Note: we formerly used the phrase “master course” for model courses; if you are searching for information on that course type, please read the material on model courses.

The CLT can help faculty and departments setup Canvas courses to develop and share curriculum. We have developed a couple of scenarios that can help support efficient collaboration amongst faculty members.

Please note: We can setup a “sandbox” for individual faculty looking to get a head start in developing their own content for future semesters. The scenarios below are appropriate when the content is intended to be shared amongst instructors.

CLT Supported Model Course

This course type is a fully developed Canvas shell that is used for every section of a course. Each academic program needs to decide how much flexibility is appropriate for each section.

Typically the course has a fully developed Gradebook, assignments with instructions, readings, and activities. Dates will be set up for a typical section, and the instructor will be able to tweak them as needed. Teaching instructions that are hidden from students can be included with each unit to support instructors.

The CLT will help in the development of the Model Course. We can provide support with instructional design, graphics, layout, and Canvas settings. We can review content and provide feedback looking at best practices and simply an extra set of eyes for the experience of students moving through the course.

A faculty point person needs to be assigned for each Model Course. Typically we keep the number of faculty with edit access to the Model Course itself very small (preferably only one). The point person should solicit feedback from fellow faculty in order to improve the course on an ongoing basis. View-only access should be granted to all faculty who will teach the course.

Each semester CLT will copy the course to each section as requested by the program. When we do so, we can provide a QA review of any course updates, as well as adjust the dates to their general equivalent in the new semester (individual instructors will still need to tweak the dates for their section). We will work with the faculty point person to determine when updates to the Model Course will be completed prior to QA review and course copy. If you need to make more frequent changes that can propagate to each course section, a “Blueprint” course may be more appropriate; consult the CLT to see which option works best for your program’s needs.

Independent Model Course

Some departments may prefer to manage a Model Course in Canvas on their own with minimal CLT involvement each semester for copying content. These are typically fully developed Canvas courses that will be used by each course section, like the CLT-supported Model Courses.

We will setup a Canvas course for the Model Course and work with the faculty to build out the course to their needs. We have developed some best practices that will assist in the management of these courses.

As updates are made, the CLT can provide a QA review for courses upon request but we will not do this automatically. Faculty will need to manage their own imports each semester.

Each Model Course should have a faculty point person assigned. The point person will have edit rights to the course. All other involved faculty should be granted view access with the ability to copy content.

Common Units

Common units are a Canvas course set up to hold units or modules that all sections of the course in question will teach. Typically this might be a common assignment or common experience that is carefully prescribed, such as a media literacy module.

The CLT can set up a Canvas course for departments to manage their common units. A faculty point person needs to be assigned who along with the CLT will have edit rights to the content. Typically we work closely with faculty to fully develop the unit, including assignment instructions, graphic design elements, and ensuring that all settings are correct.

The CLT can manage the copying and setup of the content each semester if desired. When we do this, we will also perform a QA check on settings before copying the content into each section. We will work with the faculty point person to identify the correct processes to ensure that this is done appropriately, including a list of which course sections need the content.

If a department does not want to have the CLT copy the content for them, we can give all faculty who teach the course will have viewable access to the content so that they can copy it themselves.


A repository is a place for faculty to share ideas, assignments and readings. It is meant to be used as a common resource for the course for all faculty who teach that course. It is not meant to be a pre-built curriculum for faculty.

This is best utilized when there is great freedom amongst instructors in how the content is delivered and even the nature of the content, but faculty have different approaches to and levels of expertise about some aspect of the course.

The CLT will support departments in creating an organizational structure for the repository and will help ensure that the correct faculty have access.

This solution works best when a faculty point person is assigned to each repository to keep the course organized, but all faculty who teach the course have edit access to share resources.

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