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Beginning-of-course Checklist for teachers

The checklist is a starting point for ensuring your course is ready to go for student access at the start of a new course term. Use the checklist to minimize the risk of forgetting something and to make sure your course is ready for publication so that your students get a good experience of your course room.

How to use this checklist

The expectation with this checklist is mainly that you as a teacher find it resourceful when you are about to completing your course room in Canvas. The checklist can also be a way to start your work in Canvas. Relevant help guides are linked throughout the text. The checklist is general so feel free to create complementary checklists for your own course. Also, consider working collegial, for instance at your institution, with complementary checklists or demands for course rooms in Canvas if needed.

First we recommend that you take some time to go through our guide pages and information about Canvas  on the web, read about how to get support and check out this self-study course and the Modules: "Canvas@KTH - An introductory course" (external page) . This will get you prepared for learning how to best use Canvas.

Beginning-of-Course Practices

Use the template

Have you used KTH's Template Course room (Canvas) for the course menus (external page) ? Try to keep the navigation as simple as possible if you wish to deviate from the template

Trainer Tip

For optimum course experience, read up on how to hide unnecessary course navigation links (external page, Canvas Community) Generally we recommend the fewer the better.


Keep accessibility in mind throughout building your course. Information, services and platforms should work for everyone, regardless of disabilities or if they use the web and platform with special aids. Therefore, keep in mind that:

  • Try to create pages instead of uploading documents. Avoid PDF:s if possible.
  • Create clear links that are comprehensible on their own and clearly describe where they lead.
  • For images to be accessible, they need to have a text describing the image, preferably in the alt-text.
  • Videos (published from September 23, 2020) need by law to be subtitled or have a text explanation as a complement.

Trainer Tips

In the text editor in Canvas (Rich Content editor) there is a button available to quickly read whether the page and your content are available. Try! Read more about Canvas Accessibility Checker (external page, Canvas Community) .

Small things make a difference, read about 5 tips to improve your Canvas course (external page, Canvas@KTH) .

Everyone working at a public authority need to understand what digital accessibility is. It is a wide domain regarding physical rooms, digital areas and information. Read and learn more on the page Digital accessibility - requirements and opportunities .

Check your modules

If you have used the Modules function to build your course, you can also use it to check that everything works. Click on Modules in the course menu and look through your content. Is the course content structured in a logical way and with clear headings? Is everything you want to have in Modules in a Module?

Publish Course and Content

Check visibility of individual items and Modules as a whole, that is make sure they are published. Published items and Modules have a green checkmark on the right side, unpublished items and Modules have a gray circle with a line through it instead. Don’t forget to check the assignments and quizzes so that they are visible for students. Don’t forget to publish your course! How do I publish my course? (external page, Canvas Community)

Trainer Tips

You can unpublish any items you don’t want students to see.

An unpublished Module will be hidden from students even if content in the Module is published.

Choose Home Page

The Home Page is the first impression of a course. Use the guide to Home Page options (external page, Canvas Community)  and choose the one that best fits the needs of your course. Think about what content you choose for Home Page, (Home) so that it will not only be an extra step for the students to get to the material they are looking for (which may be in modules).

When you choose pictures, always think about the purpose and context. We do not recommend to just have a picture for Home Page, read more on Tips for making a course room in Canvas .

Trainer Tip

 You can change the Homepage at any time. You can use a Welcome page in the beginning of the course and change it to the page with modules after a while. 

Review Course in Student View 

Review your course content from Student View to experience your course from a student perspective. How do I use Student View? (external page, Canvas Community)

Trainer Tip

Student View adds a test student to Grades. After using the Student View, go to the Gradebook as a teacher to view the assignments you have made with the test student.

Check relevant dates

A good way of getting an overview of due dates in the course is by clicking Calendar in the left hand menu. Colour the course you want to control and the due dates for the course will display. 

If there are assignments locked by a specific time you see them in Assignments in the course menu.

Trainer Tip

In the Calendar you can use the drag-and-drop function to easily change due dates. Please note that Calendar only shows graded and published assignments, quizzes, discussions and events with due dates.

Check links

There is a function that helps you control the links in your course room, make sure the links are not broken. Go to Settings in the course menu, click Validate Links in the content to the right. How do I validate links? (external page, Canvas Community)

Appearance on mobile phone and similar devices

Check what your course looks like on a mobile phone. Many students will probably use their mobile phone to some extent to follow the course.

Verify Students in the People Link

Select People to verify your Canvas roster (teacher, student, TA, etc.) for accuracy. How do I use the People page in a course as an instructor? (external page, Canvas Community)

Wait to group the students until everyone is registered in Canvas and the participant list. If you start to group the students before that (when they are "Admitted not registered student"), there is a risk that the students will disappear from the group once they have registered.

Trainer Tip

The People link also displays course sections (if applicable).

Continuation of Course-practice (extras)

Add Course overview

Add the current course PM or course syllabus for the course to the Syllabus tool, as a link to the course on a page or in the way you find useful. How do I use the Course Syllabus tool (external page, Canvas Community) .

Set Up Grades

Remember to Verify that the Gradebook is arranged according to your grading policy and your syllabus. How do I arrange the Gradebook? (external page, Canvas Community) .

Trainer Tips

Canvas has a guide on how to move the Total column (external page, Canvas Community)  from the far right position to the far left position next to the student list.

You can change your Total column to display as Points, if needed.

There are guides on how to set a Late Submission policy (external page, Canvas Community)  and how to set a Missing Submission policy (external page, Canvas Community)  if you wish to use them.

KTH Transfer to Ladok

In order for the results from the course to be transferred via the function Transfer to Ladok (see the course menu), both the letter assessment and KTH's grading scheme need to be used.

Trainer Tip

Grading schemed for a task is selected under task or quiz settings. Select letter rating at "Show rating as", then click on "show rating scheme". This will be set to either A-F or P / F, if you need to change click on "Select another schedule".

Creative Commons, Copyright and GDPR

Check so that your material is used properly according to regulations. Read more about Creative Commons, Copyright and GDPR .

Checklist for Canvas in general

This part of the checklist contains information you need to check every now and then that does not concern a specific course room.

Select Favorite Courses

Customize which course cards are displayed on the Dashboard by favoriting courses based on preference, current term, quarter, semester, etc. How do I favorite a course? (external page, Canvas Community) .

Trainer Tip

Once courses are displayed, you can also give the course a nickname visible only to you. How do I give a course a nickname? (external page, Canvas Community) .

Set a Profile Picture

Canvas has an official guide on setting a profile picture in your Canvas Account (external page, Canvas Community) Choose a picture that represents yourself. Students will be able to see the image displayed in the Inbox, Announcements, Discussions, and People tab.

Set Up Account Notifications

To ensure you receive communication from Canvas, set up your Notification Preferences and contact method in your Canvas Account. How do I set up my Notification Preferences? (external page, Canvas Community) .

Trainer Tip

Show students how to set their notification preferences.

Ask the students

Don't be afraid to ask the students about their opinion on the course room. Is it easy to find the material? Keep a dialogue with the students about their virtual classroom and listen to their suggestions for improvements.

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Last changed: Oct 06, 2020