OFFICE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
University of Denver
Prepping for Winter Term/Spring Semester
Course Planning Resources
Canvas Course Preparation Checklist
Canvas is now required for all DU courses, regardless of modality. Follow these 9 steps to easily update your course.
Set Up Your Canvas Shell
Request or reactivate your physical and e-reserve teaching materials
Update Your Content
Choose & Update Ed Tech
Setup the Gradebook
Review Your Content
Check for Accessibility
Contact the OTL
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, per DU’s COVID-19 Classroom Protocol, “Instructors are required to use Canvas to provide access to essential course materials, including syllabi and assignments.”
Fortunately, Canvas allows you to import content from a previous course into a new course. You can also use the Canvas templates the OTL has designed to help create your Canvas course containers.
See “How do I import content from a previous Canvas course to a new course shell?” and “How to Import the OTL Canvas Template” for further information.
This Canvas Community Guide provides step-by-step instructions for how to import your existing course content into a new course shell.
Starting from scratch? The OTL has Canvas templates you can import into your courses to help you get started. To learn more about our OTL Canvas Templates and import one into your course, visit our Knowledge Base article How to Import the OTL Canvas Template, and our blog Introducing the Basic and Advanced Canvas Templates.
The OTL has two official templates you can use to design your Canvas courses: The OTL Advanced Canvas Template and the OTL Basic Canvas Template. You can download either template from the Canvas Commons.
Okay, but which template should I use?
That’s a great question, and it depends on how you plan to incorporate Canvas into your teaching. However, both templates will allow you to fulfill DU’s COVID-19 Classroom Protocol.
The OTL Advanced Canvas Template contains formats for the syllabus, a home page, weekly modules, assignments, discussions, and more. This template can be customized for either face-to-face (F2F) or online (synchronous and asynchronous) delivery. If you plan to use this template for a F2F course, you may not need as many of the template pages that are included.
The OTL Canvas Basic Template also contains templates for the syllabus and home page but is more streamlined. For example, since F2F classes do not tend to use many asynchronous activities, this template focuses on keeping the course organized with the basics needed in a Canvas course, such as assignments and instructional materials.
Introducing the Basic and Advanced Canvas Template offers a comparison chart that explains in more detail the differences of both.
While there is no university-wide deadline for publishing your Canvas course, students appreciate being able to access course material in advance, especially the syllabus. Consider publishing your Canvas course 5-7 days before the start of the quarter.
Bear in mind that once you publish a course, you can keep individual pages, assignments, discussions, media, and even whole modules unpublished if you want to continue working on them before releasing them to students.
We recommend using the built-in Kaltura Embed tools, which you can read about in this Knowledge Base article. These tools help avoid the risk of videos not having the right permissions once they are copied from one course container to another.
If you’re looking to move a set of playlists from one Canvas Media Gallery to another, check-out these helpful instructions.
All video and audio files uploaded to Kaltura My Media within Canvas or DU MediaSpace will have an auto-generated closed caption file. As the video owner or editor, you can edit the auto-generated closed captions to improve accuracy. Captions should be 95% accurate to meet ADA accessibility standards.
This OTL Knowledge Base article describes how to edit captions.
For images: the database ArtSTOR provides access to 1.6 million images, and includes a variety of pedagogically engaging features. Check out the following resources to learn more about how (and why) to use ArtSTOR:
- ArtSTOR Library Guide
- OTL Blog: “Database Spotlight: The Art of Using ArtSTOR”
- OTL Knowledge Base: “How to Use ArtSTOR to Incorporate Images into Your Course”
For other media: DU’s library has access to dozens of streaming media databases, including 45 databases for streaming video alone. Check out the following resources to learn more about how (and why) to use these databases:
New Quizzes are Canvas’s completely redesigned quiz feature. Starting in December 2021, you will be able to begin using New Quizzes.
Classic quizzes will be available to create and use until the summer of 2022. If you are scheduled to teach during Autumn Quarter 2022, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the features of New Quizzes sooner rather than later.
This blog gives an overview of the pedagogical benefits of New Quizzes.
Visit our Knowledge Base for how-to articles about using New Quizzes.
To request textbooks and course materials, visit the Online Adoptions to Course Materials website.
As with publishing your Canvas course, there is no university-wide deadline for when you need to submit your textbook orders. However, for reasons of accessibility, equity, and fairness, we recommend you submit your orders to the bookstore as soon as possible.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for either new reserves or reactivating previous reserves.
If you are reactivating previous reserves, please include the course number, code, and quarter in which your E-Reserves were last used, as well as the course number, code, and quarter for which you wish them to be reactivated.
Reserves can take up to three weeks to process, so get your requests in as soon as possible.
The Canvas gradebook will automatically synch with any Assignments in your course—this includes Discussions, Quizzes, and general Assignments. When creating any of these in your course, be sure to carefully read the settings in the setup menu, as there are many options available.
You will need to choose due dates, submission formats, points or complete/incomplete, and number of allowed attempts. For more advanced Canvas users, you can also choose to embed a TurnItIn review, designate individual or group work, or implement peer reviews. To setup weighted grading in Canvas, utilize the steps in this helpful guide.
For instructions on how to view your upcoming course containers in Canvas, please follow this link:
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