What is Canvas?

Canvas is a learning management system that makes teaching and learning easier.

It provides a mechanism where students and teachers can interface, using assignments, videos, instruction, and documents.

It is a tool designed to be used online with phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, available 24/7, no matter the location.


You can access online Canvas courses by using www.batestech.edu/canvas

If the answers to your questions are not found here, contact the Online Learning Center:

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday


Center/Mohler Campus, Advanced Technology Building, Rm. B207

Note: Note: Due to COVID-19, many Bates departments are working with limited face-to-face hours.  Please contact the individual or department for further information. Please check out the Bates Coronavirus Information and Resources page for more info.


Due to current circumstances, communication by email is our preferred contact method, and will receive the quickest response, but do not hesitate to call our department if needed.

Phone: 253-680-7233
E-mail: olc@batestech.edu


In order to participate effectively in an online class, at a minimum, you should be in possession of the following:

  • An effective, reliable computer
  • A high-speed internet connection (especially if you will be watching videos)
  • An updated version of your browser – Canvas recommends using Chrome as your browser and Firefox as a backup. We do NOT recommend using Internet Explorer.
  • MS Word or an equivalent word processing program. NOTE: All Bates students are eligible to receive a current version of Microsoft Word for free. Simply go to the Office for Students webpage and click on “Find out if you are eligible.” Enter your BATES email address and follow the instructions.

For more information on Canvas technical requirements, click on What are the basic computer specifications for Canvas?

For more information about using browsers with Canvas, click on Which browsers does Canvas support?

For a Quickstart Student Guide to using Canvas, click on Canvas Student Getting Started Guide

If you require support for Canvas, there are several ways to obtain assistance. The first and best is to click on the “Help” button in the bottom left corner of your screen. This will provide links to the following options:

  • Ask Your Instructor a Question, which will submit your question directly to your instructor
  • Search the Canvas guides, where you can research your problem and find answers to common questions
  • Report a problem, which will generate a help ticket

Canvas Videos

For those of you new to Canvas (or specific tasks in Canvas), these videos are designed to assist you with some of the basics of Canvas and how it works.

Canvas Overview

An overview of Canvas, including logging in, customizing, performing basic tasks, and troubleshooting. This is about 12 minutes long and covers most of the basic information. The next videos cover individual topics more in depth.

Customizing Canvas

This video reviews different ways of customizing Canvas: such as adding a picture, editing your name, changing your password, and increasing accessibility.


This video reviews how to configure your notifications in Canvas, including sending notifications to a personal email (instead of your default Bates email) and a cell phone.

Course Navigation and Canvas Help

This video reviews the basic parts of Canvas and how to navigate in your classes. Additionally, it reviews the steps for how to obtain assistance within Canvas.

Viewing Feedback

This video shows you how to view comments, annotations, and feedback that your instructor has left for you on an assignment.

Posting to a discussion board

This video reviews how to post to a discussion board, including posting and replying to others’ posts, as well as basic netiquette tips.

Submitting an Assignment

This video reviews the steps for submitting an assignment in Canvas, including how to submit documents and files.