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Community Participant

Blueprint courses

We've been asked to turn on Blueprint courses.
While testing Blueprint courses on our Beta server we found that:

  • Only Admins can create Blueprint courses
  • If updates are made to a Blueprint course, only Admins can do the sync to push out the changes

I'm worried that turning this feature on will become fairly task intensive for the few Admins that manage our system.
Has anyone found that turning on Blueprint courses has created noticeable increase in workload to manage all the requests for Blueprint courses and, requests for syncing when updates are made?
If so, how did you manage all these requests?

Thanks so much.

10 Replies
Community Champion

Hi  @lbarratt1 ‌ -  

Allow me to make a correction to one of your assumptions.  While it is true that only administrators can create a Blueprint course (and the associated courses tied to it), it is not true that an administrator must sync it. You should assign an instructor to a Blueprint course, much like any other course site.  That instructor, in turn, can do all the syncing.  This is pointed out here:  How do I sync course content in a blueprint course as an instructor? 

Also, I wrote a blog post on some of my testing of Blueprint courses, which I invite you to check not so much for the content that I wrote, but for some of the comments below.  (Especially since--I must admit--the concept still has not gained a lot of traction at my own institution, despite many people saying "they want to chat with me about it"!)  You may be especially interested in  @dearne_willing 's wonderful flowchart and the document she created, Canvas_Blueprints.pdf - Google Drive .

And while I assume you have been looking around the Community a bit already, you should also be sure to check  @lstark ‌'s  and the InstructureCon 2017‌ video  .

Community Participant

Thank you. The information I received during a Canvas chat misled me.

We will reconsider using Blueprints. Thank you.

Community Participant

Hi Ken,

I really appreciate your Blog. A lot of great information to help us.

One quick question. Do you have a "default" setting for instructors requesting a Blueprint course? For example, do you turn on/check all 4 options leaving it up to the instructor which items will be locked?

Thanks for providing all this information.

Leona 🙂

Community Champion

Thanks for your nice comments, Leona.  I do not have a default setting.  In fact, I leave it up to the department (if it is for multiple instructors using the same course site).  Don't forgot, however, that choosing an option that can be locked is different from actually locking it by clicking that blueprint button within the blueprint course itself. 

Our faculty here are not of the "locking" frame of mind, preferring to let instructors kind of do their own thing and giving them the resources as opposed to dictating things.  Given that general philosophy, I guess to answer your question I lean to only doing "content" in General Locked Objects.

Community Participant

This information has saved me a ton of time and is very helpful. Thank you Ken.

Somewhere I saw where somebody was going to post the diferences between using Commons for updating/share vs. Blueprints.

Does anyone know where that is?

I'd like to know how to direct faculty to the correct tool.

Thank you kindly.


 @lbarratt1 ‌, is this the comparison chart to which you're referring? (It's in the comments section:  @victoria-maloy  created it.) Is there a Canvas Commons vs. Blueprint Course document/table? 

Community Participant

Hi  @lbarratt1 

I've been using Canvas Blueprints successfully since August and I can say they are great!

I first read up all I could in the Canvas guides, found  @kblack 's blog extremely helpful, made a flowchart and a list of all that I needed to do Canvas Blueprint Flowchart

We have found that the locking feature is great for achieving statewide consistency with assessments at our RTO. Associating the course and then during the planning stage each team decides which items they would like locked or unlocked, to allow for teacher customisation as necessary.

I certainly feel planning and communication is the key to running successful Canvas Blueprints. Ensuring all parties are on the same track and understand all implications that we know of before setting them up.

The team decides who is added to the blueprint to sync changes as well as the elearn admin team.

I have demo blueprint courses I show to staff before they decide if blueprints is the way to go. Usually with a demo and when they see how easy it is to sync instead of importing changes they are hooked.

New Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-10-28) now include module changes are synced too make it even better.

There are a few features I would like e.g. the ability to select items from the blueprint to sync.



Community Member

Hi, Do you know how can we identify a "normal" course vs a blueprint one in Canvas Data? I ask this because:We've been told that one of the prerequisites to implement a blueprint course is that  the child course is located at the same subaccount level as the blueprint one.

Sorry, if this question does not belong here...

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @lbarratt1 ,

We are giving the Canvas Admins area a little bit of love and just want to check in with you.  This will also bring this question new attention. 


Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.