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Canvas – Start of Semester Checklist

January 5, 2017

ByeByeBlackboard hashtag banner

Blackboard availability is ending on May 17, 2017, so for many of you, Spring 2017 may be the first chance to use Canvas as the learning management system of choice prior to our full implementation in Summer 2017.

The following checklist will help you prepare your Canvas course for the semester. (PDF Version of Canvas Checklist)

  • Bring your content over. Whether you are coming from a Blackboard course or any existing Canvas shell, the process for bringing in content uses the same Import Content tool. To bring in content from Blackboard visit the Canvas migration page for details. For instructions on how to bring in content from another Canvas course, visit the Canvas guidesNote: Blackboard content from Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Summer 2016 was automatically migrated to Canvas. Visit your course list to find course shells from these semesters.
  • Organize Your Content. Whether you are setting up a new course or reorganizing your content from Blackboard you will want to make sure your content is where you want it to be. Some general tips:
      • Modules: The main area for content. Organize by week, assignment type, or whatever your preferred structure.
      • Assignments: All graded assessments for your course are set up here. The organizational structure in assignments determines how your Grades area appears.
      • Pages: Think of pages as web pages within your course – they present content and information that is not tied to a specific assessment.
  • Choose a Home Page. The first thing students see when they access your course is the home page. You can create a custom page, take them to the syllabus, or point directly to modules or assignments. Visit the Canvas Guide to Home Pages for more information.
  • Set up your Course Navigation. Go to Settings and under the Navigation tab choose what menu items you want students to have access to. Visit the Canvas Guide to Course Navigation for more information.
  • Add Due Dates. For any assignment, discussion, or quiz, you can add due dates or availability dates. A good place to manage due dates quickly is in the Assignments area. Visit the Canvas Guide about Dates for more information.
  • Publish Individual Content. Modules, assignments, and pages can be published or left as drafts. If you are ready for students to view items, make sure they have the green published icon. If you are still working on content, you can leave it unpublished until ready. Visit the Canvas Guide on Draft & Published States for more information.
  • Publish Your Course. Click on the course home and select Publish. Your course is now visible by your students. You cannot unpublish a course once it contains a graded submission.
  • Create an Announcement. Now that your course is published, it is a good time to let students know the course is available. For more information, visit the Canvas Guide to Announcements.

Visit the University’s Canvas Transition website to:

  • Access Canvas and begin reviewing the content already migrated from Blackboard.
  • Request migration of other content via the Migration request page.
  • View the training schedule for upcoming sessions to learn more about Canvas.


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