The CLT has prepared a basic Canvas template you can add to your course(s) to help you set up discussions, assignments, and content for remote learning. Presently we have a first-level template, with plans to add a more robust second-level template soon. You can view the template here:
You will need to self-enroll at this link to view the course, which will also give you access to import the template later if you want to.
This guide will help you decide whether to use the template, and provides instructions on how to import it into your Canvas course.
Reasons to Consider Using this Template
This template is intended to help you use Canvas as part of remote instruction, and is especially useful for incorporating and organizing “asynchronous” components like discussion forums that students can participate in on their own schedule. As we discuss on the CLT blog, using asynchronous elements is an important way of enhancing student participation that is also more accessible and equitable than relying on video conferencing alone.
The template is a skeleton that you can “flesh out” by adding readings, lecture notes, slides, or written content, discussion questions, videos, assignments, and so on. It can be used as a foundation for delivering your course entirely asynchronously, or a way of organizing “add-ons” for a class that also meets by videoconference.
Here are a couple of example ways you might use the template:
- If you’re teaching an asynchronous course, in a given week, you might choose to have students do their reading, watch a related TED Talk, post three times in a discussion forum, and do a reflection assignment. You can edit the week’s template module to include content, customize your discussion forum, and provide an assignment description and due date that are directly associated with a submission tool.
- If you’re teaching a synchronous course, you can place any non-textbook readings in the module to keep them organized and customize your discussion forum. You can leave the assignment empty and unpublished. Or you can customize the assignment and leave the discussion empty and unpublished. The choice is yours!
Advanced users can also include additional items like reading quizzes to the modules if desired.
What Do the Template Levels Mean?
Currently, we are releasing the Level One Template. This template is intended for users who are relatively new to using Canvas and want to incorporate some basic strategies like discussion forums and Canvas-based assignment submission. It includes a model module with instructions and advice on how to use the Discussions and Assignments tools, as well as a week-by-week structure into which you can plug your own questions, assignment descriptions, and readings without having to spend a lot of time learning how Modules work.
In the future, we will be releasing a Level Two Template, which is designed for asynchronous course delivery. This is intended for more experienced Canvas users, the technologically adventurous, and instructors developing courses that are designed from the beginning to be delivered online.
How to Import a Template into Your Course
The template will not automatically appear in your course. You can import it yourself, or you can contact the CLT at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Importing the Template Yourself
If you have not yet self-enrolled in the template course, you will need to do so at this link in order to be able to import the components: https://champlain.instructure.com/enroll/NBFCGL
Boston College provides an excellent tutorial on importing content from one Canvas course into another. https://bostoncollege.instructure.com/courses/1292000/pages/importing-content-into-your-canvas-course You can follow this guide, with a couple of specific notes from us:
- Before beginning the guide, you must be in the Canvas course into which you want to import the template.
- When you reach the step that refers to the “Search for a Course” menu, select “Remote Learning Template Level 1”
- Under “Content” choose “Select specific content” (as the tutorial recommends). Import only the modules.
- Once the process is complete, you will see the template components in the Modules section of the Canvas course into which you imported them.
If you have any difficulties, please contact the CLT at email@example.com for assistance with the import.
Customizing the Template
The model module How to Use this Template (found by clicking Modules within the template) explains how to customize the various components. You may also be interested in our materials on designing online discussions, and our tutorial on embedding media in discussions, assignments, pages, and other Canvas components.
Canvas support: please contact the Canvas helpline 24/7 at 1-833-209-6112 for technical issues, user problems, and basic questions. Please contact the CLT at firstname.lastname@example.org for coaching and help with Canvas-based pedagogy. Students in need of assistance should be referred to the Canvas helpline.