Canvas Steps for Success

Canvas Steps for Success

Welcome to Canvas at PC!

Are you enrolled in an online, hybrid, or in-person class that uses Canvas? If so, this page will provide useful tips on being successful in these classes.

Test Your Online Readiness

Take this online readiness self-assessment test.

You will get valuable feedback about your strengths and weaknesses related to online learning. You can use this feedback to 1) identify and improve the weaknesses that might impact your success in a hybrid or online class and 2) draw upon your strengths to enhance your performance in a hybrid or online class

Canvas Success

It is important you have good computer skills to succeed in hybrid and online courses. Minimally, you should know how to:

  1. Receive email using your Maricopa Gmail address.
  2. Create a word processing document in Word or Google Docs.
  3. Upload files from your computer to Canvas.
  4. Copy and paste between computer applications.
  5. Navigate the Internet in Chrome, Firefox or Safari (this includes working with multiple tabs and/or browser windows).

Maricopa Email

All students are provided with a Google mail account (Gmail). It is the official Maricopa Community College District policy students use their account for college communication. Learn to access, use, and forward your account.

When sending an email, include the following:

  1. Tell the receiver who you are. It may be difficult to recognize who you are from your email address since it uses your Maricopa Enterprise ID (MEID).
  2. Be specific and include details, such as class information (e.g. ENG101 class 12345) where appropriate.

Canvas Conversations

Canvas’ internal messages/mailing system “Conversations” will be your primary way of communication with your instructor and other students in your class. However, you don’t have to log on to Canvas each time to receive these messages. Learn to set up your “Notification Preferences” in Canvas to automatically send Canvas mail to your email or your cell phone. 

When communicating in Canvas, your instructor would already know which class you’re from, but you should still include specific questions and details where possible so that your instructor could respond quickly to your message.

Visit this page for videos instructions on navigating Canvas, getting notifications outside Canvas, submitting assignments, posting to discussions, taking quizzes, and checking grades.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working within Canvas.

  1. Login to Canvas before class begins and often.
  2. Set up your profileAdd an image, but make sure it is appropriate for engaging in school work.
  3. Set your notification preferences for how you want Canvas to communicate with you.
  4. Review the global calendar to see when assignments and quizzes are due.
  5. Use the To-Do list to see what is coming up in your class.
  6. Send your instructor messages using your inbox instead of Gmail.
  7. Use the ‘what if’ projections in Grades to see how you need to perform to earn the grade you desire.
  8. Use the library resources to your advantage - they are available from the course navigation.


Read up on the Do's and Don'ts of online behavior.  Remember that inappropriate behavior such as swearing, cyberstalking and making derogatory comments will lead to disciplinary action.

PC has many academic and student support services in place to assist you in the attainment of your educational goals.  Visit the Student Resources page for more information and links to the Learning Commons (writing and tutoring services), library resources, advisement, registration, counseling, financial aid, student life and much more. 

Courses are conducted in Canvas, an accessible learning management system.  To view Canvas' accessibility statement, visit the Canvas Accessibility Statement. If you require accommodation, please work with the Disability Resources and Services (DRS).  The mission of the DRS is to create a vital learning environment that provides the resources, services and auxiliary aids necessary to allow each qualified student with a disability to pursue academic, occupational, developmental and personal enrichment goals in the fairest and independent manner possible. The DRC coordinates services which will ensure students with disabilities equal access to college programs and facilities.  Visit the DRS website for more information about accommodation policies.

In addition to the course policies outlined in the syllabus, all students are expected to comply with the college policies outlined in the Student Handbook. It will give you details about student conduct, academic integrity, student grievances and more.