Five Basic Things

  • Upload your course documents to Canvas. Use the Files link on the course menu to upload your course documents. Review tips on creating accessible documents and enable the ReadSpeaker TextAid tool in your course to improve accessibility to your online course content.
  • Use Modules to organize your course materials. Organize your Modules by week, unit, or other organizational structure that will most benefit the students in accessing your online content. Your modules should used to organize your course content including files, assignments, quizzes, and other resources.  Be sure your modules are published in Canvas so students can access them.
  • Hide course menu links. Hiding course navigation menu items can reduce confusion for your students and keep them focused on the relevant course materials. Generally, it is best to hide any menu items that students will not be using or content types that students will access through Modules. Commonly unused tools include Attendance, Chat, Collaborations, Conferences, and Outcomes. Content types that should be accessed through Modules, and therefore hidden in the course menu, include Files, Pages, Assignments, and Quizzes.
  • Check the Gradebook for alignment with your course syllabus. The Canvas Gradebook is directly tied to graded activities in Canvas. Graded activities include graded discussions, graded quizzes/surveys, and assignments. If you need a column for manual grade entry, you will need to create a "No Submission" or "On Paper" assignment in Canvas. Review the Canvas Guides for information on giving extra credit in a Canvas course. For any questions about the Canvas gradebook, especially if it does not appear to be calculating appropriately, please send an email to
  • Use Student View to preview your course. Student View can help you quickly determine whether students can access content you want them to and cannot access content you don't want them to.

The Full List!

Course Information

  • Check that the home page has been set and is accurate for the course.
  • Check that the syllabus is up-to-date and accessible. Learn more about working with Files in Canvas.
  • If desired, enter your contact information and office hours on your Canvas Profile.
  • Check that your "Start Here" module, announcement and/or home page has updated text, is specific to the course, and provides students guidance on where to begin and what to expect the first day of class.
  • Check that you've provided students with information about technical resources and information, including Student Canvas Guides, Canvas technical support contact information (Help link at bottom of left-most Canvas menu), browser requirements, and OSU's Academic Success Center.

Course and Content Organization

Access the Course using Student View

  • Verify that Discussions are arranged in the Pinned Discussions section in a logical order.
  • Verify that content in Modules is visible. Determine that access to content is available or restricted correctly.
  • Verify that grades are calculating correctly. As the instructor, enter grades for the Test Student prior to using Student View to validate calculations.

Notify Students about Canvas Course Content

  • Publish your Canvas course to give students access and to begin communicating through Canvas. Students will not receive any notifications from your Canvas course until it is published.
  • Create course announcements after the course is published.
  • Share the Five Things for Students to Know about Canvas document with students.