The Center for Learning and Teaching provides several course templates you can opt to import into your Canvas shells to help you build your courses. This article explains the differences between the current templates and previews them. For information on how to import them, please see this article.
These templates are optional. They do not include the default “course shell”–the items that come pre-loaded into every course each semester. Typically the shell includes things like the Student Resources links on the syllabus page (which you need to retain) and the semester schedule grid on the homepage. It is not possible to opt out of the default shell.
Keep in mind that templates will layer on the default course shell, each other, and any past course materials you have imported. If you are considering a combination of templates and past courses, choose carefully. Typically the Modules Outline Template can layer well with past courses that do not have an existing module structure. Do not attempt to layer anything with a “full” template. Importing an old course is not compatible with the full template. If you would like to use the syllabus page layout with internal links and headings that was available this fall, please contact the CLT directly.
Modules Outline Template
The Modules Outline Template affects only the Modules section of your course. It is simply a set of weekly headers that allow you to insert whatever you need for each week, whether that’s assignments, discussions, materials (e.g., uploaded files), links, messages from you, or quizzes. The Modules Outline Template does not create any content, assignments, discussions, or other items in the course; it only gives you a simple organizational system where you can put them. It looks like this (with fifteen weeks of empty modules):
The Modules Outline Template does contain some unpublished resources for you, the instructor, directing you to modules-specific information from Canvas and on the CLT website. It does not contain the student success modules that are available in the full template discussed below.
When Using the Modules Outline Template, we recommend:
- Make sure there is something in each week’s module, including but not limited to an overview message from you, the instructor
- Consider adding the week’s dates to the name of the module
- Make sure the modules function as a complete repository of everything students need for each week. Modules are only as useful as they are complete!
- Make sure anything you have uploaded as a file to Canvas appears in the appropriate week’s module (by default, students cannot see the Files area of Canvas)
Spring 2021 Full Flex-Hybrid Template
Each semester, a robust template containing weekly assignments and discussions organized into modules, the HTML syllabus template, student success resources, and other materials will be available to you. The title of this template may change. For Spring 2021, the Full Flex-Hybrid Template is nearly identical to the Fall 2020 Template. This template is ideal for courses that will have a strong balance of synchronous and asynchronous interactive work, fully virtual courses, courses with a strong weekly structure featuring regular low-stakes assignments, and faculty who are new to Canvas setup. It is not compatible with importing a past course.
What the template contains:
- Weekly assignments with due dates (every Friday)
- Weekly ungraded discussions with to-do dates (every Friday)
- Weekly “instructor’s message” pages you can use to supply a weekly overview, outline, and/or goals
- Week-by-week modules structure with the assignments, discussions, and weekly overview pages in the appropriate modules
- A clickable semester grid on the home page that allows students to jump directly to each week’s module
- Additional unpublished modules with instructor resources on using Canvas and using the template
- Published modules with student success resources
- Miscellaneous items like a syllabus quiz
What the template does not contain:
- Point values for anything
- Assignment groups (note that you will still need to set up your gradebook!)
- Quizzes (create your own as needed)
- Blank assignments intended for major projects/papers/labs/tests (create your own as needed, or adjust some of the existing ones)
- Course materials
You can add anything you need to, and delete anything you will not use. For example, if you have more significant assignments due every other week, you can simply delete the off-week assignments and use only the ones you need. You can also adjust due dates, set your point values, and set up your gradebook.
Rather than providing screenshots, because this template is so rich with materials, we recommend you click the “Import Course Template” button on the home page of one of your courses, select the template, and click the “See Preview” button to explore it. You can learn more about how to do that here.