Have a question not answered on this page? Contact the project team at canvas@duke.edu with any questions, concerns or feedback.

About the Transition to Canvas

In order to ensure the successful adoption of Canvas, we are employing a phased approach to transitioning courses from Sakai to Canvas.

For Fall 2023, we are limiting the number of instructors at Duke and DKU who can use Canvas (“Early Adopters”). This will allow Learning Innovation to provide our Early Adopters the focus and support they may need in moving from Sakai to Canvas, and will help us better understand Duke instructors’ needs for future, scaled adoption of Canvas. 

The platform will be open during Fall 2023 for everyone at Duke to begin exploring and creating content, as Canvas will be available for all Duke instructors to opt in to use for Spring 2024. Our goal is to have all courses using Canvas by Fall 2024.

Yes - please review the content on the migration page for more information about the current migration process.

You will be able to access your previously created content in Sakai at least one year after the full transition to Canvas. An exact date will be announced at a later time.

The equivalent to project sites in Canvas will be Collaboration Sites. Learn more and request a Collaboration Site here.

No new project sites may be created in Sakai after May 2024. Project sites in Sakai may continue to be used until Summer 2025, when access to Sakai will be disabled. If you have a project site in Sakai, we recommend you request a collaboration site in Canvas as soon as possible. 

There will be many opportunities throughout Fall 2023 to learn how to use Canvas and prepare to teach with it in Spring 2024. This will include live workshops and self-service materials. Additionally, you will have access to the Canvas Community, which includes resources such as the Instructor Guides and the Question Forum. Canvas also has many built-in training tools that provide instruction and support as you learn the platform.

Prior to this university-wide transition, the Duke University School of Medicine and Duke's Fuqua School of Business had already established their own instances of Canvas. If you are attempting to access a course for either of those schools, you can access their instances of Canvas below:

DKU will transition from Sakai to Canvas with Duke University. You may opt-in to transition to Canvas as early as Session 1, Fall 2023, but our goal is to have all courses using Canvas by Session 1, Fall 2024. We anticipate Canvas will be accessible similarly to Sakai. DKU's Center for Teaching and Learning are leading the training and adoption efforts for instructors at DKU.

For FAQs and answers specifically about DKU's transition to Canvas, ctl.dukekunshan.edu.cn/canvas/faq

Kits won’t go away as it provides value outside the LMS and outside the course context for those working on projects and collaborations. We are evaluating the relationship between Kits and Canvas to better balance the functionality Kits provides with the complexity that comes with it. The integration between Kits and Canvas may be different than what currently exists between Kits and Sakai.

We send occasional updates to all Duke faculty and members of the Duke community who have opted into communications. If you have not received these messages, you may join our email list. A Duke NetID is required.

Using Canvas

Much of the content from Sakai sites can be migrated to Canvas by Duke Learning Innovation staff on a by-request basis. You may request up to five Sakai sites at a time to be migrated by the Canvas team for you.

Some items to note about migrations:

  • Migrated sites names in Canvas will start with "MIGRATED_". 
  • These sites will be separate from your Canvas sites students are officially enrolled in.
  • Not all content is migrate-able to Canvas. Tools which don’t have a Canvas equivalent or are mainly composed of student data are not migrated. 
  • We recommend reviewing our Migration Map document which breaks down each tool's migrate-able content and settings in detail. 
  • If any content needs to be altered during the migration due to differences between Sakai and Canvas, a Change Log Page will be created in the Pages tool in the migrated site. Look for the pages with emojis in the titles (e.g., ⚠️ Quiz Change Log | IMPORTANT).
  • Migrated sites cannot be used with students or other users. Migrated sites are for you to review and update content as needed. You should thoroughly review ALL aspects of your migrated site, and update as needed. 
  • When you are ready to use the content in a real course or collaboration site, you may copy all or part of the contents into your real site following the steps in this guide.
  • If you encounter an issue with a migrated site (for example, a missing file), please report this to lmstransition@duke.edu. 

Canvas syncs enrollment adds, drops, and waitlists from DukeHub and DKUHub. Enrollment changes in DukeHub/DKUHub should be reflected in Canvas within 4-6 hours. 

Waitlisted students will remain in Canvas sites until the end of the add/drop period. At the end of the add/drop period, if the student is still on the waitlist, they will be removed from the Canvas site.

Any person not on the DukeHub roster will need to be manually added to the Canvas site via the People tool. For fall 2023 only, if the person you are adding will have the role of “Teacher” in the Canvas site, you then need to contact canvas@duke.edu to let us know the person’s name so we can adjust their Canvas permissions to allow them to see the site. 

There are two reasons you may see differences between the enrollment list in Canvas and DukeHub. 

First, just as in Sakai, waitlisted students are included in the Canvas course site rosters until the end of add/drop. Your Canvas roster before the end of the add/drop deadline should be the sum of your officially enrolled and waitlisted students in DukeHub. After the add/drop deadline, any students remaining on the waitlist will be removed from the Canvas site.

If you are seeing students in Canvas who aren't enrolled or on the waitlist in DukeHub (i.e., if they have dropped the course but are still in the Canvas site more than 4 hours after they dropped), please send their names and Duke Unique IDs to canvas@duke.edu and we can review the issue. 

If you need to add someone not at Duke to your Canvas site, there are two options:

  1. Create a Duke Sponsored Account for that person. Typically this would be done if the person needs access to other Duke resources in addition to Canvas, or if they might need access on an ongoing basis beyond one semester. 
    • Complete the appropriate form linked from the site above. 
    • After the sponsored account is created, ask the person to login to Canvas. This will create their Canvas account.
    • After the Canvas account is created, in your site, use the People tool to add the person in the desired role. 
  2. Have the person create/register a OneLink login. OneLink is a service that allows alumni and others to sign in to select Duke systems. 
    • Ask the person to complete registration of a OneLink account. During the process, a Duke Unique ID (DUID) will be created for the person.
    • After their OneLink account is created, ask the person to login to Canvas. This will create their Canvas account.
    • After the Canvas account is created, in your site, use the People tool to add the person, using their DUID, in the desired role. 

In Canvas, combining sections of a course is called “Cross-listing.” This is straightforward for faculty members to do themselves following this help guide. A few basic tips:

  • Cross-list when both sections are unpublished.
  • Begin the process in the “child” site (the site you want to combine into the other site), and cross-list into the “parent” site. 
  • At the end of the process, the “parent” site will remain, and the “child” site(s) will have been merged with the “parent” site and will have disappeared from your Canvas dashboard. 
  • If you want to de-cross-list a section but cannot see the “De-cross-list this Section” button as shown in the help guide, please contact Learning Innovation.

For the 2023-24 academic year, there is no direct integration between Duke University Library e-reserves or Duke Kunshan University Library e-reserves and Canvas.

Instructors who need access to electronic course reserves through the Duke University Libraries should stay on Sakai for the ’23-’24 academic year. Duke faculty, if you have concerns about a specific class, please reach out to perkins-reserves@duke.edu to discuss further. DKU faculty, if you have concerns please contact the DKU Library.

We recommend the following video tools:

  1. Warpwire - Duke-supported video hosting platform, integrated with Canvas
  2. Panopto - Duke-supported lecture capture and video hosting platform, Canvas integration coming January 2024. 

For more information about how to use these tools with Canvas, please see the documentation page: Options for Hosting Videos in Canvas

No - Canvas Studio will be view-only after Fall 2023. This means that Duke users will not be able to add new video content to Canvas Studio starting on January 1, 2024.

Duke Warpwire is the recommended option for publishing video and audio in Canvas. Users can download their content from their Studio Library and upload to their course Warpwire Library.

Students, staff and instructors can still view previously uploaded content until the end of the Spring 2024 semester. 

Yes - Gradescope provides instructions for how to integrate Gradescope with your Canvas course site.

If you would like to create anonymous discussions, you will need to turn on the ‘Discussions/Announcements Redesign’ Feature. Please note that this feature is flagged as a Feature Preview because it is still in development by Canvas. For full details regarding this feature, please refer to the relevant Canvas Release Notes.

To enable this feature:

  1. Navigate to the course for which you want to use anonymous discussions.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’ at the bottom of the course navigation menu.
  3. Click on the ‘Feature Options’ tab at the top of the Settings page.
  4. Find the ‘Discussions/Announcements Redesign’ feature and click on the red x to the right of that feature.
  5. Choose ‘Enable’.

Now, when you create a discussion, you will be able to make it either partially or fully anonymous. Partial anonymity allows students to choose whether they want to reveal their name and profile picture, while full anonymity automatically hides everyone’s name and profile picture. Please note that when anonymity is turned on for a discussion, grading and groups are not supported.

We have developed a tool that allows instructors to pull final grades from Canvas sites into DukeHub to review before submitting final grades. To try this tool for your course(s), see the Registrar’s ‘Transferring grades from Canvas’ guide. 

This is a beta release of the tool so please make sure you review all grades in DukeHub before submitting your final grades. If you encounter any issues or have any feedback on the tool, please let us know at canvas@duke.edu.

The Canvas / DukeHub gradepass tool is only available for Duke University courses. DKU courses and instructors will need to continue manually adding grades in DKU Hub. 

You may also:

  1. Enter grades manually in DukeHub, or
  2. Download a .csv grade template from DukeHub (which has the format needed), input the grades in the .csv, save and upload the .csv to DukeHub.

Any assistance needed with this can be found at this help document or by contacting the Registrar (registrar@duke.edu, 919-684-2813).

There are some permissions you can manage at the course level for your TAs. For example:

  • You can restrict TAs to only seeing one section of a cross-listed course
  • You can enable anonymous grading so TAs cannot see what student they are grading for. 

TAs Can:

  • Create and Manage All Course Materials INCLUDING deleting them
  • Manually add students to a course
  • Message students individually or in groups
  • Manage items in the course calendar
  • View and edit grades
  • View and edit question banks

TAs Cannot:

  • Create, edit, or delete student groups (or sections)
  • Submit work on behalf of students
  • Submit final grades

For more information on what TAs can and cannot do see this webpage

If you are an Instructor of Record, you will have instructor-level access for your course to build and use throughout the semester. Because of this, you can use the same resources available to faculty for anything you need to do in Canvas. 

Yes - instructors may access Canvas using the free Canvas Teacher App on mobile devices.

For iOS users:

For Android users:

Once you have downloaded the app:

  • Open the app, and either click ‘Find my school’ or use the QR code in your Canvas account to login through your phone
  • If using ‘Find my school’, search for ‘Duke University’
    • Note: For any classes taught at the School of Medicine or Fuqua, you will need to log into the correct instance of Canvas via the app by searching for and selecting "Duke Medicine" or "Fuqua".
  • Use your NetID and password to login

Canvas has the ability to add your desired pronouns from your centralized Duke identity account to your Canvas profile. It is a two stage process: 1) Add desired pronouns 2) Allow Canvas access to pronoun values.

Step 1: Add Pronouns to your DukeHub (students) / Work@Duke (faculty/staff) profile


Undergraduate and graduate students may select or enter their pronouns within DukeHub. Reference the Student Affairs guide on completing the first part of process.


Employees may select or enter their pronouns within the Work@Duke portal. After logging in, select the My Info tab. In the My Profile section, locate and select the Select/Update my Gender Identity, Pronouns and Preferred First Name link. Select the Edit link and enter your desired pronouns in the corresponding field. Lastly select the Save button. 

Step 2: Update Pronoun Privacy access (all users)

By default, Duke services and websites do NOT have access to pronouns you have added to your centralized Duke identity account. You must update your Pronoun Privacy access setting in order for your pronouns to appear on your Canvas profile. 

On the OIT Self-Service Identity Manager website, in the Pronouns section, select the Edit link. In the Pronoun Privacy section, select the ‘Provide my pronouns to any requesting Duke service, including directory.duke.edu’ option and submit your changes.
Note: If you select the ‘Experimental’ option, your pronouns will NOT be added to the pronoun field on your Canvas profile but rather will be appended to your name. 

After completing the above two-part process, it may take up to 24 hours for your pronouns to appear on your Canvas profile.

Sites associated with an official course listed in DukeHub/DKU Hub will go into a concluded state 21 days after the official end of the term. A concluded state means that the site turns into read-only for all users enrolled in the site (including instructors). This is done so the state of the site is preserved and not altered by accidental changes, late submissions, etc. Concluded sites are removed from users’ dashboards but remain accessible via the Courses > All courses link.

If an instructor would like to continue making changes to a site, allow late submissions or other changes in their site, they can switch the site to be dictated by course participation dates instead of the default term dates. This is done within each site’s course settings. Reference Canvas’ guide on this process.

In addition, instructors may set within the course’s settings to ‘restrict students from viewing course after term/course end date’. By doing so, the instructor would retain access to the site but students would no longer be able to access the course at all. Reference Canvas’ guide on this process.

Note: Sandbox & Collaboration sites are not dictated by the same controls by default as they are not associated with a specific term.

student questions

For questions frequently asked by students, please visit the For Students page.