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bbennett2
Community Champion

Clarification on using Blueprint courses

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I'm working with a school which has significant staffing shortages. To help alleviate some of the pressure to fill all sections of classes, there is now a common "Independent Study" across the entire building. The administrator would like to pre-populate that course with some modules for staff and students to use how they see fit.

This seems like a great use case for a Blueprint course because we could initially load in some SEL and digital citizenship materials and then allow staff to select their own extensions and modules. I've read a lot about Blueprints and I'd like some quick confirm/deny on their functions if anyone with more experience would be willing to chime in.

  1. I plan on syncing out locked content for the first modules. They're designed by our district instructional coaches and are already accessible and scoped appropriately for the grade level. 
    • Question: Since they're locked, we won't run into exceptions if we have to re-sync materials out, correct?
  2. Once the initial course is synced out, we are going to being building supplemental modules on a variety of topics that staff can have the option of using with students.
    • Question: If we re-sync these modules out via the Blueprint, is student work lost when the original materials are updated? I'm not worry about content in the original because they're locked already.
  3. The other option we discussed was having a district a la carte menu of modules which can be synced from the Commons. This gives the teacher more freedom in what they want to include in their Independent Study.
    • Question: If Commons items are updated, the staff member may not see that notification and miss out on updates or corrections to material. Is that a dealbreaker in some cases?

I know there is a lot of nuance in any kind of institutional decision like this, but we're at a point where our options are very limited and I'm more interested in making it easier on teachers and admins by centralizing the process more than I normally would than having a freely-open pathway staff can peruse and take advantage of.

Thanks for the wisdom.

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greydon
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @bbennett2 

Thank you for contacting the Canvas Community. We're sorry to hear you've been experiencing issues with Blueprint and Commons options. Thank you for explaining  it in detail,  I will do my best  to  answer your questions  in the same order:

1. Once a module or item is locked, re-syncing it shouldn't cause  any "exceptions" or issues. I'm not  entirely sure what you meant by exceptions, but the locked content remains  in place and teachers in the child courses  wouldn't really  be able to make any  edits to that content. If you change it at  the BP level and re-sync then those changes should display for your teachers:

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-lock-course-objects-in-a-blueprint-course-as...

2. If you make updates to assignments after  students have already submitted work- No their submissions remain and are not  deleted or anything like that. The only issue would be if you deleted an assignment or student enrollments. You can change an assignment  from 0 points file upload to 100 points, media entry only and every original submission would stay intact. 

3. If you are updating Commons  courses the teachers do not receive direct notifications that they have been updated. However, there have been many requests for this already and you should check out  this page  and  also upvote this: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/Push-alert-notification-for-an-update-to-a-pag... We implement great ideas such as this that we find within the community. There are other  ideas and options in that thread for commons  notifications as  well.

Hopefully  this helps. If you  have more specific questions, it may be best to speak with Canvas Support directly  and/or even your CSM  if needed. 

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1 Reply
greydon
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @bbennett2 

Thank you for contacting the Canvas Community. We're sorry to hear you've been experiencing issues with Blueprint and Commons options. Thank you for explaining  it in detail,  I will do my best  to  answer your questions  in the same order:

1. Once a module or item is locked, re-syncing it shouldn't cause  any "exceptions" or issues. I'm not  entirely sure what you meant by exceptions, but the locked content remains  in place and teachers in the child courses  wouldn't really  be able to make any  edits to that content. If you change it at  the BP level and re-sync then those changes should display for your teachers:

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-lock-course-objects-in-a-blueprint-course-as...

2. If you make updates to assignments after  students have already submitted work- No their submissions remain and are not  deleted or anything like that. The only issue would be if you deleted an assignment or student enrollments. You can change an assignment  from 0 points file upload to 100 points, media entry only and every original submission would stay intact. 

3. If you are updating Commons  courses the teachers do not receive direct notifications that they have been updated. However, there have been many requests for this already and you should check out  this page  and  also upvote this: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/Push-alert-notification-for-an-update-to-a-pag... We implement great ideas such as this that we find within the community. There are other  ideas and options in that thread for commons  notifications as  well.

Hopefully  this helps. If you  have more specific questions, it may be best to speak with Canvas Support directly  and/or even your CSM  if needed.