parm
Community Participant

Course Templates - How are they being used?

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Hi all,

I'm an instructional designer. I'm curious about how others are using the Canvas Course Template feature. I took a look to see the differences with Blueprints, Commons and Templates (https://tr-learncanvas.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/CourseContentDistributionComparison.pdf) and I can see the difference from the Blueprints and the Commons. 

I'm trying to understand why and when someone would choose to use the Course templates, rather than just using a regular course shell  which is set-up as template and copied into new courses.

Also I'm curious about how others are using it? Are folks just creating general templates with institute/department level elements (such as menu items/sequence and general course admin information) or are you using it to build out a course, that instructors can them customize the content?

thanks,

Parm

 

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ColtonSwapp
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @parm 

I see that you are asking about Course templates and how they are being used. Here is what I have seen from my own personal experience. 

Templates are generally used for new courses being created in an account or sub-account. What happens is that when a new course is created in the specific account or sub-account, it will be populated with content from the template selected for use. Some schools use this to automatically apply module content(Pages) in their newly created courses for general school related information and elements such as contacting the local helpdesk, important dates for the semester(holidays), or school specific links and such. 

Some schools will use a template to populate a standard Welcome Page that they like to have in all their courses. This give the instructor a bit more flexibility because they can put in their own information on this page as well as any important contact information for the students. This makes it a little easier for teachers who are just starting out in canvas and gives them a great place to start setting up their course. 

Schools will generally use this option over blueprints and commons if they only want to add a few specific things to the course when it is initially created. If a course is going to continue to receive update to content and structure, using a BP or commons would be a better option. 

It really just depends on the institution and how they want their courses to be structured upon creation. Some schools like to have their welcome pages to be structured the same in every course that is created in Canvas so that the students get into the habit of checking this page first when they need to reach out to the instructor or have any general questions. 

I have also seen some schools use templates to apply a general troubleshooting information page for the students and who they should be contacting in certain scenarios they might face when they are using Canvas. . 

 

Hopefully this help! 

-Colton

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2 Replies
ColtonSwapp
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @parm 

I see that you are asking about Course templates and how they are being used. Here is what I have seen from my own personal experience. 

Templates are generally used for new courses being created in an account or sub-account. What happens is that when a new course is created in the specific account or sub-account, it will be populated with content from the template selected for use. Some schools use this to automatically apply module content(Pages) in their newly created courses for general school related information and elements such as contacting the local helpdesk, important dates for the semester(holidays), or school specific links and such. 

Some schools will use a template to populate a standard Welcome Page that they like to have in all their courses. This give the instructor a bit more flexibility because they can put in their own information on this page as well as any important contact information for the students. This makes it a little easier for teachers who are just starting out in canvas and gives them a great place to start setting up their course. 

Schools will generally use this option over blueprints and commons if they only want to add a few specific things to the course when it is initially created. If a course is going to continue to receive update to content and structure, using a BP or commons would be a better option. 

It really just depends on the institution and how they want their courses to be structured upon creation. Some schools like to have their welcome pages to be structured the same in every course that is created in Canvas so that the students get into the habit of checking this page first when they need to reach out to the instructor or have any general questions. 

I have also seen some schools use templates to apply a general troubleshooting information page for the students and who they should be contacting in certain scenarios they might face when they are using Canvas. . 

 

Hopefully this help! 

-Colton

parm
Community Participant

Thanks Colton,

Yes, that is helpful. It sounds like templates are really useful for a department or faculty level  to automatically ensure some consistency and to ensure key information is not missed. It's also nice for the instructor to not have a completely empty shell each term.

For courses that are intended to be repeated with only very minor edits (such as contact information or due dates) it would be best to use blueprints, or perhaps just regular course copies if there are concerns about overwriting changes.

thanks,

Parm