New Canvas Course Shell

Starting with your Summer 2024 course shells, you will notice a few changes. The new BC Canvas course shell is designed specifically for BC instructors and students. It includes information and resources to help you set up your course. In addition, some default settings have been changed. Below you’ll find a brief overview of the decision to offer faculty a customized course shell and a list of changes made to the course settings.

The new Canvas course shell will provide a better course setup experience for instructors and a more consistent learning experience for students. Ultimately, we wanted to provide instructors with better instructions and resources for setting up their courses. Also, we made improvements to the course navigation, adjusted a few settings to give the instructor more control over their courses, and made some new features available to instructors (e.g. New Quizzes) and students (e.g. Assignment Enhancements).

To learn more about what’s included in the new Canvas course shell, you can attend an upcoming listening session (see links below) or review the ‘Changes made to default settings’ at the bottom of this page.

  1. From the course Home page, select ‘Import Existing Content‘ from the right-side navigation menu.
  2. Select ‘Copy a Canvas Course‘ and choose the course you wish to import.
  3. Next to ‘Content’, select ‘Select specific content‘ instead of ‘All content’. IMPORTANT!
  4. You can choose to ‘Adjust events and due dates‘ or not as you please.
  5. Select ‘Import‘. You will see the new import request under ‘Current Jobs’. Choose ‘Select Content‘.
  6. Select all the content you intend to import, but leave ‘Course Settings’ uncheckedIMPORTANT!
  7. Choose ‘Select Content‘. This will start the import process.

NOTE: If you have customized course settings, we recommend following the above procedure and then adjusting any custom settings. That way, you’re sure to capture any other default settings. Then, the next time you import content from this course, you will have all your custom settings plus the default settings intact.

Below is a list of the specific changes made to the course shell. Click each item to view a brief rationale and explanation of how the change might affect you.

Course navigation is crucial to the student experience. Reducing the number of enabled course links to a core set most commonly used by faculty and students will serve as a better starting point for instructors to build and customize their course navigation.

As with the previous default course shell, instructors will need to customize the course navigation for the purposes of their own course. This means:

  1. removing unnecessary/unused links
  2. adding any additional links needed
  3. ordering the links in a meaningful way

Disabling this setting by default will prevent students from creating their own discussion boards/topics before the instructor has a chance to set up and provide instructions for this type of activity.

If you intend to allow students to create their own discussions topics in Canvas, you simply need to enable this option in the Course Settings.

Disabling this setting by default will prevent students from organizing their own groups before the instructor has a chance to set up and provide instructions for this type of activity.

If you intend to allow students to organize their own groups in Canvas, you simply need to enable this option in the Course Settings.

Enabling the Assignment Enhancements feature improves the assignment interface and submission workflow for students.

This change is only visible to students. You can read more about the new Assignment Enhancements feature by visiting the link below.

What is Assignment Enhancements?

Enabling New Quizzes gives instructors access to a new, more robust quiz builder with additional question types and interactions. However, they are also free to continue using Classic Quizzes.

When you add a new Canvas quiz to your course, you will be prompted to choose between New Quizzes (improved interface with ongoing updates) or Classic Quizzes (the original quizzes interface).

What is New Quizzes?

Placing the students’ grades at the front of the Gradebook saves instructors time as they will not need to scroll to the right in order to see the students’ grades every time they open the Gradebook. This is especially convenient at the end of the quarter when transferring grades to ctcLink.

You will now see the students’ grades next to each student’s name in the Gradebook. If desired, you can move the grade column back to the end (right side) in the Gradebook settings (gear icon).

Adding the Notes column to the Gradebook provides instructors a convenient location to add specific notes to any student’s grade row. The Notes column will appear next to each student’s grade. If the grade column is moved to the end (right side) of the Gradebook, the Notes column will appear next to the student’s name.

The Notes column is there for instructors to use if they need it. If instructors have no need for the Notes column, they can simply ignore it or remove the column entirely by going to the Gradebook settings (gear icon).

If you have questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact

Last Updated April 1, 2024