Click here for the PDF version of this table. 




  Course Copy All courses have Canvas shells automatically created.
Transfer the content from your previous FRC course (if you have one that you would like to reuse). You can select what you want or you can transfer it all and then delete or un-publish whatever you don’t want. Alternatively, import course content (yours or others) that is published in Canvas Commons.
  Course Access

Set the dates that you want students to be able to access your course (before/after or when class starts/ends). Set visibility to “Course.”

Consider what type of access your students will have to Canvas (equipment, Wi-Fi, time). Since many students may be accessing the course from a phone, explore Instructure’s Mobile App Design Checklist to see examples of the student experience in the Canvas app.

Perform a final link check in your course by clicking on “Settings” in the Navigation menu, and clicking on the "Validate Links in Content" option on the right side of the page under Course Status. 

Determine which items you want to enable in the course navigation and hide those that you don’t want to have visible. Steps: 1) Settings 2) Navigation 3) Drag and drop to reorder 4) Save

Recommendation: Keep it simple. Show Home, Grades, Announcements, Syllabus, Modules, and other resources you want your student to have. Hide anything not used or areas you want students to access via pages/modules (quizzes, discussions, assignments, etc.). Hide Pages, and Files

  Announcements Avoid using announcements to deliver course content. Content should live in the Modules area of the course. Use announcements to point the content you'd like students to go through in the course. These can be links to course content in your announcement. 
Establish what would be effective days/times for announcements so your students know if/when to expect them. Consistency is key. To get ahead, you can schedule some announcements throughout the semester to introduce students to new content/modules/units and post assignment reminders/feedback.

Determine if you want recent announcements visible on the Homepage and set the number. Steps: 1) Settings 2) More options 3) Show Recent Announcements 4) Select number 5) Update course details.

Determine if you want to allow student comments and set accordingly.


Create a warm, welcoming message to students. The message can be written, but students especially appreciate a video welcome. If you are not sharing a video, consider adding a photograph of yourself. 

Add course details: Name, Course ID, and brief description explaining purpose/focus/outcomes of the course.

Include instructions explaining how students should begin the course (what’s the first step or assignment that students should do/complete?).

State your Communication Policy: How will students initiate communication with you and how/when will you initiate communication with students? Include relevant contact information: email, Zoom, office location/hours, phone, etc. Most students use the Canvas Inbox/email to communicate with instructors. These emails will show up in your inbox, and you can respond directly to students from those emails without having to go into Canvas inbox.

  Syllabus Apply the recommended syllabus standards to the format and content of your course syllabus. These are available on the Office of Instruction Faculty Resources page. 

Rather than cutting and pasting a long syllabus on this page, create different pages for each section (e.g., course description, assignments, schedule, policies) and create links to these pages from the syllabus page. This approach makes it easier for students to access what they need when they need it without scrolling through a really long page.

Attach a printable course syllabus and course calendar. 

When using the Canvas Syllabus link, this will autofill assignment dates on the calendar, so check to ensure that they are all accurate for the current semester. These dates show up in the student's Canvas calendar, which many students use to stay organized. 

List required textbooks and materials – pictures/links can be helpful.

List Student Learning Outcomes and Objectives; make a numbered list that aligns with the current approved Course Outline of Record (COR) for the course. If you don't know how to access the COR, please contact the Office of Instruction (ext. 242).

Provide information about FRC's student support services (Library, Tutorial Services, DSPS, Basic Needs, etc.) You may use or link the FRC Student Support Resources page on the left side of the Canvas page, called: Online Student Resources.

Include an Academic Honesty Policy which can contain a link to BP5500: Standards of Student Conduct, under Board Policies.

Consider including in your course policies instructions and expectations about how and when you would like your students to engage in the course. 

Include DE Technical Support information.


Choose a consistent pattern to provide content (documents, files, videos, pages, PPTs, etc.) Although files and URLs can be added as items in modules, this practice is not recommended. Instead, focus on adding course content on Canvas Pages rather than uploading individual files. This allows you to create instructions about the purpose of the material, how your students should be accessing and using the material, and how it relates to the student learning outcomes.  

If you are creating learning modules or units, use consistent headings to organize the module. This is called "chunking." It adds clarity, especially on mobile devices. For example: (1) Welcome/Overview/Introduction, (2) Learning Objectives/Outcomes/Standards, (3) Resources, and (4) Assignments.

The naming convention you use is up to you, but it is recommended that you use it consistently so that it becomes familiar to your students.


Provide clear and consistent instructions regarding what should be submitted, the due dates, how it should be submitted (e.g., text box, file upload), and when/where students can expect feedback. It's a good idea to provide students with examples, grading explanations/rubrics, etc., and providing these typically yield better student work.

Be sure to publish the assignments when you want them to connect to the Gradebook. When they are published, the box in the right corner will turn green and say “published.” If using modules, the module must also be published for students to access the Module content.

If you are using Canvas rubrics, make sure they are accurate and attached to the assignments. You can also create Outcomes in Canvas, and include these in assignment rubrics to help assess course SLOs. 

If you are using Canvas Discussions, set the appropriate options to your preferences before publishing: threaded replies, graded, users must post before seeing replies, etc.

If you are using any apps or integrations (such as Cengage, Pearson, MyMathLab, etc.), make sure these synced to the course and working properly before the course opens.

Students often use the Canvas Calendar to keep track of assignment due dates for all their courses. If you provide content or assignments without setting a due date or to-do date, students who only use the calendar may miss it. Availability dates limit when students can access content.


Design with intention so you can be agile if you or your students have experiences that temporarily impact their presence in your course. Is it possible for a student successfully persist in the course if he or she has a significant life event or lack of access to technology?



You can use the accessibility checker on each Canvas page you create to assure accessibility. 

  • Headings on pages should have header tags.
  • Lists on pages have been given numbered or bulleted lists using the Rich Content Editor.
  • Images have been given alternative text if the image is necessary to understanding course content.
  • Videos have been accurately captioned.        
  • Tables have been properly formatted
  • Moderate all quizzes for students with accommodations for extended test taking time.

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