Delta PDC Portal

Canvas Checklist – Beginning of Course

Beginning of Course Practices

These checklists are created by the Training Services Department at Instructure. The Beginning-of-Course Checklist is a starting point for ensuring your course is ready to go for student access at the start of a new course term. 

How To Use

A ★ is an Essential practice and a ★★ rating indicates a Best Practice criteria. Features that may or may not be utilized at the Institution will also be listed as If Applicable. Relevant help guides are linked throughout the text.

Set Up Account Notifications

To ensure you receive communication from Canvas, set up your Notification Preferences and contact method in your Canvas Account. 

Customize Course Detail Settings

It is important to be aware of the many different options residing under Course Details in Course Settings. Selecting More Options will open up a menu of extra features to turn on and off, such as allowing students to post their own discussion threads. 

Simplify Course Navigation

For optimum course experience, hide unnecessary course navigation links. 

Choose Home Page

The Home Page is the first impression of a course. Select the Home Page option that best fits the needs of your course.

Verify Students in the People Link 

Select People to verify your Canvas roster (teacher, student, TA, etc.) for accuracy.

Publish Course and Content

Check visibility of individual items and Modules as a whole. Don’t forget to publish your course

Review Course in Student View 

Review your course content from Student View to experience your course from a student perspective. 

Note: Some third party tools may not have student view functionality

Best Practices  ★★                                                



Select Favorite Courses

Customize which course cards are displayed on the Dashboard by “Favoriting” courses based on preference, current term, quarter, semester, etc. 


Add Syllabus

Add the current syllabus to your course. 


Manage Files

Upload and review course folders and files. Manage the visibility of content by Publishing, Unpublishing or Restricting Access to folders and files.


Set Up Grades

Verify the Gradebook is arranged according to your grading policy and your syllabus.


Adjust Course Settings (If Applicable)

Visit the course Settings to check your Course Details, Sections, Apps and Feature Options. Feature options allow you to choose when you want to enable new feature releases.


Verify Calendar (If Applicable)

Check the Calendar tool to verify Assignment due dates and Events scheduled for your course. 

Note: The Calendar displays graded/published Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions and Events with due dates


Set a Profile Pic (If Applicable)

Set a profile picture that represents yourself in your Canvas Account. Students will be able to see the image displayed in the Inbox, Announcements, Discussions, and People tab. 

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