Semester Start Up Checklist

9 Steps for a Smooth Online Start

  1. Prepare for publication on the first official day of class

The official first day of class at CBU is now a Monday (or Tuesday, if that Monday is a holiday). On that first official day of the term, CBU auto-publishes every course shell for the semester, so students can see all of their courses on their Canvas Dashboard. Even if you're not scheduled to meet until Thursday, your Canvas course should be ready for publication on the first official day of the semester. This is especially important for online courses, because students do not have a physical classroom to enter. If you're not ready to release your main course content on that first Monday, at minimum, your Executive Pages should be ready for students (Home Page, Syllabus, About your Instructor & Course Overview).

See CBU Online Course Minimum Standards.

If you have content you don't want students to see yet, keep those modules unpublished until you are ready. Go to this Canvas How-To to see how to publish/unpublish course content.

2. Importing into Canvas

If you need to import a Canvas course into its new semester shell, click here for the Canvas How-To to guide you. If you run into any problems while importing, contact us at CDI@cbu.edu or (901) 321-4004. Click here for on-demand and/or live CDI webinars to help you through the import process.

3. Course Due Dates

  • Canvas has a feature in “Assignments” that allows for a batch edit of dates, allowing you to select all assignments and then bump them all up a set number of days. Click here to learn how.

  • All Canvas assignments in CBU online courses should have due dates listed in Canvas. Students receive reminders on their Canvas Dashboard and Canvas Calendar about upcoming assignments, if you've created Assignments and Due Dates in Canvas.

  • Make sure you have no assignments or test deadlines falling on official CBU holidays. Online students need breaks, too! Here is the CBU Academic Calendar.

4. Check that your course is ready for students

Whether you are importing a Canvas course or creating a new one, we have a checklist to make sure your students will enter a well-organized, digital space in Canvas.

5. Request crosslisting or combining of multiple sections

If you need two separate courses crosslisted into one course load or multiple course sections combined under one Canvas Common Shell, please contact us as soon as possible. Once students start entering, performing either of these functions can cause problems with your course. Contact: CDI@cbu.edu (901) 321-4004.

6. Send a Welcome Email

The week before class, it's a good idea to send your students a "Welcome Email." This helps prepare them for learning, get to know you and remind them about any textbooks or additional resources they'll need. Here's an example Welcome Email. This quick guide will show you how to create a classroom email list.

7. Guidelines for Synchronous

If you plan on using synchronous lectures or class time through Webex or Teams, here are some considerations to keep your synchronous time student-centered.

8. Notifying Students about Teams Meeting Times

Provide your students with this guide to join Teams meetings in Canvas. This guide is also located in the Student Resource section located at the top of every Canvas course template.

9. Provide guidance about Follett All-Access in your course/syllabus

Consider adding language similar to this in your course and/or syllabus to provide students with more information about how to use Follett All-Access for their course materials:


This course is part of the Follett ACCESS program, so you do not need to buy course materials. All required materials will be provided to you (unless you have chosen to opt out). Check your CBU email for updates about the program. It will include information about when your course materials will be ready for you to pick up or access from your digital shelf. A course fee has been added to your student account for these materials. If you need more information, contact the CBU bookstore for details: cbu@bkstr.com (901) 321-3545 CBU Thomas Center.