New Semester – Checklist
Each new semester brings changes. After copying over content from a previous semester, take the time to go through your courses and update any old or irrelevant information, clarify things that might have generated questions last semester, remove unused or unwanted content, fix typos, and generally make improvements.
Are there changes to the syllabus? New edition of the textbook? Are you ready to try using a new tool in your Canvas course? How about integrating with publisher content? Need to improve any assignment instructions?
Make changes before the new semester begins, so your students have the most accurate and effective content!
Verify And Organize Your Course List
Confirm that your courses are available in Canvas. Go to Courses > All Courses from the sidebar menu to indicate which courses should be available on your Dashboard.
Official courses are available to faculty two weeks before the first day of a term.
Combine Course Sections (optional)
If you teach multiple sections of your Course and you want all students to access the same content, you can combine or cross-list sections before the semester begins.
Copy Content From An Older Course
Faculty may reuse content from a previous semester, a “sandbox” course, or another instructor’s course. If it is a course taught by someone else, you may need that instructor to give you access to that course.
See: Copy Course Content
Content Changes and Updates
Update The Syllabus
Make any updates and corrections to the course syllabus as necessary. Confirm dates, SLOs, grading policy, links to Academic Integrity and Attendance documents provided by the District.
- Attendance Guidelines
- Academic Integrity
- Accommodations (Accessibility)
Review Modules and Content
Take the time to look over the materials and links in your Canvas course. Did you use everything in it? Are there any new items to add? Typos to fix or clarifications needed?
Review Content Items
Examine module contents and make any necessary edits to item titles, remove unused items, add new materials.
Review Course Accessibility
There are several important elements all instructors should consider to ensure maximum access to course content, so every student is able to succeed, regardless of ability.
Some of the most important features of an accessible course include:
- converting most PDF files into Canvas Pages
- adding ALT text to images
- captioning video
- Contact TMI for assistance
Check Lock Until dates and Publish status. Incomplete modules may be locked or unpublished to prevent student access.
If used, ensure module requirements and prerequisites are set properly.
Test all internal and external links using the Validate Links in your Course Settings.
Publish Course Content Items
Review all course content items (Pages, Assignments, Modules, etc.) to confirm Publish status. Only content that is Published can be seen by students.
Update Course Navigation
Confirm the Course Menu contains the appropriate items in the desired order. Only necessary items should be visible to students to avoid confusion.
The following Course Menu items are recommended for student access:
The following Course Menu items are NOT recommended for student access:
Grades and Assessment
Review Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes
Examine all gradable activities in the course, update instructions and details as needed. Check all relevant settings for assignments, discussions and quizzes:
- submission type
- point value
- number of quiz attempts
- availability date
- due date
Confirm grading policy, points possible, and grade displays in Gradebook. If using Assignment groups for weighted grading, ensure the assignment weights align with the information provided in the course syllabus.
Make adjustments to assignment due dates, availability dates, module lock dates, and any other time sensitive information. Double check the calendar and syllabus to be sure your course events and due dates are set correctly.
Announcements from the previous course will be copied when content is imported from another course. Review content for accuracy, delete unwanted announcements, and adjust delay dates to reflect the new semester.
Preview The Course In Student View
Be sure to examine your course using Student View (found in the right hand navigation bar on the Settings link) to preview the course from the student perspective. Ensure that all modules/items are published, available and updated.
Check the Assignments Summary on the Syllabus page to be sure all Due Dates are present, and the correct assignments are visible to students.
You may submit assignments or quizzes while in Student View to verify everything is working properly. NOTE: Any assignments or quizzes submitted in Student View will appear in the Test Student row in the Gradebook.
Publish The Course
Students have access to courses beginning on the first day of a semester. However, instructors must Publish a course to make it visible and available to students. Students only see Published courses.
Review The Roster
After the semester starts be sure to compare your Canvas course roster (use People tool) with your WebAdvisor roster. Student enrollments in Canvas are updated every hour to reflect enrollments in WebAdvisor. Please report any enrollment discrepancies to User Support Services (firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-895-2888).