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Digital Education and Information
College of Education and Human Development
Start of Term Checklist | Digital Education and Innovation

Start of Term Checklist

A course shell for each course where you are listed as the instructor in PeopleSoft will automatically be created four months prior to the start of each term. These course shells will be empty. You can either add content within the course shell or copy content from a previous Canvas course or development site.

If you need assistance with either of these steps, please let us know by emailing:  To learn more about Canvas, visit the DEI Canvas resources site:


  • Import the CEHD template from Canvas Commons, if you would like to use it.
  • Import Canvas content from previous semester or development site. From Settings select Import Course Content. Choose to copy from Canvas Course. Search for and select the course that will be copied. You can choose to copy all content or select specific content to copy. You can also update dates as part of this process. – or –
  • Create new content.


  • Verify course full and short names.
  • Verify course format.
  • Enable the UMN  course grading scheme (choose Select Another Scheme and choose UMN).
  • Edit course navigation.
  • Verify student groups (if you are using groups).


  • Create modules to organize and display course content and materials by week, unit or topic.  Use the Prerequisites and Requirements to track student progress on each module.
  • Review content in module overview pages, as needed. Module overview pages are a course feature included with the CEHD Canvas template.
  • Upload files (course syllabus, course readings, grading rubrics, etc. ).
  • Add content (course resources/student assignments).
  • Verify due dates and availability dates.
  • Update course syllabus.
  • Delete outdated or unnecessary headings, content, or activities.
  • Configure gradebook to support grading described in the syllabus.
  • Organize course activities by using Assignment Groups/Categories to organize graded activities and assignments.
  • Organize items within each group in chronological order.
  • Set Assignment Group (gradebook category weights, if required.
  • Verify alignment between course total points and course syllabus total points.



  • Verify your module activities are published.
  • Verify assignment and activity due dates. Due dates automatically appear in the course calendar and the Syllabus page as convenient reminders for students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Publish all module, headers, pages, quizzes, discussions, and assignments.
  • Publish your course before the official course start date (whenever it is that you want students  number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify that groups and group sets are populated correctly.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system.
  • Verify discussion settings , including post options, grade (if applicable), group settings, and due dates.
  • Verify discussions are listed in the correct order on the Discussions page.


  • Publish all modules, headers, pages, quizzes, discussions, and assignments.
  • Publish your course before the official course start date (whenever it is that you want students to be able to access the course).
  • Send an email to your students telling them how to access your course in Canvas.


  • All of your content will be deleted if you click the Reset Course Content button. While this may be valuable to you while building a course it would wise to avoid doing so while a class is in session.
  • Do not click on the Permanently Delete this Course button.
  • Use caution when using the Conclude this Course button. Doing so will restrict both the instructor and students to read-only access to the course.
  • Students will not receive any Instructor-generated announcements or messages sent from Canvas until the course is published AND students have accepted the Canvas Terms of Service.
  • Pay attention to the clock hour setting on any activity or assignment where you have set a date. Canvas lists 12:00 to indicate midnight, the very first minute of a selected day. To set a clock time for the end of the day, choose 11:59PM.


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