UBC Okanagan
Canvas Template

The UBC Okanagan Canvas template provides branding for your course home page and is a starting point for setting up your Canvas course.

Step 1: Download & Import

To download the Canvas template, complete a brief survey to provide your name, email address and faculty. This ensures that we are able to contact you if there are any modifications or updates to the template.

Download the UBC Okanagan Course Template
  1. Click the link above.
  2. Fill in the survey.
  3. You will be provided with a link to download the template file. Save the file to your computer hard drive.
  4. Do not try to open the downloaded file – it can not be opened by your computer and is intended to be uploaded to Canvas.

Note: If your faculty or school has a custom standard template, it is also available through the above link. At this time, we have the standard template as well as templates for: School of Nursing, School of of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, School of Engineering, School of Social Work.

After downloading the Template file, complete the following steps to import it into your course:

  1. In your Canvas course, go to Settings > Import Course Content.
  2. Select Content Type Canvas Course Export Package.
  3. Choose the template file to upload.
  4. Select All Content.
  5. Click Import.

For more information see:

Step 2: Set Up Your Course

  1. Select Home from the Course menu.
  2. Edit your home page: Update the Instructor Contact section
    • Include photos and names of instructors and TAs.
    • Add Office Hours information.
    • Update your Department and Faculty names.

For more information see:

  1. Select Settings from the Course menu.
  2. On the Course Details tab:
    1. Review your course start and end dates. By default, students are able to access Canvas courses on the first day of the term, provided the course has been published (see: Canvas Access Dates). If you would like students to be able to access the course before the first day of the term, adjust both the start date and the end date, then check the box next to “Students can only participate in the course between these dates”. This checkbox overrides the default term access dates. You must enter an end date, or the course will remain open forever. Note: if you are opening your Canvas course early, you should not expect students to complete work before the official start of term.
    2. Set your course Format (on campus / online / blended).
    3. Add a course Description.
    4. Replace the course image (optional). This image is visible in the Canvas Dashboard when looking at all of your dashboard courses. You can upload your own image or select from Unsplash.
  3. On the Navigation tab, hide any navigation links that won’t be used, and activate any links that you would like to add to the course menu.
    • All visible navigation links are shown in the top list. To hide a navigation link, click on the three dots to the right of the item, and select Disable. You may wish to hide the Files section from students, for example.
    • All hidden navigation links are shown in the bottom list. To activate a navigation link, click on the three dots to the right of the item, and select Enable. You may wish to enable My Media, for example.
    • Drag and drop items in the top list to rearrange the order that they will show in the Course Navigation menu.
  4. Publish your course when you are ready. Students will not see your course until it is published.
  1. Select Syllabus from the Course menu.
  2. Edit the Syllabus page.
  3. Delete the link to the default syllabus.pdf file.
  4. Upload your own syllabus file and link to it on the page.
  5. You can use the Rich Content editor to add additional information.
  6. Click Update Syllabus to save.
  1. Select Modules from the Course menu.
  2. In the Start Here module, select the Welcome Message page.
  3. Edit the page to update with your specific course information.
  4. Click Save & Publish.
  5. Select Modules again, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Your Instructor and TAs page.
  6. Select Modules again, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Communications Protocols page.
  7. Select Modules again. Publish the Student Guides page.
  8. Select Modules again. Publish the Start Here module.
  1. Select Home from the Course menu.
  2. Your page view depends on the width of your browser window. You are going to add to your course calendar (not to your personal calendar).
    • If you see Course Status on the right side of the page, find and select the View Calendar link below.
    • If you do not see Course Status on the right side of the page, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the View Calendar link from the bottom right corner.
    • Alternately, you can select Calendar from the Global menu, but you must be careful to ensure you are adding the events to the appropriate Course Calendar (and not to your personal calendar).
  3. Select the + button to the right of Week/Month/Agenda view options.
  4. An Edit Event window will pop-up.  The Event tab is selected by default. Select your course name in the Calendar drop down menu.
  5. Click the More Options button at the bottom of the pop-up window.
  6. Add an Event Title. Include your course name/number for clarity within the students’ calendars. To create repeating lecture events,  you will need a new event for each day of the week that you run your lecture. For example, if your class holds synchronous lectures on Mondays from 8:00-9:00 AM and on Fridays from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM, create an Event Title such as “MATH 100 Monday Lecture”.
  7. Select the calendar icon next to the date box, then find and select the date of your first lecture. For example, for a Monday lecture, select Monday September 14.
  8. Add the start and end times. For example, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
  9. Select the checkbox next to Duplicate.
  10. Enter the frequency of the lectures. For example, every 1 Week for 11 additional occurrences (courses run September 8 – December 4, so this example would run Mondays from September 14 to November 30).
  11. Optional: select the checkbox next to Count. Each event will include an appended sequential number, such as MATH 100 Monday Lecture 1, MATH 100 Monday Lecture 2, etc.
  12. Click Create Event.
  13. You will be returned to the Calendar page. Repeat steps 3-12 for remaining weekday lectures (in the example used here, your next event would have an Event Title such as “MATH 100 Friday Lecture” with start and end times of 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM, running from Friday September 11, repeating for an additional 12 occurrences to end on Friday December 4.
  14. On the Calendar page, click on any event to edit or delete the event.

Step 3: Course Organization

Modules allow instructors to organize content to help control the flow of the course.

Modules are used to organize course content by weeks, units, or a different organizational structure. Modules essentially create a one-directional linear flow of what students should do in a course.

Each module can contain files, discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials. Module items can be added to the course from existing content or new content shells within the modules. Course content can be added to multiple modules or iterated several times throughout an individual module. Modules can be easily organized using the drag and drop feature. Elements within the modules can also be reorganized by dragging and dropping.

  1. Select Modules from the Course menu.
  2. There are a number of unpublished modules included in the template. Edit these modules or create your own with the +Module button.
  3. Modules and their contents must be published for students to access them.

For more information see:

Step 4: Content Delivery

Zoom is a ​web-conferencing and collaboration tool​ that lets you meet with students in real time. ​Zoom is an alternative to Collaborate Ultra, if you need a tool with the ability to see more video feeds at once.

Before you can use Zoom in your course, you will need to request a UBC licensed Zoom account and set your default Canvas email to match your Zoom account email (firstname.lastname@ubc.ca).


For more information see:

Kaltura is a media streaming platform for instructors and students to record and share audio and video content. Kaltura features include the ability to upload, publish, and search videos, embed video directly in a Canvas course (that can be reused across multiple courses), and create shortened clips from existing video content. Kaltura is available in Canvas through the My Media and Media Gallery links on the course sidebar.

You can record video using Kaltura Capture, or upload your own audio or video files. And you have unlimited disk space when you upload using Kaltura, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space in your course!

Video and audio media uploaded to Canvas should not be uploaded to the Files section of your course. Canvas is not meant to be a media streaming service, so every time you upload a large media file to Files, and every time a student accesses one of those files, the system is “stressed”, thereby decreasing processing speed for ALL Canvas users.

  1. Enable My Media in your course (see Step 1: Administrative Set-Up – Settings above).
  2. Upload media (all common video, audio and image formats are accepted) through My Media > Add New. You can also download and use Kaltura Capture (a desktop recording software) here.
  3. Set Copyright Permissions and Save your media.
  4. Publish your uploaded media.
  5. Share your media by embedding it through the Rich Content Text editor – in a page, announcement, discussion, assignment, quiz, etc.

Each Canvas course shell has a file upload capacity of about 4 GB.

Video and audio media uploaded to Canvas should not be uploaded to the Files section of your course. Please use Kaltura (My Media) for video files.

You can upload your files directly to the Files section of your course, add a file directly to a Module, or upload and link to or embed a file through the Rich Content Editor in a page, announcement, discussion, assignment, quiz, etc.


For more information see:

Step 5: Assessments

The template is pre-populated with an Assessment Descriptions module containing 3 pages that you need to edit before publishing.

  1. Select Modules from the Course menu.
  2. In the Assessment Descriptions module, select the Online Discussions page.
  3. Edit the page to update with your specific course information.
  4. Click Save & Publish.
  5. Select Modules again, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Online Quizzes page.
  6. Select Modules again, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Final Exam page.
  7. Select Modules again. Publish the Assessment Descriptions module.

Assignment Groups can help organize all assessments in your course. You can also weight the final course grade based on the assignment groups. Set up your assignment groups to match the categories on your Syllabus.

  1. Select Assignments from the course menu.
  2. The template has been populated with a number of Assignment Groups. Rename these groups as appropriate for your course. Select the three dots to the far right in the title bar of an Assignment Group and select Edit to rename the group.
  3. Add any additional Assignment Groups relevant to your course. Click +Group to add an assignment group.
  4. Drag and drop Assignment Groups to rearrange them. Click on the 8 dots next to the Assignment Group name to “grab” it.
  1. The template has been populated with a sample Participation assignment shell, as well as Mid-term and Final Exam quiz shells. These samples do not contain any content – they are just placeholders. Click on the name of an assignment or quiz then edit the relevant details, such as the assignment/quiz details and point values.
  2. Create additional assignment shells within the various assignment groups – these are placeholders for assignments you have yet to create, and can include the assignment type, name, due date and point value.
  3. Students will not see the assignments / quizzes until they are published.

You can weight final grades based on assignment groups. Selecting this option assigns a weight to each assignment group, not the assignments themselves. Within each assignment group, a percentage is calculated by dividing the total points a student has earned by the total points possible for all assignments in that group.

The template has grade weighting turned on by default, but each assignment group is set to 0%. You must set the grade weights for each assignment group, or turn grade weighting off.

  1. Select Assignments from the course menu.
  2. Click on the three dots at the top right of the screen (to the right of +Assignment).
  3. Select Assignment Groups Weight.
  4. Enter the percentage weights for each of the assignment groups.
  5. Click Save.

By default, Canvas is set to an automatic grade posting policy. This means that as soon as an assignment or quiz is marked, the student will immediately see their grade (and any associated feedback comments). For automatically graded Canvas Quizzes, the students will see their mark immediately upon clicking the “submit” button at the end of the quiz.

If you would like to control when your students can see their grades, we recommend changing the default grade posting policy for your course to Manually Post Grades.

  1. Select Grades from the course menu.
  2. Click the Settings icon (a gear in the top right corner).
  3. Select the Grade Posting Policy tab.
  4. Select the Manually Post Grades option.
  5. Click Update.

With a manual grade posting policy, you will need to post grades for each assignment (when you are ready) in order for students to view their grades.

  1. Select Discussions from the course menu.
  2. Edit the sample discussion topics, or create your own.
  3. Publish your discussions to make them visible to students.
  1. Select Assignments from the course menu.
  2. Click +Assignment to create a new assignment, or edit an existing assignment shell.
  3. Enter the assignment details.
  4. By default the assignment will be assigned to everyone in the course. You can adjust the Assign to box to include individual students or course sections, however.
  5. Enter the due date. This is the date after which the assignment will be marked late.
  6. You can optionally add availability dates – these dates are the time frame between which students can access / view the assignment. When published, they will not be able to see the assignment details before the Available From date or after the Until date.
  7. Click Save or Save & Publish.  The Save button will create a draft of your assignment that you can publish later. The Save & Publish button will immediately publish the assignment to your course.

For more information see:

  1. Select Quizzes from the course menu.
  2. Click +Quiz to create a new quiz, or edit an existing quiz shell.
  3. Select your quiz engine – we recommend Classic Quizzes.
  4. By default, you will start on the Details tab. Enter all quiz details.
  5. You can optionally add availability dates – these dates are the time frame between which students can access / view the quiz. When published, they will not be able to see the quiz details before the Available From date or after the Until date.
  6. Select the Questions tab (above the quiz name).
  7. If you would like your questions to appear in a random order for each student, create a +New Question Group and add questions to the group.
  8. If you would like questions to appear in a set order, create a +New Question outside of a question group.
  9. When you have completed creating a question, click Update Question.
  10. Click Save or Save & Publish.  The Save button will create a draft of your quiz that you can publish later. The Save & Publish button will immediately publish the quiz to your course.

For more information see:

Request Assistance from an LTR

If you would like assistance importing the UBC Okanagan Canvas Template into your course or implementing any of the steps listed above, contact the CTL Helpdesk to connect with a Learning Technologies Rover (LTR).