Canvas - Canvas Course Templates (UW-Madison)

This document describes how instructors access and utilize Canvas Templates that have been created by DoIT Academic Technology for use in online, blended, or face-to-face courses.


Course shells in Canvas do not come with any templates or structures. DoIT Academic Technology has created a variety of templated pages for instructors to utilize in their course, if they wish.

These templates are the result of a collaboration with campus partners that contributes to a unified vision defined by the following principles:

  • Aligned with technical standards, trends, and campus direction
    • ADA/Section 508 compliant 
    • Designed with the UW-Madison EI Quality Online rubric where applicable 
    • Leverages best practices in Ux design 
    • Responsive design 
  • Templates will use Canvas Modules as its organizing structure, and Pages for the content. 
  • Faculty use does not require knowledge of HTML or other web coding 
  • Templates will be flexible, not locking down regions or forcing behavior 
  • Adheres to UW-Madison visual identity 
  • Seeks input and feedback from a diverse campus advisory group
  • Seeks input and feedback from students 
  • Accepts a minimum viable product 

This is not the creation of a course exemplar. Rather, it is the creation of a package of course assets from which faculty or instructional designers can pick and choose elements to use within their course. 

The following templates are provided.

  • Homepage Options
  • Course Orientation Module
  • Module Concept #1
  • Module Concept #2

You can download and import the template course directly into any Canvas course and select the specific content you want or import all the content and delete what you do not want once it is in your course.

Developed and provided courtesy of DoIT Academic Technology:

  • Homepage Options
  • Course Orientation Module
  • Module Concept #1
  • Module Concept #2

Developed and provided courtesy of TeachOnline@UW, Division of Continuing Studies:

  • Assignments with rubrics with different levels of criteria and points
  • Discussion examples
  • How to be Successful in an Online Course Quiz
  • Midterm Feedback Survey

Preview and Import the templates


You can preview this course, and all its templates, through this the Templates for Canvas test course.

Import the templates into your course

To employ these templates within your course, you will need to download them to your computer, and then upload them into your Canvas course.
To do that, follow these steps:
  1. Download the templates-for-canvas-export.imscc to your computer.
    Note: To download the file, select the link above and use the download button, as shown below.
    Screenshot of IMSCC download page
  2. Open your Canvas course (into which you wish to import these templates).
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Import Course Content (button to the right).
  5. From the Content Type drop-down box, select Canvas Course Export Package.
  6. Use the [Course file] button to locate and select the .imscc ZIP folder referenced in Step 1.
  7. To import all the template content, select All content... then, Import, or
  8. To import only certain components, select "Select specific content"... then, "Import".
    Then, a red Select Content button appears. Use that button to select specific items to import.

Using the templates in your course

After importing the templates into your Canvas course, go to Modules. Find the module titled, "Using the templates."

This module contains two documents:

  1. How do I edit the templates?
  2. How do I duplicate the module structure?
These two documents will get you started on how to incorporate the templates into your course.
For general instruction on how to use Canvas, refer to Canvas Guides offered by Instructure.
Also, you can reference the Learn@UW Training Canvas course for a collection of additional Canvas resources on campus.

Providing feedback on the Canvas course templates

If you have feedback on the templates, please email Feedback is reviewed once a year in the summer after which updates are made.

Keywords:Learn@UW, Canvas, course, template, download, import, content   Doc ID:83075
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2018-06-19 12:29 CSTUpdated:2022-08-08 14:36 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
Feedback:  0   0