SOWELA uses Canvas® by Instructure as its learning and course management system.
Canvas offers a number of features, such as the ability to send and receive course-related text messages via your smartphone and a tool that will show all of your assignments and due dates from all of your Canvas courses in one easy-to-use, color-coded calendar. Canvas also has a very dynamic support system that is available to users 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Check out the information below to discover more about Canvas.
How to Log in to Canvas
- Click on the “QUICK LINKS” link at the top right of the SOWELA website and choose “Canvas (opens new window)” link from the list. Canvas can also be accessed directly at https://sowela.instructure.com/ (opens new window).
- Type your LoLA username in the “Username” box.
- Type your current LoLA password in the “Password” box. (Canvas® uses the same
usernames and passwords as for LoLA.)
- If you forget your password, you must change it on LoLA login page (opens new window) and click on the brown “CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD” button. Then follow the steps as directed.
Contacts for SOWELA Canvas
If you need help with Canvas, the following support options are available to assist you:
- Login Problems in Canvas – Canvas uses your LoLA username and password. If you recently changed your password, be sure you are using the most current password. If you change your password and try to log in to Canvas, you MUST close all browsers before the change will take effect. If this does not help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your LoLA username and ID# for assistance.
- Help with Using Canvas – See “How to Use and Navigate Canvas” on this page.
- Help from the Canvas 24/7 Help Desk – While on any page in Canvas, click on the “Help” link at the top right corner of your screen. Here, you can “Ask your Instructor a Question”, “Search the Canvas Guides”, “Report a Problem”, “Canvas Support Hotline” (toll-free phone call), “Chat with Canvas Support” (live chat), or “Ask the Community” (ask a Canvas expert).
- Problems with Specific Course Content (i.e. not seeing an assignment, not being able to access a quiz, etc.) – Contact your instructor directly. Instructor’s contact information can be found in the Faculty and Staff Directory.
- Other Questions or Help Regarding SOWELA Canvas – Email the IT help desk at email@example.com and include the following information:
- A description of the type of help you need
- Your full name AND your LoLA username
- Your full birthdate
- Your student ID number
- Instructor messages will only be visible through Canvas. All other school correspondence will be through your SOWELA email.
- The IT Department CANNOT help with ANY issues related to RDCs, MyMathLab, MyWritingLab, MyReadingLab, or any other course-specific software. You must ask your teachers for help with those issues.
- Canvas, our learning management system, will not be accessible to students until the FIRST DAY OF CLASSES. After that time, BEFORE reporting a problem to the help desk, if you do not see one or more of your courses listed on your Canvas site, ASK YOUR TEACHERS if they will be using Canvas. The TEACHERS must make their sites accessible to their students before the coursesite links will show up on the students’ pages.
- Click on the SmartNotice™ icon in the bottom right area of the SOWELA website to check your information for accuracy and add any additional contact information, including a cell phone number if you wish to receive alerts by text message. This is the program that SOWELA will use to contact you in the event of a campus emergency or a weather-related emergency.
How to Use and Navigate Canvas
- Canvas Student Guide (opens new window)
- Canvas Instructor Guide (opens new window)
- Canvas Guides – Videos (opens new window)
- Canvas Student Guide for Android (opens new window)
- Canvas Student Guide for iOS (opens new window)
Other Canvas Tutorials (available at Search Canvas Guides)
- Community Canvas Answers (opens new window)
- Student Canvas Tutorial (opens new window)
- NOTE: Enter your name in pop-up box to access tutorial.
More Canvas Video Tutorials
Minimum Computer Requirements to Use Canvas
Information is provided on the minimum computer requirements for users to have in order for Canvas to work on your computer and/or mobile device.
- Which browsers does Canvas support (opens new window)?
- What are the basic computer requirements for Canvas (opens new window)?
- What about accessibility in Canvas (screen readers, etc.) (opens new window)?
- Will Canvas work on my mobile device (opens new window)?
The software recommendations for the following interfaces are:
- Download the free Canvas Mobile App for iPhone or iPad (opens new window).
- Download the free Canvas Mobile App for Android devices (opens new window).
- Chrome 67 and 68
- Firefox 60 and 61 (Extended Releases are not supported)
- Flash 29 and 30 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
- Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only—functionally supported; may exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences do not restrict product functionality or accessibility)
- Edge 41 and 42 (Windows only)
- Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
- Safari 10 and 11 (Macintosh only)
You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.
Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.
Microsoft Programs and Office Program Viewers
- Microsoft Word Viewer (opens new window)
- Microsoft Excel Viewer (opens new window)
- Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer (opens new window)
- Windows Media Player (opens new window)
Other Software Programs
For assistance with Microsoft Office 365, email the IT department help desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) from your SOWELA student email.
In the email include the following information:
- Student ID
- Date of Birth
- LoLA Username
All of SOWELA’s locations offer free wifi to our students.
NOTE: The SOWELA guest wifi will timeout and disconnect user after 4 hours.
Network name: SowelaGuest
Network name: MS_Guest
Before Attempting to Activate your Student Email Account:
- Did you register for at least one class?
- Has one day passed since you registered?
If the answer to either is no, then your email has not been created yet.
If the answer to BOTH questions are yes, then you can proceed with activation.
- When checking messages through Canvas Inbox, you are only seeing messages sent through Canvas. Your SOWELA email must be checked independently for all other school correspondence.
- You must activate your student email account using the instructions below before trying to connect it to an email app on your phone.
How to Activate Your Student Email Account
- Click on the “QUICK LINKS” link at the top right of the SOWELA website and choose “STUDENT EMAIL (opens new window)” from the list. STOP HERE! If you have a previously existing gmail, Google+, Google docs, Google Play, YouTube, or other Google account PLEASE READ the special instructions in the box below before continuing.
- If you do not see the sign in page, click the “SIGN IN” link at the top of the page.
Type your LoLA username in the “Username” box, and add “@students.sowela.edu.”
EXAMPLE: A student named Eric Martin, whose LoLA username is “ericmartin2,” would type “email@example.com” into the username box. Then hit “NEXT.”
(Do NOT input the quotation marks. They are only used in the examples to highlight the words or symbols used in the directions.)
For the “Password” box, type in a TEMPORARY password that follows this format:
Initials of first and last names (lowercase), then add your 6-digit birthdate (mm/dd/yy), then a capital letter “P,” followed by the “@” symbol and the letters “ss” (lowercase).
EXAMPLE: A student named Eric Martin, whose birthday is Nov. 5, 1990, would type in a temporary password of this: em110590P@ss
During the login procedure, you will be asked to create a new, personal password that contains at least eight alphanumeric characters/symbols.
Next, click “Accept” to show you know how the account works and agree to its Terms of Service.
Create a strong password like your LoLA password. Confirm it, and click “Change password”.
- Activate 2 step verification for password recovery.
- OPTIONAL – Click “UPDATE” to add a password recovery phone number. Then click “OK”.
- Look for a 6-digit verification code in your phone messages. Add that number in the place indicated, and click “NEXT.”
- OPTIONAL – Add a recovery email address (NOT your student email address).
- Click “DONE.”
- OPTIONAL – Click “UPDATE” to add a password recovery phone number. Then click “OK”.
IT Help Guide for Students (PDF/opens new window)
Are You Ready for Online Learning (PDF/opens new window)
Student eLearning Manual (PDF/opens new window)
Advisement/Registration (opens new window)
Discount Technology Resources
LoLA Login (opens new window)
LoLA Password Reset Tool (opens new window)
Library (opens new window)
Respondus Lockdown Browser (opens new window)
SOWELA Bookstore (opens new window)
SOWELA College Catalog
Student Email (opens new window)
Transcript Request (opens new window)
View Classes Offered (opens new window)