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Canvas Training

Canvas Best Practices for Phase III & IV Core Clinical Curriculum

  • Each clerkship should have its own Canvas course, using one of the following options:
    • Create a unique course for each rotation block
    • Create one course per clerkship year with different sections for each rotation
  • Canvas course or section should use the following naming convention: Academic Year_Clerkship name_Rotation#,g. MS2018 Surgery Clerkship R1
  • Use the following navigation for pages used in the clerkship:
    • Home
    • Modules
    • Assignments
    • Quizzes
    • Grades
    • Any other course specific links
  • Gray out menu items that are not being used, e.g. if you don’t use the Quizzes section of the course, gray it out so it doesn’t show up in the navigation (to do this, go to Settings -> Navigation, and drag any unused pages to the list at the bottom of the page)
  • Home page format:
    • Clerkship name/rotation
    • Description and objectives
    • Contact info for Directors and Coordinators
    • Quick links to resources
  • Any resources not included on the home page should be organized using the Modules page.


Canvas Course Creation & Implementation

Canvas Course Management System

Elective Course Directors and Coordinators are encouraged to employ Canvas, the University of Utah’s chosen learning management system, for course management and communication with students.

The UUSOM course template 

Training and additional information 

Creating a Course



  • On the right, click Add a New Course button.



  • In the Course Name field [1], enter the course name.
  • In the Reference Code field [2], enter the course number (e.g. MDID 7220).
  • In the Department menu [3], select your department.
  • In the Enrollment Term menu [4], select Non-Semester Based.
  • Click the Add Course button [5]



Adding Users

  • To add teachers and students to the course, you will need to search for the course. Type the name of the course in the course name field [1]. Click the Go button [2].



  • View the search results. Click the title of the course to open it.
  • In Course Navigation, click the People link.



  • Click the Add People button



  • In the address field, type or paste the list of users to add to the course (by unid).
  • In the Role drop-down menu [1], assign the user(s) a role for the course. (This method will be used to add both teachers and students).
  • In the Section drop-down menu [2], assign the user(s) a section in the course.
  • If you want to limit the user(s) to only interact with other users in their section, click the Can Interact checkbox [3]
  • Click the Next button [4].



Course Setup Checklist

  • In the Course Home Page sidebar or main content area, click the Course Setup Checklist button.



  • The Course Setup Checklist will help you create a new course in Canvas. The checklist will assist in the following:
    • Import content using the Course Import Tool - More information
    • Add assignments to the Assignments page - More information
    • Add users to the course via the People page - More information
    • Select the links you wish to display in the Course Navigation - More information
      • The SOM requests that you use the following order for the menu:
        • Home
        • Modules
        • Assignments
        • Assessments & Surveys
        • Grades
        • Any course specific links
      • Gray out unused menu items
      • Gray out Syllabus page & post syllabus to Home Page
    • Choose a layout for your Course Home Page - More information
      • Every course needs to include a home page that contains:
        • Course Overview
        • Syllabus
        • Contact information for Course Directors & Coordinators
        • Canvas tips/tutorial for students
      • Add events to your course Calendar - More information
      • Publish the course, which will automatically send invitation emails to any students you have already added to the course - More information

Content Management

  • Consistent naming conventions across all files, folders, modules, courses:
    • Module: Week, Day/Date, Brief Description of Session
  • Content should match menu item terminology
  • Convert documents to PDF
  • Course content can be arranged topically or chronologically, but must be consistent across courses


  • When possible, announcements should be:
    • Posted by coordinator
    • Directly related to course content
    • Consolidated by topic
  • General assignment reminders will be sent out using the Calendar tool, not the Announcements tool.

Helpful links:

Importing Content from Another Canvas Course

Creating a new Module

Adding items to a Module

Creating an Assignment

Uploading a File


For any further questions please contact:

Kerri Shaffer, MEd, MLIS
Director of Curriculum and Faculty Support