About Canvas course defaults at IU

On this page:


When a new course is created in Canvas via the SIS provisioning process or the "Start a New Course" form, a template is applied that sets the default navigation menu and settings for the course. The template applied to your course is determined by its location in the Canvas academic hierarchy of accounts. Most courses will receive the IU default template. However, if your campus, school, or department creates a template for the courses under its purview, that template will be applied instead of the IU default template. For more about templating logic, see Distribute templates to Canvas courses in your campus, school, or department.

Instructors can change the course navigation menu and settings for their course at any time using controls on the Settings > Course Details and Settings > Navigation pages or by importing the settings from an existing course.

  • The default settings described here are those associated with the IU default template. If a campus, school, or department template was applied to your course, some settings may be different from those listed here.
  • Templates with default settings are not applied to courses created via the following methods:
  • To manually apply the default settings to any unpublished course, open the Settings tool, and select Reapply Default Template.
  • Starting with the spring 2023 semester, the accessibility review tool Ally is integrated into all Canvas courses (even courses from previous semesters), with no way for it to be removed. For more, see Ally instructor guide.

The default course navigation menu includes the tools used most frequently by instructors as well as specific tools that benefit students regardless of whether instructors make deliberate use of them. To ensure the best possible experience for your students, use the Navigation tab in Settings to add tools that are needed and remove tools that will not be used in your course before publishing. For instructions on how to add, remove, or move items in the course navigation menu, see How do I manage Course Navigation links? in the Canvas Guides.

Native Canvas tools

The tools in the list of "Enabled native tools" list below are included in the default course navigation menu. All native Canvas tools, regardless of their status, are visible in the instructor view of the course navigation menu. Also, some enabled tools (for example, Announcements, Assignments, Discussions) are hidden from students until they contain at least one published item. The presence of an eye icon with a slash through it indicates that the tool is not currently visible to students. Mouse over the tool name to determine whether the tool is hidden because it has been disabled or contains no content.

Tool not visible

Enabled native tools

  • Home
  • Announcements
  • Syllabus
  • Assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Discussions
  • Grades
  • People
  • Modules
  • Chat

Disabled native tools

  • Attendance
  • Collaborations
  • Files
  • Outcomes
  • Pages
  • Rubrics
Links to items in the Files and Pages tools will continue to work for students (for example, in Modules, Assignments, etc.), even though the tool is hidden. Unless students need direct access to the items in these tools, leave the tools hidden and expose their content through other tools.

External tools and apps

As a general rule, external tools and apps are hidden by default. Exceptions have been made for the following external tools because they are used in most or all classes. In addition to the tools listed below, your campus, school, or department may have added specific items to your course navigation:

  • Campus Course Policies
  • NameCoach
  • Course Questionnaire
  • Questionnaire Responses (not visible to students)
  • Reports and Dashboards
  • Student Engagement Roster (Students)
  • Student Engagement Roster (Faculty) (not visible to students)
  • Ally Course Accessibility Report

For a list of all third-party tools and apps that can be enabled in your course, see External tools available in Canvas.

Course settings

See below for the default settings for new manually created and SIS courses. In cases where settings differ between manually created and SIS course, both defaults are given. All but the first two settings can be found at Settings > Course Details.

  • Default Home Page Type: Syllabus; for instructions on how to change, see How do I change the Course Home Page?
  • Course Image: IU trident
  • Name:
    • SIS: Set to "TERM: TITLE: SECTION #"
    • Manually created: Set by creator in the "Start a New Course" form
  • Course Code:
    • SIS: Set to the SIS ID for the course
    • Manually created: Set by the creator in the "Start a New Course" form
  • Blueprint Course: Enable course as a Blueprint Course: Off
  • Course Template: Enable course as a Course Template: Off
  • Time Zone: Eastern Time (US & Canada)
  • SIS ID:
    • SIS: Set to the SIS ID for the course
    • Manually created: Left blank
  • Subaccount:
    • SIS: Account that matches the campus and subject code for the course (for example, NW-NURS, BL-AFRI, etc.)
    • Manually created: Set by the creator in the "Start a New Course" form
  • Term: Set to current SIS or manual term during the course creation process
  • Participation: (for more, see How do I change the start and end dates for a course?)
    • SIS: Term
    • Manually created: Course
  • Start: Left blank
  • End:
    • SIS: Left blank
    • Manually created: Set to one year from creation date
  • Restrict students from viewing course before course start date: Off
  • Restrict students from viewing course after course end date: Off
  • Default due time: Account default (11:59pm)
  • Language: English (United States)
  • File Storage: 4096 MB
  • Large course: Launch SpeedGrader Filtered by Student Group: Off
  • Grading Scheme: Enable course grading scheme:
    • SIS: On, default grading scheme matches course grading basis in SIS
    • Manually created: Off
  • License:
    • SIS: Private (Copyrighted)
    • Manually created: Set by the creator in the "Start a New Course" form
  • File Copyright: Copyright and license information must be provided for files before they are published: Off
  • Visibility: Course
  • Visibility: Customize: Off
  • Visibility: Include this course in the public course index: Off
  • Mastery Paths: Enable individual learning paths for students based on assessment: On
  • Course Pacing: Enable Course Pacing: Off
  • Description: Left blank
  • Let students self-enroll by sharing with them a secret URL: Off
  • Show recent announcements on Course home page: On
  • Number of announcements shown on the homepage: Three
  • Let students attach files to discussions: On
  • Let students create discussion topics: Off
  • Let students edit or delete their own discussion replies: On
  • Let students organize their own groups: On
  • Hide totals in student grades summary: Off
  • Hide grade distribution graphs from students: On
  • Disable comments on announcements: On
  • Can create, rename, and edit course pages by default: Only Teachers

Feature options

Some Canvas features can be enabled or disabled by the instructor on a per-course basis. See below for the default values for course-level feature options. Options listed as "On" have been enabled university-wide and cannot be disabled. Go to Settings > Feature Options to view or update the feature options for a course.

  • Allow Outcome Extra Credit: Off
  • Anonymous Instructor Annotations: Off
  • Default to New Quizzes: Off
  • Discussions/Announcements Redesign: Off
  • ePub Exporting: Off
  • Learning Mastery Gradebook: Off
  • New Course and User Analytics: Off
  • New Quizzes: Off
  • Outcome Service Results to Canvas Reporting: On
  • Student Learning Mastery Gradebook: Off

This is document atpu in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-03-27 11:02:02.