Checklist for the Beginning of the Quarter

As you prepare your summer quarter Canvas courses, here’s a simple checklist to review.

(This is a repost from a previous quarter.)

  1. Do students have the right access to the materials? Go into Settings in your left course navigation, then go to Student View on the right side and check through your course. Did you publish every item that you want students to see?
  2. If you are using the Canvas grading tool and want to weight grades in Canvas, have you done this properly? Check the assignment due dates and points. Double-check the weighting that you’ve assigned to assignment groups.
  3. Did you set up a grading scheme? You may be comfortable with the default, but you should probably review it to avoid any problems.
  4. Have you muted assignments? When you grade an item in Canvas, the grade will immediately be visible to the student UNLESS you adjust the “muting” settings on your assignments. We suggest that instructors mute all assignments as they create them, unless this immediate notification is okay with you. Then, when you are ready for students to see their grades for an assignment, you simply “unmute” the grades.
  5. Have you hidden unnecessary navigation links? You may want to hide navigation links such as Files if you have already linked to the files in other areas in the course. If you are not using Collaborations, Conferences, Blue Jeans, or other items, you may choose to hide them. The resulting course will be simpler for students to navigate.
  6. Have you chosen a Home Page that you like? Do you want to add some images to your course site? Learn about this easy-to-use tool that may help.
  7. Have you customized your notification settings? Doing so will limit the number of emails that you receive. If there are essential notifications that students need to receive, please tell students that they are required to keep notifications “on” for that category. For example, many instructors use Announcements as the primary way of communicating with the whole class. In this case, instructors may want to clearly state in the syllabus that students must keep their notifications on for announcements, otherwise students may not get important information for the course.
  8. Are your TAs enrolled in your course yet? If not, you can add TAs to your course manually, though it is best to add them through CAESAR. Here is a handy chart that explains the permissions for the various roles (TA, Designer, Support, etc.) in Canvas here at Northwestern.

You are ready to publish your course! If you have other questions, drop by our mini-consultation hours for help.

Photo credit: By Leamsii via Pixabay. Licensed under CC0.

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