FAQs by Students

Untitled Document
1    Canvas access and interface
  1. Open a web browser and go to the URL https://canvas.ust.hk.
  2. Select the correct account type and log in with your username and password.

If you are experiencing difficulties logging in Canvas with your ITSC account, please contact ITSC’s helpdesk via email cchelp@ust.hk or telephone 2358-6200.

Canvas is designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements. Read more about the details of the specifications >>

Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. Read more about the complete list of browsers >>

The landing page after log in is called the Dashboard. The User Dashboard is a summary page of what is happening in all your courses. It allows you to see recent activities across the different courses and figure out what to do next. You can return to your User Dashboard at any time by clicking on the HKUST|Canvas logo in the top left of the page.

The User Dashboard consists of four main elements:

  1. Global Navigation - provides you with a quick access to all of your Courses, Groups, Calendar, SFQ and Inbox. Global Navigation also appears on the left of every page in Canvas.
  2. Dashboard - includes a course card for each of your favorite courses. Each card can include up to four tabs, which represent the four main Canvas features for student course activity: Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Files. These tabs mimic visibility and order in Course Navigation, so for instance, if an instructor hides the Announcements link, the Announcements tab will not display on the course activity.
    If the tabs are visible, Discussions and Announcements indicate the number of new activity items in the course.
  3. Sidebar - helps you see what needs your attention across all your courses. It can contain sections such as To Do, Coming Up, Recent Feedback, View Grades, iPeer and SFQ.
  4. Help - access to a list of the guides for Canvas and ways you can seek further help.

To access your courses, click on the Courses icon on the left Global Navigation menu of your Canvas page and select the course you want to see from drop-down list. So if you don’t see your course in the short menu click All Courses.  Read more >>

Click Courses and a drop-down will display a list of active courses in alphabetical order when it’s not customized. To modify the drop-down list, click the All Courses link. Use the star symbol next to a course to add or remove it from the Courses drop-down list. Read more >>

Yes. You can access Canvas on your mobile device through any mobile browser. You can also access it from the Canvas app (by Instructure). After launching up the Canvas app, you can type “canvas.ust.hk” to search for the HKUST Canvas site and then log in with your HKUST ITSC account. Depending on your device, not all Canvas features may be available on the app. Read more >>

  1. By default, Dashboard can only show up to 20 active and published courses only. To view all of your courses, click Course > All Courses in the drop-down list
  2. If you have activated the mark favourite to courses, only the starred course will be shown on Dashboard. Make sure you update the course list every semester.
  3. Canvas needs time to process with the enrollment record from the HKUST Academic Records and Registration (ARR). It will normally take 1 day to process.  If you have just successfully enrolled to a course, please kindly wait for a day for the course to appear in your course list.  If you are not able to locate your course after 2 days, please contact us at canvas@ust.hk.
  1. Not all courses at HKUST have a Canvas course site. Canvas is a tool that your instructor can choose to use, or not to use. Course sites that are not published by your instructor will have a label No under the Published column in the All courses page. You may contact your instructors to confirm if they are using Canvas.
  2. Outdated browsers cannot support Canvas course sites. Check that your web browser and mobile apps are up to date.

Yes, you can change the default setting on Canvas. There are four options for each notification category – Right Away, Daily, Weekly, Never. But before you make any changes, you need to be aware of the following:

  • These settings apply to all of your courses. You cannot change settings for individual courses.
  • We highly recommend you to keep the setting for ‘Announcement’ notifications as ASAP (as soon as possible). Many instructors rely on the announcements to give you time-critical information about deadlines and assignments. You don’t want to miss that!
  • Setting preferences inside the mobile app will override preferences in the browser version of Canvas, and some preferences are not supported.

Find out more about the default notification preferences >>
Learn how to change the default settings >>
Read more about setting preferences for Android phones or iOS devices >>

After the course end-date, the online content including the discussion forum will become ‘read only’. You will be able to view the content that the instructor has published but you will not be able to participate in any way. Some instructors may choose to unpublish some or all online materials before the end of the course. So talk to the instructor or TA to find out more.

Please kindly update your web browser to the latest version and clear cache of your web browser.  Then restart the web browser and see if the problem still occurred. If you using a bookmark to open a specific page in Canvas, try to navigate to that page from the Canvas main page at https://canvas.ust.hk.

You may follow the instructions below on how to clear cache with your web browser.
For PC | For MAC

Back to Top

2     Participate in a Canvas course

Modules can be used by your instructor to organize course materials such as files, pages, videos, assessments, discussions, and other. The tab Modules is something like the table of content for the course. Depending on the instructor, modules can be used to organize course content by weeks, lectures, or topics. Read more >>

Find the name of the assignment you want to submit. Usually it is in Modules or Assignments, but you may also find a link to the assignment in the Syllabus or your To Do list. Open the assignment and click the button + Submit Assignment on the top right of the side menu. Read more >>

Yes. Click the Add Another File button to upload additional files to your assignment. The button is right below where you upload the first file.

In Canvas, it depends if your instructor allows resubmission to the assignment. If resubmission is allowed, all submitted files will be kept by Canvas and are available to the instructor. As a student you can only view the most recently submitted file. Having said that, if you happen to re-submit by mistake, you need to inform your instructor; otherwise, she/he might grade only your last submission.

The Turnitin has been integrated into the Canvas Assignment tool.   Once your instructor has setup the assignment in your course, you can submit a Turnitin assignments as a regular Canvas Assignment.  You can also able to submit mulitple files at a time.

To view the similarity report, you can access it from the right-hand side of your assignment, and click Submission details.   The similarity score icon showing the percentage will be available for you to access the similarity report if your instructor allow you to.

You can view a summary of your grades for all courses in View Grades from the side bar on Dashboard. You can also view them inside the individual course, using the left menu Grades. Read more >>

There are two main places you can access your group from:

  1. The right-side bar of the course Home page, under the heading Course groups.
  2. The Groups drop-down list in the left navigation menu. A list of the groups you participate in as a student, including the link to All Groups.
  3. The People inside the course page, click the View User Groups button or the Groups tab. Read more >>

Go inside the course you want to join a group for. In the left-side menu, click People, then click on the View User Groups button or the Groups tab. Find the group you want to be a part of and click JOIN. Read more >>

No. Only one group member needs to submit the assignment on behalf of the group in Canvas. We recommend you to check with your instructor if she/he may have any additional instructions for your group submission. Read more about how to submit group assignment >>

Conversations (Inbox) is the messaging tool in Canvas. You can use it to communicate with your instructor, your group or an individual student. The Conversations tool is similar to email but it does not have as many functions as a normal email (no cc options, no spell-check). 

To access this tool, click the Inbox link in the top right corner of Canvas. Read more on how to compose and send a message >>

If you want to get an instant email notification on your conversations with the instructor, group members or an individual student, make sure to change the setting for ‘Conversations’ notifications to ASAP (as soon as possible).

Find out more about the default notification preferences >>
Learn how to change the default settings >>
Read more about setting preferences for Android phones or iOS devices >>

Back to Top

3   More help with Canvas

You can get more help with Canvas by using the Help link from the top right menu in Canvas. The Help link consist a list of resources to help you with Canvas as follow:

From the Help link in the top right corner select Ask Your Instructor a Question. Then select the relevant course in the drop-down menu [1] and type your message in the Message field [2]. When you're done, click the Send Message button [3]. The message will be sent to all Teachers and TAs in the course you selected.

Canvas has a detailed student guide which you can access here.

You can also always search for an answer about a Canvas feature from the Help link in the top right corner, Search the Canvas Guides. This link will take you to Canvas Guides where you can search Canvas documentation for information about features inside of Canvas.

If you are experiencing problems that have not been addressed by the above-mentioned channels of help or if you have any user account related enquiries, please feel free to contact our Helpdesk at canvas@ust.hk or call our hotline 2358-8036 from 9:00 - 12:45am and 2:00 - 5:30pm, Mon - Fri.

Must be "Fair Dealing"

The Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong allows instructors and students at non-profit education institutions like HKUST to use copyright works up to a "reasonable amount" for education purposes on the condition that such usage is considered fair dealing as provided in Section 41A of the Copyright Ordinance. The Fair Dealing tab of this guide provides more information.

Uploading content

When uploading the "reasonable amount" for the purposes of instruction onto an intranet (like Canvas) you must fulfill the following requirements.

  1. Acknowledge the source of the material properly;
  2. Adopt access controls, such as logins and passwords and disseminate material on a need-to-know basis (i.e. only accessible to a specific group of staff or students for a limited time); and
  3. Ensure that the maximum uploading period of the material does not exceed a consecutive period of 12 months.

E-Reserve or Coursepack

Maybe there is no need for copying or uploading. Consider having the Library make links to material that the university has already purchased via library subscriptions.

Or, you might want to need to license the material you wish to assign via a course pack.

Read the E-Reserve & Coursepack tab for details.


Please contact HKUST's representative on the Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) Copyright Committee, Ms. Victoria F. Caplan (Extn. 6756; lbcaplan@ust.hk) if you have further questions.

By using the HKUST Learning Management System, Canvas, provided by Instructure Inc., users are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions. (see https://ilearn.ust.hk/canvas/canvas-user-agreement/index.html).

By using Canvas, your use of Canvas is also governed by Instructure’s Terms of Use (see https://www.instructure.com/policies/terms-of-use) and you are also consenting to collection and use of information by Instructure according to their Privacy Policy (see https://www.canvaslms.com/policies/privacy).

Back to Top