Beginning of Semester / Term Checklist

Before your class becomes available to students, there are a few administrative and technical items that you may want to check / revisit to ensure you are ready for the new semester.

Academic course sites are created in Canvas in coordination with the University Registrar's Office*.  

Once courses are created, teaching faculty will receive an announcement that their Canvas courses are now ready to be accessed.

  • Fall sites are typically created in April
  • Spring sites are typically created November
  • Summer sites are typically created in January / February

* Upon request, some professional schools may opt to have their courses created earlier.

▢ Canvas Course Availability / Creation

Courses are created once the registrar has confirmed they have the data of the courses running. Although it is a fluid date, generally fall term courses are available by April, spring term courses are available in November, and summer term courses are available in January / February.

  • If you do not see your course on your Canvas Dashboard, go to “All Courses” to confirm that it is listed. For more information on customizing your Dashboard, please see our Setting Your Favorite Courses article.
  • To request an umbrella site, please see our Understanding Canvas @ Yale Umbrella Sites article.
  • If you still do not see your course in Canvas @ Yale, please reach out to your registrar to confirm you are listed as the instructor of record.

For more information about course availability, please see your school's respective Academic Calendar, or contact your department.

▢ Reusing / Importing Canvas Course Content

If you have previously used Canvas to teach your course, you can use the Canvas import tool in order to copy your previous course site to your new term’s course site. You will be able to reuse your syllabus, resources, assignments, discussion boards, etc. from your previous course.

(If Applicable) Migrating Classes*v2 Content

During Summer 2017, all unique courses from 2009-2017 were migrated from Classes*v2 to Canvas. Classes*v2 has since been decommissioned and is no longer available to access directly.

  • Your Classes*v2 content can be found in its corresponding migrated Canvas courses. Canvas courses that have a Term of "Semester Year T" (i.e. Spring 2015 T) are the migrated courses, and can be found in the "All Courses" section of your Canvas Global Navigation, under the "Past Enrollments" header.

Please note that the Web Links (URLs) found in Classes*v2 are not supported in Canvas Files.  Web Links will be converted to a Page resource which contains the link to the website.

▢ Course File Storage Quotas

The standard storage quota for a course site on Canvas @ Yale is 1 GB (1000 MB). However, if you need additional space, you can email [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.

For additional tips about file storage, check out our Best Practices for File Storage article.

▢ Uploading Your Syllabus

In order for your syllabus to appear on Yale’s Course Search for students to view during the course selection and add / drop period, you will need to upload and/or recreate your syllabus within the Syllabus Tool in your course site, as well as Publish your course.

For more information on preparing your syllabus in Canvas, please see our Posting Your Syllabus in Canvas article.

  • If you upload your syllabus in Canvas @ Yale, the syllabus will appear in Course Search.
    • It can take up to 6 hours for the "Syllabus" button to appear on Yale Course Search for your course listing.

For your syllabus to appear in the Yale Course Search, your Canvas course will also need to be "Published."

▢ Publishing Your Course

When you first get your Canvas site and while you are working / revising it, your course is unpublished. Once you are ready, you need to make your course available for students to view your course and syllabus.

For more information on publishing your course, please see our Publishing and Unpublishing Your Course article.

  • A course will not be visible to students until it is published.

Once you have graded an assessment, you cannot unpublish your course.

▢ Adding Guest Users

You may need / want to add additional users to your course—alumni auditors, students from other institutions, guest instructors, etc. There are two types of users that you can add to your course.

NetID Users

You have the ability to add users with active NetIDs* to your course. The roles which should be used are:

  • TA
  • Guest Instructor
  • Guest Student

To add users to your course, please review the our Adding / Removing Users in Your Course article.

*Alumni auditors are not considered active NetID users and will need a local Canvas guest account created.

Non-NetID Users

In order to have non-NetID users (i.e. alumni auditors) added to your course site, you will first need to request a local Canvas guest account by submitting the Canvas Guest Account Request Form.

Once a guest account is created for the user, you will be notified and then you will be able to add this user to your course. The roles which should be used are TA, Guest Instructor, and Guest Student.

▢ Course Reserves

In order to set up your Course Reserves, please contact an e-Reserve Librarian. Their contact information can be found here: Course Reserves Home.

For more information, please see the Using Canvas for Reserves guide.

  • If you are having issues accessing the reserves through Canvas, please contact an e-Reserve Librarian first.
  • If you do not see the Course Reserves link within your course navigation, please contact [email protected].
▢ Course Selection and Add / Drop Period

Yale students are given the opportunity to "Visit" courses that they are interested in, but are not sure that they want to register for. During this period, students can add the course to their Canvas Worksheet to get access to the Canvas course site. They can also attend in-person / online course meetings to help them decide for which courses to officially register.

You will see participants with the role of "Visitor" added to your site. For more information, please see the Course Selection and Add / Drop Period as well as the End of Add / Drop Period articles.

  • Visitors will be removed automatically shortly after the add / drop period ends. If students want to be removed sooner, they will need to remove the course from their Canvas Worksheet.
  • Please contact the Registrar's Office if you have questions about the status of students' enrollment in your class. Canvas reflects the data from that office.
  • Student / Visitor enrollments can take up to four hours to be added and/or removed in your Canvas @ Yale course.

If you have any questions regarding accessibility of your content, please contact: [email protected] or see the following help documents:

For more help, please contact [email protected].