About the Canvas Blueprint Manager

A blueprint course is a special type of course in Canvas that serves as a template for other courses. The content and settings in the blueprint course can then be pushed out to courses that are associated with the blueprint.

At Indiana University, Blueprint Manager is a tool that allows instructors to create blueprint courses and to associate their courses with the blueprint.

Department Canvas administrators may use Blueprint Manager, but they can also use native Canvas functionality to create and manage blueprint courses; see the Courses and Sections section of the Canvas Admin Guide.

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Before you begin

  • Only create blueprint courses from manually created courses. Never use a provisioned SIS course (i.e., an official, automatically created course) as the starting point for a blueprint course. UITS recommends creating a new course to serve as your blueprint course.
  • Your blueprint course needs to be in the same department or organizational unit (called a subaccount in Canvas) as the courses you associate with it.
    • To find the subaccount of a course in Canvas:
      1. Navigate to the course, and click Settings.
      2. On the Course Details tab, look for the "Subaccount" field. The subaccount name is usually the same as the campus and department name in the SIS ID of the course (e.g., BL-EDUC, IN-BUS, KO-NURS, etc.).
    • If you're creating a new course for your blueprint course, when you make your selection for Department, School, or College, be sure to select the same academic unit as the courses you will use the blueprint in.
    • If you've already created the course you want to use as your blueprint, and it's in a different subaccount from the courses you want to associate with it, contact your campus Support Center to request that your blueprint course be moved to the appropriate subaccount.

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Enable a course as a blueprint

Note:
In order to enable a course as a blueprint course:
  • You must be enrolled in the course as a teacher (or derivative role).
  • The course must not be associated with another blueprint course.
  • The course must not have any students or observers.

To enable a course as a blueprint course:

  1. Log into Canvas and navigate to the course you wish to use as a blueprint template.
  2. In the course navigation menu, click Settings. Then, in the sidebar at the right, click Blueprint Manager.
  3. Check the Enable course as a Blueprint Course box.
  4. Choose your locking settings. These will determine what attributes teachers in the associated courses will be unable to change for each object that you lock. (You will select which individual items to lock or unlock separately, as described below.)

    You can specify for locking any combination of content, points, due dates, and availability dates in either of the following ways:

    • General Locked Objects: Applies the same locking settings in all tools
    • Locked Objects by Type: Allows you to set separate locking settings for Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Files, and Quizzes

    For more on Locked Objects, see "Define General Locked Objects" and "Define Locked Objects by Type" in How do I enable a course as a blueprint course as an admin?

  5. Click Update Settings to save your selections.

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Content and settings

Before associating courses with your blueprint course, create the content that you want to sync with the associated courses and review the course settings in your blueprint to make sure they are correct. Course settings, which include the navigation menu and course start and end dates, are included in the Blueprint Manager course sync by default.

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Lock individual objects in a blueprint course

Once you enable the course as a blueprint and select your locking preferences, as described above, you can lock or unlock individual objects (content items) in the course. Locking an object will apply your blueprint locking preferences to the item in all associated courses. If you leave an object unlocked, teachers in the associated courses will be able to modify it. For instructions on how to lock and unlock objects, see How do I lock course objects in a blueprint course as an instructor?

For information on how to work with and manage content in associated courses, see How do I manage content for a course associated with a blueprint course?

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Associate courses with a blueprint course

Once you have selected the settings to apply to the blueprint course, you will be able to associate courses.

  1. In the course navigation menu of the blueprint course, click Settings. Then, in the sidebar at the right, click Blueprint Manager.
  2. Click Associate Courses. Courses already associated with the blueprint course will be listed under "Associated Courses".
  3. Under "Available Courses", select a term to display the list of courses you can associate with the blueprint course.
    Note:
    If you don't see the course you're looking for, it may not be in the same Canvas subaccount as your blueprint course; see Before you begin above.
  4. Check the box for each course you wish to associate.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Review the lists under "Final List of Associated Courses" and "Summary of Actions". If everything looks correct, click Submit. (To return to the course association screen and change your selections, click Edit.)

When you complete the association process, the content and settings in the blueprint course will be pushed to the associated course(s).

Note:
If you receive a message indicating that your newly associated course(s) could not be synced because a sync was already in progress, return to the Blueprint Manager tool later and click Sync to attempt to sync again. You will not be able to use Canvas's built-in manual syncing (as described below) until you have completed the sync in Blueprint Manager.

If further changes are made to the blueprint course, you will need to manually sync the content using the Sync option in Blueprint Manager or Canvas's built-in sync tool. For more about Canvas syncing, see:

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Remove blueprint course associations

  1. In the course navigation menu, click Settings. Then, in the sidebar at the right, click Blueprint Manager.
  2. Click Associate Courses. Courses already associated with the blueprint course will be listed under "Associated Courses".
  3. Under "Available Courses", uncheck the box(es) for course(s) you wish to de-associate and click Continue.
  4. Review the lists under "Final List of Associated Courses" and "Summary of Actions". If everything looks correct, click Submit. (To return to the course association screen and change your selections, click Edit.)

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Tips for working with blueprints

  • Announcements can only be locked if General Locked Objects is selected in the Blueprint Manager.
  • If items are published in a Blueprint course, they will show as published in the associated course.
  • If there are unlocked items in your Blueprint course, do not lock them after they have been synced unless you are certain they have not been modified in the associated course(s). Locking an item after a sync will overwrite changes made to the item in the associated course(s).
  • If a locked object (e.g. Discussion, Assignments, Page, etc) has a file attachment or a link to a file stored in the Files tool, be sure to lock the file as well; otherwise the file can be deleted from the associated course(s), breaking the attachment or link.

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This is document apvn in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-11-01 11:16:55.

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