Start of Course


Start-of-Course Checklist

This page takes you through everything you need to do to set up your courses for a new semester or school-year.

Please don't forget to publish your courses!

Combine Sections | Cross-listing

What is Combining Sections, anyway?

Combining Sections (otherwise known as cross-listing) allows you to combine Canvas courses for classes where you teach the same thing during multiple class periods. Once you have combined your courses, you can create an assignment once for multiple class periods, rather than having to repeat your work. This should save you a bunch of time and effort.

Cross-listing allows you flexibility! You can also assign content to just one class or even a group of students. You don't have to assign to everyone, just because the courses are combined. You can even create a single assignment, but add multiple due dates.

Choose your learning style. Instructions for how to combine sections are available as a doc, slides, or video. Pick what works best for you.

Doc Instructions

Combining Sections | Cross-Listing Canvas Courses

Slide Instructions

Canvas | Cross-Listing Courses

Video Instructions

Gradebook suggestions

student names

Last Name, First Name

Grade Totals

Move to Front

Section Toggle

view one section at a time

(for combined courses)

  • A "section" is a class period

grading period Toggle

view one grading period at a time (for most courses)

  • A "grading period" is a semester (or quarter, for quarter-courses)

  • Canvas uses the word "section" for class period

  • The video here will walk you through the grading period filter in both your assignments page and your gradebook

New Course Updates

Canvas | Updating Course (new school year)
  • Re-assign home page

  • Edit links on home page

  • Double-check grading scheme

  • Set up or edit Assignment categories and weights

  • Publish your course

  • De-clutter your dashboard view (hide unused courses)

New Gradebook Updates

Canvas - overview for PD (gradebook)

Suggested Set-Up Steps (optional)

  • Move "totals" column to "front" (next to student names) if you want

  • Set up "hide by default" if you want

Key Gradebook Features

  • Do you have too many columns in your gradebook that makes it overwhelming? Turn on "filters" to limit what shows up in your gradebook:

Sections (show one period at a time or all)

Assignment Groups (show just one category at a time)

Modules (if you have modules set up, show just one module at a time)

Gradebook Statuses

With the new gradebook, you have the option to assign the following statuses to student assignment submissions:

  • Late

  • Missing

  • Excused

If your assignment is set up to accept online submissions, Late and Missing will be applied automatically. If your assignment is not set up for online submissions, you can manually add these statuses to your students' scores.

Add a weekly agenda

  • Your course includes a table in which you can add weekly assignments, but you'll need to update this each week.

  • If you like the "this week at a glance," but prefer to work from a Google Doc to make updating easier, try embedding this Google Doc of "this week at a glance" in place of the table at the bottom of the course page (click "Use Template" to make a copy of the doc for yourself).

  • You can also embed your own weekly agenda, in place of the "week at a glance" table. Be sure to make slide 1 the current week's slide so it shows for your students.

Canvas - embed google slides

Customize your homepage

  • Your Canvas courses come with a default site homepage that needs to be updated before you start your course.

  • Please be sure to replace the words "Course Name" with the actual name of the course and the words "Teacher Name" with your name.

  • Please remove the image telling you to click edit and publish, along with the steps and reminders.

  • Reassign your homepage, if necessary.

  • Update the "About Your Teacher" page with information about you. It is especially important in distance learning to let your students know a little bit about you.

Import content from previous courses

  • Settings

Includes student navigation settings and grading scheme
  • Modules

  • Syllabus

  • Wiki Pages

Includes Homepage and About Your Teacher pages
  • Assignments

Importing all includes categories and weights
  • Files

Canvas - how to import specific course content (admin rights)
Canvas - how to import specific course content (no admin)

Add your class Zoom link

  • Make it easy for your students to log into your class by providing the link in a clearly marked location.

  • Replace the words "Class Zoom Link" with your actual link, including any passwords required to join your class Zoom.

  • The reminder about signing into Zoom is for students so you can require account authentication for more protected meetings and you can set pre-defined breakout rooms.