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Center for Instruction and Research Technology

Online Course Templates

CIRT offers online course templates, each providing a unique standard for design and format. When course instructors adopt these templates, it supports the effort to ensure 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

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

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.

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Template D: Student-Centered Learning Sequence

This template features a simple and intuitive module structure with student-centered verbiage that provides context and guidance for your learners. Each module is organized by Learning Materials and Assignments to provide a clear and consistent learning sequence, and the final module offers a Course Conclusion and Final Survey to give your students a sense of closure. This template also features prompts that are only visible to instructors to help you build out your course. Like the other templates, it includes a Start Here module that prompts you to provide essential information for your students along with an Orientation Quiz and Introduce Yourself discussion.

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Template E: F2F Hybrid

This template is designed for web-enhanced face-to-face (F2F) courses such as a flipped-model classroom or blended/hybrid courses. The module design includes text headers that differentiate online and F2F content. Whether you plan to create a repository of resources for a F2F course or an interactive online learning community for a hybrid course, this template provides 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

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. The course templates can also be downloaded through Canvas Commons.

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. 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.