Start-of-Term Canvas Checklist


The following are a few tips to help you get started with your Canvas site before the beginning of a term. Please that this checklist has been specifically created for the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about start-of-term recommendations from Canvas’s Education Services department.

1. Create a Course Site.

If you haven’t requested your site yet, now’s the time. It’s easy! Use these instructions to request your Canvas site.

If you don’t see a course you are teaching in Canvas when you log into the Course Request Form, please use the information below to request your site(s):

2. Get Help.

Register for Canvas Office Hours & Workshops at the Weigle Information Commons to meet with experts who want to help you.

3. Request Your Course Reserves.

Planning to have the Penn Libraries’ Course Reserves Service add content to your Canvas site? Please review the Course Reserves Information.

4.  Not Using Modules? Select Another Default Homepage. 

In new courses that do not contain copied content, the “Course Home” page defaults to the Modules layout, but teachers can choose any home page for the course. If no modules exist in a course when a Teacher attempts to publish their course (please see Step #6), Canvas will prompt the them to either publish a module or choose a different home page layout.

5. Publish Your Site.

Students are added to Canvas course sites automatically, but they can’t access course content until the site is published. Just click the Publish button when you are ready!pblsh_cnvs_st

6. Additional Information for Turnitin. 

If you are using Turntin in your course, please note the following:

  • Copied Turnitin Assignments: If you copy a Turnitin assignment from another course, you will have re-enable any optional settings you customized previously and will also have to open the assignment before students can submit to it.
  • Create Turnitin Assignments before Students Submit Their Work: Turnitin must be enabled for a Canvas assignment before students begin uploading their submissions. If students have already submitted an assignment, you will not be able to enable Turnitin retroactively and will instead need to create a separate Turnitin assignment and then have students re-submit to that assignment. For more information, please consult the directions for creating a Turnitin assignment in Canvas.

Here’s to a great term!