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Online Course Templates

CIRT currently offers five online course templates (see table below) with each providing a unique standard for design and format. Adoption of these templates by faculty members developing blended and online courses has increased rapidly over the years, which is notable because when course instructors adopt these templates it supports the effort to ensure that online courses at UNF will be accessible to all learners through the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

Getting Started

Start by exploring the LIVE preview of each course template. You will be required to login in order to access the course template. Once you're inside the course, you can press the "Join this Course" button to enroll in the course and proceed to explore the template as a student. Keep in mind that you are previewing these templates from the student perspective, but there are obviously many other features that could be turned on/off in these templates to accommodate your course needs.


For full instructor access to a template, you will need to submit a request to have one copied to your personal Sandbox course. Information on how to acquire these templates is posted at the bottom of this page.

Template A: The Traditional

We call this template "The Traditional" because it has been in production the longest. The primary difference between this template design and the others is the layout of the 'Home' page, which includes, course objectives, instructor contact info, office hours, textbook information, among other things.

Explore LIVE preview (requires UNF-N# login)

Template B: Multi-Part Modules

This template is optimized to use the features available in Canvas. It has a condensed home page, inline viewing of the course syllabus and schedule, and less writing on each content page for easy viewing on mobile devices. The module content is chunked into four structured pages: Introduction, Instructional Content, Activities, and Summary. This model is designed to limit the amount of content on a single page, chunking the information in smaller digestible bites. It still includes all the instructional design best practices present in “the traditional” template including a sample welcome announcement, student orientation quiz, introduce yourself discussion, and mid-term survey.

Explore LIVE preview (requires UNF-N# login)

Template C: Multi-Week Modules

This template contains many of the same pedagogical elements as the “Traditional” and “Multi-part Modules” templates. It varies from the other templates in two distinct ways. The ‘Start Here’ module comprises nine individual pages that each contains important course information. Chunking the ‘Start Here’ page into separate pages for each category of content reduces the amount of information on each page, which helps students retain the material more efficiently. In addition, the modules in Template C are organized in a multi-week format. This organizational structure will work best in courses that contain modules that span over several weeks, and courses that are thematic or unit-based.

Explore LIVE preview (requires UNF-N# login)

Template D: The Streamline

This multi-week-modules template serves to simplify and streamline the development process. The Home page showcases essential course and instructor information. The template also offers a syllabus model - available to view and edit in-line in the Syllabus area - for you to quickly and easily customize by adding your own course information. Its Modules area begins with a Start Here module that provides students with helpful expectations and valuable resources; it also includes a Student Orientation Quiz and Introduce Yourself Discussions prompt to integrate students into the online learning community. Use the multi-week-modules format to organize your blended or online course into four to seven main modules with module-level objectives. Then, use weekly headings and content pages to chunk instructional materials and assignments into manageable amounts. This format lends itself well to courses that are arranged into thematic units and could benefit from incorporating comprehensive module assessments.

Explore LIVE preview (requires UNF-N# login)

Template E: F2F & Hybrid

This template serves to enhance the experiences of web-enhanced face-to-face (F2F) and hybrid (blended) courses. Upon accessing this template, you may notice that you land immediately in the Modules area rather than a traditional Home page like in the other templates. This direct access to the Modules area benefits students throughout the course by minimizing navigation and allowing immediate access to the syllabus and all course content and assignments in one neatly organized location. Want to add lecture materials or supplementary resources to the course as you progress through the semester? Do so quickly and easily by clicking the + button next to the desired week to add files, links, pages, and assignments. Whether you plan to create a repository of resources for an F2F course or an interactive online learning community for a hybrid course, this template will provide structure and essential elements to support students – including the Midterm Survey and the Start Here module featuring valuable course resources and the Student Orientation Quiz.

Explore LIVE preview (requires UNF-N# login)

What's Next?

How do I acquire one or more of these course templates?

You can either contact an instructional designer or send email to and identify which template you would like to acquire. You also need to provide the Course ID of the 'Sandbox' course where you would like to have the template copied.

Caution: Requesting to have the template copied into a course that already contains other content could result in that content being overwritten or deleted.

How do I modify these course templates?

Now that you have a course template, you may be wondering how to customize the template to fit your specific course. Here is an infographic that will assist you in modifying any of the course templates. You can also find a wealth of information on everything Canvas, including instructions for modifying a course, in the Canvas Guides. In addition, CIRT recommends that faculty attend our hands-on Canvas Trainings to learn more about using Canvas.

What if I still have questions about using one of these templates?

If you would like to engage in a deeper discussion about the design and format of these templates, schedule a consultation with an instructional designer.


If you would like to see what these templates look like in action, check out our Online Course Examples for high-quality design inspiration.