2020 Course Design Essentials: Ready-Made Template Refresh

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The Instructional Design team announced the release of the Ready-Made Template Suite in the September 2018 blogpost to "help reduce stress load, encourage growth and help course creators design an engaging Canvas experience by turning a blank course shell into a fill-in-the-blank Canvas course." It’s been a tremendous success and users across the board have loved this addition to the Instructional Design services. Teachers and Course Designers love the magic that comes from using templates as they expedite the course creation and building process. Students love the consistency that comes about when institutions use a template and focus on content rather than course structure. Templates are intentionally designed to incorporate best practices (aligning with principles from the Course Evaluation Checklist v2.0) and are easy to use.

We continue to receive awesome feedback from our Canvas Community -- Heart THANK YOU! We knew it was time to launch a refresh to make your experience even better.

What’s New?

The Ready-Made Template Refresh will officially launch July 15, 2020, but here's a preview of what to expect. 

  • We evaluated and implemented changes to improve the selection process including reducing the number of template types (from nine to six) and now offer the following:
  • We updated visual components (banners, buttons, icons and/or stickers) - See our *Updated for 2020* templates
  • Based on popular requests, we added new templates (such as a virtual conference) - Check out our *New for 2020* templates 
  • We've created videos to help support users while working with Ready-Made Templates
  • Already have a template and want different design elements? We'll soon be launching "Template Skins." Template Skins contain design assets without the module structure and can easily be added to an existing Ready-Made Template. Each skin contains three sets of design elements (usually three banners and four buttons per set) with bonus features such as stickers, animations, etc. Skins give your template a different look and feel by changing the color and "mood" of your template, without compromising the design and structure.

Higher Education 4D Blue IllustratedConferences 1Professional Blended Illustrated Badges

Need a Template?

If your institution doesn't have a Ready-Made Template, be sure to check out these blog posts for free templates available to everyone.

CanvasLIVE Event

To learn more about Ready-Made Templates, join us at the CanvasLIVE Event on Wednesday, July 15, 10:30 am MDT (recording) via your favorite social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Recordings of past events can be found on our CanvasLMS YouTube Channel.

2020 Course Design Essentials

Monthly Canvas Community Event Launch

The Canvas Instructional Design Team is launching our 2020 Course Design Essentials monthly event. These events will include blog posts, live events, free design assets, how-to screencasts, and tips and tricks that focus on Canvas course design fundamentals to help you elevate your course design. Check out our other Course Design Essentials. 

Who Are We?

Thanks to the incredible team of Instructional Designers for making this refresh possible. The amount of extra work that has gone into this relaunch shows their commitment to excellence, dedication to our community of users and passion for education. From the depth of my heart, thank you tiffany.foster@instructure.comrmonteiro@instructure.com‌, laurie.norris@instructure.com‌, kimberly.ellis@instructure.com and mmetallo@instructure.com.

Why Are We Launching This Event?

We utilize the Canvas Community on a regular basis to position instructional design resources! We understand the impact and power of the Instructional Designers space within the Community and want to give back. We are excited to collaborate and share tips and tricks about our Canvas Design Best Practices.

Please comment below. We love hearing from you!

Our Instructional Design team offers custom templates, consultation hours, content restructuring, badging services, course evaluations, workshops, and more. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or Deonne Johnson, Manager, Learning Services, via djohnson@instructure.com.


Someone requested the slide deck for the New for 2020: Ready-Made Template Refresh (CanvasLIVE) session so I'm posting it here. You'll find helpful links sprinkled throughout. Enjoy!


Are these ready made tempaltes available to download. If so how do you do that?

Surveyor II

Hi, @deonne_johnson and @mgarcia- 

I would also like to know how I can have access to the models so that I can carry out the editions.

Tks in advance.


Links to free templates are provided in the blog post. We also have templates available to purchase - reach out to your CSM and they'll hook you up. 

About the Author
As a child, Deonne could often be found in the basement with the chalkboard set up in front of her stuffed animals and dolls, playing "school." That love of teaching has permeated her life as she has over 25 years teaching experience in a variety of settings: K-12, private vocational college, community college and university. She was fascinated with computers when she took her first technology class in high school and has been fortunate to teach technology courses for the majority of her teaching career. Deonne is delighted to share her expertise and love of learning with educators around the world. She loves working with such an incredible team at Instructure and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with you!