Canvas Admin Checklist

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Root Account Admins hold the keys to creating and maintaining a successful Canvas Instance. 

No pressure there!  Many decisions and considerations need to be made when choosing settings, customizing roles, adding integrations and more.  The Canvas Training team with in the Learning Services Department provide advice and guidance to help you with those decisions.  A comprehensive list of recommendations from CSM's and Trainers based on the practices of scores of successful instances would be helpful.  And so the Canvas Training team and, a CSM, have done just that in this Canvas Admin Checklist 

This checklist is a reference source that provides the following details for root admins:

  • Guidance on Essential, Best Practice, and Above & Beyond settings and practices related to the following:
    • Sub Account Structure
    • Account/Course Roles & Permissions
    • Feature Options
    • Apps
    • Customizations
    • Account Settings
    • Course Settings
    • Term Organization
    • Free Training resources
    • General resources every admin should have
  • The checklist is organized by function but a sister checklist is linked to view by rating: Essential, Best Practice, and Above & Beyond
  • Links to guides related to the setting, feature or tool discussed
  • In most cases, details the reason for the recommendation is included
  • We will keep this checklist up to date with each monthly release.  


This checklist is available via a public Google Docs link.  "Make a Copy" so you can customize for your institution. Please select the following link for access: Canvas Admin Checklist 


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Please share your recommendations, they might make the checklist!

1 Comment

Those are excellent suggested bookmarks! I wanted to share a few of mine for a future version of the document:

The first folder on the left in my browser's Bookmarks Bar is "Canvas Admin," and it's all links to the Courses, People, Sub-Accounts, and Admin Tools pages in our Canvas environment.

I have an additional folder next to that with links I use almost as often -- the Live API page for our environment, How do I format CSV text files for uploading SIS data into a Canvas account?Canvancements - Canvas Enhancements, and some other local-to-us resources. (You may not need or want the SIS Upload documentation, but if you have an unusual Canvas use suggestion there's a distinct possibility and James have created something that serves its purpose.)

I also have a Chrome Search Engine configured that maps "comm" to, because nearly any behavior I encounter in Canvas has probably been documented somewhere here already. So I type "comm" into the address bar, hit Tab, and then enter a few keywords, and there's almost always a relevant document or feature request.

About the Author
I seemed to take the long, winding path to the education world. Initially, I started with Healthcare Administration and decided I was not satisfied. The business world did not fulfill my inquisitive nature and challenge me professionally. I then went back to school majoring in Middle Grades Science Education. From the moment I started my journey in the education world, I knew that I had found my passion. I spent thirteen wonderful years as a middle grades math and science teacher. All of those years serving in Title I schools. I loved the constant learning and heart of the craft. I grew into team lead, grade level head and eventually Academic Coach. During my time in the classroom, my district adopted Canvas. I immediately saw the potential and dove right into all that Canvas had to offer. I helped train others and give ideas for classroom use. This inspired me to learn more on how to effectively incorporate technology into the classroom to have the most impact on student learning. I went on to earn a Master's degree in Educational Technology. Each day there is something new. A new tool, application or learning theory to keep me hopping and I love it!