University of Utah

Instructor Pre-Semester Checklist

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Are you ready and excited to begin a new semester? We have created this Canvas checklist for instructors to ensure you start out the semester on the right foot.

Clean Up Navigation & Activate Apps

Organizing the course sidebar makes navigating your course simple and more engaging for students. To manage your course navigation links, go to Settings > Navigation, then drag and drop the links to reorder them. Remember to scroll to the very bottom of the page to save your changes.

Using any cool tools this semester like Portfolium, Lucidchart, or Perusall? You can add apps to your course from the same place! 

1. Go to Settings

 2. Apps and select your apps from there. 

Add Syllabus to Syllabus Tab

Adding your course syllabus to the Syllabus tab in your course makes it easy for students to access all they need to know about your course in one place. If you have your syllabus in a document, consider copying your content directly onto the Syllabus page in Canvas to make it easier to navigate and see on any device.

Publish Course

Students will not be able to access your content until you publish the course. New courses will be listed under Unpublished Courses on your Canvas dashboard. Make sure all modules, assignments, and pages you want your students to see are published, too.

Connect to your Classroom Technologies

Will you be using AV equipment in the classroom this semester? Look over the classroom AV semester start checklist to ensure you are prepared.


Speedgrader makes assessing student submissions simple. There are lots of neat tools built into it to customize the process. Brush up on the ins and outs of Speedgrader to make grading a breeze this semester.

Update Profile & Preferences

Has your contact information changed? Want to change how you receive course notifications? Make sure your notification and contact preferences are updated. Edit your Canvas profile or change your profile settings, as well as manage your notifications to keep your info up to date. Ask your students to do the same.

Don't see what you're looking for? Contact [email protected] for more information.

You are done. Great job!