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Conferences are primarily used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and student groups. They can also be used to demonstrate technologies or troubleshoot technology issues online. Conferences can accommodate up to 50 people. Currently, Canvas integrates with BigBlueButton

 Conferences makes it easy to conduct synchronous (real-time) lectures for all users in a course. Conferences allows users to broadcast real-time audio and video, demo applications, share presentation slides, or demo online resources.

Use Conferences to:

  • Connect with your students for online office hours or special study sessions designed to help them prepare for a test.
  • Connect with your colleagues for professional development webinars.
  • Practice presenting online. Students can set up practice presentations in their student Groups.
  • Invite special guests to your classroom by adding them as a student or observer to your course.
  • Broadcast a live event or lecture to the students that can't be onsite.
  • Record your conferences so students can view them at a later date. Note: Recordings are automatically deleted 14 days after the conference ends.

Note: Harvard’s instance of Canvas populates class enrollment through my.harvard or the Registrar’s Office. (Visit How do I add people to a Canvas site? for more information.)

For step-by-step instructions on how to use Conferences, visit:


Canvas leverages collaborative technology to allow multiple users to work together on the same document at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users will be immediately visible to everyone.

Use Collaborations to:

  • Copy and paste notes that everyone can access.
  • Share bullet-point lists or agendas for upcoming synchronous class or group time or meetings.
  • Create a text-based whiteboard that everyone in the classroom can see and refer to later.
  • Assign student groups a collaborative assignment as a graded assignment (instructor feature).

All Canvas courses support Google Docs as the default collaborations tool. Collaborations that leverage Google Docs require that all participating learners have created and linked their Google account to their personal Settings.

Google Docs allows you to add up to 50 users per collaboration, and all users can view and edit a document at the same time. However, Google collaborations has a limit as to the number of users who can access a collaboration at any time.

For step-by-step instruction on how to use Collaborations, visit:

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