UW course readiness checklist for online instruction

Last updated: October 10, 2023

Review the areas below to make sure you feel prepared for online instruction via Canvas. Expand items on the list to see examples and resources for how to complete these steps. Download a PDF version of this checklist.

This resource was created by the UW Tri-Campus Committee for Online Learning Resources and Practices.

Setting up your Canvas site

Orienting your students

  • Include Welcome, Contact and Getting Started information.
  • Provide an overview or tour of the organization of the course materials.
  • Prepare low-stakes activities for students to practice accessing and interacting with different parts of the course.

  • Share a complete Syllabus in Canvas using either a file, a page, or the built-in Syllabus tool in Canvas.
  • Post a complete course schedule.
  • For class sessions or office hours in Zoom, make sure meeting details are shared through either the Zoom app in Canvas or another location in the course

  • Have a method of introducing the instructional team to students.
  • Clearly state how the instructional team will communicate with students, including how often students should check for updates.
  • Clearly state how to reach the instructional team, including expectations for response times.

Accessibility and accommodations

  • Caption videos in Panopto and/or Zoom.
  • Make sure that any videos in the course from other creators already have captions.

Final check

  • Use Student View to confirm how my course will appear to students, making sure that the correct content is visible.
  • Test the external links in my course using the Course Link Validator.

  • Launch a course Zoom meeting and test the features I wish to use to make sure they work as expected.
  • Confirm that any videos load in Canvas and play successfully.
  • Test all Canvas integrations in the course to ensure they are working as expected.

  • Set availability dates and access settings for the course.
  • Publish all of the content (modules, pages, files, and assignments) that should be visible to students, and unpublish course content that should remain hidden.
  • Publish the course.


The following resources helped inform the design and content of this checklist: