Find guidance on how to set up modules in Canvas and apply the correct template for your School.

Steps for setting up a Canvas module

Follow these steps to set up modules in Canvas and apply the correct template for your School.

The steps are hyperlinked to allow you to navigate to the relevant section.

Step 1: Apply/update your School template

This process is School specific, so please expand your School to view your guidance. You will be prompted to sign in to Box, using your Sussex credentials.

If you are setting up a new module, this would be a good chance to speak to your School Learning Technologist first.

Step 2: Structure the module

Structure your module so that students can find the key information and support they need.

Covering key details now allows students to be ready and familiar before learning and assessment begins. Making information easy to find, reduces stress and creates a more positive experience.

To do this:

Step 3: Update the content

Old and inaccurate information can create barriers with students, who may stop looking at your site, miss key information and ask you more questions individually, which in turn increases your workload. It is essential you keep information up to date.

If your module sits within MPS, LPS Global or ESW, give a meaningful and descriptive header to each week or topic page (for example, Week 1: Principles of online learning) and then update home page links. If your module sits within MAH, Business or Psychology, skip this step and do not add week/topic pages to your front page.

You must:

  • provide an outline of the focus for each week or topic
  • update dates and times for sessions, or office hours
  • ensure your module information page is filled in – including adding links to any relevant files and tutor contact details
  • if you want to use Panopto recordings from last year, copy of the recordings to the current module
  • use the Canvas accessibility checker to check each page
  • check that any contributory e-submissions accidentally copied over from the previous year have been deleted. New Canvas Turnitin and Canvas Online assignments are created automatically from the Sussex database early in the academic year
  • use the Canvas link validator to identify broken links
  • check whether embedded content or links to external resources still work.

To enhance your module:

  • include a shared space for students to post questions – this could be a Canvas discussion or a moderated Canvas chat
  • add an introductory video by the module convenor to help establish an initial virtual presence
  • consider splitting longer recordings into several shorter videos, or chapters, as long videos can present accessibility challenges for students.

Step 4: Check compliance and accessibility

We need to make our content accessibile for all students. You can do this by:

  • using the Canvas accessibility checker to check each page
  • checking documents and videos are accessible before uploading them to your module
  • complying with copyright rules (including images, scanned pages, videos and audio)
  • ensuring essential resources are accessible to all your students or provide an alternative resource. Not all websites are available internationally (for example, YouTube is blocked in some territories).

Find out more about accessibility best practice.

Step 5: Publish the module

When you are ready to make your module site visible to students:

Last updated: 16 April 2024.

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