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Have you ever wished there was a resource you could reference when setting up a Canvas course? Well, good there is one! The Training Services department shared all of their collective experiences working in education and training clients for years to build this collaborative resource that instructors will hopefully find useful referencing when creating their courses in Canvas.         


Potential Uses of the Checklists

  • Review the Beginning-of-Course checklist to ensure your course is ready to publish for students

  • Reference the End-of-Course checklist to help wrap up your course before the term concludes

  • Share with your colleagues so they can also benefit from the checklists


Screenshot image of first checklist page



The checklist resource is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Beginning- and End-of-Course Checklists Editable Copy


Feel free to leave us comments about this resource or share the practices you use at the beginning and end of a course in Canvas.


The Training Services Department at Instructure is committed to supporting any training needs at your Institution. Reach out to your CSM if you are interested in learning more about this resource, additional resources or any of our training offerings.

Hi guys!

Our higher education institution has been working with Canvas for just over a year. During this time, this community was very helpful in our doubts and so we would like to share our curated community links.
Thanks to all of you who share your discoveries and experiences with Canvas, all have been very valid.


Oi pessoal!

Nossa instituição de ensino superior trabalha com o Canvas há pouco mais de um ano. Durante esse período, essa comunidade foi muito útil em nossas dúvidas e, por isso, gostaríamos de compartilhar nossa curadoria de  links da comunidade.
Obrigado a todos vocês que compartilham suas descobertas e experiências com o Canvas, todos foram muito válidos.






Analytics in Course Design: Leveraging Canvas Data:



Domain paths (Caminhos de domínio):


MC_Canvas_Instructor_Orientation:  (part.3)



Gamification (Gamificação):

Badges for Learning:


Gamify Your Canvas Course with Badgr Open Badges:


Experience Points for Canvas:


Canvas Network Training Course: (módulo 6)

Canvas for Online Learning: (módulo 10)




Canvas for Online Learning: (módulo 9)


Canvas Course Design:


Keep Your Canvas Clean:


Canvas Instructor Training:


Design Tools User Guide:


Canvas HTML Editor:


Canvas Gallery:


Canvas Tutorials:


Org: Canvas 101:


Peter Wiarda Sandbox:


Design Ideas: 


                      Canvas + _______ = Engaging Experiences: 

                      Canvas Extended: 


                      Pauleds / resources: 


                     3 Col: 




                    Teaching Resources Hub: Teaching Resources Hub 



Courses that inspired us (Cursos que nos inspiraram):


Overview of various courses (Visão geral de vários cursos):

Technical Mathematics for Industry:

Design Thinking for K-12 Educators:


Canvas Template Basic – Emory:


Canvas Tour for Students:


Chemistry I: Elements and Compounds and their properties:


Teaching Flipped:


Open Mic Songwriting:


Supporting Girls in STEAM:


Biometric Technologies: Identification for the Future (September 2015):


Empowering Yourself as a Digital Citizen:


Intro to Geology:

Canvas Teacher Community:


Online Education Center Orientation:





Outcomes (Resultados):


Canvas Instructor Tutorials:


Learning Outcomes & Rubrics:






Gamification (Gamificação):

Completing the quest by unlocking content:



Dynamic page flow with course menu navigation:


Minimalistic template design:

Templates: Responsive Design for the Mobile Web:


Home Sweet Homepages without Tables:


Share UDL Course Design Tips, Tricks, and Techniques:


Developing Course Pages Using Bootstrap:


Flexbox Grid tips and guides:


Video Carousel: code-snippet:


Element Toggler:


Basic Clickable Image Map: code-snippet:


Using jQuery without Custom Javascript:


Canvas Scrolling Side Menu:


Columns Without Tables: code-snippet:


Easy Slideshow or Gallery in HTML:


Improve Threaded Discussions with CSS:


                      Lightbox Effect: 


                     Teacher Appreciation 2018 | Home Page Templates: Teacher Appreciation 2018 | Home Page Templates  



Learning Mastery (Domínios de aprendizagem):


How is your school using Learning Mastery?:



Course Progress (Progresso no curso):

Help Students Monitor their Course Progress:



UDL (Universal Design for Learning)

Implementing Universal Design for Learning on Canvas:


Teaching Effectively in Canvas (Please share ideas & advice!) :



  •     PAGES (PÁGINAS):



Style Guide:


Thinking in Canvas: Using pages to make your unit come alive:


Tips for Designing for Mobile Devices:


Progress bar in Instructure Canvas:


ARCHIVED: Adding enhanced interface components in Canvas content: Adding enhanced interface components in Canvas content 


UDL (Universal Design for Learning)

In response to the Disappearing Graphics and related posts here, as well as related questions from my own faculty, here are some tips for what you might try doing if you run into a situation in which some or all of the images do not appear to load in Canvas.  Feel free to add your own suggestions, corrections, etc. in the comments below.


Occasionally you may notice that one or more images do not appear to be loading on a page in Canvas - especially pages that have a lot of images.  In my experience (been using Canvas since 2011), this is just a temporary issue and reloading the page fixes it, and usually the cause is my school network, not the Canvas servers or my computer or browser.


Why does this happen?

There are various reasons why this may happen - your school or home network may be clogged or having other issues, Canvas servers are overloaded, your computer is overloaded, etc.  When you load a page from a web server like Canvas, your web browser may actually be making dozens of requests from the server - one for each image and CSS and javascript file used on the web page.  This puts a brief but potentially heavy load on your computer, your home or school network, and the Canvas servers.  For more discussion of this issue, see these threads on the Canvas community site: Disappearing Graphics and Why are my jpeg images disappearing.


How can I fix this issue?

First, make sure you are not using an old computer with insufficient memory/RAM or an out of date operating system or browser.  Canvas will not work correctly with Internet Explorer, for example.  Try the Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser instead.

Make sure also you have a decent Internet connection.  If you are trying to connect over a poor wifi or cellular signal, that may also cause the issue.  Run a speed test to see how fast your Internet connection is.

You can also check the status of Canvas servers, but that is rarely the issue.

If images are not showing up in one course but they show up fine in others, it may be because you (or the course builder) copied and pasted images into the course rather than uploading images into the course.  Copying and pasting images from one course to another does not work.  The pasted images are still being loaded (or not loaded) from a different course that you may not have access to.  Run the link validator in Canvas to check for and fix broken images and links.


If none of those are issues in your case, try one or more of the options below, starting with the first:

Option 1. Reload the page

If a simple reload of the page does not appear to be fixing the issue (control-R or command-R on macs), try control-shift-R (or command-shift-R on macs) to reload the page and force everything to re-download.  Your browser keeps a cache (store) of images and files it has downloaded before.  Control-shift-R should tell the browser to re-download everything.

That usually fixes the issue for me, but if things are still not working and you don't think it is poor network connectivity, there are some "stronger" options below that you can try.


Option 2. Empty cache and hard reload

Sometimes it is necessary to empty that cache first to force all images or other files to be downloaded again.

In chrome, you can hit control-shift-i (or command-shift-i on macs) to open the developer console pane on the right.  Then right-click (or control-click on macs) on the reload button and select Empty Cache and Hard Reload, as pictured below.  Hit control-shift-i again to close the developer tools pane.

empty cache and reload browser


Option 3. Clear browser data

In Chrome, you can clear all the images and files stored by your browser.  Click the 3 vertical dots on the top right of Chrome, go to Settings, and scroll to the bottom and click on Advanced.  Click on Clear Browsing Data.  You can also get there directly by going to this URL:  chrome://settings/clearBrowserData

clear browsing data

Clear recent images and files from your browser like so:

clear browsing data and cached images


Reload the Canvas page to see if that fixes the issue.

See this Clear browsing data page for more details.


Option 4. Clear Chrome browser extension

Another option is to install the Clear Chrome browser extension for Chrome.  It adds a button in the toolbar that will clear your cache any time you press the button (and optionally it will reload the page for you, too).


How can I lower the chance of this issue happening in my courses?

I would recommend not using very large images in your Canvas pages, and not too many images.  You might try to keep your individual images under 100kb and the total size of all images on your page under 1 megabyte.

Try an image editor like Pixlr to resize your images to be smaller in file size (go to Image -> Image size to resize).


 (This was originally posted on our college circles of innovation blog.)

I recently attended a webinar called “Student Device Preferences for Online Course Access and Multimedia Learning”, and it tied in nicely to my presentation from this past summer about using mobile devices to increase student engagement in the online classroom.  The research that was completed at Oregon State University’s Ecampus has some interesting results from its 2035 respondents such as  . . .


  • Nearly 100% of the respondents owned some form of a smartphone. (only 3 students did not) And 99% owned laptops.
  • Students preferred laptops for accessing their LMS (73%), Viewing video (68%), and learning with games and simulations (59%).
  • Devices such as laptops and desktops appear to be the best choice of study for effective results

I am inferring from the study too that students seem to understand that the Laptop and Desktop are more effective; however, they would prefer a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone for the convenience and perhaps ease of use.


I am not sure that this is overwhelmingly new research in this study, but it does seem to be a nice reference as it is recent research and a leading online program.   Perhaps more mobile learning environments will be created in the future to accommodate the preference.  If you would like to learn more about the study, please refer to the attached PDF or Oregon State's Ecampus reasearch team.


I have been asked to share this research, and I welcome any feedback.

Lily Philips

Ready-Made Template Suite

Posted by Lily Philips Employee Sep 17, 2018

Ready-Made Secondary Template Home Page Sample

Ready-Made Template Suite


The Instructional Design Team at Instructure is always looking for opportunities to assist teachers and admins in the creation of engaging Canvas courses. In the past, we have created and shared our Course Evaluation Checklist, Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist, and Home Page Templates.  


We took another step forward in Canvas design by creating a suite of Canvas course templates available for purchase.


We did this because we believe that templates help reduce stress load, encourage growth, and help you and your faculty create an engaging Canvas experience! How is that possible, you ask? Well, it's simple... a template turns a blank course shell into a fill-in-the-blank Canvas course. 


Our Recipe For Success 

Provide Teachers with more time to focus on enhancing learning content 
Provide Students with simple navigation, clear directions, built-in support, and technical guidance right when/where they need it most
Increased Canvas buy-in from Teachers and increased Student engagement


What's Included 

We've loaded our templates with modules that include sample pages, assignments, support materials, and more. Banners, buttons, icons, and other design elements are included and can easily be customized and re-used. 


Template Preview

Watch the following short clip to preview a template designed for Secondary students: Secondary Template Preview


Sample Home Page Designs 


Ready-Made Template Suite Screen-shots

What's Available 

We currently offer the following template types, with more options added all the time: 

  • Early Learners
  • Elementary & Middle School
  • Secondary
  • Higher Education
  • Specialty Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Leaders & Administrators
  • Global
  • Canvas Orientation

Learn More

Contact your CSM today to learn more about our Instructional Design service offerings and to access our Ready-Made Template Suite (which includes full-course previews).

I'm starting to lose track of all the different rubrics and checklists related to course design that I've come across, and some new ones have come out very recently, so I'd thought I'd list them here.  If you know of others, please comment below.  Thank you


Canvas Checklists

Course Design

Course Delivery




Learning Objectives/Outcomes





Open Educational Resources (OER)



I've shared a resource in Canvas Commons with some examples of brief, research-based teaching strategies implemented in Canvas, such as: transparent assignments, minute papers, values affirmation, social belonging, goal setting, student testimonials, nudges, discussion protocols, wrappers, and midterm student feedback. 

You can preview this resource here.  You can also download an export of the Canvas resource in the attachment section below if you do not have access to Canvas Commons.


Evidence-based teaching refers to teaching strategies and principles for which there have been research studies indicating their effectiveness at improving student learning, engagement, attitudes, or other factors related to academic success.

This resource is not meant to be comprehensive.  As detailed in the table below, there are many different types and scopes of evidence-based pedagogical strategies and principles, and this resource only begins to tackle just one small part of this space.


And this is not to suggest that only evidence-based teaching strategies are useful or valid.  Just as in medicine, science, and other disciplines, we must constantly experiment with strategies when teaching, even when there is not, or especially when there is not, a solid research base to help inform decisions.


Some Categories of Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies & Principles

Briefer, Targeted StrategiesBroader or More Comprehensive Techniques
More Concrete Strategies

These are some of the strategies covered in this Canvas resource:

  • Minute Paper
  • Student Testimonials
  • Transparent Assignments
  • Value Affirmation
  • Discussion Protocols
  • Nudges
  • Wrappers
  • Midterm Student Feedback

Examples of some face-to-face in-class strategies (which are not addressed in this Canvas resource):

Many of these broader teaching techniques derive from discipline-based educational research and development.

More General Principles/Techniques

These are some strategies that primarily derive from cognitive psychology and mainly apply to practice and memory.

  • Retrieval Practice / Testing Effect
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving

These are links to more comprehensive Canvas-related resources on effective teaching practices.



More Online Resources about Evidence-based Teaching Practices


Books for Further Reading on Evidence-based Teaching Practices


Some Other Potential Canvas Activities that Could be Included in the Future


Your Suggestions, Comments are Welcome

Feel free to comment below with suggestions for other activities to include or improvements to make to these samples.  Or share your own examples on Canvas Commons, like the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory survey Kyle Heatherly shared and that I copied in this Canvas resource.

Have you ever wanted the ability to know which files from the Canvas Files section are being used in course content or where they are being used? How about the ability to identify and delete unused, irrelevant files?  


Read below about a tool we have built to to solve these problems at Utah State University. 


The Problem with Unused, Irrelevant Files

We have been using Canvas since the Summer of 2011 and one of the challenges is the accumulation of significant amounts of unnecessary and unused files in the files section as courses are copied forward. Some of those irrelevant files are past syllabi (i.e. syllabus-2011.pdf) or files from past years or duplicate files that were never used. Up until recently there was no way to identify which files were being used or not. 


We brought the problem to our data analyst Meghan Lewis who was able to use Canvas Data to look at data on every file across our courses and determine whether there was a link to that file or not from the Canvas content.  Given that some instructors choose to make the files section visible to students we filtered out that data to determine what percentage of files were being used. 


From that data we found that only 32.7% of the files in those courses were being used. In other words, over 67% of the files in those courses were no longer being used!


Old irrelevant files in courses in the files section are problematic for a number of reasons: 

  1. More irrelevant files makes it more difficult for faculty (and students when the files section is visible) to find relevant content. 
  2. When a student with disabilities requires accommodations in a course it is difficult to determine which files are are being used and need to be made accessible and time is spent making unused files accessible. 
  3. LTI tools that work with files (i.e. Atomic Search or Ally) operate on the assumption that all files in the files section are relevant to the student which has caused problems in our use of those tools. 

With an understanding of the problem, we set out to provide a solution to help instructors better understand how their course files are used. 


The Solution

To address the challenges around file management we have build a "File Cleanup LTI Tool" that allows faculty and instructional designers to identify and delete unused files and empty folders and see how files are being used.


The reception to this tool has been very positive on our campus and we are excited to share how it works to measure interest on whether there might be interest from others to merit the development work that would be needed to make the tool available for use by others. If you are interested take a moment to review the tool below and leave a comment with any feedback or to us know if this is something that would be helpful to your institution! 


Overview of the File Clean Up Tool

The File Cleanup LTI Tool is installed at a course level and is visible to instructors from the course navigation: 


File Cleanup link in course navigation.



When you click on the tool the following information and instructions shows up at the top of the tool: 
Overview of the File cleanup instructions, see specific notes below image.

This section of the tool provides brief instructions and a chart that shows what percentage of the files in the course are in use. There is also a note at the top of the tool that shows when the information displayed in the toolwas last updated - we currently Canvas data that is updated nightly, but hope to use Canvas Data Live Events in the future. 


Below the instructions we present a warning that the tool is still in beta and a conditional warning that shows up when the instructor has made the files section available to students: 

Warnings to users to make sure they understand limitations of the tool. The first warning for courses that display the files section makes sure that those instructors know that some files may be used by students even if there are no links from Canvas content.  The second beta warning lets the users know that we are currently unable to determine if there are links to content from a limited type Canvas data (outcomes, rubrics, conferences, calendar items and quiz question answer submissions). We hope to remedy this with the move to Canvas Data Live Events.   

List of Course Files

List of Unused Files

Now the good stuff - the default view of the tool that lists all of the unused files from the course with the ability to preview, search, select, and delete those files: 

Default listing of files, functionality described below.

Instructors can quickly select all unused files and delete them or click on the file name to preview an individual file, sort by file name or date created or search for an individual file by file name or file type (i.e. all PDF files).  Files can be deleted individually or all at once. When you delete a file an "Are you sure" message pops up:  

Modal asking if you are sure you want to delete the files

Then a confirmation message appears showing how many file were deleted: 

Confirmation of the number of files deleted.

Once the files are deleted the list of files updated and the chart at the top of the page is updated to show how many unused files are in the course. 

List of All Course Files

You can also view a list of all files in a course including those that are in use: 

File list showing all files whether in use or not.

Note in this view there is a link for files in use that users can click on to go to the page where the file is used.

List of Empty Folders

We found that deleting files left a number of empty folders, so we recently added a tool that identifies those empty folders so they can be deleted individually or all at once. This tool is updated live rather than relying on the nightly Canvas Data dump.  

List of empty folders



While we are still gathering feedback from users and continuing to add features and improve the user experience there has already been significant interest and use of the tool by instructors excited to be able to clean out their files. Our Disability Resource Center has also greatly appreciated the ability to work with professors to clean out old files and focus their work on files that are being used in the course.  At an institutional level it has been great to start to see the number of useless files start to go down instead of up and instructors copy their courses forward each semester. 


If you have questions or interest in using this is a tool, please leave a comment below. Follow this post for updates on the availability of the tool in the future. 


Additional Resources 

Below are some Canvas ideas and other resources that also may be of interest: 

  1. Canvas Idea: Indicate Where Files Are Linked Within a Course
  2. Canvas Idea: Deployment Status for Course Files Canvas Idea
  3. Canvas Idea: When Searching Files, Show File Path (Breadcrumb) Idea
  4. If you are interested in how often files are downloaded in your course, take a look at this Google Tag Manager recipe anyone can use to track file downloads


Thank you! 


(header photo by bandi, CC License)

When Shauna Vorkink - Education Services Director first approached me about collaborating on a Course Evaluation Checklist with Erin Keefe - Training Team Lead and Deonne Johnson - Consultant, I was beyond thrilled. I knew this was something I could utilize in my current position as an Instructional Designer for Instructure, but even more importantly, it would provide the framework to ultimately help millions of Canvas users.


Potential Uses

  • Share this checklist with your colleagues
  • Apply the principles to your own course
  • Elevate the quality of your institution’s courses




Scrolling image preview of document



The checklist is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Course Evaluation Checklist Editable


Note: We ask that you maintain our Citation list located at the bottom of the document. 



Members of the Education Services team collaborated with Canvas mobile app guru, Ryan Seilhamer, to create another go-to resource to help you understand mobile app design considerations. Please be sure to visit the Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist blog post to access this additional resource!


Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!


The Education Services department is always ready to help your organization create a cycle of success with
Canvas through Training, Instructional Design, and Adoption Consulting! Our Instructional Design team offers full Course Evaluations. Course evaluation services provide insight into best practices. Recommendations will focus on aligning course objectives, accessibility, and overall creation of an enhanced user experience. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Shauna Vorkink - Education Services Director at

Thanks for the likes, tweets, and feedback regarding the Course Evaluation Checklist! Members of the Education Services team collaborated with Canvas mobile app guru, Ryan Seilhamer, to create another go-to resource to help you understand mobile app design considerations.


Why Consider Mobile App Design?

Some students will access your Canvas course and materials from a computer at school or home. Other students will use their mobile device during their lunch break at work, standing in line at a local coffee shop, or (for younger students) in a classroom that is tablet friendly. Students will have a slightly different experience whether accessing Canvas from a browser or using Instructure's free Canvas app. 


About The Checklist

This checklist focuses on design principles for mobile app users. Examples are built directly into the checklist so you can quickly see how incorporating these considerations creates a dramatic difference for students. We hope you'll find this checklist to be a simple and illuminating glimpse into the mobile app.  


Potential Uses

  • Share this checklist with your colleagues
  • Apply the principles to your own course
  • Elevate the quality of your institution’s courses



Preview of document via scrolling gif.



This checklist is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Mobile App Design Course Evaluation Checklist Editable


Note: We ask that you maintain our Citation list located at the bottom of the document. 


Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!


The Education Services department is always ready to help your organization create a cycle of success with
Canvas through Training, Instructional Design, and Adoption Consulting! Our Instructional Design team offers full Course Evaluations. Course evaluation services provide insight into best practices. Recommendations will focus on aligning course objectives, accessibility, and overall creation of an enhanced user experience. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Shauna Vorkink - Education Services Director at

From: Our Instructional Design Team 

To: Our Amazing Teachers

We feel that a well-designed course home page can inspire students to engage more deeply and quickly with learning materials. In appreciation for all that you do, we have created two customizable home page templates that you are free to use in your courses as-is, modify as desired, and share with others. 


We hope these home page templates will support your endeavors in crafting an exceptional online learning experience for both you, and your students!



Grades K5Grades 6-12
K5 Homepage Screenshot


  • Home Page with editable course title, course banner, and "Welcome" text placeholder
  • 3 Customizable Buttons:  Learn | Help | Parents
  • Directions on how to modify template buttons and banner
  • "Welcome to Class" student Module with content page templates: Support & Parent Resources 


  • Home Page with editable course title, course banner, and "Welcome" text placeholder
  • 3 Customizable Buttons: About Your Teacher | Class Resources | Learning Modules
  • Directions on how to modify template buttons and banner
  • "Welcome to Class" student Module with content page templates: About Your Teacher & Class Resources 

File Access

Select the following link to automatically download a copy of the K5 Home Page Template export package:


K5 Teacher Appreciation Home Page Template 

File Access

Select the following link to automatically download a copy of the 6-12 Home Page Template export package:


6-12 Teacher Appreciation Home Page Template 


Please note: For an optimal experience, please view this video using Google Chrome. Written directions are also available below the video. 

Part 1 | Importing Content Into Canvas Course Shell

Importing files are also explained in the following Canvas Guide: How do I import a Canvas course export package?
  1. Download the Home Page Template course export file of your choosing (linked above)
  2. Open the Canvas course in which you'd like to upload the home page template. As we note below, we recommend that you load these packages into empty course shells in order to prevent the potential overriding of your current course content. If you do not have an empty course shell (or course in which you feel comfortable loading these materials), please contact your Canvas Administrator. 
  3. Select "Settings" from the course navigation menu.
  4. Select "Import Course Content"  from the right-side menu and complete the following:
    1. For Content Type, select "Canvas Course Export Package"
    2. For Source, select "Choose File" and then locate the home page template file you've just downloaded (typically found in the Downloads folder on your computer) and unzipped
    3. Select the file and then "Open"
    4. For Content, select "All content"
    5. Finally, select "Import"
    6. A green box with the words "Completed" will appear once the upload is complete.  The content will now be uploaded to your course!


Part 2 | Customizing Your Home Page

  1. Selecting the "Home" button will take you to your new home page design.
  2. Within the Modules button, you will find two Modules that compliment this home page template. The first Module, "Customize Your Home Page" provides you with links to the customizable banner and button images. The second Module, "Welcome to Class: Your Journey Begins Here!" contains sample pages that are linked from the home page buttons.

Pro Tip: We recommend loading files only into empty course shells in order to prevent overriding any of your current content, or impacting your students' course experience.


If you have any questions, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.


More Appreciation from the Instructional Design Team


Please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!


The Education Services department is always ready to help your organization create a cycle of success with
Canvas through Training, Instructional Design, and Adoption Consulting! If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Shauna Vorkink  - Education Services Director at

One of the most difficult things online educators have is to keep up with the changes in technology, especially mobile. One of the biggest challenges that my team and I have had to overcome is making sure that whatever we design for our faculty and students will be accessible in a mobile environment. We have gone through many iterations of templates to see what will work for all of our users.


We finally came up with using tabs. It seems that all of our faculty and students like the fact that they no longer have to page through many different pages to get all of the content needed to complete their assignments. By adding tabs on a single page, all of the information is there. The bonus is that tabs on a mobile device look great. 


Image on Canvas


Image from iPhone

Have you ever wondered how teachers create beautiful courses with graphic buttons that link to places within their course and even to external resources? Well, now you too can make your course not only appealing to the eye but also functional for your students or users. Any image can be used to create a button. To upload an image to your course follow these simple directions. This guide will help with creating links within your course. In the Rich Content Editor rather than linking text, select your picture to create a button that hyperlinks to content within your course. You can also add hyperlinks outside of your Canvas course using these simple steps


Here are a few of my favorite web-based free programs to create buttons in my Canvas courses. 

From the University that brought you the Merry Canvasmas!!!" and canvasmas we decided to show our love for all things Canvas!


As it’s the most romantic day of the year (Valentines Day in case you've forgotten) we are using the #WeLoVeCanvas to share videos and experiences on twitter from our amazing staff and students. They showcase their stories in how they use Canvas and we’ve be posting them @WLV_CoLT


We ask anyone out there to share their top features and experiences in using Canvas by using the #WeLoVeCANVAS. It can be a video or tweet. Let’s start sharing the love for Canvas!


Deciding whether to use a Blueprint course, cross-list or commons can be overwhelming.

blueprint vs cross-list flowchart

This ridiculous flowchart (see attached for a pdf version) is a very late response post to Tracey DeLillo's reply on the Blueprint release notes back in August. Commons really isn’t utilized currently by our instructors. They mainly just add each other into each other’s courses as designers and share by importing specific content.


A basic summary of my workflow for when people come asking for help

My first questions always is: How many instructors?
If only 1 instructor, cross-list. My reasoning is at most they will have 3 sections. They can use differentiated assignment for due dates and since it is just them they have full control over mute assignment when grading.

Multiple instructors… things get tricky

If it is only a few teachers I’d say less than 3 they can go either cross-list or blueprint. More than 3, I usually recommend blueprint if they have a designated course lead.




Updating content

Instant updating of all content by all users. All teachers have access to everybody’s content and can update/delete or do whatever it is they do.

Designated users sync for specified shared content

Grading – Mute Assignment

Mute assignment for grading is connected to all sections. When teachers mute/unmute all the students in all sections are impacted. So you if teachers don’t coordinate well or you have a slow grader, grades maybe released in a very confusing manner to students

Courses are their own entities’. Grading one section has no affect to any other sections (unless teacher has cross-listed their own sections)

Ability to lock content so others cannot edit

No control

Designated users and lock certain specified content in the blueprint course

Add own content

Using differentiated assignments it is possible to assign things to specific sections. But, as far as sharing things like pages or files all sections can see.

If the content isn’t locked, teachers are free to add new and modify items from the blueprint in own courses.

Need Admin or other help to setup

Teachers can cross-list their own courses. Combining multiple instructors/sections you need admin.

Admin needs to setup blueprint, associate courses and add initial teachers. All associated sections must be in the same sub account and term.


I am sure I missed several other import things to consider but, hey I made the flowchart not paying attention in an unrelated meeting. Hopefully my top rate graphics at least made you laugh.

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