- Content locking
- Content and settings
- Lock individual objects in a blueprint course
- Tips for working with blueprints
Blueprint courses are courses that are associated with multiple courses. Once content is placed in the blueprint course, the information may be synced from the blueprint course to the associated courses. As an instructor, you can manage course content, lock course content, sync associated courses, and view sync history. If you have specific material that needs to be managed for several courses and not be edited in those associated courses, a blueprint course might be the option for you.
Here's a general overview about blueprint Courses from Canvas. Please note, as an instructor or staff, you may not have access to some of the tools/features in this demo, so use this only as a general reference. A blueprint course and the associated courses must be created and managed by a Canvas admin.
If you have access to the blueprint, you can choose the locking settings. These will determine what attributes teachers in the associated courses will be unable to change for each object that you lock. (You will select which individual items to lock or unlock separately, as described below.)
- Navigate to the Settings of the course.
- You can specify for locking any combination of content, points, due dates, and availability dates in either of the following ways:
- General Locked Objects: Applies the same locking settings in all tools
- Locked Objects by Type: Allows you to set separate locking settings for Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Files, and Quizzes
- Click Update Settings to save your selections.
Content and settings
Before associating courses with your blueprint course, create the content that you want to sync with the associated courses and review the course settings in your blueprint to make sure they are correct. Course settings, which include the navigation menu and course start and end dates, are included in the initial course sync by default. We highly recommend creating and finalizing as much content in the blueprint prior to the initial sync to the associated courses.
Lock individual objects in a blueprint course
Once you select your locking preferences, as described above, you can lock or unlock individual objects (content items) in the course. Locking an object will apply your blueprint locking preferences to the item in all associated courses. If you leave an object unlocked, teachers in the associated courses will be able to modify it.
By default, objects are unlocked. You can change the status of an object by toggling the lock and unlocked icons. In any Index page, you can view the status of each object. White squares indicate the object is unlocked. Blue squares with a lock icon indicate the object is locked.
You choose which content you want to lock by clicking the lock icon. Once you have your course created with modules, assignments, and content, you can click the lock icon next to those items you wish not to be edited in the associated courses.
A blueprint course also allows you as the instructor of that blueprint course to make updates and push those updates out to all the associated courses. While all documents will get pushed out to the associated courses, unlocked items that are changed in associated courses will not get pushed out during the next sync. Any documents added by the instructor in the associated course will not be overwritten.
Prior to initial sync
It is best practice to update the blueprint course before we associate them with any other course. This will minimize any errors that need to be fixed afterwards and ensure the content is ready for the instructors of the associated courses to customize as needed from the beginning.
We also recommend following the steps in Course Review for Instructors. Specifically:
Steps to sync
- Click on the blueprint menu icon in the top right of the course
- Click Sync. Depending on how many edits you made or number of associated courses, this may take up to an hour to complete. Note that the Sync bar may appear to be done, but changes may not yet actually appear in child courses
You or your instructor will still have the ability to add or import content that does not belong to the blueprint. Although the course will automatically sync to the blueprint, you can still add non-synced content separately to an associated course by creating the content directly or importing from a different course. You can follow the steps for How to copy content from the same or different Canvas course to import previously developed content.
Item order within modules
Be mindful of syncing if any associated courses have any non-blueprint content added/imported to them as this will shift the order of that content. When syncing within the course dates, advise the instructors of the associated courses to check/adjust the order of items within modules accordingly.
After the end date for the first associated course, Online Learning will coordinate with you to de-sync the course to retain a historical record of the course and student grades. We will schedule with you when this will occur, preferably after the course or quarter end date to ensure no discrepancies with the previous course and provide enough time for you to update for the next course.
Tips for working with blueprints
- As mentioned in Item order within modules, when syncing content while the associated courses are in progress, advise instructors of associated courses to check/adjust the order of items within modules to ensure the correct order.
- Run the link validator tool at least before syncing to an associated course and before the course start date (you can run this tool more frequently and as often as needed) to avoid issues with broken links/content
- Use Student View in your course to see what your students would see to make sure it's what you expect
- If you want to enable a missing or late submission policy in your blueprint/associated courses, make sure to either:
- Update the programmed access/due dates for graded content and enable your late/missing submission policy before the initial sync to the associated courses
- Disable the late/missing submission policy in the blueprint if you are unable to update the programmed access/due dates for graded content before the initial sync to the associated courses
- Delete any calendar events (not assignments, quizzes, discussions, etc. that have programmed due dates) that you do not want to include in the associated courses.
- Announcements can only be locked if General Locked Objects is selected in the blueprint course settings.
- If items are published in a blueprint course, they will show as published in the associated course. Instructors in the associated course have the ability to unpublish published content.
- If there are unlocked items in your blueprint course, do not lock them after they have been synced unless you are certain they have not been modified in the associated course(s). Locking an item after a sync will overwrite changes made to the item in the associated course(s).
- If a locked object (discussion, assignment, page, etc) has a file attachment or a link to a file stored in the Files tool, be sure to lock the file as well; otherwise the file can be deleted from the associated course(s), breaking the attachment or link