Our institution has a distributed campus model that follows the traditional semester structure for courses, while our Distance Education program utilizes the rolling registration model for courses. The DE program is easy because it is more of a “set it and forget it” system where the class just runs once it has been designed and it runs until we decide to replace it (3-5 years). Here’s what I do to make sure our residential campuses and extension sites can use Canvas, as much or as little as they like, for their semesters.
Training: I hold a Professor & Teaching Assistant training session in July. I review the basics for those who are new, while highlighting new features for those who have been using Canvas for a while. I also have them enrolled in a “Professor-TA Training Course” I created that utilizes Canvas video guides so they can always reference that first before coming to me.
Terms: I gather semester start/end dates from all 7 of our residential campuses and extension sites to set up the term in Canvas. I give our professors 2 months advance access so they can be working on setting up the course ahead of time.
Technology: We have our residential course shells setup via an automated process. I just have to tell our head IT guy when to start incorporating an upcoming term into the automatic sync. Obviously, I do this around 2 months before the term so the course shells can be there for the professor to go in and start setting up.
Template: Using what I learned from this instcont15 presentation, Hammer of the Gods: Content Distribution for Non-Coders, I use Postman to push a single residential course template to all of the courses at all of the campuses in a given term. This could be approximately 30 courses for the Winter and Summer terms and 150-200 courses for the Fall and Spring terms.
Support (alliteration failed me at this point): I support our professors with their residential courses. This includes everything from cross-listing, if necessary, to helping them think through and set up their course as a hybrid to migrating course content from the last time the professor taught the course.