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Allow Admin to Set Default Course Settings for courses

Allow Admin to Set Default Course Settings for courses

It would be hugely helpful to district-level Canvas Admins to be able to modify and establish default course settings for course shells created for sections assigned to teacher users.


For example, if a teacher technology advisory committee, school principal, and/or tech department in the school or district determines that all courses published in Canvas for students and observers have settings that differ from the current defaults, then this requires a manual change to each course by the teacher and/or admin depending upon the district's user permissions.

e.g., setting grading schemes, or students rights to view, attach, etc.

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e.g., modifying default course navigation menu items to be viewable to students...

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.53.50 AM.png


I suggest that Canvas develop a feature that would allow an admin to simply set the course settings defaults prior to the creation of courses within subaccounts, manually or via SIS integration.


This feature could be available in one or more of the following locations of the Admin navigation menu:

(a) Courses

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(b) Add a New Course

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(c) Settings

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(d) Subaccounts

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Community Member

Added a vote.


Stephen B. Hebert

St. Mark's School

Southborough, MA

On Thu, Mar 03, 2016 at 4:34 PM ""



Community Member


But seriously, I'm all for anything that makes it easier on us admins.

Community Member

*Please* yes. Currently we use a different grading system, which I have defined at the account level, but that doesn't implement it in the individual courses. So I still have to go into every course my program offers and re-set the grading to my predefined system. Oh, I would love to able to set this at the account level for every course.

Community Member

This would be perfect for sub-accounts! This is especially important for standardizing course navigation in each of our colleges.

Community Member

We have the same needs.  Today we are running APIs to preset some items in all courses.  Some of our APIs are a 'run once' to set it, but the let teachers change the settings.  Others are run weekly to ensure that it stays in the setting that the district requires.  This could be done daily as well, but it is too computer resource intensive and really not necessary.


Here is another example of how the ability to create a course template at the sub-account level would be beneficial. We are making a push for all instructors to have one Canvas course shell (each semester) dedicated to conducting online office hours, and we would like consistency in these shells. Students from all the instructor's courses would be enrolled.  We have created an "Office Hours" permission at the account level which allows only the ability to modify the course calendar, publish a course, create conferences, see and message the list of users, and view the analytic and usage reports for the course. Instructors are enrolled with this permission in their office hours course shell.

We would like to enforce a course template at the sub-account level for all the office hours courses, not only for consistency sake, but so that course navigation is limited to just the Conferences link.

Community Member

This is really important for us as well.  We do not use Collaborations (it hasn't been approved by our Legal dept) and with our custom JS file, we have to hide it from our instructors/design teams.  However, we just realized that it appears on the mobile apps.  We will now have to create a custom js for that as well.  As you all know, custom js can be complex and will need to have everything tested with each update. 

If we have the ability to set the navigation item as "disabled" by default on all courses, the custom js in the regular browser version will suffice because it would pick up the hiding of it and instructors would not see it to set it to active.  This would prevent it from showing up in the mobile device.

Default settings by the institution for new courses would be greatly appreciated.


I agree, that the accounts/sub account should be able to have some settings set to a default.  This includes the grade book.  Kaye-Ailsa have you made this suggestion?  I would support.


I agree

We should also be able to disable navigation items in group areas too

Community Coach
Community Coach :

I am curious, why is your Legal Dept. concerned with Collaborations? There is no FERPA issue, and group and collaborate work are proven best practices in education.

Just curious in case I ever need to address this elsewhere.