Using Canvas

Using Canvas

Since September 2017, VU Amsterdam and VUmc have been working with a new education information system known as Canvas.
EpidM also uses this system.

If Canvas is used for a particular course, about four weeks before the start of the course you will receive an e-mail containing information about the steps you need to take to access Canvas. In order to obtain all the required practical information and the accompanying course materials, it is necessary to access to Canvas.

This page contains the most important information on:

- how to create an account
- how to access a particular course
- where you can find the different course materials in the Canvas environment
- what to do if you forget or lose your password.

If you encounter any problems, please do not hesitate to contact our secretariat.

  • Creating a Canvas Account


      • - If you have already attended a course at EpidM and therefore already have a Canvas account, we will use the same account for any subsequent courses. In this case, you will only receive the invitation to participate in the course.
    • - If you already have a VUnet ID, that is also your Canvas account.

    Creating a Canvas account

    To access to Canvas, you will need to create a log-in account. Approximately four weeks before the start of the course, you will be sent an invitation to do this.

    The e-mail that you will receive from Canvas will have the following subject:

    Finish registration: canvas

    The e-mail will invite you to click on a link to complete registration:

    - You will then be asked to choose a password.

    - Make sure that you check the box: ‘I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy’.

    - Finally click on 'Register'.

    - You will then be directed to your own personal Canvas page, where you can find the information about the course.

    Important: Keep your password in a safe place.

    NB1: You can only create a Canvas account for EpidM courses if you have received an invitation from Canvas to do so.

    NB2: It is possible be that you have already created a Canvas account at another educational institution. However, this will not work in the VU/VUmc environment. If this applies to you, you will still need to create a new account using the e-mail you receive from Canvas.

    Account settings

    In the top left of the screen you will see the Account button.

    You can personalize your account by clicking this button.
    Under Profile, you can add a photo to your account for example.
    Under Settings, you can change things like the language and how your name is displayed.

    Please pay particular attention to the Notifications settings. These settings determine how often you will receive messages from Canvas if changes are made to the course. For example, you will be notified when new documents are added or when there is an important announcement about the course.

    Generally, we would recommend leaving the Notifications settings unchanged. Then you will receive important changes in your mailbox every day. Given the short duration of most of our courses, it is not convenient to receive this information on a weekly basis.

  • Accessing an EpidM course

    You will receive an invitation to participate in the course by e-mail.

    By clicking on the Get started link in the e-mail, you will be directed to your personal Canvas page and you will then need to accept the invitation.

    You can find the course by clicking on the Dashboard in the left column.

    Then all the courses for which you are registered in Canvas via EpidM will be displayed.

  • Finding your way in Canvas

    You can access your personal Canvas account by logging into the site:

    You can change the language of this page into English

    Choose the button 'With a Canvas-account' (unless you have a VUnetID)

    Your username: the e-mail address that you provided to EpidM (or, if you have a Vunet ID, your Vunet ID.) You can not change this username

    Your password: the password that you chose when creating your account.


    On the left of the screen you will see the Dashboard button. This shows you all the EpidM courses that you have access to. These are the courses that you have attended through EpidM since the end of 2017 and for which information has been added to Canvas. After around one year, courses will be removed from Canvas, and they will therefore no longer visible on your dashboard. If you wish to save the course materials, it is best to save these onto your own computer.


    After you have opened a course you will see some links to the components of the course.

    The most important components are:

    • Syllabus
    • The syllabus gives you practical information regarding a course.
    • Modules
    • The modules contain the documents that belong to the course, such as presentations, practical work and working groups. After you complete the course, the answer keys for the working groups will also be added here.
    • Announcements
    • Announcements can be used to communicate with all the students who are following a particular EpidM course. You will also receive a notification e-mail when an Announcement is added. It is important that you have correct Notifications settings (see below), otherwise you may not receive the announcement in good time.


    You can use your account settings to determine how often you receive notifications for the course by e-mail. We recommend leaving the default settings unchanged. If you turn off notifications completely, you will miss important information about the course.

  • Forgotten password

    If you lose or forget your password, follow the instructions on the Canvas log-in screen. Click on 'Forgot password'.

    (Employees of VU Amsterdam and VUmc will have a VUnet ID. They can request a new password via VUnet using their VUnet ID.)

    - You have to fill in your username; this is the e-mail address that you provided to EpidM

    - Follow the instruction.

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