Pre-Semester Checklist

In preparation for a new semester the SDCCD Online Learning Pathways have provided a comprehensive checklist to assist our faculty as they prepare their online courses and ensure the best learning environments for our students. For any questions or assistance, please reach out to the Online Learning Pathways Instructional Design Supervisor, Liesl Boswell (

These 19 Steps will provide the best framework for success for your online courses:


Step 1: Pre-Semester Checklist Instructions

When Will Official Canvas Shells Be Built For Next Semester?

Go through the steps in this checklist each semester to prepare courses in Canvas.

Once the upcoming semester schedule has been finalized, official course shells along with enrollments will be generated automatically; when data from Campus Solutions is transferred to Canvas. 

The completion of the final schedule in Campus Solutions varies from semester to semester. Announcements will be sent as soon as the official course shells become available in Canvas. If you would like to start developing your course content now, it is highly recommended that you request a Canvas Development Shell. This allows you to create and organize your course materials in advance, and then easily copy everything over to your official course shell once it becomes available.

Requesting a Canvas Development Shell

Canvas Faculty Support will only create one Canvas Development Shell per request due to high demand. 

If a faculty member needs multiple Development Shells for different subjects in a semester, they should visit the MySDCCD Faculty Support Desk at Fill out the initial form details, select Online Learning Support as the Help Topic, choose Development Shell Request as the issue type, and fill out the Canvas Development Shell Request form. After submitting the form, Online Learning Pathways will aim to process the request within one business day. Otherwise, faculty will receive an update on their ticket status within one business day.

Steps to Request a Single Canvas Development Shell

1. Call Canvas Faculty Support at 1-844-612-7422.
2. During the verification process, state you are from the San Diego Community College District.
3. Provide your SDCCD 10-Digit Employee ID.
4. Request a "Canvas Development Shell."

Steps to Request Multiple Canvas Development Shells

1. Visit the MySDCCD Faculty Support Desk at
2. Fill out the initial form details.
3. Select Online Learning Support as the Help Topic.
4. Choose Development Shell Request as the Issue Type.
5. Fill out the Canvas Development Shell Request form.
6. Submit the form.

Online Learning Pathways will aim to process the request within one business day. Otherwise, you will receive an update on your ticket status within one business day.

Step 2: Request Cross-Listing (Merging Courses)

Introduction to Cross-Listing

Cross-listing is used when an instructor teaches more than one section of the same course. For example, if you are given two sections of ENG-120 to teach and you want to combine the enrollments for both sections into one Canvas course, you only have to make changes and teach out of one Canvas course container. The merged courses should have the same assessments.

It is extremely important that cross-listing is done BEFORE you begin preparing your courses for the semester.

Cross-Listing Requirements

Important: Faculty members should adhere to the following requirements for properly cross-listing two or more courses.

  • Timing: It is highly recommended that cross-listing requests be submitted at the beginning of the semester. Cross-listing requests must be promptly submitted once the semester Canvas course shells are created for that specific term.
  • Empty Course Shells: The parent and child sections of the courses to be cross-listed must be empty. There should be no course content, student activity, or grades in these sections.
  • Loss of Work: If a faculty member submits a cross-listing request and the course shells are not empty, any existing content, student activity, or grades in those shells will be lost in the cross-listing process. Therefore, it is crucial that parent and child course shells are empty at the time of cross-listing.

Instructions for Submitting a Cross-List Request

To cross-list one parent and one child Canvas course shell, contact Canvas Faculty Support for assistance.

Process for Cross-Listing:

  1. Prepare Information: Prepare a list of the 5-digit course numbers you would like to cross-list. Specify which one is the parent shell (the course shell you intend to teach out of) and which is the child shell.
  2. Contact Support:
    • Call Canvas Faculty Support at 1-844-612-7422.
    • During the verification process, state that you are from the San Diego Community College District.
    • Provide your 10-Digit Employee ID.
    • Provide the five-digit course numbers that you would like to cross-list, specifying which is the parent shell and which is the child shell.

For Multiple Cross-List Requests:

  • To cross-list multiple child courses into one parent shell, visit the MySDCCD Faculty Support Desk at
  • Fill out the initial information, select "Online Learning Support Canvas" under Help Topic, choose "Cross-List Request" for the issue type, and complete the cross-list request form.
  • Online Learning Pathways will aim to process the request within one business day. Faculty will receive updates on their ticket status promptly.
Read the FERPA Compliance And Student Interaction In Merged Canvas Course Sections

  • For a single cross-listing request (one parent, one child shell), contact Canvas Faculty Support and follow steps 1 through 5.
  • For multiple requests (one parent shell and multiple child courses), or if you have multiple parent shells with multiple child courses that need to be cross-listed, use the MySDCCD Faculty Support Desk to submit the cross-list request form.

One of the core tenets of Online Learning Pathways is our continuous recommendation to develop your course content in a Canvas development shell. If you follow this practice, you will also know that we always advise copying content from a development shell to the new semester shell in preparation for a new semester.

Why Use a Development Shell?

Recognizing the complexities involved in transferring course content from one shell to another is crucial. This is why we recommend using a development shell for this process.

Key Benefits:

  • Streamlined Content Transfer: Simplifies the migration of course materials.
  • Consistency: Ensures that your course content remains uniform across semesters.
  • Preparation: Allows you to make updates and improvements before the new semester begins.
The following Canvas Community guide will provide detailed instructions on how to copy content over from a Canvas Development Shell or a previous semester course into the upcoming semester course shell.

How do I copy content from another Canvas course using the Course Import tool?

Step 4: Setting Up LTI's In Your New Semester Course Shell

Understanding Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)

A Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a standard developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that allows third-party applications to integrate seamlessly with Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Canvas. It enables educators to add rich, interactive content and tools, such as external assignments, quizzes, and multimedia resources, directly within their course environment. This integration enhances the learning experience by providing students with easy access to a variety of educational tools without needing to leave the LMS platform.

Setting Up an LTI

Setting up an LTI can be a complicated process depending on the third-party vendor you are working with. Here are some key recommendations and steps:

  • Do not install LTIs in a development shell or copy existing LTIs from a previous semester to a new semester shell: This practice can lead to compatibility issues and errors.
  • Migrate only the content you create in your development shell to the new semester shell: Only transfer original course content that you created to maintain consistency and avoid potential conflicts with LTI configurations.
  • Set up LTIs directly in your new semester shell: This ensures that all tools and resources are properly configured and function correctly in the new course shell environment.

Requesting an LTI

If you need to request an LTI that is not currently installed within the Canvas system, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a Faculty Support Desk ticket at the mySDCCD Service Desk:
    • Visit
    • Fill out the initial details:
      • First and last name
      • Summary of your request
      • Employee ID
      • Role with the district
    • Under Help Topic, select Online Learning Support Canvas.
    • For the type of issue, select Third-Party LTI Integration Request.
    • Complete the LTI form.
  2. Response Time:
    • You will receive a response within one business day upon completion of the LTI installation request.
    • Alternatively, you will be contacted with updates on the status of your ticket within one business day.

Activating an Existing LTI

If you have any issues activating an existing LTI that has already been installed in the system but needs to be activated within your new semester course, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a Faculty Support Desk ticket at the mySDCCD Service Desk:
    • Visit
    • Under the type of issue, select Canvas Support.
    • Fill out the details of the related course.
    • Describe the issue you are having in trying to implement the LTI into your new semester course shell.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smoother setup and activation process for LTIs within your Canvas courses.

Step 5: Set “Delay Delivery” Dates For Announcements

To delay posting on existing announcements until a specific date in a Canvas course, follow these steps:

  1. Open Announcements: Navigate to the Announcements section in your course.
  2. Select the Announcement: Click on the title of the announcement you wish to delay.
  3. Edit the Announcement: Click the "Edit" button to modify the announcement.
  4. Delay Posting: Check the "Delay Posting" checkbox.
  5. Set Date and Time: Choose the desired date and time for the announcement to be posted by clicking on the Calendar icon and selecting the appropriate date and time. Alternatively, you can manually enter the date and time.
  6. Save: Click the "Save" button to apply the changes.

The announcement will now be scheduled to post at the specified date and time and will not be visible to students until then

If you encounter any issues, such as the delay date not being set correctly after importing announcements from another course, ensure that you review and adjust the posting dates before publishing the course

Step 6: Set A Course Home Page

There are five options for the first page students see when they enter your course, which is called "Home" on the course menu. Recommendations in order of preference:

  1. Pages Front PageUse a content page that you design like the one you see when you go to the home page of this course. You can show announcements on a front page if you like. This is the best option.
  2. Course Modules- use modules as your home page only if you have set up modules such as Week 1, Week 2, etc., in your course.
  3. Syllabus- use this if you want students to see the syllabus when they enter your course.
  4. Assignments List- use this if you use Canvas primarily to record grades. 
  5. Course Activity Stream- this is the least recommended homepage to use and we encourage you to use one of the other methods.

Step 7: Review And Update Syllabus

Feel free to skip this page if you have already added the correct syllabus to your official Canvas course shell. If this is your first time posting your syllabus, please review the following guide for instructions on how to setup the Syllabus section within Canvas.

Uploading a Syllabus

To begin you need to upload your Syllabus File to your Canvas course. We recommend uploading a PDF version of your syllabus to ensure accessibility across all devices. Please review the following Canvas Community Guide for instructions on how to upload a file to your course.

Setting Up the Syllabus Section

  1. Download the Syllabus Template and save it to your computer.
  2. Open up the Syllabus Template Copy Word Doc. Select all of the copy and copy the text to your clipboard.
  3. Log into your Canvas account, open up a Canvas course shell, click on Syllabus, and then click Edit.
    Screenshot of the Canvas Syllabus section
  4. Within the Rich Content Editor paste the Syllabus Template Copy that you added to your clipboard. Next, delete "List Email Address" and replace it with your own email address. Take note that you are not required to add your email address since students can contact you via the Conversations Inbox and those messages will be sent directly to the default email listed in your Canvas account. Either way make sure you delete "List Email Address".
    Screenshot of the template pointing to the email section that needs to be added
    Screenshot showing the highlighted text
  6. In the Rich Content Editor select the "Documents" Icon and select the option to "Upload Document". 
    Screenshot of the Rich Content Editor showing how to upload a document
  7. Proceed to drag and drop your document to the new window or search for the file to upload it to Canvas.
    Screenshot of the Document upload process for Canvas
  8. Next select the blue "Submit" Icon to finish uploading your Syllabus Document.
    Screenshot showcasing how to submit your uploaded document to Canvas
  9. Next your highlighted text will flash yellow and a new popup will appear over the text. Select the "Link Options" button.
    Screenshot pointing to the Link Options feature
  10. A new window will appear on the right-hand side of your screen. You will then select the options for "Preview inline" and the "Expand preview by default" to enable your syllabus to open automatically for your students.
    Screenshot of the Link Options feature and the settings needed to enable documents to preview automatically.
  11. Select the blue "Done" button to save your changes.
  12. Click on the the blue "Update Syllabus" button to save your changes.
  13. Here is a snapshot of what your page should look like. Your syllabus should open automatically on the page. You may have to reload to the page for your syllabus to appear.
    Screenshot of the Syllabus Document previewing automatically.

Step 8: Remove Unnecessary Links From Course Navigation Menu

Creating effective navigation is crucial for the success of your course. You want your students to focus on your coursework rather than spending time trying to navigate your course.

Recommended Course Menu Sections

  • Home
  • Announcements
  • Syllabus
  • Modules
  • Grades

Sections like Assignments, Pages, Files, and Quizzes are not included in this example. The Modules section should be the single point of entry to your coursework, as having more than one entry can confuse students. By limiting access to the Modules section, you gain greater control over how students navigate your coursework.


To modify or reorganize the course navigation within your Canvas course, follow these steps:

  1. Access Course Settings:
    • Log in to Canvas and navigate to your course.
    • Click on the Settings link at the bottom of the Course Navigation menu.
  2. Open Navigation Tab: In the Settings area, click the Navigation
  3. Reorder Navigation Links:
    • You can reorder the navigation links by dragging and dropping them. Click on the link you want to move and drag it to the desired location. Drop the link in place by releasing the mouse button.
    • Alternatively, use the Move To Click the Options icon (three vertical dots) next to the link you want to move, select Move, and choose the desired placement from the sidebar menu.
  4. Enable or Disable Links:
    • To enable a link, drag it from the hidden section at the bottom of the page to the visible section at the top. To disable a link, drag it from the visible section to the hidden section.
    • You can also click the Options icon next to a link and select Enable or Disable to show or hide the link.
  5. Save Changes: After making your changes, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button to apply the changes.
  6. Verify Changes: Check the Student View to ensure that the navigation menu appears as expected for students. You can do this by clicking the Student View button in the course settings.

By following these steps, you can effectively customize the course navigation menu to suit your course's needs and improve the navigation experience for your students.

Additional Resources

How Do I Manage Course Navigation Links

Step 9: Check Course Details Settings

There are many settings to choose from and some that are very important that you change. These are our recommendations. To access these settings, go to Settings on the course menu, then make sure the Course Details tab is selected.Screenshot showing how to view Canvas Course details.

  • Course Image: If you add an image here it shows on your course card on the Canvas Dashboard.  It's a subtle way to make your course stand out.  This is optional and not a requirement. 
  • Start and End Dates: Start and End dates are automatically added via the course schedule that is uploaded to Campus Solutions. Once the course concludes, students will have read-only access to your course for one year. You do have the option of limiting or extending access to the course if needed. 
  • Grading Scheme: tells Canvas how you want percentages turned into letter grades in your course. If you do not check this box, students will see a percentage rather than a letter grade when they view their grades. If you do check this box, be sure to select a different grade scheme than the first one that shows up because it might not match the grading scheme you have specified within your syllabus.
  • Show Announcements:  We recommend you show at least one to three announcements on your course home page. Check this box, then choose the number of announcements you want to display.
  • Attach Files: Usually, there is no harm in allowing students to attach files to discussions. However, your needs may vary.
  • Students Create Discussions: If you check this box, and we do not recommend this, you will allow students to create their own discussion forums. This can play havoc with your planned discussions in most courses. However, it can be useful if you do not plan discussions and want to allow students to talk about anything they want.
  • Edit Discussion Posts: If you check this box, students will be able to delete or edit their discussion posts. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes not. It's your call.
  • Organize Groups: If you want to let students organize their own groups, check this box. However, be sure to monitor any groups they create. Student groups have been known to be used to cheat.
  • Disable Comments on Announcements: If you check this box students will not be able to leave comments on your announcements.  If you do not check this box student will be able to reply to your announcements which means you will have another place to manage communications with your students.  However, this another way you can humanize your course. 
  • Update Course Details: Make sure you click this button to save your chosen settings. 

Step 10: Verify Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes are up to date and working properly

To ensure that your assignments, quizzes, and discussions are ready for the new semester in Canvas, follow these best practices:


Bulk Edit Due Dates and Availability

  • Use the "Edit Assignment Dates" feature to quickly update due dates and availability dates for multiple assignments at once.
  • Double-check dates in the Assignments or Modules sections after bulk editing.
  • Verify assignment groups for accurate weighted totals.

Update Assignment Details

  • Review and update each assignment's title, description, due dates, and point values.
  • Make necessary changes and save updates.

Best Practices for Migrating Quizzes

  1. Review and Update Quiz Content: Verify that questions, answers, embedded media, and links are accurate and functional.
  2. Consistency in Quiz Settings: Set correct availability dates and times. Adjust time limits and the number of attempts to match course requirements.
  3. Ensure Proper Quiz Placement: Place quizzes in appropriate modules and assignment groups. Verify points and weighting for overall grade calculation.
  4. Preview and Test Quizzes: Use Student View to preview quizzes from a student’s perspective. Conduct test runs to ensure all functionalities work as expected.
  5. Communicate with Students: Provide clear instructions and guidelines for taking quizzes. Use course announcements to inform students about quiz schedules and details.
  6. Backup and Documentation: Export quizzes as QTI files for backup. Document changes for future reference.
  7. Technical Support and Resources: Refer to Canvas guides and resources for detailed instructions. Contact your institution’s Canvas support team for technical assistance.

Best Practices for Migrating Discussions

  1. Carrying Over Discussions: Manually update discussion dates and settings after import. Avoid duplicates by selecting specific content during the copy process.
  2. Review and Edit: After copying, review the discussion in the new course to ensure all content, including images and files, has been transferred correctly. Make any necessary adjustments to the discussion prompt or settings

General Best Practices

Comprehensive Review: Conduct a comprehensive review to ensure all assignments, quizzes, and discussions are valid and relevant to the new semester. Remove any unnecessary items to clean up the course content.

Use a Development Shell: Build and test assessments in a development shell before importing them into the official course.

Student View: Use the Student View feature to ensure everything functions as expected from the student's perspective.

Accessibility and Communication: Check the accessibility of your content using Canvas’s built-in Accessibility Checker or the Pope Tech Accessibility Checker. Communicate frequently with students about assessments and tools used.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your assignments, quizzes, and discussions are current and ready for the new semester in Canvas.

Additional Resources

Step 11: Properly Set-Up Your Gradebook

When setting up a new course shell for a new semester in Canvas, it is crucial to follow best practices to ensure a smooth and efficient grading process throughout the semester. Here are some key steps and best practices for the initial setup of your grade book:

Initial Setup Steps

  1. Create Assignment Groups
    • Purpose: Create specific groups for assignments, quizzes, or discussions. Faculty should review all assignments, discussions, and quizzes to ensure relevance to the new semester and clean up anything irrelevant.
    • How to: Navigate to the Assignments page, click the "+ Group" button, and create groups for each category. This helps in managing and organizing assignments effectively.
  2. Set Up Assignment Group Weights (optional)
    • Purpose: Ensure that each category contributes appropriately to the final grade based on your syllabus.
    • How to: After creating assignment groups, click the three dots next to the group name, select "Assignment Group Weights," and assign the appropriate percentage to each group (e.g., Homework 50%, Exams 25%, Participation 25%).
  3. Enable a Grading Scheme
    • Purpose: Align the grade book with your course's grading policy, converting numerical scores to letter grades if needed.
    • How to: Go to Course Settings, scroll down to "Enable course grading scheme," and either use the default scheme or customize it to match your syllabus.
  4. Set Up Late and Missing Policies
    • Purpose: Automate the handling of late and missing submissions to maintain consistency and fairness.
    • How to: In Gradebook Settings, navigate to the Late Policies tab and configure automatic deductions for late submissions and default grades for missing assignments.
  5. Configure Grade Posting Policies
    • Purpose: Control when students see their grades and feedback.
    • How to: In Gradebook Settings, set the grade posting policy to either automatic or manual, depending on whether you want grades to be visible immediately or after manual review.
  6. Organize Gradebook Columns
    • Purpose: Ensure the grade book is easy to navigate and use.
    • How to: Use the drag-and-drop feature to arrange columns in a logical order, resize columns as needed, and use filters to manage the view of the grade book.
  7. Set Up Filters and Views
    • Purpose: Customize the grade book view to suit your needs.
    • How to: Use the "View" menu to apply filters, such as by assignment group or module, and set up presets for frequently used views.

Best Practices

  1. Consistency with Syllabus: Ensure that the grade book setup aligns with the grading policies and structure outlined in your syllabus. This includes assignment weights, grading schemes, and late policies.
  2. Clear Communication: Clearly communicate grading policies, including how grades will be posted and how late submissions will be handled, to students at the beginning of the semester.
  3. Regular Updates: Regularly update the grade book with new assignments and grades to keep it current and accurate. This helps students track their progress and stay informed about their performance.
  4. Utilize Canvas Features: Take advantage of Canvas features such as SpeedGrader for efficient grading, and the Notes column for tracking additional information about student performance.
  5. Backup and Export: Periodically export the grade book to an Excel file as a backup. This ensures that you have a copy of the grades in case of any technical issues.

By following these steps and best practices, you can set up a robust and efficient grade book in Canvas that will help manage grading throughout the semester effectively.

Additional Resources

Step 12: Validate Links

Ensuring that all links in your Canvas course are valid before the start of a new semester is crucial for maintaining a smooth and accessible learning experience for your students. Failing to validate links can lead to frustration, missed information, and a negative impact on student engagement and success.

To validate links within a Canvas course, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings: In the Course Navigation menu, click on the Settings
  2. Open Validation Link: In the right sidebar, click on the Validate Links in Content
  3. Start Link Validation: Click the Start Link Validation button to begin the process.
  4. View Links: Once the validation process is complete, Canvas will display a list of all the content items with broken or invalid links. This includes both published and unpublished content.
  5. View Unpublished Content: By default, the validator will show links in unpublished content. You can uncheck this option if you do not want to see these links.
  6. View Broken Link Details: The validator will categorize broken content as either links or images. It will specify whether the content is non-existent (invalid) or unreachable (could not be displayed).
  7. Update Links: To fix broken links, click on the name of the content item. This will take you to the specific location where you can update or replace the invalid link.
  8. Restart Link Validation: After updating the links, you can re-run the link validation by returning to the Link Validator page and clicking the Restart Link Validation button to ensure all issues have been resolved.

Additional Tips:

  • Check for Specific Issues: The report will detail various types of issues such as external links being unreachable, non-existent content, unpublished content, and links to other courses that may not be accessible to students.
  • Fixing Common Issues: For each type of issue, the report will provide a description and a suggested remedy, such as updating the link, publishing the content, or removing the link.
  • Best Practices: Run the link validator at least two weeks before a session starts and check both published and unpublished content. Turn on Canvas notification alerts for bad links to stay informed about any issues.

By following these steps, you can ensure that all links within your Canvas course are functional and accessible to students.

Additional Resources

Step 13: Add Requirements To Module Items

To add requirements to a module within a Canvas course shell, follow these steps:

  1. Open Modules: In Course Navigation, click the "Modules" link.
  2. Edit the Module:
    • Find the module you want to add requirements to and click the gear icon next to it.
    • Select "Edit" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Add Requirements: Click the "+ Add Requirement" button to begin adding your first requirement to the module.
  4. Select Requirement Type: You can choose from several options for what students must do to complete each item in the module
      • View the item: Students must view the item.
      • Mark as done: Students must mark the assignment or page as done.
      • Contribute to the page: Students must post a reply to a non-graded discussion or contribute content to a page.
      • Submit the assignment: Students must submit an assignment, post a reply to a graded discussion, or submit a quiz.
      • Score at least: Students must meet a minimum submission score.
  1. Set Completion Requirements: You can choose whether students must complete all of the requirements or just one of them. Additionally, you can specify if students must complete the requirements in sequential order.
  2. Update Module: After setting the requirements, click the "Update Module" button to save your changes.

Example Scenarios

  • Least Restrictive:
    • Students can track their progress without being locked into a sequence.
    • Set up: Select "Students must complete all of these requirements" without adding prerequisites.
  • Moderately Restrictive:
    • Students must complete one unit before moving to the next.
    • Set up: Add requirements to the module and then set the preceding module as a prerequisite for the next module.
  • Most Restrictive:
    • Students must complete items in a specific order and master concepts before moving on.
    • Set up: Select "Students must complete all of these requirements in sequential order" and add the preceding module as a prerequisite.

By following these steps, you can effectively guide students through your course content in the desired sequence and ensure they meet specific learning objectives before progressing.

Additional Resources

Step 14: Publish/Unpublish Course Content

Make Sure Your Content Is Accessible

The San Diego Community College District to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure that all of our students have access to the material and to comply with the law. 

To learn more about resources to assist you in making your courses accessible, we recommend you visit the California Community Colleges Accessibility Centerfor more information.  

Publishing Content

It is vital that you publish your course before the semester start date to ensure your students have access your course on the first day of class.  Please review the following instructions on how to publish your Canvas course.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Open Your Course:
    • In the global navigation on the left, click the Courses
    • Select the desired course from the list. If you do not see the course, click All Courses to see the full list.
  2. Navigate to the Home Page: Once inside the course, ensure you are on the Home This is typically the default landing page when you enter a course.
  3. Publish the Course:
    • In the right sidebar, locate the Publish On smaller screens, this sidebar may appear beneath the main content of the Home page
    • Click the Publish This action will change the course status to published, making it accessible to students.

Important Notes

  • Un-publishing: If you need to un-publish your course, you can click the Un-publish button in the sidebar. However, once your course contains a graded submission, you can no longer un-publish it.
  • Student Access: Students will not be able to see or access the course until it is published. Once published, the course will be available according to the term and/or course dates.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your Canvas course is published and accessible to your students.

Additional Resources

How To Publish A Canvas Course

Step 15: Check Due Dates

Use the Calendar, Course Summary under the Syllabus section, or Assignments page to check if due dates are correct.

What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?

Screenshot of Course Summary to differentiate between Due Dates for Canvas Assessments.

Step 16: Verify Enrollment Roster Is Correct

Before modifying your courses in Canvas, please make sure that you are still teaching the course in mySDCCD portal. Also make sure that the enrollment roster is correct under the "People" section within Canvas. Unfortunately scheduling mistakes do happen. It's important to discover these mistakes as early as possible before the new semester begins. Here are the steps needed to verify your roster is correct from within your Canvas course shell.

  1.  Log into your Canvas account. Open up your official course shell and click on People.
    A screenshot of the Canvas People feature to view the roster

    The next step is to verify that the correct instructor of record has been enrolled into the course.

  2. While in the People Section, click on the "All Roles" drop-down menu and select "Teacher".
    A screenshot to view the Teacher Role in your Canvas Roster
  3. Review the list and verify that the instructor of record is correct.
    A screenshot showing how the Teacher Role appears in the Canvas Roster
    The final step is to verify that the correct section has been enrolled into your official Canvas course shell

  4. Refer to the "Section" column and verify that the five-digit course number matches the 5-digit course number of the course you are teaching. If these numbers do not match, this means that a different section has been enrolled into your course.
    A screenshot denoting how to verify your Canvas Section numbers

If you notice any mistakes in your roster, you will need to fill out a MySDCCD Help Desk support ticket for further assistance. These errors need to be resolved Campus Solutions before it can be resolved in Canvas.

Step 17: Send An Announcement To Your Students

Announcements and Inbox conversations are NOT sent if the course is unpublished.

If you want to send an announcement to your students before publishing the course, you can send an email through the MySDCCD Portal.

Please provide instructions for your students on how to get started with Canvas. Many of your students may not have used Canvas before. To help them, send an announcement that includes a link to the SDCCD Online Learning Pathways Student Support page.

Step 18: Publish Your Course

It is vital that you publish your course before the semester start date to ensure your students have access your course on the first day of class. Please review the following Canvas Community Guide for detailed instructions on How To Publish A Course In Canvas.

Step 19: End Of Pre-Semester Checklist


You have completed the pre-semester checklist!

If you need immediate assistance in setting up your Canvas course we recommend you contact the 24/7 Canvas Faculty Support line for assistance at 1-844-612-7422.

Otherwise, feel free to contact us the SDCCD Online Learning Pathways Department for additional assistance.  Make sure to include all of us on your email inquiry for the best response time.