Five Basic Things

  • 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 type menu items that students will access through Modules. Commonly hidden links include Attendance, Chat, Collaborations, Conferences, and Outcomes. We recommend hiding menu items that link to content types that should be more controlled and can be accessed through Modules e.g., Files, Pages, Rubrics, Assignments, and Quizzes.
  • Use Modules to organize your course materials. Organize your Modules by week, unit, or other organizational structure that will make it easy for students to find content and assignments as the term progresses. Your modules should be used to organize your course content including files, assignments, quizzes, and other resources. Be sure your modules and files within the modules are published in Canvas so students can access them.
  • Upload your course documents to Canvas. Use the Files link on the course menu to upload your course documents. Review accessibility and Canvas to learn about Ally and other tools available in your course to improve accessibility of digital content. For more information, please visit the Ally FAQ page.
  • 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 contact the OSU Canvas team.
  • 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 Canvas Student 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

  • Check Files to see that course materials have been uploaded or imported to your course site and are not duplicated. Remove old files.
  • Check your Modules. They should be clearly organized, and replace any instructor shorthand with full descriptions that will benefit students.
  • Check your Assignments to ensure they have correct points possible and due dates, and that links to assignments are placed in the appropriate modules.
  • Manage Assignment Groups to remove any duplicate or empty groups. If you are using Canvas weighted grading, ensure that assignment group weights in Canvas match the weights in your syllabus.
  • Check your Gradebook to ensure that the total points possible match the course syllabus.
  • Manage Course Navigation to remove any unnecessary tools. Recommended starting menu items: Announcements, Modules, Discussions (if applicable), Grades, Add TA, UDOIT Accessibility Check, and Ally Course Accessibility Report. The Add TA, UDOIT Accessibility Check, and Ally Course Accessibility Report tools are not visible to students and are very useful tools for faculty.
  • Use accessibility tools to check for, and fix, accessibility issues in uploaded documents, images, and Canvas content.
  • Validate that all Course Links (internal and external) are functional.
  • Verify whether Discussions are set to be graded or ungraded, as described in your course syllabus. Drag discussions into the Pinned Discussions area to lock them in a specific order.
  • Verify that settings for Quizzes have been applied e.g., due dates, availability dates, quiz timer, displaying student selections and correct answers.
  • Manage course Groups by removing old groups and creating new groups as needed. Since Groups are not dynamic, you may want to wait until after the add/drop period or first week of the term before creating new groups.
  • Review the Published status of content and modules. All content and modules should be published if they are to be used in the course. The Publish status should not be used to control access to content. Instead, use availability dates, module requirements/prerequisites, and/or lock dates to control access.
  • Add teaching assistants or course designers through the Add TA tool. Review information on roles and permissions in Canvas.

Access the Course using Student View

Use Canvas Student View to verify that:

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

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. Announcements created prior to publishing the course do not get sent to students even when the course is published.
  • Share the Canvas Student Tools page with your students.