LMS Integration: Canvas Setup Guide


Student Success & Engagement integrates with Canvas to provide updated LMS data to a student’s success team. This article provides information on the steps needed to configure Canvas to allow SS&E to connect and retrieve information using the Canvas API.

  • The intent is for the Student Success Team to be able to view all important information on a student in a “one stop shop” and avoid the need to navigate between various systems.
  • Automatic alerting, filtering and reporting features leverage LMS data to quickly identify students who may need additional support for their success team.
  • The LMS data is matched with course section and enrollment data within SS&E so that users can view Grades, Assignments, Submissions, and last login data on the student profile.
  • To verify whether or not data is syncing properly from the LMS at a high overview level, you can check the LMS Summary Report, further explained here.

Setup Instructions For Canvas - SS&E Integration

In Canvas

As a Canvas Administrator, log in to your instance of Canvas and complete the following:

Create a Role for SS&E Permissions

  • Click Admin in the left navigation bar
  • Choose the root Canvas account
  • Click Permissions in the left navigation bar
  • Click the Account Roles tab. (You may also refer to the Create a new Account level role: https://guides.instructure.com/m/4214/l/73662-how-do-i-add-an-account-level-role-in-the-permissions-page)
  • Click the Add Role button
  • Insert SSE_Role (formerly AvisoRole) as the role name
  • Add the following permissions to the role:
    • Account-level settings - manage
    • Course Content - view
    • Courses - view list
    • Discussions - view
    • Feature Options - enable / disable
    • Grades - view all grades
    • Groups - view all student groups
    • Question banks - view and link
    • Quizzes - view submission log
    • Reports - manage
    • SIS Data - import
    • SIS Data - manage
    • SIS Data - read
    • Statistics - view
    • Users - view list

Create a User for SS&E Integration

  • Click Admin in the left navigation bar
  • Choose the root Canvas account
  • Click People in the left navigation bar
  • Click +People to create a new user
  • Insert "SSE_User" (formerly AvisoUser) as the Full Name
  • Insert "lms@watermarkinsights.com" as email
  • Click Add User to complete the process
  • Assign the SSE_Role to the SSE_User

Generate Token

  • Login as SSE_User (or AvisoUser) and accept terms of service
  • On the left-hand navigation of Canvas, go to Account > Settings.

  • Under the section Approved Integrations, select New Access Token. You will be presented with a window to create the token and insert a purpose for the token, such as "SS&E Integration".
    NOTE: The expiration date can be left blank. If the token expires, the data integration will no longer work and you will need to generate a new token.

In Student Success & Engagement

Enter Connection Details

An SS&E Administrator must enter the Canvas connection details into SS&E. The Canvas Administrator and SS&E System Admin may work together on this step. 

  • From the SS&E Home screen, open the navigation menu "Advise" with 9 dots. 
  • From SS&E Administration, on the left side navigation menu, navigate to LMS Integration > LMS Integration Configuration.
  • Edit the page, and edit the Integration Type to select Canvas
  • In Canvas Configuration:
    • Check "enabled"
    • Fill the connection details in this section
      • host (LMS domain): Usually this looks something like "yourinstitution.instructure.com". Do not include the "https://".
      • securitytoken: This is the token created in Canvas in the previous section.
  • Save the configuration

Note: It is not recommended to edit the Advanced Configurations.

Test Connection

It may take a few minutes for the integration changes to take effect.

  • From the LMS Integration Configuration page, use the test connection button to confirm that the connection is configured correctly.
    • If an error message is returned, verify the configurations and permissions above are correct. Example error messages:
      • "Unable to connect. Status Code: 404 -- That page doesn't exist." 
      • "Unable to connect. Status Code: 401 -- Unauthorized - invalid credentials." 
    • If valid data is returned, the connection is successful and the setup is complete. An example of a successful connection looks like this.

Once this process is complete and the connection test is successful, please let your Project Manager and/or Technical Consultant know. Next, Watermark staff will need to build the LMS course resolver (for new implementations or LMS migrations). 

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