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Canvas course creation tool live

All faculty now have access to a new tool that makes setting up a course in Canvas faster and easier

Teaching and learning Mar 30, 2023

All faculty should now have access to a new tool that makes setting up a course in Canvas faster and easier. 

“Course Setup Wizard is a direct response to a faculty need,” Jay Gladden, associate vice president for Learning Technologies said. “I am incredibly proud of the team for their hard work and dedication in creating a solution that will benefit faculty members for years to come.” 

Developed by the UITS eLearning Services and LMS Development Team, the tool is designed to help instructors in building new Canvas courses by streamlining some of the most common challenges instructors face. This includes importing content from another course, adding a template, or adding the IU Home Page to courses.   

Carrie Hansel, manager of collaborative programs for the e-learning Design and Services team, stated that the idea for this tool came during the pandemic. 

“We had several faculty members who were very concerned about creating online courses,” Hansel said. “Some of them were new to IU and had never used Canvas before. They were having difficulty figuring out where to start. With that feedback, I began to write the first proposal for the IU Course Template which was the precursor for the Wizard.” 

Hansel states that the Wizard is not a requirement for faculty members, but an optional tool to make designing, planning, and building Canvas courses easier. 

For example, a new chemistry professor can use the Wizard to import either the entirety of or specific content from any Canvas course they are enrolled in as a teacher, designer, or teaching assistant rather than having to re-enter the content into the new course. 

Additionally, the Wizard allows faculty members easier access to templates, which provide a variety of settings, instructional content, and branding elements to their courses.  

According to Heather Warnsman, IT business analyst and the product owner, the Wizard did not add these options to Canvas, but instead made them more visible and more accessible to users. 

“This tool by no means replaces conversations that you might have with an official instructional designer or consultant,” Warnsman said. “We’re wanting to get you ramped up as quickly as possible or get you to the spot where you can start customizing as quickly as possible.” 

On March 30, 2023, the Course Setup Wizard will end its pilot phase and become available to all IU faculty members. 

“We want faculty feedback,” Hansel said. “With it we can help streamline and personalize their course design and building experience.” Heather Warnsman stated that any faculty wishing to provide feedback can reach her at her email address. 

Feedback from faculty surrounding course home pages helped determine what will be included with new courses. Starting March 30, 2023, courses will have a smaller template that includes a few settings and a simple home page. Faculty who wish to use the IU Home Page template will see that it is an option in the wizard.  

Hansel and Warnsman highlight the efforts of Lynn Ward, Andrea Schmidt, Meg Zurlage, Jeani Young, Anna Greene, Maggie Ricci, and Justin Zemlyak who helped make the Wizard possible. 

For more information on the Course Set Up Wizard, please visit their Knowledge Base document. 

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