Canvas Course Types
Learn about different types of courses in Canvas to support your development process!
Development (Dev) Courses
Dev courses provide a staging area to prepare your course layout and materials before copying them into your Live courses when they are released each semester. Dev courses are available upon request to ATS.
- Development Courses will appear in your Canvas Dashboard after your request has been submitted.
- You can request a development course for each of the Live courses you will be teaching
- Dev courses are will stay in your Canvas account indefinitely for reuse as needed.
- Have no content. You can copy content from another course or build new content in a dev course.
- Contain no students; students cannot see your development course. People can be added manually and assigned different roles (students, instructors, etc.) if desired. These people can see the changes you make to the course.
- Can be populated and organized with the content you are planning to use for your Live course in the future. When Live courses are released each semester, your content can be easily copied over. Dev courses are great for helping you prepare in advance.
It is recommended that you use development courses to organize your course materials and layouts so you can efficiently copy them to your live courses before each semester begins.
Although live courses are typically released a few months preceding the next term, having a dev course gives you an extra cushion of time to work on course modifications well in advance.
During this year of transition from BeachBoard to Canvas, having a dev course will give you time to prepare your Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 courses when BeachBoard will no longer be available.
You can also manually migrate your entire BeachBoard course into a Canvas dev course (your mileage will vary as this is not a perfect 1:1 copy process; some editing will still be necessary).
Live courses are those released through the CSULB enrollment system and populated with your enrolled students for the next term. For the transitional semesters of Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, live courses are released in both BeachBoard and/or Canvas; instructors can choose to teach in either system.
Live courses are:
- Populated with students who have enrolled in your class for the next term.
- Devoid of any course content; instructors can copy content from migrated courses or dev courses, or develop new content before the semester begins.
- Not available to students until they are "activated" (BeachBoard) or "published" (Canvas).
During the transition semesters of Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, live CSULB courses will be released to instructors in both Canvas and BeachBoard on the same schedule.
Course Release Schedule
Live courses are released a few months before each term so instructors will have time to prepare:
- In May 2022, all Fall 2022 semester courses will be released in BeachBoard and Canvas.
- In late Fall 2022, all Spring 2023 courses will be released in BeachBoard and Canvas.
- In late Spring 2023, all Summer and Fall 2023 courses will be released in Canvas only (BeachBoard decommissioned).
Faculty will be notified when live courses have been released via BeachBoard News announcements (through Spring 2023).
Instructors planning to teach in Canvas have the following options for building content in their live Canvas courses:
- Develop content from scratch.
- Copy and paste content from BeachBoard in parts.
- Copy migrated BeachBoard courses into Canvas (see Migrated Courses).
- Copy content from a Canvas Development (Dev) Course that you have requested from ATS.
Consult with an ATS Instructional Designer for best practices to copy migrated BeachBoard content into your live Canvas course shell.
Migrated courses are copies of BeachBoard courses from the past 2 years that have been transferred through an automated process conducted by ATS as part of the 2022-2023 transition period.
Visit the Migration Plan website for details and the schedule of courses to be migrated.
- Contain most content that has been copied from your BeachBoard courses with some exceptions. Visit Review Your D2L Course to learn more.
- Will not appear exactly like your BeachBoard courses; the content may need adjusting to fit the Canvas environment.
- Do not have students; students will not have access to these courses.
- Edit/ modify your migrated BeachBoard course as desired or leave it in its original state as a reference/source.
- Copy content from your migrated BeachBoard courses into your live Canvas shell in preparation for teaching in the next term (similar to how you would use a Development Course).
A sandbox is an empty Canvas course where instructors can get familiar with the technical features and navigation. Available upon request to ATS. After submitting your request, the Sandbox course tile will appear in your Canvas Dashboard.
- Contain no content. You can copy content from another course or build new content to test out the functionality.
- Contain no students; students cannot see your Sandbox course.
- Can be manually populated with students or other course roles (students, instructors, etc.) as desired by the instructor. These people can see the changes made to the course.
A sandbox is not intended as a course-building space. If you would like a space to build courses, please request a Development Shell (see Development Courses).
Once you've been assigned a sandbox, it will be yours to keep indefinitely. Not only will it help you learn Canvas as a new user, but it can be used throughout your tenure to test functionality and new tools that come along.
A sandbox is best used for the following purposes:
- Try out the navigation!
Explore the navigation panel and change the settings to see what happens! A sandbox allows you to get familiar with the system without concern for "breaking" your course.
- Experiment with different settings and features:
There are many ways you can customize your courses to meet your needs. For example, you can control which of the Course Navigation links appear for your students.
- Copy content from another course and make edits to see how it looks and feels.
For example, you may want to see what the quizzing experience looks like for your students before launching your next exam.
- Test tools that you've never used before, or new ones that become available in the future.
Many software tools (such as Zoom, Teams, Poll Everywhere, Blackboard Ally, etc.) will be integrated into Canvas. Give them a trial run in the sandbox to become familiar with all the nuances.
Reset the Sandbox to the Defaults
After using your sandbox for testing, you can then wipe the slate clean and return it to the default settings, if desired.
Resetting course content will permanently delete all associated assignments, discussions, quizzes, modules, rubrics, pages, files, learning outcomes, question banks, collaborations, conferences, or any other content. This action is irreversible, and the data cannot be recovered.
- Select the "Settings" link on the left navigation panel of your Canvas Dashboard
- Select "Reset Course Content"