Canvas - Troubleshooting Guide

This article serves to collect known error messages hat may be encountered when using Canvas LMS, with details explaining their origin and methods to try and fix the cause. 


Configuration/Setup Errors

  • "422 Un-processable Entity"

    • This error can occur if the configuration URL entered is entirely incorrect.  Caused by by an incorrect URL at the preferences level. To amend, simply go to Administration > Configuration > Preferences > Integration > Integrated systems > Canvas > confirm to adjust the entered System URL
  • “Unexpected character at line 1, column 1 [parse.c:637]"

    • This error can occur if part of your configuration URL is incorrect. This error will appear when attempting to push an enrolment, and can be seen via the integration settings of the course (Admin > Integrations > Canvas) appearing in the “Failed” tab. Ensure that the system URL used to push the data into Canvas is configured correctly, including the path to the API at the end.
      • Example:

General Use Errors

  • "403 Forbidden"

    • This error can be caused by a token that has been deleted from Canvas or permissions have been changed. You will need to request a new token via Canvas and add it to your SMS settings.
    • Go to Canvas > LHS go to Account > Settings. Scroll down to Approved integrations find New Access Token and click on this button. After clicking it will open a page, enter the required details and ensure to leave the Expiration blank, and then click generate token.
    • Then, Copy the token and paste it in to your Student Management Token by going to Administration > Preferences > Integration > Canvas > Edit > Token.
  • "Party Name is blank, Party Email is blank, Party Identifier is blank"

    • This error can be caused by there being no Assessor assigned to the course.
  • "The specified resource does not exist"

    • Error message returned from Canvas. This can occur when a record is not found in Canvas: course, course section, unit enrolment.
  • "ID Already in use for this account and authentication provider"

    • This error often occurs when trying to push an entity from your SMS into Canvas. There are a number of different reasons this error can occur, however most of these relate to duplicate mandatory fields being pushed onto Canvas for different Parties. Check that the SMS Party ID matches against Canvas party SIS ID and that they are unique. 
      • Full error message: {"errors"=>{"user"=>{"pseudonyms"=>[{"attribute"=>"pseudonyms", "type"=>"invalid", "message"=>"invalid"}]}, "pseudonym"=>{"unique_id"=>[{"attribute"=>"unique_id", "type"=>"taken", "message"=>"ID already in use for this account and authentication provider"}]}, "observee"=>{}, "pairing_code"=>{}, "recaptcha"=>nil}}
    • First ensure that Assessor Party ID and Canvas SIS ID match, then retry integration. Then ensure that student party ID and Canvas SIS ID match, then  retry integration.
    • This issue may also stem from the Party ID in Canvas being archived. To test, go to the profile in Canvas and choose to edit, then attempt to change SIS ID to what is found in your student management system. If the error reads a message of "SIS ID is already in use", then the archived user in Canvas more than likely exists. You may need to reach out to Canvas to identify the profile with the SIS ID to have it amended/removed.
    • Another causes can be due to two entities being pushed (example: the student and the academic) sharing data that is required to be unique – such as an email address. Modifying the email address of either the academic or the student so that it no longer matched the student being pushed will resolve the error in this situation.
    • If the above don’t appear to be the issue, then the likely cause is that the email address is already taken in Canvas. Check the failed party, and see if there is already an instance of this email address in the your Canvas site.
  • “Unexpected error when updating unit: End date can't be blank if the unit is complete:”

    • Error occurs when an outcome which requires an End date is used in the 'Update units/subjects after first graded assignment to:' section of the integration settings in your Student Management System. Even if the Assignment only contains one completed unit, if this is configured incorrectly it will still produce the error as this setting is checked against the completed unit regardless. An outcome such a “Continuing” is usually used in this section as it’s intended for units which are not completed but are a part of the same assignment as one which has received a completing outcome.
Ash is the author of this solution article.

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.