Semester Start Checklist

Last updated 08.13.21

Set Up Your Course

Cross-list Multiple Sections

Review UVU’s Cross Listing Courses in Canvas website for further information.

Submit your cross list at least three weeks before a semester starts using UVU’s Cross List Request Form.

Import Existing Content

 Instructors teaching a course for the first time should contact the department chair or course/program coordinator to obtain course content.

 Import content from a previous semester by viewing these guides on how to import an entire course OR specific content.

NOTE:  Be sure to check the box under the course name titled Include completed courses to see the full list of your past courses.

Adjust due dates during this process. View past semester dates on the Semester Start and End Dates with your UVU Google account.

Creating New Course Content

Review the OTL Course Design webpage for guidance on creating new course content.


Ensure Your Course Copied Correctly

 Use the Validate Links tool to check the entire course for broken links.

 View assignments and pages with the Student View option to make sure they are not misformatted or missing content.

 Check due dates and assignment group weights (if applicable) to make sure the grades are not inflated or underinflated.

 Check that any extra credit in the course is being calculated correctly.

 Set announcements to delay posting for a future release and/or delete irrelevant


Update Course Content

Edit Syllabus, Instructor Information, and Course Schedule pages with current semester dates, preferred contact method and other information.

 Update textbook information including ISBN number.

Create a Week 1 assessment (eg syllabus quiz) and then reach out to students who don’t complete it successfully.

 Organize and remove old files in the Files tab using TidyUp.

Lock files and folders you do not want students to see. Be careful NOT to lock images or they will not display. Make sure any quiz answer keys in the files are locked.

 Create any groups in the people tab before attaching to the appropriate group assignments.

 Add peer-review assignments and peer-reviewed discussions, if you intend to use them.


Set Up Live Streaming - If Desired

Integrate Microsoft Teams with Canvas to live stream your lectures and allow for group collaborations using the Microsoft Integration video and OTL's Training Videos for Faculty.

 Provide students with the Live from UVU student orientation.


Set Up Secure Exams

Guide to Assessment Design

 Create your assessments using our Guide to Assessment Design resource.

Proctorio Remote Testing

 Enable Proctorio to allow your students to take remotely proctored online exams in Canvas and other supported technologies.

Exam Conversion

 Utilize UVU Testing Services digital exam conversion service for faculty by emailing


Plagiarism Detection

 Enable Unicheck, a fully integrated plagiarism checker into your Canvas assignments.



 All instructors are encouraged to complete the Introduction to Accessibility course to learn how to improve the accessibility of their course.

 Review other resources on the Accessible Course Design page.


Publish Course for Students

 Publish all individual content and modules that you want students to see, then click Publish Course so students are able to access the full course.

NOTE: Students cannot participate in your course until the term starts, even if you publish it early.


Send a Welcome Email to Students

 Send a welcome email to all your students from your Canvas Conversations Inbox or UVU email address. 

NOTE: Canvas Conversations Inbox will become available only after the course is published.


Other Resources for Instructor and Student Success

Microsoft Office Suite

 Get Microsoft Office 365 for free by clicking on the info button in the left-hand navigation in Canvas.

 Direct your students to the info button on Canvas for their free download.

Canvas Skills for Faculty

 Click the faculty registration link for this repeatable online workshop to improve your Canvas skills comprising of 3 levels: basic, intermediate and advanced.

Canvas Tour for Students

 Place the Canvas Tour registration link in your course for students to learn the basics of Canvas in a one-hour interactive orientation including practice activities.

 Create an assignment for students to submit their completion badge for credit.  See the OTL Support Resources Module in Canvas Commons (found in the left-hand navigation in Canvas) for an example assignment.

Wellness Check-Up Tool and Early Alert

Add this tool to your course to gather early feedback from your students to identify intervention needs. Use the Early Alert system to support struggling students.

 Get instructions to add the tool from the One Month Wellness Checkup Tool .

Student Technical Support

 Add student technical support information to your course:

Service Desk webpage
UVU Service Center
(801) 863-8888
Room BA-007