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Instructor Guide

Dear Professor,

The weekly modules in the Online template are tied with an adaptive release to the orientation requirement. If you would like CIDT to move your content into these folders for you, please let us know!

The purpose of this template is to provide a similar look and feel throughout Canvas so that our students have a greater sense of familiarity and know how to navigate each course. You are still able to edit and revise the layout, but this will be the standard layout for SE courses (NOT limited to ‚ÄúAP‚ÄĚ courses). We do not claim that this is the ‚Äúright‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúbest‚ÄĚ format or that such a thing exists. Rather, we believe this to be effective in meeting our needs and providing students with consistency.

The intent is that instructors will use these folders to provide weekly content to students. We encourage you to make an outline on the outside of the folder stating what is inside each folder. Inside each module, place content in a logical order for which you would expect students to move through the material. Please remember to provide opportunities for both instructor/student and student/student interaction. Please place links to discussion boards and other course activities in the modules as well so that everything students need to complete each week is in one place. We recommend making the “Discussions,” “Assignments,” and “Quizzes” link on the menu unavailable to students so that they do not miss course lecture content before completing their assignments.

Each student will be required to be orientated in technology skills prior to beginning this course. Each is enrolled in a Canvas course called General Online Learning Directions (GOLD) Orientation. Students may complete the orientation and earn a badge to verify completion. They can then submit a screenshot of that badge to the Orientation Requirement assignment (in the START HERE module) to gain access to the other course modules. As an alternative to the full GOLD Orientation, students may enroll in a Fast Track version of the course. They will only be required to take the final test over the orientation materials and score 80% or higher to earn that badge. They will only have 3 attempts to do so, however, so some may need to move back to the full version of the course if they cannot pass in the Fast Track.

More information is provided below. Please review all the information provided in this Instructor Guide before building your course. Thank you for the work you do for our students and for your patience with us in a time of transition. Please let us know what we can do to assist you in preparing your courses!


Christala Smith
Director: CIDT

Online Teaching Certification Open Close

Please note that the requirement for teaching online at Southeastern is that the Quality Matters Applying the QM Rubric course must be completed before or during the first semester of teaching an online class. It is strongly recommended that before teaching a course for the third time that you take the Quality Matters Improving Your Own Course course. As long as you sign up for these as Dedicated Training, Southeastern will pay the fee. The department chair will outline other requirements for continuous development. CIDT may assist in accomplishing the goals of the department as needed.

Instructing vs. Facilitating Open Close

Southeastern hires instructors, not facilitators. We ask that you make this course your own. You have been selected for this course because of your background and experiences. Please share that with your students. We do not employ course builders who create the courses for faculty to facilitate. Rather, faculty build their own courses with the technical assistance and consultation service of CIDT. Often faculty are willing to share their course content with other faculty. The intent of this sharing is as a resource. Look through the content and assignments used by others to know what has been done before and to get ideas, but then we ask that you make the course your own. If you do use content and assignments written by another instructor, please give him or her credit either in the assignment or in the start here section. We hope that a high degree of personalization in the course design will promote a greater passion for the subject and assignments and ensure a better academic experience for our students.

Syllabus Template Open Close

In your Canvas courses you will find a “Syllabus” menu link that includes a template for you to fill out. This is to help with maintaining consistency in the information presented, though you are welcome to add/adjust the template to match your needs. Please be sure, however, that you are putting in current information for your syllabus, including the mandatory syllabus statements.

As we have transitioned from Blackboard to Canvas, you may especially want to be sure you are checking your syllabus for items that were specific to Blackboard that are no longer used.

Course Template Open Close

The template is designed to 1) establish consistency for students taking online classes at SE, and 2) enforce the GOLD Online Student Orientation requirement via Canvas module requirements/prerequisites. Using the weekly modules in the template will ensure that these objectives are met. If content is placed outside of the weekly modules or the requirements/prerequisites are removed, students may be uncertain regarding the orientation requirement and think they have access to all there is in the course. Therefore, we discourage the use of additional menu buttons for content. Any information you want your students to see on day one, prior to beginning course work, or have access to throughout the course in a single location should be placed in Start Here rather than a separate module or menu link. Deleting the Orientation requirement will cause an error that prevents students from accessing any course content modules.

Definition of a Week

Your course will begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday. Weekly modules will reflect the same pattern. Each week should begin Monday at 12am and end Sunday at 11:59pm. We recommend that the last assignment each week be due at the end of the week, which is Sunday at 11:59pm. The initial post for discussion is typically due on an earlier day during the week. Please be consistent with due dates from week to week. Please avoid having more than three due dates in a single week.

Please note that unlike other classes that end on a Friday, your 7-week course will end on a Sunday. It is an exact 7 weeks.

Discussion, Assignment, and Quiz Menu Buttons

We have found that in courses where a separate button is provided for various assessments, some students ignore the Orientation Requirement because they think they have access all that is in the course via those links. In these cases, students miss lectures and other assessments. Please place ALL content, including lectures, assignments, and discussion for a given week in the corresponding weekly module. Students should access course materials and assessments through the weekly modules.

Questions and Answers

Inside the START HERE module (and maybe your weekly introductions) is a link to a discussion board called “Questions and Answers.” While there are many names for this type of resource and many places it could be put, we have found that the most important aspect to its effectiveness is consistency. We have seen a large increase it the use of this type of space when it is located in the same place from course to course, which is why we have made it part of the template.


Quality Matters requires both course level objectives and module level objectives, and each assignment must be clearly aligned to an objective. The course objectives should be stated in the syllabus. Module level objectives should be written as weekly objectives in the weekly introductions. We also suggest stating corresponding objectives below assignment instructions. For example, you might write, ‚ÄúThis activity fulfills the following objectives: XXX.‚ÄĚ

Objectives and their alignment will be the focus of the AP review. To ensure that you have clear objectives and have aligned the objectives as expected, we recommend scheduling a Zoom conference with our assigned AP instructional designer. For contact information, please contact CIDT at You may also meet with the assigned AP instructional designer to review the course review from AP once complete.

Weekly Introductions and Weekly Wrap Ups

Each weekly module contains an item prompting you to write a Weekly Introduction and a Weekly Wrap Up. These components can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, and ideas are provided in the template text. The purpose of these items are to encourage personalization and may provide a degree of repetition that is often lacking in online classes. Instructors feel a need to give an introduction and conclusion when they are in a face-to-face classroom, but online, too often information is simply dropped in, and students are expected to figure out how the pieces fit together themselves. We are asking you to give your online students the advantage of dialog similar to what you would provide in a traditional classroom.

CIDT’s Color Code

The following colors are used by CIDT.

Red = Template Text. All red text is used as instructions to the instructor and should be replaced. The final version of the course should not use red text because it is not ADA compliant.

Blue = Potential to Change. Information that has a high chance of changing in a subsequent semester is typed in blue. This serves as a flag when reviewing the course to determine whether this information should remain the same or be changed. Specifically, any day, date, or time information is placed in blue text because this is the most commonly missed information when courses are copied, which results in confusion for students.

Green = Note to self or notes to the coach. We suggest instructors use unavailable items with green text to leave themselves reminders regarding information they may want to use later or things to remember when grading, etc. If the course uses coaches, green text in unavailable items may also provide instructions for the coach throughout the course. If a course is being intentionally built for someone other than the builder to teach, we recommend leaving unavailable items with green text for the future instructor to explain your reasoning for various components of the course.

Due Dates in Settings

Entering due dates in the settings will automatically add assignments to the course calendar and send students notifications when due dates are near. We encourage instructors to enter due dates for all assignments.

Days on Instructions

We recommend entering the DAY rather than DATE the assignment is due when typing manual text instructions for students. For example, the initial discussion post in Week 3 might be due on Thursday. If students know the dates for Week 3, stating ‚ÄúThursday‚ÄĚ in the instructions is sufficient. This will reduce areas that are commonly overlooked when a course is copied from semester to semester. Additionally, we recommend that any days or dates provided in text rather than in settings are placed in blue text. This will serve as an emphasis for students and make it easy to review that information when the course is copied in case the schedule changes.

Availability Dates

We recommend considering the purpose of availability dates. With this course design, materials are already ‚Äúchunked,‚ÄĚ or broken up into segments, so it is not necessary to use availability dates for the sake of breaking up information. An important aspect of adult learning is being able to look ahead and know what to expect. There may be some assessments you want to use availability dates for, but in general, we recommend not using availability dates to restrict access. If you do choose to apply availability dates to some items, please state the frame of availability on the outline on the front of the weekly folder.¬†No item or assessment should be available for fewer than 48 hours.


There is no universally required grading scale or system; however, some departments do implement a system or scale. Please adhere to any guidelines set by your individual department. We do ask that each graded assignment have a corresponding rubric that is in the Canvas format and connected through the Canvas grade center.

Feedback Statement

Most instructors already provide a statement in the syllabus regarding response time for emails. We ask that you also include a response time for graded feedback. This is simply to establish an expectation. The statement might be that graded feedback will be provided within three business days, for example. Some instructors state 5 business days. Some state that feedback will be provided before the next assignment is due.

Course Videos

We strongly encourage every instructor to make at least one video for the class ‚Äď a video to introduce yourself to your students. It is important that students feel that they are taking the course from a person, not a computer. Seeing you in a video will help them apply your voice and mannerisms to what they read throughout the course.

If you are willing to make more than one video, we suggest making a weekly introduction video to be placed in the weekly introductions throughout the template. These videos can be a brief overview of the week’s objectives and assignments. You may want to video yourself explaining the expectations and goals of large assignments. This typically reduces the volume of questions received about the assignment and improves the quality of work submitted.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are a great opportunity to provide instructor/student and student/student interaction and to present information in a format not otherwise possible in the online format. We strongly encourage you to consider ways you might be able to incorporate this tool into your classroom. The primary tool we use for virtual meetings is InSpace, which is integrated in your Canvas course menu. Instructors may also use Zoom via a Southeastern account, though available SE licensed accounts are limited. To obtain a SE Zoom account the chair or administrative assistant must fill out a Computer Resource Request form. Accounts are often provided in as little as 24 hours. You should watch your email for account activation information sent from Zoom. The account must be activated within 30 days.

Virtual meetings are not universally required but are required by some departments. Virtual meetings can be used for class meetings, tutoring, or virtual office hours. If you hold class meetings in an online class, you cannot require that all students attend at a particular time; however, you can require that all students must watch the recording if they are unable to attend live. We recommend using a survey during the first week to find a time that fits the schedules of the most students. Be sure to include virtual meetings in the outline on the front of the weekly folder and place the meeting link in an item inside the weekly folder. After the session, don’t forget to post the recording and inform students where they can access it. For InSpace, the recording will be located in that course menu link. For Zoom, we suggest adding the recording to the same item where you posted the link. You may also want to send announcements with the link and/or recording in an announcement. To ensure that students have time to watch the recording, we recommend that any assignments which require information obtained in the Zoom video be due at least 48 hours after the live session.

Orientation Requirement

Your courses will be made available to students one full week in advance. During that time, they should submit proof that they have completed the GOLD orientation and should review your syllabus. We recommend making suggestions to students in Start Here of other ways they could get ahead during that week as well, such as suggested readings.

All students will be enrolled in an Online Student Orientation course which is free and self-paced. It is expected to take 2-8 hours depending on prior experience. The orientation will result in a badge that will be submitted in START HERE before gaining access to the weekly modules. Example screenshots will be sent before courses begin so that you will know what to look for. If you find that a student submitted false information to skip the orientation, you may want to lock their access to content by setting the requirement to be that they earn a certain amount of points (just 1 point will work) before they can access the content – they they don’t have that score, then they will be locked out of the course modules.

Here are a couple resources that help you know more about what to look for with those badge submissions and how to adjust the GOLD requirements: Video (8:44) | Handout

It will be according to your discretion whether such students are permitted to make up work missed for this reason.

Publisher Content Open Close

Publisher content can and should be linked to the Canvas classroom. Individual assignments from the publisher site can and should be directly linked into the course modules. Please understand, though, that those links may not copy to a new course. If you are working in a shell course that will later be copied into the course where we will load students, the links will break in the copy process. If this applies to your course, please request the actual course with the correct semester code before linking the publisher content into the modules. For more information, contact CIDT at

CIDT Informal Review Open Close

When CIDT reviews your course, we will look for the following:

In the Syllabus:

  • Contact Information
  • Required Materials
  • Objectives
  • Link to the current term’s SE academic calendar. Do not copy/paste full calendar.
  • Grading System
  • Feedback Time Statement (How long does it take for students to get graded feedback?)
  • Mandatory Syllabus Statements (Accessibility, Academic Dishonesty, etc.)
  • Course Schedule (matches your Canvas course)

In Start Here Module:

  • Syllabus
  • Professor Bio with picture or video
  • Professor Contact Information
  • Course Policies (Including feedback statement and other unique policies to emphasize)
  • No red template text
  • Special instructions, such as Respondus, Portfolio, etc.

In Course Content Modules:

  • Weekly modules (or subject modules)
  • Alignment of assignments to objectives (stated on each assignment)
  • Peer/Peer Interaction
  • Weekly Introductions filled in
  • Weekly Wrap Ups filled in
  • Correct formatting for assignments, discussions, groups, tests, etc.
  • Feedback surveys in place and available
  • Rubrics applied to each assignment (in Canvas format)
  • Turnitin, if applicable
  • Respondus¬†applied, if desired
  • Publisher Content Aligned, if applicable


  • Prerequisite/Requirement Settings (Orientation requirement settings work)
  • Correct due dates in text
  • Correct due dates in settings
  • Correct grade center column points (matches grading system in syllabus)
AP Review Open Close

You will submit your completed course to AP for review and feedback. A schedule and deadlines will be provided based on the term your course will be taught. You should expect to wait two to three weeks to receive the formal review from AP. The rubric AP will use is attached. They may also include additional tabs for other feedback. An AP instructional designer can meet with you before and after the review to assist in meeting the standards on the rubric. AP especially focuses on objectives, alignment of objectives, and ADA compliance. If you would like the contact information for the assigned AP instructional designer, please contact CIDT at

QR Rubric

Course Availability Open Close

Online Courses

SE online courses are automatically pre-set with dates to open 7 days prior to the official start date. This early access is called “Preview Week” and is intended for students to have a week to review the syllabus, obtain course materials, and turn in their online orientation requirement so they are ready before the first day of class. It is okay if you do not have your entire course accessible to students during Preview Week, but please at least have the START HERE area available to students so they can prepare for the start of class. Do not forget to have the course content available to students by the first day of class. If you plan to release content one week at a time, make sure your modules are set to reflect that as well.

For online courses, you will want to be sure that you have the course set to “Publish” so your students can access it on the dates specified for your course availability. If the course says “Unpublished” then they cannot access the course at all. If you or students run into issues with accessing a course and you cannot figure out what is wrong, please contact and we’ll be glad to help.

Face-to-Face Courses

If this is a face-to-face course, there is not requirement for when you make the course available, but the same settings described above for the Online courses will apply here as well. While there is no requirement, if you do not plan to make the course available by or before the first day of class, please send an announcement via email to your students to inform them when they will have access to your course in Canvas. This will save your students some stress and save CIDT and IT many phone calls from students who think there is a technical issue or that they are not enrolled correctly.

Who has access to the course? Open Close

The instructor has full access to all areas of this course.

Students enrolled in the course via Self-Service (Colleague) will be loaded into the course.

Upon request from the instructor, students completing an incomplete can be enrolled in a current section or a new shell.

CIDT Employees are able to access your course for troubleshooting issues either with you or your students or to provide data to administrators at any time.

Department Chairs and Program Coordinators have the ability to search for and access their department’s courses to look through a course‚Äôs progress at any time.

When Accrediting Agencies such as HLC visit campus, they are given a custom administrator role that gives them the ability to look inside available courses.

When given permission from an instructor, new faculty or adjuncts may be enrolled in a course for observation and training.

Academic Partnerships may be given access to a course, prior to start, for peer review within programs partnered with them.

Academic Coaches from Instructional Connections or assigned teaching assistants may be enrolled as a teaching assistant to assist with grading and other course facilitation.

Co-teachers or Co-facilitators will both have access to courses for which they oversee together.

Courses will not be copied into a shell that will be used by another instructor without written permission from the authoring instructor.

Canvas Resources - Faculty Open Close

Below is a list of videos and handouts that should help you as you prepare your courses in Canvas. If you do not find a resource for your question(s) here, check in the Canvas Community Instructor Guide or Video Guides. You are also welcome to email for help.


  • Assignment Submission Types: Video (5:15) | Handout
  • 3rd Party Integration:¬† Video (7:39) | Handout
  • GOLD Proof of Completion:¬†¬† Video (8:44) | Handout
  • Availability (Differences):¬† Video (10:13) | Handout
  • Discussions:¬†¬† Video (9:37) | Handout
  • Group Assignments:¬† Video (8:29)¬†
  • Annotation Assignment:¬†¬† Video (4:41) | Handout
  • Peer Review:¬†¬† Video (9:52)¬†
  • One Drive ASSIGNMENT:¬† Video (6:37)



  • TurnItIn: Video (6:08) | Handout
  • Gradebook Organization: Video (9:27) | Handout
  • Grade Column Organization: Video (1:43)
  • Speed Grader: Video (9:24)¬†
  • Needs Grading: Video (2:50)¬†
  • Gradebook Tools: Video (13:20)¬†
  • Course Objectives: Video (8:55) | Handout
  • Rubrics: Video (9:13) | Handout
  • Assignment Groups:¬† Video (4:41)¬†
  • Managing Grade Visibility: Video (7:00)¬†
  • “Treat ungraded as Zero”: Video (6:19)¬†
  • Weighted Grades: Video (3:08)¬†
  • Learning Mastery:¬†Video (6:58) | Handout
  • Moderated Grading: Video (7:13)¬†
  • Schemas & Submitting Grades: Video (10:13) | Handout





  • Canvas Dashboard Organization: Video (1:57) | Handout
  • Color Overlay (Dashboard): Video (0:31)¬†
  • Canvas Commons: Video (3:42) | Handout
  • Canvas Aesthetics: Video (5:35)¬†
  • Course Home Page: Video (1:59)¬†


Canvas Resources - Students Open Close

Below is a list of videos that should help your students as they interact in your Canvas courses. They also may be helpful for you if you want to see the student’s general perspective in a certain area of Canvas. If you do not find a resource for your question(s) here, check in the Canvas Community Student Guide or Video Guides. You are also welcome to email for help.

Quick Canvas – SE Student Resource Videos

  • Alternative Formats (Accessibility): Video (1:02)
  • Collapse Modules: Video (0:38)
  • Color Overlay (Dashboard): Video (0:31)
  • Course Menu – Expand / Collapse: Video (0:49)
  • Course Navigation Basics: Video (1:07)
  • Courses and Future Enrollments: Video (1:03)
  • Dates in Canvas: Video (2:12)
  • Discussions – Expand / Collapse: Video (0:48)
  • GOLD Prerequisite: Video (1:18)
  • InSpace: Video (3:06)
  • Module Requirements: Video (1:16)
  • Notification Preferences: Video (1:28)
  • Panorama Preferences (Accessibility):¬†Video (4:26)
  • Profile Picture: Video (0:38)
  • QR for Mobile Login: Video (0:59)
  • Tech Support: Video (1:13)
  • Time Zone Settings: Video (1:04)
  • Video (2:56)
  • What If Grades: Video (3:00)

Extra – Turnitin Training

  • TurnItIn Training for Students: Video (35:25)
  • More on Draft Coach by TurnItIn: Website