Create a Template Course in Canvas

After December 31, 2012, you will no longer be able to access your courses in WebCT so you’ll want to make sure you have a holding place for each course in Canvas before that deadline. You will want to create a course template for each course that you teach, whether it’s offered in spring, fall, or summer semesters.

To create a template course in Canvas:


1. Go to:
2. Log in with your Emerson credentials
3. Click on  “Create a course.”
4. Complete the form. Note: the name should probably reflect the course you teach! Also, please, if you are moving content from WebCT – fill out the course name and number on the Create Form! (i.e. Introduction to Ethics, PH-105-01 1) CANVAS DOES NOT KEEP A RECORD OF WHAT CONTENT YOU MIGRATE FROM WEBCT.
5. Now, go to, log in, and your template courses will be there!

Currently there is a 5 course limit for this tool! Please contact ITG if you need more than 5 templates.

Still confused? Read on!


What is a template course and why would I want it?

A template is basically a course with no enrollment information. Since your official courses do not yet exist in Canvas, the template course gives you space to begin staging your course. Once your official course is created, you can easily copy your template into the official course.

How should I set up my templates?

We recommend you set up one template per course that you teach. If you teach the same course in spring and fall semester, you only need to create 1 template.

I teach in the spring:


Spring courses have not been created yet and do not have faculty assigned to them. If they don’t exist in Banner, they can’t exist in Canvas. A template course gives you room to start building in Canvas. Once the real courses are live in Canvas, we’ll help you copy the template content into the real course.


My course only happens in the fall, summer, or every other year:


By the time your course is taught again, WebCT will be gone. If you want to save your content, now is the time to put it in a template!


How many templates can I create?

As we mentioned above, we are currently limiting the number of faculty-created templates to 5. If you teach the same course in the spring and fall semester, you only need to create 1 template. However, please contact ITG if you need more than that.

How should I name my templates?

Your template name should correspond to the course that you teach. When the registrar sends your actual course to Canvas, you will copy your content from your template course into your official course. Therefore, you want to be able to easily identify it.

Things to think about:


  • Space! Canvas only allots you 500mb per class! Got videos? Let us introduce you to Median!
  • Organization! How do you want to set up your templates? One per course (recommended!) or just one template to hold all content?
  • WebCT transfers! If you are planning on moving content from WebCT – figure out what course you want to move and write down the WebCT course code! (ex:  CC-100-01 1) Canvas keeps no record of what you move. Also, see How Canvas is Different From WebCT.
  • Play! This is your staging area for your course. Get in there – it’s like your new home! Time to reorganize, rebuild, and conquer.
  • File management! Canvas is not a Content Management System (i.e. files), it is a Learning Management System (i.e. online course tools). Canvas does not like being forced to be a file repository and will fight you. (No bulk deletion of files. No, seriously. Go here to vote for better file management tools.)