2020 summer template webinar

Tackling COVID-19 by taking our education online! Learn about the new Summer 2020 Template that’s available in your provisioned course site. During this workshop, plan to learn more about what the template offers you, how to apply the template to your course, and receive answers to your questions about how to individualize the template to your personal teaching style.

Keep Teaching: Using the new summer 2020 templates in Canvas

Recorded 04-28-2020

Description of the video:

>> Welcome everyone, we're really glad to see you today, and are glad you're joining us to see how to use the new summer 2020 templates in Canvas. Today's workshop is part of the keep teaching initiative at IU. My name is Susan Hathaway, and I'm a consultant with the Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning at IU Bloomington. With me here today is Carrie Hansel from UITS who will be demonstrating how to use the templates. We're also joined by several of our colleagues who will be monitoring the chat. There'll be helping us answer questions throughout the workshop, and will be compiling a list of questions and answers that will post following the workshop. So you're welcome to type questions into the chat or you can save them for the end of the workshop. Today we're going to be looking at what the templates are and what they include, how to apply them to a Canvas course that doesn't already have them. How to modify and personalize the templates to use in your course, and where to get help using the templates. So please keep in mind that today's workshop is just an introduction to the templates. Unfortunately, we don't have time to show you everything you might need to know, like how to use the text editor or how to add items to a module. But we do have consultants at the Teaching and Learning Centers who can help you with these tasks. So there's one on every campus, here in Bloomington at the Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning, we have consultants available for video chat throughout the day, Monday through Friday. So all you need to do is give us a call or send us an e-mail, and we'll be happy to help you. Let's start by taking a look at what the summer 2020 templates are and how they can help you. So first, it might be helpful to understand just what templates do. A Canvas template has predefined code setting things in content that can be applied to new courses when they're created. A template can also be imported later in the course settings if the course is created without the template. So the summer 2020 templates prepopulate all of this summer courses with several items, including a course navigation menu, a homepage, modules, and a syllabus. Lets take a closer look at the course navigation menu, this is the editable menu that shows up along the left side of your course window, just to the right of the Canvas menu. The summer template shortens the course navigation menu, it puts the Canvas tools that students need to use the most at the top of the menu where they're most visible and reachable. It completely hides the tools that students don't need to see. It also adds links to important information and useful resources like IT support and the IU Libraries. Next, there's a homepage template, the homepage is what students see first when they enter the course. So it's very important, especially the first time they log into your course. There are some important differences between how you've been teaching this spring and a true online course. For one thing, this spring, you actually were able to meet with your students on the first day of class, you went over what they'd be doing in the course, what your policies were, how to succeed in the course, etc. You were always right there, so students could easily ask questions if they didn't understand something. In a true online course, students go to your Canvas course and once they're there, they may not know what to do because you're not there. So they need your guidance built into the course. They need for you to introduce yourself, tell them how to contact you, tell them how to get started with the course, and so on. All those things you would go over on the first day of class, and the homepage is the logical place for some of that in an online course. So the homepage template gives you placeholders where you can add information pertinent to your course. It also has links to resources that students may need, such as IT support, and it's formatted to be accessible to individuals who need to use screen readers. Next, the summer courses are prepopulated with modules. Modules are like binders used to organize course content by week, textbook, chapter, topic or other unit that works for your course, and they essentially create a linear flow through your course. A module can contain all types of learning materials including files, pages of content, quizzes, and so on. The summer templates include the getting started module that helps orient students to the course. It also includes 12 identical weekly modules that each have an overview page and interactive lecture that has a video followed by a discussion and an assignment, and Carrie is going to be going through all of these when she shows you the template. Just like the homepage, all of these items are formatted to be accessible to someone who needs to use a screen reader. I just want to point out here in case it isn't clear that we aren't suggesting that you use all the different types of assignments in all of the modules or in any one module for that matter. You may use just one or two or none of them. Also, depending on your course and your own teaching style, you might have more than one of a given type of assignment in a module, so you can have two assignments in a module or two discussions say. In addition to being formatted for accessibility, the discussions and assignments follow the transparency in learning and teaching or tilt guidelines. Tilt is a framework that can help your students better understand and assignments rationale and the steps they need to take to successfully complete the assignment. So what tilt looks like in practice, is that you include three sections in your assignment directions. You clearly explain the assignments purpose, you give clear and wrote directions for how to complete the task, and you help students understand the criteria for success, that is how they'll be graded. Research has shown that when instructors modify their assignments to include these three sections, there's a significant increase in student success for all students, but particularly for students who were in the first generation in their family to attend college, or from low-income, or minority groups. So the tilt framework is used in the assignment templates to make it easier for you to help your students understand and meet your expectations. Finally, there's a syllabus template. So like the other items, it's formatted to be accessible and it contains placeholders for information that you should include in your syllabus. It also has links to important resources like academic support services. All these components are optional and they're all completely editable, so you can change them, you can copy them, you can remove them, you can do whatever you need to suit your needs. So let me repeat that, all of these are optional, you don't have to use any of them. However, we think it's a good idea to use them because they can make it much easier for you to put your course online for the summer and most importantly, they make it easier for you to design a good online course. Because all of the templates that have been designed to incorporate best practices in online course design. They help you create a course that has a consistent interface, and they help make sure that students can navigate through your course, find what they need, and complete all their assignment successfully. So with that background, Carrie will demonstrate how to use the template in your course. As a reminder and in case you joined us late, if you have questions as Carrie walks you through the various templates, please type them into the chat. The people who are monitoring the chat today, they will answer as many questions as they can, and will compile a list of questions and answers that you'll have access to following the webinar. Also, you can stick around and ask questions after we stop recording at the end of the webinar. So I'll stop sharing my screen. Carrie it's all yours. >> So welcome, thank you so much for coming. We know that some of you may be veteran online instructors, and maybe some of you are new adventures in this online realm. Either way, we're excited to share these strategies for making your summer online adventure a success. So I'm going to share my screen and I've lovingly called this my blowup site, because I've used it more than once and I can blow it up whenever I want to. So you should be seeing that, if the template is not applied to your course, this is probably what you're looking at, and you will want to go all the way down on the left navigation to the bottom of your screen and click on ''Settings''. >> So now we have all these nice options over here on the right. We have a whole another set of menu items, and you want to go all the way to the bottom and click on "Apply Template". Don't worry. You're going to see two boxes pop up. You have this first one, and this is where you click "Submit" and it will apply the template to your course and you have the success that's been submitted box. You can close this out. It takes a few minutes. So I'm going to work my magic and I'm going to take you to one that already has been put into place. So before we get too far into the widths, I want to take you back a few years. Do you remember that day when you learned how things worked in the classroom, that you had to stay in your seat, that you couldn't run around the classroom, poke your friends, and that all the important information was listed on the chalkboard? This template is like your classroom, and it provides those basic guideposts on how an online classroom works. We'll be talking about that and pointing those out along the way. We've also taken a little liberty to make sure that your classroom environment meet certain quality requirements just as you've said. Just like we make sure that the in-person classrooms meet certain physical requirements. Now remember, this is only the course structure. It just provides a mechanism where you will do your teaching. You just need to add to your passion for teaching and on your content area as well as the content itself. This will turn this mechanism, this structure into your teaching and learning environment. So before we get too far, we noticed that with the template, many of them received a dashboard card and the unfortunate part is that it all looks the same. So we want to make sure that we take that out and there are some options to be able to replace that with something that might be preferred for yourself, and you can contact your teaching and learning center for that information. So you see here, we have the "Don't panic," which we don't want you to panic. But also you see these three dots in a row, and we want to click on that and you will see these three dots throughout the Canvas template. This is a great feature. You can find all kinds of menu items. So when you click on that, you will find different things you can do. So we're going to remove "The Image" and then you come down here and you update the "Course Details", and that will save it. So we're going to go back to that home page and I'm going to give you some highlights on that, maybe. Zoom slows things down a little bit. So just keep that in mind when you're working in Zoom. So we have these different headers that break up the page. So we have this part here about how to contact you. This is editable, and I will show you how to edit really quickly. You click on this "Edit" button here on the top right. There have been a few changes recently. The one that I want to point out here is they've really scrunched up our workspace. So if you want to have a bigger workspace to do the editing, go over here to the right corner at the bottom, click and drag that down and that will increase your workspace so that you can see a little better what you're doing. So let's go down here. I don't want to save this. If you make changes, you will want to. So this is where you can introduce yourself, provide information about how the students can get a hold of you. Something I want to point out here is the response time. So maybe you have set certain standards for yourself that you will respond to e-mails on a certain time frame. Maybe it's 48 hours during the week and 72 hours on the weekend. It's helpful to put that information here so that students know when they can expect to receive a response from you. Also, if you have office hours, you can put that here and maybe you want to have them schedule an appointment with you. So letting them know, "Hey, contact me," and giving them some instructions on how they can set up those office hours with you. This I would like to point out here. So in in-person classroom, you can hand out information and they will know that you're handing something out because they can see it coming. But in an online classroom, it's not as obvious. So this section right here provides you with a few different options of what you can use to provide those notifications when you add stuff to the site. You have Canvas announcements, the Inbox, and IU e-mail. One of the practices that we use in our area is to use the Canvas Inbox. It will show up over here on the left hand side when they come into the course. So that helps them to know that you've sent them something. So part of the quality requirements that we've helped you to meet is to begin this class, and this is part of the quality matters structure, just letting students know where they need to go to get started. We have these brackets throughout, and I just want to point that out. These are instructions and guideposts to you to help you be able to fill in the template. Once you've read those and are done with those, you want to erase those [LAUGHTER] before you publish it and share it out with the students. They don't need to know that you have someone on the back-end helping you with filling out the template. So we have a few links here. We have the Syllabus link and the Getting Started and Week 1 module. I'm going to scroll a little slowly so that I don't make you seasick. This will take you to the sections here that are on the left-hand navigation. If you don't change those, it should work in your course as well. So you can point the students directly to that syllabus where they need to go anyway to get started, and then also this points them to where the materials will lie. This is also editable. So you can change this, but just keep in mind that these links will take them to those particular sections and you don't need to modify those unless you change your setup. So for the textbooks, one thing I want to point out here, of course, you want to let them know if they need to purchase any textbooks and provide that information here. But also, if you're providing the resources and the materials or there is an e-text, you want to tell the students. This is where you're going to get your materials for the course. There's a little bit of anxiety when you're a student and you're trying to figure out what you need. This just helps to reassure them, "No. Don't need to contact the bookstore to find my books. It's going to be in the course," or however you structure it. So these next two sections, again we have those bracketed areas and that gives you a little bit more information on what these are, describes how the course is set up. You'll want to modify this if you change the different structures and make it pertinent to your particular course. You may not need to change anything, but definitely read through and make sure that it fits what you're doing. The nice piece about this is it tells that your weekly module is going to provide material for them to read, the activities, graded assignments, and also describes how they can see where your feedback is. During assignments, you can provide some instructor feedback and comments and so this gives some information on that. So back to learning in the classroom. Some of your students, they may have done the remote classes this past spring, but this might be their first real online course and they may not know the protocol. A lot of times when you're in an online forum, people forget there are people on the other side of the screen, and so they need to learn the etiquette of how to work on the Internet. So we have this nice blurb here that describes what is acceptable, what is not acceptable and these links provide more detailed information on different netiquette resources that are available. So because this is an online class and all of us are online, letting the students know what they need to be successful, such as having a computer or a tablet, that's going to be required. They need to have some device that they can access the material as well as some reliable Internet connection. The next two, the microphone and video. These can be important if you're going to have them do any video assignment. So maybe the introduction, which we'll get to [LAUGHTER] in a little bit. You may want them to create a little video. So then you need to post some information here that they're going to need a webcam or a smartphone to be able to make the video, and also a microphone to be able to capture the sound if they're making a video. One of the most important pieces here is making sure that they use a supported web browser for Canvas. To have a successful experience online, they need to be using a browser that actually supports Canvas or that can cause problems of its own. So here is where you can outline what tools you're going to be using. Of course, we have Canvas, which we're all here today, but maybe you're using Zoom or Kaltura for the movies, Google or some other tool. This is a great place for you to put those and remove anything that you're not planning on using. So what's really cool is, and its here and down here, we have the Keep Learning website and there is a self enrolled course that students can join that will give them the information they need to use those tools. There are three places that I'm going to point out about UITS Tech Support, and this is really important. It will help keep your inbox low and also get your students the tech help that they need, and you don't have to take on another role that maybe you don't want to be taking on. So the UITS Tech Support will provide any information that students need to troubleshoot those tools that are supported by IU. So let's scroll on up, and we're going to go to "Modules". Are there any questions that we need to talk about right now before we move on? >> I believe all questions have been answered. >> Great. All right. So this is the module section, which is the third tab down on the left [inaudible] , and we have a few little ditties to share with you here. We have the Getting Started Module, and as Sue talked about, we have 12 weekly modules that have been set up. That's because there can be a maximum of 12 weeks that students can have for summer courses, but you can reduce that number if you're teaching a six or an eight week version or maybe a four week version. Before we get too far, I would like to show you how to do that and I will not scroll down. You probably don't want to get rid of Week 1, but I don't want to make you dizzy or sea sick with scrolling a bunch of times. So if you click on those three dots that are your friend over here on the right-hand side and scroll down, just click on Delete, and that will remove that module from your course site. One thing to note is that it will not get rid of the content that is in here. You will need to go to Pages, Discussions, and Assignments to get rid of those. Also, while I'm here, just a little trick, if you like the style of the template, in order to maybe make copies. As Sue mentioned, you may want to add more pages or you might want to add more assignments or whatever, we have those three dots over here again. So if you click on those, you can duplicate these and what will happen is it will keep that same title of whatever it is you're duplicating, and it will put copy over here to the right and then you can modify that to fit what you're wanting to work on. It will contain all the nice formatting so that you don't have to worry about it being inconsistent or having to figure out the HTML or anything to make that work. So we're going to go inside, actually, let's see if I can catch, oh, nope, I didn't catch it in time. So we're going to start with the Getting Started because that makes a lot of sense. This is one of my favorite parts of the template because it goes back to students who have not taken an online class. They don't know the behaviors that they need to be doing in order to be successful. So that's what this Getting Started Module is for. This infographic and page that we have here, gives some strategies to help students be successful. One thing that I want to point out is this login to the course a minimum of three times a week. I mean, in an in-person class, you would know I need to go on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10:00 o'clock to this building, and I will be taking this class and I will be done at 10:50. Well, that isn't so obvious in an online class. So providing them with this information about logging in multiple times during the week will ensure that they see what's going on, and by pointing them to different things that they need to be looking at. There are also some other ways, because online coursework requires some different strategies to be successful. So talking about backing up your files, building connections, and just some more information on what you need to be doing in order to succeed. So let's go next. Also, the nice thing about modules is that you can click the next and previous buttons at the bottom, and that will help you to be able to navigate that module a lot easier. So as Sue mentioned, we have this left nav over here that's been shortened, and this page right here provides information so that students know, if I click on the Home button, this is what's going to be there, and it just gives a little bit of information so that they know what they are getting into when they click on those links. So this next page is our Canvas and technology start-up page. Before we get too far, there's one little adjustment that you'll need to make. This is actually IUPUI specific here. So in order to make that specific to your particular campus, I'm going to throw in the chat a link to the Global IU support, and if you send students there, you'll be able to see all the different campuses and you can provide that information. All right. So the nice thing about the Canvas and Tech Startup Page, it gives that brief summary of what they need to do in order to navigate Canvas and all the different tools successfully. Also we have that second place that I mentioned about this is where you get your tech support so that you don't have to be the tech support. At the bottom of the page, there are a couple of things that I want to make sure that I point out. One is about making sure that they look at the Canvas notifications to make sure that they are receiving any updates that are coming out from you. The other piece is this Canvas profile picture. So in an online course, one of the ways to build some community is to have the students add their little profile picture so that they can see that there is a particular person that is being active in the course and it helps them to feel a little bit more humanized. So again, we're going to click on Next. So we've provided some instructions about what is Zoom, and I bet many of you have become very familiar with Zoom, and maybe some of the students have as well. If you're going to be using Zoom, you can leave this open and it can be useful to you as well. But if you do not plan on using Zoom in your particular course, you can Unpublish this and then the students don't have to wonder if you're going to have them do something in Zoom. So let's click Next. So this next part is about also building community and getting to know the students that are in your classroom. So for students, they can introduce themselves and there are some instructions on how to create a video, and then also encouraging them to speak with their peers and get to know one another. This is a great place for you to introduce yourself as well if you haven't done so in some other location in the course. That helps to build some come rotary. Sorry, getting late in the afternoon and not enough coffee, but also just builds that sense of community. >> So this final piece in the "Getting Started" module is so important. A lot of times this gets thrown into the syllabus, but maybe the students read it, maybe they don't. But there are supports available for students and every campus has one, and these links that are provided in here will send students to their disability services office. So if they need to have some sort of accommodations, this will help them get what they need. It also ensures that they have read this and that they are aware that these services are available. So this is just one more way that you can support your students in being successful in your course, and it's pretty simple. It's just they acknowledge that they've read it. So we will go back to modules and we're going to scroll down to week 1. There are the four pieces, the overview, the interactive lecture, the discussion, and the assignment. So we'll start with the overview. So one of my favorite parts of the overview page is this top section where you can introduce the topic. So you got into teaching because you're passionate about the topic that you're teaching. So this introduction section is a great place for you to share your passion for the particular week. Maybe there's something really cool that you enjoy about this, or there are specific pieces that they're going to need to be watching out for, that will be important for a later assignment, or for the understanding of that topic. Why is this important that they need to be paying attention? Then giving them some guidance on that. The other piece is, you have your reading and resources here. So not only are you giving them direction on where they're going then you can provide them with, you're going to need to check these things out, to read and do these things in order to be successful for the rest of the assignments for the week. So again, just want to bring up these brackets, so make sure you get rid of those once you've finished reading them. The final section of this page, the to-do list, is really important because sometimes if students haven't taken an online class, they might think of this as a mock or a self-paced course and this is not the case as we all know. So by providing what they need to do along with the date allows them to know that, yes, I do expect that you're going to turn this in on such and such date at such and such time, and that helps to acclimate them to what your expectations are. So this next piece is an interactive lecture. So maybe you've created your own video or you want to pull in a video from YouTube or somewhere else. That is completely possible here, and we won't be going into that today but you can contact your teaching center and they'll be able to help you with how to do that. But I want to point out this part right here. Letting students know why you want them to watch the video and maybe what they need to be watching for will help them to participate in that particular video because we want them to watch the information. You did not just throw that in here just because it's cool. So giving them some idea of why they need to be watching this does help. This may not be something you want to assign, but to make sure that they're trying to acclimate themselves to this topic, and that they're assimilating the information into their framework by providing them an opportunity to be able to talk about what they've learned, a place to ask questions, they can talk with their peers. It also provides you with an opportunity to see where they might have misconceptions about the material, and then you can throw in your higher level information to bring things back on track. You can make this an assignment or you can leave it as an ungraded piece, and if you need to do that, you probably need to talk to your teaching center if you do not know how to add points or to add a due date. This final section, no, not the final section, second to last, sorry, is the discussion forum. So we talked about building community and that's one of the things that the discussion forum can help with. So again, using that TILT format, providing them information about why you're asking them to do this, and then giving them the instructions on what you're asking them to do. After reading and watching, you should answer this question. So here's where you would provide your question or prompt. What is it you want them to discuss? We put in the respond to two peers. That's a typical strategy, but you can change that to fit your course needs. So one of the really cool things about this particular template is that many of us have had experience with discussion forums and we've learned that you need to have a double due date. The first one for the initial post and the second one for the responses to the post, because what tends to happen if you don't break it up into the double due date, is that everybody will wait until Sunday at 10: 50 to post their initial response, which makes it a lot more difficult to be able to have a conversation, and I'm sorry, I don't know that I want to be up at 10: 50, I'm trying to be smart and answer [LAUGHTER] a question. So anyway, that is really a cool thing to do. There is some instructions down at the bottom that talk about how you can add a rubric to this discussion, and again, you'll want to add a due date and points to this if you use this particular template. We're going to scroll on to the next. Now this is the last part. So assignments take multiple forms. So we weren't able to provide the same type of structure with the assignment as we did with the discussion, but we've given you some highlights and some guiding questions to help you be able to put in the information needed. So if you go through these, you'll want to remove these from the template once you have filled in your information. Then finally, down at the bottom, you have your criteria for success, and there's a place where you can learn how to use Canvas rubrics and again, add your points and due date. So the crowning glory of the template is our syllabus. So this is where students go in order to find out what they're going to be doing with you in the course this summer. So we have this place. So if you have a Word document that you've already created with your syllabus, there are instructions here on how you can upload that. Then we've pulled out some of the key parts that students are going to want to know about. We have our course description, our learning outcomes, the course requirements, and again, you can list any information that you have about required text and materials and your technical requirements, and our third and final place of pointing them to tech support. But we've also included the knowledge base guides, which is a great place for everyone on. I use campuses to be able to find information, as well as IUware, which provides free software to anyone who is IU faculty staff, or students. This final section on this page, the course assessment and grades. This gives you a place to provide a brief description about what you're going to be grading students on. Maybe they have a couple of big projects, they might have discussion forums that you're having them do, so outlining that. For submitting assignments, this goes back to they may not know how to submit assignments in Canvas so you'll want to let them know. I want you to submit it through Canvas. They might assume that they should e-mail you. So making sure that it's clear that you don't want them to e-mail you unless that's what you're hoping, I don't think that's the best strategy. Your inbox can get very full with that. The last two pieces, letting students know what happens if they are late on their assignments. That's really important so that they know going into it, if they don't turn it in on time, what the consequences of those actions are. But this other piece, how will I know how I'm doing in the course? So it's like driving somewhere. Not that we get to do a whole lot of that right now, but you get a lot of, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" So outlining here, when you expect to have things graded, maybe it'll take 48 hours or a week, but letting them know up front what they can expect. That way you don't have to get all of those e-mails, although you'll probably still get a few, this will help to cut some of those down. Finally, this last section, Canvas auto-populates this information here. So any assignments that you have created will show up down here and the students can see that. [NOISE] Two quick things before we are finished. One is, once you have your syllabus ready and you have your getting started and your week one or when you're ready to share the course, I guess you don't have to have all of your module, like your week 1 module ready, but you can publish. So we need to publish our week 1. Let's say I actually put something in here and you want to publish it here in the module section, by clicking on this gray circle with a line through it, and the glorious thing about this is, if you click at the module level, it will publish everything that is covered in there. Finally, most importantly, in order for your students to be able to access your course, you will need to go to the homepage once you're ready to share and click this Publish button, and that will make it available to your students. So with that, the demonstration is done. Do we have any questions? >> Currently, all questions are answered. If we want to stop the recording and take questions by voice, perhaps.

Webinar Outline

  • Today we'll be looking at:
    • What the templates are and what they include
    • How to apply them to a Canvas course that doesn't already have them
    • How to modify and personalize the templates to use in your course
    • Where to get help using the templates
  • This workshop is just an introduction to the template. For further help, contact your teaching and learning center.


  • A Canvas template has predefined course settings and content that can be applied to new courses when they're created. A template can also be imported later in the course settings if the course was created without the template.
  • All components are completely editable, so you can change them as desired.
  • Using the templates:
    • Makes it easier for you to develop a good online course for the summer, because all of the templates have been designed to incorporate best practices in online course design
    • Helps you create a course that has a consistent interface
    • Makes sure that students can navigate through your course and find what they need
  • The Summer 2020 templates prepopulate summer courses with a course navigation menu, a home page, modules, and a syllabus.

Course Navigation Menu

  • This is the editable menu that shows up along the left side of your course window, just to the right of the Canvas menu
  • The course navigation menu template:
    • Shortens the course navigation menu for students
    • Puts the Canvas tools that students need to use the most at the top of the menu, where they're most visible and reachable, and hides tools that students don't need to see
    • Adds links to useful resources like IT Support and IU Library Resources

Home Page

  • The home page is what students first see when they arrive at your course site.
  • In a face-to-face course, instructors give students a thorough orientation on the first day of class; students in an online course need the same sort of guidance. The home page is the logical place to tell students how to get started, how to contact one's instructor, where to get help, etc.
  • The home page template:
    • Has placeholders for important information
    • Contains links to important information and helpful resources
    • Is formatted to be accessible to people using screen readers


  • Modules are like binders used to organize course content (e.g., files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials) by weeks, units, or other organizational structure.
  • Modules create a linear flow through the course. They help make the organization of the course more apparent to students and help guide students through the content.
  • The modules template:
    • Includes a Getting Started module that helps orient students to the course
    • Includes 12 identical modules that each have:
      • An overview page
      • A discussion
      • An interactive lecture that has a video followed by a discussion
      • An assignment
    • You don't have to use all of these--or any of these--in a module. Also, you can have more than one of a given type of assignment (e.g., two discussions) in a module.
    • The discussions and assignment templates follow the Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) guidelines to help students better understand and meet your expectations. A TILT assignment includes 3 sections: Purpose, Task, and Criteria for Success. Following TILT guidelines has been shown to increase success for all students, especially students who are in the first generation of their family to attend college or are from low-income or minority groups.
    • All assignments are formatted to be accessible to people using screen readers.


  • The syllabus template
    • Contains placeholders for information that you should include in your syllabus
    • Is formatted to be accessible to people using screen readers

Applying the Summer 2020 Template

To manually apply the online course template to a site:

  1. Click on "Settings" in the left-navigation.
  2. Click "Apply template" in the right sidebar menu. You'll see a pop-up displaying the account template that will be applied to your course.
  3. Click "Submit" to apply the template. A pop-up will appear to acknowledge your submission. It will take a while for the template to be applied to your course.
  4. Refresh your course site for the changes to appear.

Throughout the IU template, you will find instructor notes on each page in [brackets]. Enter your course-specific information into those [bracket] fields. Remove the bracketed information prior to saving and publishing.

Using the Home Page Template

Changing the Default Home Page

  1. Edit the template home page by clicking the 'Edit' button at the upper right of the page.
  2. Highlight and delete all of the text above the header labeled - How to Contact Me.
  3. Replace the [bracket] fields with your course-specific information.
  4. Click "Save."

Removing the Home Page

  1. Go to the global navigation menu under "Course Status" on the right-hand side of this page.
  2. Click "Choose Home Page."
  3. Choose your preferred home page style (For example: Course Modules or Syllabus).
  4. Click "Save."
  5. For more information, review "How do I change the Course Home Page?"

Editing Pages

As you're personalizing the content in the home page and other pages, you may delete something that you didn't want to. Never fear – there is a way to return the page back to its original format.

  1. Click on the vertical 3 dots to the right of  the edit button. A pop-up will appear.
  2. Select "View Page History." This will bring up all of the edits that have been made on that page.
  3. Click on the version that you wish to restore. This will bring up "Restore this revision."
  4. Click on "Restore this revision."

Note: Remember to save regularly so that you'll have versions to revert to and don't lose work.

Home Page Walk-Through

The home page template includes 7 parts:

  1. How to Contact Me (Instructor information)
  2. To Begin This Class
  3. How we learn online
  4. Expectations
  5. Technical Requirements
  6. Tools we'll be using
  7. Resources

To use the template home page, you just need to go through each section and add your course-specific content. There are bracketed instructions at the top. Once you've finished editing the page, you'll need to delete those instructions.

Using the Module Template

Modifying Modules to Fit Your Course

To begin, determine how many modules you'll need for your course. Then, you'll want to remove the extras.

  1. Click on the 3 vertical dots to the right of the module title. A pop-up menu will appear.
  2. Select "Delete". This will remove the module from the module section. Keep in mind that the content itself will not be removed and can be recovered under pages, discussions, and assignments.
  3. Repeat these steps for the remaining weekly modules until you have the number you need.
  4. If you accidentally take away too many, never fear. Click on "Duplicate" in the pop-up menu. This will create a copy of the module format.

Creating additional pages, assignments, and discussions

The duplication feature works the same on pages, assignments, and discussions.

  1. Select one of the pages, assignments, or discussions within an existing module.
  2. Click on the 3 vertical dots to the right of the page, assignment, or discussion title. A pop-up menu will appear.
  3. Click "duplicate." This will create a copy.

Adding Video to a Page

You can pull in a video from your own Kaltura Media Space or from YouTube,

  1. Click on the page "Edit" button.
  2. Place your cursor above the bracketed note "[Note to Instructors: Insert your video here.]."
  3. Click the apps icon in the top right corner of your content editor.
  4. Select "Embed Kaltura Media" or scroll down the menu to select "YouTube".
  5. Once you've finished selecting your video, remove the bracketed instructions.
  6. Click "Save."

Using the Syllabus Template

The syllabus page provides the basic information students will need to know on the Canvas page.

  • Learning Outcomes
  • Course Requirements
  • Technical Support
  • Course Assessment & Grades
  • Course Summary

The template also has instructions for uploading a Word document with your syllabus.