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

  • All Assignments, Discussions, Pages, and Quizzes have been created in Canvas
  • The settings are correct for all Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes
  • Assignment Groups have been created and assigned percentages that match the percentages stated in the Syllabus
  • The Gradebook has been properly set up to calculate final grades
  • If using weekly modules, assignments (including Discussions and Quizzes) are placed in the relevant modules (To check this, click on Assignments. If an assignment is in a module, you will see the name of the Module in small print to the side or below the Assignment name. If you don’t see a Module listed, it’s not in a module.)
  • For an asynchronous course, student participation should be a substantial part of the grade. (30% is a good rule of thumb.) Discussion thread comments, video responses, and other methods of interaction would all count. 

Weekly Modules (for an online course)

  • 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 objectives and what students need to do for the week
  • For an asynchronous course, at least one online discussion per week (or equivalent amount of student interaction). For a synchronous online course, there is at least one asynchronous activity per 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)
  • Faculty-created content (assignment handouts, lecture notes, etc) are in Canvas Pages instead of PDFs and PowerPoints
  • All modules and module items are published


  • Syllabus information has been added as text in the Syllabus page 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 and comments, etc)

Calendar & Due Dates

  • Each week has a consistent rhythm of activities and 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


  • All pages, documents, and assignments created for the course should follow WCAG 2.1 accessibility formatting guidelines: use of headers to organize text, alternative text (alt text) for images, descriptions for tables or figures, limited use of colors for formatting, etc.
  • Content typed into Canvas has been reviewed using the Canvas Accessibility Checker
  • Links to library resources are provided where possible
  • Documents that are used are clear and easily readable, OCRd, and fall within fair use guidelines In asynchronous courses, PDFs are remediated.
  • Panopto videos include corrected captions (note: Panopto 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 have been discussed with the library staff. Library staff can work with you to get updated rights and viewing links.

Zoom Meetings (for a synchronous course)

  • 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)
  • For an asynchronous course, you have added a welcome video to the Home Page introducing yourself and the course.
  • 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, Files, etc) that are being used are published
  • Items that are not needed (extraneous Discussions, Assignments, Files, Pages, Quizzes) have been deleted
  • The course is published
  • For an asynchronous course, 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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