Course Design Resources

 Course Design Overview

Course design support staff are here to help instructors design and/or update their online courses. Course design staff offer suggestions and advice for online course design and online teaching, while the instructor provides content for the course. Below is a short list of tasks related to building an online course.         

Instructor Tasks:       

  • Develop course content components
  • Work with Design Staff to develop learning activities, student communication documents, assessments, etc.
  • Work with Design Staff to build the course in Canvas

Instructional Design Team Tasks:         

  • Assist instructors in developing the overall structure of the course
  • Provide templates and other design tools
  • Offer suggestions for:
    • Course design
    • Learning activities
    • Media support
  • Help build the course in Canvas
  • Offer technological support and training
  • Provide pedagogy support and assistance

Upcoming Online Events

 Online Canvas Course Template

​An Online Canvas Template Course is available in Canvas Commons. The template course contains a student support module, provides links to resources for online instructors, and has many templates for instructors. To import the template course into your course, use the instructions below and search for "UWSP Online" in Commons.

There are two ways to access Canvas Commons. When you are on the homepage of a course, you can click the Import from Commons button found in the right navigation bar. From any Canvas page, you can also click the Commons button (letter C and an arrow) from the left navigation bar. Below you will find a link to a Canvas Guide that offers more detailed instructions.

Note: when you import from Canvas Commons, you can only import the entire course or resource. 

Tip: If you create your own Master Course, then import the Online Template into it from Commons, you can then import individual components into any course you want to from your Master Course.

How do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?        

 Canvas Support

The best way for you to get support for Canvas related questions is for you to contact Canvas directly. Canvas offers excellent user support and has instructed UWSP to direct all support questions directly to them.

Follow these steps to get direct Canvas Support.

  1. Log in to Canvas
  2. Click Help
  3. To get help from Canvas Support, select Chat with Canvas Support (Faculty) or Contact Canvas Support
  4. To search for the solution yourself, select Search the Canvas Guides

You can access specific UWSP Canvas information by visiting the UWSP Canvas website.

 Make Online Content Accessible

Making content accessible means that all users, regardless of disabilities, have equal access to the content. This is not simply a nice gesture, it is required by federal law. There are many easy things that can be done to make online content more accessible.

  1. Use built-in headings and styles when creating text documents.
  2. Use meaningful hyperlink text, avoid using "Click here"
  3. Specify header information when creating tables.
  4. Avoid split cells and nested tables when creating tables.
  5. Provide alternative text (Alt Text) for all images.
  6. Avoid using only color to convey information
  7. All video should include closed captions. CITL can help you provide closed captions.
Here are some helpful resources.
Please contact CITL if you would like assistance making your course materials more accessible.

 Zoom (Synchronous web based meetings)

Zoom is a synchronous video tool available to UWSP faculty and staff. Zoom is available in Canvas, as a synchronous meeting option in Outlook, via the Zoom desktop App, and via UWSP's Zoom web portal. Information Technology (IT) manage Zoom for the University.

Zoom Support - UWSP IT Department


 Qualtrics Surveys for Online Courses

Both pre-course and mid-course Qualtrics survey templates are available for you to use in your online course. They can help you get to know your students, build rapport, and collect information that may help you adjust your online teaching. 

You can preview the surveys using the links below. 

 Pre-course Student Survey (preview)

 Mid-course Survey SHORT (preview)

 Mid-course Survey LONG (preview)

 If you would like a personal copy of a survey that you can edit and use in your course please follow these steps to request a copy.

1. Login to Qualtrics to activate your account. If you have used Qualtrics before you can skip this step.

2. Email to request a copy of the survey(s) you wish to use.

3. When you receive an email notification from Qualtrics follow the instructions to setup your survey.

You may want to consider adding email triggers to your surveys so that you and/or the students receive an email after the surveys have been completed. See the linked instructions below.

Qualtrics Email Triggers

If you need any help with Qualtrics surveys for your online course please email

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Learn@UW Question Importer

The D2L Question Import Tool allows users to efficiently convert and import large batches of questions into the D2L question library. The documents linked below offer detailed instructions for using the tool.

To install the D2L Question Import Tool on your computer open the Application Center and search for Learn@UW Quiz Question Importer, then click Install.   


 Using Kaltura in Canvas

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Online Course Evaluation

​UWSP has several resources available for instructors or departments to use in evaluating and assessing online courses. Use the links below to view them.



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