Start of Semester Checklist for your Canvas Course


23571-200Printable Start of Semester Checklist for your Canvas Course

Welcome back!  Here are a few things to check as you set your courses up in Canvas for the semester. The Canvas Community is a great resource if you have questions about using Canvas. You’ll also find answers to many questions on the CIL website. As you prepare your course for the new semester, check off items on this list when you have confirmed they are complete.

Canvas Setup

checkbox-iconCourse content has been successfully imported from previous semesters.

checkbox-iconNew content and/or assignments have been included if changes have been made to the course.

checkbox-iconThe start and end dates for the course have been set in the Settings menu, and include a short period of time after the end of the term for students to check final grades and assignment feedback.

checkbox-iconExternal tools (e.g., Turnitin, Panopto, Zoom, etc) are working properly, and students have been provided links to download any necessary software and plugins.

checkbox-iconAll links that appear in the course have been checked and confirmed to still be functional. There are no dead links in the course. All links function whether on or off campus. See how to do this here.

checkbox-iconA home page for the course has been set within Canvas. See how to do this here.

checkbox-iconAll course content has been published by clicking the publish This icon will be green and contains a checkmark when content is published, or will be grey and contain an ‘x’ when it has not been.

checkbox-iconFeatures you and your students will not be using are disabled in the Canvas course For example, if you have decided not to use Panopto, you should hide the link on the sidebar through the Settings -> Navigation menu. See how to do this here.

checkbox-iconThe course itself has been published. See how to do this here.

checkbox-iconYou, the instructor, are comfortable with the Canvas interface and know how to use all of the features included in your course. If not, please contact the CIL at for assistance. We are always happy to help you get started!


checkbox-iconRubrics for all assignments are included and functioning If Outcomes and Competencies are tied to your course, those are functioning as well. See how to create a rubric in Canvas here.

checkbox-iconAssignments are all weighted as intended.

checkbox-iconDue dates and availability dates for all content (especially assignments) have been updated to reflect the new Canvas can attempt to do this automatically during the import process, but it is necessary to confirm the accuracy of the new dates yourself.


checkbox-iconYour intended response time to emails, discussions, etc is indicated within the (e.g., “I check our course daily, and will respond to emails, discussions, and other communications within 24 hours.”)

checkbox-iconYour grading response time is indicated within the (e.g., “Assignments will be graded and returned to you within one week of assignment due dates.”)

checkbox-iconA schedule including due dates for all assignments and other activities has been included in the course and shared with students.

checkbox-iconStudents have been provided information about all required materials for the course (e.g., textbook, software, hardware).

checkbox-iconExpectations for students are clearly stated, including the method for returning completed work.

checkbox-iconAn updated and current version of the syllabus is available in Canvas.

checkbox-iconUp to date information about institutional policies and available student services is included or linked to.

checkbox-iconDates and times for planned synchronous online class meetings (e.g., using Zoom teleconferencing software) have been updated.

checkbox-iconInstructor and teaching assistant bio and contact information is available in Canvas.

checkbox-iconPrivacy policies for each external tool (when available) are linked to within the course.


checkbox-iconA welcome message or announcement with an instructor introduction and instructions for how to get started has been posted or sent to students.

checkbox-iconTeaching assistants have been added to the Canvas course by the Registrar’s Office and appear under the People tab with the appropriate Note: all teaching assistants are required to complete FERPA training and TA BootCamp before they can be added to your course.

checkbox-iconIf students are to be assigned to groups or blocks in the course, these group/block assignments have been made and groups/blocks have been assigned to the appropriate projects. See how to create groups here.

checkbox-iconStudents have been given the opportunity to introduce themselves (e.g., via a discussion forum) and interact with each other.


checkbox-iconEach module includes a summary of learning activities and expected learning outcomes for the Each module’s learning outcomes align with the course learning outcomes.

checkbox-iconAssignments in the course align with specific module and course learning outcomes.

checkbox-iconLearning outcomes are specific and measurable.

checkbox-iconThe course provides students with multiple opportunities to track their learning progress.

checkbox-iconItems, assignment titles, and folder names accurately describe their contents.

checkbox-iconAll course content is accompanied by an introductory description of that content. (e.g., links to videos in the course are accompanied by one-to-two sentences summarizing the content of the video and explaining its connection to other course materials, learning activities, or learning outcomes.