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Faculty Educational Technology

CWSL Educational Technology Department

Canvas Course Setup Checklist

How to Prepare New/Copied Courses

All steps listed as essential should be completed prior to publishing a course for students. View the video tutorial or review the guide for more information.


Need to copy a course from a previous term? View the copying content guide.


Essential Steps

Account Settings & Notifications

To ensure you receive communication from Canvas, set up your Notification Preferences and contact method in your Canvas Account.

→ Trainer Tip: Show students how to set their notification preferences


Choose Home Page

The Home Page is the first impression of a course. Select the Home Page option that best fits the needs of your course.

→ Trainer Tip: The default setting is Modules, if you use modules to organize your class you don’t have to change the home page.


Set Course Organization

Create modules for easy navigation and to organize files, links, etc. by class or topic.

→ Trainer Tip: Make sure your module is published.


Add Course Content

Add content like the syllabus video links, notes, etc. to your course.

→ Trainer Tip: You can use the file upload function to speed up adding content.


Course Navigation & Settings

For optimum course experience, hide unnecessary course navigation links. Adjust course settings a needed.

→ Trainer Tip: The fewer the better, must-haves are Modules, Class Zoom Links, Home, and others.


Publish Course and Content

Check the visibility of individual items and Modules as a whole. Don’t forget to publish your course.

→ Trainer Tip: You can unpublish any pages, assignments, etc. you don’t want students to see.

Best Practices

Accessibility Checker

Take advantage of the accessibility checker for any page you create.

Trainer Tip:  Use headers in your text to enhance accessibility

Review Course in Student View

Review your course content from Student View to experience your course from a student perspective.

Trainer Tips:

  • You may want to select Validate Links in your Course Settings to ensure there are no broken links.
  • Student View adds a test student to Grades. After participating in Student View, enter your Gradebook as a teacher to view any Test Student entries

Manage Files

Upload and review course folders and files. Manage the visibility of content by Publishing, Unpublishing or Restricting Access to folders and files.

Trainer Tip: You can bulk upload files

Set Up Grades

Verify the Gradebook is arranged according to your grading policy and your syllabus.

Trainer Tips:

Change Course Access Dates (if needed)

Course access for students defaults to term access dates. If you need students to have access prior to term start dates use this tutorial to learn how.