Course Review Checklist

This checklist will help you determine whether your Canvas course is ready for the start of the semester. It is based on a course built with weekly modules, using ITG’s template course. If you are not using a weekly module format, some of the items on this checklist may not apply to your course. For baseline requirements for Emerson courses, see Emerson's accessibility guidelines.

Assignments & Gradebook

Weekly Modules

Note: use of modules in a week to week format is not required but highly recommended.

  • Statement has been added to the home page letting students know that the course is organized in modules
  • Each module begins with a weekly overview page that includes learning goals and what students need to do for the week
  • Weekly overview pages match up with what is in the module (ie, if students need to turn in an assignment, the assignment should be added as an item to the module)
  • Related files are placed in the weekly modules (either via a link on a Page or as a module item)
  • All modules and module items are published


  • Syllabus information has been added (either as text or a properly linked file) in the Syllabus section of the course
  • Academic Affairs syllabi statements are included and up to date
  • Office hours are posted, including how they will be offered
  • The grading scheme is clarified (how the final grade will be determined, etc)
  • Includes a communication policy (best way to contact you, amount of time students can expect to wait for a response, etc)
  • Expectations for class participation are clearly defined (ie, attendance, discussion posts, etc)

Calendar & Due Dates

  • All Assignments, Quizzes and Discussions have due dates (click on the Syllabus and scroll down to Course Summary. Any Assignments without due dates will appear at the bottom of the summary)
  • Due dates are within the term dates
  • Any additional events that should appear on the Calendar (and Syllabus Course Summary) have been created or updated


  • Content typed into Canvas has been reviewed using the Canvas Accessibility Checker
  • Alternative text has been added to images in the course
  • Links to library resources are provided where possible
  • Documents that are used are clear and easily readable, OCRd, and fall within fair use guidelines (note: If a document you upload to Canvas is easily readable, the Ally tool will automatically create an OCRd version and make it available in its "Alternate Formats" menu. Ally will usually not give a "green" score to untagged PDFs, even if they're easily readable. Ally’s color-coded meters are there only to offer guidance and are not visible to students.)
  • Panopto videos include corrected captions (note: Panopto now adds auto-captions to all videos by default, but you can edit those captions for accuracy)
  • Other videos include high-quality captions
  • Any course viewings provided by the library (both previously used and newly added) have been discussed with the library staff. Links used to screen clips and films from previous semesters may not work—the library staff can work with you to get updated rights and working links viewings

Zoom Meetings

  • Zoom course meetings have been scheduled through the Zoom tool in Canvas
  • The Syllabus explains Zoom meeting expectations (what defines meeting “participation,” where/how students will access Zoom meeting links, whether meetings are mandatory or optional, etc)
  • If planning to record Zoom meetings, the Consent Form Assignment (included in the course’s template) has been updated to reflect the course and is published (note: meetings can only be recorded after all students have signed the consent form, and they should be deleted at the time specified in the consent form)

Final Touches

  • The Home Page is customized for your course (add your name, the title of the course, etc)
  • Any old Announcements or Calendar events from previous course imports have been deleted or updated
  • The Link Validator ran and any broken links have been fixed
  • Course items (Discussions, Assignments, Quizzes, Modules, etc) that are being used are published
  • Items that are not needed (extraneous Discussions, Assignments, Pages, Quizzes) have been deleted
  • The course is published
  • If the course is online, students have been notified by email that the course is published and what their first steps should be

If you would like an interactive version of this Course Review Checklist where you can check off each item, you can do so by clicking this link to a Google Sheet version of the Checklist, then clicking File > Make a copy.

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