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Community Participant

Baseline Canvas Requirements for faculty

Hello everyone, 

Has anyone established minimum Canvas requirements for all faculty at your institution? Our academic administration has identified the following as baseline:


  • Post a copy of the course syllabus 
  • Program all assignments into the course calendar
  • Post course materials broken up by week
  • Post PowerPoint slides from class, if applicable
  • Post all grades in a timely manner and with appropriate weighting



30 Replies
Community Member

Hi  @wli40 ‌

Yes.  We have as minimum requirements:

- Video course overview - so students can see their lecturer introduce the course

- Learning outcomes of the course

- Assessment briefs - these are mostly written, but we are gradually encouraging lecturers to video themselves explaining the assessment brief as well.

- Reading lists

I use a blueprint course to roll this out.  Lecturers are given a 'shell module' to work on before term.  It has these items with placeholder text (lorum ipsum) and video, all highlighted in garish green so that they know they have to remove it before term starts.  

The blueprint course also has content on Harvard Referencing, and a standardised course menu to make sure students have access to all the things they need as minimum (library, room bookings etc).

Great question, I'm glad to learn about how everyone else deals with this.


Community Contributor

Really interesting discussion.  I find myself peeking at everyone's profile to see if this is for online courses or face to face.  Amazing to see Higher Ed institutions moving to more requirements on the face-to-face side.

For online:

   We use fully developed Master courses with a robust production process.

For Face-to-Face:

   We require that all faculty post their syllabus and have some activity with students in Canvas (this could be assignment, discussion, etc...).  We currently have no other requirement.  We do run a script to confirm that all faculty post their syllabus.  We use Canvas as a way of archiving syllabi as part of requirements for our accreditation.

   We have achieved what I believe is a very high level of Canvas adoption.  We generate detailed stats on usage across the on-campus environment but we only ever report this in the aggregate and do not supply this data to administration.  For instance, we have been using percentage of courses with "5+ assignments with grades assigned" as one of our indicators of adoption.

I am curious if other schools are collecting adoption numbers. 

New Member

Thanks for the great discussion thread @Wei Li. My institution has been wrestling with the same challenge and has explored similar solutions to others.

  • We tried Quality Matters, but it was too resource intensive to scale to all of our courses.
  • We tried Canvas Data but it was too complex to finagle into meaningful insights.
  • Finally, we tried a brute force approach of using humans to review each course against 12 simple standards

This solution has helped us evaluate and drive quality Canvas adoption in our 1,000+ courses each year. I walk through the process in a 10min video here (How we evaluate 1,000+ courses per year  ).

This sounds like a great and timely group discussion... I've submitted my request to join! Thanks for the invite and link!  ;>)

Community Champion

Hello Karen Acree,

This sounds like a it might be a workable approach for us... at least in some form or another. I would be very interested in seeing some version of your template, if you would be willing to share. Especially since it sounds like you are incorporating QM standards into it.

Thank you!    Earl@Pierce

Community Champion

Great idea to include the video tool  @cwindsor . 

Helps to establish a relationship with the class as well as getting them to embed a useful tool. 

I'd love to include some basic mandatory tasks for primary schools. I don't think we are quite ready for it yet though. 

Community Champion


We have baseline requirements to include: 

- teaching team details
- assignment info
- learning outcomes

- reading list
- link to definitive module descriptor
- link to previous module evaluations
- link to external examiner reports

Courses to be published 4 weeks before term, lecture outline 24 hours before (for accessibility reasons)

These were in place before we migrated, but the implementation gave us an opportunity to enforce this.

To help this we created homepage templates, which prompts staff to populate the info. We then run workshops where they can complete these requirements step by step

We have run 'audits' each semester to check for compliance - manual - very time consuming but have identified many issues!

Community Contributor

 @david_summervi1 ‌ we could look at this thread more closely for our Canvas Policy development.


New Member

Hello Wei:
You pose an interesting question that encompasses agreement on standards, enforcement of them or auditing for compliance, and the reality of how much capacity is available to address these issues. The course template used at our Community College includes a comprehensive syllabus across many pages. This is where the student contract, organizational policies, and course- specific criteria and policies are addressed. So the underpinnings of every online course are standardized within the syllabus. The current process is that every new course must be developed and then reviewed by the Faculty Success Center to ensure every instructor has a firm understanding of how Canvas works and the expectations of the college for instructors who teach F2F, online or hybrid.

Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) is a bit more tricky to capture in an online course and that is what several of the replies in this thread address: policies to demonstrate that instructors are interacting with students in ways that increase their learning. Our college is currently auditing online courses for RSI using a rubric to measure it. This process has just begun so it will be interesting to see the data from this work. Under discussion at the same time is how deal with non-compliance, provide additional faculty support and what new policies might be developed as a result.

Community Champion

Hi Wei Li,

At our institution, we took a different approach because of strong faculty push back about 'templates' and other mandated teaching techniques or styles. Early on we (eLearning) pushed for required faculty training, which took several quarters to finally get adopted and implemented, but it is now written into the faculty contract for our District, and has been for the past few years.

Required trainings for using Canvas and/or teaching Hybrid or Fully Online;

  • CE/Canvas Essentials (or equivalent) - required to use Canvas and to teach F2F, Hybrid/Fully Online.
  • FTO/Foundations for Teaching Online (or equivalent) *pedagogy/andragogy/best Online practicesrequired to teach Hybrid/Fully Online.
  • QM/APPQMR - *applying the QM rubric - required to teach Hybrid/Fully Online.

In conjunction with the required trainings above, we have active 'mentor' and 'QM review' processes with experienced, Canvas trained faculty and certified QM faculty peer/master reviewers.

We are always looking for effective ways to expand engagement and deepen use of Canvas and available proven technologies, so I am really finding value in this discussion, and hoping to leverage some of these ideas.