Getting your Canvas course ready for the semester

It is time to get your courses ready. Every course has a Canvas course shell available. If you have not learned how to use Canvas yet, check out the Training Schedule.

Here are a few items we are sure you will want to know for the start of the semester.


If you want to copy over content from a previous Canvas course, you will find instructions in our Faculty Help Guides site. Look in the Importing Content into Your Course module.

To import the Basic Template, follow the same instructions, but choose “Basic Template” from your list of courses or the search bar.


In order for registered students to have access to your course two requirements must be met:

  1.  It must be PUBLISHED.
  2.  It must be on or after the start date of the course.

Start dates for courses are based on official dates for courses provided by the Registrar’s office. The official date for most courses this semester is January 20th.

If you would like students to be able to access your course before the first day of the semester, you will need to adjust the start date of the course.

Learn how to adjust the start date of your course here.

IMPORTANT: Double-check the end date of your course as well. The course goes into read-only state on the end date and students will not be able to submit (late) assignments.


You have the option of adding Turnitin plagiarism detection to assignments submitted through Canvas. Assignments will automatically be scanned and provide you with an originality percentage along with the student’s submission in SpeedGrader.

What you need to know about the integration:

  •  It only works with online submissions
  •  File submission (such as Word documents) works better than text box entry.
  •  Students do not need to set up a separate account in Turnitin.
  •  You can access the full Originality report to review any alleged plagiarism
  •  Grading still occurs in SpeedGrader with Crocodoc.
  •  The Grademark features in Turnitin do not import into SpeedGrader, but you can save and download the file with the marks,  and then upload as an attachment in SpeedGrader.

Learn to set up Turnitin assignments here.

Don’t forget to publish your course and any items you want the students to see! If it has a gray cloud beside it, students won’t see it.

If you have any questions, email [email protected] or
call Carole Currie x3239 or Annette Torrey x2413.