What do I need to know to launch my Canvas courses for the new year?

Learn more about new features, best practices, and timelines for preparing your Canvas courses for 21-22.

Written By Jay Heath (Super Administrator)

Updated at August 16th, 2022

Canvas Courses are Ready for the New Year

Courses for the new year have been synced from Veracross to Canvas and are ready for you to begin building. A few notes:

  • Courses are unpublished by default and not visible to students until the teacher chooses to publish them.
  • Course rosters are not yet finalized and will continue to change as add/drop progresses throughout the summer.
  • Remember you can't message your students until your course is published.
  • Are you new to teaching at Overlake? Please coordinate with your department chair and teaching colleagues prior to getting started in Canvas. You can always reach out to the Information Literacy and Technology (ILT) Help Desk for support, but coordinating with your department chair first about the big picture of how Canvas supports you, your students, and your classroom is key.
  • If you have other questions about preparing information and technology resources for the new year, please check out our "Wrapping up 21-22, Preparing for 22-23" article shared in early June.
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New to Overlake?

New employees at Overlake who are teaching or leading classes or groups and using Canvas may appreciate this Canvas Need to Knows guide. You may also find Intro to Canvas for Teachers to be a helpful overview of the platform.


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What's new in Canvas?

There are a TON of new features from summer 2020, including personal pronouns in Canvas, Direct Share with Colleagues, and more. We highly recommend revisiting our "What's New in Canvas in 20-21?" article to ensure you're getting the most out of Canvas. In Summer 2021, we also began syncing events from Veracross to Canvas for events like religious holidays and school closures populating the MAC to make it easier for you to plan major assignments.Insert your text here

A Few Best Practices for Setting up Canvas Courses

  • Over the years we have assembled these "Beginning of the School Year Canvas Tips for Teachers" article, which you may find helpful. Of note, you will want to double-check your Canvas course settings - hide grade distribution graph, show recent announcements on the homepage, etc.
  • Importing is your friend - remember you can import content from any class in which you're a teacher. Canvas has introduced Direct Share which makes it easier to share content between your courses or with your colleagues.
  • Rename your course (in the course settings) to make it easier to differentiate from similarly named courses from previous years. We are working on renaming classes by default in the future so that teachers do not need to do so manually.
  • Update your course navigation to hide items you don't regularly use.
  • Set a course image to display in the dashboard to make finding your course easier for you and your students.
  • Add colleagues as observers or teachers in your course if you want to bring more people into the fold or share class content.

What about using Canvas for online/hybrid instruction due to Covid?

In past years we've launched Canvas with a caveat to the effect of, "Be ready to use Canvas in person, in hybrid, or fully online." It's been a long while since we've been anything but on campus, but it never hurts to be prepared as this virus is nothing if not unpredictable. Here are some of the most important articles we put together in the past to prepare for adaptations to how we do school.

  1. Instructional Technology Competencies Checklist
  2. Instructional Technology Expectations for Teaching and Learning
  3. Overlake Online Learning Expectations

More questions?

Can't figure out a setting? Want some guidance about how to implement something? Don't hesitate to reach out to the ILT Help Desk in the Library, or at help@overlake.org or 425.602.71762 for assistance.





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