Best practices for Canvas template preparation

Use the following guidelines to design Canvas course templates that are efficient, adaptable, usable, and accessible. If you need help creating your template, contact eLearning Design and Services.

  • Provide clear instructions: If using your template requires specific actions on the part of the instructor, provide clear and detailed instructions; for sample instructions, see Apply the IU Course Template to your Canvas course. Make sure your instructions are visible from the course landing page.
    Important:
    If your template is optional and uses a Pages Front Page as the default home page, note that applying a template does not automatically replace the existing Front Page with the one in your template. You will need to provide instructions for replacing the original home page with one that belongs to your template. To avoid confusion, consider changing the default home page to Modules, and include an unpublished "Instructors Only" module with instructions on how to get started and how to change the course home page to your template's Front Page.

    When embedding instructions in individual course assets (for example, the course home page, syllabus, or sample assignments, etc.), use visual styling that distinguishes your instructions from course content intended for students, and keep the styling of instructions consistent across assets.

  • Avoid content duplication: If your template includes sample items (for example, assignments, discussion topics, or modules), don't create multiple copies of each item (for example, one for each week). Letting instructors make their own copies will make your template more flexible and reduce the number of unused sample assets that need to be deleted before the course is published. Also, instructors may want to modify asset templates to better suit their needs before making copies.
  • Hide tools and assets that are not needed by students: Be very intentional about the course elements you allow students to see and interact with. Hide any tools and course content items that students will not need to interact with directly. Remember to:
    • Remove unneeded tools from the course navigation. For example, if you want students to access all course content and activities through Modules, hide other tools, such as Assignments, Pages, Quizzes, and Discussions, and let students access these tools via Modules. For more, see How do I manage Course Navigation links?
    • If the Files tool is available to students in the course navigation, hide any files and/or folders containing items that should be accessed only via linking/embedding in the Rich Content Editor or items that shouldn't be accessed by students at all. For more, see How do I restrict files and folders to students in Canvas?
    • If your template contains resources for instructors that should not be seen by students, make sure they remain unpublished. Keep instructor-only files together in the same folder.
  • Make sure all template content is accessible: When reviewing course content for accessibility, consider both the content created in Canvas and the files added to the Files tool. Running the Universal Design Online Content Inspection Tool (UDOIT) in the template site can help you identify and correct common accessibility issues. For general guidance on accessibility in Canvas, see Create accessible Canvas sites.

This is document bgyh in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2021-05-12 13:36:51.