Start of the Semester Checklist

Things tend to get a bit busy just before the start of the semester and as hard as it is for the LMS Team to believe, sometimes Canvas isn’t your top priority. Be that as it may, there are some things you need to keep in mind with beginning of the semester approaching so that your online content isn’t overlooked.

The CFC provides information on this page as well as a Canvas Course Checklist to help remind you of course design best practices and those Canvas tasks that are important to keep your students from being lost – even if you only have to worry about them once a semester.

If you would like more information on how to make the start of the semester smoother, please contact your Partners in Pedagogy at the CFC.

Request a Course Cross-List

Cross-listing courses in Canvas should be done before course content is build in your course and before students have submitted work.

Using a course template from the Canvas Commons? (Optional)

Course templates are available in the Canvas Commons with all the tools you’ll need in the menu and content areas to easily organize your course for students. Find out more information >

Copy your Canvas Course

Update the course introduction module and weekly overview pages

Send & Post a welcome letter

Create & post a course orientation video

Panopto is a great way to take your students on a virtual tour of your course content and will reduce frustration and confusion for both of you.

Post the course objectives

as an Item for quick reference in your course.

(information can be extracted from your syllabus)


Update or review the latest syllabus

See template to ensure yours is in compliance. Click here for syllabus template

Post textbook information to Canvas

Include any other source materials the students might need.

Reorganized course?

Review your Modules Structure – Do you want different units, topics or weeks organized in Canvas?


Considered a Course Information Module

Include things students should do before the start of the semester as they prepare for your course.

Decided to include academic integrity information?

Use and optional WCU Canvas Course Template available in the Canvas Commons, with pre-populated, editable Course Information Module.

Have you gone into the "Student View" Mode to review your course as a student?

What you see in Canvas is not always what your students see, select “Student View” to review course content as the students will see it.

Confirmed all video/external web links are still active?

Links that were good last semester may not work or may take your students to the wrong web site. Use the Canvas Link Checker to validate links in your course.


Have you Published your Course to Students?

This doesn’t happen automatically at the beginning of the semester. Students are loaded into Canvas from Banner two weeks before the start of the semester, so if your course is ready before then you can give them early access.

Need More Information?

For information regarding any of the topics listed or anything related to Canvas, call the WCU IT Help line at 828.227.7487

Please recognize that any educational technology requests should be made through ITHelp, requests will be forwarded via the time-tracking system to the appropriate person on our Educational Technology team if the folks at the Help Desk are not able to solve the issue with you.

Ready To Get Started?