Canvas Spotlight Timely Tutorials

Update Your Course for the New Term

Last updated on May 20, 2024

As an instructor preparing your course for a new term, you may find yourself balancing several different tasks at once. Even with existing course content from a previous term, you will still need to customize and make changes to content, due dates, and in some cases, technology, to keep your course relevant for a new group of students and a brand new term.

Fortunately, there are a few techniques and tools you can use to make updating a previous course for a new semester quicker, easier, and less stressful. This Canvas Spotlight will cover some best practices and techniques to prepare your existing course for a new term.

Best Practices and Featured Tutorials

  • Reference the Copy a Canvas Course into the New Semester guide for detailed steps on how to copy/migrate your course.
  • Copy your previous course into one of your sandboxes before making updates rather than updating the previous course. That way, if there are any questions about the previous course, it’s still set up exactly the same as it was when you taught it.
    1. Once you’ve made the changes in your sandbox shell, copy it over to your new semester shell.
    2. To learn more about using sandboxes, visit our tutorial, “Everything You Need to Know about Sandboxes.”
  • Thoroughly review your previous course to identify what worked, what didn’t, and what, if anything, you would like to change. One idea is to make a note of any areas where you have manually added due dates. Anything manually entered will not be automatically updated for the new term if you use Canvas’s option to edit assignment dates.
  • Update all due dates in the course at simultaneously by using the adjust assignment due dates page. This saves time and enables you to view all of your assignments and due dates on the same page to give you a big-picture perspective of your course schedule and flow.
  • If you are teaching a synchronous online course, set up your class and online lectures in Teams. For more detail on setting up Teams classes, visit our tutorials, “Set up a ‘Course Team’ in Teams” and “Schedule a Recurring Meeting in Teams.”
  • If you didn’t find what you’re looking for or have additional questions, please visit our Virtual Support Drop-in hours.

Staying Current

  • Due to the rapid pace higher education must adapt to AI, MSU Denver’s Provost states every course at MSU Denver should explicitly address the use of generative AI in the syllabus or other course information. Review the Generative AI Syllabus Language Considerations document to develop a section addressing Generative AI in your syllabus. Doing so will ensure that you always have a policy on Generative AI in your course that can be edited and updated between semesters and as technology changes our educational landscape. Make sure to check out the CTLD Ready Site’s Resources for Generative AI page to learn more about AI in education and its possible implications for your course. MSU Denver’s Generative Artificial Intelligence Taskforce will continue to make up-to-date recommendations for you to consider adding to your course at the end and beginning of semesters.

Let’s walk through it together

Adjust Due Dates for All Assignments

  1. Go to MSU Denver’s Faculty and Staff Hub.
  2. Click Canvas in the Teaching & Learning section.
  3. Log in to your Canvas Account.
  4. Select the Course you’d like to work in.
  5. Click Assignments in the left-hand navigation menu.
  6. Click the More Options (3-Dots) icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  7. Click Edit Assignment Dates in the drop-down menu.
  8. Scroll down the page and check/change that each assignment has an associated Due Date.
    • If a student doesn’t submit work to an Assignment/Quiz/Graded Discussion with no due date, they won’t receive any penalty to their grade. Therefore all graded work needs a due date.
  9. Click Save in the top right-hand corner of the page if you made any changes.

Set up a “Course Team” in Teams

  1. Open the Microsoft Teams app from your computer.
  2. Select the Teams tab on the left side of the screen to open the Teams area.
  3. Click the Join or Create a Team button (which my be in the top right or the bottom left).
  4. Click the Create a Team button.
  5. Select the Class team type (this step may not appear if you are using a Mac).
  6. Type the course name in the Name text area.
  7. Type a description of the course in the Description (optional) text area.
  8. Type the name of a student in the Search for Students text area.
  9. Click the Student’s Name once it appears in the drop-down list to add them to your search list.
  10. Add more Students individually by following steps 8 and 9.
    • Note: It is helpful to have your class roster from Banner to complete this process.
  11. Click the Add button to add all of the students you have selected to the class team.
    • Note: You can also click on the More Options Menu (three dots) and choose Get Link to Channel. Click the Copy button and email your students the link to invite them into the course.
  12. Click the Close button to complete the process.

Set up a Recurring Meeting in Teams

  1. Launch Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click on Calendar on the left-hand navigation bar.
    • Note: On the web browser version the Calendar will be found under More Added Apps (three dots). Select Calendar to open.
  3. Click New Meeting in the upper right part of the screen.
  4. Type in a Title, for example, “Class Meeting.”
  5. Set the Date and Time.
  6. Change Does Not Repeat to Weekly.
  7. Click where it says Add Channel.
  8. Click on your Course Team Name.
  9. Click on General.
  10. Type in any Meeting Details in the box.
  11. Click on Send in the upper right part of the screen. This will send an email to each of your students to accept the calendar invite.