Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Canvas module setup

The steps below will help you prepare the Canvas sites for your module for next academic year. This can be achieved either by building out the module afresh or by importing selected content for reuse form a previous module.. If you would like any assistance please contact tel@sussex.ac.uk.

Please refer to the Online Learning Baseline, Academic Year 2020/21 for details of the requirements for Canvas modules

Has a School-approved template been applied?

For the 20/21 academic year, all modules should use a School-approved template. Guidance on applying a template.

Has content been imported?

You may wish to re-use or rollover content from a previous run of the module. Guidance on importing content.

Is your your home page is set up correctly? 

The template home page should be the front page. Guidance on setting a module home page.

Is your navigation menu customised to ensure any unessential menu items are hidden?

This Guide to the Module Menu will help you identify which items you want to be visible to students. Guidance on managing Navigation links.

Do you have a shared space for students to post questions?

This could be a Canvas discussion, a moderated Canvas chat or use a tool such as Padlet. Guidance on Canvas Discussion and Chat shared spaces.

Is your Talis Aspire reading list set up? 

From 20/21 every module is required to use Talis Aspire. For help with reading lists please see the Library reading list guide or contact readinglists.lib@sussex.ac.uk

Have you provided information about any module-specific software?

If specific software is required for the module, this must be clear to students. Refer to the Online Learning Baseline for details of what information is needed.

Have you added a module image?.
A unique image on the module ‘card’ on the Dashboard can help students identify the module. Guidance on adding a dashboard card image.

Have you recorded and uploaded a short introductory video?

An introductory video by the module convenor can help establish an initial virtual presence. Guidance on recording with Panopto, Guidance on embedding a Panopto recording.

Do all your week/topics have meaningful headers?

Each week or topic should have a descriptive heading, e.g. Week 1: Principles of Online Learning.

Have you outlined the focus for each week/topic?

Every week or topic page should have an outline of the key elements. Refer to the Online Learning Baseline for details of what information is needed.

Has your content been segmented/compressed to enhance access and engagement?

Larger files and longer videos can present accessibility challenges for students; these should be provided as several smaller files where possible or compressed. Guidance on compressing files:  Windows, Mac.

Have any of last year’s e-submission assignments rolled over?

New Canvas Turnitin and Canvas Online assignments will be created automatically from the Sussex database early in the academic year. Any of last year’s e-submission assignments that have rolled over must be unpublished or deleted.

Are all dates and times updated for the next academic year?

If you have added dates and times for sessions, office hours etc. these may need updating for the new academic year.

Are all the information pages within your template filled in?

Ensure your module information page is filled in and if there are gaps for adding module documents, tutor contact details etc. don’t forget to fill these in and link to any relevant files. For more on how to edit a Page see How do I edit a page in a course (module)?

Have you checked all content is accessible?

Follow the guidance on the Sussex Digital Accessibility toolkit.

Do all your images and documents meet copyright requirements? 

Ensure all images and documents meet the correct copyright requirements, Guidance on copyright

Are all required resources available to international students?

Not all websites are available internationally (e.g. YouTube is blocked within mainland China). Ensure essential resources are accessible to all your students or provide an alternative.

Have you checked for broken links and embedded resources?

Canvas can check your module for broken links; guidance on validating links. Any embedded resources must be checked manually.

The last step is to make your module site visible to students. Before you do that it is worth checking that the Units and Items within your module that you want students to see have also been published. In this example the Unit is unpublished so students will not see any of the items within it.

An example of an unpublished Unit within a Canvas module.

When you publish the Unit (by clicking the ‘no entry’ icon at the top of the unit) any published items within the Unit will become visible.

Now you are ready to make your module site visible to students. To do this, go to Home and on the right of the screen you will see Module status. Click the Publish button, which will then turn green and show the status as Published.

An example of a Canvas module that is currently unpublished.An unpublished module

An example of a Canvas module that is currently published.A published module


Standalone Canvas sites

Standalone sites are sites that are manually created and are not attached to a module code. To request a 20/21 standalone site please send details via this form: Request a 20/21 standalone Canvas site.

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