Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q: How do I get into Canvas?

A: There are two ways to access Canvas:

  1. From MyMiami: There is a button on the MyMiami page for Canvas. Once you are logged in MyMiami, click on the Canvas button on the left side of the screen.
  2. From MU Canvas Login Portal: This is a login portal that is available for all Miamians, and also available for people who do not have an MU account, such as a guest student or a guest speaker who does not have a unique ID and password. To access the login page, type in the url:miamioh.edu/canvas. Then log into Canvas using your Miami ID and password, or non-Miami Canvas account credentials.

Q: Who else is using Canvas (schools)?

A: Over 600 higher education institutions are using Canvas. These include Northwestern, Dartmouth, Brown, Auburn, University of Washington, and Utah State. Indiana University, University of California Berkeley, and University of Michigan are among schools currently phasing out Sakai and moving to Canvas.

Q: What are the benefits of using the Canvas Learning Management System?

A: Ease of use by faculty and students was the primary factor that led to the choice of Canvas. Canvas is designed specifically for teaching and learning online, and by meeting the rigorous demands of the online course. It also provides robust tools for face-to-face courses. Canvas’ open API and 1-click LTI integration make adding tools easy. A wide variety of tools and content sources is available to integrate with Canvas and the list is growing. Significant features include integrated learning outcomes, native course and grading apps, video recording, and native mobile polling.

Q: I've heard that Canvas is a “cloud” service and that means Miami academic records are being stored off site. How has security been addressed?

A: Canvas is secure. Canvas conducts regular internal audits and contracts independent security specialists to perform and publish an annual public security audit. IT Services followed their standard process for assessing the information security posture of a 3rd party company, and Canvas was judged to have an appropriate information security posture to protect the data that will be stored in that system.

Students

Q: How much time should I spend on an eLearning course?

A: During a standard semester term, students are expected to spend approximately nine hours a week for a three credit hour class in order to enjoy a high level of engagement and success. During a three week winter term students should plan to spend 40 hours per week, and during a six week summer term expect to dedicate 20 hours per week to a three-credit class. Additionally, some classes may have student synchronous sessions that students will have to attend.

Q: What are my rights and responsibilities relative to Miami University?

A: Refer to the Miami Bulletin for detail on student responsibilities when taking courses with eLearning Miami.

Q: If I am not a student at Miami University, do I have to be accepted into Miami before taking courses?

A: Yes, you must meet the requirements of a visiting student which are outlined in the Non-degree Students page.

Q: Can I take more than one class at a time?

A: Yes, you can take five classes before being formally admitted to Miami. However, given the academic commitment, we recommend you do not take more than three at the same time during a regular term, and that many only if you are dedicating yourself to full-time study.

Q: Do I need a student ID from Miami University to take a course through eLearning Miami if I am a full-time student at a different institution?

A: No. Students who do not attend Miami full-time are not required to have a student ID.

Q: What is a Miami University account and will I get one if I take a class from ELM?

A: A university account provides access to a official Miami e-mail account, Miami’s Learning Management System called Canvas, Miami's library, and many other systems including Google applications. When you are accepted into Miami you will be issued a Miami unique ID which is required to access a university account.

Q: Who do I contact if I have an issue with the technology while I am taking a course through ELM?

A: Miami University’s Informational Technology team can be reached at IT@Miami.

Q: How do I get my books?

A: Your professor will publish a syllabus through the Canvas Learning Management System (the learning platform that connects you and your instructor) or via an e-mail before class with a list of books you may order through Miami’s bookstore, or Amazon, or some other resource (Miami will ship to you at an additional cost). Keep in mind shipping times for the Miami bookstore when placing your order.

Q: How do I learn how to use Canvas Learning Management System.

A: For everything from an overview video to details of specific tools, go to the Canvas for Students page.

Q: Where do I go if I have problems with my course?

A: If it is a technical issue, Miami’s Information Technology group can help. They are an excellent resource and you can call them, engage them in live chat, or e-mail your questions. For other issues related to the class or instructor you can contact your professor or the head of the department. For other general questions, call eLearning Miami (ELM) at +1 513 529 6068.

Q: Do I ever have to come to the Miami University Oxford campus?

A: If you are taking a fully online class you do not have to come to Miami’s Oxford campus. If you are taking a hybrid class, it is likely that you will have to come to campus.

Q: What kind of equipment do I need?

A: Students taking courses through eLearning Miami require a desktop computer or laptop and high speed Internet access. Other technical requirements are outlined at What computer/hardware is required.

Q: What if I have a issue with the course or my teacher -- how can I register a complaint?

A: If you have an issue with your professor that you can’t resolve, you may contact the head of the department. For more information about courses complaints, see the information about complaints and grievances on the state authorization page.

Q: How do I get accommodation if I have a disability?  

A: Miami is committed to meeting the needs of all students including those who complete coursework through any of our eLearning Miami offerings. If you have a disability that requires special accommodations, please contact Miami’s Office of Disability Services at 513-529-1541 or sds@miamioh.edu. We want to ensure that from the first day of classes you are fully able to participate.

For further questions about accessibility at Miami University please review resources and offices available on the accessmu website, or contact us at accessmu@miamioh.edu.

Q: How will I know when my course starts?

A: Both winter and summer terms are short and very concentrated. Most ELM courses become available about a week before the term starts, so you can get your books and begin working on early assignments. Thoroughly review your course syllabus once your instructor publishes your course in Canvas. For information regarding official start dates, refer to Miami’s academic calendar.

Q: What if I change my mind and decide not to take a course?

A: Refer to Miami’s academic calendar for drop dates.

Q: Will Miami be offering bachelor degrees in the online format in the near future?

A: Miami University's flagship Oxford campus does not plan to offer online bachelor degrees, although our graduate division has a growing number of online graduate programs and certificatesMiami Unversity's regional campuses are an excellent resource for fully online bachelor's degrees.

Faculty

Q: What support is available for faculty using Canvas?

A: All faculty with questions about Canvas should first contact IT help desk at (513) 529-7900. In addition, online support is available 24x7 in both Miami’s knowledge base and within Canvas itself.

Q: What is an active Canvas course?

A: Courses for upcoming terms will appear in your list with the course code and course number followed by a section (i.e. ABC 123 XB). These courses are in active terms and have student enrollment. Once you publish the course the course will be active and the students will have access.

Q: How do my students get enrolled in my course?

A: Months before a term begins the Registrar’s office will automatically have a course shell in Canvas created and students enrolled. You will find your roster on your MyMiami page just as you did before, but you will also see the roster in People in your course.

Q: Can I request a Canvas site?

A: There are two different types of Canvas sites. The first is for course delivery with student enrollments and is created in Canvas by the Registrar’s office. The second is a project site. Projects sites can be utilized by departments, staff, and student organizations for the sharing of information, training on processes and procedures. To request a project site complete the Request a Canvas Site form.

Q: How do I find my Canvas courses?

A: If it is your first time logging into Canvas, you may see a list of course invitations on the dashboard page. You need to "Accept" an invitation to your course. If you do not accept, you will not be able to access and edit your course. Once you accept the invitation, your course will appear in the "Courses" tab.

If you’ve accepted the courses in Canvas, or have accepted the course invitations from an email sent by Canvas, you can click on the “Courses” link on the side panel below the Miami Logo. A “short list” of courses will appear, to view all courses click on “All Courses” at the bottom of the list.

New courses added to your list will be found by clicking “All Courses” at the bottom of your course list.