Blueprint Courses

Canvas has a feature that allows you to use a course blueprint, which, when updated, can sync updates with associated courses. So it’s like a master course that can immediately send updates to individual instructor courses. These might be especially helpful to you if you are a program coordinator over several instructors of the same course, and need to make simple changes in courses along the way.

Several colleges have piloted blueprints and have shared helpful information about managing blueprint courses. We recommend reading through this article when you implement blueprints. Because blueprints are a newer feature in Canvas, expect that there will be some issues to resolve, and it will not be perfect at the start. We recommend the following work flow when implementing blueprints for the first time:

  1. Work with the Office of Teaching and Learning to streamline your master course, to make changes and update information.
  2. Submit a Canvas help request to create a blueprint course: Give it a title, decide who the instructors are (we recommend limiting this to 1-2 instructors that you trust to take good care of updating content on behalf of your program or department), and decide what “General Locked Objects” you would like — Content, Points, Due Dates, or Assignment Availability. We recommend just locking content and points.
  3. Import course content from your original master to the blueprint.
  4. Decide which items you want to lock, and which items you want to leave unlocked. You can lock assignments, discussions, pages, files, and quizzes (but not quiz banks, modules, or course settings — however, updates to these things will still sync from the blueprint).
  5. Submit a Canvas help request to create your separate courses for instructors, and request to have the individual courses “associated” with the blueprint course– this is what enables you to sync and make updates as needed.

Master Courses vs Blueprints

Previously, we had a process of using Course Masters. We are now using Blueprints. You may choose whether or not to associate your courses with the Blueprint/Master course, but every course that used to be only a “Master” course will now be a blueprint which means

  1. Students cannot be added to the Blueprint course.
  2. Any courses associated with a current blueprint get updates when you “sync” your changes.


Notification of Changes

If your course is associated with a blueprint, you have the option to receive notifications anytime something is “synced.” You can find this under your account notification settings in Canvas.

Updated on October 17, 2019

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