Registrar's Office for assistance. To view past, closed courses, follow the instructions provided in "Viewing Closed Courses."

Canvas at Biola University is a valuable tool for both instructors and students, streamlining the educational experience and fostering collaboration. By following these steps and exploring the features Canvas offers, you'll be well-equipped to make the most of your online learning journey at Biola.

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