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Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment and Course Access


Basics and Personalization


Course Activities and Resources

  • Why can't I view the lectures/videos the instructor posted?

    First, check your computer settings to make sure the problem isn't on your end:

    If you still cannot view the video, it might be the link is bad or the video is currently private. Contact your instructor. If possible, include screenshots of what you see, especially if there is an error message.

  • I can't open the PDFs my instructor posted in the course.

    First, try using a different browser. We recommend Firefox or Chrome. Make sure your browser is up to date. Otherwise download the PDF and open using Adobe Acrobat reader. Don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed? Get Adobe Acrobat Reader Free.  

    If you still cannot view the PDF, it might be the link or file is bad. Contact your instructor. If possible, include screenshots of what you see, especially if there is an error message.

  • Can you tell me if my assignment, quiz, Turnitin, etc was submitted?

    Within your course, click on the specific Quiz, Assignment, Turnitin Assignment, etc.

    • Quiz: if an attempt was at least started it will be listed under "Summary of your previous attempts" and if it was submitted it will say Finished under the "State"column
    • Assignment: if successfully uploaded, the gray box on the right should have the link to your file submission or the text of your online text submission if successfully uploaded. If submitted, the Submission Status will say "Submitted for grading"
    • Turnitin assignment: if successfully submitted your file should be listed on the My Submissions page where you will see the submission title, Turnitin ID, date and time it was submitted.
    You can also check your activity logs. Please see our help guide on how to View your Activity Logs.
  • Why can't I see my Assignment/Turnitin/Quiz/Forum grade?

    Please contact your instructor. Instructors have the ability to hide individual grade items, totals, and even the entire gradebook. Only your instructor can update/change settings in the course to make grades visible.

    A few helpful notes: if the activity is hidden on the course homepage, then it will also be hidden in the gradebook. Also, for certain activities the grade only becomes visible after a certain date and time. For example, the grade for a Turnitin Assignment does not become available until the Post Date is reached.

  • It says my file is too large to upload to my assignment. What can I do?

    The maximum size for assignment submissions is 20MB, but your instructor can limit it to smaller sizes if they choose. 

    For files that are larger than that and cannot be reduced (like audio or video files) you will want to upload to a separate site and then submit the link to the file in Cougar Courses. For video files you can upload to Youtube or Stream. For PowerPoint/Word/Excel/etc you can upload to OneDrive or Google Drive.
  • Why don't I see the "submit paper" link for my Turnitin assignment?

    You will not see a "submit paper" link if:

    • The Start Date is in the future. Once the Start Date is reached, you will see be able to submit.
    • The Due Date has passed and your instructor has not allowed late submissions. Contact your instructor.
    • The Due Date has passed and you have already submitted. Resubmissions, if enabled, are only allowed before the Due Date. Contact your instructor.
    • You have already submitted and your instructor has not allowed resubmissions. Contact your instructor.
  • I'm having trouble submitting my Turnitin assignment. What's wrong?
    • Try a different browser. We recommend Firefox or Chrome (make sure it is up to date).
    • Make sure your document file name has the .doc or .docx extension at the end or is saved as a .pdf (especially important if you are using a Mac)
    • Your document must have more than 20 words of text. Scanned PDFs or pictures of documents won't work.
    • Don't use any special characters (/ & % -) in the file name or submission title
    • Configure your browser to allow pop-up windows.
    • Check to make sure Turnitin isn't down. To check, visit the Turnitin Status page: https://turnitin.statuspage.io/
  • Why can't I post/reply in a forum?

    There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to post or reply in a forum:

    • The cut-off date has passed. If the cut-off date has passed you should see a message displayed below the prompt that says "The cut-off date for posting to this forum is reached so you can no longer post to it."
    • Your instructor is using the Q&A forum type. The Q&A forum type requires the instructor to post first, which students then reply to. Click on the subject of your instructor's post and then click Reply in the lower right. If you do not see Reply, contact your instructor. If you do not see their post to reply to, contact your instructor.
    • The forum is set to groups, but you are not in a group. If your instructor set the forum to use groups, if you are not in a group you will not be able to post. If this is the case you should see the message "You are not able to create a discussion because you are not a member of any group." Contact your instructor who will need to either place you in a group or remove the group setting.
  • When I try to post in a forum it gives me the message "Error writing to database." What do I do?

    This can happen for two reasons:

    1. Do you have any emojis or emoticons in your text? Remove them and you should be able to post.
    2. Did you copy and paste your text from Word? If so, instead of just pasting your text in the main area, use the Paste from Word feature in the text editor toolbar. Review our help guide on how to paste from word.
  • Where can I download Respondus LockDown Browser?

    You will download Respondus LockDown Browser from a quiz/exam that requires it. Use a regular browser (Chrome or Firefox) and go to the quiz/exam that requires LockDown Browser. Click the link "Download LockDown Browser." If you do not see a "Download LockDown Browser" link it means your instructor has not enabled LockDown Browser for that quiz/exam. Contact your instructor to let them know.

    Here is our help guide on downloading and using LockDown Browser.

  • When try to login to Respondus LockDown Browser it says I do not have an account in Canvas. What do I do?
    You should not launch Respondus LockDown Browser directly from your computer. And if you launch properly, it will not ask you to login to LockDown Browser. The correct process for using LockDown Browser is to use a regular browser (Chrome or Firefox), go to the quiz/exam that requires LockDown Browser, and then click the “Launch LockDown Browser” button. If you do not see a "Launch LockDown Browser" button it means your instructor has not enabled LockDown Browser for that quiz/exam. Contact your instructor to let them know.

    Here is our help guide on using LockDown Browser.
  • My Respondus LockDown Browser is not working. What can I do?

    Please see our help guide on troubleshooting Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor for the steps you should take.

  • My computer shut down/internet cut out during my quiz. Can you open it back up for me?

    First, if your time has not run out then you can resume your quiz attempt. Go to the quiz and click the "continue last attempt" button.

    If time has expired or you lost a considerable amount of time, you will need to contact your instructor. Only your instructor can enable extra attempts. We recommend contacting your instructor as soon as possible.