The OTL Canvas Template is a Canvas course shell that is pre-formatted and pre-populated with items such as modules, assignments, and pages. You can import the template into your Canvas course and then add your course content to those pre-built items. The Office of Teaching and Learning has included pedagogically supportive language to prompt faculty with best practices for building online courses in Canvas. The template also uses CIDI Labs Design tools, which you can learn more about in our Knowledge Base. This article will walk you through how to import the template into your course.

Note: The OTL has two templates to choose from. The OTL Advanced Canvas Template and the OTL Canvas Basic Template. Read more about the differences in these two templates here. 

Take the following steps to import the template into your Canvas course:

  1. Open the Canvas course in which you’d like to upload the template.  
    Note: We recommend that you import this template into an empty course shell in order to prevent the potential overriding of your current course content. If you would like an additional course shell to store content, please contact the to request a Sandbox course.  

  1. Select “Home” from the course navigation menu. 

  1. Select “Import from Commons” from the right-side menu. 

  1. From the next page, type “OTL Advanced Canvas Template” OR “OTL Canvas Basics Template” into the search menu.  

  • Select the Template of your choice by clicking on the name of the course.  

arrows pointing to the two template options

  1. Once selected, you can preview the template content by scrolling and selecting various pages. If it looks like you may have selected an incorrect template, you can view the details tab and confirm that the course is affiliated with the University of Denver account.  

  1. When you are ready to import, from the right-side menu select “Import/Download.”  

  • From the pop out window, either type the name of or select the course with which you want to download the template into. 

  • Click the import into course button from the bottom of this pop out menu.
  • The import may take a few moments to update in your course container.  
  • Consider saving the OTL Canvas Template as a “favorite” in the Canvas Commons for easy access in future quarters/semesters.

For additional support importing, navigating and using the template, please reach out to the