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:

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.

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:

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

Preview 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.
  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".
    1. 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.