7/7: The template is now available. However, the easy import button previously advertised has been delayed. See below for instructions on manually importing the template, or email clt [at] champlain [dot] edu for assistance.
Building a course in Canvas can take time, and we recognize that your time is limited! To expedite the process, CLT staff have created a basic Canvas template that you can use as a framework, adding to or subtracting from it as needed. Using the template is your choice, but we highly recommend it if you are using Modules (or any common Canvas component) for the first time. In addition to providing a basic structure for your course, the template also includes self-directed resources and instructions for you to ease your Canvas adoption. For more advanced users, the template will simply save you some time creating modules, discussions, assignments, etc.
Important note: if you plan to use the template, we recommend importing it before you begin building your course to avoid duplicating elements. See instructions below.
The template includes the following:
- weekly discussion forums, with due dates each Friday
- weekly assignments, with due dates each Friday
- weekly blank pages for you to fill out with framing information, links, to-do lists, or whatever you would like
- a module structure that organizes these items by week, and also permits you to add additional items to the week, like quizzes, links, recorded class videos, and/or PDF readings
These items contain no content. You will need to edit each one you intend to use, which in most cases simply means writing or pasting in the assignment or discussion prompt and adding your own text to the weekly intro pages. You should also change the due dates (called “student to-do” in discussions) for anything you do not want due on a Friday. You can delete any items you do not intend to use–for example, if you will not have weekly assignments, simply delete the assignments you won’t need.
While you certainly are not required to use a weekly discussion and assignment structure, using modules is part of the mandatory Course Standards for fall 2020.
The modules section also contains some resources for students on using Canvas, which you should retain, and tutorial materials for you that explore how to create effective content pages, quizzes, discussions, and assignments.
There are several ways to view the template. You may be familiar with the Assignments and Discussions views, in which you can see a list of all your assignments or discussions, respectively. You might be less familiar with the Modules view, which will be the most important way for your students to interface with Canvas-based course materials and exercises. It looks like this:
You’ll notice that these modules are very consistent. It is helpful to students to see similar organization each week. You can also see that they invite changes; when you add your prompts (which you can do by clicking on the item and then selecting edit), you may need to change the titles as well. You can remove the text header about inserting readings. The plus sign in the top bar of each module allows you to add further items, like files, links, and additional assignments or discussions, which you can drag and drop into the order you like.
With the exception of Week 1, the modules are unpublished by default (notice the gray circle with the line through it). You will need to publish modules for your students to see them by clicking on the gray circles until they change to green checkmarks.
Your course shells for fall also contain an expanded syllabus template and homepage template. These are part of the default shell and you will see them whether you import the template or not.
You can easily replace the highlighted text in this template with the relevant parts of your syllabus. You can retain the boilerplate. The Course Summary (list of due dates) will appear below the syllabus.
This page template allows you to link directly to the weekly modules from the calendar by editing and inserting links. Please replace the filler image before students have access to the course.
If you have questions about how to edit the template, please consult the member of the Design Team or peer group you are working with.
In addition to saving you time, the template will create consistency for students across courses. The more faculty build courses out robustly in modules, the easier it will be for students to navigate them. Students often ask for faculty to make sure that they are using certain Canvas features that are part of the template, like assignment and discussion due dates. Thus, the template models a course that creates a simple and easy-to-follow student experience.