This is a quick checklist of items to be aware of before your course in Canvas is ready for the beginning of the semester.
Check dates for assignments, quizzes and the course
Canvas makes heavy use of dates for controlling availability of items, populating the built-in syllabus, and notifying students of upcoming deadlines. It is incredibly important that you set your dates accurately so students get an accurate picture of when things are happening in your class.
By default, Canvas courses have the start and end date set to the start and end date of the semester. However, if your class starts or ends on a different day, you will want to change the settings to match your class' specific calendar.
To change the course start and end dates:
- Navigate to your Canvas course
- In the navigation menu on the left, select Settings
- The course start and end dates are listed under Participation
Note: There are a couple of options available under the date settings that control whether students can see and interact with the course outside of the start and end dates. Make sure you have these set according to how you want your class to behave when it's not "active" outside of those dates.
Make sure your modules, files and activities are published
Newly added modules (Canvas' equivalent to iLearn's sections) are not published by default. Once you have the content ready to go, click on the publish icon (the circle with the slash through it) to publish it. Modules and items with a green checkmark are published and visible to students. Items without a green checkmark are not available to students.
If desired, choose a "front page" for the class
Canvas allows settings a custom front page for the class. In combination with a feature to set the course home page, this allows you to create a custom landing page for students to interact with your course rather than the long module list view.
- Create a page by clicking on Page in the navigation menu on the left
- Select the + Page button to create a new page
- Enter your content, then select Save & Publish
- After saving, select the three dots menu button in the upper right and choose Use as front page
- Navigate back to the home page of your class
- From the menu on the right, select Choose home page
- Select the page you just created from the list
Make sure your course is published
You must publish your course before students can see and interact with it. To publish your course:
- From your course home page, select Publish under Course status on the right