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Semesterly Workflow


Where are my courses?

All courses you have access to are available through your Canvas "Courses" area. Your favorited and/or current courses will appear on your Canvas homepage (called "Dashboard"). There are four types of courses in Canvas: master courses, instructional courses, professional development, and continuing education. Master courses - also called "blank" courses - are not connected to SIS and do not contain students. These are for instructors to develop their courses and experiment with new ideas without fear of messing anything up for students. We recommend that instructors import D2L courses into their master courses first. Instructional courses connect to SIS, which populates them with students. These are the "live" courses where teaching and learning happen. These appear in the instructor's dashboard sixty days prior to the start of the semester. Professional development courses are where members of the UWGB community can offer trainings for each other. Continuing education courses are public facing and open to anyone (think Extension and Outreach). (See "Canvas Cloud" chart below for more information.)

When will my "real" courses appear?

Instructional courses will appear in the instructor's dashboard sixty days before that semester starts. Until then, instructors can prepare their offerings in one of their master courses and import them into the instructional course once they appear. (See timeline graphic below.) The Master courses have all the functionality of instructional courses. This is a change from the days of D2L, and it probably seems like extra work. But, having a developmental course to refine your course will come to seem like an invaluable resource. If you'd like more master/blank courses, you can create your own through the Help button in the lower-left of Canvas by selecting "Create a Master Course."

How do I combine/uncombine my courses?

Unlike D2L, Canvas reflects a course's status as listed in the schedule of classes. Canvas will combine courses that are crosslisted in the schedule of classes. If you'd like to combine courses that are not cross-listed, you can contact Canvas support through the Help button in Canvas, or follow the steps in this document.

Changing workflow

In the D2L era, SIS generated courses as soon as students started to enroll in a course. These courses appeared on the instructor's D2L homepage and the instructor prepared the course in the same site as s/he delivered the course.

In the time of Canvas, SIS generates courses sixty days prior to the start of the semester. This means that instructors should prepare their classes in one of their "blank" courses (also known as "Master courses" or "sandbox courses"). Once the "instructional" course appears in the dashboard, instructors may copy their courses from the Master copy to the instructional copy.

This change has plusses and minuses. On the plus side, the Master courses means that instructors will have a place to create a clean version of their course which they can copy from semester to semester. Also, the Master courses are not connected to SIS, so instructors can feel free to make changes and test things out with out worrying that students will get confused if their course changes mid-semester.

On the minus side, the tradeoff for flexibility is that instructors will not see their "real" or instructional course until sixty days prior to the start of the semester. The classlist will still appear in SIS, however, and instructors may keep tabs on their enrollments there.

Canvas Cloud

Canvas Cloud Structure

Comparison of Timeline for when D2L and Canvas Appear

Semesterly timeline