The team at the Instructional Design Collaborative (IDC) created a Course Orientation Template in 2020 to support pandemic remote teaching. This 2.0 version updates the original to align with current practices for starting the semester and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.
What’s a Course Orientation module?
A course orientation in Canvas usually takes the form of one Module that students can interact with before the course officially begins, whether the course is in-person, hybrid, or online. This helps students be prepared for class on the first day by communicating expectations and norms for your course. A Course Orientation makes information about your course explicitly and equally available to all students, which can be especially valuable for students who are newer to higher education.
Orientation Module Goals:
- Contextualize your Syllabus with additional information conveyed in simpler language that can be easily accessed.
- Introduce the course, topics, and instructors in an approachable way.
- Incorporate interactivity to solicit valuable information about and input from your students.
- Link out to supportive resources for students.
- Begin helping students connect with each other.
- Provide students with an opportunity to learn about and practice using technology necessary for your course.
To Do: Customize this Template
Using this template requires you to customize it. Please review content carefully. Text and other items that must be updated are prefaced with highlighted and italicized text. The amount of customization you choose is up to you, and can include:
- Update all personal and contact information for course instructor(s)
- Update all scheduling and location details for you course
- Update content to include only technologies your course will use
- Proofread and update all other information as needed to be accurate for your course
- Update, keep un-published, or delete any activities (Discussion, Quiz, and Survey)
- Consider making your Syllabus more inclusive. Review our Make Your Syllabus More Inclusive guide for a curated list of strategies. Select a few to try this semester.
- Consider your course reading list and/or textbook. Are there opportunities to diversify your readings? Are there low-cost or free alternatives to your textbook? Are there low-cost or free alternatives to your textbook? Learn more about Open Education Resources through the UW Libraries.
- Consider new teaching strategies to make your class more inclusive. Review Equity and Inclusion resources from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM), or attend a workshop with the CTLM.
Created August 2022
Preview the Module
A version of the module is published and publicly available for preview. See the L&S Course Orientation Template 2.0. UW-Madison instructors are welcome to use all or part of this module in their own courses.
Request the Module
If you are an instructor in an L&S course, IDC staff can place the module in your course for you.
Import the Module
Through Canvas Commons, you can import the module into your course. Please follow the steps below.
Click the Commons icon in the red global navigation. See these instructions for logging in and using Canvas Commons.
Search for L&S IDC 2.0 and click to access the module.
Click the Import Button. Each Canvas Commons page has an import button to prompt an import process.
Select the Canvas course(s) to receive the import. A list of all your Canvas Courses will appear. Select one or many courses for the import.
More advanced Canvas users can also download a .zip file to import into their course. See how to import from a .zip file in the Canvas Community.