Canvas - What should I do to prepare for the start of my course? (Students)
This article lists resources and best practices to help students successfully use technology during their semester at UWM.
Finding your courses in Canvas
All your courses will be listed on your Dashboard, or in your Courses list. You should adjust favorites so the desired courses are on your Dashboard.
- Help! I'm missing a course!
- Student training and support for Canvas including "Canvas Made Easy" starter guide
Prepare your computer
- Chrome is the preferred browser overall.
- Firefox is the preferred browser for students who rely on accessibility tools.
- If using Microsoft Edge, ensure you are using the latest possible version on Windows 11 or 10. Do not use Microsoft Edge on older versions of Windows.
- Do not use Safari unless no other alternatives are available.
Prepare Your Mobile Device
Note: Students who are unable to afford a computer or internet service may be able to get technology on-loan from the university or purchase a computer at a steep discount. View the Dean of Students information on computer loans and surplus technology for more information.
When possible, use a computer to conduct your coursework.
If you are using mobile devices to access your course, use apps to access university services as a best practice.
- Canvas Student apps
- Microsoft Office apps
- Microsoft Outlook apps
- Current browsers:
Check with your instructor to determine if other mobile apps are needed or suggested.
Prepare your internet connection
If you need internet service, check with your housing to see if service is provided as part of your lease. If your housing does not provide internet, search for internet providers in your area.
Once connected, conduct an internet connection speed test. If your internet connection is slow (< 5Mbps) or fluctuates, consider contacting your ISP for assistance.
You may be able to use a public WiFi hotspot to conduct your work. If you are unable to afford internet, the Dean of Students may be able to help. View the Dean of Students information on computer loans and surplus technology for more information.
If you are using a public WiFi hotspot or cellular internet, a VPN is recommended.
Is something not working on the web?
- First: check your site’s permission to ensure there are no blocks (such as cookies, webcams, and microphones)
Chrome: Change settings for a specific site
Firefox: Change settings for a specific site
- Second: “hard reload” the web page and try again.
- Consider installing apps on your computer if the web app isn't working
- Office apps for your computer are free for students!
- Install OneDrive
- Install Zoom
- Install Microsoft Teams
- Canvas is designed to work on the web exclusively.
- Is your course using Proctorio? Set-up and install Proctorio for Chrome.
Prepare your webcam and microphone
Always test your webcam video and mic audio when using Zoom or Teams.
- Test your computer or device with Zoom
- Set-up video and audio for Microsoft Teams - see "Make a Test Call"
- Zoom support for students
- Do you have a Zoom account with your UWM email address? Consolidate your Zoom account.
Where to go for assistance
- Canvas support for students
Contact Canvas Tier I Support
- Zoom support for students
Contact Zoom Premiere+ Support
- Outlook, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, passwords, and other IT issues
Contact the UWM Help Desk
- Pearson, McGraw-Hill Educatio, Cengage, Macmillan, W.W. Norton and other publishers and tools
Contact customer support for those services.