New Term Checklist

Search Canvas Guides ( or browse Canvas Instructor Guide )

Faculty Canvas New Term Checklist

horizontal rule

Tip:  this checklist provides faculty timely reminders of routine Canvas course tasks before and after each term


At the start of a new term

 Tip: course sites are created around 8 weeks prior to the term. Can’t find next quarter’s course? Please see the Canvas guide: How do I customize my Course list?

 Note: Canvas adds materials to your course every time you copy from another course. If you performed a course copy in error and would like to start over, please contact for assistance resetting your shell back to its initial state.

Tip: click the View Calendar link on the homepage to view Calendar events in your course:

Link from Canvas course homepage to course calendar
  • Consider Grades Settings
    • When students access their individual grade reports they have access to grade distribution graphs that display average student scores for each course assignment
    • Hide grade distribution graphs from students if you do not want them to have access to this information

 Tip: use Draft State to hide content/assignments until they are ready for students

  Tip: hide unused or redundant course tabs help students navigate your site. The most commonly used course tabs are, in order: 1) Home 2) Announcements 3) Modules 4) Grades 5) People
  • Check links to external websites
    • Links to external websites (e.g.: YouTube videos, personal websites of educators, etc.) may become broken because they are maintained by entities outside Canvas at Seattle University
    • Please see the Canvas guide: How do I validate links in a course? These instructions will help you verify all links throughout your course to ensure they are valid. If Canvas finds broken links, it will direct you to the error so you can fix it.
  • Check student roster
    • Please see the Accessing the People Tab help guide for instructions on finding the student roster in your course
    • Compare Canvas course student enrollments to the "Class Roster" in SUOnline
    • If you find a discrepancy, email to fix the problem before the quarter begins

 Tip: don't forget to click "leave student view" to return to your instructor account

 Note: once a published course contains graded student submissions, the course status buttons will disappear and the course can no longer be unpublished. Please see the Unpublishing a Current Course help guide for instructions on restricting student access to a course with student submissions..
  • Considerations
    • Introduce how you are using Canvas (e.g.: Modules organization or Files structure, Syllabus, Assignment submissions, Discussions, Quizzes, Calendar, etc.)
    • Indicate how you will communicate with students and how they should communicate with you (e.g. Announcements, Inbox)
    • Show students their Notification preferences (make sure they keep Announcements and Conversations (Inbox) settings on ASAP – share the Canvas guide: How do I set My Notification Preferences? with students if they are unsure)
    • Provide a link to the CDLI Help Center, where students can find self-help guides and information on getting help if something isn't working:

 Note: Canvas will only send Announcement messages to students’ SU emails if the Announcement is posted after the course is published

 Tip: You can open course Announcements for student comments, which are visible to the entire class. Please see the Opening Announcements for Comments help guide for instructions.
  • Give students a tour of your site during your first class
    • In addition to a course Announcement, you may also choose to log into Student View to show your Canvas course to students using the projector in your classroom


At the end of a term

 Note: final grades are submitted through SU Online - not through Canvas

 Note: Courses "conclude" and become read-only for students on the last day to dispute grades (3 weeks into the following term & 3 weeks into the Fall term for Spring courses)

 Note: Canvas courses and student records are not deleted from the system. Please follow the steps below if you’d like to download course data to your P:/ network drive

 Tip: have a large course? Canvas will email you when the export is ready to download

 Note: student grades are FERPA-protected and should only be saved in a secure location, such as your network P:/ drive

 Note: student work is FERPA-protected and should only be saved in a secure location, such as your network P:/ drive